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Title: South America Observations and Impressions - New edition corrected and revised
Author: Bryce, James Bryce, Viscount
Language: English
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    New York

    _All rights reserved_

    COPYRIGHT, 1912, 1914,

Set up and electrotyped. Published September, 1912. Reprinted October,
November, December, 1912; January, 1913.

New revised edition, February, 1914.

    Norwood Press
    J. S. Cushing Co.--Berwick & Smith Co.
    Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.



This book records observations made and impressions formed during a
journey through western and southern South America from Panama to
Argentina and Brazil _via_ the Straits of Magellan. The nature of its
contents is briefly outlined in the Introduction which follows, so all
that I have to do here is to acknowledge gratefully the many kindnesses
I received in every part of South America which I visited, and in
particular from the following persons: Colonel Goethals, Chief Engineer
of the Panama Canal, and other officers of the United States engineers
stationed there, and Colonel Gorgas, head of the medical staff; the
officials of the Peruvian Corporation in Lima and of the Peruvian
Southern Railways in Mollendo, Arequipa, and La Paz; the officials of
the Antofagasta and Bolivia Railroad Company; those of the Transandine
Railway Company in Chile and those of the Buenos Aires and Pacific and
Argentine Great Western Railways Companies in Mendoza and Buenos Aires,
and also those of the Leopoldina Railway in Brazil. Nor must I fail to
express my obligations to the heads in New York of the firm of Messrs.
W. R. Grace Co., who advised me regarding my journey, and to my friend
Professor Bingham of Yale University, who, familiar with South America
from his own travels and studies, has given me valuable help in many

I have also to return my respectful thanks to the Governments of Chile
and Brazil, who were good enough to extend to me facilities for travel
on their railways, and to the Governments of Peru, Bolivia, Argentina,
and Uruguay for other courtesies. To many statesmen and scholars in
these six republics, too numerous to mention by name, as also to not a
few of my own fellow-countrymen from Britain and Canada who are there
settled, I am indebted for hospitality, for private acts of kindness,
and for valuable information.

            JAMES BRYCE.
    JUNE 27, 1912.


This edition has been carefully revised and many corrections have been
made in it.

    FEBRUARY 26th, 1913.


    PREFACE                                                          vii

    INTRODUCTION                                                    xvii



    The Part of the Isthmus and the Strait in History                  1

    The Isthmus of Suez and the Isthmus of Panama: The Route from
      Colon to Culebra and Panama                                      2

    View from the Hill of Ancon                                        9

    The Natives of the Isthmus: The San Blas Indians                  13

    The English Raiders: Drake and Morgan                             15

    The Canal: Gatun Locks and Lake                                   19

    The Great Cutting at Culebra                                      24

    Administration and Sanitation of the Canal Zone                   26

    Failure of the French Undertaking due Primarily to Disease        28

    Commercial Prospects of the Canal                                 33

    General Impressions made by the Isthmus and the Canal             35



    Cold Climate of the West Coast                                    37

    The Antarctic Current                                             38

    Aridity and Barrenness of the Peruvian Coast                      39

    Payta: The Guano Islands                                          40

    Lima: General Aspect and Buildings                                46

    Life and Society in Lima                                          51

    Mollendo and the Peruvian Southern Railway                        54

    First View of the Andes                                           56

    The Desert of Western Peru                                        57

    The City of Arequipa                                              60

    The Volcano of El Misti                                           61

    Oriental Aspect of Arequipa                                       64

    Character of the People of Arequipa                               66

    A Story from Colonial Days                                        69



    Physical Character of Peru                                        75

    Crossing of the Andes from Arequipa to the Central Plateau of
      Lake Titicaca                                                   80

    Scenery of the Valley from the Plateau to Cuzco                   81

    One of the Sources of the Amazon                                  86

    Market Day at Sicuani: The Quichua Indians                        88

    Cuzco: Its Situation and Aspect                                   95

    The Spanish Buildings at Cuzco                                    96

    The Ancient Buildings: Inca Walls                                102

    The Prehistoric Fortress of Sacsahuaman                          107

    Impression made by the Remains of Ancient Peruvian Work          114

    Historical Associations of Cuzco                                 114

    [Note on the Fortress Walls of Sacsahuaman]                      118



    The Central Plateau and the Lake                                 119

    Inhabitants of the Plateau: The Aymará Indians                   121

    Scenery of Lake Titicaca                                         124

    The Shrine of Copacavana                                         128

    Voyage to the Sacred Islands                                     130

    Koati: The Island of the Moon                                    131

    The Island of the Sun                                            132

    The Bath and Garden of the Inca                                  133

    The Sacred Rock of the Wild Cat                                  135

    View of the Snowy Range of Sorata or Illampu                     141

    The Lake of Vinamarca                                            143

    Tiahuanaco and its Ruins                                         144

    Impression made by the Ruins                                     147

    Character of the Ancient Peruvian Civilization                   152

    The Primitive Religion of Peru                                   156

    Government and the Policy of the Incas                           160



    Origin of the Bolivian Republic                                  166

    General Physical Character of Bolivia                            167

    Approach to La Paz: The _Barranca_                               168

    Climate of La Paz: The Mountain Sickness or _Soroche_            171

    The City and its Environs                                        174

    Character and Habits of the Bolivian Indians                     179

    The Plateau from La Paz to Oruro                                 186

    Uyuni: The Great Bolivian Desert                                 191

    Passage through the Andes                                        198

    The Borax Lake and the Volcanoes                                 199

    View of the Western Cordillera                                   203

    The Desert of Atacama                                            204



    The Three Regions of Chile                                       206

    Northern Chile: The Nitrate Fields                               207

    Megillones and Antofagasta                                       210

    Valparaiso                                                       212

    Santiago                                                         216

    Pedro de Valdivia and the Rock of Santa Lucia                    218

    Chilean Society and Politics                                     220

    Southern Chile: Its Climate and Scenery                          223

    The Coast Cities: Concepcion and Talcahuano                      225

    Lota Valdivia and Corral                                         227

    The Araucanian Indians: Their History, Customs, and Religion     232

    Osorno and its German Colony                                     239

    Rio Bueno                                                        242

    Attractiveness of Southern Chile                                 241

    Lake Rinihue and the Chilean Forests                             244



    The Andean Range                                                 248

    The Uspallata Pass from Chile into Argentina                     250

    Construction of the Transandine Railway                          251

    Scenery on the Chilean Side                                      253

    The Tunnel under the Summit of the Cordillera                    256

    Scenery on the Argentine Side                                    256

    Aconcagua and Tupungato                                          257

    The City of Mendoza                                              260

    Argentines and Chileans                                          264

    Return across the Mountains and Ascent to the Cumbre             267

    The Christ of the Andes                                          269

    Observations on the Scenery of the Andes in General              271

    Comparison with the Himalayas                                    276

    [Note on the Passage of the Andes, in 1817, by the Army of
      General San Martin]                                            280



    Discovery of the Straits, and Circumnavigation of the Globe,
      by Magellan                                                    284

    Voyage of Sir Francis Drake                                      286

    The Coast of Southern Chile: The Sea-birds                       286

    Approach to, and Entrance of, the Straits                        290

    The Scenery of the Western Half of the Straits                   291

    Punta Arenas and Tierra del Fuego                                300

    The Eastern Half of the Straits                                  304

    General Observations on the Character of the Straits             305

    Their Historical Importance                                      307

    The Falkland Isles, their Character and Products                 308

    Their History                                                    311

    Their Scenery                                                    313



    The Approach to Buenos Aires                                     315

    Aspect of the City                                               316

    Society in Buenos Aires                                          318

    Physical Character of Argentina                                  324

    Inhabitants of Argentina: The Gaucho                             327

    Agriculture and Ranching                                         329

    The Process of Settlement: Labour                                330

    The Scenery of the Pampas                                        334

    Economic Prospects of Argentina                                  336

    The European Immigrants                                          338

    Character and Tendencies of Society in Argentina                 341

    Argentina the Most Modern of South American Countries            346



    How Uruguay became an Independent Republic                       349

    Resources of the Country                                         350

    The City of Montevideo                                           351

    Population of Uruguay: Immigrants and Natives                    355

    A Revolution in Uruguay                                          356

    The Whites and the Reds                                          357

    Causes of the Revolutionary Habit                                358

    Prosperity of Uruguay                                            362



    How Brazil fell to the Portuguese                                366

    Physical Features of the Different Parts of the Country          368

    Voyage from Montevideo to Santos                                 370

    Santos and the Railway to São Paulo                              372

    The City of São Paulo and its People                             374

    Approach to Rio de Janeiro                                       377

    Aspect of Rio: The Bay and the Mountains                         378

    Scenery of the Environs of Rio                                   382

    Petropolis the "Hill Station" of Rio                             384

    Excursion through the Mountains                                  386

    A Brazilian Forest                                               390

    Naval Mutiny at Rio                                              395

    Economic Resources of Brazil                                     402

    The People: German and Italian Immigrants                        405

    The Negroes and Indians                                          407

    Recent History of Brazil                                         410

    Character and Tendencies of the Brazilians                       416

    The Future of Brazil                                             420



    The Colonial Empire of Spain divided into Sixteen Republics or
      Nations                                                        423

    What is a Nation?                                                424

    Process by which New Nations Arise                               426

    The Administrative Divisions of the Colonies the Basis of the
      Division into Republics                                        427

    Influences which differentiate Nations                           429

    Geographical Position                                            429

    Physical Environment: Climate                                    430

    The Aborigines: Their Number and Character                       432

    The Struggle for Independence and the Civil Wars                 434

    Recent Economic Development: Immigration                         437

    Which of the Republics have become Nations?                      438

    Chile and Argentina: Mexico, Peru, Brazil                        441

    The Caribbean and Central American Republics                     441

    Does there exist a Common Sentiment of Spanish-American
      Nationality?                                                   444

    Will the Present Political Divisions be Maintained?              447

    Prospects of International Peace in South America                448



    Importance of the Aboriginal Element in Spanish-American
      Countries                                                      454

    How the Native Tribes came to Survive                            455

    Probable Present Numbers of the Indian Population                458

    The Indians in Peru and Bolivia                                  460

    Present State of these Indians, Social and Religious             460

    Ulloa's Report on their Condition in the Eighteenth Century      463

    Universal Illiteracy of the Indians: Their Civil and Political
      Status                                                         465

    Relations of Indians and Whites: No "Colour Line" in Latin
      America                                                        470

    How the Presence of the Aborigines has affected the Whites       475

    The Negroes in Brazil                                            479

    Three General Conclusions regarding the Native Indians of South
      America                                                        480

    It is not certain that they have injured the White Race by
      Intermixture                                                   481

    Demoralization of the Peruvian Indians by the Spanish Conquest,
      and Subsequent Oppression                                      481

    Racial Repugnance not a Universal Phenomenon in the Relations
      of Peoples of Different Colour                                 482



    Origin of the Name "America"                                     484

    How it came to be applied to Two Continents                      486

    Some Physical Similarities of the Two Continents                 488

    Some Similarities in their History                               489

    "Teutonic" America and "Latin" America                           490

    Divergent History of the Two Americas                            492

    The Indians: The Mines: The Settlers                             493

    Different Methods of Government                                  494

    The Two Wars of Independence                                     496

    The English Colonies held together while the Spanish split Up    499

    What "Teutonic" and Latin America have in Common                 500

    The Contrasts between them are More Important                    504

    Present Attitude of Spanish Americans to North Americans         507

    Real Affinities of Spanish America are with Some European
      Peoples                                                        512

    Sympathy and Intercourse with Spain not very Close               513

    Relations are Most Intimate with France                          518

    Are the South American Peoples a New Group, with a New
      "Racial Type"?                                                 520



    European Views of Spanish America during and after the War
      of Independence                                                524

    Physical or Geographical Conditions affecting the Political
      Life                                                           527

    Racial Conditions: The Aborigines                                528

    Economic and Social Conditions                                   532

    Historical Conditions in the Colonial Period                     534

    Historical Conditions during and since the War of Independence   536

    The Peoples of the Republics began with no Experience in the
      Methods of Free Government                                     537

    Some Revolutionary Leaders did not approve Democracy             538

    Would Monarchy or Oligarchy have been Better?                    540

    Differences between the existing Republics: Three Classes of
      States                                                         541

    Some have truly Republican Governments                           543

    Influences making for Political Progress                         546

    European Judgments on Spanish-American Republic unduly
      Severe                                                         550



    Rapid filling up of the Cultivable Areas of the World            552

    Regions available for Settlement in South America                555

    The Temperate Regions                                            556

    The _Selvas_ of the Amazonian Plain                              558

    Possible Future Population of South America                      563

    Elements, Aboriginal and White, in the Population                564

    Phenomena of Race Intermixture in South America                  566

    No Predominant Type in the South American Peoples                568

    Spanish Americans misjudged because their Conditions at Time
      of Independence were not Understood                            570

    Evidences of Social and Political Advancement                    573

    South America has suffered from Want of Intellectual Contact
      with Other Countries                                           574

    The Spanish Race stronger on the Practical than on the
      Intellectually Creative Side                                   577

    Backwardness of Knowledge and Intelligence in the Rural Parts
      of Spanish America                                             580

    Decline in the Influence of the Church and Religion              582

    Continued Vigour of the Spanish-American Race                    584

    NOTE I. Some Books upon Latin America                            587

    NOTE II. A Few Remarks on travelling in South America            588

    INDEX                                                            591

    MAPS. South America.
          The Isthmus of Panama.
          Parts of Peru and Bolivia.
          The Straits of Magellan.
          Parts of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil.


Whoever read as a boy the books of old travellers in the Andes, such
as Humboldt's _Aspects of Nature_, or pored over such accounts of
the primitive American peoples as are given in Prescott's _Conquest
of Peru_ must have longed to visit some day the countries that fired
his imagination. These had been my experiences, and to them there was
subsequently added a curiosity to learn the causes which produced so
many revolutions and civil wars in Spanish America, and, still later, a
sense that these countries, some of them issuing from a long period of
turbulence, were becoming potent economic factors in the modern world.
So when after many years the opportunity of having four clear months
for a journey to South America presented itself, I spent those months
in seeing as much as I could within the time, and was able to make some
observations and form certain impressions regarding the seven republics
I visited. These observations and impressions are contained in the
following pages. They are, of course, merely first impressions, but the
impressions which travel makes on a fresh mind have their value if they
are tested by subsequent study and by being submitted to persons who
know the country thoroughly. I have tried so to test these impressions
of mine, and hope they may be of service to those who desire to learn
something about South America, but have not time to peruse the many
books of travel that have been written about each of its countries.

The chief points of interest which these countries have for Europeans
and North Americans may be summed up as follows:--

1. The aspects of nature.

2. The inhabitants, the white part of whom are of Spanish origin,
except the Brazilians, who come from Portugal.

3. The economic resources of the several countries.

4. The prospects for the development of industry and commerce.

5. The relics of prehistoric civilization.

6. The native Indian population.

7. The conditions of political life in the several republics.

It may be convenient that I should explain how far and in what order
each of these topics is dealt with.

The first eleven chapters of the book contain a description of what
I saw of scenery and of social and economic phenomena in the seven
republics of Panama, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and
Brazil, and in these chapters the first three of the above-mentioned
subjects are dealt with when and as each country is described. It is
Nature that chiefly engages the traveller's mind in Peru and Bolivia,
as it is economic development which interests him in Argentina and
Uruguay. In Chile and Brazil he must be always thinking of both.
The fourth topic has been treated so fully by many writers who have
brought special knowledge to it and have written professedly for the
information of business men, that I have not thought it necessary to
fill this book with statistical tables or, indeed, to do more than
indicate the possibilities for commercial development or agricultural
immigration which the natural resources of each country seem to promise.

It is only in Peru and Bolivia that any prehistoric monuments exist.
Some of the most important and interesting of these I saw, and in
describing them I have endeavoured to convey an idea of the character
of the ancient Peruvian civilization (if that name can properly be
applied to it) and of the people who produced it. This is done in
Chapters III, IV, and V.

Only in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile did I have opportunities of seeing the
native Indians. In the two former states they constitute a part of the
total population far larger than in any other state (except Paraguay):
they are nominally Christians, and they lead a settled agricultural
life. In Chile there is only one considerable Indian tribe remaining,
the famous Araucanians. Of these warriors, of the Quichuas in Peru and
of the Aymarás in Bolivia, some account will be found in Chapters III
to VI.

In the above-mentioned eleven descriptive chapters I have endeavoured
to individualize, so to speak, the chief countries of South America, so
as to bring out the chief characteristics, natural and human, of each
of them.

But marked as are the differences between the various republics, they
have all something in common, something that belongs to South America
as opposed to Europe or North America or Australia. There are also
certain general questions affecting the whole Continent which present
themselves to the traveller's mind and need to be discussed upon broad
and general lines. To these questions the last five chapters of the
book have been devoted. One chapter endeavours to indicate the causes
which have divided the vast Spanish-American dominion (including
Mexico and Central America) as it stood in A.D. 1810 into the sixteen
independent republics of to-day, some of which have become, others of
which are becoming, true nations with marked national characteristics.
Another chapter deals with the relations to the white population of the
aborigines in the Spanish countries and of the negroes in Brazil, the
only state in which negroes are numerous. It is a subject of study all
the more interesting because these relations are altogether different
from those borne by the European element to the coloured races in the
British colonies, in India, and in the United States of North America,
and also because the intermixture of races which is now going on in
South America suggests physiological and ethnological problems of high

A third chapter (Chapter XIV) briefly compares the conditions of
settlement and of government which determined the course of economic
and political development in North and in South America respectively
and enquires how far the latter Continent is to be considered any more
closely related to the former than it is to Europe. Is there, in fact,
such a thing as that which the word Pan-Americanism is intended to
describe, or does the expression denote an aspiration rather than a

Of the political history of these republics very little is said in this
book, and of their current politics nothing at all. That is a topic
on which it would not be fitting for me to enter. But in travelling
through the seven countries, in observing their physical features
and the character of their people, and the state of knowledge and
education among them, as well as in reading accounts of the kind of
administration which the Spanish Crown gave them during nearly three
centuries, I was struck by the influence which all these facts must
have had upon the free governments which the Revolutionary leaders
tried to set up when they broke away from the mother country. The
history of Spanish America since 1810 cannot be understood or fairly
judged, without taking these things into account. They have been the
fundamental and determinative conditions of political life in these
countries; and to them Chapter XV has been devoted.

In the last Chapter (XVI) I have touched upon several subjects relating
to the South American lands and peoples in general for which no
appropriate earlier place could be found, and have indulged in a few
conjectures as to the future both of the several states and of the
Continent as a whole. These are not meant as predictions, but rather as
suggestions of possibilities which may serve to set others thinking.

Lest some of the views presented, especially those regarding the native
races and political conditions should be deemed unduly optimistic,
let me try to meet any such criticism by a few words on optimism in

Pessimism is easier than optimism, as it is easier to destroy than to
construct. There was an old dictum in the Middle Ages, "_Omnia tendunt
naturaliter in non esse_,"[1] and Mephistopheles in Goethe's _Faust_
tells us that

                  Alles was entsteht
        Ist werth dass es zu Grunde geht.[2]

If pessimism is easy, the more need to stand on guard against it.

The duty of a traveller, or a historian, or a philosopher is, of
course, to reach and convey the exact truth, and any tendency either
to lighten or to darken the picture is equally to be condemned. But
where there is room for doubt, and wherever that which may be called
the "temperamental equation" of the observer comes in, an optimistic
attitude would seem to be the safer, that is to say, likely to be
nearer to the truth. We are all prone to see faults rather than merits,
and in making this remark I do not forget the so-called "log-rolling
critics," because with them the question is of what the critic says,
not of what he sees, which may be something quite different. If this
maxim holds true, it is especially needed when a traveller is judging
a foreign country, for the bias always present in us which favours our
own national ways and traits makes us judge the faults of other nations
more severely than we do those with which we are familiar. As this
unconscious factor often tends to darken the picture that a traveller
draws, it is safer for him, if in doubt, to throw in a little light so
as to secure a just result. Moreover, we are disposed, when we deal
with another country, to be unduly impressed by the defects we actually
see and to forget to ask what is, after all, the really important
question, whether things are getting better or worse. Is it an ebbing
or a flowing tide that we see? Even in reflecting on the past of our
own country, which we know better than we do that of other countries,
we are apt, in noting the emergence of new dangers, to forget how many
old dangers have disappeared. Much more is this kind of error likely to
affect us in the case of a country whose faults repel us more than do
our own national faults, and whose recuperative forces we may overlook
or undervalue.

Such considerations as these have made me believe that the natural
propensity of a West European or North American traveller to judge
Spanish Americans by his own standards needs to be corrected not
only by making allowance for differences of intellect and character,
but also by a comprehension of the history of these peoples and
of the difficulties, many of them due to causes outside their own
control, which have encompassed and entangled them ever since their
ancestors first set foot in the Western world. Whoever compares these
difficulties as they stand to-day with those of a century ago will find
grounds not only for more lenient judgments than most Europeans have
passed, but also for brighter hopes.

Neither in this matter, however, nor anywhere in the chapters which
deal with the social and political conditions of South America have I
ventured to dogmatize. My aim has rather been to start questions and
to indicate various sides from which South American problems may be
approached. The interest of these new countries lies largely in the
fact that while some problems already familiar to the Old World, have
here taken on new aspects, others appear here almost for the first time
in history. Some of them involve phenomena of race growth and race
intermixture for the investigation of which the data we possess are
still insufficient. Others turn upon the still unascertained capacity
of European races for working and thriving in tropical countries. It
may take many years before science can tell us half of what we desire
to know regarding the economic possibilities of the central regions of
the Continent, for the development of which no labour is now available.
The future of the temperate South is more certain, for all the material
conditions that make for prosperity in North America and Australia
are present there also. These countries will be the home of rich and
populous nations, and possibly of great nations. The most interesting
of all the questions which a journey in South America suggests are
those which concern the growth of these young nations. What type of
manhood will they develop? What place in the world will they ultimately
hold? They need fear no attacks from the powers of the Northern
Hemisphere, and they have abundant resources within. Their future is in
their own hands.




South America is bounded at its northern end by an isthmus and at its
southern by a strait. They are the two gateways by which the western
side of the Continent, cut off from the western and central portions by
a long and lofty mountain range, can be approached from the Atlantic.
It was by crossing the Isthmus that Vasco Nuñez de Balboa discovered
the South Sea. It was by penetrating the Strait that Magellan, seven
years later, discovered that this South Sea was a vast ocean stretching
all the way to the coasts of Asia. In old Spanish days all the commerce
of the west coast passed over the Isthmus,[3] but when the days of
steam navigation arrived, that commerce passed through Magellan's
Strait. Now the Isthmus itself is to be turned into a strait and will
be a channel for sea-borne trade, the main gateway to the West.

An isthmus and a strait are, to the historical geographer and to
the geographical historian, the most interesting things with which
geographical science has to deal. Commerce and travel and naval warfare
concentrate themselves at the spot where a narrow channel connects wide
seas, and the strip of land which severs two seas from one another
interposes a barrier to water-borne trade and turns it off into other
directions. It becomes a point the control of which can stop the march
of armies, and it furnishes a central stronghold whence ships can go
forth to threaten the neighbouring coasts. Thus every strait and every
isthmus has a high commercial importance, and almost always a political
importance also, since lines of commerce have usually been, and are now
more than ever, potent factors in human affairs, while the command of a
water passage for fleets, or that of a land passage for armies, may be
of capital importance in war.

The Eastern Hemisphere has an isthmus which has been significant for
world commerce and for world history almost from the beginning of
civilization. It is the Isthmus of Suez. So the Western Hemisphere
has its isthmus of supreme importance,--that of Panama. It is a link
between continents and a barrier between seas, which, though its
history is far shorter than is that of Suez, yet has been at some
moments in the last four centuries, and may be still more hereafter, of
high significance for the movements of the world.

There are some notable points of similarity between these two
isthmuses. Their breadth is not very different,--Suez sixty miles,
Panama about fifty-four. The shortest line across each runs nearly due
north and south. The continents which each unites are gigantic. Each
lies in what is, or was till quite lately, a practically uninhabited

Here, however, the likeness ends; and we come to points of contrast
that are more remarkable. The Isthmus of Suez is flat as a table
from one end to the other; that of Panama is covered with high and
generally steep hills. Suez is an arid waste, where there is not a
brook and scarcely even a well, and by consequence not a tree, nor
any growing thing save a few thin and thorny shrubs. Panama has a
tremendous rainfall in places, varying from one hundred and forty
inches a year on the north side to sixty on the south, and is covered
with wood so dense that roads have to be not only hewn through the
forest but defended by incessant cutting against the efforts of a
prolific nature, always seeking to reassert her rights. Having a keen,
dry, desert air, the whole Suez region is a healthy one, where man
need fear disease only in those few spots which he has in recent years
brought under irrigation. Panama had for centuries a climate so deadly
that even passing travellers feared to halt more than a few hours on
either side of the Isthmus. Yellow fever, intermittent and remittent
fevers, and all sorts of other tropical maladies made it their
favourite home.

A still more remarkable contrast, however, between these two necks of
land lies in the part they have respectively played in human affairs.
The Isthmus of Panama must, in far-off prehistoric days, have been the
highway along which those wandering tribes whose forefathers had passed
in their canoes from northeastern Asia along the Aleutian Isles into
Alaska found their way, after many centuries, into the vast spaces of
South America. But its place in the annals of mankind during the four
centuries that have elapsed since Balboa gazed from a mountain top
rising out of the forest upon the far-off waters of the South Sea has
been small, indeed, compared to that which the Isthmus of Suez has held
from the beginning of history. It echoed to the tread of the armies of
Thothmes and Rameses marching forth on their invasions of western Asia.
Along the edge of it Israel fled forth before the hosts of Pharaoh.
First the Assyrian and afterwards the Persian hosts poured across it
to conquer Egypt; and over its sands Bonaparte led his regiments to
Palestine in that bold adventure which was stopped at St. Jean d'Acre.
It has been one of the great highways for armies for forty centuries,
as the canal cut through it is now one of the great highways of

The turn of the Isthmus of Panama has now come, and curiously enough it
is the Isthmus of Suez that brought that turn, for it was the digging
of a ship canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, and the vast
expansion of Eastern trade which followed, that led to the revival of
the old designs, mooted as far back as the days of the Emperor Charles
the Fifth, of piercing the American Isthmus. Thus the comparison of
the two isthmuses becomes now more interesting than ever, for our
generation will watch to see whether the commerce and politics of the
western world will be affected by this new route which is now being
opened, as those of the Old World have been affected by the achievement
of Ferdinand de Lesseps.

So many books have been written, and so many more will be written,
about the engineering of the Panama Canal and about its commercial
possibilities, that of these very little need be said in such a sketch
as this. But as everybody is already curious, and will, two years
hence, be still more curious regarding the region it traverses, I
shall try to convey some sort of notion of the physical aspects of the
Isthmus and of the impressions its past and its present make on the
traveller's mind. In taking the reader with me across the neck of land,
I shall in the first instance say nothing of the works of the canal
which I saw in course of execution, but will ask him to remember that
it runs, as does the Trans-Isthmian railway, from north to south, the
coast-line both on the Atlantic and on the Pacific side trending in
this region east and west.[4]

Approaching in the steamer from Europe or New York across the Caribbean
Sea one sees low hills rising gently from the shore, fringed with palms
and dotted with small white houses half hidden among the trees. In
front, on an islet now joined to the mainland, is the town of Colon, a
new town, with a statue of Christopher Columbus "protecting" a female
Indian figure of America, but no buildings of interest and little
history, for it is only sixty years old, built as the terminal point
of the railway. The old fortified ports where the Spanish galleons
used to lie at anchor in former days, Nombre de Dios and Puerto Bello,
stand farther to the east. Behind the town, higher hills, covered with
those thick, light green woods that characterize the tropics, cut off
the view to the south. No depression in the land is visible. There is
nothing to suggest that another ocean lies beyond, only fifty miles
away, and that here the great backbone which traverses two continents
for many thousands of miles sinks to a point a few hundreds of feet
above sea level.

The traveller on landing steps into the railroad car, and after running
for three miles along the shore of the shallow bay of Limon into which
the Canal is to issue, strikes in four miles more the valley of the
Chagres River. Here is the point (to be described later) at which the
huge Gatun Dam is being built across that valley to flood it and turn
it into a navigable lake. Thence the line keeps in the same general
south-southeast direction on the east side of the Chagres River,
parallel to its course. The Chagres, a muddy and rather languid stream,
has in the dry season about as much water as the Scottish Tweed and
in the wet season rather more than the Potomac and much more than the
Shannon. There are few stations on the way, and at first no dwellings,
for the country was uninhabited till the work of canal construction
began. Morasses are crossed, and everywhere there is on each side a
dense, dark forest. So deep and spongy are the swamps that in places
it has been found impossible to fill them up or to lay more than one
set of rails upon the surface. So dense is the forest, the spaces
between the tree trunks filled by shrubs and the boughs bound together
by climbing plants into a wall of living green, that one cannot see
more than a few yards into the thicket, and can force a way through it
only by the help of the _machete_,--that long, cutlass-like knife which
people carry in Spanish America. Hardly a trail running into the woods
is seen, and a mile or two back the wild cats and monkeys, and their
terrible enemies, the anacondas or boa constrictors, have the place all
to themselves.

After some twenty-three miles of this sort of country, beautiful
when the outer boughs of the trees are gay with brilliant blossoms,
and pendulous orchids sway in the breeze between their stems, but in
September rather monotonous in color, the railway crosses and leaves
the Chagres River, whose valley turns northeast far in among higher
hills. The line continues to run southward, rising gently between
slopes from which the wood has been lately cut away so that one can see
the surrounding landscape. All around there is a sort of tossing sea
of miniature mountains--I call them mountains because of their steep
slopes and pointed crests, though few of them exceed a thousand feet
in height. These are set so close together that hardly a dozen yards
of level ground can be found between the bases of their declivities,
and are disposed so irregularly that they seem as if the product of
scattered outbreaks and uplifts of igneous rock. Their sides are
clothed and their tops plumed with so thick a growth of wood that the
eye cannot discover crags or cliffs, if any there be, and the tops of
all are practically unapproachable, because no trails have yet been
cut, except to one conspicuous summit. This one rises boldly to a
height of about 1200 feet, and has received the name of Balboa Hill,
because from it alone in this region--so one is told--can both oceans
in a season of fair weather be descried. The gallant Vasco Nuñez
deserves the honour of being thus commemorated; but it is to be feared
that before long the legend will have struck root among those who dwell
here, and will be repeated to those who pass along the canal, that it
was from this height, and not from a peak in Darien, seventy or eighty
miles farther to the east, that the bold adventurer first looked out
over the shining expanse of the South Sea.

We are now more than halfway to the Pacific and may pause to survey
the landscape. Though there is moisture everywhere, one sees no water,
for neither ocean is visible, the Chagres is hidden among the folds
of the hills, and the brooks at the valley bottoms are insignificant.
But otherwise it is cheerful and pleasant in its bright green and its
varied lines,--a country in which a man might be content to live,
faintly reminding one of the Trossachs in Scotland by the number of
steep little peaks crowded together and by the profusion of wood. The
luxuriance of nature is, however, far greater than in any temperate
clime, and the trees have that feathery lightness which belongs to the
tropics, their tops springing like green bubbles into the soft blue air.

Here, at a place called Culebra, is the highest part of the crossing
from ocean to ocean, 110 feet above sea-level; and as it was here that
the deepest cutting had to be made for the canal it is here that the
headquarters of the engineering staff has been fixed. Of the cutting
more anon. The railway follows a devious course among the hills,
rattling here and there through cuttings in hard igneous rock, and in
a few miles, descending gently, it passes out into a wide valley, the
farther end of which, to the south, is open, with a bold hill guarding
it on the east side and several more distant rocky eminences visible
far away against the horizon. The hill is Ancon, overlooking Panama
city on the one side, and, on the other, the bay which the canal
enters. The eminences are islands lying out in the Pacific. Being now
quite down on the level of the ocean, we do not see its waters till the
railway, passing along the edge of a brackish tidal swamp, reaches the
city of Panama, forty-six miles from Colon.

As the Pacific side of the Isthmus is much the most picturesque part of
the whole, and impresses itself most on the imagination, the visitor
who desires to enjoy the scenery and grasp the configuration of land
and sea, ought to climb, if he is an active walker, to the top of
the hill of Ancon, on the lower slopes of which, rising just above
Panama city, are the United States government offices and the villas
of its officials. Steep everywhere, and in parts slippery also, is the
foot-path that leads over pastures and through thickets to the top of
the hill, some six hundred feet high. But it is worth while to make the
ascent, for from the summit one obtains an ample prospect worthy of the
historic greatness of the spot.

From this breezy height let the traveller turn his eyes first to the
north, and look back over that maze of low forest-covered mountains
through which he has passed from Colon and which form the watershed
between the two seas. No more from this side of the Isthmus than from
the other does one discern any depression in the watershed, any break
in the range sufficient to indicate that at this point there is an easy
passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The hollows through which
both railroad and canal pass are hidden deep in the folds of the hills,
which stand so thick together that it is hard to believe any waterway
could ever be carved out between them and impossible to tell the spot
where the cutting is being made.

Very different is the view when the gaze is turned eastward along the
far-winding bays and promontories of the Gulf of Panama. There the
coast is for a long space flat, and a plain runs back toward distant
hills. Beyond this plain other ranges rise to the southeast, bordering
the Pacific till they sink below the horizon opposite the Pearl
Islands. Somewhere among those ranges is the height to which Balboa
climbed and whence he made the great discovery; somewhere along those
shores the place where, clad in armour, he strode into the waves, and
with sword drawn, took possession of the sea on behalf of the king of
Spain. It is rather across that plain that any one looking from this
side might fancy the lowest passage from sea to sea would be found. Yet
not there, but much farther to the southeast, far behind the hills,
in the Gulf of Darien, there is a point still lower, where between
the Atrato River which falls into the Caribbean and the River San
Juan running to the Pacific a few miles of cut would enable a ship
to pass from sea to sea. Now let the traveller turn round and face
to the west. His eyes will follow a long mountain chain which rises
high and bold from the opposite shore of the Gulf of Panama and runs
out southwest until it too is lost to sight beneath the far horizon.
In front, a group of rocky isles lies basking in the sunny sea. Just
beneath the Ancon hill, at its eastern foot, the little city of Panama
stands on its promontory, a mass of grey, red-roofed houses with a
half-demolished Spanish fort of the eighteenth century guarding the
shallow roadstead, while on the opposite side of the hill, at the base
of its steep slopes, is the mouth of the Canal.

The landscape spread out under this hill of Ancon is the finest in all
the Isthmian region. The northern side at Colon, although pretty with
its abundant verdure, is commonplace; but here there is a view which
appeals at once to the eye and to the imagination, ranging over vast
stretches of land and sea, rich with varied colour, bringing together
the past and the future. Over these smooth ocean plains, which the
Spaniards, accustomed to their own stormy Atlantic, called the Peaceful
Sea, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa looked eagerly out as he planned that
expedition to Peru which the jealous cruelty of Pedrarias, the Spanish
viceroy, cut short. Over them the less worthy but more fortunate
Pizarro sailed to those far southern lands, where he won, in two
years, an empire vaster than that which in the Old World obeyed his
sovereign, Charles the Fifth. Backward and forward across these waters
came the fleets that bore to the south swarms of fierce adventurers
to plunder the native peoples, and that brought back the treasures
which supported the European wars of Spain and helped to work her
ruin. Three miles off there can be just discerned amid the trees the
ancient cathedral tower of the now ruined city of old Panama, where
those fleets used to anchor till the English buccaneer Morgan sacked
and destroyed the place in 1679. And just beneath, on the opposite side
of the hill from these traces of the vanished colonial empire of Spain,
the long mole that is to shield the mouth of the Canal is rising, and
the steamships lying along the wharves, and cars standing beside them
on the railway tracks, presage a commerce vaster than ever was seen in
the great days of Spain, for they speak of the passage of men from all
the nations along the new waterway through these forests and out over
this sea to the ends of the earth. Here, as at the Straits of Gibraltar
and on the Bosphorus, nature and history have joined to give delight
for the eyes, and to the mind musings on the past and dim forecasting
visions of the future.

Save for these few points where human dwellings are seen,--the little
Spanish city below and the offices and warehouses that mark the
beginnings of the new commercial port and some houses on the islets
in the bay, where the inhabitants of Panama seek in summer a cooler
air,--it is a lonely landscape, with scarcely a sign of life on land,
and as yet few ships flecking the water. The region has always been
thinly peopled and its tribes never reached the semi-civilization of
the Maya peoples of Yucatan, Honduras, and Guatemala to the north of
them, nor of the Chibchas of Bogota to the south. There are, anyhow,
no traces of prehistoric progress here, though some have been found
in Costa Rica. The aborigines were not numerous in this region,
and, after the Spaniards came, were quickly reduced by the attacks
which gold-seeking adventurers made upon them. Thus one hears of but
few now, except at one place, called San Blas, on the shore of the
Caribbean Sea, some forty miles east of Colon. There an Indian tribe
has kept itself quite apart from the white intruders, having maintained
a practical independence both of Spanish viceroys and republican
presidents of Colombia. These Indians are short, strong men, good
sailors and fine fighters, men of the same stock that repulsed the
first settlers whom Columbus planted near by on his second voyage,
and so jealous of their freedom and their own ways that they will not
suffer a white stranger to spend the night in one of their villages.
They are reported to be still heathens, having their own medicine
men, the efficiency of whom is secured by a rule which terminates
the professional career together with the life of a practitioner
who has lost to death seven patients in succession. These Indians
come to Colon in their canoes to trade, and show themselves passably
friendly to the Americans there, though less effusively so than their
ancestors were to the English in those far-away days when they guided
English buccaneers across the Isthmus to pounce upon their Spanish
enemies at Panama. When in 1698 the Scottish colonists arrived on
their ill-starred expedition to found a colony at Darien, the San Bias
men welcomed them with open arms and shewed their good feeling by
frequently coming on board and drinking a great deal of liquor. These
kindly dispositions lasted down till our own time, for a tale goes
that in one of their struggles against the Colombians they declared
themselves subjects of Queen Victoria. The Republic of Panama, having
plenty of troubles of its own, wisely leaves them alone.

As there are few Indians now in the narrowest part of the Isthmus, so
also there are few white people. The Spaniards never tried to settle
the country, though they built towns here and there on the coast for
trade. There was neither gold nor silver to attract adventurers. The
land was covered with jungle, and there was a lack of native labourers
to be enslaved and set to clear and till it. The jealous policy of
the home government excluded the subjects of all other powers, so
most of this region remained a wilderness, unimproved, and parts of
it unexplored. A paved road was constructed across the Isthmus from
old Panama, the town built by Pedrarias when he crossed to the Pacific
side in 1520, to Nombre de Dios, which became the chief port on the
Atlantic side; and along this road pack mule trains carried the silver
that had come up from Peru to be shipped for Cadiz or Vigo in those
great galleons for which the English seamen used to lie in wait. On the
Atlantic coast there was held once a year a great fair which lasted six
weeks, and to which trading folk came by sea from far and wide. Nearly
all the manufactured goods which were consumed in Peru and all down the
west coast were sold and bought here. Little else broke the monotonous
annals of these remote provinces except the exploits of the English
sea-rovers who carried on the war of Protestantism against Spain for
the benefit of their own pockets. Sir Francis Drake, the least sordid
and most gallant among them, began his exploits by establishing himself
in a creek on the Atlantic side of the Isthmus, and thence took Nombre
de Dios with a ridiculously small force, and laid ambushes for the
silver-carrying mule trains that crossed from Panama, raiding at
intervals such Spanish ports as his small force enabled him to capture.
In one early expedition, he climbed a tree on a hilltop, and seeing
the Pacific from it, fell on his knees and prayed God to give him life
till he could sail upon that sea in an English ship--a prayer which
was amply fulfilled when he issued from the Straits of Magellan and
ravaged the coasts of Peru in 1578. In the last of all his cruises it
was in his ship off Puerto Bello that he died in 1596. Eighty years
later, Morgan, the famous English buccaneer, gathered a large force
of adventurers and seafaring ruffians, crossed the Isthmus by sailing
in small boats up the Chagres and thence after a short land journey
falling upon Panama, which he took and pillaged, bringing back his
booty to the Caribbean Sea. The city was burned, whether by him or by
the Spaniards remains in doubt, and thereafter it lay deserted.

Thirty years after Morgan's raid the commercial possibilities of the
Isthmus fascinated a Scotsman who had more than the usual fervour
and less than the usual caution of his nation. William Paterson, the
founder of the Bank of England, led a colony, chiefly composed of
Scottish people, and well supplied with Scottish ministers, to a place
near Acla in the Gulf of Darien, on the Atlantic side of the Isthmus,
one hundred miles southeast of Colon, meaning to make it a great centre
of trade over both oceans. They went out, however, imperfectly equipped
and ignorant of climatic conditions. Many perished from disease; King
William III gave them no support; the Spaniards at last attacked and
compelled the surrender of the few who remained. Thereafter nobody
disturbed the subjects of the Catholic king. New Panama, planted in
a better site where the roadstead is a little deeper, although too
shallow for the ocean liners of our own day, continued to enjoy a
certain prosperity as the gateway to all western South America, for
there was and could be no land transit through the trackless forests
and rugged mountains that lie along the coast between the Isthmus and
the Equator. But the decline and decay of the colonial empire of Spain
under the most ill-conceived and ill-administered scheme of government
that selfishness and stupidity ever combined to devise, steadily
reduced the importance of the city. Nothing was done to develop the
country, which remained, outside Panama and a few other ports, an
unprofitable solitude. Neither did the extinction of the rule of Spain,
which came quietly here because the local governor did not resist it,
make any difference. Occupied with domestic broils, the new republic,
first called New Granada and now Colombia, had not the capital nor
the intelligence nor the energy to improve the country or develop the
commercial possibilities of the Isthmus. This was a task reserved for
children of the race which had produced Drake and Morgan.

Thus we come down to the events which have given Panama its present
importance. In 1846 Mexico was forced to cede to the United States, as
the price of peace, the territories which now constitute the States
of California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. Soon afterwards
gold was discovered in California, and a great inrush of settlers
followed. There was urgent need for some shorter and safer route to
San Francisco than the voyage round Cape Horn or the waggon trail over
plains and mountains from the Missouri. Three enterprising Americans
obtained in 1848 a concession of the right to build a railway across
the Isthmus. The line was opened in 1855, and had, till taken over by
the United States government, paid higher dividends continuously (an
average down to 1895 of about 15 per cent per annum) than any other
line in the world. Being exposed to no competition, it could charge
what fares it pleased. A better service of passenger steamers began to
run from Panama southward as well as northward; and thenceforward,
despite its deadly climate, the Isthmus became a world highway.
Though the subsequent opening of railroads across the North American
continent reduced the passenger traffic from the eastern United States
to California via Panama, the goods or freight traffic continued;
and as trade to western South America increased, so the old idea of
constructing an interoceanic canal took more definite shape and led to
the propounding of scheme after scheme. Finally, in 1878, the success
which Ferdinand de Lesseps had achieved at Suez encouraged him to form
a company in France to make a sea-level waterway through the Isthmus.
This company, formed without sufficient preliminary investigation
of the conditions and the cost, collapsed in 1889, having exhausted
its funds. A second one, formed in 1894 to resume and complete the
enterprise, failed in its turn, after spending many millions, and in
1904 transferred all its rights and interests, together with its plans
and its machinery, to the United States government, who, after about
two years usefully spent in examining the problem they had to face,
began in 1907 that effective work of digging and lock-building which
they expect to complete in 1913. They had for some time been trying
to obtain a grant from the republic of Colombia of the strip of land
required for the excavation of the Canal, but could not secure terms
which they thought reasonable. Then, in 1903, a revolt took place at
Panama against the authority of Colombia, and the new republic of
Panama, which forthwith emerged, gave to the United States a perpetual
lease of a strip of ten miles wide, being the space through which the
purposed canal was to run. This strip--now called the Canal Zone--is
forty-five miles long, with an area of about 448 square miles. The
United States Government is practically supreme in it,--though it
has been held not to be a part of the United States for the purposes
of the Constitution,--and rules it by a Commission under the War
Department, being also owner of more than two-thirds of its surface.
In return for the lease it has paid a large sum to the little republic
and guaranteed its independence. With the strip it has also acquired
four small islands, deemed valuable strategically, which lie a little
way off the shore opposite the Pacific end of the Canal. They are now
to be fortified to protect the approach. The colonial city, with its
picturesque fort looking out over the sea, its pretty little plazas
planted with trees, its winding old-fashioned streets and big dark
churches, stands within the Canal Zone, but is administered by its
own government, being the capital of this smallest of all the South
American republics. The poorer classes occupy themselves with fishing
and sitting in the shade, the upper classes with politics. There is
hardly any cultivated land near, but it is hoped that on the high
undulating ground some miles to the west the cultivation of vegetables
and fruits and whatever else passing vessels may need will presently be

Of the Canal itself a few words must now be said, just enough to convey
some preliminary general notion of it to those who two years hence,
when the time for its formal opening arrives, will be deluged with

It will be fifty miles in length, from deep water to deep water, though
only forty from tide-end to tide-end. The minimum bottom width will be
three hundred feet, the minimum depth forty-one feet, the breadth and
depth being, however, for the larger part of its length, greater than
these figures. Its highest point above sea-level will be eighty-five
feet at the surface of the water and forty feet at the bottom, the
depth at this point being forty-five feet; _i.e._ it will be cut down
through the dividing ridge of the Continent to a point forty feet above
the two oceans.

The simplest way to realize its character is to consider it as
consisting of four sections which I will call (_a_) the Atlantic Level,
(_b_) the Lake, (_c_) the Cutting, and (_d_) the Pacific section (in
two levels separated by a lock). The Atlantic Level is a straight
channel, unbroken by locks, of eight miles, from deep water at the
mouth of the shallow Bay of Limon, a little west of Colon, to Gatun,
where it reaches the valley of the Chagres River. Now the Chagres River
had always been reckoned as one of the chief difficulties in the way
of making a canal. It occupied the bottom of that natural depression
along which all surveyors had long ago perceived that any canal must
run. But the difficulty of widening and deepening the river channel
till it should become a useable canal, was a formidable one, because
in the wet season the river swells to an unmanageable size under the
tropical rains, sometimes rising over forty feet in twenty-four hours.
This difficulty was at last met and the stream ingeniously utilized by
erecting right across the course of the Chagres a stupendous dam at
Gatun, which by impounding the water of the river turns its valley into
a lake. This lake will have along the central channel a depth of from
eighty-five to forty-five feet of water, sufficient for the largest
ship. At the Gatun dam there are three locks, built of concrete, with
a total rise of eighty-five feet, by which vessels will be lifted up
into the lake. The lake will fill not only the valley of the Chagres
itself, but the bottom of its tributary valleys to the east and west,
so that it will cover 164 square miles in all, and will be dotted by
many islands. The central and deepest line of this artificial piece of
water, nearly twenty-four miles long, is the second of our four canal
sections, and will be the prettiest, for the banks are richly wooded.
At the point called Bas Obispo, where the Chagres valley, which has
been running south-southeast towards the Pacific turns away to the
northeast among the hills, the line of the canal leaves the Gatun
river-lake, and we enter the third section, which I have called the
Cutting. Here hills are encountered, so it became necessary, in order
to avoid the making of more locks, to cut deep into the central line of
the continent, with its ridge of rock which connects the Cordilleras
of the southern continent with the Sierras of the northern. After five
miles of comparatively shallow cutting southward from the Lake, a tall
and steep eminence, Gold Hill, the continental watershed, its top 665
feet high, bars the way. Through it there has been carved out a mighty
gash, the "Culebra Cut," of which more anon. A little further south,
eight miles from the Lake, the ground begins to fall rapidly towards
the other sea, and we reach the fourth or Pacific section at a point
called Pedro Miguel. Here is a lock by which the Canal is lowered
thirty feet to another but much smaller artificial lake, formed by a
long dam built across the valley at a spot called Miraflores, where
we find two more locks, by which vessels will be lowered fifty-five
feet to the level of the Pacific. Thence the Canal runs straight out
into the ocean, here so shallow that a deep-water channel has been
dredged out for some miles, and a great dyke or mole erected along its
eastern side to keep the southerly current from silting up the harbour.
From Pedro Miguel to Miraflores it is nearly two miles, and from the
locks at the latter to the Pacific eight miles, so the length of this
fourth Pacific section, which, unlike the Atlantic section, is on two
different levels divided by the Miraflores dam and locks, is ten miles.
In it there has been comparatively little land excavation, because the
ground is flat, though a great deal of dredging, both to carry a sea
channel out through the shallow bay into the open Pacific, and also to
provide space for vessels to lie and load or discharge without blocking
the traffic.

Thus the voyager of the future, in the ten or twelve hours of his
passage from ocean to ocean, will have much variety. The level light
of the fiery tropic dawn will fall on the houses of Colon as he
approaches it in the morning, when vessels usually arrive. When his
ship has mounted the majestic staircase of the three Gatun locks from
the Atlantic level, he will glide slowly and softly along the waters of
a broad lake which gradually narrows toward its head, a lake enclosed
by rich forests of that velvety softness one sees in the tropics, with
vistas of forest-girt islets stretching far off to right and left among
the hills, a welcome change from the restless Caribbean Sea which he
has left. Then the mountains will close in upon him, steep slopes of
grass or brushwood rising two hundred feet above him as he passes
through the great Cut. From the level of the Miguel lock he will look
southward down the broad vale that opens on the ocean flooded with the
light of the declining sun, and see the rocky islets rising, between
which in the twilight his course will lie out into the vast Pacific.
At Suez the passage from sea to sea is through a dreary and monotonous
waste of shifting sand and barren clay. Here one is for a few hours
in the centre of a verdant continent, floating on smooth waters, shut
off from sight of the ocean behind and the ocean before, a short sweet
present of tranquillity between a stormy past and a stormy future.

In these forty miles of canal (or fifty if we reckon from deep water
to deep water) the two most remarkable pieces of engineering work are
the gigantic dam (with its locks) at Gatun and the gigantic cutting
at Culebra, each the hugest of its kind that the world has to shew.
The dam is nearly a mile and a half long; its base nearly half a mile
thick, and it is 400 feet wide at the water line of the lake which it
will support. Each of the three locks is double, so that one of the
pair can be used by vessels passing from north to south, the other by
those passing from south to north. Each has a useable length of 1000
feet, a useable width of 110 feet. They are big enough in length,
width, and depth for the largest vessels that were afloat in 1911.
He who stands inside one of them seems, when he looks up, to be at
the bottom of a rocky glen, "a canyon of cement." Nothing less than
an earthquake will affect them, and though earthquakes have been
destructive in Costa Rica, two hundred miles away, there is no record
of any serious one here. The locks will be worked, and vessels will be
towed through them, by electric power, which is to be generated by the
fall of the Chagres River over the spillway which carries its water
from the lake to the Atlantic.

The great Culebra Cut is interesting not only to the engineer, but also
to the geologist, as being what he calls a Section. It is the deepest
open cutting anywhere in the world, and shows curious phenomena in the
injection of igneous rocks, apparently very recent, among the loose
sedimentary beds, chiefly clays and soft sandstones of the latest
tertiary epoch. A troublesome result, partly of this intermixture, and
partly of the friability and instability not only of the sedimentary
strata but also of some of the volcanic rocks, has been noted in the
constant slips and slides of rock and earth down the sides of the
cutting into the bed of the canal that is to be. This source of expense
and delay was always foreseen by those who knew the character of the
soil and the power of torrential tropical rains, and was long dwelt
upon as a fatal objection to a sea-level canal. It has caused even
more delay and more expenditure than was expected. But it has now been
overcome, though to avert the risk of future damage to the work when
completed the engineers have been obliged to give a much lower slope to
the sides of the cutting than was originally contemplated, so that the
width of the cutting at the top is also greater than had been planned,
and the quantity of material excavated has been correspondingly
larger.[5] In order to lessen further washing down, the slopes will
be sown with creeping grasses and other plants calculated to hold the
surface soil.

The interior of the Culebra Cut presented, during the period of
excavation, a striking sight. Within the nine miles of the whole
cutting, two hundred miles of railroad track had been laid down side by
side, some on the lowest level on terraces along which the excavating
shovels were at work. Within the deepest part of the cutting, whose
length is less than a mile, many hundreds of railroad construction cars
and many thousands of men were at work, some busy in setting dynamite
charges for blasting, some clearing away the rubbish scattered round
by an explosion, some working the huge moving shovels which were
digging into the softer parts of the hill or were removing the material
loosened by explosions, the rest working the trains of cars that were
perpetually being made up and run out of the cutting at each end to
dump the excavated material wherever it was needed somewhere along the
line of the Canal. Every here and there one saw little puffs of steam,
some from the locomotives, some where the compressed air by which power
was applied to the shovels was escaping from the pipes, and condensing
the vapour-saturated atmosphere.

There is something in the magnitude and the methods of this enterprise
which a poet might take as his theme. Never before on our planet have
so much labour, so much scientific knowledge, and so much executive
skill been concentrated on a work designed to bring the nations nearer
to one another and serve the interests of all mankind.

Yet a still more interesting sight is that which meets the visitor
when, emerging from the cutting, he crosses to where, behind the
western hill, are the quarters of the workers,[6] with the cottages
of the chief engineer and his principal assistants on the top. The
chief engineer, Colonel Goethals, is the head not only of the whole
scheme of construction but of the whole administration, and his
energy, judgment, and power of swift decision are recognized to have
been a prime factor in the progress of the work and the excellence of
the administrative details. The houses, erected by the United States
government, are each of them surrounded on every floor by a fine wire
netting which, while freely admitting the air, excludes winged insects.
All the hospitals have been netted so carefully that no insect can
enter to carry out infection from a patient. Every path and every yard
is scrupulously clean and neat. Not a puddle of water is left where
mosquitoes can breed, for every slope and bottom has been carefully
drained. Even on the grass slopes that surround the villas at Ancon
there are little tile drains laid to carry off the rain. With the
well-kept lawns and the gay flower-beds, the place has the air of a
model village. And one sees the same in the other quarters of the
employés all along the canal line, at Gatun, at Miraflores, at Ancon,
where is the great hospital and where have been set up the offices
of the civil government which does everything for its employés, both
white and coloured. Nowhere perhaps in the world are workpeople so
well cared for, and such ample and almost luxurious provision made for
comfort and amusement as well as for health by the benevolent autocracy
which presides over everything. Its success in escaping all charges of
partiality or corruption, as well as in producing efficiency in the
work and contentment among the workers, has indeed been such as to
make some persons draw from it an argument in favour of State control
of all great enterprises. To the unbiassed observer it is rather an
instance of the efficiency obtainable by vesting full administrative
control in men whose uprightness and capacity have already been proved
beyond question, who have not risen by political methods, and who have
nothing to gain by any misuse of their powers. So far as any political
moral can be drawn from the case, that moral recommends not democratic
collectivism but military autocracy.

In these wire nettings and drainage arrangements and hospital
precautions, to which I have referred, more than in anything else is
to be found the reason why, after the French effort to build the canal
had twice failed, the present enterprise is succeeding. The French
engineers had shown great skill and were doing their work well. No
one admits their merits more fully than do, with the generous candour
that belongs to true soldiers and true men of science, the American
engineers who have come after them. But they had no means of fighting
the yellow fever and the malaria that were frustrating all their skill
and exhausting all their resources. The discovery, made while the
United States troops were occupying Cuba after the war of 1898, that
yellow fever is due to the bite of the _Stegomyia_ carrying infection
from a patient to a healthy person, and that intermittent fevers are
due to the bite of the _Anopheles_, similarly bearing poison from the
sick to the sound, made it possible to enter on a campaign for the
prevention of these diseases among the workers on the Isthmus. This
was done before excavation began, and done so efficiently that the
Isthmus is now as healthy as any part of the United States. No case
of yellow fever has occurred since 1905. The mortality is no higher
than in the United States army generally. In 1910 the death rate
among 50,802 employés of both colours in the Canal Zone was 10.98 per
thousand, in 1911, among 48,876, it was 11.02,--an extraordinarily low
rate when compared with the average of European and North American
cities. Among the American white employés and their families the rate
was only 6.01.[7] The white employés and their families are healthy
and fresh-looking, with none of that sickly brownish-yellow hue which
usually marks the inhabitants of malarial districts. And I can confirm
what many other visitors have told me, that one may be for days and
nights on the Isthmus and neither see nor hear nor feel a mosquito.
To have made one of the pest-houses of the world, a place with a
reputation like that of the Pontine Marshes, or Poti on the Black
Sea, or Sierra Leone itself, as healthy as Boston or London is an
achievement of which the American medical staff, and their country for
them, may well be proud; and the name of Colonel Gorgas, the head of
that medical staff to whose unwearied zeal and care this achievement
is largely due, deserves to stand on the roll of fame beside that of
Colonel Goethals, the chief engineer and Chairman of the Commission,
who has directed, and is bringing to its successful issue, this whole
great enterprise.

The sanitation of the Canal Zone, following that of Havana, has
done more than make possible the piercing of the Isthmus. It has
opened up possibilities for the settlement by Europeans of, and for
the maintenance of permanent European population in, many tropical
districts hitherto deemed habitable by their natives only. To the
effect of such an example one can hardly set bounds.

In no previous age could an enterprise so vast as this have been
carried through; that is to say, it would have required a time so long
and an expenditure so prodigious that no rational government would
have attempted it. Pharaoh Necho may have, as Herodotus relates, dug a
canal across the Isthmus of Suez by the labour of hundreds of thousands
of his subjects accustomed to implicit obedience, but his ditch was
probably a small and shallow one, and it was through a dead level of
sand and clay that it was dug. Here there was a mountain to pierce
and a torrent to bridle, and the locks had to provide for vessels
a thousand feet long. Nothing but the new forces which scientific
discovery has placed in the hands of the modern engineer--steam,
electricity, explosives of high power, machinery capable of raising and
setting in their place one above another huge masses of cement--would
have made the work possible. Yet even that was not enough. The French
company possessed such appliances, and though their estimates of cost
turned out to be based on totally inadequate data, the competence and
energy of their engineers have never been questioned. And the French
company failed hopelessly; and failed not merely because the work
turned out heavier, and the loose strata giving way under the downpours
of rain made the slides and landslips far worse, than was expected.[8]
These things doubtless told against them, and much of the money raised
never found its way to the Isthmus. But it was a more terrible force
that foiled them. It was Pestilence, Pestilence coming on the gauzy
wings of the mosquito. So little did they recognize their foe that when
they built the large and commodious hospital at Ancon they provided,
outside the windows, flower-boxes where stagnant water gathered and
mosquitoes were hatched. Engineers died, foremen died, labourers
were mown down by hundreds. Yet even if all the French capital had
been properly spent and better sanitary measures had reduced the
pestilential conditions, it may be doubted whether the French company
could have made a success of the undertaking. More capital would have
been needed, capital which must have been raised on onerous terms,
and when it had all been spent and the work completed the profits
of the canal could not, after providing for working expenses, have
paid interest on half of the money borrowed. Whoever looks at this
prodigious work feels that it could be carried through only by a nation
commanding resources so overflowing that it does not need to care how
much it spends, a nation which can borrow as much money as it pleases
without sensibly affecting the quotations of its existing national debt.

It is expected that the construction of the Canal will be found, when
it is finished, to have cost nearly £80,000,000 ($400,000,000).[9] To
this there will have to be added the cost of the fortifications it is
intended to erect at Colon and on the islands that lie in the Gulf of
Panama, opposite the south end of the Canal, as well as of barracks
for the large garrison which is to defend it. The visitor who sees
the slopes where these forts and batteries are to be placed asks who
are the enemies whom it is desired to repel. Where is the great naval
power that has any motive either of national enmity or of self-interest
sufficient to induce it to face the risks of a war with a country so
populous, so wealthy, and so vigorous as the United States? He is told
that there is at present no such naval power, and that no quarter can
be indicated whence danger will arise; but that it is possible that at
some future time, from some unknown direction, some yet unconjectured
enemy may arise against whose possible attacks provision ought now to
be made.

When the Canal has been opened and the interest now felt in getting
it completed by the appointed day has ended, hardly less keen will
be the interest in that other question on which men have speculated
so long. What difference will this new waterway from ocean to ocean
make to world commerce and therewith also, though probably in a less
degree, to world politics? And what difference, to descend to smaller
matters, will it make to the West Indies, and to the ports of the
Gulf of Mexico, and (not so much commercially as politically) to the
neighbouring states of Central and South America? The political side
of the matter is one too delicate to be discussed here, but upon the
commercial one a word or two may be said.

The new route will doubtless become an important route for the traffic
in heavy freight from the Atlantic ports of the United States, and from
European ports also, to the ports of western North America.

It will similarly become the main freight line for goods of all kinds
from both European and eastern North American ports to the west coast
of South America as far south as Callao, and also from Gulf of Mexico
ports as far as Coquimbo or Valparaiso. Whether the freight traffic
from Europe to Valparaiso and the other ports of Chile will be greatly
affected, is deemed more doubtful. Much will, of course, depend on the
tolls fixed for transit through the Canal, which, by the treaty of 1901
between Great Britain and the United States, are to be, like those at
Suez, equal between all nations.

The most interesting, because the largest, and also the most doubtful
and complicated, question is as to the result upon European commerce to
the Far East,--Japan, China, New Zealand, and Australia. It is the most
complicated, because many factors enter into it, some of them political
as well as commercial. Here the Canal will compete with the Suez Canal
route, and (as respects Australia in particular) with the Cape of Good
Hope route, and it will also compete with the steamship lines which now
ply from Australia and New Zealand to England round Cape Horn. From
England to all the Australasian and east Asiatic ports, except those of
New Zealand, the Suez route will be shorter than that by Panama.[10]
From New York, however, the route by Panama to Sydney, Auckland (New
Zealand), and Shanghai will be shorter than that via Suez, while to
Hong Kong and Manila it will be of practically the same length. It is
generally supposed that the Panama tolls will be lower than those now
imposed at Suez. Commerce, like other things, changes more quickly in
our age than it did in any previous age; yet years may elapse before
the full results of the opening of the Canal disclose themselves. Some
of the commercial as well as the political consequences which have been
due to the making of the Suez Canal were altogether unforeseen. If a
dozen of the most important experts were, in 1914, to write out and
place in the library of the British Museum and the library of Congress
their respective forecasts bearing on this subject, sealed up and not
to be opened till A.D. 2000, they might make curious reading in that
latter year.

The chief impressions which the scenery of the Isthmus makes on the
traveller have already been indicated,--the contrast of the wildness
and solitude of the region with its wonderful geographical position,
which long ago seemed destined to make it a centre of commerce and
population, the contrast of the advantages offered by that position
with the slothful neglect of those advantages by its Spanish rulers,
the contrast one sees to-day between the busy crowd of workers along
this narrow line cut out from the vast forest and the untouched
unpeopled nature on each side, the contrast between the black cloud of
death that hung over it for four centuries and the sunshine of health
and energy which medical science has now poured around it.

But the strongest impression of all is that here one sees the latest,
so far as can be foreseen, of any large changes which man is likely
to try to work upon the surface of the earth. Tunnels longer than
any yet made may be bored through mountains or carried under arms of
the sea. The courses of rivers may be diverted. Reservoirs vaster
than any we know may be constructed to irrigate arid tracts or supply
electric power to cities, and bridges may be built to span straits like
the Bosphorus, or railroads, like that recently opened in southern
Florida, be carried through the sea along a line of reefs. But nowhere
else do there remain two continents to be divided, two oceans to be
connected, by a water channel cut through a mountain range.

There is a tale that when the plan for digging a canal at Panama was
first mooted, Philip the Second of Spain was deterred from it by the
argument, pressed by his clerical advisers, that if the Almighty had
wished the seas to be joined, He would have joined them, just as,
according to Herodotus, the people of Knidus were deterred by the
Delphic oracle from cutting through the isthmus along which their
Persian enemies could advance by land to attack them. If Zeus had
wished the place to be an island, said the oracle, he would have made
it one. But when an age arrived in which commercial and scientific
views of nature prevailed against ecclesiastics, it became certain that
here a canal would be some time or other made. Made it now has been. It
is the greatest liberty Man has ever taken with Nature.



The first part of the voyage from Panama down the coast towards Peru is
enjoyable when made in a steamer, for the sea is smooth, the southerly
breeze is usually light, and after passing through the picturesque
isles that lie off Panama one sees at no great distance those Pearl
Islands which at one time rivalled the isles of Bahrein in the Persian
Gulf as the chief pearl fishery of the world. One wonders at the
difficulties experienced by the first Spanish adventurers, Vasco Nuñez
de Balboa, and after him Pizarro, in their efforts to get south, but
the reason is that a strong current sets into the Gulf, and against
it and the prevailing south winds it was hard for the clumsy craft of
those days to make progress. But on the second morning when we had got
four or five hundred miles to the south, what was our surprise to find
the temperature getting lower and the sky cloudier as we approached the
equator. It was chilly that evening and we asked for blankets. Dreams
of a delightful basking in the soft air of a sunlit sea were dispelled!
We were entering cold weather, and it was to continue with us for
thousands of miles, all the way to the Straits of Magellan.

Everybody knows nowadays how largely the climate and the flora and
the civilization of western Europe are due to the Gulf Stream. But
one may suspect that few people have heard of an ocean current on the
other side of America equal in length and volume and scarcely less
important in its influence on climate. The great Antarctic current,
or Humboldt current, as it is sometimes called from the illustrious
German who first scientifically observed and explained it, carries up
from southern Chile to some distance north of the Equator a vast body
of cold water which chills the atmosphere of the ocean and the coast
and frequently covers them both with a roof of cloud. Before he crosses
the Line, the traveller encounters this murky and ungenial weather,
which excited the wonder of the early Spanish writers, who expected to
find a zone just as torrid as they had found on the Atlantic. Seldom
thereafter (during fully half the year) does he see clear blue sky,
save for perhaps an hour or two each day, all the way southward as
far as Valparaiso. The mists and clouds which this mass of cold water
brings give the sun, the chief deity of the ancient Peruvians of the
inner country, no chance on the coast, while the fogs are so frequent
as to be a source of anxiety to the navigator, and the clouds so thick
that the great peaks of the Andes, though at some points only fifty or
sixty miles distant, can rarely be seen from the ocean.

But its cool and cloudy climate is only one of the singular features
of the coast. From the Isthmus till one gets a little way south of the
Equator at the Gulf of Guayaquil, the usual wet summer season of the
tropics prevails and the abundant rains give to the highlands along
the coast of Colombia and Ecuador splendid forests, which will one
day be a source of wealth to those countries. But at this point, or
to be more precise, about the boundary of Ecuador and Peru, near the
town of Tumbez where Pizarro landed, the climatic conditions suddenly
change, and there begins a rainless tract which extends down the coast
as far as Coquimbo in 30° S. latitude. The vaporous moisture which the
southeasterly trade winds bring up from the other side of the continent
is most of it spent in showers falling on the eastern side of the
Andes, and what remains is absorbed by the air of the dry plateaux
between the parallel chains of that range, so that hardly any passes
over to the western side of the mountains. The Antarctic current,
cooling the air of the warmer regions it enters, creates plenty of
mists but no rain, the land being warmer than the sea. Thus so much
of the coast of western South America as lies between the ocean and
the Cordillera of the Andes from Tumbez nearly to Valparaiso, for a
distance of some two thousand miles, is dry and sterile. This strip of
land varies in width from forty to sixty miles. It is crossed here and
there by small rivers fed by the snows of the Andes behind, and along
their banks are oases of verdure. Otherwise the whole coast of the
strip is a bare, brown, and dismally barren desert.

We had hoped before reaching the arid region to touch at the city
of Guayaquil, which is the chief port and only place of commercial
importance in the mountain republic of Ecuador. It had, however, been
put under quarantine by Peru, owing to the appearance in it of yellow
fever and the Oriental plague, so we had to pass on without landing,
as quarantine would have meant a loss of eight or ten days out of our
limited time. Ecuador is not the most progressive of the South American
countries, and Guayaquil enjoys the reputation of being the pest-house
of the continent, rivalling for the prevalence and malignity of its
malarial fevers such dens of disease as Fontesvilla on the Pungwe River
in South Africa and the Guinea coast itself, and adding to these the
more swift and deadly yellow fever, which has now been practically
extirpated from every other part of South America except the banks of
the Amazon. The city stands in a naturally unhealthy situation among
swamps at the mouth of a river, but since Havana and Colon and Vera
Cruz and Rio de Janeiro and even Santos, once the deadliest of the
Brazilian ports, have all been purified and rendered safe, it seems to
be high time that efforts should be made to improve conditions at a
place whose development is so essential to the development of Ecuador

Seeing far off the dim grey mountains around the Gulf of Guayaquil, but
not the snowy cone of Chimborazo which towers behind them, we touched
next morning at our first Peruvian port, the little town of Payta, and
here got our first impression of those South American deserts with
which we were to become so familiar. It is a row of huts constructed
of the whitish sun-baked mud called adobe which is the usual building
material in the flat country, with two or three shipping offices and
stores and a railway station, for a railway runs hence up the country
to the old town of Piura. A stream from the Andes gives fertility to
the long Piura valley which produces much cotton of an extremely fine
quality. There are also oil wells not far off, so Payta does some
business, offering as good an anchorage as there is on this part of the
coast. We landed and climbed to the top of the cliffs of soft strata
that rise steeply from the water, getting a wide view over the bay and
to the flat-topped hills that rise fifteen miles or more inland. The
sun had come out, the air was clear and fresh, and though the land was
as unmitigated a bit of desert as I had ever seen, with only a few
stunted, prickly, and woody stemmed plants supporting a feeble life in
the hollows of the ground, still it was exhilarating to tread at last
the soil of a new continent and receive a new impression.

The first view of Peru answers very little to that impression of a
wealthy land called up by the name of this country, more familiar
and more famous in the olden days than that of any other part of the
colonial empire of Spain. Nevertheless, it is a curious fact that the
wealth of Spanish Peru belonged more to her barren than to her fertile
and populous regions. In the days of the Incas it was otherwise.
They ruled over an agricultural people, and though they had gold in
plenty, gold to them was not wealth, but material for ornaments.
Apart, however, from agriculture, of which I shall speak later, the
riches of Peru have consisted of three natural products, which belong
to the drier tracts. These are the guano of the rainless islands off
the coast, the nitrate deposits in the province of Tarapaca and the
mines of silver and copper. Of these three, the guano has now been
nearly exhausted, and while it lasted it enriched, not the country,
but a succession of military adventurers. The nitrate regions have
been conquered by Chile and seem unlikely ever to be restored. The
most productive of the silver mines were taken away when Bolivia, in
which they are situated, was erected into a separate republic, and such
mines as remain in the High Andes, doubtless of great and not yet fully
explored value, are in the hands of foreign companies and syndicates.
Little good have these bounties of nature done to the people of Peru,
whether Spanish or Indian.

From Panama to Payta the direct steamers take five days, and from Payta
to Callao it is two days more, so the whole voyage is about as long as
that from New York to Liverpool in the quick liners. This is one of the
least troubled parts of the ocean; that is to say, gales are rare, and
hurricanes, like those of the Caribbean, unknown. There is, however,
usually a pretty heavy swell, and when there has been a storm some two
or three hundred miles out to the west, the great rollers come in and
make landing along the coast no easy matter. As the ship keeps too far
out for the details of the coast to be visible, the voyage is rather
monotonous, especially in the cloudy weather we encountered. Here in
the Antarctic current one has lost the pleasure of watching the gauzy
gleam of the flying fish, but sea-birds appear circling round the
ship and pelicans abound in the harbour. Whales, following the cold
water northward, are seen spouting and are beset and attacked by their
enemy the thresher, while whenever the ship anchors in a roadstead to
discharge or take in cargo, seals and sea lions gambolling among the
waves give a little amusement. The crew were Chileans,--they are the
only South Americans with a taste for the sea--the passengers mostly
natives of the various republics along the coast, for these steamers
furnish the only means of communication north and south, but there are
usually some English commercial men and North Americans looking after
their mining interests or prospecting for railways across the Andes.
There is much more variety than one usually finds in an Atlantic liner,
but much less than in a Mediterranean or Black Sea steamer, where on
the same deck you may see the costumes and hear the tongues of seven
or eight nations. The Spanish-Americans are not very communicative to
strangers, but whoever speaks their language can learn a good deal from
them about minerals and revolutions,--the two chief products of the
northwest coast.

To sail along a coast without a chance of examining its natural
beauties or the cities that stud it, is in most cases mortifying, but
here in the six hundred miles between Payta and Callao one has this
consolation, that there is nothing to see, and you cannot see it. The
shores are brown, bare and unpeopled, while the heavy cloud roof that
hangs over the sea, hides the tops of the hills also, and cuts off all
view of the snowy Cordillera far behind. The towns are few and small,
because the land is sterile save where one of the Andean streams gives
fertility to a valley. One would naturally suppose that the country
had always been even as it is now. But the ruins of ancient cities
here and there prove that it must once have been far more populous.
A census taken soon after the Conquest shewed that there were in the
Valley of Piura 193,000 Indians. In 1785 the inhabitants, then mostly
negroes, numbered only 44,500. Of these ruins the largest are those of
a city often called Chimu, from the title of the king who ruled there,
near the town of Truxillo, to which Pizarro, when he founded it, gave
the name of his own Estremaduran birthplace. The remains cover a wide
space and shew that the people who dwelt here and in the other coast
valleys must have made considerable advances toward civilization, for
the pottery and other utensils are better in artistic style than any
other remains found in South America. The kingdom of the Chimu was
overthrown by the Incas a century before the Spanish Conquest, and
nothing is known of the race except that its language, called Mochica,
was quite different from that of the mountain tribes who obeyed the
Incas. Whether the people perished under Spanish oppression, or whether
they moved away, when in the confusion that followed the Conquest, the
irrigation works that made cultivation possible were allowed to fall
into decay--this is one of the many riddles of Peruvian history.

Gazing from the deck hour after hour on this dreary coast, and
remembering that the Atlantic side of the Continent in the same
latitude is one of the best watered and richest parts of the tropics,
one is struck by the unfortunate physical conditions that make
useless a region whose climate, kept so cool by the Antarctic current
would otherwise have fitted it for the development of progressive
communities. Such communities did exist among the subjects of the
Chimu, but being confined to a few valleys, they were not strong enough
to resist the impact of the more numerous mountain tribes. Thus it was
only on the plateau behind that a great nation could grow up. With a
moderate rainfall these six hundred miles of coast might have been one
of the most fertile parts of South America, and the history of Peru
would have been altogether different. The absence of rain has provided
a compensation in the form of a product which, though it cannot be used
on the spot, became serviceable to other countries, and might have
given Peru the means of developing mines or building railroads. The
droppings of the swarms of sea-birds that frequent the rocky islands
along the coast instead of being, as in other countries, washed away by
showers, have accumulated till they formed those huge masses of guano
which eighty years ago began to be carried away and sold to European
countries as the most efficient fertilizers. The Inca sovereigns knew
their value and are said to have protected the birds. Unfortunately,
this easily obtained source of national wealth excited the cupidity
of revolutionary leaders, each of whom fought for power because power
meant the command of the revenue derivable from these deposits. Not
much is now left, and the republic has been none the better for them.
Some of the largest were on the Chincha Islands. The islets are all
bare, some shewing bold lines and sharp peaks which remind one of those
that fringe the coast of Norway about the Arctic circle.

The entrance to Callao, the port of the city of Lima, which lies
seven miles inland and is five hundred feet higher, has a certain
grandeur. A range of hills abuts on the sea, forming a bold cape, and
opposite to it, leaving an entrance a mile or two wide, rises a lofty
island, steep, bare and brown like the islands of the Red Sea, which
reduces the long surges of the Pacific and gives a comparatively quiet
anchorage in the spacious bay within. The town of Callao, consisting
of steamship offices and warehouses and shops dealing in the things
ships need, offers nothing of interest, except the remains of the fort
of St. Philip, the last building where the flag of Spain floated on
the mainland of the New World. So the traveller hurries by the steam
railroad or the electric line up to Lima.

We came full of the expectations stirred long ago by the fame of the
city Pizarro built, and in which he ruled and perished, hoping to find
in it another and a still more picturesque and more truly Spanish
Mexico. It was long the first city of South America, into which the
silver mines poured fabulous wealth. Its Viceroy was the greatest
man in the Continent, a potentate whose distant master could seldom
interfere with him, for there were no telegraphs or steam vessels
in those days. Nobody but the archbishop could oppose him; nor need
he fear anybody but the head of the Inquisition and the head of the
Jesuits. The pomp that surrounded him, the pageants with which his
entrance was celebrated, were like those of a Mogul Emperor.

Lima was called by Pizarro the City of the Kings, _i.e._ the Three
Wise Men of the East, but the name it now bears, a variant from that
of the river Rimac, soon prevailed. It stands in a wide flat valley,
guarded by steep mountains to the north, on both banks of the broad
stony bed of the Rimac, a large part of whose waters has been diverted
for irrigation. Except where this river water has made cultivation
possible, the plain is bare, being part of the coastal desert. The high
range of hills already mentioned guards the city on the north, and runs
out to the sea on the northwest. Lofty spurs of the Andes are visible
to the east, but for much of the year the clouds hang so low that the
hills are hardly part of the landscape and the great peaks are seldom

As in most Spanish-American cities, the streets are narrow and
straight, cutting one another at right angles. One is at first
surprised to find the houses extremely low, many of one story and
hardly any (save a few new residences on the outskirts) exceeding
two stories, and to be told that they are built of bricks, or more
commonly of cane and reeds plastered with mud. It is commonly said
that in Lima a burglar needs nothing more than a bowl of water and a
sponge to soften the plaster, and a knife to cut the canes. But the
reason is apparent when one remembers that no place on the West coast
has suffered more from earthquakes. Thus, except the convents and some
of the older churches, everything looks modern, unsubstantial, and
also unpicturesque, having little variety and little ornament in the
architecture except the long wooden balcony which usually projects
above the gateway. The bridge that spans the Rimac is hardly worthy of
a great capital. The shops are small and mediocre, and only in one or
two thoroughfares is there any throng of passers to and fro. One notes
little of the life and stir, and still less of the stateliness, that
befits an ancient and famous home of power.

Yet to this mediocrity there is one exception. It is the great central
square. In a Spanish, as in an Italian, city, one usually enquires
first for the Square, for whatever nobleness a place has is sure to be
there. The Plaza de Armas at Lima has much dignity in its ample space,
and beauty in its fine proportions, in its central fountain, in the
palms and flowering trees and statues which adorn it, besides a wealth
of historic associations in the buildings that stand around it. Most
conspicuous is the Cathedral, with its rich façade, its two quaint
towers, its spacious interior, not broken, as are most of the great
churches of Old Spain, by a central choir, its handsome carved choir
stalls, its side chapel shrines, in one of which a glass case holds
bones which tradition declares to be those of the terrible Pizarro.
That pious conqueror founded the church in 1540, but earthquakes have
made such havoc with the walls that what one sees now is of much later
date. At the opposite corner of the Plaza are the government offices,
comparatively recent buildings, low, and of no architectural interest.
In the open arcade which borders them a white marble slab in the
pavement marks the spot where Pizarro, cut down by the swords of his
enemies, the men of Chile, made the sign of the cross with his own
blood as he expired. The passage is still shown whence the assassins
emerged from a house hard by the Cathedral, where they had been
drinking together to nerve themselves, and crossed the Plaza to attack
him in his palace. Also on the Plaza, facing the Cathedral, is the
municipal building, from the gallery of which, nearly three centuries
after the Inca power had fallen under the assault of Pizarro, General
San Martin, the heroic Argentine who led the revolutionary forces to
the liberation of Peru, proclaimed to the crowd beneath the end of
Spanish rule in South America. Of the old Palace of the Viceroys,
which also fronted on the Plaza, there remains only the chapel, now
desecrated and used as a storehouse for archives, whose handsome
ceiling and walls, decorated with coloured tiles of the sixteenth
century, carry one back to the Moorish art of Spain. Other churches
there are in plenty,--seventy-two used to be enumerated,--and some of
them are large and grandiose in style, but all are of the same type,
and none either beautiful or imposing.

Few relics of antiquity are left in them or indeed anywhere in Lima.
The library of the University, the oldest seat of learning in America,
which was formerly controlled and staffed by the Society of Jesus,
suffered sadly at the hands of the Chilean invaders when they took the
city in the war of 1882. The old hall of the Inquisition, in which the
Peruvian Senate now sits, has a beautiful ceiling of dark red cedar
richly carved, a work worthy of the best days of Spain. What scenes
may it not have looked down upon during the three centuries when the
Holy Office was a power at the name of which the stoutest heart in
Lima trembled! And out of the many fine old mansions of colonial days
one has been preserved intact, with a beautiful gallery running along
its four sides of a spacious _patio_ (internal court), and in front
a long-windowed, richly decorated balcony, a gem of the domestic
architecture of the seventeenth century, perhaps the most perfect,
that earthquakes, fire, and war have permitted to survive in Spanish
America. There is so little else to remember with pleasure from the
days of the Viceroys and the Inquisitors that these relics of expiring
artistic skill may be valued all the more.

I am forced to confess that the high expectations with which we came to
Lima were scarcely realized. The environs are far less beautiful than
those of Mexico, and the city itself not only much smaller, but less
stately, and wearing less of the air of a capital. Our appreciation
may perhaps have been dulled by the weather. We were told that the
hills were pretty, but low clouds hid all but their bases from us; nor
was there any sunshine to brighten the Plaza. For more than half the
year, Lima has a peculiar climate. It is never cold enough to have
a fire, but usually cold enough to make you wish for one. It never
rains, but it is never dry; that is to say, it is not wet enough to
make one hold up an umbrella, yet wet enough to soak one's clothes.
September was as dark as a London November, and as damp as an Edinburgh
February, for the fog was of that penetrating and wetting kind which
in the east of Scotland they call a "haar." The climate being what it
is, we were the more surprised to hear what the etiquette of courtship
requires from a Limeño lover. Every _novio_ (admirer) is expected to
shew his devotion by standing for hours together in the evening under
the window of the house in which the object of his admiration lives. He
may or not cheer himself during these frequently repeated performances
by a guitar, but in so moist an atmosphere the guitar strings would
discourse feeble music.

Despite her earthquakes, and despite her damp and murky air, which
depresses the traveller who had looked for brilliant sunshine, the City
of the Kings retains that light-hearted gaiety and gift for social
enjoyment for which she was famous in the old days. Not even political
disasters, nor revolutions more frequent than earthquakes, have dulled
the edge of pleasure. There had been an attempted revolution shortly
before my visit. The President, an excellent man, courageous and
intelligent, had been suddenly seized by a band of insurgents, dragged
through the streets, threatened with death unless he should abdicate,
fired at, wounded and left for dead, until his own troops, having
recovered from their surprise and found how few their assailants were,
began to clear the streets of the revolutionaries, and discovered
their chief under a heap of slain. The insurgent general fled over the
frontier into Bolivia, where he was pointed out to me some weeks later,
planning, as was believed, another descent upon Lima. Such events
disturb the even tenor of Peruvian life little more than a street
railway strike disturbs Philadelphia or Glasgow.

Lima retains more of an old Spanish air than do the much larger
capitals of the southern republics, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.
Its viceregal court was long the centre of the best society of the
Continent. Its archbishop was the greatest ecclesiastical potentate in
the Southern Hemisphere. It had a closer connection with Spain through
its leading families, as well as through official channels, than any
other place. Loyalty to the Spanish monarchy was strongest here. It was
the last great city that held out for the Catholic King, long after
all the other countries, both to the north and south, had followed the
examples of revolt set by Mexico and Argentina. And it is also, with
the exception of remote and isolated Bogotá, where some few Spanish
families are said to have kept their European blood least touched by
native immixture, the place in which the purest Castilian is spoken
and the Castilian pride of birth is most cherished.

That a city so ancient and famous should not have more of the past
to shew, that the aspect of streets and buildings should not be more
stately, that there should be so little of that flavour of romance
which charms one in Spanish cities like Seville or Avila--these things
might be expected in a centre of industry or commerce, losing its
antique charm, like Nürnberg or Venice, under the coarsening touch
of material prosperity. But there is here no growth of industry or
commerce. The Limeños are not what a North American would call either
"progressive" or "aggressive." The railways and mines of Peru are
mostly in the hands of men from the United States, shipping business
in the hands of Englishmen and Germans, retail trade in those of
Frenchmen, Spaniards, and others from continental Europe. But the
people of Lima may answer that there are more ways than one of being
happy. They enjoy life in their own way, with more civil freedom,
and very much more religious freedom, than under the Viceroys, and
occasional revolutions--now less sanguinary than they used to be--are
better than a permanent rule of inquisitors and officials sent from
Spain. Some day or other Lima will be drawn into the whirlpool of
modern progress. But Europe and North America are still far off, and in
the meantime the inhabitants, with their pleasant, courteous manners
and their enjoyment of the everyday pleasures of life, are willing
enough to leave mines and commerce to the foreigner.

From Callao it is two days more on to Mollendo, over a cold, grey,
tumbling sea, along a brown and cloud-shadowed coast. We had, however,
changed into a much larger steamer, for at Callao begins the through
ocean service all the way to Liverpool of the Pacific Steam Navigation
Company. Their vessels, not so large nor so luxuriously fitted up as
the Atlantic liners that ply between Europe and New York, are excellent
sea boats, and commanded by careful British captains.

Next to Callao in its importance as a Peruvian port, is the little
town of Mollendo, for from it starts the principal railway in the
country, that called the Southern of Peru, which climbs the Andes,
traverses the central plateau, and sends out branches to Cuzco on the
north, and on the southeast to the frontier of Bolivia, on the shore of
Lake Titicaca. It is the main avenue to the interior of the country.
Unfortunately there is at Mollendo no harbour, only an open roadstead,
where vessels lie rolling and pitching in the ocean swell, which is
sometimes heavy enough to make landing in boats difficult or even
dangerous. A sort of breakwater has been made enclosing a tiny port,
but even in its shelter, the sweep of the great billow round the rocky
semicircle forces the disembarking passenger to jump hastily ashore and
scurry up before the next billow overtakes him. No more dreary spot
than this could be imagined. Payta in its desert was doleful enough,
but Payta had sun; and this place, under a thick roof of cloud, was
far more gloomy. Hills brown and barren rise steeply from the beach,
leaving little room for the few houses, brown as the cliff itself.
There is not a blade of grass visible, nor a drop of fresh water within
many miles, save what a pipe brings from a distant river. Yet, gloomy
as the place looked under the grey cloud roof which was hanging over
land and sea, the inhabitants find it more tolerable at this season
than such an arid and treeless land becomes when the blaze of the sun
is reflected from the rocky hill face behind.

The railroad runs south for some miles between the cliffs along a
stretch of sand, on which the surf booms in slow thunder, then leaves
the shore and turns up into the clouds, mounting in long zigzags the
steep acclivities of the mountain, and following here and there what
were hardly to be called glens, but rather waterless hollows, down
which once in nine or ten years a rain storm may send a torrent. The
mists grow thicker and damper as one rises, and with the cooler and
damper air there begins to be a little vegetation, some flowers, most
of them at this season withered, and low, thorny shrubs, such as are
usually found on arid soils. Away off to the south, occasional glimpses
are caught of a river valley far below, where the bright green and
yellow of crops on the irrigated banks make a pleasant relief to the
monotony of the brown or black slopes, up which we keep our way.
Curiosity grows more intense to know what lies behind those dreary
mountains. At last, after two hours of steady climbing to a height of
over four thousand feet, the train reaches what seems to be the top
of the range, but proves to be really the edge of a tableland, as it
emerges on to level ground, it suddenly passes out of the mists into
dazzling sunshine, and stops at a spot called Cachendo. We step out,
and have before us a view, the like of which we had never seen before.
In front, looking eastward, was a wide plain of sand and pebbles with
loose piles and shattered ridges of black rock rising here and there
from its surface, all shimmering in the sunlight. Beyond the plain,
thirty miles away, is a long line of red and grey mountains, their
sides all bare, their crags pierced by deep, dark gorges, so that they
seem full of shadows. Behind these mountains again, and some fifty or
sixty miles distant, three gigantic mountains stand up and close the
prospect. That farthest to the south is a long line of precipices,
crowned here and there by spires and towers of rock, seventeen thousand
feet in height. This is Pichu Pichu. Its faces are too steep for snow,
save in the gorges that scar them here and there, but lower down, where
the slopes are less abrupt, every gully is white with desert sand blown
up by the winds. Next to the north is a huge purplish black cone,
streaked near its top with snow beds, and lower down by lines of red or
grey ash and black lava. This is El Misti, a volcano not quite extinct,
for though there has been no eruption for centuries, faint curls of
steam still rise from the crater. It stands quite alone, evidently of
far more recent origin than the third great mass, its neighbour on the
north, Chachani, which, though also of volcanic rock, has long since
lost its crater, and rises in three great black pinnacles, divided by
valleys filled with snow. Both it and Misti exceed nineteen thousand
feet. They are not, however, the loftiest ground visible. Far, far away
to the north, there tower up two white giants, Ampato, and (farther
west) the still grander Coropuna, whose height, not yet absolutely
determined, may exceed twenty-two thousand feet and make it the rival
of Illampu in Bolivia and Aconcagua in Chile. It stands alone in a
vast wilderness, a flat-topped cone at the end of a long ridge, based
on mighty buttresses all deep with snow and fringed with glaciers.[11]
These five mountains belong to the line of the great Western Cordillera
which runs, apparently along the line of a volcanic fissure, all the
way north to Ecuador and Colombia.

This was our first view of the Andes, a view to which few parts of
the Old World furnish anything similar, for nowhere else, except in
Iceland, and in Tibet and Turkistan, do snow mountains rise out of
waterless deserts. Yet this contrast was only a part of the strange
weirdness of the landscape, a landscape unlike Alps or Pyrenees or
Apennines, unlike the Caucasus or the Himalaya, unlike the Rocky
Mountains and Sierra Nevada of North America. The foreground of
wandering sand and black stones, the sense of solitude and of boundless
space, a space useless to man and a solitude he can never people,
the grimness of these bare walls of rock and pinnacles of untrodden
snow rising out of a land with neither house nor field nor flower nor
animal life, but only two lines of steel running across the desert
floor, would have been terrible were it not for the exquisite richness
and variety of the colours. In the foreground the black rocks and
the myriad glitter of sand crystals were sharp and clear. The tints
were more delicate on the red hills beyond, and the stern severity of
the precipices in the far background was softened into tenderness by
distance. The sunlight that burned upon these lines of iron and danced
in waves of heat upon the rocks, seemed to bring out on all the nearer
hills and all the distant crags varieties of hue, sometimes contrasted,
sometimes blending into one another, for which one could find no names,
for pink melted into lilac and violet into purple. Two months later, in
the forests of Brazil, we were to see what the sun of the tropics does
in stimulating an exuberant life: here we saw what beauty he can give
to sterility.

This "Pampa," or flat stretch of ground over which the railroad runs,
is the first step eastward and upward from the sea on to the great
inner plateau of Peru, and has a height of from four to five or six
thousand feet. Its surface is generally level, yet broken by ridges
and hummocks of rock, and dotted all over by mounds of fine grey or
brownish sand composed of minute shining crystals. These sand hills,
called _médanos_, are mostly crescent shaped, much like the moon in its
first quarter, steep on the convex side, and from ten to fifteen or
even twenty feet high. They drift from place to place under the south
wind, which blows strongly and steadily during the heat of the day, the
convex of the crescent always facing the wind. Sometimes they are swept
on to and block the railway line; and when this is apprehended large
stones are heaped up at the convex of the crescent and the movement
is thus arrested or the sand dissipated. Such scanty vegetation as we
had seen on the mist-covered hills toward the coast, has here quite
disappeared under the fiery sun,--not even a cactus lifts its stiff
stem. It is all sand and rocks, till the line, having run for some
twenty miles across the Pampa, enters and begins to climb the second
stairway of mountains to another and higher level, which forms the
second terrace over which the way lies to the central plateau. The
stairway is that line of red and grey mountains which were described
as filling the middle distance in the view from Cachendo. Winding up
through their hollows and along their faces the train enters a deep
gorge or canyon, at the bottom of which, between vertical rock walls,
is seen a foaming stream, and mounts along a ledge cut out in the side
of the gorge. The canyon widens a little, and at its bottom are seen
bright green patches of alfalfa, cultivated with patient toil by the
Indians who water them by tiny rills drawn from the stream. At last
the line emerges on open and nearly level ground. One has mounted the
second step and reached the second terrace or shelf of the Peruvian
tableland. Here on a gently rising slope, in a grand amphitheatre, the
northeastern and eastern and southeastern sides of which are formed
by the three great peaks, Chachani, El Misti, and Pichu Pichu stands
Arequipa, the second city in Peru.

It is built on a gentle slope, on both sides of the river Chile,
a torrent descending from distant snows in a broad, shallow and
stony bed, and indeed owes its existence to this river, for it was
the presence of water, enabling a little oasis in the desert to
be cultivated, that caught the military eye of Francisco Pizarro.
Discerning the need for a Spanish stronghold between the interior
tableland and the coast, he chose this spot by the river at the foot
of the pass that gives the easiest access to that tableland. It had
already been a rest-house station, as its Quichua name implies, on one
of the Inca tracks from Cuzco to the sea, along which a service of
swift Indian runners is said to have been maintained by the Incas and
to have carried up fresh fish to the monarch at Cuzco. It became the
seat of a bishop, was soon well stocked with churches and convents,
and has ever since held its head high, proud of its old families,
and having escaped that occupation by the victorious Chilean army to
which Lima succumbed. The air has the desert quality of purity and
invigorating freshness. Although thin, for the height above the sea is
over seven thousand feet,[12] it is not thin enough to affect the heart
or lungs of most persons in ordinary health. The sun's heat is great
and there is plenty of it, for here one is quite above the region of
sea mists, but there is so little to do that no one needs to work in
the hot hours, and for the matter of that, nobody, except the Indians,
and the clerks of a few European firms, works at all. The nights are
deliciously cool. Plenty of water for fields and gardens and fountains
can be drawn from the river, and if the municipal authorities took
pains to clean up the city by removing rubbish, and set themselves
to make the outskirts neater and plant more trees, nothing would be
wanting to render Arequipa, so far as externals go, a delightful place
of residence. The clearness of the air has led to its being selected
as the site of an astronomical observatory maintained by Harvard
University for mapping out the stars of the Southern Hemisphere. Not
even in Egypt or in the deserts of South Africa do the constellations
shine with a more brilliant lustre. The Harvard observers placed and
for a time maintained two meteorological stations on El Misti, one near
the top, at a height of 19,200 feet, another at a point they called
Mont Blanc (15,700 feet). Those who know how recent is the love of
mountain climbing in Europe will be interested in hearing that the
volcano was ascended as far back as A.D. 1677, on which occasion the
crater was exorcised and sacred relics cast into it. The observers
also constructed a mule path to the summit, for though the face turned
to Arequipa is steep, there is no difficulty in ascending from the
north by a circuitous track. There are two craters, a newer one with
a diameter of 1500 feet inside a larger one, whose diameter is 2800
feet. I could find no record of any eruption of lava or ashes since
the Spanish Conquest, but the vapours in the new crater, always thick,
sometimes increase sufficiently to alarm the Arequipeños.

The line of perpetual snow is extremely high in this dry region, as it
is in the equally dry peaks of northern Chile. On some mountains of
19,000 feet the snow disappears in summer, except in sunless hollows.

I found myself wondering whether the fascination of the city, with
views out over the furrowed desert to the west, where the sun goes
down into the cloud bank that hangs over the Pacific, and views up
to the tall peaks that guard it to the east, would retain its power
when it had grown familiar, and wondering, also, whether, through the
four centuries since Europeans came to dwell here, there were many who
drew delight from the marvellous nature that surrounds it, and found
in the contemplation of this extraordinary scenery some relief from
the monotony of life in a society so small and so isolated. The three
great mountain masses that tower over the city, emblems of solid and
unchanging strength in their form, are always changing in their aspect.
The snows creep down in the season of rains, and ascend again when the
time of drought returns. Sunrise and sunset bring perpetual miracles of
loveliness in the varying play of colours upon snow and rocks. Pichu
Pichu, with its long, grey line of precipices, glows under the western
sun in every tint of pink and crimson. Chachani's black pinnacles turn
to a dark violet, while the snows between them redden. In the middle
the broad-based cone of El Misti, with its dark lava flows and beds
of brown or yellow ash, ranges from glowing orange to a purple deep as
if the mountain were all colour to its core. Behind it, when twilight
comes, there rises to the zenith a pale bank of pearly grey, faintly
touched by the light that is dying in the west. No wonder that this
solemn and majestic summit, traditions of whose outbursts of fire in
days gone by still survive, has been personified and worshipped by the
Indians, who, though nominally Christians, have, like other primitive
races, retained a great deal of the ancient nature religion which sees
spirits in all remarkable objects. The reverence for the mountain
deities still lingers in secret among them, though it seldom takes form
in sacrifices like those of the olden time, when, as tradition says,
youths and maidens were flung into the crater to appease the wrath of
the fire spirit. A Jesuit annalist relates how, in A.D. 1600, when the
volcano of Omate, farther to the southeast, was in violent eruption,
casting forth showers of ashes which fell round Arequipa, darkening the
sky, while a glow of lurid light shone from the distant crater, the
Indian wizards robed themselves in red and offered to Omate sacrifices
of sheep and fowls, beseeching the mountain not to overwhelm them. Then
he adds, "These wizards told the Indians that they talked to the Devil,
who told them of the approaching catastrophe, and said that Omate had
asked El Misti to join him in destroying all the Spaniards. But El
Misti answered that he could not help Omate, because he had been made
a Christian and had received the name of San Francisco; so Omate was
obliged to undertake the work alone."[13]

Built far more solidly than Lima, with house walls five or six feet
thick, and lying more out of the stream of modernizing conditions,
Arequipa has retained an air of antiquity, and, it may be said, of
dignity, superior to that of the capital. As one looks northeastward
from the lower part of the town up the rising ground, the numerous
churches, with here and there a tall conventual pile, make a varied and
effective skyline. The gardens on the higher northwestern bank of the
river relieve the mass of houses, and the yellowish grey volcanic stone
of which they are built, mellowed by the strong sun, shews well against
the purple mass of Misti. There are some picturesque street vistas too,
but one misses the bright colours of peasant dress which a city of Old
Spain or Italy would shew. The women are largely in black. The black
manta drawn over the head is absolutely prescribed for church; indeed,
even a European visitor is not allowed to enter a church anywhere in
these countries in hat or toque; she must cover her head with the manta.

The houses are low, for here, too, earthquakes are dreaded, and the
streets roughly paved with large cobblestones of hard, smooth lava.
Streams of water drawn from the river run down many of them, and other
streams water the fields along the outskirts. Here and there one
sees a garden planted with dark green trees, which relieve the glare
of light. The Plaza, less ample than that of Lima, is hardly less
striking, with the great pile of the Cathedral occupying more than
half of one side of it, arcades filled with shops bordering the other
three sides, flowers and shrubs planted in the middle. Everything
reminds one of the Asiatic or North African East,--the long, low, blank
house walls which enclose the streets, walls into which few and small
windows open, because the living rooms look into a central yard or
_patio_; the concentration of the better sort of shops in arcades which
represent the Eastern bazaar; the flat roofs on which people sit in the
evenings; the deep and pungent dust; the absence of wheeled vehicles;
for everybody rides, the richer on horses and the rest of the world on
donkeys; the scantily dressed Indians, wild looking as Bedaween, though
with reddish brown instead of yellowish brown skins. Instead of camels
there are llamas, the one native beast of burden in Peru, much smaller
than the camel and more handsome, but not unlike it in its large
lustrous eyes, and in the poise of its long neck, with the small erect
head slightly thrown back. It resembles the camel also in its firm
resolve not to move except at its own fixed pace, and to bear no load
heavier than that (of one hundred pounds) to which it is accustomed.
The brilliant light, too, and the dry, keen air are like the light and
air of the East. But no Eastern city has around it a mountain landscape
like this. One must place Tunis or Trebizond in the valley of Zermatt
to get an impression of Arequipa as it stands, encircled by snow
fields and majestic towers of rock.

The Oriental quality, which startles one in these Spanish-American
cities of the Far West is perhaps not wholly due to the Moorish
influences transmitted through their Spanish colonists. Climatic and
social conditions resembling those of northern Africa and southern
Spain have counted for a good deal. Sunlight and dryness prescribe
certain ways of building, and the Peruvian Indian resembles the Arab
or the Moor in his indifference to cleanliness and comfort. Here in
Arequipa, one begins to realize that Peru is in respect of population
still essentially a land of the aborigines. All the lower kinds of work
are done by Indians, and the class next above is at least half Indian
in blood, though not readily distinguishable from the man of Spanish
stock, either in aspect or in character and manners. The negro who
still abounds at Lima and Callao, though he is beginning to be absorbed
into the mass of whites, is no longer seen at Arequipa, for he cannot
stand this cold, thin, highland air; and even the zambo, a half-breed
of Indian and negro, who is said to want the best qualities of both
races, is a trifling element. Here and elsewhere in South America it
is impossible to determine the proportion of perfectly pure Spanish
families to the whole population. Probably it is small, not five per
cent over the whole country, but in Arequipa it may be much larger.

In one respect the city, while thoroughly Spanish, is very unlike the
East. It is, and always has been, steeped in ecclesiasticism. The
Cathedral is a long and handsome pile, rebuilt after the earthquake of
1868, with two towers on its south front, and an unusually spacious and
unadorned interior. It contains a picture attributed to Van Dyck. There
is one other church of special interest, that called the "Compañia,"
_i.e._ church of the Company of Jesus. Everywhere in South America the
Jesuits were numerous, wealthy, and powerful till their suppression
in the middle of the eighteenth century; and here, as in many Italian
and Spanish towns, their churches are the most profusely decorated
without and within. The north façade of this one, built of reddish
grey sandstone, is a wonderfully rich and finely wrought piece of
ornamentation, and the seventeenth century pictures and wood carvings
of the interior are curious if not beautiful specimens of the taste
of the time. There are scores of other churches and convents, far
more than sufficient for a city of thirty-five thousand people. Their
bells clang all day long, and clerical costumes are everywhere in the
streets. What is still more remarkable, the men, as well as the women,
are practising Catholics, and attend church regularly, a rare thing in
most parts of Spanish America. The city was always an ecclesiastical
stronghold, and during the long War of Independence, was accounted the
most conservative place in Peru. Indeed, it is so still.

But if Arequipa seems old-fashioned and conservative to-day, when
a railway connecting it with the coast brings it within three days
of Lima, what must it have been two centuries ago, when probably
one-third of the white population consisted of priests, monks, and
nuns, and the Church ruled unquestioned?

One can imagine no spot more absolutely cut off than this was from the
world outside. It was an oasis like Tadmor in the wilderness. Three
days' journey across desolate wastes lay between it and the coast, a
coast itself scarcely inhabited, and behind towards the north and east
there were only mountain solitudes, over which pastoral Indians roved.
The bishop and the head of the Jesuits were the real powers, even the
governor, and beneath him the alcalde, bowing to them. Nowhere in the
world to-day could one find anything like that uniformity of opinion
and custom which reigned in this little, remote city in those colonial
days which came down into the days of Hume and Bentham in England, of
Voltaire and Rousseau in France, and indeed down almost to the memory
of men still living. The vision of the Holy Office in the background
at Lima was hardly needed to enforce absolute submission of word and
thought in such a society. The traveller of to-day marvels at the
stillness and stagnation of one of the smaller cities in the interior
of Old Spain. Yet a Spanish city, however small or remote, is at least
in Europe: there are other cities not far off, and men come and go.
Here there were no breaks in the monotony of life, nothing but local
interests of the most trivial sort to occupy men's minds. The only
events were feast days and religious processions, with now and then an
earthquake, and once, thirty years before the War of Independence, the
terror of an Indian insurrection far up in the plateau.

Yet life was not wholly monastic. There was some learning, mostly
theological. There was also a good deal of verse making: Arequipa was
even famous for its poets. Upon what themes did their Muse employ
itself? What sighs were there from nuns behind the convent walls? What
sort of a human being was the bishop who walked in solemn processions
behind chanting choristers to and from his Cathedral? Must there not
have been even here the perpetual play of human passion, and could any
weight of conservatism and convention extinguish the possibilities of
romance? I heard from a trustworthy source a story which shews that
even in grave and rigid Arequipa love would have its way and that the
hearts of stately ecclesiastics could melt in pity. I tell it in my
informant's words.

In old colonial days there lived in Arequipa a powerful family owning
large estates and rich mines which they had inherited from their
ancestors among the Conquistadores. They wielded authority both in
Church and State. At the time when the incident to be described
happened the heads of the family were two brothers, of whom the
elder held the landed property and the younger was bishop and ruled
the Church. The elder was a widower with two children, a son and a
daughter. The great convent of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, founded
and richly endowed by this family, always had one of its members as its
Abbess, and at that time the only sister of these two brothers held
the post. The family, being a power in Arequipa, sought to preserve
their supremacy, and accordingly decided that the young daughter of
the elder brother should enter the convent and eventually succeed her
aunt as Abbess, while her brother should marry and inherit the estates.
The girl had no vocation for a religious life and rebelled against the
fate proposed for her, but the father and uncle were inexorable, and
after a vain struggle she was forced to yield and take the veil. Her
aunt felt sympathy for the poor child, having perhaps passed through
a like experience herself, and she made the young sister's religious
duties as light as possible, allowing her to lead the choir, as she
possessed a fine voice, and giving her the business of the convent
to attend to. Embroidery was one of the occupations of the nuns,
especially fine work on linen, the designs for which were brought from
Spain; and to supervise this work and to take care of it was one of the
girl's chief pleasures. She always despatched it to the laundry herself
and received it on its return, laying it carefully in the presses
perfumed with jasmine flowers, and the laundress was the only person
from the outside world (except her own family) with whom she had any
communications. This laundress happened to be an alert and intelligent
woman, and she gave the nun all the news she had of the world outside
the convent walls. After the young sister had been about five years in
the convent the Abbess fell ill, and all the old-fashioned remedies
known to the nuns failed to help her. She grew steadily worse and they
were beginning to think of administering the last offices of the
Church when the laundress suggested to the niece of the Abbess that
the clever Scotch physician who had lately come to Arequipa should be
consulted. To consult a man and a heretic horrified the nuns, but the
laundress pressed her advice, and finally the bishop was appealed to
and was induced, since his sister's life was at stake, to give his
consent. The patient, however, even then refused to see the doctor in
person, but the niece, closely veiled, was to be allowed to have an
interview with him and to describe the symptoms. Although the doctor
was aware that an opinion given under such circumstances was of little
use, he consented to this arrangement. Accordingly, at the appointed
time he presented himself at the convent gate, under the guidance
of the laundress, and was taken to the antechamber of the Abbess's
apartment, for a lady of such high rank as the Abbess did not occupy
a cell. There the niece received him, closely veiled, and described
her aunt's condition. On his asking her if she could count the pulse,
she replied, "No, I have never tried." "If you will place your fingers
on my wrist, I will teach you," he said. Timidly she did as he bade
her, and counted the beats; and, thrilled as he was by the musical
softness of her voice, it is possible that he prolonged the lesson,
for at length she said, "I understand perfectly, and will now go and
count my aunt's pulse," and returned presently with a written report.
During her absence the doctor had made enquiries of the laundress in
regard to the Abbess's symptoms, and had decided that the old lady
was suffering from cancer and had not long to live. But the young
sister had made too profound an impression on him to let him give up
the case at once, and he prescribed some soothing remedies and offered
to return in the morning. These visits continued for several days,
and at last he succeeded in seeing the sister's beautiful face and
counting her pulse. The laundress could not always be in attendance,
and the narcotics administered to the Abbess dulled her vigilance.
Realising that his patient's days were numbered and that his work would
soon be over, he saw there was no time to lose. The scruples of the
young sister were finally overcome. Love won the day, and she promised
to fly with her lover after the death of her aunt. With the help of
the laundress he devised a plan for escape. The convent was built of
stone and the sisters' cells were solidly arched like casemates, the
only wood about them being the doors. Obtaining a skeleton from the
hospital, the doctor took it to the house of the laundress and she
conveyed it in a large linen basket to the convent the day after the
funeral of the Abbess, and concealed it in the young sister's bed. That
night the girl set fire to her bed, and in the confusion occasioned by
the smoke and the alarm she escaped unnoticed into the street, where
the laundress awaited her and took her to her house. The frightened
nuns sought for her in vain, and when finally a few charred bones were
found in her cell, which they imagined in their ignorance to be hers,
they mourned her as dead, and buried the bones with all the honour
due to her rank and station. Meanwhile the girl herself was in great
danger, for had she been discovered she would have been tried for
faithlessness to her vows, and she shuddered at the bare possibility
of the old punishment of being walled up alive. It was impossible to
stay long in the laundress's house, and the doctor implored her to
fly with him to the coast, an arduous ride of seventy miles over the
desert. Recoiling from such a step, she insisted on first trying to win
the pardon and protection of her relatives, and she resolved to throw
herself on the mercy of her uncle, the bishop, who had always shewn
her much affection and was all-powerful with the rest of the family.
Accordingly, just after twilight, and wrapped in her manta, which
concealed her face and figure, she stole into the bishop's palace,
where she found her uncle at evening prayer, and throwing herself on
her knees before him, she implored his protection. He took her at first
for her own ghost (for had he not performed the funeral service over
her remains?), and when he discovered that it was really she, in flesh
and blood, he was horrified and put her from him as he would a viper.
But as she still clung to him, telling him her story and imploring
his mercy and protection, he at last listened to her, and finally
said, "wait a moment," and left the room, returning shortly with a bag
containing money and family jewels, emeralds, which he thrust into her
hand. "Take this," he whispered, "and fly with your lover to the coast.
I will see that you are not followed." She found the doctor with horses
at the city gate, and they rode away across the desert, never stopping
except to change their mounts and to eat a little food, until they
reached the coast, where by an extraordinary piece of luck they found
an English frigate lying at anchor. Hurrying on board they told the
captain their story, and he at once summoned the chaplain, who married
them, and they were soon on their way to England.

Time passed, and the South American colonies became independent of
Spain. Many years later, the brother of the nun went on a public
mission to Europe. Before he left Peru his uncle, the bishop, told him
the story of his sister's life, which had been kept secret until then,
and after telling him where she was to be found (for through the Church
he had watched over her), he desired her brother to communicate with
her. This the nephew did in due course, and his sister was finally
forgiven, and her descendants recognized and received by their Peruvian
relatives. One of these descendants was seen by my informant wearing
the emeralds that had been in the bishop's bag.



None of the countries of South America, except Chile, has been
demarcated by Nature from its neighbour; it is to historical events
that they owe their present boundaries. This is eminently true of
Peru, which is, save on her ocean side, marked off from the adjoining
countries neither by river line nor by mountain line nor by desert. Her
territory includes regions naturally very dissimilar, about each of
which it is proper to say a few words here.

The western strip, bordering on the Andes and the Pacific, is
nearly all pure desert, sterile and uninhabited, except where those
river-valleys referred to in the last chapter descend to the sea.
The eastern part, lying on the farther side of the Andes, and called
by the people the Montaña, subsides from the mountains into an
immense alluvial plain and is covered by a tropical forest, thick and
trackless, unhealthy for Europeans, and inhabited, except where a few
trading towns have been built on the rivers, only by Indian tribes,
none of them much above savagery, and many still heathen. It is a
region most of which was until lately virtually unexplored and thought
not worth exploring. Within recent years, however, the demand for india
rubber has brought in the agents of various trading companies, who have
established camps and stations wherever the rivers give access to the
forests and send the rubber down the Amazon to be shipped to Europe
and North America. The harmless and timid Indians have in some places
been seized and forced to work as slaves by ruffians supplying rubber
to these companies, wretches apparently of mixed Spanish and native
blood, who have been emboldened by the impunity which remoteness from
regular governmental control promises to perpetrate hideous cruelties
upon their helpless victims. It is a country of amazing natural wealth,
for the spurs of the Andean range are full of minerals; there are
superb timber trees in the forests, and the soil, wherever the trees
and luxuriant undergrowths have been cleared off from it, has proved
extremely fertile, fit for the growth of nearly every tropical product.
Eastern Peru is physically a part, and not the largest part, of an
immense region which includes the easternmost districts of Colombia and
Ecuador upon the north and of Bolivia on the south, as well as a still
larger area in western Brazil over which the same climatic conditions
prevail--great heat and great humidity producing a vegetation so
prolific that it is hard for man to hold his own against the forces
of nature. This is indeed the reason why these tracts have been left
until now a wilderness, suffering from the superabundance of that
moisture, the want of which has made a wilderness of the lands along
the Pacific coast. To this region, however, and to its future I shall
return in a later chapter,[14] and mention it here only because it is
politically a part, and may hereafter become the most productive part,
of the Peruvian Republic. The real Peru, the Peru of the ancient Indian
civilization and of the Spanish colonial Empire, is the central region
which lies along the Andes between these thinly settled, far eastern
forests and the barren deserts of the Pacific coast.

Central Peru is altogether a mountain land, and is accordingly called
by the people "the Sierra." It is traversed by two (more or less
parallel) ranges of the Andes, the eastern and the western Cordilleras,
which with their spurs and their branching ridges cover a large part
of its area. It includes what is called the _Puno_, a comparatively
level plateau, some seventy to one hundred miles wide and enclosed
by these two main lines of the Cordilleras. Between the main ranges
and their branches, there lie deep valleys formed by the courses of
the four or five great rivers which, flowing in a northwesterly or
northeasterly direction and ultimately turning eastward, unite to form
the mighty Amazon. This Sierra region is, roughly speaking, about
three hundred miles long (from northwest to southeast) and one to two
hundred miles wide; but of this area only a small part is fit for
settled human habitation. The average height of the plateau is from
ten thousand to thirteen thousand feet above sea level, and that of
the region fit for pasture on the slopes and tops of the ridges from
ten thousand to fourteen thousand feet--the snow line varying from
fifteen to nineteen thousand. As these slopes give pasture to llamas
and alpacas and sheep, and in some favoured places to cattle, so
in the less arid and less sandy tracts of the plateau there is some
tillage. But the parts best suited for agriculture are to be found in
the valleys, especially in so much of them as lies between ten thousand
and four thousand feet above sea-level, for below five thousand feet
their conditions become tropical and resemble those of the Amazonian
forests. In these valleys the soil, especially where it is volcanic, is
extremely fertile, but many of them are so narrow and their declivities
so steep that cultivation is scarcely possible. No one accordingly who
has studied the physical features of this country need be surprised to
find that while the total area of Peru is about seven hundred thousand
square miles, its population is estimated at only four million six
hundred thousand. He may indeed be more surprised at the accounts which
Spanish historians almost contemporary with the Conquest give of the
far larger population, perhaps ten millions, that existed in the days
of the Incas. The great falling off, if those accounts be correct, is
explicable partly by the slaughter perpetrated by the first Spaniards
and the oppressions practised by their successors during nearly three
centuries, partly by the fact that districts near the coast which the
remains of irrigation works shew to have been formerly cultivated are
now sterile for want of water.

It was in the central highlands, at an altitude of from eight thousand
feet and upwards that there arose such civilization as the ancient
Peruvians developed: and its origin here rather than elsewhere in
South America may be mainly due to favourable climatic conditions.
There was enough rain to provide grass for animals and make tillage
possible, and enough warmth to enable men to live in health, yet not
enough either of rain or of heat to make nature too strong for man and
to enfeeble man's capacities for work.

Temperature and rainfall resembled generally those of the plateau of
Mexico, a region somewhat lower, but farther from the Equator: and it
was under similarly fortunate conditions of climate and agricultural
possibilities that the races inhabiting those highlands had made,
when Europeans arrived, some considerable advances in the arts of
life. This central Peruvian area is to-day, with the exception of the
irrigated banks of a few streams reaching the Pacific, the only part
of the country where either an agricultural or a pastoral population
can support itself. The rest of Peru depends upon its mines, chiefly of
silver and copper,--a source of wealth uncertain at best. It is only
in a few valleys, the most productive of which I am going to describe,
that the agricultural population occupies any large continuous area. As
a rule each community is confined to its own valley and cut off from
the others either by mountains or by high, bare ridges on which only
sheep can be kept, most of them too high and bleak even for pasture.[15]

There is no better way of conveying some notion of the character of
this central region, the true Peru, than by describing the country
through which I passed by railway from Arequipa eastward to Lake
Titicaca and thence northward to Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital. This
railroad follows the line of the most important through route which war
and commerce took in pre-Conquest times. It is the Southern Railroad of
Peru, the main highway of the country. The section from Mollendo to the
plateau at Juliaca was built many years ago, but the extension to Cuzco
had been completed and opened less than a year before our visit. Both
sections have been constructed by engineers from the United States,
and the way in which the difficulties of extremely steep ascents and
cuttings along precipitous slopes have been overcome reflects great
credit on their skill. The gauge is the normal one. The line is owned
by the Peruvian Corporation, a company registered in London, and under
the energetic management of North American engineers it is doing a
great deal to open up regions in which till some ten years ago there
was not even a road fit for wheels. The passenger traffic is of course
very small, and passenger trains run only once a day to Arequipa and
thrice a week to Juliaca and Cuzco.

Quitting Arequipa on the southwestern side, the line winds up to the
north and then to the east across a rugged and dreary region of rocky
hill slopes, pierced by deep gorges through some of which brooks come
down, fed by snow beds far above. It follows the line of a canyon, and
wherever there is level ground at the bottom, some bright green strips
of cultivation appear on the margin of the stream, with a few Indian
huts; so even these upper regions, cold and desolate as they are, are
not so wholly desolate as the Pampa below. The view looking back over
the city lying in its green oasis, with a stony desert all round, is
superb. As we climb higher, the mass of Ampato and other giants of
the western Cordillera deep with snow, rise in the northwest, while
westward one sees beyond the reddish grey mountains through which we
had mounted to Arequipa from the desert Pampa, the gleaming sands of
that desert, and behind them again, just on the horizon, the long,
low bank of clouds that covers the Coast Range. Here at nine or ten
thousand feet, one looks over the white upper surface of these clouds.
Resting on the western edge of the Pampa, they stretch far out over
the Pacific and veil it from sight. Thus steadily mounting, and seeing
below in a ravine the hamlet of Yura, where is a mineral spring whose
pleasantly effervescent water is drunk all over Peru, the train winds
round the northern flank of Chachani under its huge black precipices.
Behind it and behind El Misti, which shews as a symmetrical cone on
this side as well as on that turned towards Arequipa, we entered at a
height of about eleven thousand feet a region typical of the Peruvian
uplands. There was plenty of coarse grass, studded with alpine flowers,
a few belonging to European genera. Llamas and alpacas were grazing on
the slopes, herded by Indians: there were sheep, and a few cattle, and
in one place we thought we caught sight among low bushes of a group of
vicuñas. This is a creature like the llama, but smaller, and useless as
a beast of burden, because untameable. It roams over the hills between
eleven thousand and fifteen thousand feet, and produces the finest of
all the South American wools, of a delicate light brown tint, silky and
soft as the fur of a chinchilla.

The scenery was strange and wild, not without a certain sombre
grandeur. Below was the Chile River, the same which passes Arequipa,
and to which we had returned after our circuit round Chachani. It was
flowing in a deep channel which it had cut out for itself between walls
of black lava: and the wide bare hollows beyond were filled with old
lava streams and scattered ridges and piles of rock. To the southwest
El Misti and his two mighty neighbours shut in the valley, and away to
the south huge mountains, among them one conspicuous volcanic cone,
were dimly seen, snowy summits mingled with the gathering clouds,
for at this height rain and snow showers are frequent. The cone was
probably Ubinas, the only active volcano in this neighbourhood, about
sixteen thousand feet high.

Still mounting to the eastward, the line rose over gentler slopes to
a broad, bleak, and wind-swept ridge where tiny rivulets welling up
out of pools in the yellowish grass were flowing west to the Pacific
and eastward to the inland basin of Lake Titicaca. Large white birds
like wild geese were fluttering over us. Here were a few huts of the
Indian shepherds near the buildings of the station; and here a cross
marked the _Cumbre_ or top of the pass, which is called the Crucero
Alto, 14,666 feet above sea level. Higher ground cut off the view to
the north and clouds obscured the view to the east, but to the south we
could discern some of the lofty summits of the western Cordillera on
the watershed of which we stood. Thunderstorms were growling on both
sides, and out of black clouds far in the northwest towards Coropuna
came bright flashes of chain lightning. At this height the country is
comparatively open and the valleys shallow, and this, along with the
wonderful clearness of the air, enables the eye to range to a vast
distance. This northwestern thunderstorm which we were watching was
possibly a hundred miles away. We were awed by the mere vastness of
the landscape, in which we looked over tracts it would take many days'
journeys to traverse, and saw mountains eighteen thousand feet high
separated by nameless valleys no one ever enters, with hills and rocks
tumbled about in chaotic confusion, as though the work of world-shaping
had here just begun. Stepping out into the bitter wind, we walked about
awaiting signs of the _Soroche_ or mountain sickness so much dreaded by
Andean travellers, especially when they come straight up from the coast
to this vast height, as high as the Matterhorn or the highest peaks of
the Rocky Mountains. The air was very cold and very thin, seeming not
to fill the lungs. But nothing happened.

From the Crucero Alto the railway descends rapidly for two thousand
feet past two large lakes, embosomed in steep green hills--they
reminded me of Loch Garve in Ross-shire--till it reaches a wide, bare,
desolate flat, evidently part of the former bed of Lake Titicaca,
which was once far larger than it is to-day. Here we were in that
central plateau which the people call the _Puno_ and which surrounds
the lake, its lower part cultivated and peopled. At the large village
of Juliaca, whence a branch line runs to the port of Puno on the lake
farther to the southeast, the main line turns off to the north, still
over the flat land which, where not too marshy, is under tillage. The
inhabitants were all Indians, and only at Tirapata, which is a point
of supply for the mines on the eastern slope of the mountains, were
white people to be seen. Far to the northeast, perhaps one hundred
miles away, could be discerned a serrated line of snowy mountains, part
of the eastern Cordillera which divides the Titicaca basin from the
Amazonian valleys. At last the hills begin to close in and the plain
becomes a valley, narrowing as we travel farther north till, at a sharp
bend in the valley which opens out a new landscape, we pass under a
rock tower sixteen thousand feet high, like one of the aiguilles of
Mont Blanc immensely magnified, and see in front of us a magnificent
mountain mass streaming with glaciers. Two great peaks of from eighteen
thousand to nineteen thousand feet are visible on this side, the
easternmost one a long snow ridge resembling the Lyskamm above Zermatt;
and behind it there appears a still loftier one which may approach or
exceed twenty thousand feet. This is the Sierra of Vilcanota, the
central knot of the mountain system of Peru, as in it branches of the
western inosculate with those of the eastern Cordillera. Though very
steep, the highest peaks seemed to me, surveying them from a distance
of fifteen or twenty miles, to offer no great difficulties to an active
and experienced climber, apart of course from the rarity of the air
at this immense height, a difficulty which, while negligible by many,
is serious to some otherwise excellent mountaineers. The fact that
the railroad passes close to these splendid summits gives unusual
facilities for an assault on them, since the transportation of warm
night coverings and of food is one of the chief difficulties in a cold
and thinly peopled region. As none of the tops seems to have been yet
scaled, they deserve the attention of aspiring alpinists.

Above the village of Santa Rosa the valley is uninhabited, a deep,
grassy hollow between the Vilcanota group of peaks on the east and
a lower though lofty range on the west, with piles of stones at
intervals, and now and then we met or passed a string of llamas
carrying their loads, for the railway has not wholly superseded the
ancient modes of transportation.

Just at the very highest point of the col or pass of La Raya 14,518
feet above sea-level, in which the valley ends, the westernmost of
these Vilcanota peaks is visible on the east behind a deep gorge, the
upper part of which is filled by a glacier. From this glacier there
descends a torrent which on the level top of the pass spreads out into
a small shallow marsh or lake which the Peruvians held sacred as the
source of the sacred river Vilcamayu: and from this lake the water
flows partly south into Lake Titicaca, partly north into the Amazon and
the Atlantic. Here indeed we were looking upon one of the chief sources
of that gigantic stream, for of all the rivers that join to make the
Amazon this is among the longest. During its course till it meets the
river Marañon, it is called first Vilcamayu, then Urubamba, and finally
Ucayali. The pass itself, a broad smooth saddle not unlike, if one
may compare great things with small, the glen and watershed between
Dalnaspidal and Dalwhinnie which marks the summit level of the Highland
Railway in Scotland, has no small historic interest, for it has been
a highway for armies as well as for commerce from the remotest times.
The ancient track from Cuzco to the southern boundary of the Inca
empire in Chile passed over it. By it the Spanish Conquistadores went
backward and forward in their campaign of subjugation and in the fierce
struggles among themselves which followed, nor was it less important in
the War of Independence a century ago. Till the railway was recently
opened, thousands of llamas bearing goods traversed it every year. What
one now sees is nothing more than a fairly well-beaten mule track, and
I could neither discern any traces nor learn that traces have been
discovered either of the wall which the Inca rulers are said to have
built across it as a defence from the Collao tribes to the south, or
of the paved road which, as the old writers say, they constructed to
connect Cuzco with the southern provinces.

Were such a spot in Switzerland or Tyrol, its lonely beauty would be
broken by a summer hotel for health-seeking tourists; nor could one
imagine a keener and more delicious air than this, though people with
weak hearts might find it trying. As soon as we had got a little way
down from the top, the lungs began to feel easier, for the denser and
warmer air of its lower levels comes up on the northerly wind which we
met in descending. The valley, still smooth and grassy, sinks rapidly
and in an hour or two we had entered a climate quite different from
that of the Titicaca plateau to the south. After some six or eight
miles a place is reached called Aguas Calientes (Hot Waters), from
the numerous mineral springs which bubble up close together from the
ground, most of them too hot to taste, and all impregnated with iron
and sulphur. They are said to be valuable in various maladies, and in
France or Switzerland an Établissement des Bains would doubtless have
arisen to enclose and exploit them. As it is, the only sign that they
are used is a wooden hut erected over one of the springs in which the
station master cures himself of rheumatism. There are only two houses
besides the station, but on the hill above mines of copper and antimony
are worked by Indian labour.

Below this point the floor of the valley falls again. It is still
narrow, but the now warmer climate permits tillage, and the patient
toil of the Indians, turning every bit of ground to account, cultivates
fields of grain and potatoes sloping at an angle so steep that
ploughing or hoeing seems almost impossible. When one asks how this
happens, the answer is that the rapacity of lawyers, ousting the Indian
from the better lands below, drives him to these less productive
slopes. The hillsides are extraordinarily bare, but as fruit trees
appear round the cottages, this may be due not to the altitude, but
to the cutting down during many centuries of all other trees for
fuel. Never have I seen an inhabited region--and in the case of this
particular valley, a thickly inhabited region--so absolutely devoid
of wood as is Peru. Even in Inca days, timber seems to have been very
scarce. There is plenty to be had from the tropical forests lower
down, but the cost of carrying logs up from them upon mule-back is
practically prohibitive. A good, solid plank would be a load too heavy
for a llama.

Twenty miles below the pass of La Raya is the town of Sicuani, which
we were fortunate enough to see on the market day--Sunday--when
the Indians from many miles round come to sell and buy and enjoy
themselves. It is a good type of the well-to-do Peruvian village, the
surrounding country being fertile and populous. The better houses, a
few of them two storied, are of stone, the rest of sun-dried mud--that
_adobe_ which one finds all over Spanish America from the pueblos of
New Mexico down to Patagonia. Their fronts are covered with a wash
of white or light blue, and this, with the red-tiled roofs, gives a
pleasant freshness and warmth of tone. The two plazas whose joint area
is about equal to half of the whole town, are thronged with Indians,
all the men and many of the women wearing the characteristic poncho,
a rough woollen or, less often, cotton cloak which comes below the
waist, and is usually of some bright hue. To this the women add gaudy
petticoats, red or purplish, blue or green or violet, so that there is
even more colour in the crowd than on the houses. The greatest variety
is in the hats. The women wear round felts or cloth-covered straws,
some almost as wide as a cardinal's; many are square, set off by gilt
or silvered bands like the academic cap of the English Universities,
though the brim is larger. The man's hat is smaller; it is mostly of
stiff white felt, and underneath it is a tight fitting cloth cap of
some bright colour, usually red, with flaps at each side to protect
the ear and cheek from the piercing winds. Strings of glittering beads
complete the Sunday dress of the women, and we saw only a few with
silver ornaments. Most of the trading seemed to be done by barter,
country folk exchanging farm or garden produce with the town dealers
for groceries or cloth. The cotton cloths were largely made from the
Peruvian plant cultivated in the warm coast valleys, while some of
the woollen goods, such as blankets or stuff for petticoats, had come
from England, as I saw on them the names of Yorkshire firms. Besides
maize and nuts and peppers, together with oranges carried up from the
hot valley of Urubamba seventy miles to the north, the most noticeable
articles of commerce were a sort of edible seaweed brought from the
coast, and dried marine star-fishes, and, above all, small bags of coca
leaves, the article which is the one indispensable stimulant of the
Indian, more for him than tea or coffee or alcoholic drinks are for the
Asiatic or the European. It is a subtropical shrub or low tree which
grows on the lower slopes of the Peruvian and Bolivian Andes and is
sold to the Indians in small quantities, as indeed all the sales and
purchases seemed to be on a small scale, there being among the peasants
very little money though very little downright poverty. South American
countries are, for the traveller at least, a land of high prices, but
here we saw savoury messes of hot stewed meat with chopped onions and
potatoes and a small glass of chicha (the common drink of the country
brewed from maize), thrown in, offered at the price of five centavos,
less than two English pence or a United States five cent piece. It was
surprising that in so thick and busy a crowd there should be, instead
of the chattering and clattering that one would have heard in Europe,
only a steady hum. The Quichua Indians are a comparatively silent race,
quiet and well mannered, and inoffensive except when they are drunk.
These Sicuani people were small in stature, few exceeding five feet six
inches, their faces a reddish brown, the features regular though seldom
handsome, for while the nose is often well formed, the mouth is ugly,
with no fineness of line in the lips, although these are far less thick
than a negro's. Some have a slight moustache, but beards are seen only
on the mestizos (half breeds). Among the many diversities of feature
which suggest that there has been an intermixture of races, perhaps
long ago, there are two prevailing types--the broad, round, short face
with full cheeks, and the longer face with an aquiline nose. All have
dark brown or black eyes, and long, straight, black, rather coarse,
hair, and in all there is a curiously stolid and impassive look as of
men accustomed to centuries of monotony and submission. Impassiveness
is the characteristic note of the Indian. The Kafir is like a grown-up
child; the Chinese have a curious quiet alertness and keenness of
observation; the Hindus (and most Orientals) are submissive though
watchful as if trying to take the white man's measure: but the Indian
is none of these things. In his obedience there is no servility: he is
reserved, aloof, seemingly indifferent to the _Viracocha_[16] and to
things in general. The most noticeable in the throng were the Indian
village alcaldes, each carrying as the badge of his office a long,
heavy staff or cane, with a spike at the bottom and a large round head,
bound with silver bands and covered at the top with a silver casing.
This dignitary, appointed by the local authority annually, exerts in
his little community an undisputed sway, enforced by his power of
imprisonment. The post is eagerly sought, so that the wealthier sort
will offer money to obtain it. We saw them moving through the crowd,
all making way for them. There were, however, no disturbances to quell:
the bright sun shone on an orderly and good-humoured crowd. Some
groups, drawn a little apart, were enjoying the strains of a guitar or
an accordion or those of the true national instrument, the Pandean
pipe made of hollow reeds unequal in length, while above, on the
hillside, the donkeys on which the wealthier peasants had ridden in and
the llamas that had carried their produce stood patiently awaiting the
declining light that should turn them homeward.

The only point of interest in Sicuani is the church and the arched
gateway beside it. It is like any other village church, the
architecture dull, the interior gloomy. But it was in this church that
in 1782 Andres the nephew of Tupac Amaru, half of Spanish Biscayan,
half of Inca blood, received episcopal absolution for his share in the
great insurrection of the Indians under that chieftain, an absolution
to be shortly followed by his murder at the hands of perfidious
Spaniards; and it was on this arch (if the story we heard be true) that
some of the limbs of the unfortunate Tupac Amaru himself were exposed
after he had been torn in pieces by four horses in the great square of

The valley of the Vilcamayu River below Sicuani unfolds scene after
scene of varied beauty. It is indeed even more bare of wood than those
valleys of the central Apennines, of which, allowing for the difference
of scale, it sometimes reminds one. The only tall tree is the
Australian Eucalyptus, which though only recently introduced, is now
common in the subtropical parts of South America, and already makes a
figure in the landscape, for it is a fast grower. These Australian gum
trees have now overspread the world. They are all over South Africa and
on the Mediterranean coasts, as well as in Mexico and on the Nilghiri
hills of southern India, where they have replaced the more beautiful
native groves.

In the wider and more level stretches of the valley, populous villages
lie near together, for the irrigated flats of the valley floor flourish
with abundant crops, and the rich red soil makes the hillsides worth
cultivating even without irrigation. Although stained by the blood of
battles more than is any other part of Peru, the land has an air of
peace and comfort. The mountains on each side seemed to be composed
of igneous rocks, but only in one place could I discover evidences of
recent volcanic action. About fifteen miles below Sicuani six or seven
small craters are seen near together, most of them on the northeast
side of the valley, the highest some twelve hundred feet above it;
and the lava flows which have issued from two or three of these are
so fresh, the surface still so rugged and of so deep a black, that
one may conclude that not many centuries have elapsed since the last
eruption. The higher ranges that enclose the valley, crags above and
curving lines of singular beauty below, evidently belong to a more
remote geological age. Their contrasts of dark rock and red soil,
with the flat smiling valley between and the noble snowpeaks of
the Vilcanota group filling the southern distance, make landscapes
comparable in their warmth of colour and variety of form to those of
the Italian Alps. They are doubly delightful to the traveller who has
been passing through the savage solitudes that lie between this and
the Pacific coast. Here at last he seems to get a notion of what Peru
may have been like before the invaders came, and when a peaceful and
industrious people laboured in the service of the Inca and the Sun God.
Now, to be sure, there is a railway, and the station houses are roofed
with corrugated iron. Yet the aspect of the land can have changed but
little. The inhabitants are almost all Indian, and live and cultivate
much as they did four centuries ago; their villages are of the same
mud-built, grass-roofed cottages. They walk behind their llamas along
the track, playing a rustic pipe as they go; and the women wash clothes
in the brook swollen by last night's rain; and up the side glens which
descend from the untrodden snowy range behind, one catches glimpses of
high, steep pastures, where perhaps hardly even a plundering Spaniard
ever set his foot and where no extortionate curate preyed upon his

Swinging down the long canyon of the Vilcamayu--it is long, indeed, for
there are four hundred miles more of it before it opens on the great
Amazonian plain--and rattling through deep rock cuttings and round
sharp curves above the foaming torrent, the line at last turns suddenly
to the northwest towards Cuzco, and we bid farewell to the river.
Gladly would we have followed it down the valley into scenery even more
beautiful than that of its upper levels, where luxuriant forests along
the stream contrast with the snowy summits of the Eastern Cordillera
towering above. But from this point on there are only mule paths, and
travel is so slow that a week would have been needed to reach the
finest part of this scenery.[17] Renunciation is the hardest part of

Our way to Cuzco lay up a wide lateral valley, enclosed by green
hills, well cultivated and studded with populous villages, near one
of which can be descried the ruins of a large ancient building which
tradition attributes to the Inca Viracocha. The vale has an air of
peace and primitive quiet, secluded and remote, as of a peaceful land
where nothing had ever happened. At last, as the mountains begin to
close in, the end of the journey comes in sight; and here, under
steep hills enclosing a basin-shaped hollow--what in Peru is called a
_Bolson_--lies Cuzco, the sacred City of the Sun.

Cuzco belongs to that class of historic cities which have once been
capitals of kingdoms and retain traces of their ancient glory, a class
which includes Moscow and Krakau, Throndhjem and Upsala, Dublin and
Edinburgh and Winchester, Aix la Chapelle and Bagdad and Toledo and
Granada, a class from which imperial Delhi has now just emerged to
recover its former rank. And Cuzco was the capital of an empire vaster
than was ruled from any of those famous seats of power, the centre of a
religion and a dominion which stretched southward from the Equator for
two thousand miles and embraced nearly all that there was of whatever
approached civilization in the South American Continent.

Every traveller is familiar with the experience of finding that the
reality of some spot on which his imagination has dwelt is unlike what
it had pictured. I had fancied a walled city visible from afar on a
high plain, with a solitary citadel hill towering above it. But Cuzco
lies inconspicuous, with its houses huddled close in its _bolson_ at a
point where three narrow glens descend from the tableland above, their
torrents meeting in it or just below it; and no buildings are seen,
except a few square church towers, till you are at its gates. It stands
on a gentle slope, the streets straight, except where the course of a
torrent forces them to curve, and many of them too narrow for vehicles
to pass one another, but vehicles are so few that this does not matter.
They are paved with cobblestones so large and rough that the bed of
many a mountain brook is smoother, and in the middle there is an open
gutter into which every kind of filth is thrown, so that the city from
end to end is filled with smells too horrible for description. Cologne,
as Coleridge described it a century ago, and the most fetid cities of
Southern Italy are fragrant in comparison. The houses, solidly built
of stone, are enclosed in small, square court yards surrounded by rude
wooden galleries. Many have two stories, with balconies also of wood in
front, and a few shew handsome gateways, with the arms of some Spanish
family carved on the lintel stone. One such bears the effigies of the
four Pizarro brothers, and is supposed to have been inhabited by the
terrible Francisco himself when he lived here. But the impressive
features of the city are its squares. The great Plaza, a part of the
immense open space which occupied the centre of the ancient Inca town,
wants the trees and flower beds of the squares of Lima and Arequipa.
But its ample proportions, with three remarkable churches occupying
two sides of it, and the fortress hill of Sacsahuaman frowning over
it, give it an air of dignity. The two smaller plazas, that called
Cusipata and that of San Francisco, are less regular, but rudely
picturesque, with arcades on two sides of them, and quaint old houses
of varying heights, painted in blue, and bearing in front balconies
frail with age. The older Spanish colonial towns, inferior as they are
in refinements of architectural detail to the ancient cities of Italy
and Spain, have nevertheless for us a certain charm of strangeness,
intensified, in the case of Cuzco, by the sense of all the changes they
have witnessed.

The cathedral, if not beautiful, is stately, with its two solid towers
and its spacious and solemn interior. One is shewn a picture attributed
to Van Dyck--be it his or not it is a good picture--and an altar
at which Pizarro communicated, and a curious painting representing
ceremonies observed on the admission of monks and nuns in the
seventeenth century. But what interested me most was a portrait in the
sacristy, among those of other bishops of Cuzco, of the first bishop,
Fray Vicente de Valverde. It may be merely a "stock" picture, made to
order at a later time like those of the early Popes in the basilica
of St. Paul at Rome. But one willingly supposed it taken from the
life, because the hard, square face with pitiless eyes answered to the
character of the man, one of the most remarkable persons in the history
of the Spanish Conquest, because he is as perfect an illustration
as history presents of a minister of Christ in whom every lineament
of Christian character, except devotion to his faith, had been
effaced.[18] He was the friar who accompanied Pizarro on his expedition
and stood by the leader's side in the square at Caxamarca when he was
welcoming as a friend the Inca Atahuallpa. When Atahuallpa declined the
summons of Valverde to accept baptism and recognize Charles the Fifth
as sovereign, Pizarro, whose men were fully armed, and had already been
instructed to seize the unsuspecting Inca and massacre his followers,
hesitated or affected for a moment to hesitate, and turned to Valverde
for advice. "I absolve you," answered the friar. "Fall on, Castilians,
I absolve you." With this the slaughter of the astonished crowd began:
and thousands perished in the city square before night descended on the

When Cuzco was taken, Valverde was made bishop of the new see, the
first bishopric of Peru. Verily he had his reward. He did not long
enjoy it. A few years later he was shipwrecked, while voyaging to
Panama, on the coast near Tumbez, captured by the wild Indians of those
parts, and (according to the story) devoured.

Of the other churches, the most externally handsome is that of the
Compañia (the Jesuits), with its florid north façade of red sandstone,
a piece of cunningly conceived and finely executed ornamentation
superior even to that of the church of the same Order at Arequipa.
Internally there is most to admire in the church of Merced (Our Lady
of Mercy, the patroness of Peru), for it has richly decorated ceilings
on both stories of its charming cloisters, and a fine staircase leading
up to the choir. All the larger churches have silver altars, some
of them very well chiselled. But by far the most remarkable piece
of work in the city is the pulpit of the old and now scarcely used
church of San Blas. It is said to be all of one piece, the glory of
an Indian craftsman, and is a marvel of delicate carving, worthy of
the best executive skill of Italy or Spain. My scanty knowledge does
not qualify me to express an opinion, but it was hard not to fancy
that in this pulpit and in the fine ornamentation of the façades of
the Jesuit churches I have described, there may be discovered marks
of a distinctive type of artistic invention which was not Spanish,
but rather Peruvian, and gave evidence of a gift which might, if
cultivated, have reflected credit upon the Indian race.

It has seemed worth while to dwell upon the ecclesiastical buildings
of these three Peruvian cities just because there is so very little to
attract the student of art in South America, less even than in Mexico.
Though the two greatest Spanish painters lived after the days of
Pizarro, one may say, broadly speaking, that the best days of Spanish
architecture and of taste in works of art were passing away before
these American countries were settled, and it was seldom that anything
of high excellence was either brought from Europe or produced in South
America, produced even in Peru, the wealthiest of all the colonial
dominions of Spain.

Before I turn from Spanish Cuzco to the ancient city a word may be
said as to its merits as a place of residence. Its height (11,100
feet) and its latitude give it a climate free from extremes of heat or
cold, and, for those who have capacious lungs and sound hearts, pretty
healthful throughout the year. We found the air cool and bracing in the
end of September. Disgusting as are the dirt and the smells, they do
not seem to breed much disease; foul gases are probably less noxious
when discharged into the open air than when they ooze out into houses
from closed drains.[19] The country round is beautiful, bold heights
surrounding a green and fertile vale, though there are so few trees
that shade is wanting. Many places of great antiquarian interest are
within reach, of course accessible by riding only, for there is only
one tolerable road, that which leads down the valley to the Vilcamayu.
Society, though small and old-fashioned, unfriendly to new ideas
and tinged with ecclesiasticism, is simple mannered and kindly. No
people can be more polite and agreeable than the Peruvians, whether
of pure Spanish extraction, or mixed, as the great majority here are,
with Indian blood. Though Cuzco is deemed, not less than Arequipa, a
stronghold of conservatism and clericalism, modern tendencies can make
themselves felt. Shortly before my visit there had been a revolt of the
students of the University against a rector deemed "unprogressive":
and there had been chosen as his successor a young North American
professor who had been living in Peru for a few years only, employed
in some government work when he was appointed here. He seemed to be on
good terms with both officials and pupils.

The university is an old one, founded in 1598, but its revenues and
the attendance of students are not worthy of its antiquity. Those who
come seek instruction in professional subjects, especially law and
medicine. Nearly everywhere in South America the demand for teaching in
philosophy, letters, or science is scanty indeed. The clergy, it need
hardly be said, are not educated in these lay institutions.

Though essentially a Spanish city in its edifices, Cuzco is
predominantly Indian in its people. The Quichua language is that
commonly spoken, and it is the Indian aborigines who give to the aspect
of its streets and squares the picturesqueness which half atones for
squalor. They set up their little booths, sometimes covered with
canvas, along the arcades and in the plazas, and loaf about in their
bright-coloured ponchos and broad, flat, straw hats, the dry-weather
side of the straw covered with a sort of velveteen adorned with tinsel,
and the wet-weather side with red flannel. Women lean over the rough
wooden balconies on the first floors of the houses, and talk to the
loungers in the plaza below. Strings of llamas bearing their burdens
pass along, the only creatures, besides the tiny mules, who do any
work. There are scarcely any wheeled vehicles, for those not forced
by poverty to walk, ride mostly on donkeys; and the only events are
saints' days, with their processions, occurring so frequently that the
habit of laziness has unequalled opportunities for confirming itself.
Though the Quichuas were under the Incas a most industrious race, and
still give assiduous labour to their fields, the atmosphere of the city
is one of easy idleness, nothing to do, and plenty of time to do it.
The only manufactory we came across was a German brewery,--there is no
place, however remote, where one does not find the enterprising German.
Neither is there any trade, except that of supplying a few cheap goods
to the surrounding country folk. By far the best general warehouse
is kept by an Italian gentleman who has got together an interesting
collection of antiquities.

Now let us turn from the Cuzco of the last three and a half centuries
back to the olden time and see what remains of the ancient city of the
Sun and of the Incas, his children. It is worth while to do so, for
here, more than anywhere else in South America, there is something that
helps the traveller to recall a society and a religion so unlike the
present that it seems half mythic. Whoever has read, as most of us did
in our boyhood, of the marvels of the Peruvian Empire which Pizarro
destroyed, brings an ardent curiosity to the central seat of that
Empire, and expects to find many a monument of its glories.

The reality is disappointing, yet it is impressive. One learns more
from a little seeing than from reading many books. As our expectations
had been unduly raised, it is right to give this reality with some
little exactness of detail. The interest of the remains lies entirely
in what they tell us about their builders, for there is nothing
beautiful, nothing truly artistic to describe. The traces of the
Incas[20] to be seen in Cuzco, and, indeed, anywhere in Peru, are all
of one kind only. They are Walls. No statue, no painting. No remains
of a complete roofed building, either temple or palace; nothing but
ruins, and mostly fragmentary ruins. The besom of Spanish destruction
swept clean. Everything connected with the old religion had to perish:
priests and friars took care of that. As for other buildings, it did
not occur to anybody to spare them. Even in Italy, not long before
Pizarro's day, a man so cultivated as Pope Julius the Second knocked
about the incomparably more beautiful and remarkable buildings of
ancient Rome when they interfered with his plans of building.

But the walls at Cuzco are remarkable. They are unique memorials, not
only of power and persistence, but in a certain way of skill also, not
in decorative art, for of that there is scarcely a trace left, but of
a high degree of expertness in the cutting and fitting together of
enormous blocks. Most of the streets of the modern city follow the
lines of ancient pre-Conquest streets, and in many of these there are
long stretches of wall from six or eight to sixteen or eighteen feet
in height so entirely unlike Spanish buildings that their Inca origin
is unquestionable. They are of various types, each of which probably
belongs to an epoch of its own. The most frequent, and apparently the
latest type, shews very large blocks of a dark grey rock, a syenite or
trachyte, cut to a uniform rectangular oblong form, the outer faces,
which are nearly smooth and slightly convex, being cut in towards the
joinings of the other stones. The blocks are fitted together with
the utmost care, so close to one another that it is no exaggeration
to say that a knife can seldom be inserted between them. The walls
which they make slope very slightly backward, and, in most cases, the
stones are smaller in the upper layers than in the lower. Two such
walls enclose a long and narrow street which runs southeastward from
the great Plaza. They are in perfect preservation, and sustain in some
places the weight of modern houses built upon them. There are very few
apertures for doors or windows, but one high gateway furnishes a good
specimen of the Inca door and is surmounted by a long slab on which
are carved in relief, quite rudely, the figures of two serpents. In
other places one finds walls of the same character, but with smaller
blocks and less perfect workmanship. Of a third type the wall of the
so-called Palace of the Inca Roca is the best instance. It is what we
call in Europe a Cyclopean building, the blocks enormous and of various
shapes, but each carefully cut and adjusted to the inequalities of
outline in the adjoining blocks, so that all fit perfectly together.
One famous stone shews twelve angles into which the stones above,
below, and at each side of it have been made to fit. This type seems
older, perhaps by centuries, than that first described. In none of the
walls is any mortar or any other kind of cementing material used: their
strength consists in their weight and in the exactness with which they
are compacted together. The most beautifully finished piece of all
is to be seen in the remains of the great Temple of the Sun on whose
site and out of whose ruins have been built the church and convent of
St. Dominick. Here, at the west end of the church, there is what was
evidently the external wall of the end of the temple. It is rounded,
and each of the large squared stones is so cut as to conform perfectly
to the curve of the whole. None of the single stones has the convexity
which appears in the walls first described, because the surfaces of all
have been levelled and polished so that they form one uniformly smooth
and uniformly curved surface, as if they were all one block. A more
exquisitely finished piece of work cannot be imagined. It is at least
as good as anything of the same kind in Egypt, and stands as perfect
now as it was when the Spaniards destroyed the superstructure of the

The city is full of these fragments of wall. I discovered in
out-of-the-way corners some that were supporting little terraced
garden beds, others in backyards, or even in pigsties, and it seemed
to me that there were four or five distinct styles or types of stone
cutting and stone fitting, belonging to different ages.[21] If all the
buildings erected since 1540 could be removed without disturbing the
older buildings beneath them, that which was left would be sufficient
to give a fairly complete ground plan of the Inca city and enable us
to form some idea of its character. But we should not then be much
nearer to knowing what was the actual aspect of the great palaces and
temples before the work of destruction began. The Incas built immense
covered halls, we are told of one two hundred paces long by fifty
wide, but it does not appear how they were roofed over, for the arch
was, of course, unknown. Apparently there was little or nothing of
that advanced form of art in pattern ornamentation and in figures of
men and animals which we admire in the ruins of Copan (in Honduras) or
Palenque (in Mexico) and other places in Central America. Perhaps the
intractable nature of the volcanic and other hard igneous stone used by
the Incas compared with the comparatively soft limestones of Palenque
and Mitla discouraged attempts at elaborate mural decoration. Perhaps
the artistic talent of the Peruvians did not go far. Their pottery,
whether plain or made to represent the forms of living creatures, is
generally rude, and the paintings on wooden vessels shew only mediocre
power of drawing, though they do shew that fine sense of colour which
is present in most of the art work of the aboriginal Americans.

Cuzco has no public museum, but there are two or three small private
collections. In one of these the most interesting objects shewn us were
the pictures on wood representing combats between Peruvian warriors and
their enemies, the savage tribes of the eastern forests. The former
fight with the spear and have the sling for their missile weapon,
the latter use the bow, as do their descendants to this day. In this
collection there were also bows taller than a man, with arrows of
corresponding size, formidable weapons, which some of the natives of
the forest, placing them flat on the ground, draw with their feet and
with which they are said to kill fish in the rivers as well as land
game. These, and the beautiful feather plumes, and the rude heads of
pumas, wild cats, and birds of prey, had all a flavour of barbarism,
and were far inferior to the remains of Egyptian or Assyrian art.[22]
The Peruvian mummies, specimens of which we also saw, are not laid out
at full length, like those of Egypt, but have the knees pressed to the

Grand as are the walls inside Cuzco, they seem insignificant when one
examines the more stupendous ramparts of the prehistoric fortress
on Sacsahuaman Hill, which rises immediately above the city to a
height of about six hundred and fifty feet. I describe them the more
fully because much study has been of late years bestowed upon the
(so-called) Cyclopean and other ancient walls of Europe, such as those
of Tarragona in Spain, of Greek cities, like Tiryns and Naxos (near
Taormina), and of the Volscian and Latin cities round Rome, so that an
account of the more imposing Peruvian structures may be of interest
to some readers. The hill, nearly halfway up which, on a terrace,
are the remains of its palace attributed to the Inca Manco Capac, is
in its upper part extremely steep, in places even precipitous, and
commands a wonderful view over the mass of red-roofed houses, the long,
straight streets in some of which the dark lines of Inca wall can just
be discerned, the three broad plazas with Indians and their llamas
creeping about like ants, the sunny vale below, and the snow-clad
summits of the Nevado (snow mountain) of Ausungate, piercing the sky
in the far distance. Stone ramparts ran all round the upper part of
the hill, and parts of them still remain on this southern face. What
with their height and solidity and with the natural strength of the
ground, the fortress must have been on this side impregnable before
the invention of gunpowder. But on the other, or northerly side, that
turned away from Cuzco, the hill is not only less steep, but has also
much less rise, for it is less than a hundred feet above the ground
behind it. Here, therefore, since nature had done less, there was
more for art to do; and here we find fortress walls on a scale of
incomparable grandeur.

They are built in three parallel lines, one behind the other, and both
their length, nearly one third of a mile, and the massiveness of their
construction, and the enormous size of many of the individual stones
make this fortress one of the most impressive monuments of prehistoric
times that the world contains.[23] It shews that those who raised it
had a boldness of conception and a persistent energy in carrying out
that conception amazing in a primitive people, for the work seems to
belong to a very early time, long anterior to those historic Incas whom
the Spaniards overthrew.

Hardly less wonderful than the gigantic proportions of these
fortifications is the military skill shewn in their construction. Their
line is not straight, as in most of the walls of ancient Greek and
Italian and early mediæval cities, but consists of a series of salient
and re-entering angles, so that from each salient angle and each inner
angle the whole space outside and below the wall as far as the next
projecting angle could be commanded by the garrison. This arrangement,
which, while it increased the length of the work and required more
labour to complete it, increased immensely its defensive efficiency,
indicates a skill hardly to be expected in a race comparatively
pacific, and more eminent in the arts of government than in those
of war. Yet perhaps it was just because they were not first-class
fighting men like the Aztecs or the Iroquois that the Quichuas were
successful in devising expedients for defence. Sparta was the only
considerable Greek city that did not surround herself with walls,
because the valour of her people was deemed sufficient protection.

On the top of the hill behind these lines of ramparts there are remains
of ancient buildings, though none with such enormous stones. It is hard
to make out what these edifices were, for every bit of ground built
upon has been ransacked over and over again for hidden treasure. Peru
is full of stories about fabulous quantities of Inca gold hidden away
to save it from the rapacity of the conquerors, and some of the tales
may be true, though hardly any such treasures have been found for more
than a century past. But the story that there is a secret passage cut
in the rock from the Inca castle at the top of the hill down through it
and into Cuzco where it opens to the Temple of the Sun is too much for
any but native credulity. These beliefs in long subterranean passages
recur everywhere in the world. It was--perhaps still is--believed in
Oxford that there is such an one from the church of St. Peter in the
city to the ruined nunnery on the river at Godstow (Fair Rosamond's
place of confinement) two miles distant. It is believed in Kerwan (in
Tunisia) that the most sacred of the wells in that most sacred of all
African cities communicates underground with the well Zem Zem in Mecca
two thousand miles away and on the other side of the Red Sea. The most
persistent treasure hunt carried on by the Peruvians has been that
for the golden chain made by the Inca Huayna Capac, which was long
enough to be stretched all round the great square of Cuzco, and was
thrown into the lake of Urcos lest it should fall into the hands of the
Spaniards. Everybody believes it to be still at the bottom of the lake,
which is very deep.

Opposite the great walls and about a third of a mile away is a rocky
eminence called, from a curious convex mass of extremely hard igneous
rock upon it, the Rodadero. The rock is polished smooth and has two
projecting ridges on its surface. How much of this peculiar slope down
which many generations of Peruvian boys have rejoiced to slide--they
were doing so in the days of Garcilaso, soon after the Conquest--is
due to nature, how much to art improving nature, has been matter for
controversy. But far more curious are the seats carved in the hard
rock all over the top and slopes of the hill, the cutting done with
exquisite care and finish, the angles perfectly sharp, the flat parts
perfectly smooth. The most remarkable is a set of thirteen seats, one
in the centre and highest, nine others declining from it on the left
and three on the right. This is called the Seat of the Inca, but there
is no record, nor any authentic tradition, of the purpose for which, or
the persons by whom, it was constructed, nor of the purpose of the many
other seats, and small staircases, and niches, and basins similarly
chiselled out of the rock which are scattered here and there all round.
In one place two great and finely cut blocks look like fragments of a
doorway shattered by an earthquake, and not far off there are singular
passages hewn through the rock, and now in parts closed, which have the
appearance of a sort of labyrinth. Looking at the Inca's Seat, one's
first conjecture would be that it was a bench for judges to sit upon.
Other seats look more like shrines meant for images; but no fragments
of images are found. All these strange cuttings and polishings seem so
inexplicable that one would conjecture the mere caprice of a whimsical
ruler, but for the immense pains that must have been taken in doing
such perfect work in such hard material. No Spanish writer of Conquest
days gives us any light. It is a riddle, the key to which is lost, and
lost irrecoverably, because there are no inscriptions and no traditions.

Reverting to the fortress of Sacsahuaman, there is a current view that
it was erected as an outwork to defend Cuzco from the attacks of the
fierce tribes of the eastern and northern valleys whose raids the Incas
frequently had to repel. It seems, however, superfluously huge as a
defence against such enemies, not to add that they could easily have
descended upon Cuzco from the other sides of the two ravines between
which the fortress stands. More probably, therefore Sacsahuaman is a
very ancient stronghold, probably much older than Cuzco, or at any rate
than Cuzco's greatness. It may have been the earliest seat of some
very early king or dynasty, and have been, in the flourishing days of
the Inca monarchy, a citadel where the reigning sovereign kept his
treasures and to which he could retire for safety in case of need.

I am not attempting to describe all the relics of antiquity that are
to be seen in or near Cuzco. There are striking ruins not far off,
such as those at Ollantaytambo and Pisac, and lower down the Vilcamayu
Valley at Machu Picchu and Rosas Pata, as well as others still more
distant in the high country between here and Lima.[24] But what is true
at Cuzco is true everywhere. The only ruins are of walls and gates of
fortresses and palaces; in a few spots of temples, also. In these there
are evidences of enormous labour and considerable mechanical skill, but
only slight evidences of artistic talent. The walls, perfectly cut and
polished, have seldom the smallest ornament, except niches. There are
no domes, for the art of vaulting was unknown, and hardly ever columns.
So far as we can tell, the great Sun Temple at Cuzco consisted only of
lofty walls enclosing courts, with no decoration but plates of gold
attached to the walls. True it is that the Spaniards destroyed all
the religious and many of the secular edifices, yet if there had been
temples covered with ornaments like those found in Southern Mexico and
Central America, some traces must surely have remained.

Notwithstanding this want of decorative art, the Cuzco ruins leave upon
the beholder a strong impression, the impression of immense energy and
will in those who planned these works, of patient and highly trained
labour in those who executed them. Only despotic rulers commanding
like the Egyptian kings a host of obedient subjects, could have reared
such a structure as the fortress of Sacsahuaman. The race that could
erect such buildings and gather such treasures as the Temple of the Sun
possessed, and could conquer and rule a dominion of fifty days' journey
from north to south, must have been a strong and in its way a gifted
race. It is hard to believe that it was the ancestor of those stolid
and downtrodden Indians whom one sees to-day, peddling their rude wares
in the market place of Cuzco. It is their old imperial town, but there
is scarcely one among them above the rank of a labourer; and during the
last three centuries few indeed have emerged from the abject condition
to which the Conquest reduced them.

The sudden fall of a whole race is an event so rare in history that
one seeks for explanations. It may be that not only the royal Inca
family, but nearly the whole ruling class was destroyed in war,
leaving only the peasants who had already been serfs under their
native sovereigns. But one is disposed to believe that the tremendous
catastrophe which befell them in the destruction at once of their
dynasty, their empire, and their religion by fierce conquerors,
incomparably superior in energy and knowledge, completely broke not
only the spirit of the nation, but the self-respect of the individuals
who composed it. They were already a docile and submissive people, and
now under a new tyranny, far harsher than that of rulers of their own
blood, they sank into hopeless apathy, and ceased even to remember
what their forefathers had been. The intensity of their devotion to
their sovereign and their deity made them helpless when both were
overthrown, leaving them nothing to turn to, nothing to strive for. The
Conquistadores were wise in their hateful way, when they put forth the
resources of cruelty to outrage the feelings of the people and stamp
terror in their hearts. One cannot stand in the great Plaza of Cuzco
without recalling the scene of A.D. 1571, when one of the last of the
Inca line, an innocent youth, seized and accused of rebellion by the
Spanish viceroy Francisco de Toledo, was executed in the presence of
a vast Indian crowd that filled it. When the executioner raised the
sword of death, there rose such a wail of horror that he paused, and
the leading Spanish churchmen hastened to the viceroy and begged him
for mercy. Determined to make an example, Toledo was inexorable. The
young Inca, Tupac Amaru, was beheaded and his head stuck on a pike, and
placed beside the scaffold. At midnight a Spaniard, looking out of a
window that commanded the Plaza was amazed to see it again filled with
Indians, all silent and motionless, kneeling in veneration before the
head of the last representative of the sacred line.

More than two hundred years later another more remote scion of the
Incas, José Gabriel Condorcanqui, who had taken the same name of Tupac
Amaru,--I have already referred to him on p. 92,--had been stirred to
indignation by what he saw of the Indian population suffering from the
exactions as well of the Spanish landowners who held them in serfdom
as of the rapacious Spanish officials. After many vain complaints,
he headed a movement to obtain redress by force, not rejecting the
authority of the Spanish Crown, but trying to rouse the Indians by
appeals to the faint memories of Inca greatness. The hope of relief
from their miseries drew thousands of the aborigines to his standard.
But they were ill armed and worse organized; the race had no longer any
strength in it for a fight, and in some months the rising was quelled,
after frightful slaughter, its leader betrayed to the Spaniards, his
family seized, and all brought prisoners to Cuzco. There, by the
sentence of the Spanish judge, a monster named Areche, the uncle and
son-in-law and wife of Tupac Amaru, had their tongues cut out and were
executed before his eyes, that death might be made more horrible to him
by the sight of their agonies. He was then, after his own tongue had
been cut out, torn in pieces by four horses attached to his four limbs.
All this happened in 1781, within the memory of the grandfathers of men
now living. Such atrocities were at once the evidence of what Spanish
rule in Peru had been and a presage of its fall. Within twenty years
thereafter began those first conspiracies against the authority of
Spain which ushered in the War of Independence.

Many another scene of horror and strife has Cuzco seen. Wandering
through its streets, one is possessed every moment by the sense of how
much has happened in a place where nowadays nothing seems to happen.
Perhaps it is because its annals are so tragic that this sense is
so strong; but there are certainly few places where the very stones
seem more saturated with history. More than three centuries ago the
historian Garcilaso de la Vega compared Cuzco to ancient Rome. The two
cities have little more in common than the fact that both were capitals
of dominions long since departed, and the seats of faiths long since
extinct. But in both this feeling of a vista stretching far back and
filled with many spectres of the past is overpowering. The long, grey,
mouldering streets and houses of Spanish Cuzco, the ancient walls of
primitive Peruvian Cuzco, defying time better than the convents and
the churches, each calling up contrasted races and civilizations, the
plazas too vast for the shrunken population, the curious sense of
two peoples living side by side in a place from which the old life
has vanished and into which no new life has come, the sense of utter
remoteness from the modern world, all these things give to Cuzco a
strange and dreamy melancholy, a melancholy all the deeper because
there was little in its past that one could wish restored. There were
dark sides to the ancient civilization. But was it worth destroying in
order to erect on its ruins what the Conquerors brought to Peru?


  The walls of Sacsahuaman are built in three parallel lines, the
  lowest of which stands on level ground, at the very base of the hill;
  the second about six yards behind the first, and therefore on the
  slope; the third still higher on the slope, three yards behind the
  second. The space behind each wall has been filled in and levelled,
  so as to be a nearly flat terrace, supported by the wall in front
  of it. These three lines of wall extend along and protect the whole
  northern face of the hill, nearly six hundred yards long, between the
  points where it falls abruptly into deep ravines to the east and the
  west, which give a natural defence. The outermost wall at the base of
  the hill is the highest, about twenty-six feet; the second is from
  eighteen to twenty feet; the third, the least perfectly preserved, is
  a little less high, perhaps fifteen feet. The stones in the outermost
  row are the largest. One is over twenty-five feet high, fourteen
  wide, and twelve thick. Not a few exceed fifteen feet in height and
  twelve in width. There were three openings or gateways in each wall,
  the largest of which is twelve feet high, and over each of these
  was laid a long flat slab. The blocks, which are of a hard, greyish
  limestone, are all or nearly all rudely square or oblong, though
  sometimes where the shape of one is irregular, the irregularity is
  cut into an entering angle and the next stone is made to fit into
  this with its projecting angle, thus knitting the structure together.
  The surface of each is slightly convex and bevelled down towards
  the outer lines, where it meets the blocks laid next. All are so
  carefully adjusted that even now there are virtually no interstices,
  though the fitting together may probably have been even more exact
  before earthquakes and time had begun to tell upon the fabric. Its
  strength, as there is no mortar, depends upon the massiveness of the
  stones and their cohesion. Each wall rises a little, perhaps a foot
  and a half, above the terrace immediately behind it, but the level of
  the terrace may probably have been originally somewhat lower, so that
  the bodies of those defending the fortress would be better covered by
  the wall in front of them against missiles from the enemy.

  The stones of Sacsahuaman have been brought from a hill about
  three-quarters of a mile distant, where a huge mound of chips cut
  from them has been discovered by Mr. Bingham since the date of my
  visit. (Edition of 1913.)



From Cuzco, the oldest of South American cities, with its mingled
memories of an Indian and a Spanish past, I will ask the reader to
follow me to a land of ancient silence where an aboriginal people,
under the pressure of a stern nature, and almost untouched by all that
modern civilization has brought, still lead the lives and cling to the
beliefs that their ancestors led and held many centuries ago. This is
the heart of the Andean plateau, where, in a country almost as purely
Indian as it was when it submitted to Pizarro, lies Lake Titicaca.

Ever since as a boy I had read of a great inland sea lying between
the two ranges of the Cordillera almost as high above the ocean as
is the top of the Jungfrau, I had wondered what the scenery of such
mountains and such a sea might be like, and had searched books and
questioned travellers without getting from them what I sought. There
are no other bodies of fresh water on the earth's surface nearly so
lofty, except on the plateaux of Central Asia, and none of these,
such as the Manasarowar lakes in Tibet[25] and Lake Sir-i-kul in the
Pamirs is nearly so extensive as this lake in Peru. It fills the lower
part of an immense shallow depression between the eastern and western
Cordilleras; and the land both to the north and to the south of it is
for a great distance so level that we may believe the area covered by
its waters to have been at one time far greater. Its present length is
about one hundred and twenty miles, its greatest width forty-one miles,
and its area nearly equal to that of Lake Erie. The shape is extremely
irregular, for there are many deep bays, and many far projecting
promontories. There are also many islands, two of which, famous in
Peruvian mythology, I shall presently describe.

This central plateau of Peru is a singular region. As its height
is from twelve thousand to thirteen thousand feet above sea level,
the climate is always cold, except when one is actually exposed to
the direct rays of the sun, but it varies comparatively little from
the summer to the winter months; and though snow often falls, it
soon disappears. In so inclement an air, and with a rather scanty
rainfall, only a few hardy crops can ripen, such as potatoes (the plant
is a native of South America, and there are many other species of
_Solanum_), barley, the Oca (_Oxalis tuberosa_, a sort of wood sorrel),
and the Quinoa (a kind of edible _Chenopodium_)[26] as well as maize,
but this last only in the warmer and more sheltered places. There are
few trees, and these stunted; nowhere a wood. Even the shrubs are mere
scrub, so fuel is scarce and the people use for cooking purposes in
the mountains the tufts of a large woody-rooted plant called _Yareta_,
growing in the high mountains which, like the peat of Ireland, burns
fiercely, but is soon burnt out, and, on the lower grounds, _taquia_
(the droppings of the llama), as the droppings of the yak are similarly
used in Tibet. Nobody thinks of lighting a fire for warmth: for while
the natives seem not to feel the cold, white people shiver and put on
more clothes. One is surprised that man should have continued to dwell
in a land so ungenial when not far off to the east, on the other side
of the eastern Cordillera, hot valleys and an abundant rainfall promise
easier conditions of life.

This lofty tract, stretching from the snowy peaks of the Vilcanota as
far as La Paz in Bolivia, a distance of more than two hundred miles,
the northern and western parts of it in Peru, the eastern and southern
in Bolivia, is really a pure Indian country, and is named the Collao.
In ancient days it was one of the four divisions of the Inca Empire.
The inhabitants speak a language called Aymará, allied to the Quichua
spoken farther north. In Inca days there were apparently many small
tribes, each with its own tongue, but their names and memories have
perished with their languages, and with the trifling exception of a
small and very primitive race called the Urus (to be mentioned later)
all the aborigines of the High Andes are now classified as Quichuas
and Aymarás. The modern distinction between Peru and Bolivia is purely
arbitrary and political. Aymarás dwelling west of the lake in Peru are
the same people as Aymarás dwelling east of it in Bolivia.

Like Tibet, which it most resembles in height and cold and dryness,
this strange country produces no more than what its inhabitants consume
and has nothing to export except alpaca wool and minerals, nor, at
present, very much of these latter, for only few mines are now being
worked. The population does not increase, but it holds its ground, and
wherever the soil is fit for cultivation, that is to say, wherever it
is not too stony or too swampy, it is cultivated by the Indians, who
live here in the same rude fashion as their forefathers before the
Conquest. Nor is it only on the flat bottoms of the valleys that one
sees their little patches of potatoes and barley. The steep slopes
of the hills that rise from the lake have also been terraced to make
ground level for cultivation, and each strip of soil is supported by a
wall of loose stones well fitted together. These _andenes_, as they are
called, which are common all over the hilly grounds of Peru, remind one
of the vine-bearing terraces of the Rhineland, and like them witness to
centuries of patient toil. As there is no manure nor other fertilizer,
the soil is allowed to rest by lying fallow from time to time, so the
area under cultivation in any one year is less than the number of the
terraces might suggest. Though all the tillers are Indians, most of
the land belongs to large proprietors who seldom come to it for more
than a couple of months in the year, the peasants paying them either
in a share of the crops, or a certain number of days' labour on the
proprietor's own special _hacienda_ or _finca_ (farm) which his
steward manages, or perhaps in personal service for some weeks rendered
to him in the town he inhabits. Rude and harsh is the life of these
peasants, though well above the fear of starvation and no more squalid
than that of the agricultural peasantry in some parts of Europe.
Their houses are of mud baked hard in the sun--the usual _adobe_ of
Spanish America--or perhaps of large stones roughly set in the mud as
a cement; animals often share the family bedroom, and the sleeping
places are a sort of platform or divan of earth raised a little from
the floor along the walls of the hut. Furniture there is virtually
none, for wood is scarce and costly so far from the coast on one side
and the forests on the other, but some of them have scraped together a
good deal of property, including rich dresses and ornaments fit to be
displayed at festivals. For clothing they have a shirt and drawers of
coarse cotton, with a poncho of heavy woollen cloth; for food, potatoes
frozen and squeezed dry, to enable them to be stored, and barley;
their only luxury is _chicha_ beer, or alcohol when they can get it;
their diversions, church festivals with processions in the morning and
orgiastic dances afterwards; or a fight with the inhabitants of the
neighbouring village. Yet with all this apparent poverty and squalor,
they are in this region, and have been for many ages, more advanced in
the arts of life than their neighbours, those half nomad tribes of the
trans-Andean forests, who subsist on what their arrows or blow-pipes
can kill, and live in terror of the jaguar and the anaconda and the
still more dangerous packs of wild dogs and peccaries. Agriculture and
settled life are always factors of material progress, and the Aymarás
would probably have risen out of the sort of practical serfdom in which
they lie and from which scarcely any of them emerge, if they had not
fallen under the dominion of an alien and stronger race who had no
sympathy with them and did nothing to help them upwards.

I return to the lake itself which fills the centre of this singular
plateau. Its northern and northwestern coasts, lying in Peruvian
territory, are low and the water shallow, while the eastern and
southern, in Bolivia, are generally high and bold with many rocky
promontories and isles lying off them. The greatest depth is about
six hundred feet. Storms are frequent, and the short, heavy waves
make navigation dangerous, all the more so because the water is so
cold that, as is the case in Lake Superior also, a swimmer is so soon
benumbed that his chance of reaching land is slight. Ice sometimes
forms in the shallower bays, but seldom lasts. Many are the water
birds, gulls and divers, and flamingoes, and a kind of heron, besides
eagles and hawks, though the big so-called turkey buzzard of the lower
country does not seem to come so high, and the huge condor is no longer
frequent. There are plenty of fish, but apparently of two genera only,
the species (eight are enumerated) being most of them known only in
this lake and in Lake Poopo, into which it discharges. The scantiness
both of fauna and flora is natural when the unfavourable climatic
conditions are considered. Among the water plants the commonest is a
sort of rush, apparently a species of, or allied to, the British and
North American genus _Scirpus_, and called _Totora_. It grows in water
two to six feet deep, rising several feet above the surface, and is
the material out of which the Indians, having no wood, construct their
vessels, plaiting it and tying bunches of it together, for it is tough
as well as buoyant. In these apparently frail craft, propelled by sails
of the same material, they traverse the lake, carrying in each two
or three men and sometimes a pretty heavy load. These vessels which,
having neither prow nor stern, though the ends are raised, resemble
rafts rather than boats, are steered and, when wind fails, are moved
forward by paddles. Their merit is that of being unsinkable, so that
when a storm knocks them to pieces the mariner may support himself on
any one of the rush bundles and drift to shore if he does not succumb
to the cold. They soon become waterlogged and useless, but this does
not matter, for the _totora_ can be had for the gathering, and the
supply exceeds the demand. This primitive kind of craft was known on
the coast of Peru also: the first Spanish explorers met rafts of wood
there carrying merchandise.

Nowadays four small steamers ply on the lake, one of them making a
regular tri-weekly service from Puno, in Peru, the terminus of the
Peruvian Southern railway, to Guaqui in Bolivia, whence a railway runs
to La Paz. This is at present the quickest way from Panama and the
coast of Peru to Central Bolivia.

The water of Titicaca is pure and exquisitely clear. Some have
described it as brackish, but I could discover no saline taste
whatever. Many streams enter it from the surrounding snow-clad
mountains; and it discharges southward by a river called the
Desaguadero, which flows with a gentle current across the Bolivian
plateau for one hundred and twenty miles into the large, shallow lagoon
of Poopo or Aullagas, itself once part of that great inland sea of
which Titicaca is now the largest remnant. This lake of Poopo has no
outlet to the sea. Part of its water is licked up by the fiery sun of
the desert: the rest sinks into the sands and is lost.

We spent two days sailing on the lake, visiting the famous modern
shrine of the Virgin of the Light at Copacavana on the mainland and
the famous ancient shrine of the Rock of the Sun and the Wild Cat on
the island of Titicaca which has given its name to the lake. When the
grey clouds brood low upon the hills, stern and gloomy indeed must be
the landscape in this bleak land. But our visit fell in the end of
September, the spring of Peru, when such rains as there are had begun
to refresh the land after the arid winter. The sun was bright. Only a
few white clouds were hanging high in air or clinging to the slopes of
the distant mountains; and the watery plain over which we moved was a
sheet of dazzling blue. The blue of Titicaca is peculiar, not deep and
dark, as that of the tropical ocean, nor opaque, like the blue-green of
Lake Leman nor like that warm purple of the Ægean which Homer compares
to dark red wine, but a clear, cold, crystalline blue, even as is that
of the cold sky vaulted over it. Even in this blazing sunlight it had
that sort of chilly glitter one sees in the crevasses of a glacier; and
the wavelets sparkled like diamonds.

The Peruvian shore along which we were sailing was steep and bold,
with promontories jutting out and rocky islets fringing them. Far
away to the east across the shining waters the Bolivian coast rose
in successive brown terraces, flat-topped hills where the land was
tilled, and higher up bluish grey ridges passing into a soft lilac as
they receded, and farther still, faint yet clear in the northeast, the
serrated lines of the snowy Cordillera which divides the lake basin
from the valleys that run down to the east and the Amazonian forests.
There was something of mystery and romance in these far distant peaks,
which few Europeans have ever approached, for they lie in a dry region
almost uninhabited because hardly worth inhabiting,--

                      "a waste land where no man goes
        Or hath gone, since the making of this world."

The nearer and higher range to the southeast of the lake, which the
natives call the Cordillera Real, and geographers the range of Sorata,
was almost hidden by the thick clouds which were by this time--for
it was now ten o'clock, and the sun was raising vapours from the
valleys--gathering on its snows, and not till the evening did its grand
proportions stand disclosed. There were all sorts of colours in the
landscape, bright green rushes filling the shallow bays, deep black
lava flows from a volcanic peak on the west, and a wonderful variety
of yellows, pinks, and violets melting into each other on the distant
hills. But the predominant tone, which seems to embrace all the rest
was a grey-blue of that peculiar pearly quality which the presence of
a large body of smooth water gives. Views on a great lake can be more
impressive than almost any ocean views, because on the ocean one sees
only a little way around, whereas, where distant heights are visible
beyond the expanse of a lake, the vastness of the landscape in all
its parts is realized. Here we could see in two different directions
mountain ranges a hundred miles away: and the immensity was solemn.

The village of Copacavana, to which we first turned our course, stands
a little above the lake at the foot of rocky heights, beyond which
rises a lofty volcano, said to have been active only a century ago.
Traces of antiquity are found in the polished stone seats, two on each
side of a higher one, called the Judgment Seat of the Inca, and in
steps cut here and there, all in the hard rock, their form resembling
that of those near Cuzco, described in the last chapter, and their
purpose no less obscure.[27] Other ruins and abundant traditions prove
that the place was a noted seat of worship in Inca days. There stood
on it, say the early Spanish chroniclers, not only gilded and silvered
figures of the Sun and Moon, but also older idols, belonging to some
older local religion, one in particular which is described as having
a head like an egg with a limbless body, wreathed with snakes. When
these figures and their shrines were demolished, a church was erected
on the same spot, which presently became famous by the setting up in
it of a sacred image of Our Lady. It is the Santissima Virgen de la
Candelaria, carved by a scion of the Incas, Francisco Tito Yupanqui, in
A.D. 1583. This image had been seen by a pious friar to send out rays
of light around it: miracles followed, and an Augustinian monastery
was founded and placed in charge of the sanctuary, which soon became
the most frequented place of pilgrimage through all South America.
Even from Mexico and from Europe pilgrims come hoping for the cure
of their diseases. The figure is about a yard high, and represents a
face of the Indian type in features and colour, though less dark than
the equally sacred figure of the Virgin of the Pillar at Saragosa in
Spain. It wears a crown of gold, with a gold halo outside the crown,
has a half moon under its feet, and is adorned with many superb gems.
The church is spacious and stately. The Camarin or sacred chamber in
which the image stands is behind the great altar and approached by two
staircases, the stone steps much worn by the knees of the ascending
worshippers. The Augustinian monks were turned out in 1826, after the
revolutionary war, but recently a few Franciscans have been settled
in a home too large for them, so the wide cloisters are melancholy,
and echo to few footfalls. Nevertheless great crowds of Indians still
resort hither twice a year, on February 2, the feast of the Candelaria
(Candlemas), and on August 5 and 6. Within the sacred enclosure which
surrounds the church is a lofty cupola supported by columns, open at
its sides so that the three tall crosses within it are visible, and
roofed in a sort of Moorish style with bright green and yellow tiles,
of the kind which North Africa has borrowed from the East. Round it
are the accustomed pilgrimage "stations," and at the corners of the
court, which is entered by a lofty gateway and planted with trees, are
square brick buildings, wherein lie the bones of pilgrims. The shining
tiles of this cupola, with the similarly decorated dome and tower of
the church behind, make a striking group, whose half Moorish character
looks strange in this far western land. The scene at the great
festivals when the excited Indian crowd makes church and court resound
with hymns in Aymará and when, after the Christian services of the day,
the dances of primitive heathendom are kept up all through the darkness
with wild shoutings and jumpings, till they end in a sort of jig, is
described as strange and revolting. These dances come down from a time
when this was a seat of Indian nature worship, and when images of the
Sun and Moon were taken in pomp from the shrine here to the shrines
upon the Sacred Isles.

To those isles we now bent our course. Delightful was the voyage along
the southern shore of the lake, past shallow bays where the green water
lapped softly in the rushes, across the openings of inlets that ran
far in between walls of rock, with new islands coming into view and
glimpses of new snowpeaks in the distance rising behind the nearer
ranges, all flooded by a sunlight that had the brilliance without the
sultry power of the tropics.

Koati or Koyata, the Island of the Moon, is said to take its name from
Koya, the Quichua word for queen, the Moon being the wife of the Sun,
whose worship the Incas established wherever their power extended. The
isle is about two miles long, a steep ridge, covered in parts with
low shrubs and grass; the rest cultivated, the slopes being carefully
terraced to the top. The most interesting group of ruins stands in a
beautiful situation some sixty feet above the shore, on the uppermost
of four broad terraces, supported by walls. One of these walls is of
the finished Cuzco style of stonework, the rectangular blocks well cut
and neatly fitted to one another. It is probably of Inca date. That
the large ruined edifice above has the same origin may be concluded
from the niches which occur in the walls of its chambers. The purpose
of such niches, frequent in the Cuzco walls, and indeed all over Peru,
has never been explained. They are often too shallow for cupboards or
wardrobes, and too high for images, yet it is hard to suppose them
meant merely for ornament. This edifice, originally in two stories,
is a mass of chambers, mostly small, which are connected by narrow
passages. The large walled court which adjoins it is adorned by
stuccoed niches. The walls are well preserved, but all the ceilings and
roofs have gone. There are so few apertures for light that it is hard,
as in most of the ancient Peruvian houses to understand how light was
admitted. Probably light was sacrificed for the sake of warmth, for
the nights are extremely cold, even in summer. Doorways are covered
sometimes by a single slab, sometimes by flat stones projecting each
beyond the other, so as to have the effect of an arch, but no true arch
ever seems to have been found in Peru or anywhere else in the Western
Hemisphere. Sacrificial objects, dug up in front of the building,
confirm the legend that the place was a shrine of the Moon Mother, but
the name by which it has been known is the Palace of the Virgins of the
Sun. There may, therefore, have been in conjunction with the shrine one
of the numerous establishments in which the Incas kept the women who
were sent up to them as a tribute from the provinces, and who, among
other things, wove fine fabrics and made various articles needed for
worship. The early Spanish writers, with their heads full of Christian
nuns and Roman Vestals, called them Virgins of the Sun, but the name
was altogether inappropriate, for many of them were kept as concubines
for the reigning Inca.

Four miles from Koati and two from the mainland, lies the larger and
more sacred Island of the Sun. It is ten miles long, nowhere more than
a mile wide, and very irregular in shape, being deeply indented by
bays. A ridge of hills, rising in places to one thousand feet or more,
traverses it from end to end, and much of the surface is too steep and
rocky for tillage. There are many groups of ruins on it, the origin
and character of some among which have given rise to controversies
into which I need not enter, proposing to describe two only. One of
these is the so-called Fountain, or Bath and Garden of the Inca. Two
buildings stand on the shore, evidently of a date anterior to the
Conquest, and one was probably a royal residence. The most recent and
most competent investigators divide them into two classes: those which
the Indians call Chulpas, and are the work of an earlier race or races,
and those which they ascribe to the Incas, the latter being larger and
better built, and accompanied by pottery, weapons, and other relics,
indicating a more advanced culture. Hard by a flight of low steps,
rising from the water through a grove of trees, leads up to a spot
where a rivulet, led in a channel from the hill above, pours itself
into a receptacle hewed out of one piece of stone, whence it pursues
its course in a murmuring rill to the lake below. The terraced garden
on each side is planted with flowers, most of which are the same as
those in European or North American gardens; but the brilliant red
blossoms of the shrub called the _Flor del Inca_ give a true local
colour, and the view over the lake to the distant snows is unlike
anything else in the world. How much of the beauty we now see was
planned by the unknown monarch, who first made these terraces, and did
the spot commend itself to him by the wonderful prospect it commands?
Most of the so-called palaces of these isles occupy sites that look
across the lake to the great snowy range, but a learned archæologist
suggests that this was due not to admiration of their grandeur, but
to veneration for them as potent deities so that they might be more
readily and frequently adored.

On this majestic range our eyes had been fixed all day long. Its
northernmost summit, Illampu, stands more than twenty miles back
from the eastern shore of the lake, and more than thirty miles from
the Island of the Sun. Thence the chain trends southward, ending one
hundred miles away in the gigantic Illimani, which looks down upon La
Paz. All day long we had watched the white clouds rise and gather, and
swathe the great peaks and rest in the glacier hollows between them,
and seem to dissolve or move away, leaving some top clear for a moment,
and then settle down again, just as one sees the vapours that rise
from the Lombard plain form into clouds that float round and enwrap
Monte Rosa during the heats of a summer day. Evening was beginning to
fall when our vessel, after coasting along the island, anchored in the
secluded bay of Challa, where, behind a rocky cape, there is an Indian
hamlet and a garden and stone tank like that at the Bath of the Inca.
We landed and rambled through it, finding its thick trees and rustling
shade specially charming in this bare land. Just as we emerged from
them and regained the lake shore, the sun was setting, and as the air
cooled, the clouds that draped the mountains thinned and scattered
and suddenly vanished, and the majestic line of pinnacles stood out,
glowing rosy red in the level sunlight, and then turned in a few
moments to a ghostly white, doubly ghostly against a deep blue-grey
sky, as swift black night began to descend.

Early next morning we set off on foot along the track, well beaten
by the feet of many generations of worshippers, which leads along
the rocky slopes from Challa to the Sanctuary of the Rock. Here are
no houses, for this end of the isle is rough and bare, giving only
scanty pasture and a few aromatic flowers, but the little bays where
the green water ripples on the sands, and the picturesque cliffs, and
the vast stretch of lake beyond, made every step delightful. To our
surprise we passed a spot where some enterprising stranger had bored
for coal and found a bed, but not worth working. One could hardly be
sorry, for though fuel is badly needed here, a colliery and its chimney
would fit neither the landscape nor the associations. Less than three
miles' walking brought us to a place where the remains of a wall cross
the island, here scarcely a mile wide, and seem to mark off the sacred
part which in Inca days was entered only for the purposes of worship.
A little farther, two marks in the rock, resembling giant footprints,
are, according to Indian tradition, the footprints of the Sun God and
the Moon Goddess, when they appeared here. The marks are obviously
natural and due to the form in which a softer bit of the sandstone
rock has scaled off and left a whitish surface, while the harder part,
probably containing a little more iron, as it is browner in hue, has
been less affected by the elements. Then, after ascending a few low
steps which seem to be ancient, we came out on a level space of grass
in front of a ridge of rock about twenty-five feet high. This is Titi
Kala, the Sacred Rock, the centre of the most ancient mythology of
South America. Its face, which looks southwest over this space of
grass, apparently artificially levelled, is on that side precipitous,
presenting a not quite smooth face in which veins of slightly different
colours of brown and yellowish grey are seen. At one point these veins
so run as to present something like the head of a wild cat or puma;
and as Titi means a wild cat in Aymará, and Kala, or Kaka a rock,
this is supposed to be the origin of the name Titi Kala, which has
been extended from the rock to the island and from the island to the

The rock is composed of a light yellowish brown rather hard sandstone
of carboniferous age, with a slaty cleavage. The back of the ridge is
convex, and is easily climbed. From it the ground falls rapidly to the
lake, about three hundred feet below. Except for what may possibly be
an artificial incision at the top, the rock appears to be entirely
in its natural state, the cave-like hollow at its base shewing no
sign of man's handiwork. Neither does any existing building touch it.
There are, however, traces of walls enclosing the space in front of
it, especially on the north side, where there seems to have been a
walled-in enclosure; and there are other ancient remains hard by. The
only one of these sufficiently preserved to enable us to conjecture
its purpose is a somewhat perplexing two-storied edifice, resembling,
though less large and handsome, that which I have described as existing
on the island of Koati. It is called the Chingana, or Labyrinth,
and doubtless dates from Inca times, as it contains niches and other
features characteristic of the architecture of that period. The
numerous rooms are small, scantily lighted, and connected by narrow
passages. A few flowers had rooted on the top of the walls, and I found
tufts of maidenhair fern nestling in the moist, dark corners within.
All the roofs have perished. There is nothing to suggest a place of
worship, so probably the building contained the quarters provided for
the various attendants on the religious rites performed here, and
perhaps also for the women who were kept near many sanctuaries and
palaces for the service of the Sun and the Incas. None of the other
ruins is identifiable as a temple, so we are left in doubt whether any
temple that may have existed was destroyed by the zeal of the Spanish
Conquerors, or whether the worship of the Sun and the local spirits
was conducted in the open air in front of the Rock, whose surface was,
according to some rather doubtful authorities, covered with plates of
gold and silver. In front of the Rock there lies a flat stone which
it has been conjectured may have been used for sacrifices. All our
authorities agree that the place was most sacred. Some say no one
was allowed to touch it; and at it oracles were delivered, which the
Spaniards accepted as real, while attributing them to devils who dwelt
inside the rock. Of the many legends relating to the place only two
need be mentioned. One is that here the Sun, pitying the barbarous and
wretched condition of men, took his two children, Manco Capac and
Mama (mother) Occlo, and giving them a short staff or wand of gold,
directed them to go forward, till they should find a place where the
staff on being struck against the ground entered and stuck fast. They
travelled to the north for many days, and the wand finally entered
the earth at Cuzco, where they accordingly built a city and founded
their dominion, Manco being the first of the Inca dynasty. The other
tale is that for a long, long time there was darkness over the earth
and great sorrow among men till at last the Sun suddenly rose out
of the Rock on Titicaca, which was thenceforward sacred and a place
of sacrifice and oracles. Other traditions, more or less differing
from these in details, agree in making Titicaca the original home
of the Incas, and one of them curiously recalls a Mexican story by
placing on it a great foreign Teacher whom the Spaniards identified
with St. Thomas the Apostle.[29] In these stories, some written down
by Spanish explorers or treasure seekers at the time of the Conquest
or collected subsequently by learned ecclesiastics, some still
surviving, with grotesque variations, in the minds of the peasantry,
we may distinguish three salient points,--first, the veneration for
the Rock as an object; secondly, its close relation to Sun worship;
and thirdly, its connection with the Inca rulers of Cuzco. It is a
plausible view that from ancient pre-Inca times the Rock was a _Huaca_
or sacred object (in fact a fetish, _i.e._ an object inhabited by a
spirit) to the primitive tribes of the island and lake coasts, as the
cleft rock of Delphi was to the Greeks, even as the Black Stone which
they called the Mother of the gods was to the Phrygian worshippers of
Cybele, as perhaps the Stone of Tara--perhaps even the Lia Fail or
Coronation Stone of Scone and now of Westminster Abbey--was to our
Celtic ancestors. When the Incas established their dominion over the
region round the lake they made this spot a sanctuary of the sun,
following their settled policy of superadding the imperial religion of
Sun worship--the Sun being their celestial progenitor--to the primitive
veneration and propitiation of local spirits which their subjects
practised. It was thus that the Roman Emperors added the worship of the
goddess of Rome to that of the local deities of Western Asia and Africa
and set up to her great temples, like that at Pergamos, among and above
the older shrines. If there be truth in the legend that the Incas were
themselves originally a tribe of the Collas of the plateau who quitted
their former seats to go northward to the conquest of Cuzco, it would
be all the more natural for them to honour this sanctuary as an ancient
home of their race.

The isle seems to have been abandoned and the worship forbidden soon
after the Conquest. No Christian church was ever placed near it, as
might have been done if it were deemed necessary to wean the people
from rites still practised there. What the early Spanish chroniclers
tell us of the devotion paid to it is amply confirmed by the religious
ornaments and the numerous objects connected with worship which have
been dug up near the Rock, including woollen ponchos of extraordinary
fineness of workmanship and colour, and golden figures of men (or
deities) and of llamas, the llama being a sacred animal like the
bull in Egypt. The native Indians still approach the Rock with awe.
Lightning and Thunder, as well as the Sun and the local spirits
were worshipped, and human sacrifices, frequently of children, were
offered. Standing on this lonely spot one thinks of what it may have
witnessed in old days. What weird dances and wild uproar of drums and
pipes before the Rock, and still wilder songs and cries of frenzied
worshippers! What shrieks of victims from the Stone of Sacrifice!
Now all is silence, and nothing, except the crumbling ruins of the
Chingana, speaks of the past. No sound except the sighing of the breeze
round the cliff and the splash of the wavelets as they break on the
pebbly beach beneath. There is no habitation near. The green outlying
islets, one of which is said to have run with the blood of human
sacrifices, are all desolate. The villages on the Bolivian shore to the
east and the Peruvian shore to the west are too distant to be visible,
while to the north the vast expanse of glittering blue stretches out
till the blue depths of heaven bend to meet it.

Bidding farewell to the Island of the Sun, we sailed southward through
the Straits of Tiquina, only half a mile wide, which connect the
principal lake with the shallower gulf at its southeastern end, called
the Lake of Vinamarca. On each side of the channel between heights
whose igneous rocks seemed to indicate volcanic action are picturesque
little Indian villages, St. Paul on the southwestern, St. Peter on the
northeastern shore. It was market day, and the balsas were carrying the
peasants homeward. I have already referred to these raft-like boats,
formed of bundles of _Totora_ tied together, and equipped with a small
mast carrying a sail also of the same kind of rush. There were only
passengers upon these, but the rushes are so much lighter than water
that they can support a considerable weight. Large blocks of building
stone are often carried on them. The Indians were kneeling on them and
paddling, one on each side. Progress was slow, but in this country time
is no object; it is almost the only thing of which there is more than
enough in Bolivia.

We had now got nearer to the great Cordillera Real, the range of
unbroken snow and ice which runs southward from the village of Sorata
nearly to the city of La Paz, and could better make out the several
peaks and the passes which separate them and the splendid glaciers
which stream down their hollows far below the line of perpetual snow.
Eight or nine great masses can be distinguished, the loftiest and
northernmost of which, Illampu, is nearly 22,000 feet high, the rest
ranging from 19,000 to 21,000.

Illampu consists of two peaks and is the mountain which European
travellers and maps call Sorata, from the town of that name near its
northern base. It consists of two peaks, the higher of snow, called
by the natives, Hanko Uma,[30] and the slightly lower one, of rock,
Illampu proper. This, which is the loftiest of the range, and was
sixty or seventy years ago believed to be the loftiest in the western
hemisphere, was climbed by Sir Martin Conway, who has described his
ascent and his other adventures in Bolivia, in a very interesting
book,[31] but he found the last slope just below the top so unstable,
owing to the powdery condition of the snow, that he was obliged to turn
back. So far as I know, no other summit of the range, unless Illimani
is to be accounted a part of it, has ever been ascended. At the end of
the chain the splendid pyramid of Kaka Aka, also called Huayna Potosi,
seems to approach 21,000. After it the range sinks a little till it
rises again fifty miles farther south to over 21,000 feet in the snowy
summit of Illimani. The Aymarás seem to have no special names for most
of these peaks, and when asked for one answer that it is Kunu Kollu (a
snow height).[32] That is the case in many other mountainous countries.
Neither in the White Mountains of North America nor in the Rockies and
Cascades do the aborigines seem to have had names for more than a few
separate peaks. Names were not needed, for they seldom approached the
great heights. On the other hand, in Scotland and Ireland every hill
has its Gaelic name because the herdsmen had occasion to traverse them.
In the Tatra Mountains of Northern Hungary almost the only names of
peaks are those taken from villages near their foot. Here the tract at
the foot of the range is desert; nobody, unless possibly a hunter now
and then pursuing a vicuña, has any reason for approaching it.

The Cordillera Real is not of volcanic origin, though there may be
recent eruptive rocks here and there in it. None of the great summits
shew the forms characteristic of the volcano, and my friend Sir M.
Conway tells me that all the rocks he saw seemed to be granite and
gneiss or mica schist, or perhaps very old palæozoic strata. The region
has been very little explored. There must be some superb glacier passes
across it.

The scenery of this lake of Vinamarca, which we were now traversing,
has a grand background in the Snowy Range, but the foreground is unlike
that of Titicaca, for the shores are mostly low, shallow bays covered
with water plants, over which flocks of lake fowl flutter, with the
hills softer in outline than those of the great lake, though stranger
and more varied in colour, for black masses of volcanic rock rise on
the north and bare hills of a deep red on the southwest. Here is the
point where the river Desaguadero flows out and a little to the east
is the port of Guaqui whence runs the railway to La Paz. Here we halted
for the night, a very cold one, and set off in a cold morning for the
Bolivian capital. An open valley runs south between flat-topped stony
ridges affording thin pasturage, past clusters of Indian huts; and
after some few miles, we see huge blocks of stone scattered over a
wide space of almost level ground. These are the last ruins I have to
mention, and in some respects they form the most remarkable group of
prehistoric structures not only in the Andean countries, but in the
Western Hemisphere. I will not attempt to describe them, for they are
too numerous and too chaotic, but only to convey some impression of the
more significant objects. The place is Tiahuanaco, or Tihuamacu, as the
Indians of the neighbourhood call it.

The configuration of the ground, and the remains of what seems to have
been an ancient mole for the landing of boats, suggest that in remote
ages the waters of the lake came close up to this spot, though it is
now five miles distant. I have already remarked that the character
of the western and northern shores of Titicaca, as well as Indian
traditions that places now far from the shore were once approachable
by water, seem to indicate that the lake has receded within historical
times and may be still receding. The ruins are scattered over a
very large area, but those of most interest are to be found within
a space of about half a square mile, the rest being mostly detached
and scattered blocks to which it is hard to assign any definite plan
or purpose. Within this space three deserve special notice. One is a
huge, oblong mound of earth, about fifty feet high, with steep sides
supported by stone walls. It has been called the Fortress, but there
are now no traces of defensive ramparts, and it may have been raised
for a palace or, more probably, for some religious purpose. That it was
a natural hill seems unlikely. There are no remains on it of any large
and solid building and in the middle there is now a hollow, its bottom
filled with water, which is said to have been dug out by those who
have excavated here, in old days for treasure, and more recently for
archæological purposes. Its vast proportions and the fine cutting of
the stones which are placed along the edges are evidences of the great
amount of labour employed upon it.

A little below the mound are the remains of a broad staircase of long,
low steps of sandstone, well cut, standing between two pillars of hard
diorite rock. These led up to a platform, on which a temple may have
stood. The proportions of the staircase and the pillars are good, and
the effect is not without stateliness. No fragments of the supposed
temple remain, but on the platform there are many stone figures, some
found on it, some brought from the ground beneath and placed here,
heads of animals, condors and other birds, pumas and fishes, all
forcibly, though rudely, carved. Still more notable is a human head
surmounting a square pillar or pedestal. It is much damaged, and no
wonder, for the Bolivian soldiers used it as a mark to shoot at; but
though the execution is stiff, the head has a certain dignity. Two
other human figures, sadly defaced, stand at the gate of the village
churchyard, a mile away. The style of all these is said to bear some
resemblance to the remarkable colossal figures found on Easter Island,
which lies out in the Pacific, two thousand miles west of Chile, and
which are evidently the work of some race that inhabited that isle in
ages of which no record remains.

The most striking object, however, is the monolithic sculptured
gateway, which now stands alone, the building of which it formed a part
having perished. It is hewn out of one block of dark grey trachytic
rock, is ten feet high, the doorway or aperture four and a half feet
high from the ground and two feet nine inches wide. Its top has been
broken, whether by lightning, as the Indians say, or by its fall, or by
the Spanish extirpators of idolatry, is not known. Thirty years ago it
was lying prostrate. The front is covered with elaborate carvings in
low relief, executed with admirable exactness and delicacy, and owing
their almost perfect preservation to the extreme hardness of the stone.
They represent what may be either a divine or a royal head, surrounded
by many small kneeling figures with animal heads, some human, some of
the puma, some of the condor, these being the largest quadruped and
the largest bird of prey in the Andes. The treatment is conventional
and the symbolism obscure, for we have no clue to the religion of the
people who built these monuments. The association of animal forms
with deities is a familiar thing in many ancient mythologies,--human
figures had animal heads in Egypt, and bulls and lions had human heads
in Assyria,--so one may guess at something of the kind in Peruvian
mythology. But these sculptures are unlike anything else in South
America, or in the Old World, and bear only a faint resemblance to some
of the figures in Central American temples.[33] This sculptured portal,
the unique record of a long-vanished art and worship, perhaps of a
long-vanished race, makes an impression which remains fresh and clear
in memory, because it appeals to one's imagination as the single and
solitary voice from the darkness of a lost past.

All over the flat valley bottom there lie scattered huge hewn blocks,
some of the sandstone which is here the underlying rock, some of
andesite apparently brought on balsas from quarries many miles away
(when perhaps the lake water came up this far). I measured one massive
prostrate stone lying near the staircase and found it to be thirty-four
feet long by five feet wide with one and one-half feet out of the
ground. How much there was below ground could not be ascertained. Yet
the stones that remain to-day scattered over a space more than a mile
long are few compared to those which have during centuries past been
carried away. The church and many of the houses in the village are
built of them. The Cathedral and other edifices in La Paz have been
built of them, and within the last ten years five hundred train-loads
of them were carried off by the constructors of the railway to build
bridges, station houses, and what not, along the line. It is pitiable
to think that this destruction of the most remarkable prehistoric
monument in the western world should have been consummated in our own

Whether there was ever a city at Tiahuanaco there is nothing to
shew. The place may have been merely a sanctuary or, perhaps, a
royal fortress and place of worship combined. If there was ever a
population of the humble class, they lived in mud huts which would
quickly disappear and leave no trace. The modern village is composed of
such huts, with some of the stones of the ruins used as foundations.
Nevertheless the size of the church and its unusually rich decoration,
and its handsome silver altar, suggest that the place was formerly more
important than it is to-day. Pottery and small ornaments are still
found in the earth, though the treasures, if ever there were any, have
been carried off long ago. An arrow point of obsidian, which an Indian
shewed me, was interesting as evidence that the ancient inhabitants
used bows and were not, as apparently were the Peruvians of Cuzco,
content with slings as missile weapons.[34]

The valley is fertile, and much of it cultivated, but at this season,
before the crops had begun to pierce the earth, it was very dreary. The
brown hills all around are themselves bare and featureless, and they
cut off the view of the snowy Cordillera and of the lake. The sight
of this mass of ruins, where hardly one stone is left upon another in
a place where thousands of men must have toiled and many thousands
have worshipped, makes its melancholy landscape all the more doleful.
It recalls the descriptions in the Hebrew prophets of the desolation
coming upon Nineveh.

Aymará tradition, with its vague tales of giants who reared the mound
and walls and of a deity who in displeasure turned the builders into
stones and for a while darkened the world, has nothing more to tell us
than the aspect of the place suggests, viz., that here dwelt a people
possessed of great skill in stonework and obeying rulers who had a
great command of labour, and that this race has vanished, leaving no
other trace behind. Upon one point all observers and all students are
agreed. When the first Spanish conquerors came hither, they were at
once struck by the difference between these works and those of the
Incas which they had seen at Cuzco and elsewhere in Peru. The Indians
whom they questioned told them that the men who built these things
had lived long, long before their own forefathers. Who the builders
were, whence they came, how and when and whither they disappeared--of
all this the Indians knew no more than the Spaniards themselves knew,
or than we know now. The width of the interval between the greatness
of Tiahuanaco and the Conquest appears also by the fact that the Inca
sovereigns had not treated it as a sacred spot in the way they did the
shrine at Copacavana or the islands in Titicaca, nor has it to-day
any special sanctity to the Indians of the neighbourhood. To them it
is only what the Pyramids are to a wandering Arab or Stonehenge to a
Wiltshire peasant. The one thing which the walls have in common with
those in and around Cuzco is the excellence of the stonework. The style
of building is different, but the cutting itself is equally exact and
regular. This art would seem to have arisen early among the races of
the plateau, doubtless because the absence of wood turned artistic
effort towards excellence in stone.

One receives the impression here, as in some other parts of Peru,
that the semi-civilization, if we may call it so, of these regions is
extremely ancient. We seem to look back upon a vista whose length it
is impossible to conjecture, a vista of many ages, during which this
has been the home of peoples already emerged from such mere savagery as
that in which the natives of the Amazonian forests still lie. But how
many ages the process of emergence occupied, and how many more followed
down to the Spanish Conquest we may never come to know.

It is possible that immigrants may at some time, long subsequent to
the colonization of America by way of Behring's Sea, have found their
way hither across the waters of the Pacific. The similarity of the
figures on Easter Island to the figures at Tiahuanaco has been thought
to suggest such a possibility. Those figures are, I believe, unlike
anything in any other Pacific island.

Archæological research, however, does not suggest, any more than does
historical enquiry, the existence of any external influence affecting
the South American races. We may reasonably assume that among them, as
in Europe, the contact and intermixture of different stocks and types
of character and culture made for advancement. But this great factor in
the progress of mankind, which did so much for western Asia and Europe,
and to the comparative absence of which the arrested civilization of
China may be largely due, was far less conspicuously present in South
America than on the Mediterranean coasts. Think what Europe owed not
only to the mixture of stocks whence the Italo-Hellenic peoples sprang,
but also to influences radiating out from Egypt and the West Asiatic
nations. Think what Italy owed to Greece and afterwards to the East
and of what modern European nations owe to the contact of racial types
in literature, art, and ideas, such as the Celtic, the Iberian, the
Teutonic, and the Slavonic. How different was the lot of the Peruvians,
shut in between an impassable ocean on the west, a desert on the south,
and the savage tribes of a forest wilderness on the east! No ideas came
to them from without, nor from any of the inventions which Old World
peoples had been making could they profit. They were out of contact
even with the most advanced of the other American peoples, such as
those of Bogotá and Yucatan, for there was a vast space between, many
shadowy mountains and a resounding sea.

As after these ruins I saw no others in South America, for neither
southern Bolivia nor Chile nor Argentina, nor Uruguay has any to shew,
this seems the fittest place for such few thoughts on the ancient
civilization of South America as are suggested to the traveller's mind
by the remains of it which he sees and by what he reads in the books
of historians and archæologists. A large part of the interest which
Peru and Bolivia have for the modern world is the interest which this
ancient civilization awakens. It is a unique chapter in the history of

The most distinct and constantly recurring impressions made by the
remains is this: that the time when man began to rise out of mere
savagery must, in these countries, be carried very far into the past.
Our data for any estimate either of the duration of the process by
which he attained a sort of civilization or of the several steps in
it, are extremely scanty. In the Old World the early use of writing
by a few of its peoples enables us to go a long way back. The records
which Egypt and Babylon and China have been made to yield are of some
service for perhaps three or even four thousand years--some would say
more--before the Christian era, and from those of Egypt and Babylon we
get at least glimpses of the races that lived in Asia Minor and along
the Mediterranean coast. But none of the American peoples advanced as
far as the invention of even the rudest form of writing, though in
Mexico and Yucatan pictures were to some slight extent used to preserve
the memory of events. Here, in South America, where neither writing
nor pictures aid us, our only data for what may be called prehistoric
history, are first, the remains of buildings, whether fortresses or
palaces or temples, and, secondly, works of art, such as carvings,
ornaments, or religious objects, utensils of wood or earthenware and
paintings on them, weapons of war, woollen or cotton fabrics, such as
ponchos or mummy-cloths. All such relics are more abundant in Peru
than anywhere else in the Western world, except that in Yucatan and
some parts of Central America the ruined temples have been preserved
better than here. The Peruvian relics are found not only in the Andean
plateau, but also in those parts near the coast of northern Peru where
cultivation was rendered possible by rivers. There, at the ruins of the
Chimu city, near Truxillo, and farther south at Pachacamac, near Lima,
a great deal has been obtained by excavation in ancient cemeteries and
temples; and much more would have been obtained but for the damage
wrought by generations of treasure seekers who melted down all the gold
they found and destroyed nearly everything else.

The objects found on the coast differ in style from those found on
the high Andean regions, and among these latter there are also marked
differences between things found at Cuzco, and generally in northern
Peru, and things found in the tombs and graves in the Titicaca regions.
All, however, have a certain family resemblance and form a distinct
archæological group somewhat nearer to Mexican and Central American art
than to anything in the Old World. Specimens of all can be just as well
studied in the museums of Europe and North America as here on the spot,
where the collections are neither numerous nor well arranged. There
is, perhaps, more fertility of invention, more freedom of treatment and
more humour in the objects found on the coast at Chimu and Pachacamac
than in any others; but the most impressive of all are the sculptures
of Tiahuanaco.

Considerable skill had been attained in weaving. Handsome woollen
ponchos, apparently designed for use as religious vestments, have been
found, the colour patterns harmonious and the wool exquisitely fine.
The Chimu tapestries and embroideries shew taste as well as technical
skill. Copper, the metal chiefly used in Peru, was mined and smelted in
large quantities; and the reduction of silver ores was also understood,
yet the age of stone implements was not past, either for peaceful or
for warlike purposes. As no cementing material had been discovered,
walls were rendered exceptionally strong either by carefully fitting
their stones into one another or fly clamping them together by metal.
Of this latter method there are examples at Tiahuanaco.

Taking Peruvian art as a whole, as it appears in pottery and pictures
and carvings, it is inferior in grace of form and refinement of
execution both to Egyptian and to early Greek work, such as that of
the Mycenæan period. Neither is there anything that shews such a power
of drawing the human figure and of designing ornament as the ruined
temples of Yucatan display.

The most signal excellence the Peruvians attained seems to have been
in building. The absence of wood turned their efforts towards stone,
and gave birth to works which deserve to be compared with those of
Egypt, and far surpass in solidity any to be found in North America.
Of the temples, too little remains to enable a judgment to be formed,
either of their general design or of their adornment. But the stonework
is wonderful, indicating not only a high degree of manual expertness,
but the maintenance of a severe standard of efficiency through every
part, while the skill shewn in the planning of fortifications so as
to strengthen every defensive line and turn to account the natural
features of the ground would have done credit to the military
engineering of fifteenth-century Europeans.

But the race was also in some ways strangely inept. Both the Quichua
tribes and the subjects of the Chimu sovereign on the Pacific coast
seem to have shewn no higher invention than the Aymarás, who launched
their rush balsas on Lake Titicaca, for the Spaniards found them using
nothing but small canoes on the rivers and clumsy rafts for creeping
along the shore with the help of a rude sail, though the Caribs of
Venezuela, otherwise far less advanced, carried on a brisk trade in
large sea-going canoes all the way along the line of the Antilles from
the mouth of the Orinoco to the peninsula of Yucatan.

The few songs that have been preserved do not commemorate events
or achievements like the ballads of Europe, but are mostly simple
ditties, connected with nature and agriculture. There were, however,
dramas which used to be acted, and among them one considerable work
which, long preserved by oral recitations, was written down in the
seventeenth century by Dr. Valdez, a Spaniard, the priest of Sicuani,
and generally held to be in the main of native authorship, though
perhaps touched up by Spanish taste. This is the so-called drama of
Ollantay. It has a fresh simplicity and a sort of romantic flavour
which suggest that there was something more than prosaic industry in
this people.

In the absence of literature, one seeks in the mythology of a race a
test of its imaginative quality; and in its religion, an indication of
its power of abstract thinking. In both respects, the Peruvians seem
to have stood as much below the primitive Celts and Teutons, as they
stood above the negro races, with their naïve animism and childish
though often humorous fables. Whether the Spanish ecclesiastics
were right in finding in the worship of the earth god Pachacamac a
belief in a supreme deity, creator of the world, may be doubted. But
that the worship of Sun, Moon, and Stars should have coexisted with
ancestor worship, and with a sort of fetichism which revered and feared
spirits in all objects, need excite no surprise. Such a mixture, or
rather such a coexistence without real intermixture, of different
strata of religious ideas, finds plenty of analogies in the ancient
Helleno-Italic world as it does to-day in China and other parts of
the East. There was a worship of the ghosts of the progenitors of the
family and the tribe, a worship of various more or less remarkable
natural objects, or rather of the spirits that dwelt in them, a worship
of animals such as the strongest beast and largest bird of prey, the
puma and the condor, and of the supremely useful llama (a devotion
which was compatible with the sacrificing of the animal), a worship
of plants, and especially of the maize and of the power which bade it
grow, the Maize Mother. Above all these forms, congenial to the humbler
classes, rose the worship of the Sun, Moon, and Stars (especially the
Pleiades), representing a higher range of ideas, yet connected with the
more primitive nature superstitions by the sense that the Sun evoked
life from the earth and by the finding, in the constellations, the
shapes of the animals that were sacred on the earth. Nor were these the
only points in which we discover resemblances to Old World religions.
Peru rivalled Egypt in the care taken to preserve the bodies of the
dead as mummies,[35] and these, so skilfully dried as not to offend
the senses, were sometimes placed in their dwellings. The Quichuas
practised divination by the flight of birds (like the Dyaks of Borneo),
and by the inspection of the entrails of victims, as the Romans did
down to the end of the Republic. They had oracles delivered from rocks
or rivers, like the Greeks, and the _Huillca_ through whom the spirit
spoke could, like the Delphic Pythia, sometimes be guided towards the
answer desired. Men, and especially children, were sacrificed (though
to a far smaller extent than in Mexico or among the Phœnicians). If
cannibalism existed on the Plateau, it was rare, though it still
remains among some of the wildest of the Amazonian tribes.

That there is nothing of which men are so tenacious as their
superstitions may perhaps be ascribed to the fact that life is ruled
more by emotion and habit than by reason. The Peruvians made no
fight for their religion, which, to be sure, was not necessarily
inconsistent with such Christian rites as the friars demanded. They
submitted to baptism with that singular passivity which marks nearly
all the South American races. They threw into the lakes or hid in the
ground all the temple gold that could be got away before the Spanish
plunderers fell upon them, but made little attempt to defend their
sacred places or images. Nevertheless under a nominal, not to say a
debased, Christianity, they long continued to practise the ancient
rites, and to this day wizardry and the devotion to the local _huacas_
(sacred places or objects) are strong among the people. These primeval
superstitions, which existed long before the Inca Sun worship had been
established, have long survived it. If all the people who now speak
Spanish were to depart from Peru and Bolivia, and these regions were to
be cut off from the world and left to themselves, pagan worship, mixed
with some few Christian words and usages, might probably again become,
within some twenty generations, the religion of the Andean countries,
just as tribes in the Caucasus which were converted to Christianity
in the days when the Roman Empire reached as far east as Tiflis were
found to have retained of it, after twelve centuries, nothing but the
practice of fasting in Lent and the use of the sign of the cross.
Nature worship still holds its ground, though no doubt in a highly
extenuated form, in every country of Europe.[36] Habit and emotion
are the most universal and the deepest-down things in human nature,
present where reason is feeble, and gripping the soul tighter than do
any intellectual convictions. Religious sentiment may hold men to old
beliefs and practices long after the origin and grounds of the belief
have been forgotten.

Comparing the Indians of the Andes with those of the plateau of
Anahuac, and especially with the Aztecs, the former appear a less
vigorous and forceful people, and distinctly inferior as fighting
men. The North Americans generally, including not only the Mexicans,
but such tribes as the Sioux, the Comanches, and the Iroquois, loved
war, and were as brave and fierce in it as any race the world has
seen. The South Americans, except of course the Araucanians of Chile,
the Charruas of Uruguay, and perhaps also the Caras of Quito, were
altogether softer. They still make sturdy soldiers when well led, and
do not fear death. But they shewed little of the spirit and tenacity of
the Red Men of the North. Even allowing for the terror and amazement
inspired by the horses, the firearms, the armour, and the superior
physical strength of the Spanish invaders, who were picked men, some
of them veterans from Italian wars, the resistance of the Peruvians
was strangely feeble. They were also mentally inferior. The Spaniards
thought the Mexicans far more intelligent. Neither race had made the
great discovery of alphabetic writing, but those of Anahuac had come
much nearer to it with their quasi-hieroglyphic pictures than had the
Peruvians with their _Quipus_, knotted strings of various colours.
On the other hand the rule of the Incas and their more pacific type
of civilization represent a more fully developed and better settled
system of administration than the military organization of those allied
pueblos which were led by the Aztecs of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City).
These latter did no more than exact tribute and require contingents in
war from the tribes who dwelt round them on the Mexican plateau and
between the plateau and the Gulf, while the Incas not only exercised
undisputed suzerainty for a thousand miles to the south of Cuzco and
nearly another thousand to the north, but had devised, in their own
domain of central Peru, a scheme of government whose elaboration
witnesses to the political capacity of the rulers. Even if we discount
a good deal of the description given by the early writers of the "State
Socialism" established by the Incas, it seems probable that more was
done in the way of regulating the productive activities of the subjects
than in any other primitive people, either of the ancient or of the
modern world. Public officials, it is said, regulated the distribution
and cultivation of the land, its produce being allotted, partly to the
Inca, partly to the service of the Sun, his temples and ministers,
partly to the cultivator or the clan to which he belonged. Thus State
Socialism was strengthened by its association with a State Church,
and as everybody was free to worship his local _huacas_ as well as
the Sun there was nothing to fear from heresy or non-conformity. The
Incas maintained roads, some of which are said to have been paved,[37]
and tambos or rest-houses along the roads, together with a service
of swift messengers whose feats of running excited the admiration of
the Spaniards. They made plans in relief of their cities, and some
accounts declare that they adorned their walls with pictures of former
sovereigns. By the general testimony of the early Spanish writers,
the country was peaceful and orderly. Other vices, including that
of drunkenness, are charged upon them, but theft and violence were
extremely rare. Indeed, the habit of obedience was cultivated only too
successfully, for it made them yield, after a few scattered outbursts
of resistance, to a handful of invaders.

The political astuteness of the Incas, visible in their practice of
moving conquered tribes, as did the Assyrian kings, to new abodes and
replacing these by colonists of more assured loyalty, was perhaps
most conspicuous in the success that attended their scheme of basing
imperial power upon national Sun worship, making the sovereign play
on earth the part which the great luminary held in the sky, and
surrounding his commands and his person with an almost equal sanctity.
The Inca was more to his subjects than any European or Asiatic monarch
has ever been to his, more than was the Mikado in Japan or the Czar to
the peasantry of Russia a century ago.

When the Spanish invasion broke like a tornado upon Peru, it was
natural that the Inca throne should be uprooted and the ancient Sun
worship with it. But the Conquerors also therewith destroyed, in the
thoughtless insolence of force and greed, the whole system of society
and government. Some of them, writing twenty or thirty years later,
expressed their regret.[38] Wretchedness had replaced prosperity; such
virtues as the people had possessed were disappearing, their spirit
was irretrievably broken. The serfdom to which the peasantry were by
the Conquest subjected was not paternal, as that of the Incas had
been, and was harsher, because the new master was a stranger without
sympathy or compassion. There was no one to befriend the Indian, save
now and then a compassionate churchman; and even if he could get the
ear of the Viceroy or bring his appeal to the Council of the Indies
in Spain, the oppressor on the spot was always able to frustrate
such benevolent efforts. How far the people died out under these new
conditions is matter of controversy, but it seems clear that the coast
valleys (already declining as the result of frequent wars) were soon
almost depopulated; and in place of the eight millions whom the Viceroy
Toledo's enumeration reported in 1575,[39] there were in 1794 only
608,000 Indians and 244,000 mestizos within the seven Intendancies of
Peru (excluding what is now Bolivia).

It is the extraordinary interest of the subject,--a religion and a
polity resembling in so many points those of Old World countries, yet
itself altogether independently developed--that has drawn me into this
digression, for all that I had intended was to describe the impression
which the existing ruins make, and what it is that they seem to tell us
about the capacities of the race that has left them as its monument.
They are far scantier than are the remains of the Egyptian and
Assyrian civilizations, and they are as inferior in material grandeur
and artistic quality to those remains as the race was intellectually
inferior not only to the Greeks, but also to our own early Celtic and
Teutonic ancestors of the first five Christian centuries who produced
few buildings and had not advanced in settled order and in wealth so
far as the subjects of the Incas. Nevertheless, the Peruvian remains
do bear witness to two elements of strength in the American race.
One of these is a capacity for the concentration of effort upon any
aim proposed and for a scrupulously exact and careful execution of
any work undertaken. The other is a certain largeness and boldness
of conception, finding expression not only in the plan of great
buildings, but also in an administrative system which secured obedience
over a vast area, which diffused its language over many diverse tribes,
and impressed upon them one worship and (to some extent at least) one
type of society. That a people who wanted so many advantages possessed
by the peoples of the Old World should have effected these things shews
the high natural quality inherent in some at least of the aboriginal
races of the Western Hemisphere.

Was this semicivilization of Peru--and one may ask the same question
regarding that of Mexico--still advancing when it was suddenly and
irretrievably swept away by the Spanish Conquest? Did it possess such
further possibilities of development as might have enabled it, had it
been spared, to have made some substantial contribution, whether in
art, or in industry, or in the way of intellectual creation, to the
general progress of mankind? Or had it already reached the full measure
of its stature, as the civilization of Egypt seems to have done some
time before the Persians conquered that country, or as that of China
did many centuries ago? This is a question which the knowledge so far
attained regarding the pre-Conquest ages of Peru does not enable us to
answer.[40] Could the voyage of Columbus have been postponed for four
or five hundred years, Peruvians and Mexicans might have risen nearer
to an equality of intelligence with the European peoples, however
inferior they had remained for the purposes of war. But America once
discovered, the invasion of Mexico and Peru was certain to follow; and
so soon as the Old-World races with their enormous superiority poured
in among those of the New World, the weaker civilization could not
but be submerged, submerged so utterly that little or nothing of it
remained to be taken up into and incorporated with that of the invaders.

It is this complete submersion that strikes one so forcibly in Peru and
Mexico; perhaps even more forcibly in the former than in the latter.
The aborigines went under at once. In Peru and Bolivia they constitute
the majority of the population. But to the moral, intellectual, and
political life of Peru and Bolivia they have made no contribution. Even
to its art and its industries they supplied nothing except painstaking
artificers, retaining the old talent for stonework, which they did at
the bidding of Spanish masters. Negatively and harmfully, they have
affected politics by preventing the growth of a white agricultural
class and by furnishing recruits to the armies raised by military
adventurers. The break between the old Peru of the Incas and the newer
Peru of colonial times was as complete as it was sudden. The earlier
has passed on nothing to the later, because the spirit of the race was
too hopelessly broken to enable it to give anything. There remains only
the submissiveness of a downtrodden peasantry and its pathetic fidelity
to its primitive superstitions. Some old evils passed away, some new
evils appeared. Human sacrifices ended, and the burning of heretics



Bolivia was for two centuries after the Spanish Conquest a part of
Peru and has neither natural boundaries nor any distinctive physical
character to mark it off from its neighbours, Peru on the northwest
and Argentina on the southeast. It is an artificial creation, whose
separate national existence is due to two events. After the Jesuits
had, by the king of Spain's decree in 1769, been forced out of
Paraguay, which they had ruled with considerable success for many
years, the Spanish government found that it was more and more difficult
to administer from Lima their vast southeastern dominions lying to
the east of the Andes, since these were then becoming more and more
exposed to contact with European nations, reaching them across the
Atlantic. Accordingly, they created, in 1776, the viceroyalty of Buenos
Aires and assigned to it all the River Plate countries, while for the
southeastern parts of what had hitherto been upper Peru they set up
a separate administrative authority with the seat of its _audiencia_
at Chuquisaca. Then came the War of Independence. When that struggle
ended with the decisive battle of Ayacucho, in 1824, and the surrender
of Lima and Callao, the triumphant revolutionary leaders determined to
maintain the political separation from Peru of this southern region,
which had been under the audiencia of Chuquisaca, and to constitute
a distinct republic lying between Peru and Argentina. To this new
creation the name of Bolivia was given in honour of Simon Bolivar,
the "Liberator," himself a Venezuelan. Independent it has since then
remained, having, however, lost in an unfortunate war with Chile a
large slice of territory adjoining the Pacific. It is now, except
Paraguay, the only entirely inland state in South America. And just
as on no side has it anything that can be called a natural frontier,
neither have its inhabitants any distinctive quality or character to
distinguish them sharply from other peoples. They differ but little
from the Andean Peruvians, being of similarly mixed Spanish and Indian
blood and living under similar physical conditions.

Bolivia includes several regions quite different in their character.
Nearly all the western part is a desert, with a few mining towns
scattered here and there, a desert enclosed by the two great almost
parallel Cordilleras of the Andes. The southeastern part is a plateau,
or rather succession of plateaux, lying on the eastern side of the
Eastern Cordillera, and gradually sinking into those vast levels on
the borders of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, from which rivers flow
northward into the Amazon and southward to form the Paraná and Rio de
la Plata. Much of this region is too dry or too rugged for cultivation
or even for ranching. Yet much is also valuable for one or other
purpose, and capable of supporting an agricultural population as well
as that which lives off the mines. The third or northeastern region
is a part of the great Amazonian low forest-covered country,--the
so-called Selvas (woodlands),--which stretches out to the east from the
declivities of the Eastern Cordillera, and is still, save for a few
white settlements, inhabited only by wild Indians. Thus in the enormous
total area of Bolivia, 605,000 square miles, there are only 2,000,000
people, and the large majority of these are Indians, uncivilized in
the forests, semicivilized in the other regions. The white population,
estimated at 200,000, most of whom, however, have some Indian blood, is
virtually confined to a few towns, only one of which, La Paz, has more
than 25,000 people. Santa Cruz (de la Sierra), far out in the eastern
lowlands, and Chuquisaca, now called Sucre, Cochabamba, and Potosi,
with its wonderful mountain of silver, have some families of Spanish
blood. Oruro and Uyuni in the desert are mining towns with the mixed
population that gathers in such places. La Paz, the largest city, and
virtually, though not officially, the capital, has 50,000 inhabitants,
the bulk of whom are Indians. These six towns are far apart, there are
few inhabitants between them, and these are nearly all Indians. Till
the railroad from Uyuni by Oruro to La Paz was made, communication was
very slow and difficult. Anyone can see what obstacles to economic and
political progress such conditions create.

The traveller who approaches La Paz from Lake Titicaca--and this has
been the usual route from the coast--rises slowly through the bare
hills amidst which Tiahuanaco stands till he emerges on an immense
level, stretching south to a distant horizon, and bounded on the west
by bare rolling mountains and on the east by the still loftier Eastern
Cordillera. Here in the bleakest spot imaginable, about 13,000 feet
above sea-level, the railway from Guaqui, the port on Titicaca, meets
the railway from Antofagasta, the Chilean port on the Pacific, four
hundred miles away to the south, and this is the point to which a third
railway is now converging, that which is being built to connect La Paz
with Arica on the Pacific, one hundred miles to the west. From this
point, called Viacha, the route turns eastward towards the Cordillera,
the line climbing slowly in wide sweeps over the dusty and shrubless
plateau on whose thin grass sheep are browsing. There is not a house
visible and the smooth slope seems to run right up against the mountain
wall beyond. Where can La Paz be? asks the traveller. Presently,
however, he perceives strings of llamas and donkeys and wayfarers on
foot moving along the slope towards a point where they all suddenly
vanish and are no more seen. Then a spot is reached where the railway
itself seems to end between a few sheds. He gets out and walks a few
yards to the east and then suddenly pulls up with a start on the edge
of a yawning abyss. Right beneath him, fifteen hundred feet below, a
grey, red-roofed city fills the bottom of a gorge and climbs up its
sides on both banks of the torrent that foams through it. Every street
and square, every yard and garden, is laid out under the eye as if on
a map, and one almost seems to hear the rattle of vehicles over stony
pavements coming faintly up through the thin air.

I had often heard La Paz described as lying in a deep rift of volcanic
origin, due to a sudden subsidence in the course of an eruption, or
perhaps to an earthquake. Such a hypothesis seemed natural in a land of
earthquakes and volcanoes. But there is no trace here of any volcanic
action, whether eruption or disruption. This _barranca_--it is the
Spanish name for such a hollow--has evidently been scooped out by the
action of water. The sloping plateau up which the railway rises from
Viacha is an immensely thick alluvial or lacustrine deposit of earth
and gravel, doubtless formed in the days when the whole region between
the Eastern and Western Cordilleras formed part of a far larger Lake
Titicaca. The torrent which comes down from the snows of the Cordillera
Real to the north has cut its way down through this deposit and thus
formed the "gulch," to use the word which, in western North America,
is appropriated to gorges hollowed out by streams. The sides of the
hollow are all of earth, extremely hard, and in many places almost
precipitous, but there is no rock, certainly no igneous rock, visible

How did so strange a site come to be chosen? Apparently in the first
instance because gold had been found in the earth along the river, and
the Spaniards set the Indians to wash it out for them. This industry
has long been abandoned; but the spot, first settled in or about 1548,
when the civil wars among the Conquistadores were ended by capture
and execution of Gonzalo Pizarro, and called Our Lady of Peace, was
recommended for continued occupation by its having a copious and
perennial stream, by its sheltered position, and by its standing at
the opening of a deep ravine through which a track leads down along
the banks of the river, into the forest country on the east. Through
this ravine it is supposed that Lake Titicaca formerly sent its surplus
waters to the Atlantic. No spot within many a mile is so well protected
from the fierce winds that sweep over the plateau. Up there nothing
will rise three feet from the ground. Down below flowers are grown and
trees can be coaxed up to give shade and put forth branches in which
birds can sing.

From the edge of the _barranca_--it is called the "Alto"--electric cars
descend into the city by a track which doubles hither and thither in
zigzags along the face of the almost precipitous declivity. The line
has been skilfully laid out, and as the cars are light and fitted with
powerful brakes, the descent is perfectly safe, steep as is the grade.
Such a railway is, of course, not capable of carrying heavy goods
traffic; but there is not, and may not for a long while be, any great
quantity of heavy traffic to carry. The new line, which is to connect
the city with the coast at Arica, is meant to have its terminal station
at the southern end of the _barranca_, where descent from above is
somewhat easier.

La Paz has the distinction of being the loftiest capital city in the
world, as it stands 12,470 feet above sea-level, more than 2000 feet
higher than Quito, and 5000 feet higher than Mexico. Lhasa in Tibet
comes next to it at 11,830 feet. The mean annual temperature is 50
degrees Fahrenheit. The keen air which this elevation gives has a fine,
bracing quality, yet there are disadvantages. One is never warm except
when actually in the sunlight, and there are no fires, indeed, hardly
any fireplaces, partly, no doubt, because there is nothing to burn,
the country being treeless and coal far distant. The inhabitants get
accustomed to these conditions and shiver in their ponchos, but the
traveller is rather wretched after sunset, and feels how natural was
Sun worship in such a country. So thin is the air that people with
weak hearts or narrow chests cannot live here. An attack of pneumonia
is rapidly fatal, because there is not enough oxygen to keep the lungs
going under stress, and the only chance for the patient is to hurry him
down to the coast by railway. Pressure on the breathing and palpitation
of the heart are the commonest symptoms of the _soroche_, or _puna_,
the so-called mountain sickness which prevails all over the plateau
at heights exceeding 10,000 feet, many persons suffering from it at
even lower levels. Less frequent symptoms are nausea and vomiting,
violent headache, and general disturbance of the digestive organs. Some
constitutions are, of course, much more liable to suffer than others
are, but all who come from the lowlands experience a difficulty in any
violent physical exertion, such as running uphill or lifting heavy
weights. We enquired before leaving the coast whether any remedies
or preventives could be applied, and were told that drugs were of
little or no use, the best prophylactic being to abstain from smoking,
from drinking, and from eating. I observed only the second of these
directions, but neither of us suffered in any way, not even at heights
exceeding 15,000 feet, save that it proved desirable in climbing hills
to walk more slowly than we were accustomed to do at home, and that,
when lying down in bed at night, we found ourselves drawing a few very
long and deep breaths before sleep came. English and North American
acquaintances in La Paz told us that to play single sets in lawn tennis
was too hard work, because the effort of getting quickly to different
corners of the court tried the lungs; and we heard of people who,
having come here for business purposes, found, after a few months,
that it was prudent to return to the coast for an interval of rest.
The native Indians, being to the manner born, seem to suffer from the
thinness of the air no more than they do from the cold, and in the days
of the Incas they performed extraordinary feats of swift running for
long distances.

The causes which make elevation above the sea affect our organs more on
some mountains than on others have never been fully ascertained. Sir M.
Conway thinks that the rarity of air is more felt in dry regions, as
here in the central Andes and in Colorado, where I personally remember
to have found it a greater hindrance to exertion at 8000 feet than on
the Alps at 15,000 feet. Others declare that it is more severe in moist
and rainy weather than in clear weather. One may venture to suggest
that it is more felt on a plateau or wide mass of lofty mountains than
on a narrow range where there is abundance of denser air just below,
which rises from the valley. This would explain why climbers suffer
so little from it in the Alps. Such experience as I have had on the
Himalayas and in America as well as on the North American ranges and in
Hawaii favours this view.

The lesson of slowing down one's pace in walking uphill is soon
learnt in La Paz, for, as it stands on very irregular ground, sloping
sharply on both sides to the stream which traverses it in a broad,
stony channel, all the streets are steep, except those that run along
the bottom of the valley parallel to the stream. All are very roughly
paved, so driving is no great pleasure till you get outside the town
upon one or two well-kept suburban avenues. Still less is riding, till
one has learnt to trust the experienced local animal to keep his feet
on the large, smooth cobblestones. In such a city, where there never
were rich people and no church had any special sanctity, one cannot
expect to find that charm, frequent in the old cities of Spain, which
arises from the variety of architectural detail in the buildings. Few
in La Paz bear an air of antiquity, few have anything picturesque in
gables or doors or windows. The same thing is true of the churches
also. Some have a more spacious interior than others, some a richer
façade, some statelier towers, but all are of the invariable late
sixteenth- and seventeenth-century type, with the same heavy and often
tawdry ornament in the nave and choir. The churches of the friars
have often more quality than the others; and here San Francisco with
its handsome front and elaborate reredos pleased us better than
the Cathedral. There are a few good houses, some of which tradition
allots to former governors, with galleries built round the _patio_
and gateways surmounted by armorial bearings, but the _patio_ is
cheerless, for it is apt to be a reservoir of chilled air. The central
Plaza, where one usually looks to find the best that a town can do,
is here quite small, but tastefully laid out. On one side of it are
the government offices, on another the seat of the legislature, not a
bad building, if it were not surmounted by a zinc spire. The markets
are the most interesting places, because here, as in the open-air
booths of the Plaza San Francisco and still more in the large covered
passages of the principal Mercado (much like an Oriental bazaar or
the Suk at Tunis), one sees not only the various fruits and roots and
grains, the scanty produce of the plateau and of the nearest warmer
valleys, together with such textile fabrics as native industry weaves
or embroiders, but also the natives themselves in all their variety of
costume. The Indian wears a felt hat, and the mestizo (half-breed), who
belongs to a higher social stratum, a straw one. The former has always,
the latter often, a woollen poncho, brightly coloured, over his rough
and dirty cotton shirt and short, loose trousers. The white man, or the
mestizo of the upper class who considers himself to be white, wears a
European cloth coat, and usually for warmth's sake a cloak or overcoat
above it; this is the distinctive note of social pretension. The native
women are gorgeous in brilliantly coloured woollen petticoats, very
heavy and very numerous. Orange and pink are the favourite colours.
Strong and solidly built as these Indian women are, one wonders how
their waists can support the weight of three, four, or even five of
these thick pieces of closely woven cloth.

Thus, though there is not much for the tourist to see or do, nor
for the art student to admire, still La Paz is a picturesque place,
with a character so peculiar that it makes for itself a niche in the
memory and stays there, as being unlike any other place. The strange
irregularity of the steep, rough streets with cliffs of brown earth
standing up at the ends of them, the brawling torrent, the wild-looking
Indians in their particoloured dresses, the flocks of graceful
llamas with their long, curved necks and liquid, wondering eyes, the
extraordinary situation of the city in this deep pit, deep but not
dark, for the vertical sun blazes into it all day long; and, above all,
the magnificent snowy mass of Illimani, towering into the sapphire blue
sky with glaciers that seem to hang over the city though they are forty
miles away, its three pinnacles of snow turning to a vivid rose under
the departing sun,--all these together make La Paz a fascinating spot,
one of those which flash quickly and vividly before the mind when you
think of them.

The outskirts of the city, too bare and stern for beauty, have a weird
grimness which approaches grandeur. A pretty avenue between rows of
_Eucalyptus_, the only tree that seems to thrive here, and which stands
the frost better than it does in England, perhaps because Bolivia has a
dry air and a strong sun which more nearly reproduce the conditions of
its Australian home, leads to a public park whence a splendid view of
the surrounding heights and down the valley is obtained. The precipices
of hard earth that enclose it have been here and there broken up into
lofty earth pyramids like those which one sees near Botzen in Tyrol,
and have doubtless been formed, like those, by the action of rain upon
the softer parts of the cliff. Behind the eastern earth wall rise the
spurs and buttresses of the Cordillera, wild, bare glens running up to
the watershed of the chain, across the head of one of which is the pass
which leads down into the forest _Montaña_. It reminded me of some of
the recesses among the Noric Alps behind Gastein, but was on a vaster
scale, and more gloomy, as Andean landscapes usually are. Quitting
the city on another side, I rode southward for some seven or eight
miles along the road which leads down the gorge, by a long and devious
course, through the heart of the Eastern Cordillera under the southern
flanks of Illimani, into the land of gold and rubber, of alligators
and jaguars. In the sheltered nooks at the lower end of the town there
were gardens full of bamboos and flowering shrubs, and one met strings
of llamas, mules, and donkeys coming up the road, laden with tropical
fruits and other products of the Yungas, as this region is called.
Farther down the scenery was stern and harsh, with great rock-masses,
crowning slopes that rose steeply three or four thousand feet above the
valley, but here and there where there was room for cultivation beside
the river, a patch of bright green alfalfa relieved its monotony of
brown and black--a weird country, with these sharp contrasts of heat
and cold, of verdure and sterility. The air was already warm, and after
thirty miles, one comes into the rains and the insects and the fevers
of the tropics.

Within the city there is little for a visitor to do except wander
through the market and buy rugs made of the deliciously soft and warm
wool of the vicuña, the finest and costliest of Andean skins. Neither
is there much to see except the museum, which contains an interesting
collection of minerals, specimens of woods, stuffed animals, and all
sorts of curiosities, such as Indian weapons and various kinds of
handiwork. As the rooms are far too small for their contents, these
are not seen to advantage. The gentleman who seems to have the chief
share in the management (Señor Ballivian) is a historical scholar and
archæologist of high repute, belonging to one of the old families of
La Paz. Such accomplishments are not common in Bolivia, yet there are
few countries which offer a wider and more attractive field to the
naturalist and to the student of ethnology.

The legislature being in session, I was invited to be present at its
sittings. Both houses are small in number and are composed chiefly of
lawyers, as, indeed, are most South American legislative bodies, law
being the occupation which naturally leads to and comports with the
profession of politics. On this particular occasion the proceedings
were unexciting and the speeches conversational in tone. Members speak
sitting, a practice which, though general in these republics, seems ill
adapted for displays of that sonorous eloquence which belongs to the
Spanish-American temperament. Among the eminent citizens whom it was my
good fortune to meet none impressed me more than the veteran General
Pando, who has been president of the republic and might have been so
again, had not his patriotism made him prefer to devote his energies to
the organization of the Bolivian army, the smallness of which makes its
efficiency all the more needful. Nobody in the country is more widely
respected and trusted.

There is a handful of foreign residents, German business men, English
and North American railway men, a pleasant little society. The best
school is said to be that conducted by a North American mission, which,
however, devotes itself to education and not to proselytizing. Children
of good Roman Catholic families attend it.

That the educated residents of Spanish stock should be few is not
surprising when one realizes that La Paz is really an Indian city.
Aymará is the language commonly spoken by three-fourths or more of its
inhabitants. It has probably a larger aboriginal population than any
other city in the New World, though the percentage of Indians may be
somewhat greater in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. This may be a
fitting place to give a brief account of their present condition, since
of what they seem to have been before the Conquest something has been
said in the last preceding chapter.

Though the bulk of the inhabitants of La Paz and Cuzco are Indians,
the larger Andean towns are generally Spanish in appearance, and it is
in the rural districts that the Indian is best seen and understood. He
is essentially an agriculturist. Nearly all the land except in some
coast plantations where a little Chinese or negro labour is employed
is cultivated by the Indian, and all the llamas and sheep are herded
by him. There is, indeed, no other industry by which a living can be
made, except mining, for no factories on a large scale yet exist in
these countries. Attached to the land, and dwelling usually in small
villages which, save in fertile tracts like the Vilcamayu Valley, are
seldom near together, the Indian has retained the beliefs and habits of
his forefathers more than even the peasantry of Russia or the Turkish
dominions. His primitive organization, the ayllu or clan, composed,
like the Roman gens, or perhaps rather like a Greek phratry, of persons
who traced their descent to a supposed common ancestor, still subsists
in Bolivia, though it has of late years been interfered with by a
new kind of grouping, that of the tenants or labourers on the same
_finca_ (landed estate). A number of _ayllus_ made up a tribe, but
this division has lost its importance since the _cacique_ or chief
of ancient times vanished. In every Indian agricultural community
there are two officials. One is the _Ilacata_, whose functions are
administrative, including the division of the land each year between
the persons who are to till it and the receipt of the crops from
common land, and the supervision of common labour. The other is the
_Alcalde_, who combines executive and judicial powers, maintaining
order, deciding petty disputes, and leading in fighting if the need for
fighting should arise. The peasant, though legally free, practically
goes with the estate, and though legally a voter, practically does not
vote, the government being kind enough to relieve the rural citizens,
and frequently the urban ones also, from a duty which few of them
are qualified to discharge. They are in some places oppressed by the
landowners,--that one must expect where there is a great difference
of race and capacity,--yet much less than in colonial days, for there
have been Indian risings, and firearms are more largely in their hands
than formerly. They so preponderate in numbers that any movement which
united them against the upper class might, could they find a leader,
have serious consequences. Thus the fear of trouble restrains the
excesses of power. Those who have land of their own are said to fare as
ill at the hands of the lawyer and money-lender as any tenant could do
at those of a landlord.

Scarcely any are educated. In Titicaca Island, with a population of
about three hundred, there was a few years ago only one man who could
read. In all Bolivia only 30,000 children were in the schools out of
a population of 2,000,000. The sparseness of the population makes
the provision of instruction difficult; nor do the aborigines seem
to care for education, being so far satisfied with their lot as to
have no notion of other pleasures than those which their fairs and
festivals supply, and those derived from the use of alcohol at these
festivals, and at all times of the coca leaf, which is for an Indian
the first necessity of life. He is never without his bag containing
a bundle of leaves, which he masticates (usually with a little clay)
while walking or working, finding in them a support which enables him
to endure fatigue without food for long periods. The leaf when chewed
is tasteless, and whether taken thus or in a decoction produces no
directly pleasurable feeling of stimulus. I have experimented with it
in both forms without being able to discover any result except that of
arresting hunger. Taken by chewing the leaf, as the Indians take it,
it cannot have the highly deleterious effects of cocaine, which is a
concentrated essence; indeed, if it had those effects, the aborigines
of the plateau must have been long ago ruined by it.[41] Possibly
there is something in the physical conditions of their life rendering
it comparatively or altogether innocuous. It does not seem to be much
used by the whites, nor in the lowlands by any class of the population.
Perhaps, therefore, it is "indicated" in the mild form of a chewed
leaf, as a stimulant suitable to those who take continuous exertion at
great altitudes.

What has been said here refers generally to the aborigines of the
high Andean regions, but there are two great divisions of them, the
characteristics of which are not altogether the same. In very early
times there were probably many diverse tribes, and every valley spoke
a language, or at least a dialect, of its own. This is still the case
in the Montaña region (the forests at the east foot of the Andes),
where adjoining tribes are sometimes wholly unlike one another in
speech and aspect. The conquests of the Incas, with their levelling
and unifying rule, effaced most of these distinctions. There was a
tongue called Mochica spoken by the coast people of Chimu, the race
to whose artistic talent reference was made in last chapter, which
seems to have been quite unlike the speech of the plateau. It is now
extinct, but a grammar, made by a learned ecclesiastic, has fortunately
survived. There is also another distinct tongue which remains among a
half-savage tribe called the Urus, who dwell, now very few in number,
among the rushy lagoons on the Desaguadero River, near the southwest
end of Lake Titicaca. With these exceptions, the Spaniards seem to have
found on their arrival only two forms of speech prevailing over Peru,
corresponding to two racial divisions, the Quichuas to which the Incas
apparently belonged, and the Aymarás. The latter held all the Collao,
_i.e._ the country round Titicaca, and south of it round La Paz. The
former occupied the northern valleys of Peru and the coast regions
south of Lima, and a part of what is now southern Bolivia around Oruro
and Uyuni. As these two languages are of the same type, it is generally
held that the Quichua and Aymará races are cognate. Those who know both
declare that the Quichuas are the gentler and the less forcible. The
Aymarás, by the testimony of European as well as Peruvian observers,
are ruder in manners, more sullen and vindictive in disposition. Both
races are alike secretive and suspicious of the whites, and for this
sentiment they have had good reason. The impressions of a passing
traveller are of no value, but it seemed to me, in noting the faces and
deportment of the Indians whom we saw, that while both races had less
intelligence and rather less look of personal dignity than the Indians
of Mexico, the Aymarás seemed both a more dogged and a less cheerful
race than the Quichuas. We might, perhaps, expect to find little
buoyancy of spirit in those to whom Nature turns on this wind-swept
roof of the world so stern a countenance. Yet the Icelander, whose
far-distant isle is surrounded by a melancholy ocean, is of a lively
and cheerful temper.

Both Quichuas and Aymarás have that remarkable impassiveness and
detachment which belongs to all the American peoples and which in
the Old World one finds only in some of the East Asiatic races. With
plenty of stability, they lack initiative. They make steady soldiers,
and fight well under white, or mestizo, leaders, but one seldom hears
of a pure Indian accomplishing anything or rising either through war
or politics, or in any profession, above the level of his class. The
Mexican Juarez, the conqueror of Maximilian and of the priesthood, was
a pure-blooded Indian. Since the days of the Araucanian chiefs Lautaro
and Caupolican, South America has shewn no native quite equal to him.
Curiosity and ambition are alike wanting to the race. Though one sees
plenty of Indian blood in Peruvians and Bolivians of eminence, so that
there must have been formerly much racial intermixture, and though
there is practically no social distinction (except in three or four
cities) between the white and the educated mestizo, intermarriage
between pure Indians and pure Europeans is very uncommon.

The Indian of the plateau is still only a half-civilized man and
less than half a Christian. He retains his primeval Nature worship,
which groups together the spirits that dwell in mountains, rivers,
and rocks with the spirits of ancestors, revering and propitiating
all as _Achachilas_. In the same ceremony his medicine man invokes
the Christian "_Dios_" to favour the building of a house, or whatever
enterprise he undertakes, and simultaneously invokes the Achachilas,
propitiating them also by offerings, the gift made to the Earth Spirit
being buried in the soil.[42] Similarly he retains the ceremonial
dances of heathendom and has secret dancing guilds, of whose mysteries
the white man can learn nothing. His morality is what it was, in
theory and practice, four centuries ago. He neither loves nor hates,
but fears, the white man, and the white man neither loves nor hates,
but despises him, there being some fear, at least in Bolivia, mingled
with the contempt. They are held together neither by social relations
nor by political, but by the need which the white landowner has for
the Indian's labour and by the power of long habit which has made the
Indian acquiesce in his subjection as a rent payer. Neither of them
ever refers to the Conquest. The white man does not honour the memory
of Pizarro; to the Indian the story is too dim and distant to affect
his mind. Nor is it the least remarkable feature of the situation that
the mestizo, or half-breed, forms no link between the races. He prefers
to speak Spanish which the Indian rarely understands. He is held to
belong to the upper race, which is, for social and political purposes,
though not by right of numbers, the Peruvian (or Bolivian) nation.

In no capital city have I felt so far removed from the great world,
the European and Asiatic and North American parts of which are now
so closely linked together, as here in La Paz. There may probably be
an equal sense of isolation in Quito and Bogotá, there can hardly
be a stronger one. To be enclosed between two lofty ranges and two
deserts, to live at the bottom of a hole and yet be nearly as high
above sea-level as the top of the Rocky Mountains or the Jungfrau are
strange conditions for a dwelling place. Nevertheless it was a place
in which one might do much meditation, for new sensations awaken new
thoughts, and solitude helps one to pursue them. So it was with regret
for everything except its climate that we quitted La Paz early one
morning to resume our southward journey, bidding a long farewell to
the _Achachila_[43] of the majestic Illimani, to which we had offered
orisons of admiration in each dawning and each departing light. After
we had climbed to the rim of the _Barranca_ in the electric car, an
hour's run on the steam railroad carried us across the open plateau
to Viacha, whence one route leads to Titicaca and over the lake to
Mollendo, and another, now in construction, will in 1913 be ready to
carry passengers down through the great Western Cordillera to the
Pacific at Arica.[44] As this will be hereafter the most direct way of
reaching La Paz from the coast, Viacha may some day be an important
railroad centre, like Crewe or Chicago or Cologne. At present it
is inexpressibly bleak and dreary, standing alone on a dusty and
treeless waste. But the traveller of the future who has to wait here
to "make his connections" will, while he paces up and down enquiring
how much the incoming train is behind time, be able to feast his
eyes on the incomparable view of the great Cordillera Real, piercing
the northeastern sky, and here ending towards the south in the snowy
pyramid of Huayna Potosi, round whose flanks gather the clouds that
rise from the moist eastern forests sixteen thousand feet below.

At Viacha we entered the cars of the Antofagasta and Bolivia railroad,
owned by an enterprising English company, and moved off to the south
across a wide undulating plain which seemed an arid waste, but turned
out to be pastured upon by flocks of sheep and llamas. Dry as the
ground looked,--it was the end of September, when the summer showers
were just beginning,--there was feed to be had and a few brooks here
and there supplied drink. Some of those ancient round buildings of
unmortared stone which the natives call _Chulpas_ and which seem to
have served as tombs rather than shrines were to be seen. Here and
there were villages, clusters of rude mud huts, sometimes with a bare,
ugly church far too large for the place, and probably owing its size to
the zeal of some seventeenth-century Jesuit or Augustinian. At first
low, brown mountains cut off to the west the view of that Western
Cordillera through which the Arica line is making its difficult way,
but presently they subside, and one sees far off across the plain a
group of magnificent snowy peaks, apparently, from their shape and
their isolation, ancient volcanoes. Sahama, the highest, a pyramidal
cone of beautiful proportions, seemed, from the amount of snow it
carried, to be not less than 21,000 feet high. It has never yet been
ascended. In this western range the snow line is higher than it is in
the Eastern Cordillera because the latter receives more moisture. To
the northeast the great Cordillera Real which one admires from Titicaca
has now disappeared behind the low ridges crossing the plain, and
Illimani is seen only now and then overtopping the nearer hills. On
the east, however, farther south than Illimani, a new line of snows
comes into view, distant, perhaps, nearly a hundred miles and doubtless
forming part of the Eastern Cordillera. On each side there stretches
out a wide plain, but in one place the line runs for some miles through
a range of hills of black (apparently volcanic) rock, following the
course of a stream which presently wanders off to the west and is there
lost, swallowed up in marshes. Besides the tufts of coarse bunch grass
and a few low shrubs, there is still in the moister spots some little
pasture,--it is astonishing how llamas can find something to eat on
what seems bare ground,--but the land grows more and more sterile as
the line continues southward. Presently the Indian villages cease; and
great flats are seen to the west which are covered by water in the wet
season. At last a group of high, brown hills marks the site of Oruro,
an old and famous mining town, one of whose mines, which has been
worked for hundreds of years, formerly stood second only to Potosi in
its output of silver. Copper and tin as well as silver are worked in
the hills, and on mining depends the prosperity of the town, which
has now some twenty thousand inhabitants. The long, straight streets
of mean one-story adobe houses, covered with plaster, with only a few
better residences where the business men and foreign mining people
live, give little idea of the former importance of the place, but there
is a large and rather handsome Plaza wherein stand the government
buildings and a well-built arcade containing good shops. Beside the big
church are two enormous bells, of which the city has long been proud,
but which have to stand on the ground because too heavy for the little
erection on the church roof on which the bells in daily use are hung.
To the east, beyond a barren flat some eight or ten miles wide, a range
of hills bounds the plateau, and beyond them the ground falls towards
the Argentine frontier, so that within a day or two's riding one can
get off this dry land of scorching days and freezing nights down into
soft moist air and tall trees.

Oruro used to be the end of the railway which came up hither from the
Pacific coast, and from here southward the gauge is of only two feet
and a half. It is, however, to be widened, for traffic is increasing,
and the company prosperous.

Next to the Germans, the most ubiquitous people in the world are the
Aberdonians, so I was scarcely surprised to meet one here in the person
of the principal doctor of the place, who, when we had talked about our
friends on the banks of the far-distant Dee, gave me much information
regarding the health conditions of Bolivia. He described Oruro as a
more agreeable place of residence than its rather dreary externals
promised. There was some agreeable society, for mining, which does
not improve the quality of the working population, usually draws to a
place a number of men of superior ability and sometimes of scientific
attainments. Here, as elsewhere in Bolivia, foreigners, including
some Chileans, own the mines, while business is chiefly in the hands
of Germans. Manual labour is done by Indians (here speaking Quichua),
whose number does not increase, because, although the families are
large, the mortality among their children is very high, or else by
half-breeds, here usually called _Cholos_, who would be good workers,
were they not addicted to the use of the horrible spirits that are too
easily procurable. There are, however, also some Chilean half-breeds
and some English-speaking men, brought for the higher kinds of work.

About twenty miles away to the south is the great lagoon called
Aullagas or Poopo,--the names are taken from villages on its
shores,--which is fed by the river Desaguadero. This singular lake,
which has the interest of a vanishing quantity, is fifty-three miles
long by twenty-four broad, is nowhere more than nine feet deep and
mostly less than five, is salt, turbid, with a bottom of dark mud, and
full of fish too small to be worth catching. Like those of Titicaca
they belong to species found nowhere else. Having so small a volume in
proportion to the surface area which it exposes to a strong sun and an
intensely dry air, it loses by evaporation all the water it receives by
the river from Titicaca and probably a little more, for it seems to be
now shrinking. When Titicaca, itself probably subsiding, has still less
to give, Poopo will disappear altogether, and this plain will become a
sheet of glittering salt.[45]

As one pursues the journey farther south, the country becomes always
more arid, and at Uyuni, the next town of consequence, it is a
veritable desert where only the smallest stunted shrubs are seen
among the sand and stones. This uninhabited region will soon be a
converging point of railroads, for it is here that the existing line
from La Paz to the Pacific coast at Antofagasta is to be joined by
the new railway which is to be constructed to provide a quick through
route from central Bolivia to the Atlantic coast at Buenos Aires. Its
completion from Uyuni to Tupiza near the Argentine border is expected
by 1916, and when the link has been made, there will be a complete
railway connection across the Continent from the River Plate to the
Pacific at Arica. Bolivia has hitherto suffered greatly from the want
of communications, so when La Paz has been brought within twenty-four
hours of the one ocean at Arica and within seventy-two or eighty hours
of the other at Buenos Aires, a great impetus ought to be given to her
export trade. This lofty and desert part of Bolivia finds its only
source of wealth in minerals. The Western Cordillera is especially
rich in copper and silver, the Eastern in gold and tin. One-third of
all the world's production of tin now comes from Bolivia. Besides the
silver found in various places,--the great silver mountain is still
worked at Potosi,--the eastern spurs of the Peruvian and Bolivian
Andes are believed to contain plenty of gold, which would be extracted
from the gravels, perhaps from rock reefs also, much more extensively,
but for the extreme difficulty of conveying mine machinery across the
mountains down abrupt slopes and through trackless forests. It was from
these East Andean regions that the Incas obtained those vast stores
of gold which excited the cupidity of the Spaniards. Pizarro got from
Atahuallpa a quantity roughly estimated at £3,000,000 ($15,000,000)
on a promise that the Inca's life would be spared,--a promise broken
as soon as most of the gold had been delivered. Yet the contemporary
Spanish annalists declare that what the Spaniards laid their hands upon
first and last in the days of the Conquest was much less than what the
Indians buried or threw into the lakes when they could no longer guard
it. Great, however, as is the mineral wealth of the Bolivian highlands,
it is less on them, than on the development of the agricultural and
pastoral resources of the eastern part of the republic that future
prosperity must in the long run depend. Mines are a transitory source
of wealth; they enrich the foreign capitalist rather than the nation
itself; they do not help to build up an intelligent and settled body of
responsible citizens.

It is not solely for the sake of industry and commerce that Bolivia may
welcome the advent of railways. She is the least naturally cohesive
and in some ways the least nationally united of South American
states. Europeans and North Americans hear but little about her, and
underestimate the difficulties she has had to contend with. Imagine a
country as big as the German and Austrian dominions put together, with
a population less than that of Denmark, four-fifths of it consisting
of semicivilized or uncivilized Indians, and the few educated men of
European or mixed stock scattered here and there in half a dozen towns,
none of which has more than a small number of capable citizens of that
stock. An energetic monarch with a small but efficient and mobile army
might rule such a country, but it offers obvious difficulties to the
smooth working of a republican government, for one of the essentials to
such a government is that the minority of competent citizens, be they
many or few, should be in easy communication with one another, capable
of understanding one another and of creating a public opinion. This has
hitherto been difficult, owing to the want of railways, for Santa Cruz,
Cochabamba, and Sucre (Chuquisaca) have all been a many days' journey
from one another and from La Paz. These towns know little of one
another and are mutually jealous. The old Spanish-colonial element in
them regards with disfavour the larger but more Indian La Paz. Sucre is
made the legal capital, but neither it nor any other city has both the
size and the central position that would qualify to act as a unifying
force. There is hardly any immigration, and little natural increase of
population, so the vacant spaces do not fill up, even where they are
habitable. Anything, therefore, that will help both to increase the
material prosperity of Bolivia and to draw its people together will be
a political benefit.

Besides the railway which is to run from Uyuni to Buenos Aires, five
other lines through the High Andes are likely to be constructed. One
is to connect Cuzco with the existing railway from Lima to Oroya, a
wonderful line, which reaches a height of 15,600 feet. A second will
continue that line eastward to the Ucayali River. A third is also to
cross the Eastern Cordillera from Tirapata (north of Lake Titicaca) to
the river Madre de Dios. A fourth will run from La Paz down the canyon
of its torrent to the river Beni. A fifth will connect Potosi with a
port upon the Paraguay River via Sucre and Santa Cruz. The opening
of these communications must accelerate the development of Peru and

Uyuni is smaller than Oruro, and even less attractive. It has an
enormous empty plaza and four wide streets of mud houses. Standing at
12,500 feet above sea-level, in a dry and cloudless air, where the
radiation of heat is great the moment the sun goes down, we found
the later hours of night so cold that the water froze inside our
sleeping car, while the heat of the day, reflected from the desert
floor, is no less intense. There is a famous mine at Pulucayo, in the
eastern mountain range,--some ten miles distant from Uyuni and fifteen
hundred feet above the town. We mounted to it by a little railway and
were struck by the appearance of vegetation when we had risen some
hundreds of feet above the torrid plain. Conspicuous was a cactus-like
plant, with white, silky hairs, lifting its prickly fingers ten feet
up, and ending in clusters of brilliant crimson blossoms. The staff
of the French company who work the mine received us hospitably and
explained the processes of extraction and the way in which electricity
is applied to do the work. Silver, copper, zinc, lead, and iron are
all found associated here; and shafts one thousand feet deep are sunk
from the long galleries, driven far into the mountain, one of which
goes right through to Huanchaca on the other side. A town of six or
seven thousand people has grown up, to accommodate the labourers, all
Indians or _Cholos_.[46] A church and school and tiny theatre have been
built for them, and as their hardy frames can support the cold and the
thin air, they seem cheerful and contented. The contrast between the
refined appliances of modern science and the rudeness of semicivilized
man never seemed sharper than when one saw this machinery and these

From this height of about fourteen thousand feet one could look for
more than a hundred miles over the desert,--and such a desert! Many of
us can remember the awe and mystery which the word Wilderness in the
Old Testament used to call up in a child's mind. When a boy reads of
the Desert of Sahara, he pictures it as terrible and deathful. After he
has grown up and travelled outside Europe, the only continent that has
no wildernesses, and has seen the deserts on either side of Egypt, or
the Kalahari in South Africa, or the deserts of India, or Arizona, or
Iceland, he comes to realize that a large part of the earth's surface
is desert, and that deserts, if awful, can have also a beauty and even
a charm of their own.[47] This may not seem to the practical mind to be
a sufficient final cause for their existence, but that is a side issue,
and philosophy has, since Bacon's time, ceased to enquire into final
causes. Of the deserts I have named, those of northern Arizona are
perhaps the most beautiful, but this high plateau of southern Bolivia,
while very different, is not less impressive.

Right in the midst lay a sparkling plain of white. It was a huge salt
marsh, on which the salt crystals shone like silver, for at this season
it looks dry, though soft enough to engulf and entomb in its bottomless
depths of mud any misguided wayfarer who may attempt to cross it.
Beyond it to the northwest and north the waste of sand stretched out
to the horizon, while southwest and south long ranges of serrated
mountains ran hither and thither across the vast expanse, as if they
had been moulded on a relief map, so sharp and so near did they seem to
lie, though fifty miles away. Some were capped or streaked with snow,
indicating in this arid land a height of seventeen thousand feet.

The splendour of such a view consists not only in the sensuous pleasure
which the eye derives from the range of delicate tints and from the
fine definition of mountain forms, hardly less various in their lines
than they are in their colours, but even more in the impression which
is made on the imagination. The immensity and complexity of this nature
speak of the vast scale on which natural forces work and of the immense
spaces of time which their work has occupied.

Returning to the railway at Uyuni, we set off in the afternoon on our
southward way across the desert floor, here perfectly flat and about
12,000 feet above the sea. A deep red soil promised fertility if water
could be brought to it, but there was not a tree nor a house, though
many a mirage shewed shining water pools and trees around them. Rocky
hillocks rising here and there like islands strengthened the impression
that this had been in some earlier age the bed of a great inland sea,
larger than Lake Superior in North America, stretching from here all
the way to the Vilcañota peaks north of Titicaca, and including,
besides Titicaca itself, the salt lagoon of Poopo and the white salt
marsh we had seen from the heights of Pulucayo. Subterranean forces
which, as we know, have been recently at work all over these regions,
may have altered the levels, and alterations of level may, in their
turn, have induced climatic changes, which, by reducing rainfall,
caused the inland sea to dry up, as the Great Salt Lake of Utah and the
Aral Sea are drying up now. Looking eastward, we could see heavy clouds
brooding over the eastern ranges, which shewed that beyond it lay
valleys, watered by the rains which the trade-wind brings up from the
far-distant Atlantic. Presently the sweetest hour of the day came as
the grey sternness of the heights to the south softened into lilac, and
a pale yellow sunset, such as only deserts see, flooded the plain with
radiance. The night was intensely cold, and next morning, even at eight
o'clock, the earth was frozen hard in the deep, dark hollow where the
train had halted.

We were now just inside the Chilean frontier, in the heart of the
Western Cordillera, among some of the loftiest volcanic mountains of
the Continent. On one side a branch line of railway, the highest in
the world, begins its long climb to the Collahuasi copper mine. On the
other side, there rose above us the huge black mass of Ollague,[48]
snow patches on its southern side and steam rising in wreaths from
a cleft not far below the summit. We guessed the height at 19,000
feet. The Collahuasi mine is nearly 16,000. Beside us was what seemed
a frozen lake, which glittered white when the welcome sun began to
overtop the heights and warm our shivering bodies. Although the height
is only 12,200 feet, this is a particularly cold spot, and the one
place on the line which is liable to severe snowstorms. We had reached
the smaller of the two famous lakes of borax, parts of which are
water holding borax in solution, while the rest is mud covered with
the valuable substance. They have neither influent nor outlet. This
place, and a similar lake in Peru, not far from Arequipa, furnish the
world with a large part of its supply, the rest coming from California
and Siberia and Tibet, where the conditions of a rainlessness that
keeps the deposit from being washed away out of the soil are somewhat
similar. Presently we reached the larger lake, which is twelve miles
long and two to five wide, and stopped to see the method of gathering
and preparing the mineral. One end of the (so-called) lake is dry, a
thin stratum of whitish earth covering the bed of borax, which is about
three feet thick. When dug out, the mineral is spread out on the ground
round the works to dry, and then calcined in furnaces, forming a white
mass of crystals, which are packed in sacks and sent down to the coast
to be shipped to Europe and there turned into the borax of commerce.
A large number of labourers are employed in this lonely and cheerless
spot fifty miles from the nearest village. When I asked what fuel was
used for the furnaces, they pointed to a long wire cable stretched
through the air from the works to a point high on the mountain side
opposite Ollague. Down this rope small cars were travelling, containing
masses of a kind of very hard, stiff plant with whitish flowers so
inconspicuous that it is usually taken for a sort of moss.[49] It
grows abundantly on the slopes between eight and fourteen thousand
feet, and its thick hard cushions have to be cut out with a pickaxe.
Being very resinous, it burns with a fierce flame, but so quickly that
large masses must be constantly thrown in to keep the fire going.
Hardly anything else grows on the mountains, but they are inhabited by
the little chinchilla, whose light grey fur, exquisitely soft, fetches
a high price in Europe.

From this point onward the scenery is of incomparable grandeur. I doubt
if there be any other spot in the Andes where the sternness and terror
that surround the volcano are equally felt. The railway skirts the
borax lake and then rises slowly along a ledge above it, whence one
looks down on its still surface, where patches of whitish green open
water reflect the crags and snows of the peaks that tower above. The
deep, dark valley so winds and turns that it is in some places hard
to guess where the exit lies. Above it stands a line of volcanoes,
seventeen to nineteen thousand feet high. Their tops are of black rock,
their faces, from which here and there black crags project, are slopes
of ash and cinders, shewing those strange and gruesome contrasts of
colour which are often seen in the mineral world when vegetation and
the atmosphere have not had time to tell upon them. In some of these
peaks one whole side of the crater seems to have been blown out by an
explosion, laying bare the farther wall of the hollow, for the colours
are just such as are seen in craters like those of Etna and Hekla,
though here more vivid, because here there is so little rain to wash
off their brightness. One such breached crater, forming the face of
what is called (from the variety of its tints) the Garden Mountain,
displays almost every colour of the spectrum, bright yellow and orange,
pink and purple, and a brick red passing into dark brown. A ridge that
stands out on its face shews on one declivity a yellowish white and
on the other a brilliant crimson. But the intensity of these colours
heightens rather than reduces the sombre gloom of the landscape. One
seems admitted to view an abandoned laboratory of Nature, in which
furnaces, now extinct or smouldering low, fused the lavas and generated
the steam that raised them to the crater's edge and sent them forth in
fiery streams. Where there is now a deathlike silence, flames lit up
the darkness of the clouds of ash that rose with the gushing steam, and
masses of red-hot rock were hurled to heaven while explosions shook the
earth beneath.

In the middle of this narrow pathway which leads through the purple
depths of the Cordillera we reach at Ascotan the top of the pass,
13,000 feet above sea-level, whence the valley, turning to the
northwest, begins to descend towards the Pacific. The majestic portal
through which one looks out into the western desert is guarded by two
tall volcanoes standing side by side, St. Peter and St. Paul. The
latter has been long extinct, but San Pedro still smokes or steams from
its summit. A red hill near its foot has in quite recent times poured
forth from its crater a vast lava stream through which the railway
passes in a cutting, and which, splitting itself wherever it met a
natural obstruction, has sent its long black tongues far down into the
valley of the Loa River. For here, after hundreds of miles, one comes
again upon a river. Behind the mass of San Pedro fountains fed by its
snow break forth from the ground and come down into a clear green
stream which has cut its way through the rock in a splendid cañon,
across which the line is carried. The river has been turned to account
by building several large reservoirs, whence pipes have been laid
to the coast, supplying not only the nitrate fields below (of which
I shall speak presently), but also the seaports of Antofagasta and
Megillones one hundred and forty miles away, all these regions being
without brook or spring.

Here we emerged from the mountains into broad sunshine and saw in
front of us long ridges falling away, one behind the other, towards
the still distant Pacific. Rattling rapidly down the incline, past
junctions whence branch lines climb to mines high among the hills,
we came at last to Calama, the first Chilean village, where rivulets
drawn from the Loa make an oasis of bright green corn and alfalfa and
support a few shrubs that gladden the wilderness. Evening is always the
pleasantest time in the tropics, and it is most so in a desert, when,
instead of the hard afternoon glare, gentle lights begin to fall upon
rocks and earth and make their dryness luminous. It was our fortune
to have at this best hour of the day a distant view of the Andes, as
lovely as the landscapes through which we had passed were awesome. We
were now some way west of the chain, and could see it running in a
long serrated line from San Pedro southward. This line is the Western
Cordillera, which from here all the way to the Straits of Magellan
is the main Andean axis, rising over, and apparently created by, the
great telluric fissure along which the eruptive forces have acted.
Nearest and grandest were the massive cones of San Pedro and San Pablo;
and from them the line of snows could in this clear and lucent air be
traced without a break, peak rising beyond peak, till ninety miles away
it sank beneath the horizon.

Seen close at hand, as we saw Ollague and the other volcanoes that rose
above the borax lake, these mountains would be grim and terrible as
those were, their slopes a chaos of tumbled rocks and brown cinders and
long slides of crumbling ash, telling of the ruthless forces of Nature
that had been at work. But seen afar off they were perfect in their
beauty, with an exquisite variety of graceful forms, their precipices
purple, and their snow crowns rosy in the level light of sunset. So
Time seems to soften the horrors and sorrows of the Past as it recedes,
and things which to those who lived among them were terrible and to
those who had lived through them were fit only to be forgotten, become
romantic to men of later generations, a theme for poets or painters,
and glories for orators to recall.

Just where the range is lost to sight in the far south it forms the
western wall of the great Desert of Atacama, long a name of terror
to the Spaniards. Not often in these countries does one find natural
objects associated with events important enough to figure in history.
But it was in the dreary and waterless wastes of this desert that
Almagro, first the friend and partner, then the rival and enemy,
and at last the victim, of Pizarro, lost half his men and nearly
perished himself in his march into Chile from Peru through what is now
northern Argentina. The enterprise was one amazing even in that age of
adventure, for Almagro's force was small, there was no possibility of
succour, and he went into a land utterly unknown, a land of deserts
and mountains. But it was an unlucky enterprise. The tribes of Chile
were fiercer than those of Peru; he had gone beyond the regions of
civilization and of gold, and returned an empty-handed conqueror.



Except Egypt, there is not in the world a country so strangely formed
as Chile. Egypt is seven hundred miles long and nowhere save in the
Delta more than twelve miles wide. Chile is nearly three thousand
miles in length, nowhere more than one hundred and thirty miles wide
and for most of her length much narrower. Even Norway, whose shape and
sea-front best resemble those of Chile, has but fifteen hundred miles
of coast and has, in her south part, two hundred and fifty miles of
width. Much of the Chilean territory is a barren desert; much that is
not desert is in fact uninhabited. Over large tracts the population
is extremely thin. Yet Chile is the most united and the most ardently
national in sentiment among all the Spanish-American countries.

Nor is Chile any more singular in the shape of her territory than in
her physical conditions also. On the east she is bounded all the way
down to Magellan's Straits by the Cordillera of the Andes, the height
of whose summits averages in the northern regions from fourteen to
twenty thousand feet and in the southern from five to nine thousand,
some few peaks exceeding these heights. Parallel to the Cordillera,
and geologically much older, there runs along the coast a range
averaging from two to three thousand feet, between the foot of which
and the ocean there is practically no level ground. The space between
this coast range and the Cordillera is a long depression from twenty
to thirty miles wide, sometimes hilly, sometimes spreading out into
plains, yet everywhere so narrow that both the Coast Range on the
one side and the spurs of the Andes on the other are within sight of
the inhabitants who live between them. This long and narrow central
depression is Chile, just as the cultivable land on each side the Nile
is Egypt; and in it all the people dwell, except those who are to be
found in the few maritime towns.

It may seem strange that a country of this shape, three thousand miles
long, and with only three million three hundred thousand people,
should be conspicuously homogeneous, united, and patriotic. When the
difference between territorial Chile, the country of the map, and
actual Chile dawns upon the traveller, his surprise disappears. There
are in the republic three distinct regions. The northern, from latitude
18° south as far as Coquimbo in latitude 30° south, is arid desert;
some of it profitable nitrate desert, most of it, like Atacama, useless
desert. The south, from Puerto Montt in latitude 42° south down to
latitude 54° south, is an archipelago of wooded isles with a narrow
strip of wooded mountain on the mainland behind, both of them drenched
by perpetual rains and inhabited only by a few wandering Indians, with
here and there a trading post of white men. It is the central part
alone that is compactly peopled, a narrow tract about seven hundred
miles long, most of it mountainous, but the valleys generally fertile,
and the climate excellent. This central part is the real Chile, the
home of the nation.

To central Chile I shall return presently. Meantime a few pages may be
given to the northern section, which, though a desert, has an enormous
economic value, and is, indeed, one of the chief sources of natural
wealth in the two American continents. It is the region which supplies
the agriculturists of the whole world with their nitrates, and the
nitrates are here because the country is absolutely rainless. Rains
would have washed the precious mineral out of the soil long ago and
swept it down into the Pacific.

One enters the nitrate fields in two or three hours after leaving the
Bolivian plateau and passing through the Western Cordillera described
in the last preceding chapter. They are unmitigated desert, a region
of low stony hills, dry and barren, not a shrub, not a blade of grass.
Sources of fertility to other countries, they remain themselves forever
sterile. All the water is brought down in pipes from the upper course
of the Loa, the stream which rises on the flanks of the volcano of San
Pedro already mentioned. One can just descry in the far distance its
snow-streaked summit. But the desert is all alive. Everywhere there
are narrow-gauge lines of rails running hither and thither, with long
rows of trucks passing down them, carrying lumps of rock. Groups of men
are at work with pickaxes breaking the ground or loading the trucks.
Puffs of smoke and dust are rising from places where the rock is being
blasted with dynamite. Here and there buildings with machinery and
tall iron pipes shew the _oficinas_ where the rock is ground to powder,
then washed and boiled, the liquid mass run off and drained and dried
into a whitish powder, which is packed into sacks and sent down to
the coast for shipment. The mineral occurs in a stratum which lies
about a foot below the surface, and averages three feet in thickness.
It is brownish grey in colour and very hard. There is a considerable
by-product of iodine, which is separated and sent off for sale. The
demand for it is said to be less than the supply.

Each _oficina_--that is the name given to the places for the reduction
and preparation of the mineral--is the centre of a larger or smaller
nitrate estate, and the larger and more modern ones are equipped with
houses for the managers and workpeople, each being a sort of village
where the company supplies everything to the workpeople, who are
mostly Chilean _rotos_, sturdy peasants of half-Indian blood. In South
America one sees plenty of isolated mining villages in deserts, but
here a whole wide region unable to support human life is alive with an
industrious population.

The air being dry and pure (except for the dust) at this considerable
elevation, averaging from three to five thousand feet, the climate
ought to be healthy. But it is impossible to imagine a more dismal
place to inhabit, and those parts of the surface from which the mineral
has been removed are at once forsaken.

These nitrate fields cover a very large area in the northern provinces
of Chile, but some districts in which the mineral is believed to exist
are still imperfectly explored, and many in which it does exist shew a
comparatively poor stratum, so that it is not possible to estimate how
much remains to be developed and the length of time it will take, at
the present rate of production, to exhaust that amount. We were told,
however, that, so far as can be conjectured, the fields might (at the
present rate) last nearly two centuries, before the end of which period
much may happen in the field of scientific agriculture. The export duty
or royalty which the Chilean government levies produces a large annual
revenue, and is, indeed, the mainstay of the finance of the republic,
enabling taxation to be fixed at a low figure.[50] There are those who
say that this is no unmixed benefit, because it reduces the motives
for economical administration. The guano deposits of Peru proved to be
the source of more evil than good, for by pouring into her treasury
sums which excited the cupidity of military adventurers, they made
revolutions more frequent. No such danger need be feared in Chile; yet
there are always temptations incident to the possession of wealth which
a man or a nation has not earned by effort. As the nitrates are part of
the capital of the country which will some day come to an end, it would
seem prudent to expend what they produce upon permanent improvements
which will add to the nation's permanent wealth, such, for instance,
as railroads and harbours. A good deal is, in fact, being spent on
railroad construction, and a good deal on the creation of a naval
stronghold and docks at Talcahuano.

Between the nitrate fields and the sea there lies a strip of wholly
unprofitable desert, traversed by that range of hills which rises
from the coast all the way along the west side of Chile and Peru.
Its scenery is bold and in places striking, but the utter bareness
and brownness deprive it of all charm except that which the morning
and evening sunlight gives, bringing out delicate tints on distant
slopes. Here the railway line forks, sending one branch to the port of
Antofagasta, and the other to the smaller town but better sheltered
roadstead of Megillones. We went to the latter. Local interests of
a selfish kind have here, as elsewhere along the coast, caused the
selection of Antofagasta as the principal terminus of the line; and
though it is now admitted that Megillones would have been a fitter
spot, so much capital has been sunk in buildings at the former that it
is deemed too late to make a change. The bay of Megillones, guarded by
a lofty promontory on the south, and commanding a view of ridge after
ridge of mountains stretching out to the north, has a beautiful sweep,
and is enlivened by the abundance of seals and sea-lions, who wallow
and bark to one another in the long, slow rollers of the Pacific. The
beach is excellent for bathing, but the water so cold that only in the
hotter part of the year do the Englishmen, who manage the railway and
its machine works and who retain here the national love of salt water,
find it suitable for anything more than a plunge in and out again.
Though rain is extremely rare, one may conclude from the gullies in
the hills down which torrents seem to have swept either that violent
storms come occasionally or that the climate has altered since hills
and valleys took their present form.

Antofagasta, where we landed on the southward voyage down the coast,
is a much busier place than Megillones, but a less attractive one, for
it has no such sweep of sand and space of level ground behind, being
crushed in between the dreary, dusty hills and the rocky shore. Landing
in the surf is often difficult and sometimes dangerous, but as the
chief port of the southern nitrate country it receives a good deal of
shipping, and has a pleasant little native society, besides an English
and a German colony.

Nearly five hundred miles further south are the towns of La Serena and
Coquimbo, the former a quiet old Spanish city, placed back from the
coast to be out of the way of the English and Dutch marauders, who
were frequent and formidable visitors in these seas, after Sir Francis
Drake had led the way in his famous voyage in 1578, when he sailed up
and down the coast plundering towns and capturing ships. Coquimbo is
a newer place, with a fairly good harbour, and thrives on the trade
which the mines in its neighbourhood assure to it. It is an arid land,
yet here there begins to be some rain, and here, therefore, we felt
that we were bidding farewell to the desert, which we had first struck
at Payta, fifteen hundred miles further north. Nevertheless there was
little green upon the hills until we reached, next day, a far more
important port, the commercial capital not only of Chile, but of all
western South America, and now the terminus of the trans-continental
railway to Buenos Aires.

This is Valparaiso, where the wanderer who has been musing among
prehistoric ruins and Bolivian volcanoes finds himself again in
the busy modern world. The harbour is full of vessels from all
quarters,--coasting steamers that ply to Callao and Panama, sailing
ships as well as steamers from San Francisco and others from Australia,
mostly with cargoes of coal, besides vessels that have come from Europe
round Cape Horn or through the Straits of Magellan. The so-called
harbour is really an open roadstead, for there is no shelter to the
north, and when, as often happens, the dreaded gale from that quarter
breaks, vessels that have not had time to run out under steam are in
danger of drifting ashore, for the water deepens so quickly from the
land that they cannot anchor far out. Why not build a breakwater?
Because the water is so deep that the cost of a breakwater long
enough to give effective protection would be enormous. There is a
more sheltered haven some miles to the north, but as all the business
offices and warehouses are here, not to speak of the labouring
population and their houses, the idea of moving the city and railway
terminus has not been seriously considered.

Seen from the sea, Valparaiso is picturesque, and has a marked
character of its own, though the dryness of the hills and the clearness
of the light make it faintly recall one of those Spanish or Italian
towns which glitter on the steep shores of the Mediterranean. It
resembles Messina in Sicily in being very long and very narrow, for
here, as there, the heights, rising abruptly from the shore, leave
little space for houses, and the lower part of the town has less
than a quarter of a mile in breadth. On this narrow strip are all
the places of business, banks, shipping offices, and shops, as well
as the dwellings of most of the poorer class. On the hills above,
rising steeply two hundred feet or more, stands the upper town, which
consists chiefly of the residences of the richer people. Their villas,
interspersed with gardens, have a pretty effect seen from below, and
in rambling along the lanes that run up to heights behind one gets
charming views over the long line of coast to the north. Communication
between the lower and upper towns is carried on chiefly by elevators
(lifts) or trolley cars worked on the cog-wheel system.

At the time of my visit, the city was half in ruins, rebuilding itself
after a terrible earthquake. The lower town had suffered most, for
here, as at Messina and at San Francisco, buildings erected on soft
alluvial ground were overthrown more frequently and completely than
those that stood on a rocky foundation. The opportunity was being
taken to widen and straighten the principal thoroughfares, and to
open up some of the overcrowded poorer districts. The irregularities
of the site between a sinuous coastline and spurs projecting from the
hills make the city plan less uniform and rectangular than in most
Spanish-American cities, and though nothing is old and there is little
architectural variety, still the bright colours of the houses washed
in blue or white, the glimpses of rocky heights seen at the eastern end
of all the cross streets and of the sea glittering at the western give
a quality of its own to the lower town, while the upper town has its
steep gardens and tree clumps and wide prospects over the bay and the
jutting capes beyond.

But Valparaiso is perhaps most picturesque when seen from a steamer
anchored in the bay, especially when its white houses and hills, green
for a few weeks in spring, meet the eyes of one who comes from the
barren deserts of Bolivia and the nitrate region. In front are the
ocean steamers and the tall spars of Australian clippers; nearer shore
the smaller craft are tossing on the ocean swell; the upper town is
seen rising on its cliffs behind the lower, with high pastures and
rocky hummocks still further back. Far away in the northeast the snowy
mass of Aconcagua, loftiest of all American summits, floats like a
white cloud on the horizon.

A few miles north of Valparaiso is the pretty residential suburb of
Viña del Mar, beyond which the rocks come down to the sea, here and
there enclosing stretches of sandy beach on which the great green
rollers break. The dark yellow Californian poppy (_Eschscholtzia_)
which covers the fields in such masses round San Francisco is equally
common here. Woody glens come down from the hills; and in the bottom
of one of these the principal sporting club has laid out a race-course
and polo ground, where we saw the fashionable world gathered for these
diversions, just as popular here as in Europe. (South America has
not yet given any game of its own to the world as the North American
Indians gave La Crosse and the East Indies polo.) Everything looked
very pretty in the fresh green of October, but everybody shivered; for
though the summers are extremely hot, the spring was less genial than
one expected in this latitude. Valparaiso has winds equally chilling
whether they come down from the snowy Andes on the east or up from the
Antarctic current on the west. It is a windy place and in summer a very
dusty one, but in comparison with the dismal barrenness of Mollendo and
Antofagasta it deserves its name of Valley of Paradise.

Despite earthquakes and northern gales, Valparaiso continues to be
the most flourishing seat of world trade on the western side of its
Continent, the only South American rival of San Francisco, Seattle, and
Vancouver. It is also the centre of the coast trade of the Chileans,
the only Spanish-American people who have shewn taste or talent for
seafaring. We felt ourselves back in the modern world when we saw a
Stock Exchange, having since we left New York passed near no city
possessing that familiar appliance of civilization. Apart from stocks,
abundant opportunities are supplied for speculation by the sudden and
violent fluctuations in exchange upon Europe. The commercial houses
are chiefly English and German, and among the Chilean firms there are
some that bear English names. The Europeans of former days soon made
themselves at home here, and their descendants in the third or even the
second generation are patriotic Chileans. Some of the heads of British
firms told me that the young men who come out to them to-day from
England, are not, as a rule, equal either to those of thirty years ago
or to the young Germans who are sent to serve German houses. "They care
less for their work,"--so my informants declared,--and "they do it less
thoroughly; their interests at school in England have lain chiefly in
playing, or in reading about, cricket and football, not in any pursuit
needing mental exertion, and here where cricket and football are not
to be had, they become listless and will not, like the young Germans,
spend their evenings in mastering the language and the business
conditions of the country." What truth there is in this I had no means
of testing, but Valparaiso is not the only foreign port in which one
hears such things said.

Fifty miles inland, as the crow flies, but much farther by railway, is
Santiago, the capital of Chile, and in population the fourth city in
South America.[51] Except Rio de Janeiro, no capital in the world has a
more striking position. Standing in the great central valley of Chile,
it looks out on one side over a fertile plain to the wooded slopes of
the Coast Range, and on the other looks up to the gigantic chain of
the Cordillera, rising nineteen thousand feet above it, furrowed by
deep glens into which glaciers pour down, with snowy wastes behind.
At Santiago, as at Innsbruck, one sees the vista of a long, straight
street closed by towering mountains that crown it with white as the sea
crowns with blue the streets of Venice. But here the mountains are
more than twice as high as those of the Tyrolean city and they never
put off their snowy vesture. Wherever one walks or drives through the
city in the beautiful public park and on the large open grounds of the
race-course, these fields of ice are always before the eye, whether
wreathed with cloud or glittering against an ardent sky.

The interior of the city does not offer very much to the traveller.
There is one long, broad and handsome thoroughfare, the Alameda,
adorned with statues and with four rows of trees, as well as several
plazas, small compared to those of Lima and Arequipa, but very
tastefully planted. There is a cathedral of the familiar type, spacious
and well proportioned, with the usual two west towers and the usual
silver altar. There are handsome government offices, and a fine
building for the legislature. The streets are narrow, the houses seldom
high, for here also earthquakes have to be considered. Everything looks
new, as might be expected in a place which was small and poor till
the end of the eighteenth century, and which has grown rapidly within
the last sixty years with the prosperity of the country. Prosperity
and confidence are in the air. Great, indeed, is the contrast between
old-fashioned Lima and still more ancient Cuzco, or between La Paz,
nestling in its _Barranca_ under the mountains like an owl in the
desert, and this brisk, eager, active, modern city, where crowded
electric cars pass along crowded streets and men hurry to their
business or their politics even as they do in western Europe or North
America. Santiago is a real capital, the heart of a real nation, the
place in which all the political energy of the nation is focussed,
commercial energy being shared with Valparaiso. Here are no loitering
negroes, nor impassive Indians, for the population is all Chilean,
though close inspection discovers a difference between the purer and
the less pure European stock. A great deal of native blood flows in the
veins of the Chilean _roto_.

There is little of historical or archæological interest in Santiago, no
skeleton of its founder (as of Pizarro in Lima), for Pedro de Valdivia
was taken prisoner and killed by the Araucanian Indians hundreds of
miles away; no palace of the Inquisition, for Santiago was in the
seventeenth century too small a place to need the elaborate machinery
of the Holy Office for the protection of its orthodoxy. Till the War of
Independence it was a remote provincial town. But Nature has given it
one spot to which historical associations can attach. When Valdivia,
one of the ablest and boldest of the lieutenants of Pizarro, was sent
down hither to complete the conquest of that southernmost part of the
Inca dominion from which Almagro had returned disappointed in the quest
for gold, his soldierly eye lit upon and marked a steep rock that rose
out of the plain on the banks of a torrent descending from the Andes.
On this rock he planted (in 1541) a rude fort and, after receiving the
submission of the neighbouring Indians, marched on still further south,
into regions which the Incas had never conquered. After some successes,
a sudden rising of the natives chased him back and he had to take
refuge in the fort upon this rock, now called Santa Lucia. Besieged for
many weeks and reduced to the utmost extremity of famine, he held out
here with that desperate tenacity of which the men of Spain have given
so many examples from the days of Saguntum to those of Cortes at Mexico
and from those of Cortes to those of Palafox at Saragossa. The Indians
had, however, no notion of how to conduct siege operations and at last
Valdivia was relieved. The fort remained, and beneath it there grew up
in course of time the city.

The ancient Acropolis or Hill Fortress is a familiar sight in India,
in Greece, and Italy, and in western Europe also. Gwalior and
Trichinopoly, Acrocorinthus and Taormina, and in England, Old Sarum,
Durham, Exeter, Shrewsbury, London itself, are instances, and the
Fortress has often as in the last four cases, been the germ of a city.
But so far as I know Santa Lucia, below which Santiago has grown up,
is the only conspicuous instance in the two Americas of any such
stronghold built by Europeans. The hill, a little over two hundred
feet high, is much lower than are the Castle Hills of Edinburgh and
Stirling, and the space on it smaller. It is lower even than the Castle
Rock of Dumbarton, which it more resembles. Like those three, it is a
mass of hard igneous rock, so irregular in form as to suggest that it
may be a detached fragment of an old lava flow, and most of its sides
are so precipitous as to be easily defensible. The buildings which had
defaced it having been nearly all removed, it is now laid out as a
pleasure ground, and planted with trees. Walks have been made round
it, with a footpath to the craggy summit, and there is a statue of
Pedro de Valdivia, the only monument to any one of the Conquistadores
which I can remember to have seen in Spanish America, for the men of
that famous group are not much honoured by their colonial descendants.
Every evening we walked to the top to enjoy the wonderful view over
the valley, and the last rays of the sun reddening the Andean snows. A
still more extended view is obtained from the summit, surmounted by a
colossal statue of the Virgin, of the hill of San Cristobal, whose base
is half a mile from the town.

Chile, like the rest of South America, is a country of large estates,
the early conquerors having received grants of land, many of which
have not since been broken up into smaller properties; so there
exists a landed aristocracy something like that of England in the
eighteenth century, with peasants cultivating the soil as tenants
or labourers, while the small middle class consists of shopkeepers
or skilled artisans in the towns. The leading landowners spend the
summers in their country houses and the winter and spring in Santiago,
which has thus a pleasant society, with plenty of talent and talk
among the men, of gaiety and talk among the women, a society more
enlightened and abreast of the modern world than are those of the more
northern republics, and with a more stimulating atmosphere. Santiago
has always been the centre and heart of Chile both politically and
socially and has in this way contributed to give unity to the nation
and to create a Chilean type of character. The jealousy felt by the
country folk against the capital which has been the source of so much
strife in other states was generally less marked here. Santiago leads;
Santiago's influence forbids any attempts at federalizing the republic.
Though learning and science have not quite kept pace with conquest
and prosperity, there is a thriving university, and a fine museum,
placed beside the zoological and botanical gardens. The last and the
present generation have produced some gifted writers and among the
too few students of to-day is one of the most accomplished historians
and bibliographers in Spanish America, Señor José Toribio Medina. The
bent of Chilean genius has, however, been on the whole towards war and
politics. The material development of the country by railways, the
opening of mines and the extension of agriculture, important as these
are, do not absorb men's thoughts here so much as they do in Argentina
and indeed in most new countries. Politics hold the field just as
politics held it all through the nineteenth century in England and in
Hungary, perhaps the most intensely political countries of the Old

The mention of these two countries suggests another point of
resemblance. The Chileans, a race of riders, are extremely fond of
horse-racing. The races at Santiago rouse immense interest and are the
occasion of a great deal of betting, not only in the city, but also at
Valparaiso, for such of the Valparaiso sportsmen as cannot come to the
capital gather in their clubhouse and carry on their betting during
the progress of each race, every detail of which is reported from
moment to moment by telephone, the bets coming as thick and fast as if
the horses were in sight upon the course.

Chile is the only country in South America which can boast to have had
no revolution within the memory of any living man. In 1890 there was
a civil war, but that conflict differed materially from the familiar
military revolutions of the other republics. President Balmaceda had
quarrelled with the legislature, claiming that he could levy taxes
without its consent, and was overcome, after a fierce struggle, the
navy supporting the Congress, and the command of the sea proving
decisive in a country with so long a coast line. So scrupulously
regardful were the Chileans of their financial credit, that both
Balmaceda and his congressional antagonists, each claiming to be the
lawful government, tendered to the foreign bondholders payment of the
interest on the same public debt while the struggle was going on.

There were, at the time of my visit, five political parties or
divisions of the Liberal party, besides the Conservatives. The
President had died suddenly while travelling in Europe, and the Liberal
sections, holding the majority in Congress, met to select the candidate
whom they should put forward as his successor. The discussions and the
votings in their gatherings went on for several weeks, but force was
never threatened; and the Chileans told their visitors with justifiable
pride that although twelve thousand soldiers were in or near the
capital, no party feared that any other would endeavour to call in
the help of the army. Chile is also the only South American state
which takes so enlightened an interest in its electoral machinery as
to have devised and applied a good while ago a system of proportional
representation which seems to give satisfaction, and certainly deserves
the study of scientific students in other countries. I saw an election
proceeding under it in Santiago. The result was foreknown, because
there had been an arrangement between Liberal sections which ensured
the victory of the candidates they had agreed upon, so there was little
excitement. Everything seemed to work smoothly.

What I had seen of the aspects of nature round Santiago increased the
desire to know something of southern Chile, a region little visited
by travellers, but reported to be full of those beauties which make
the scenery of temperate regions more attractive, at least to persons
born in the temperate zone, than all the grandeurs of the tropics.
Accordingly we set off for the south, the Chilean government having
kindly provided special facilities along their railways.[53] All the
lines, except that which crosses the Andes into Argentina, are the
property of the state. From Santiago to the strait which separates the
large island of Chiloe from the mainland, a distance of 650 miles,
there stretches that long depression mentioned at the beginning of
this chapter, the northern part of which contains nearly all of the
population as well as most of the cultivable area of the republic. The
railway that traverses it from end to end is the main highway of the
country sending off branches which run westward to the towns that lie
on or near the coast, and as it keeps generally in the middle of the
valley, one gets admirable views toward the Andes on one side and the
Coast Range on the other.

Travelling south, one observes four changes in physical conditions.
The rainfall steadily increases. At Santiago it is only about fifteen
inches in the year; at Valdivia, 440 miles to the south, it is seven
times as great. With this abundant rainfall, the streams are fuller,
the landscape greener, the grass richer, the trees taller. The
mountains sink in height, and not the Andes only, but the average
height of the Coast Range also. The snow line also sinks. Near Santiago
it is about 14,000 feet above sea-level; at Valdivia it is rather under
6000. These four things completely alter the character of the scenery.
It is less grand, for one sees no such mighty peaks and wide snowfields
as rise over Santiago, but it is more approachable, with a softer air
and more profuse vegetation. As compared with the desert regions of
northern Chile, the difference is as great as that between the verdure
of Ireland and the sterility of the Sahara.

From Santiago to Osorno, the southern limit of our journey, there was
beauty everywhere, beauty in the fields and meadows which the railway
traverses, beauty in the wild _quebradas_ (narrow glens) that descend
from the Andes, beauty in the glimpses of the snow mountains where a
break in the nearer hills reveals them. But I must be content to speak
of a few points only.

The long depression between the Andes and the Coast Range, which forms
the best part of Chile, is crossed by a series of large and rapid
rivers descending from the Andean snows and forcing their way through
the clefts in the Coast Range to the sea. The first of these is the
Maule, which was the southernmost limit of the conquests of the Inca
monarchs. Next to it, as one goes south, is the still larger Biobio, on
whose banks the Spaniards strove for nearly a century with the fierce
Araucanian tribes, till at last, despairing of success, they desisted
and allowed it to be the boundary of their power. It is the greatest
of all Chilean streams, with a broad and strong current, but is too
shallow for navigation, and the commercial city of Concepcion, which
lies a little above its mouth, uses the harbour of Talcahuano as its

Here, one is already in a well-watered land, but before I describe
the scenery of this delightful region something may be said of the
coast towns, which are quite unlike those of northern Chile and Peru.
Concepcion, founded by Valdivia to bridle the Indians, is an attractive
little city, with a large plaza and wide streets, which are tidy
and well kept. Indeed, as compared with those of Spain and Italy,
the larger cities of South America are as superior in cleanliness
as they are inferior in architectural interest. Cuzco stands almost
alone in its offensiveness to sight and smell. The cheerful airiness
and brightness of the place are enhanced by the beauty of the wide
river on whose north side it stands, and along whose shores, backed
by wooded hills, there are many pretty villas with gardens, most of
them the property of the British and German colonies who live here
in social good will and active business competition. The former have
laid out an excellent golf course a few miles away towards the Ocean
and have infected some Chileans with their passion for the Scottish
game. Though not now so large as Valparaiso, the city has played a more
important part in Chilean history, for it was the military capital of
the southern frontier on the side of Araucania and the centre of the
energetic and fighting population of that region. The leading families
formed the only aristocratic group that was capable of resisting, as,
after independence had been achieved, they did occasionally resist,
the larger aristocratic group of Santiago. There was not enough wealth
in those days to build stately churches or mansions, but the place
has a look of dignity and is more Chilean and less cosmopolitan than

Talcahuano, possessing the finest natural harbour in central Chile, has
been made the principal naval stronghold of this country which sets
store upon the strength of its navy, deemed essential to protect its
immensely long coast line. An enemy possessing a more powerful fleet
would, it is thought, have Chile at its mercy until the longitudinal
railway is completed which is to run the whole length of the country
parallel to the coast. A naval harbour has been formed and docks built
and batteries erected to command the approaches. From the heights one
sees across the ample bay the site of an old Spanish town, abandoned
because exposed to the English and Dutch sea-rovers of the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries. Since this time no hostile European
vessels[54] have appeared in these waters, though they have seen
plenty of sea-fights in the days of the Revolution and in those of the
great war between Chile and Peru, and again in the civil war between
Balmaceda and the Congress.

Two other places on the Chilean coast are worth mentioning. From
Concepcion a railroad, crossing the Biobio by a bridge three-quarters
of a mile long, runs southward to the ports of Coronel and Lota. The
shore, sometimes rocky, sometimes bordered by thickets or grassy flats
behind sand beaches, is extremely picturesque; and were it in the
populous parts of Europe or North America, it would be lined by summer
cottages and alive with children. But its vegetation and general aspect
are curiously unlike those of the Atlantic coasts of either of those
two continents, and remind one rather of California. At Lota, the hills
rise boldly from the sea and a large island lying some way out gives
variety to the ocean view. Here, on an eminence behind the town, is a
garden of singular interest and beauty which I had especially wished to
see because it had excited the admiration of my friend, the late Mr.
John Ball, the distinguished botanist and traveller, who has described
it in his _Notes of a Naturalist in South America_, published in 1887.
It occupies the top of a hill which breaks down almost precipitously
to the shore, and was formed by a wealthy Chilean, the owner of a coal
mine and copper smelting works close by, who built a handsome villa,
and assisted by an energetic Irish gardener, laid out a park with
admirable taste, gathering and planting a great variety of trees and
shrubs and so disposing the walks as to give delightful views along the
coast and out into the ocean. There are few things in the course of
journeys which one recalls with more pleasure than parks and gardens
which combine opportunities for studying the flora of a new country
with the enjoyment of natural beauty. This place had the peculiar
interest of showing how, in a mild and humid climate, trees and shrubs
from sub-tropical regions may flourish side by side with those of the
temperate zone. Its profuse variety of trees, many of them seen by
us for the first time, lives in my recollection with the gardens of
the Scilly Isles and those on Valentia Island on the coast of Kerry,
and the famous park at Cintra (near Lisbon), the two former of these
possessing similarly favourable climatic conditions. The landscape at
Lota is more beautiful than at any of those spots, and though it is
marred by the smoke of the smelting works placed here to take advantage
of the coal mine, one must remember that without the coal mine and the
smelting works their owner would not have had the money to expend on
the park and gardens.

About two hundred miles to the south of Concepcion a large river finds
its way to the sea through a comparatively wide and open valley and
meets the tide of the ocean at a point where Valdivia, the lieutenant
of Pizarro, whom I have already mentioned as the first Spaniard to
penetrate into these wild regions, built a small fort and called it
by his own name. His fort was thenceforth the chief and sometimes the
only seat of Spanish power in this whole stretch of country, constantly
besieged and reduced to dire extremity by the warlike Indians, but
almost always saved because it was accessible by sea from the ports of
Peru. No trace now remains of the ancient stronghold, nor, indeed, are
there any old houses, for in this well-wooded part of Chile houses are
built of timber and fires are proportionately numerous and destructive.
A terrible one had swept away half the town in 1909. They were busy
rebuilding and improving it, for the country all round is being
brought into cultivation, and trade is brisk. The phenomena remind
one of western North America, though the pace at which population
grows and natural resources are developed is far slower. There is a
German colony, of course with a large brewery, the chief manufacturing
industry of the spot, and a somewhat smaller British mercantile colony.
The town stretches along both banks of the broad stream, on which light
steamers ply to the seaport of Corral, some twelve miles below. Here,
also, the resources of the land are being exploited. A French company
has erected large works for the smelting of copper, which is brought by
sea from the ports of northern Chile. All the most recent metallurgical
appliances have been introduced, and a considerable population has been
drawn to the place. It is, however, an indigenous population. That
inrush of immigrants from Europe, which is the conspicuous feature
in North America, wherever railways or other large works are being
executed, or new industries set up, is here wanting. It has not yet
been worth while to tempt Italian or Slavonic labour from Europe.
Here at Corral, one touches an interesting bit of history. There are
on both sides of the port ancient forts which command not only the
harbour and the passage out to sea, but lovely views over the smiling
land and wooded mountains. In their present form they seem to date from
the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century. They stand now as
mouldering and grass-grown monuments of a vanished empire. Erected to
protect the colonists from British and Dutch attacks, they succumbed
long afterwards to a later British adventurer leading those colonists
themselves against the power of Spain. Less than a century ago (in
1817) they saw one of the most brilliant achievements of Lord Cochrane,
then fighting for the Chilean revolutionaries, when with the crews of
his few ships he stormed these forts, chasing the Spaniards away to
Valdivia and received next day the surrender of that town, their last
stronghold on the Chilean mainland. The services of this Scotchman are
gratefully remembered here along with those of two men of Irish stock,
O'Higgins and Lynch. All three have won a fame not unlike that of
Lafayette and Rochambeau in the United States.

In these seaports we saw the commercial side of Chilean town life,
a side in which the foreigner plays a considerable part, whether
he manages metal works for European capitalists or represents some
great English or German trading firm. Temuco, situated in a purely
agricultural district, supplying its wants and serving as a market
for its produce, is of a different type and gave one a notion of what
corresponds in Chile to the smaller country town of England or North
America. It is a new place, for this region was almost purely Indian
till thirty years ago, covers a great deal of ground, and reminds one
more of an Hungarian or Russian town than of the North American West,
for the wide and generally unpaved streets were not planted with trees
and the one story houses were mostly thatched. The air was soft and
humid, rich green meadows stretched out on every side and though there
were evident signs of growth and comfort, nobody was in a hurry. The
country is lovely. To the west are picturesque wooded hills, outliers
of the Coast Range, and on the east, there opens a view of the Andes
twenty or thirty miles distant, their snowpeaks rising behind a mass of
dark green forest. We were entertained to dinner by the officers of the
regiment quartered here, the commandant, who was also governor of the
district, presiding, and met a large and agreeable company composed of
the officers and their wives, a few officials, and some of the chief
business men. Here, as everywhere in Chile, educated society is more
modern and less ecclesiastical in sentiment than what the traveller
finds in the more northerly republics. In listening to the graceful
and well-phrased speech in which the commandant toasted the guests,
we had fresh occasion to admire the resources of the Castilian tongue,
which like the Italian, perhaps even more than the Italian, seems to
lend itself more naturally than English or German to oratory of an
ornamental kind.

While in Peru and Bolivia the great mass of the aboriginal population
remained distinct from their Spanish masters, in Chile the fusion began
early and went steadily on until, except in one district, the two
races were blended. A certain number of families, including most of
the aristocracy, have remained pure white; but many more intermarried
with the natives, and the peasants of to-day belong to this mixed
race. As elsewhere in Spanish America, the man of mixed blood deems
himself white, and does so the more easily here, because over most of
the country there are no longer any pure Indians. The aborigines of
this region were less advanced in the arts of life than those of Peru,
but they were better fighters and of a bolder spirit. They have made a
good blend with the whites; the Chilean _roto_ is a hardy and vigorous

The one district in which a pure Indian race has remained is that in
which Temuco stands, for this is the land of those Araucanian Indians
to whom I have already referred, a race deservedly famous as the only
aboriginal people of the Western hemisphere that successfully resisted
the European intruders.[56] I had imagined this people dwelling in the
recesses of forest-covered mountains, and themselves tall and stalwart
men like the Patagonian giants whom Magellan encountered on the other
side of the Andes. But the Mapoche[57]--that is the name by which the
Araucanians call themselves--are, in fact, short men, though sturdy and
muscular, with broad faces, not unlike some East Asiatic types. Their
country is part of that long and wide depression which constitutes the
Central Valley of Chile, a fertile land which, though doubtless once
more thickly wooded than it now is, was probably, even in the days of
Valdivia's invasion, partly open savannah. There is, and apparently
there always has been, so little game that the natives must have
lived chiefly by tillage, for they had, of course, neither sheep nor
cattle. Although less civilized than were the tribes dwelling north
of them, who had received some of the material culture of the Inca
empire, they had risen above the savage state, and were at least as far
advanced as were the Algonquins or Dakotas of North America. They had
organized a sort of fighting confederacy of four tribes, resembling
the "Long House" of the Iroquois Five Nations. Each tribe had its
leading family in which the chieftainship was hereditary, but if the
eldest son were not equal to the place, a second or other son might
be selected by the tribe in his stead. For war, they chose leaders of
special bravery or talent, as Tacitus tells us that the Germans of his
time did. Their weapons were the lance, probably a sort of assegai,
and the axe or tomahawk of stone, and a club of wood, sometimes with
a stone head fastened to it. When Valdivia, having overcome the more
northerly tribes, and having strengthened his force by contingents
from them, crossed the Biobio into the Araucanian country, the chiefs
of the confederacy summoned a general assembly of all the fighting
men--a sort of Homeric _agora_--and after three days' debate, resolved
on resistance. In the first encounters they suffered terribly from
the firearms and the horses of the Spaniards. Valdivia defeated them
and marched through their country as far as the place where he built
(as already mentioned) the town which still bears his name. After a
few years, he returned with a stronger force hoping to complete his
conquest. A hundred miles south of the Biobio the Araucanians attacked
him. Their furious charge could not be stopped by musketry--gunshot
range was very short in those days--the invading force was destroyed,
and Valdivia, flying from the field, was captured. While he was
attempting to save his life by a promise to withdraw altogether from
Chile, an old chief smote him down with a club.

From this time on the warfare lasted with occasional intermissions
for more than sixty years. The Araucanians discovered by degrees
tactics fitted to reduce the advantages which firearms gave to the
Spaniards. They obtained horses, and, like the Comanches in Arizona
and the Basutos of South Africa, learnt to use them in war. They
produced leaders like Lautaro and Caupolican of talents equal to their
bravery. When they found themselves unable to stem a Spanish invasion
they retired into their woods, and as soon as the enemy had retired,
they fell upon the forts and raided across the border. Weary of this
incessant and apparently hopeless strife, the Spaniards at last agreed
to a treaty by which the Biobio was fixed as the boundary. During his
daring cruise in the Pacific in 1578 Sir Francis Drake had occasion
to land on the Chilean coast. The Araucanians, seeing white men come
in a ship, assumed them to be Spaniards, and attacked them. Had they
realized that Drake's crew, being the enemies of their own enemies,
would gladly have been their friends, an alliance profitable to both
parties could have been struck, and it might have been serviceable to
Drake's English and Dutch successors. Fearing such a contingency, the
Spaniards made it a part of their treaty with the Araucanians that they
should give no help to the maritime foes of Spain. Fresh wars from time
to time broke out, but they always ended in the same way, so Araucania
continued independent down till, and long after, the revolt of Chile
from Spain.

By the middle of the nineteenth century the nation had begun to
lose its old fighting habits. Diseases contracted from the whites
had reduced its numbers and sapped its strength, while peaceful
intercourse with the colonists had mitigated the ancient animosity.
Accordingly, when Chile, about 1881, asserted her authority, and the
town of Temuco was founded in the middle of the Araucanian country,
the idea of resistance which some of the chiefs entertained was
dropped on the advice of others who saw that it would be hopeless
under conditions so different from those of the seventeenth century.
Thus it may still be said of this gallant race that though they have
consented to become Chileans, they remain the one unconquered native
people of the continent. Though there has not been much intermarriage
between them and the Spanish colonists, the long conflict had a marked
effect upon the character of the latter, giving to the Chileans a
rude force and aptitude for war not unlike that which the constant
strife with the Moors gave to the Spaniards in the Middle Ages. The
earlier part of the conflict had the rare honour of being made the
theme of an epic poem which ranks high among those of modern Europe,
the _Araucana_[58] of Alonzo de Ercilla, who himself fought against
Caupolican. No ill feeling seems to exist now between the Mapoche and
the Chileans. Educated men among the latter feel a certain pride, as
do the Araucanians themselves, in their romantic history, each race
remembering that its ancestors fought well.

How large the Mapoche nation was when the Spaniards first came is quite
uncertain. The estimate of 400,000 seems excessive for a people who
had no cattle, and did not till the soil on a large scale. Even now
while some put the present population as high as 140,000, others put
it as low as 50,000. There is, unfortunately, no doubt that they are
diminishing through diseases, especially tubercular diseases, which
have spread among them from the whites, and are now transmitted from
parents to offspring. Laws have been passed for their benefit, and a
functionary entitled the Protector of the Indians appointed, but some
of these laws, such as those restricting the sale of intoxicating
liquors, are enforced quite as imperfectly as they are in other
countries better known to us. The tribal system has almost vanished,
but the local communities into which the people are now grouped respect
the heads of the old families and often regret the days when a simple
and speedy justice was administered by the chieftains.

Scattered over a wide area they dwell in villages of grass huts or
frame houses, the latter far less favourable to health, and live by
tillage or stock keeping, though a few go north to seek work and are
deemed excellent labourers. The custom observed by the Kafir chiefs
in South Africa, of allotting a separate hut to each wife, does not
seem to hold here, but as the huts are large, each wife, if there
are several, is allowed her own hearth and fire. Some families have
considerable estates; some own large herds of cattle and sheep which at
certain seasons are driven across the Andean passes to the pastures of

While the wars lasted there was, of course, no question of converting
the Araucanians to Christianity; and though in the intervals of peace
friars sometimes went among them, they remained practically heathen
till the establishment of Chilean authority in 1882. Their religion
is a form of that spirit worship which one finds among nearly all
primitive peoples. Its rites are intended to avert the displeasure of
the spirits, to obtain from them fine weather or rain (as the case may
be), and to expel a noxious demon from the body. The priesthood--if
the name can be used--is not hereditary and is confined to females.
The women who discharge the functions of wizards or medicine men
are selected when young by the elder sorceresses and initiated with
elaborate rites. A tree of a particularly sacred kind is chosen and
a sort of ladder of steps cut in it, which the sorceress mounts to
perform the ceremonies. When the tree dies, its trunk continues to
be revered and is dressed up with fresh green boughs for ceremonial
occasions. I could not find that any other natural objects, besides
trees, receive veneration, nor is there anything to shew that the Inca
worship of the sun and the host of heaven had ever spread so far to the
south. The old beliefs and usages are now fast waning. Many Mapoche
have become Christians, a considerable number Protestants, converted by
the English South American mission, others Roman Catholics. They are
described as a people of good intelligence, and easy to deal with when
they are treated with justice, a valuable element in the population,
and one which Chilean statesmen may well seek to preserve, if drink
could be kept from them and the germs of hereditary disease rooted out.

The occupation by the Araucanians of a considerable part of the central
Chilean valley accounts for the fact that the population of the
region beyond them to the south has grown but slowly. It now contains
no Indian tribes till one gets across the channel of Ancud to Chiloe
and the other islands along the coast. Few settlers came to these
parts from Europe until about the middle of last century the Chilean
government encouraged an immigration from Germany which continued,
on a moderate scale, for a good many years, but thereafter stopped
altogether. Going southward from Valdivia one finds both in small towns
and in rural districts round them a good many solid German farmers and
artizans and tidy little German Fraus who might have come straight out
of the Odenwald. We spent a night in Osorno, our furthest point toward
the south, a neat and prosperous looking town, and dined with one of
the leading German citizens, a man of wide reading, and especially
devoted to Robert Burns, whose poems he recited to us, and to Thomas
Moore, some of whose songs he had translated into German. Thereafter a
group of the German residents hospitably took us to their club, where
they have a concert hall and just such a Kegelbahn (skittle alley) as
that in which I remember that we students used to play at Heidelberg
in 1863, about the time when the parents of these worthy Germans were
migrating to Chile. They gave us champagne, the unfailing accompaniment
of every social function in South America; but it ought to have been
Bavarian beer. This is the only part of western South America to which
any considerable mass of settlers have come from Europe, for most of
the English, Germans, French, and Spaniards one meets in the commercial
and mining centres are passing business visitors. On the other side of
the Andes it is different, for there the Italian immigration has been
and still is very large.

Comparatively few immigrants enter Chile now, which would imply that
the quantity of land available for agriculture, but not yet taken
up, is supposed to be not very large. To me the country we traversed
appeared to be far from fully occupied, though on such a matter the
impressions of a passing traveller are of little value. Of all the
parts of the New World I have seen there is none which struck me as
fitter to attract a young man who loves country life, is not in a hurry
to be rich, and can make himself at home in a land where English is not
the language of the people. The soil of southern Chile is extremely
fertile, fit both for stock-raising and for tillage. The climate is
healthy and mild, without extremes either of heat or cold. Wet it
certainly is, but not wetter than parts of our own western coasts.

The summer sun is strong yet not oppressive, the air both soft and
invigorating, for Ocean sends up shrill blowing western breezes to
refresh mankind.[59] There are no noxious beasts, no mosquitoes, no
poisonous snakes, nor other venomous creatures, except a spider found
in the cornfields whose bite, though disagreeable, is not dangerous.
Intermittent fevers, the curse of most countries where new land is
being brought under cultivation, seem to be unknown. There are
deer in the woods, and plenty of fish in the clear, rapid rivers.
The Englishman who loves hunting will not want for foxes; the North
American golfer will find grassy flats by the sea, waiting to be laid
out as links. Remote, secluded, and tranquil as the country is, the
settler should have little difficulty in procuring whatever Europe
supplies, for even at Osorno he is only forty hours from Santiago, and
Santiago is now only two days from Buenos Aires, and Buenos Aires only
seventeen days from Europe.

Perhaps it is the charm of the Chilean scenery that prompts a view of
the country, considered as a home for the emigrant, more favourable
than might be taken by one to whom life would be just as enjoyable
in the boundless levels of Manitoba as within view of a snowy range.
Perhaps, also, this charm of southern Chile with its soft, green
pastures and shaggy woods and flashing streams was enhanced to us by
contrast with the dreary deserts of Peru and Bolivia, through which
we had lately passed. Whoever has in his boyhood learnt to love the
scenery of a temperate country never finds full satisfaction in that
of the tropics, with all their glow of light and all their exuberance
of vegetation. Such lands are splendid to visit, but not so good to
live in, for exertion is less agreeable, the woods are impenetrable,
and the mountains, therefore, less accessible, and the constant heat is
enervating, not to add that insects are everywhere, and in many places
one has to stand always on guard against fevers. Nothing could be
grander than the landscapes in the Andes which we had seen, nor more
beautiful than the landscapes in Brazil which we were shortly to see.
But of all the parts of South America that we visited, southern Chile
stands out to me as the land where one would choose to make a home.

Two excursions, one to the sea, the other into the hills, gave us
samples of two different kinds of scenery. Of the many brimming rivers
that sweep down from the Andes across the Central Valley none is more
beautiful in its lower course than is the Rio Bueno. It has in the
course of ages cloven for itself through the hard rocks of the Coast
Range a channel so deep that the tide comes up to the little town of
Trumajo forty miles from the sea, and from that town small steamers can
pass all the way to the bar at its mouth. In one of these little craft
which a kind friend had procured we spent a long day in sailing down
and back again. The hills on each side, sometimes hanging steeply over
the stream, sometimes receding where a narrow glen opened, were clothed
with the richest wood. It was a brilliant day in October, answering to
our April, and the sun brought out an infinite variety of shades of
green in the young foliage in these glens, the trees all new to us, and
the spaces between them filled with climbing plants hanging in festoons
from the boughs. Wild ducks and other water-birds fluttered over the
water and rose in flocks as the little vessel moved onward, and green
paroquets called from the thickets. As it nears the sea, the river
spreads into a wide deep pool under a crescent of bold cliffs, and at
the end of this is seen the bar, a stretch of sand on which the huge
rollers of the Pacific break in foam. There is a lighthouse and a few
houses near a flat stretch of meadow by the banks, the grass as green
and the flowers as abundant as in Ireland. Specially vivid were the
yellow masses of gorse, apparently the same species as our own, and,
if possible, even more profuse in its blossoms than on those Cornish
shores of which it is the chief ornament. I have seen few bits of coast
more picturesque than this meeting of the still, dark river and the
flashing spray of ocean under rocks clothed with feathery woods.

On our way back something went wrong with the machinery and the vessel
had more than once to moor herself to the bank till things were set
right. This gave opportunities for going ashore and exploring the
banks. In some places the forest was too dense to penetrate without a
_machete_ to hew a way through the shrubs and climbers. In other places
where one could creep under the trees or pull one's self up the cliffs
by the boughs, the effort was rewarded by finding an endless variety
of new flowers and ferns. The latter are in this damp atmosphere
especially luxuriant; and their tall fronds, dipping into the river,
were often seven or eight feet long. It was a primeval forest, wild
as it had been from the beginning of things, for only in two or three
places had dwellings been planted on level spots by the river and
little clearings made; and the hills are so high and rocky that it may
remain untouched and lonely for many a year to come.

The other excursion was towards the Andes. There is along the railway
no prettier spot than Collilelfu, where a rapid river, broad and bright
like the Scottish Tay, but with clearer and greener water, sweeps down
out of the foothills into the meadows of the Central Valley. Here a
French company have constructed a little branch railway, partly to
bring down timber, partly in the hope of continuing their line far up
the valley and across a pass into Argentina, in order to carry cattle
to and fro. The manager, a courteous Frenchman from the Basque land
of Bearn, ran us up this line through a succession of lovely views
along the river to a point where we got horses and rode for seven or
eight miles further through the forest up and down low ridges to the
shore of Lake Rinihue. The forest was in parts too thick to penetrate
without cutting one's way through creeping and climbing plants, but in
others it was open enough to give mysterious vistas between the tall
stems, and delicious effects where the sunlight fell upon a glade.
The trees were largely evergreen, but few or none of them coniferous,
for in Chile it is only at higher levels that the characteristic
conifers, such as the well-known _Araucaria_, flourish. Here at last
we found that characteristic South American arboreal flora we had been
looking forward to, a forest where all that we saw was new, unlike
the woods of western North America and of Europe, not only because
the variety of the trees was far greater than it is there, but also
because so many bore brilliant flowers upon their higher boughs,
where the sunlight reached them. We were told that in midsummer the
flowers would be still more profuse, but those we saw were abundant and
beautiful enough, some white, some crimson or scarlet, some yellow,
very few blue. One climber lit up the shade with its red blossoms,
and below there were long rows, standing up along the path, wherever
it was fairly open to the light, of white and pink foxgloves, a
species closely resembling our own, while a woody ragwort, eight to
ten feet high, bore a spreading umbel of yellow. The _Calceolarias_,
frequent in Peru, do not seem to come so far south as this. Most of
the trees had small leaves, but two, one called the _lengue_, valued
for its bark, and another resembling a laurel, had large, dark green,
glossy foliage. It was a silent wood, except for the paroquets and
the occasional coo of a wood-pigeon; nor did we see any four-footed
creatures, except two large, reddish brown foxes scurrying across the
path ahead of us. Wildcats are scarce, and the puma, the beast of prey
that has the widest range over the Western Hemisphere, is here hardly
ever seen. The woodscape was less grand and solemn than what one sees
in the great redwood forests of California or in the sombre depths of
those that cover the Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington, where the
Douglas fir and the huge "cedar"[60] tower so high over the trails
that one can scarce catch the light through their topmost branches.
Nor can I say that the views were more beautiful than may still be had
in the few remaining ancient forests of England with their ancestral
oaks and spreading beeches. But there was here a peculiar feature,
giving a sense of the exuberant vitality of nature, in the profusion of
parasitic plants clothing the trunks of the trees, both the fallen and
the living, some of them flowering plants, but more of them ferns and
mosses, especially tender little filmy ferns such as one finds on the
moist and shady rocks of western Scotland and among the mountains of

We embarked on Lake Rinihue in a tiny steamboat, and sailed some miles
over its exquisitely clear, green waters. Steep hills from two to three
thousand feet high enclose it, and at its upper end, where it winds in
towards the central range of the Andes, small glaciers descend from
between high snowpeaks. The view, looking across the deep green of the
forests, broken here and there by a rocky cliff, up to these glittering
pinnacles, had a beauty not only of color and form, but of mystery
also,--that indefinable sense of mystery which belongs to little-known
countries. In regions like Scotland or the Alps or Norway one has
historical associations and the sense of a long human past to enhance
the loveliness of hills and groves and streams. Here one has the
compensating charm of an untouched and almost unexplored nature. The
traveller in southern Chile feels as if he were a discoverer, so little
visited is this land, and such a promise of wild beauty waiting to be
revealed lies in the recesses of these mountains. Along the shores of
Rinihue, which is twelve miles long, there is, save for a house or two
at the place where we embarked, no trace of human life. Other such
lakes, many of them much larger, lie scattered over a space some four
hundred miles long and fifty miles wide on both the Argentine and the
Chilean side of the Cordillera, a land of forests virtually unexplored
and uninhabited, except by a few wandering Indians, standing now as it
has stood ever since the Andes were raised. The day will come, perhaps
less than a century hence, when the townsfolk of a then populous
Argentina, weary of the flat monotony of their boundless Pampas, will
find in this wilderness of lake and river and mountain such a place,
wherein to find rest and recreation in the summer heats, as the North
Americans of the Eastern states do in the Appalachian hills; and
the North Americans of the West, in the glorious ranges along the
Pacific coast. Superior to the former region in its possession of snow
mountains, equal to the latter in climate and picturesque beauty, and
to the naturalist more interesting than either from its still active
volcanoes and its remarkable flora, this lake land of the southern
Andes is an addition, the value of which the South Americans have
hardly yet realized, to the scenic wealth of our planet.



For more than two thousand miles the republics of Argentina and Chile
are divided from one another by the gigantic barrier of the Andes. So
great is the continuous elevation of the range, so little commercial
intercourse can there be across it, so few are the points at which
it can be crossed even on foot by any travellers who are not expert
mountaineers, that the communications between those dwelling on
opposite sides of the mountains have been at all times very scanty. The
contrast between the two sides is marked. For eight hundred miles south
of the Equator, the eastern slopes of the Andean chain have abundance
of rain, while the central plateau is dry and the western declivity is
a waterless desert. But in the region which lies south of the Tropic of
Capricorn, outside the region of trade-winds, the exact reverse holds.
In this southern section of the Andes it is the eastern side that is
dry and the western side that is wet, because westerly winds prevail
and bring up from the Pacific rain clouds that scatter their moisture
on the heights they first meet and have none left to bestow on the
Argentine side of the Cordillera. This great dividing range, checking
intercourse between the peoples on its two flanks, is the dominant
fact in the political and economic life as well as in the physical
geography of the southern part of the continent. It has given these two
neighbour peoples, Chileans and Argentines, different habits, different
characters, and a different history.

The infrequency of communication across the mountains was increased by
the fact that most of the country on the eastern side, being sterile,
was thinly settled, so that there were few people who had any occasion
to cross the mountains, while the approach to the passes was difficult,
for there was little food or shelter to be had along this track. In
the middle of the sixteenth century, however, Mendoza, Captain General
of Chile, founded on the Argentine side the town which still bears his
name. Placed at the foot of the mountains on the banks of a stream
descending from the glaciers of Aconcagua, it was a well-watered spot
in a thirsty land, and population slowly gathered to it. As Argentina
began to fill up with settlers in the latter half of the nineteenth
century and as railways began to be pushed farther and farther inland
from the Atlantic coast, the notion of making a railway across the
Andes began to dawn on enterprising minds, especially after the Brenner
and Cenis lines had been constructed across and through the main chain
of the Alps. At last an English company built a railroad up to this
town of Mendoza, and nothing remained except to pierce the belt of
mountain country. That, however, was no simple matter. The belt is
indeed of no great width. The Cordillera, which in the latitude of
Antofagasta is the western edge of a high plateau, has here narrowed
itself down to a single very lofty ridge, the summits of which are
from 18,000 to 23,000 feet in height. There are transverse lower ridges
running at right angles to the main chain, both westward towards the
Pacific and eastward to the Argentine plain, but as these ridges
average only thirty-five miles in length on the latter and twenty-five
on the former side, the whole distance from the low country on the
eastern side to the low country on the western, does not exceed seventy
miles, which is less than the width (between Luzern and Arona) of
the much less lofty chain of the Alps at the point where the Gothard
railway crosses it.

The central ridge of the Cordillera is, however, so continuously lofty
and its slopes so steep as to be passable for beasts of burden at very
few points and then only during the summer months. Among these points
that which has for a long time, probably from days before the Spanish
conquest, been most in use, is the Uspallata Pass, so called from a
place about fifteen miles west of Mendoza on the mule track which runs
from that town towards the mountains. As population increased, there
was at last substituted for the mule track a road passable by vehicles.
Finally, in 1887, a railroad began to be constructed up the long and
winding river valley which leads from Mendoza to the main chain, while
on the Chilean side, another railway was built up the shorter valley
which rises to the western foot of the same ridge.

Thereafter, the work of construction stopped for a good while,
passengers continuing to cross the ridge on foot or mule back, or in
vehicles which painfully climbed the steep track that led over the
top. At last a tunnel under this ridge was bored, and the whole line
opened for traffic in 1909. The tunnel is only two and a half miles
long, much shorter than those which penetrate the Alps at the Simplon,
the Gothard and the Cenis. But its height above sea-level (12,000
feet) is much greater and the scenery along the line more striking.
If any other trunk line of railroad in the world traverses a region
so extraordinary, it has not yet been described. Till one is run from
Kashmir to Kashgar, over or under the Karakoram Pass, this Andean line
seems likely to "hold the record."

The description of the Uspallata route may begin from Valparaiso. From
that port to the junction for Santiago at the station of Llai Llai the
country is hilly, rather dry, with rolling pastures and meadows along
the streams, and thickets of small trees or scrub on the slopes,--a
country much like southern California, save that there are no oaks
and no coniferous trees. Further on, the hills grow higher; there are
rocks with patches of brilliant flowers, and occasional glimpses of the
great range are caught up the openings of valleys. At a pretty place
called Santa Rosa de los Andes, the Andean railway proper (Ferro Carril
Transandino) begins, and we change into a car of narrower gauge.

This Transandine railroad, one of the few which does not belong
to the Chilean government, is narrow gauge, and its construction
involved difficulties unusual even in the case of mountain lines,
not only because the grades were very steep, but also because the
valleys leading up to the central ridge were, especially that on the
Chilean side, extremely narrow. To have bored corkscrew or zigzag
tunnels, like those on the Gothard railway in Switzerland, would have
involved an expenditure altogether disproportionate to the returns
to be expected from the traffic. It was therefore found necessary to
adopt the cog-wheel system; and on those parts of the line where the
grade is too steep for the ordinary locomotive a rack or cog-wheel
apparatus is fixed between the rails, and the locomotive, fitted with
a corresponding apparatus, climbs by its help. This reduces the speed
of the train in ascending those steep parts, most of which are on
the Chilean side, and unavoidably reduces also the freight-carrying
capacity of the line. There is, therefore, not much heavy goods traffic
passing over it.[61] But to passengers who wish to save time and
escape a sea voyage the gain is enormous, for while the transit from
Valparaiso to Buenos Aires through the Straits of Magellan takes eleven
days, the land journey by this Transandine railway can be accomplished
in forty hours. The regular working of the trains had been interrupted
in the winter before our visit by heavy falls of snow, but the
construction of snowsheds, which was in progress, has probably by this
time overcome such difficulties.

Travellers sleep at Santa Rosa in order to start early in the morning
by the tri-weekly train which in twelve hours crosses the mountains to
Mendoza. From the hotel at the station, we looked straight up a long,
narrow valley to tremendous peaks of black rock thirty miles away to
the east. How they stood out against the bright morning sky behind
them, a few white clouds hovering above! One felt at a glance that this
is one of the great ranges of the world, just as one feels the great
musician in the first few chords of a symphony.

Up this valley runs the railway past little farm-houses, surrounded
by stiff poplars, which thrive well here, though the tree is not a
native, but brought from Europe. Fields, irrigated from the rushing
stream beneath, are green with young corn; weeping willows droop over
the watercourses, vines trail along the fronts of the cottages, and the
pastures are bright with spring flowers. A cart road runs parallel to
the line, and here one sees better than in the cities the true Chilean
_roto_ (peasant of mixed Spanish and Indian blood), in his rough coat
and cotton shirt, baggy trousers and high boots fitted with large
spurs, his low-crowned, narrow-brimmed felt or straw hat, and on his
shoulders the thick homespun poncho characteristic of South America.
His horse is usually near him, for they are all riders, a sturdy little
animal with many saddle-cloths and a heavy, high-peaked saddle and
heavy bit.

After eight or ten miles the valley narrows, and at its bottom there is
only the torrent with sometimes a few yards of grass on one or other
bank. The rock walls begin to rise more steeply, and the trees give
place to shrubs. At a spot called the Soldier's Leap, the train runs
on a shelf in the rock through a gorge over which the converging crags
almost touch one another and shut out the light, the torrent roaring
sixty feet below. One considerable stream, the Rio Blanco, descends
from the south, but otherwise there are no side glens. Vast black
precipices rise on the northern bank six or seven thousand feet above
the river. Slender streamlets, perhaps the children of unseen snows
behind, fall slowly from ledge to ledge, some of them lost in mid-air
when a gust of the west wind sweeps them along.

At last, vegetation having now disappeared, a great black ridge
rises in front across the end of the valley and seems to bar further
progress. On its steep face, however, one can presently discover a
sort of track, winding up it in zigzags. This is the old mule path by
which travellers used to climb slowly to the pass, itself still far
behind. The spot at its foot, where there are a few houses, is Juncal,
the last place where the wayfarer halted to rest before he started for
the formidable passage of the mountains. Here two glens opening from
opposite sides meet at the foot of the great ridge. The glen to the
north is short, descending abruptly from a semicircle of savage black
peaks, the hollows between them filled with snow and ice. That to the
south is long, narrow, and nearly level; it is a deep cleft which
runs into the heart of the mountains as far as the west side of the
mighty Tupungato, whose glaciers feed its torrent. Up this southern
valley the railway, turning at right angles from its previous easterly
direction, runs for some miles, then crosses and leaves the torrent,
turns north and mounts along a narrow shelf cut out in the side of the
great black ridge of Juncal, already mentioned. The slope rising above
the line and falling below it to the valley is of terrific steepness.
The grade is also steep and the locomotive toils and pants slowly
upward by the aid of the cog-wheel, passing through tunnel after tunnel
till at last it comes out, two thousand feet above Juncal, into a wide
hollow surrounded by sharp peaks, those to the north streaked with
beds of snow, those on the south of bare rock, because the snow has
been melted off their sunward turned slopes. The bottom of this hollow
is covered with enormous blocks that have fallen from the cliffs, and
its northern end is filled by a small lake, part of whose surface was
covered with ice. The fanciful name of Lago del Inca has been given to
it. A scene more savage in its black desolation it would be hard to
imagine. Compared to this frozen lake, the glacier lakes of the Swiss
Alps, like the Märjelen See on the Aletsch glacier, are gentle and
smiling. The strong sunlight and brilliant blue of the sky seemed to
make the rocks blacker and bring out their absolute bareness with not
so much as a moss or a lichen to relieve it. From the lake the railway,
making another great sweep, climbs another slope and enters another
still higher hollow, where it stops at the base of a steep ridge. Here
a cluster of huts of corrugated iron, more than usually hideous in such
a landscape, marks the mouth of the great tunnel, at a point 10,486
feet above the sea. In winter everything is covered deep with snow and
now, in October, patches were still lying about and the cold, except
in the sun, was severe. Big icicles were hanging from the eaves of the
iron hut roofs.

Reserving for a later page some account of the top of the Pass and the
colossal statue of Christ which has been set up there, I will describe
the route, as travellers now take it, through the tunnel into Argentina
and down the valley to the plains at Mendoza. The tunnel, cut through
hard andesite rock, under a ridge fifteen hundred feet higher, is
nearly three miles long, and the passage through it takes ten minutes.
The air is cool and free from that sense of oppression which people
complain of in the Gothard. The Duke of Wellington used to say that the
business of a general in war consists largely in guessing what is on
the other side of the hill. Whoever crosses a hill on foot or horseback
sees the surrounding landscape change by degrees, and is more or less
prepared for the view which the hilltop gives of what lies beyond. But
when carried along in the darkness through the very core of a great
mountain range expectation is more excited, and the sudden burst of
a new landscape is more startling. So when, after the few minutes of
darkness, we rushed out into the light of the Argentine side, there was
a striking contrast. This eastern valley was wider and the peaks rose
with a bolder, smoother sweep, their flanks covered with long slides
of dark sand and gravel, their tops a line of bare precipices, not
less lofty than those on the Chilean side but shewing less snow. The
air was drier and the aspect of things not, indeed, less green, for
there had been neither shrub nor plant visible since we passed Juncal,
but more scorched and more aggressively sterile. There was far more
colour, for on each side of the long valley that stretched before us
to the eastward the declivities of the ridges that one behind another
dipped towards it on both sides glowed with many tints of yellow,
brown, and grey. A great flat-topped summit of a rich red, passing into
purple, closed the valley in the distance. The mountains immediately
above this upper hollow of the glen--it is called Las Cuevas--though
nineteen or twenty thousand feet high, are imposing, not so much by
their height, for the bottom of the hollow is itself ten thousand feet
above sea-level, but rather by the grand lines with which they rise,
the middle and lower slopes covered by sloping beds of grey ash and
black sand, thousands of feet long, while at the head of the glen to
the northwest glaciers hang from the crags that stand along the central
range, the boundary of the two countries. In the presence of such
majesty, the grim desolation of the scene is half forgotten.

From Las Cuevas the train runs rapidly down eastward, following the
torrent through a confused mass of gigantic blocks that have fallen
from the cliffs above, and after seven or eight miles, it passes the
opening of a lateral glen down which there comes a far fuller torrent,
bearing the water that has melted from the glaciers of Aconcagua. The
huge mass of that mountain, loftiest of all the summits of the Western
Hemisphere, is seen fifteen miles away, standing athwart the head of
this lateral valley. It is a long ridge of snow, arching into two
domes with a tremendous precipice of black rock facing south, on the
upper edge of which is a cliff of névé. The falling fragments of thin
ice feed a glacier below, just as a similar ice cliff above a similar
precipice makes a little glacier thousands of feet below on the side
of Mount Ararat. The top of Aconcagua is nearly twenty-three thousand
feet high, and the valley at this point about eight thousand. Only in
the Himalayas and the Andes can one see a peak close at hand soar into
air fifteen thousand feet above the eye, and I doubt if there be any
other peak even in the Andes which rises so near and so grandly above
the spectator. It was first ascended in 1897 by an Englishman, Mr.
Vines.[62] The steepness of the snow slopes offered less difficulty
than did the rarity of the air, the violence of the winds, the severity
of the cold, besides the other hardships which are incident to camp
life in this desolate region, where the climber, far from all supplies,
waits day after day for weather steady enough to permit an attempt
highly dangerous except under favouring climatic conditions.

A little below this point one reaches the spot called Puente del Inca
(the Inca's bridge). Unusual natural phenomena are called after the
Incas in these countries, just as they are after the Devil in Europe.
Hot springs of some medicinal value which gush from the ground have
been turned to account in a small bathing establishment to which a few
visitors resort in summer. There is a real natural curiosity in the
sort of bridge which the torrent has formed by cutting a way for itself
underneath a detrital mass, the upper part of which has been bound hard
together by the mineral deposits from the hot springs, so that it makes
a firm roadway above the river roaring below. The place is, however,
unspeakably lonely and dreary, bare and shelterless, too sterile for
aught but a few low, prickly shrubs to grow. Over it whistles that
fierce west wind which comes up from the Pacific in the afternoon,
and sweeps down this valley chilled by the snowy heights which it has

The journey down the valley from this point is a piece of scenery to
which it would be hard to find a parallel on any other railroad. It
is like traversing the interior of an extinct volcano, for the rocks
are all volcanic, of different ages and different colours, black and
grey lavas, yellow and pink and whitish and bluish beds of tufa and
indurated ash, sometimes with long streaks of gravel or dark sand
streaming down from the base of the precipices above. At one place
there is seen just under such a precipice, a row of sharp black
pinnacles, not unlike miniature aiguilles, apparently the remains of
a lava bed that has disintegrated, leaving its harder parts to stand
erect. These are called the Penitentes, from a fancied resemblance
to sinners in black robes standing or kneeling to do penance.[63] I
could perceive no trace of any defined craters or, indeed, of any
recent volcanic phenomena in the valley, and should conjecture that
subterranean fires had died out here many ages ago. Of the former
presence of glaciers and the action of water on a great scale there
are abundant signs in the remains of large moraines and in the masses
of alluvium, through which the streams have cut deep trenches all the
way down the valley. Its mountain walls rise so high and steep that the
snow mountains behind are hidden. But at one point where a narrow glen
comes down from the south, there is seen at the end of a long vista,
thirty miles away, the great, blunt pyramid of Tupungato.[64] Tupungato
attains 22,000 feet, the upper six thousand of which are draped in
white, and is, among the southern Andes, inferior only to Aconcagua and
to Mercedario.

About thirty miles below the tunnel the valley opens into the little
plain of Uspallata, bounded on the opposite or eastern side by a range
of flat-topped hills, across which the old mule track and carriage road
ran to Mendoza. This range, running parallel to the main chain of the
Cordillera and therefore at right angles to the valley down which we
had come, turns the course of the torrent southward, forcing it to find
its way out to the level country through a deep gorge or cañon. The
railway follows the river. As we reached Uspallata, the declining sun
was turning to a rosy pink the mists that hung upon the peaks to the
northwest, now hiding and now revealing the snow fields that filled
their highest hollows. The dry eastern hills glowed purple under its
rays, and the purple was deepening into violet in the fading light when
the train plunged into the depths of the cañon along the banks of the
swirling stream. Here we were at once in different scenery. The rocks
were of red and grey granite, and there were shrubs enough to give some
greenness to the slopes. Stern and wild as the landscape was, it seemed
cheerful and homelike compared with the black grimness of the volcanic
region above. Night descended before we had emerged into the Argentine
plain, and when we drove through the friendly lights of Mendoza to
our hotel in the handsome Plaza, it was hard to believe that four
hours before we had been in the awesome Valley of Desolation between
Aconcagua and Tupungato.

To these two mountains Mendoza owes its existence. It stands in an
oasis watered by the torrent which brings down the melting of their
snows, the rest of this part of Argentina being an almost rainless
tract, where coarse grass and sometimes low scrub-woods cover ground
that is barely fit for pasturage and hopeless for tillage. At this
spot, however, the perennial flow of the glacier-born river suffices
to fill numerous channels by which water is carried through fields and
vineyards over a wide area, giving verdure and fertility. It was the
good fortune of this position that made Mendoza's lieutenant, Castillo,
choose this spot so far back as 1560 for the first Spanish settlement
made on this side of the mountains. For a long time it remained a tiny
and isolated outpost, useful only as a resting place on the track from
Chile to the Atlantic coast. But it was never forsaken, and though
frequently shaken and as late as 1860 laid in ruins by earthquakes, it
has of late years recovered itself and become a prosperous centre of

It stands on the great Pampa, just at the point where the last
declivities of that low, flat-topped range to which I have referred
sink into the vast and almost unbroken level, slightly declining
eastward, which extends six hundred miles from here to Buenos Aires.
As the fear of earthquakes keeps the houses low, and the streets are
wide, it covers a space of ground large in proportion to its population
which is 45,000. The principal business thoroughfare is quite handsome
with double rows of lofty Carolina poplars and a cool stream of reddish
glacier water coursing along beneath. In the ample Plaza, planted with
plane trees, there is a colossal statue of San Martin the Liberator of
Argentina and Chile; and quite recently a large park with an artificial
lake has been laid out on the slope of the hill. All these adornments
are due to the Mendoza River (the one which descends from Aconcagua)
and two other smaller streams, whose combined waters have been
skilfully used not only to beautify the city, but to irrigate a wide
space round. Most of the land is planted with vines, but all sorts of
fruit trees, particularly peaches, pears, and cherries, are grown and
despatched by rail to the eastern cities. Vine culture is in the hands
of the Italians, who have settled here in large numbers, and brought
with them their skill in wine making. In an establishment which we saw,
managed by an Italian gentleman from Lombardy, it was interesting to
note how chemical science and mechanical invention have changed the
forms of this oldest of human industries. Thirty-five years before in
the port wine country of the Douro I had seen the ancient wine-press
scarcely changed, if changed at all, from the days of Virgil, perhaps
from the days of Isaiah, perhaps from the days of Noah, with the old
simple methods of casking and keeping the wine still in use. Now it is
all factory work, done like that of a foundry or a cotton mill by all
sorts of modern scientific methods and appliances. The wine made here
is of common quality, intended for the humbler part of the Argentine
population, who have happily not exchanged their South European
habits for the modern love of ardent spirits. Nearly all the country
is supplied from Mendoza because eastern Argentina is ill fitted for
viticulture. The vineyards, interspersed with meadows of the bright
blue-green alfalfa, give some beauty to the oasis, though the vines
are mostly trained on sticks, not made to climb the poplar or mulberry
as they do in north Italy. The land both north and south outside the
range of irrigation is a sterile wilderness, except along the banks
of a few streams that descend from the Andes, and to the east also it
remains barren for a long way, bearing nothing except the algaroba
tree, which is of use for firewood, but for little else. Travelling
still farther eastward, one reaches a region where a moister climate
gives grass sufficient for ranching, and thereafter, the rainfall
growing more copious as one approaches the Atlantic, comes the region
of those prodigious wheat fields which are now making the wealth of
this country.

Here in Argentina we were "on the other side of the hill," in a social
as well as in a physical sense, and we soon found ourselves trying
to note the differences between Chileans and Argentines, peoples
of the same origin, dwelling side by side but divided by a lofty
mountain chain. Two contrasts are evident. Chile is, always excepting
Santiago and Valparaiso, a quiet tranquil country, developing itself
in a leisurely way. But in Mendoza, though it is one of the smaller
Argentine towns, there is a stir and bustle like that of England or
Germany or North America. Land values are going up. Branch lines
of railway are being run through the outskirts of the city among
the vineyards. The main streets are crowded, and there is a general
air of "expansion" and money making. Then in Chile the population
is stable and comparatively homogeneous. The Germans who are found
in some of the small southern towns have settled down and become
completely domesticated. But here in Argentina the Italians who flock
in daily are conspicuous as a growing element, which is contributing
effectively to the wealth of the country, for most of the immigrants
are hard-working and intelligent people from Lombardy and Piedmont.
To describe with precision the differences between the Argentines
proper, that is to say, those of Spanish stock, and the Chileans, is
not easy for a passing foreign visitor, nor can he attempt to judge
whether the Chilean is justified in claiming that he is more frank and
open, and the Argentine that he is more perfectly a child of his time.
One does, however, receive the impression that the Argentine, being
usually better off, is more disposed to enjoy himself. In both nations
Castilian courtesy has lost some of its elaborateness, but those who
know both say that the change has tended to make the Chilean of the
less educated class more abrupt even to the verge of brusqueness, and
the Argentine more offhand and "casual." The prosperous Argentine
gathers money quickly and spends it freely; the Chilean retains the
frugality of old Spain, and while the former is more vivacious, the
latter is more solid.

Placed on the edge of a monotonous desert, and far from all other
cities, Mendoza may seem a depressing place to dwell in, yet it has
some attractions for those to whom natural environment means something.
At the end of those streets which open to the west glimpses are caught
of the distant richly coloured mountains; and the man who goes to and
fro amidst the crowd on his daily tasks is reminded of the beauty of
a far-off lonely nature. Then there is the view of the Andes from the
southwestern outskirts of the city. It is a view specially noble just
at sunrise, when the level light reddens the long line of ghostly snows
that stretches south for more than a hundred miles from where the cone
of Tupungato, towering above its fellows, is the first to catch the
rays. It is like the view of the Alps from Turin, and even grander,
since not only the height, but also the immense length of the Andean
range, trending away towards distant Patagonia till its furthest peaks
sink below the horizon, lays upon the imagination the spell of vastness
and mystery.

A third equally striking prospect is that over the Pampa from the high
ground of the new park. There is something in looking over a boundless
plain that inspires more awe than even the grandest mountain landscape.
The latter is limited, the former thrills the mind with a sense of
infinity, land and sky meeting at a point which one cannot fix. There
is little colour on this plain and little variety of aspect except that
given by the shadows of the coursing clouds. But its uniformity seems
to make it the more solemn.

Over that plain lay our shortest way to Buenos Aires and Europe, along
the line of railroad that runs for hundreds of miles without a curve
or a rise or a bridge, always steadily eastward to the sea. But it
is a dull and dusty journey through a monotonous landscape, at first
mostly desert, then mostly pasture, at last mostly wheat fields, but
always flat as a table, possibly the widest perfectly level plain in
the whole world. And we had the stronger reason for not taking this
route that it had been a main object of our journey to see the Straits
of Magellan, that great sea highway from ocean to ocean, the finding
and traversing of which was an achievement second only to the voyage
of Columbus. So leaving Mendoza before dawn, we threaded the windings
of the granite cañon, and then, passing the little plain of Uspallata,
took our way up the long volcanic Valley of Desolation, that leads to
the pass, finding it not less strange and terrible than it had seemed
two days before. When we reached the Argentine end of the tunnel at Las
Cuevas, we quitted the train in order to mount to and cross the top of
the pass, the _Cumbre_, as it is called, which is fifteen hundred feet
above, and over which, until the tunnel was pierced, all travellers
walked or rode. The ridge is composed of friable volcanic rock,
decomposed to a sort of coarse gravel, steep on both sides, but most
so on the Argentine. The road, which, although rough, is still barely
passable for light vehicles, is not likely long to remain so, as no one
now crosses the ridge, unless indeed he wishes to see the statue on the

We took mules, for in this thin air it is well to save effort by
riding when one can, and as there was no vegetation, there could be
no gathering of alpine plants. But more than once we had occasion to
feel that we should have been happier on our feet, for in heading
the animals across short cuts between the windings of the track we
got on slopes so steep that it was a marvel how the creatures could
keep their feet. It was now past midday, so a furious west wind was
careering over this gap between the far loftier heights on either side,
and making it hard for the mules to resist it, and for us to keep in
the saddle. Once upset, one might have rolled down for hundreds of
feet, for there was nothing for beast or rider to catch at.

The Cumbre is a flattish ridge hardly a quarter of a mile across, with
towers of rock rising on each side, the cold intense and no shelter
anywhere from the biting blast. There is a small stone hut, but it was
half full of snow. One thought of the hapless travellers of former
days caught here in some blinding snowstorm far from human help. One
recalled the daring march of that detachment of the Argentine army
of San Martin, when, in 1817, they crossed the pass in that hero's
expedition to deliver Chile from the yoke of Spain, the rest of his
force having taken the equally difficult though less lofty route by the
Los Patos Pass to the north of Aconcagua. The passages of the Alps by
Hannibal and by Napoleon were over ridges only half as high and only
half as far from the dwellings of men.

The view to the west into Chile looking down into the abysmal depths of
the valley that leads to Santa Rosa, with formidable spires and towers
of rock nineteen thousand feet high rising on either hand, grand and
terrible as it is, is less extensive and less imposing than that to the
east into Argentina. Both Tupungato to the south and Aconcagua to the
north are hidden by nearer heights, the latter by the huge Tolorsa,
whose cliff-crested slope descends in singularly beautiful lines to
the hollow of Las Cuevas. But to the east are the two great ranges that
enclose the valley, their forms less bold than those of the Chilean
mountains to the west, where rain and snow wear down the softer rocks,
and leave the crags standing up like great teeth, but their colours
richer and more various.

On the level summit of the pass stands the Christ of the Andes,
a bronze statue of more than twice life size standing on a stone
pedestal rough hewn from the natural rock of the mountain. The
figure, which is turned northwards so as to look over both countries
and bless them with its uplifted right hand, is dwarfed by the vast
scale of the surrounding pinnacles, and although there is dignity
in the attitude and tenderness in the face, it hardly satisfies the
conception one forms of what such a figure might be. Rarely does
any modern representation of the Redeemer approach the dignity and
simplicity which the painters and sculptors of the Middle Ages and
early Renaissance knew how to give.[65] But when one reflects on the
feeling that placed this statue here and the meaning it has for the two
peoples, it is profoundly impressive. There had been a long and bitter
controversy between Chile and Argentina over the line of their boundary
along the Andes, a controversy which more than once had threatened war.
At last they agreed to refer the dispute to the arbitrament of Queen
Victoria of Great Britain. A commission was authorized by her and her
successor to examine the documents which bore upon the question and
to survey the frontier. After years of careful enquiry an award was
delivered and a boundary line drawn in which both nations acquiesced.
Grateful for their escape from what might have been a long and ruinous
strife, they cast this figure out of the metal of cannon, and set up
here this monument of peace and good-will, unique in its place and in
its purpose, to be an everlasting witness between them.

We descended the opposite side of the pass on foot in the teeth of the
raging blast, taking short cuts across the broken rocks, and avoiding
the steep snow beds. At Caracoles, the stopping place at the Chilean
end of the tunnel, the manager of the railway, a bright and pleasant
young North American engineer, who had accompanied us over the top,
and to whose courtesy we had been much beholden on the whole trip,
proposed to run us down the first and steepest part of the descent to
the station of Rio Blanco, on an open trolley. By now the sun was near
his setting, but there would presently be some moon, so we welcomed
the suggestion of this less familiar kind of locomotion and started in
the waning light, sitting on a low bench back to back, so as to steady
one another, while our friend the manager took his seat on the edge
of the little car and grasped the brake handle. We ran swiftly down
the first steep incline to the Frozen Lake, while the orange glow of
the sky was paling to a cold and steely grey, then out to the edge of
the ridge which rises above Juncal, then down into the black depths
of the Juncal Valley, along the narrow shelf cut out of the rock,
rushing down the steep incline in and out of the tunnels. The tunnels
were hardly blacker than the night without, for the moon was still
hidden behind the peaks. At length she rose over the crags, just where
the torrent comes down from behind Tupungato, and for the rest of our
twenty-six miles we could by her help see a little way ahead, just
enough to know if some block had fallen from above upon the rails. It
was bitterly cold, but cold is more easily borne in this keen, dry air
than in humid England, and sometimes we forgot it in noting how the
trolley quickened or reduced its speed as the practised hand on the
brake loosened it on a straight run or pressed it hard when we entered
a dangerous curve. Twice before I had made similar descents, once down
the Himalayan railway from Darjiling to Siliguri, and once through the
dismal solitudes of the Bolan Pass in Beluchistan. But those were in
broad daylight. To get the thrills of such a ride in their brimming
fulness one must take it in the pale moonlight, passing into and out of
the shadow of black crags as one spins along the ringing lines of steel.

As it is here that I bid farewell to the Andes, this is a fitting place
for some observations on their scenery, as compared with that of the
mountain systems more familiar to most of us, such as the Alps and the
Caucasus, and the Himalayas, in the Old World; the Rocky Mountains
and Sierra Nevada in the New. It is, however, only of the central and
southern parts of the Andes, and for the most part of their western
side, that I can speak, for I had no time to visit the valleys which
descend into the forests of eastern Peru and Bolivia. But before I come
to the scenery, let a few words be said upon the mountains from the
climber's point of view, as offering a field for his energy and skill.

The Andes are not only a longer and loftier chain than any of those
just named, except the Himalayas, but are altogether on a vaster scale,
the plateaux higher and wider, the valleys longer and deeper. Thus they
bear what one may call a different ratio to man,--that is to say, his
power of walking and climbing enables him to accomplish less in a given
time in these two greater than in the lesser ranges. He is less able
to cope with their heights and their distances, especially as above
a certain height the rarity of the air reduces his powers. In Great
Britain an active man can ascend two of the highest mountains in a day
without fatigue. In the Alps a first-class peak demands the afternoon
of one day and the forenoon of another. A little more time is required
in the Caucasus, a little less in the Pyrenees or the Tatra. But in the
central Andes he may probably have to give several days to one ascent,
so much more effort is required to reach the summit from his base of
operations. A _coup de main_ is seldom possible; one must allow plenty
of time and make elaborate preparations.

When huge mountains with spreading bases stand apart from one another,
they less frequently combine to form a landscape perfect in the
variety of its features than do the mountains of lower ranges. Size
is only one element in grandeur. A single peak, or even one of its
precipices, may be sublime in the boldness of its lines and its
enormous bulk, yet too isolated for that kind of beauty which lies
either in the combination of fine lines or in the contrast of rich
colours. A mountain that rises alone in a desolate region, strewn with
tumbled rocks and ancient moraines, or, if it be a volcano, with fields
of ashes and lava spreading miles from its base, may want the elements
which make the charm of scenery in Europe or the temperate parts of
North America. Andean peaks are often seen best a long way off, so that
they fall into groups or show one behind the other, giving variety of
position and contrast of form. Then, the unlovely heaps of gravel and
stones or ash cease to deface the landscape, because distance, touching
them with delicate colour, gives them a beauty not their own.

These atmospheric effects are of supreme value in the scenery of the
arid parts of South America, in which one may include nearly all of the
higher Peruvian, Bolivian, and North Argentine Andes. Such a dryness as
belongs to the Pacific coast and to the central plateau from Titicaca
southward into the desert of Atacama withdraws an element which gives
half their charm to the best parts of Europe, for it forbids grass to
clothe the hillsides and groves to break the monotony of plains. From
the Equator till one reaches central Chile, there is scarcely any water
in Andean landscapes, very few lakes, except Titicaca, few rivers, and
those rivers usually torrents, raging at the bottom of deep gorges,
where they are heard, but scarcely seen. There is, except in the deeper
valleys, no wood, seldom even such glossy shrubs or stunted and gnarled
trees as one finds on the dry isles and coasts of the Ægean and the
Levant, or on the equally dry hills of California and Arizona. Neither,
except in a few upland valleys, is there any verdure of grassy slopes.
Green, the softest and most tender of hues, is almost wholly absent
from the great ranges and the plateau. On the eastern side of the Andes
there is, indeed, vegetation enough and to spare, but once plunged into
the forest all distant views are lost, for it is everywhere so thick
that neither it nor the mountains above can be seen at all. Except when
cresting a ridge, the traveller swelters under an unbroken roof of
impenetrable foliage.

What redeems the scenery of the high Andes is the richness and delicacy
of the colours which the brilliant desert light gives to distant
objects. A black peak becomes deep purple; a slope of dry, grey earth
takes a tender lilac; and evening as it falls transfigures the stones
that strew the sides of a valley with a soft glow. The snow sparkles
and glitters at noonday and flushes in sunset with a radiance unknown
to our climates. This is what replaces for these regions the charm of
the thick woods and marshy pools of New England, of the deep grassed
river meadows of France, or the heathery hillsides of Scotland, and
brightens the sternness of those vast prospects which the Cordillera
affords. Yet it cannot make them inspire the sort of affection we
feel for the mountains of temperate countries, with their constant
changes from rain to sunlight, their fresh streams and bubbling
springs, and flowers starring the high pastures. So the finest things
in the Andes are either the views of a single giant peak, like that of
Aconcagua, described a few pages back, or some distant prospect of a
great mountain group or range, such as that of the snowy line of the
Cordillera Real as it rises beyond Titicaca, or the volcanic peaks of
Arequipa seen from the desert of the coast.

It follows from what has been said that the Andes offer a much less
favourable field for the landscape painter than do the lower mountains
of European countries, such as Scotland or Norway, or the Pyrenees or
Apennines. The nearer and lesser beauties which the painter loves are
just those which are here wanting. Sometimes one finds landscapes which
some master of the grand style might place upon a large canvas. Several
such there are in the Vilcañota Valley, especially below Sicuani, and
still further down at Ollantaytambo. But the want of what is called
"atmosphere" and the comparative scarcity of the objects which make
good foregrounds are serious disadvantages. Grandeur and wildness, not
beauty, are the note of these regions. Immense depths and heights, vast
spaces, too bleak and bare for human life, lying between the habitable
valleys, the sense of tremendous forces at work piling up huge volcanic
cones, of unthinkable periods of time during which the hard rocks
have been crumbling away and fathomless gorges have been excavated
by rivers,--these are the things of which the Andes speak, and they
speak to the imagination rather than to the sense of beauty. They are
awesome, not loveable.

It is with European scenery, as that likely to be most familiar to
my readers, that I have been trying to compare the scenery of the
Cordilleras. But a word may be added about the Himalayas, since they,
too, are on a great scale and the fitter to be compared to the Andes
because near, though not actually within, the tropics.

They resemble the Andes in being too vast for beauty and for the sort
of enjoyment to be derived from wandering among mountains of a moderate
size, whose heights one can reach with no excessive fatigue. It is even
more difficult in them than in the Cordilleras to explore the valleys
and reach the base of the great summits. They offer some prospects
wider and grander than any in South America, such as that from Phalut
on the borders of Nepal and Sikkim, where forty peaks, each of which
exceeds twenty thousand feet, stand up east, north, and west of the
beholder.[66] The capital difference between the two chains, besides
that difference in the forms which arises from geological character,
the Himalayas being composed of ancient crystalline rocks, while many
of the high Andes are of volcanic origin, lies in the fact that the
south side of the Himalayas receives abundance of rain and is covered
with dense forests. This adds to the sublimity of the great Himalayan
views a certain measure of beauty which the Andes lack. On the other
hand those effects of colour on bare surfaces which belong to dryness
and a powerful sun, are absent in the parts of the Himalayas which
front toward India. When one passes behind the outer peaks into the
great tableland of Tibet, physical conditions resembling those of the
Andean deserts appear; and the same remark applies to the inner valleys
of the northwestern Himalaya, such as that of the upper Indus. The
parallel may be carried further, for just as the Himalayan chain has a
dry side, that turned to the lofty northern plateau of Tibet, so the
Andean Cordillera has a wet side, its eastern, turned to the Amazonian
forests. This side I have not seen, but gather from those who have that
its rock and river scenery is superbly beautiful in the valleys, but
that it is more difficult than in the Himalayas to obtain a distant
view of the great range, because the points are few at which one can
get above the forest.

Europe, although the smallest, is, in point of the accessibility,
and of what may be called the serviceability to man, of its beauty,
the most fortunate of the continents. Less grand and extensive than
either the Himalayas or the Andes, the Alps have more of varied charm,
and contain more of mingled magnificence and loveliness than any
other mountain chain. It would lead me too far afield to discuss the
respective merits of South American and of North American scenery.
But those who have seen both will agree that there is nothing in the
Andes which better combines beauty with majesty than the Yosemite and
its sister cañons in the Sierra Nevada of California, and nothing so
extraordinary as the Grand Cañon of the Colorado River in Arizona.

It may seem more natural to compare the Andean Plateau with what most
nearly corresponds to it in North America, the plateau of Anahuac, in
the centre of which lie the lakes and the city of Mexico. The northern
parts of that country are for the most part bare mountains and barren
desert, but on this plateau seven thousand feet above sea level there
is rain enough to give fertile fields and woods and a profusion of
flowers upon the hillsides. There is the brilliant sunlight of the
tropics without their too rank vegetation. Ranges of craggy hills
traverse it, and a few great snowy cones, such as Popocatepetl and
Citlaltetepl (near the town of Orizava), rise in solitary grandeur
from its surface to a height of seventeen thousand feet. The presence
together of all these elements creates landscapes of surpassing beauty.
Even in Italy and on the coasts of Asia Minor I have seen nothing
equal to the views of the plain and lakes of Mexico from the castle
of Chapultepec and the views of the broad valley of Cuernavaca either
from that city or from the heights around it. These landscapes are not
only lovely in their combination of hill and plain, of rock and forest,
with snowclad summits closing the distance: they are also "in the grand
style," ample and harmonious landscapes such as one has in the greatest
pieces of Claude Lorrain or Turner. Whether there are any equal to
these on the east side of the Andes I cannot say. Those on the west
side have equal amplitude and equal grandeur, but not such finished

Can a lover of nature in general and of mountains in particular be
advised to take the long journey to western South America for the sake
of its scenery? If he be a mountain climber who enjoys exploration
and pants for yet untrodden peaks, he will find an almost untouched
sphere for his energies, summits of all degrees of difficulty from
eighteen thousand to twenty-two thousand feet, with the advantage of
having at certain times of the year uninterruptedly fine weather and a
marvellously clear air. If, not aiming so high, he nevertheless loves
natural beauty enough not to regard some discomforts, and if, having
a sound heart and lungs, he does not fear great altitudes, he will be
repaid by seeing something different in kind from anything which the
mountains of Europe and North America and Africa have to shew, and
the like of which can be seen only in the Himalaya and the even less
approachable desert ranges of central Asia, such as the Thian-Shan
and Kuen-Lun. The Andes have a character that is all their own, while
in the temperate region of the South Chilean Cordillera one finds
landscapes which, while not so unlike as are the Peruvian to those
of western Europe and the Pacific coast of North America, have also
a charm peculiar to themselves, which will endear them to the memory
of whoever has traversed their flowery forests and sailed upon their
snow-girt lakes.



  The passage of the Andes by the army of San Martin has been
  pronounced by military historians of authority to have been one of
  the most remarkable operations ever accomplished in mountain warfare.
  The forces which he led were no doubt small compared to those which
  Suvarof and Macdonald commanded in their famous Swiss campaigns,
  and small also when compared to those which Hannibal and Napoleon
  carried across the Alps. But the valleys which the two detachments
  of San Martin's army had to traverse lay in an arid and practically
  uninhabited region, and the passes to be crossed were much higher.
  This added immensely to the hardships and difficulties of the march,
  yet few men were lost.

  San Martin divided his army into two parts. The smaller, in charge
  of Colonel Las Heras, consisted of eight hundred men, including two
  field guns and a few cavalry. It proceeded by the Uspallata Pass,
  over the Cumbre, while the larger, under San Martin himself, moved
  by the much longer and colder though not quite so lofty route over
  the pass of Los Patos to the north of Aconcagua. The rendezvous was
  successfully effected at the exact point chosen by San Martin, where
  the two lines of march down the two valleys on the Chilean side of
  the Cordillera converge a little below the village of Santa Rosa de
  los Andes, now the terminus of the Trans-Andine railway. San Martin,
  screened by the Andes, had from his position at Mendoza so skilfully
  contrived to deceive and perplex the commander of the Spanish army
  in Chile as to induce him to scatter his greatly superior force
  over much too long a line, so as to guard the various passes, all
  very difficult, which lie to the south of the Uspallata. Thus when
  San Martin, having effected his own concentration near Santa Rosa,
  marched straight upon Santiago, he was able to overpower the Spanish
  army, still somewhat larger than his own, when it tried to bar his
  path at Chacabuco. The Spanish general fled to the coast, and though
  some time had yet to pass before San Martin won his decisive victory
  at Maipo, and before Lord Cochrane drove the Spaniards out of their
  last maritime strongholds at Corral, the crossing of the Andes was
  not only the most brilliant operation of the whole war, but was also
  that which most contributed to the liberation of Chile and Peru.

  The best account I have been able to find of this campaign is in
  Mitre's elaborate _Historia de San Martin_, with the accompanying
  volumes of _Documentos_. The description there given of the crossing
  of the passes is, however, sadly wanting in topographical details.

  José de San Martin, a strong and silent man, whose character and
  achievements have been little known or appreciated outside his own
  country, had learnt war under the Duke of Wellington in Spain. He
  comes nearer than any one else to being the George Washington of
  Spanish America.



In the annals of maritime discovery three great voyages stand out
as the most daring in their inception, the most striking in their
incidents, the most momentous in their results. They are those of
Columbus in 1492, of Vasco da Gama to the coast of India in 1498, of
Magellan in 1519-1522, and of these three, Magellan's was in some ways
the most wonderful. It was by far the longest, and was performed under
hardships and sufferings which were absent from the others. Vasco da
Gama had a powerful armament, could obtain pilots, and knew where he
was going. Columbus had a short and easy crossing, though it was into
an unknown region. But Magellan ventured down into the stormiest seas
of our globe, and after he had found a channel leading through savage
solitudes to the Pacific, had eight thousand miles of ocean to traverse
before he sighted those Asiatic isles among which he found his fate. As
the interest of the Straits, apart from the grandeur of their scenery,
lies largely in the circumstances of their discovery and the heroic
character of the man who first proved experimentally (so to speak) that
our earth is a globe, a few lines may be given to some account of his
exploit before I describe the channel itself.

Columbus seems to have set forth not so much to discover new countries
as to find a shorter way to India from the west than that known to
exist _via_ the Red Sea,[67] and which Bartholomew Diaz, by passing
the Cape of Good Hope, had almost proved to exist round Africa. As
James Russell Lowell happily said, "meaning to enter the back door of
the Old World, Columbus knocked at the front door of a New World." To
the end of his life, after four voyages, in two of which he coasted
for hundreds of miles along the shores of what we now call Central and
South America, he continued to believe that he had reached the Indies,
though he had not been able to hit upon any one of the islands or
districts supposed to exist there. When it began to be clear that there
were masses of land extending a long way to the north and south of the
part which Columbus had first struck, men tried to find a way through
this land by which Asia, still supposed to be quite near, might be
reached. Portuguese and Spanish navigators followed the coast of what
we call South America a long way to the south, while others explored
northwards. In 1513 Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, crossing the Isthmus of
Darien, discovered the Pacific Ocean, which he called the South Sea;
and it began to be conjectured that there might well be a great space
of water to be crossed before India could be reached, though nothing
shewed how wide it was or whether it was anywhere connected with
the Atlantic. Six years later, in 1519, Magellan was commissioned by
Charles, king of Spain (not yet the Emperor Charles V) to try to find
a passage from the Atlantic into the sea which washed eastern Asia
and so to reach, if possible, the rich Spice islands (the Moluccas)
already known to lie off the Asiatic coast. He sailed with three ships
in August of that year, and began his search for a westward passage
at the Rio de la Plata, which had already been reached (in 1516) by
Spanish sailors. He wintered on the coast of Patagonia at a spot where
Francis Drake also spent the winter fifty-eight years later, and on
the 21st of October, being the day of the Eleven Thousand Virgins,
sighted a low promontory which he called after those saints and which
is still the Cape Virgenes of our charts. Just beyond and inside this
promontory there opens to the west an inlet of the sea, which he
sent two ships to explore. They seem, from the description given by
Pigafetta, the Italian chronicler of the expedition, who was on board,
to have gone through two channels, now called the First and Second
Narrows, into the great piece of open water opposite the place we call
Punta Arenas (though possibly they stopped at the entrance of the
Second Narrows), and they returned thence with an account so favourable
that Magellan entered the strait on All Saints Day (November 1). Had
he not found it, his purpose was to sail on steadily southward till
he reached latitude 75° south. Long before that he would have been
stopped by the frozen shores of Graham Land, nor did any one get down
to latitude 75° till 1823. He passed both Narrows, crossed the open
piece of water, and then, halting at a point where the channel forks,
he sent out two of his ships to examine the southeasterly one while he
took the southwestern. Thereafter, stopping again, and making a pilot
climb a hill to see if the channel came to an end, he sent on boats
to explore further. They returned--so says Pigafetta[68]--in three
days and reported that they had seen a cape and beyond it open sea.
Thereupon Magellan cast loose from the shore to which he was moored and
with two out of his three ships (for one of those sent to reconnoitre
had deserted and gone back to Spain) sailed out to the west, and on
November 28 entered the Pacific. When he perceived that there was a
vast sea before him, he called the cape Deseado (the desired) and wept
for joy. Thence, turning first north and then northwest, he got into
the southeast trade-wind, and sped along before it, making from fifty
to seventy leagues a day. Before this steady breeze he sailed for three
months and twenty days over the boundless waste of waters, his crews
reduced to the last extremity by famine and scurvy, till he reached
the Ladrone Islands. "Had not God and His Blessed Mother given us
good weather," says the Italian chronicler, "we should all have died
of hunger in that exceeding vast sea. I do not believe that any such
voyage will ever be made again." Perhaps it was because the subsequent
sufferings made their time in the Straits seem agreeable by comparison
that Pigafetta has nothing but good to say of the latter. "There were,"
he says, "safe ports every half league, and plenty of water and good
wood. I do not believe there is a more beautiful country or a better
strait than that in the world."

Sir Francis Drake, whose passage of the Straits in 1578, on his famous
circumnavigation of the globe, seems to have been the next recorded
one after Magellan's, got through in sixteen days, but encountered
frightful weather when he emerged into the Pacific, which drove him a
long way south, perhaps nearly as far as Cape Horn.[69] The passage
from east to west which Magellan and Drake took is more impressive than
that from west to east, because it begins between low shores in quiet
and even tame scenery, which rises into grandeur as one approaches the
Pacific. We, however, had to take the Strait the opposite way, and so I
will describe it.

The last Chilean port at which the ocean-going steamers bound for the
Atlantic call is Lota, near Talcahuano, of which I have already spoken
(see page 227). From this it is a voyage of three days to the west
end of the Strait. The steamer keeps so far out that in the cloudy
weather which usually prevails it is only at intervals that one can
see the lofty hills. This is one of the wettest and windiest parts of
the Pacific, and it is in this region, between latitude 45° south and
Cape Horn, that seas heavier than elsewhere in the world are apt to be
encountered. We had the usual weather, cold and wet, with a southwest
wind which sometimes rose to three-quarters of a gale. It is, however,
a good rule to keep the deck whenever you can do so without the risk
of being drenched or perhaps knocked down and swept along by a wave
coming on board; and the want of anything else to occupy the eyes was
compensated by the delight of watching the flocks of sea-birds which
followed and circled round the ship day after day. Chief among them
was the albatross, whose aspect is that of a gigantic gull. There were
usually two or three, and, as has often been observed, they seemed
scarcely to move their wings, but to float along, rising and falling
without effort and often moving faster than the ship, of which they
usually kept astern. Steady as was their flight, it would have needed
a good marksman to hit one with a cross-bow, had such a weapon been
by ill luck on board. Among the other birds,--there were at least
forty or fifty playing round the ship, but it was impossible to count
them accurately,--the largest was the giant petrel or "bone breaker,"
which somewhat resembles an albatross, save that he is dark, and the
handsomest was the so-called Cape pigeon. He is bigger than a pigeon
and no more like one than is implied by the fact that he is more like a
pigeon than a gull. The grace of his circling flight, and the black or
dark brown spots on the dazzling white of his wings, made it a constant
pleasure to watch him, but it was hard either to follow the course
of any particular bird or to be sure that our count of the spots was
correct. When any remains of food were thrown overboard, the whole
swarm darted at once upon it, fluttering and cluttering together on
the surface of the sea, with much splashing and jostling, but never,
so far as we could observe, fighting with one another. Even the great
albatross did not seem to abuse his strength against the Cape pigeon.
When they had seized what they could, all easily overtook the ship,
though by that time perhaps two or three hundred yards away. The
dulness of three tempestuous days under gloomy skies was redeemed by
the joy of watching these beautiful creatures, happy in having their
lot cast on a wild and lonely coast, where they are safe from the
predatory instincts of man.

This long line of islands, stretching along the coast from Chiloe
seven hundred miles to the opening of the Straits, is practically
uninhabited, though a few wretched Indians wandering about in canoes
support life by fishing. Between the isles and the mainland is a
labyrinth of sounds and bays studded with other islands, great and
small, all covered with wood so close and thick as to be almost
impenetrable. The scenery, especially towards the south in the long
inland sea called Smyth's Channel, has excited the admiration of those
few travellers who have been fortunate enough to see it. This we had
hoped to do, but found that the German steamers which used to take the
route through these channels into the Straits had ceased to do so on
account of the dangers of the navigation, there being so much fog and
rain, such strong and uncertain currents, and so many sunken rocks
that even with the help of the charts which the British Admiralty
has published, it is hazardous to move except in broad daylight.
Lighthouses there are none. One line of small steamers does run from
Punta Arenas in the Straits through the channels up to the south
Chilean ports, but to have waited for a boat of this line would have
involved a month's delay, so we had to comfort ourselves by reflecting
that had we been able to catch a vessel traversing this fairyland of
wood and water and snowpeaks rising above land-locked fjords, still
the chances of weather good enough to enable it to be seen and enjoyed
would have been slender. For a description of it the reader may be
referred to the book of Mr. Ball.[70] Were it not so far from the
countries where rich men own yachts, it would be a superb yachting
ground for those who could spare the time to explore its recesses,
moving only by day, and with unceasing circumspection.

Among the headlands which we saw along this stern and lofty coast, two
were especially striking from their height and form. One is called Tres
Montes. Heavy clouds hid its top, but two thousand feet were visible of
the steep face that rose above the sea. Further south the huge tabular
mass of Cape St. George, grand and grey in its drapery of mists, looked
out over billows, the spray of whose crests as they broke upon the
rocks could be seen fifteen miles away. There is not in the world a
coast more terrible than this. No hope for a ship driven in against it
by the strong currents and the resistless western swell. Still further
south, on the fourth day of our voyage, after a night in which the
vessel, steady sea boat as she was, rolled so heavily that it was hard
to avoid being pitched out of one's berth, we reached a group of high
rocky islands, called the Evangelists,--they seem from a distance to be
four, but are really five,--on which the Chilean government has lately,
in spite of the difficulty of landing in an always troubled sea,
erected a lighthouse. Its light, 190 feet high, is visible for thirty
miles, and was greatly needed, for vessels found it hard in the thick
weather that is frequent here to make the entrance to the Straits. The
group is conspicuous by a hole through one of the highest cliffs, and
a long curved and contorted stratum of white quartz along the face
of another. Not even on the coast of Norway can I remember anything
grander than this wild sea, flashing and seething round these lonely
isles. No other land was in sight, though the blackness of a distant
cloud shewed that there were hills behind it. An hour and a half later
there loomed up in the south, through driving rain-clouds, a dark mass
which presently revealed itself as a tower of rock springing out of
the sea, with crag rising above crag to a lofty peak behind. This rock
tower--Cape Pilar--marks the entrance to the Straits. Beyond it an
ironbound coast runs down four hundred miles southeast to Cape Horn.
It is a coast which ships seldom see, for steamers, of course, prefer
the Straits; and the very few sailing vessels that still come round
this way to the Atlantic from San Francisco or Valparaiso or Australia
give a wide berth to these savage and storm-swept shores. When we had
gone some ten miles further, the steamer turned her course eastward,
and entered the opening, about fifteen miles wide, between Cape Pilar
on the south and Cape Formosa on the north. We were now on the track of
Magellan, for Pilar is the cape which he saw and named the Desired Cape
(Cabo Deseado) when the seaway opening to the west assured him that the
ocean he was seeking had been found. Standing high on the bow of our
ship and looking along it as it plunged in the great rollers, how small
this ocean steamer seemed compared to the vast landscape around. Yet
how much tinier were the two vessels with which Magellan ventured out
into the billows of an unknown sea.

Before us the inlet narrowed to a point scarcely seen in the vaporous
haze. To the south the bare peaks of Desolation Island, beginning from
Cape Pilar, rose with terrific boldness, unscaleable shafts and towers
of rock that recalled the shapes of the Coolin hills in Skye or the
still loftier summits of the Lofoten Isles in Norway. To the north a
mysterious fringe of islands and foam-girt reefs, grey and dim among
their mists, hid the entrance to Smyth's Channel and the labyrinth
of almost unexplored sounds and inlets along the Chilean coast
beyond. Behind us the sun, now near his setting, threw from among the
scattering clouds a flood of yellow light over the white-topped surges
that were racing in our wake. One thought of Magellan's tears of joy
when these long surges on which his little vessel rose told him that
here at last was that ocean he had set forth to find and over which lay
the path of glory that for him led only to the grave. Such a moment was
worth a lifetime.

As our ship passed further and further in between the narrowing shores,
the birds began to drop away from us, first the great albatross,
which loves the open sea, and then the smaller kinds. So, too, the
billows slowly subsided, though the wind was still strong and the
water still deep and the sea wide open behind us, until when we had
gone some fifteen miles beyond Cape Pilar the ocean swell was scarcely

Among the isles on the north side of the Strait the most conspicuous
is that to which, from its high-gabled central ridge, the name of
Westminster Hall has been given. It seemed strange to find in this
remote region nearly all the headlands, bays, and channels bearing
English names, but the explanation is simple. As there were no
native names at all, the Fuegians not having reached that grade of
civilization in which distinctive proper names are given to places,
and extremely few Spanish names, because the colonial government never
surveyed the Straits and few colonial vessels entered them, the British
naval officers who did their hydrographic work in and around the
Fuegian archipelago were obliged to find names. Like Cook and Vancouver
in the north Pacific they bestowed upon places the names of their
ships, or of their brother seamen, or of persons connected with the
British Admiralty at home. Hence Smyth's Channel and Cockburn Channel
and Croker Peninsula and Beagle Sound and Cape Fitzroy and Fury Island
and Mount Darwin. The Dutch captains, sea-rovers or whalers, have
contributed other names, such as Barnevelt Island and Staten Island
and Nassau Bay and Cape Horn itself. Thus a chart has here the sort of
historic interest which the plan of an old city has, where the names of
streets and squares speak of the persons who were famous when each was
built, like Queen Anne Street and Harley Street and Wellington Street
in London, or the list of Napoleonic victories which one has in the
street names of Paris.

The Admiralty surveys have also named the different parts of the long
line of the Straits. First comes, beginning from the westward, Sea
Reach, which, narrowing gradually till it is about four miles wide,
has a length of about thirty miles; then Long Reach, thirty-five miles
long, and averaging two to three miles wide; then the shorter, and in
parts narrower, Crooked Reach, and English Reach, which brings one to
Cape Froward, nearly halfway to the Atlantic. Darkness fell before we
came to the end of Sea Reach, and we had our last view of the range of
formidable pinnacles and precipices which, beginning from Cape Pilar,
run along the shore of Desolation Island, the northernmost of the
mountainous isles that lie between the Straits and Cape Horn. It is
separated from the two isles next to it on the southeast by channels so
narrow that the three were long supposed to form one island. The peaks,
some of them apparently inaccessible, are of bare rock and run up to
four thousand feet. On the slopes near the shore there is a little
short grass, but no wood, so violent and unceasing are the winds.
The sea was absolutely solitary. For three days we had seen no ship.
Formerly a few Fuegians in their canoes haunted these shores, but they
now come no longer. Scattered remnants of their small tribes, Yahgans
and Alakalufs, wander along the shores of the more southerly islands,
supporting existence on shell-fish and wild berries. With the exception
of the now all but extinct Bushmen of South Africa and the Veddas of
Ceylon, they are the lowest kind of savage known to exist, going almost
or quite naked, rigorous as is the climate, possessing no dwellings,
and having learned from civilized man nothing except a passion for
tobacco. There are missionaries at work among them who have done what
can be done to ameliorate their lot, which would be even more wretched
if they knew it to be wretched. They would appear, from the vast
remains of their ancient middens, to have inhabited these inhospitable
regions for untold ages, and their low state contrasts remarkably with
the superior intelligence and the progress in some of the arts of
life which mark the Lapps and Esquimaux and other barbarous tribes of
regions far nearer to the North Pole than this is to the South. The
contrast may possibly be due to the greater scarcity of wild creatures
both on land and sea in this extremity of South America.[71] Here are
no bears, black or brown or polar, and no creature like the reindeer
of Lapland, and no musk-ox; nor has the dog ever been harnessed.

Next morning we were up on the bridge beside our friendly captain at
the first glimmer of dawn. The vessel, going at half speed during the
night, had covered no great distance, but the character of the scenery
had already changed. Here in Long Reach the Strait was only three miles
wide. The spiry pinnacles of Desolation Island had been replaced by
mountains nearly or quite as high, but of more rounded forms, their
faces breaking down sometimes in cliffs, but more frequently in steep,
bare slopes of rock to the deep waters, their glens filled with blue
glaciers, which sometimes came within two hundred yards of the sea,
their upper slopes covered with snow or névé, which seemed to form
vast ice fields stretching far back inland. Clouds lay heavy on these
snows, so only here and there could one discern the outlines of a peak,
and conjecture its height. The tops seemed to average from twenty-five
hundred to four thousand feet, and the level of the line of perpetual
snow to be somewhat over three thousand feet, varying according to the
exposure, the line being, of course, a little higher on the south side,
whose slopes face the north. On the lower declivities towards the sea
there was now some grass, and in sheltered places, such as the heads
of inlets, a little thick, low scrub of trees, probably of the two
Antarctic beeches,[72] which are here the commonest trees. What most
struck us was the similarity of the mountain lines and their general
character to those of the extreme north of Norway, between Tromsö
and the North Cape. Everything seemed to point to an epoch when the
glaciers, formerly more extensive than now, rounded off the tops of the
ridges, and smoothed the surfaces, just as one finds them rounded and
smoothed along the Lyngen fjord on this side the North Cape. It is also
natural to suppose that rain and wind, which seem to be less copious
and less violent in this part of the Straits than at their western
opening, have done less here than they do there to carve the peaks into
sharp spires and jagged precipices.

The day, when it came, was dark, for a grey pall of cloud covered
sea and mountains; but as this was the usual weather, and suited the
sternness of the landscape, we regretted only the impossibility of
seeing the tops of the highest hills that rose out of the undulating
snow plateau which lies back from the shores. Very solemn was this
long, slightly winding channel, deep and smooth, broken rarely by an
island or a rock, but now and then shewing a seductive little bay with
a patch of green. Sometimes in a glen running back to the foot of a
glacier one caught the white flash of a waterfall. The remarkable
purity of the ice and smallness of the moraines may be attributed to
the fact that the glaciers seemed to be seldom overhung by cliffs
whence stone would fall, and that the rocks were evidently extremely
hard. They seemed to belong to the ancient crystalline group, granite
and gneiss or mica schist, with masses of white quartz, shewing no
trace anywhere of volcanic action. This region on both sides of the
Straits may be a prolongation not of the great Andean Cordillera,
but of the Coast Range of Chile, which (as already observed) mostly
consists of those older rocks which I have just mentioned.

At Crooked Reach the view, looking back westward, was specially noble.
On a green slope above a sheltered inlet upon the south side are a few
houses, the melancholy remains of a Swiss colony, founded some twenty
years ago, which failed to support itself in this inclement nature.
Behind there was a long curtain-like line of snows. On the north two
or three small isles fringed the steep rocky shore with a background
of peaks dimly seen through drifting snow showers. In the middle the
eye rested on the smooth, grey-blue surface of the great waterway, here
only a mile wide, dark as the clouds above and darker still in spots
where a gust from the hill fell upon it, silent as when Magellan's prow
first clove it. For steam vessels the navigation is not dangerous,
since, though there are in this narrow part no lights, there are few
sunken rocks. A rock is always indicated by the masses of very long,
yellowish brown seaweed which root on it and wave in the tide. But
squalls or williwaws (as they are called) come down from the glens with
terrific suddenness, and the water is so deep that it is often hard
to anchor, or to keep the ship, if anchored, from dragging. Magellan
moored his vessels to the shore every night. How did he manage to get
through so quickly, against the prevailing west winds, by tacking in a
channel so narrow, especially as in those days mariners could not sail
so near the wind as we do? Perhaps he may have made much use of the
tide, mooring when it was against him and pushing ahead when the ebb
set out to the Pacific. The tide flow is, however, not so strong here
as is that which enters on the Atlantic side, and it there rises to a
much greater height.

About this point another change comes over the scenery. There begins to
be more wood, and though it is still stunted, one notes patches of it
up to eight hundred feet. On the north shore more recent sedimentary
strata, apparently of sandstone and limestone, replace the gneiss,
and a growth of herbaceous plants and ferns drapes the face of the
cliffs. Then at the end of English Reach rises a bold headland, Cape
Froward, twelve hundred feet high, projecting from the much loftier
Mount Victoria behind. It marks the southernmost extremity of the South
American Continent in latitude 52°. Here the coast-line, which had
been running in a generally east southeasterly direction all the way
from the Pacific, turns sharply to the north, and in a few miles a new
scene is disclosed. The Strait widens out, an open expanse of water
is seen to the northeast with a low shore scarcely visible behind it;
and to the south, nearly opposite Cape Froward, a channel diverges to
the southeast between high mountains on its west side and lower hills
on the east. This is the north end of Cockburn Channel, which, after
many windings among islands, opens out southwestward into the Pacific,
and this seems to be the place where Magellan halted, sending out the
two ships--one of which deserted him--to explore the southeastward
channel. Looking up it one can see in clear weather, some forty miles
away, the peak of Sarmiento, highest of all the mountains of this
region, a double pyramid of rock peaks rising out of snow. It is of old
crystalline rock and is described as by far the most striking object
in all the Magellanic landscapes. Thick clouds hid it from our longing
eyes. Its height is estimated at six thousand feet, and so far as I
know it has never been ascended. That dauntless climber, Sir Martin
Conway, who got nearer to its top than any one else has ever done, was
turned back by a frightful tempest below the last rock peak.

East of Cape Froward, one is at once in a different region with a
different climate. The air is drier and clearer. The shores are lower,
the wood, still mostly of the Antarctic beech, is thicker, with many
dead white trunks which take fire easily. The hills recede from the
sea, and grow smoother in outline, finally disposing themselves in low
flat-topped ridges, six or eight miles behind the shore-line. A wide
expanse of water, and of land almost as level as the water, stretches
out to the eastern horizon, so that at first one fancies that this
apparently shoreless sea is part of the Atlantic, which is in fact
still nearly a hundred miles away. Signs of civilization appear in
a lighthouse at San Isidro, and near it at a small harbour on the
mainland to which a few whalers resort, boiling down into oil the
produce of their catch. Presently the masts and funnels of vessels
lying off shore at anchor rise out of the sea, and we heave to and
disembark at the little town of Punta Arenas on the Patagonian coast,
which English-speaking men call Sandy Point. This is the southernmost
town not only in Chile, but in the whole world, twenty degrees further
from the South Pole than Hammerfest, an older and larger place, is
from the North Pole. It consists of about six very wide streets, only
partially built up, running parallel to the shore, which are crossed
at right angles by as many other similar streets, running up the hill,
the houses low, many of them built, and nearly all of them roofed,
with corrugated iron. It has, therefore, no beauty at all except what
is given by its wide view of the open sea basin of the Strait, here
twenty miles wide, and beyond over the plains of Tierra del Fuego, the
great island which lies opposite. In the far distance mountains can
in clear weather be seen in the south of that island, Mount Sarmiento
conspicuous among them.

Punta Arenas was for many years only a place of call for whalers,
since hardly any trading vessels passed through the Straits before the
days of steam, and thereafter for a while a Chilean penal settlement.
It grew by degrees and has profited by the discovery of lignite coal
in its neighbourhood, though the seam is small and of poor quality;
and within the last twenty years it has increased and thriven because
sheep farming has been started on an extensive scale on the mainland
of Patagonia as well as in Tierra del Fuego and some of the adjoining
islands. All the sheep ranchmen within a range exceeding several days'
journey come here for their supplies and all ship their wool from here,
so it can now boast to be the leading commercial centre of the region,
having no rival within a thousand miles. Whether it can develop much
further may be doubtful, for traffic through the Straits will not
greatly increase against the competition of the Trans-Andine railway
for passengers and that of the Panama Canal for goods, and most of the
land fit for sheep farming has been already taken up. Neither the whale
fishery nor sealing is now prosecuted on a large scale.

The town is a cosmopolitan place, in which English, as well as Spanish
and to a less extent German (for the steamers of a well-appointed
German line call frequently), is spoken; people engaged in the sheep
trade come and go from the Falkland Islands, and the ocean liners keep
it in touch with the distant world of Valparaiso and Buenos Aires and
Europe. It is the same distance to the south of the Equator as the
Straits of Belleisle in Labrador is to the north, but the climate here
is far more equable. It is never warm, but the winters are not severe,
there is little snow, and frosts are moderated by the adjoining sea.
The air is dry and healthy with a rainfall of only ten inches in the
year. Though the landscape is bare, for trees can with difficulty be
induced to grow, and though there is much wind and no shelter, still
we found something attractive in this remote and singular spot, for
one has a constantly stimulative sense of the vast expanse of sky
and sea and the distant plain of Tierra del Fuego, with a touch of
mystery in the still more distant ranges of that island which just shew
their snowy peaks on the horizon. The light over sea and shore has an
exquisite pearly clearness which reminds one of the similar light that
floats over the lagoons between Venice and Aquileia. Can this peculiar
quality in the atmosphere be due, here as there, to the presence of a
large body of comparatively smooth and shallow water, mirroring back to
heaven the light that it receives?

Tierra del Fuego, which one had been wont to think of as a land of
dense forests and wild mountains, is, as seen from Punta Arenas, and
all along the eastern part of the Straits from this point to the
Atlantic, a featureless level. Its northern part is flat, like the
Patagonian mainland, which is itself the southernmost part of the great
Argentine plain. Some parts are arid, but most of it is well grassed,
excellent for sheep. Only in the far south are there mountains, the
eastern prolongation of the range that runs (interrupted by channels
between the isles) southeast from Cape Pilar. Neither along the shores
of the Strait nor in those southern mountains are there any signs of
volcanic action, but I was told that such evidences do exist at the
extreme eastern end of the island, and there are in the Patagonian
mainland, a little way north of the Straits, a large crater and a lava
stream eighteen miles in length, the last manifestations to the south
of those volcanic forces which are visible along the whole line of
the Andes northward to Panama. Both in Tierra del Fuego and on the
mainland there are left a few Patagonian aborigines. Those who dwell in
the island are of the Ona tribe, tall men who, like the Tehuelches that
roam over the mainland, answer to the description of the Patagonian
giants given by the early Spanish and English navigators. Pigafetta
relates that when Magellan's men had, near Port St. Julian, where
he wintered, guilefully entrapped and fettered one of these giants,
he cried out on Setebos to aid him, "that is," says Pigafetta, "the
big devil" (_il gran demonio_). Shakespeare would seem to have taken
from this account, through Eden's _Decades of the New World_, the
Setebos whom Caliban names as "his dam's god" in the _Tempest_.[73]
The Onas who used to come down to Punta Arenas to sell guanaco skins
and obtain ardent spirits, are now seldom seen. Strong liquor was too
much for them, as it was for Caliban, and has reduced their numbers.
It is curious that the far more abject Fuegians, who love tobacco,
detest intoxicating liquors. But the chief calamity that befell this
interesting tribe was the discovery that the more level parts of Tierra
del Fuego are fit for sheep. The ranchmen drove off the Onas: the Onas
retaliated by stealing the sheep and when they got a chance, shooting
the ranchmen with arrows, for they have scarcely any firearms. The
ranchmen then took to shooting the Onas at sight, so that now, out of
three thousand who used to inhabit Tierra del Fuego, there are said to
remain only three hundred, defending themselves in the recesses of the
wooded mountains in the extreme south of the island. They are manly
fellows of great strength and courage, and go about clothed only with a
guanaco skin. Few guanacos are now left, for they also have had to make
way for the sheep.[74]

After midnight the steamer left Punta Arenas for the Atlantic. Rising
at daybreak I saw the eastern half of the Straits, than which nothing
could be less like the western half. After traversing for some distance
the wide basin between the mainland and Tierra del Fuego, on the west
shore of which Punta Arenas stands, we reached the part of the Strait
called the Second Narrows, where the passage, between low bluffs of
hard earth on each side, is only a few miles wide, and then emerged
from this into another large basin. Twenty miles further come the First
Narrows, narrower than the Second, and then a wide bay, which in its
turn opens into the Atlantic between two low capes, that on the north
being Virgenes, and that on the south Espiritu Santo. Here it was that
Magellan anchored while his two small ships went ahead to explore. The
space between the capes, which is the eastern mouth of the Straits, is
about ten miles wide. The coast here, as well as both shores of the
Straits all the way from Punta Arenas, is perfectly flat, with a very
slight rise of ground some miles back on the Patagonian side. Clear as
was the air, no hills were visible in the distance, neither those in
the south of Tierra del Fuego nor those westwards behind Cape Froward,
where the Andes end. Over all this vast plain not a dwelling or sign
of life could be discerned save the lighthouse on Cape Virgenes,
where the boundary line between Chile and Argentina strikes the sea.
The northeastern part of Tierra del Fuego belongs to the latter, the
southwestern part to Chile. From below the cape, a low point runs out
into the sea, to which British mariners have given the familiar name of
Dungeness from its similarity to that curious shingle bank which the
tides of the English Channel have piled up on the coast of Kent. It is,
however, much shorter than our Dungeness and the pebbles of the shingle
are smaller.

Before I close this account of the Straits, a few remarks may be
added on their general physical character, which some of my readers
may have pictured to themselves as very different from what one finds
them to be. I had myself done this, fancying them to be a channel long
and narrow all the way from ocean to ocean, a channel between steep,
dark hills, covered with dense forests, with volcanoes, more or less
extinct, rising behind. Nothing could be further from the reality.

Magellan's Straits are unlike any other straits in this respect,
that the physical aspect of the two ends is entirely different. The
character of the shores on each side is the same in each part of the
channel, but both shores of the eastern half, from the Atlantic to
Cape Froward, are unlike those of the western half from Cape Froward
to the Pacific. The former has low banks, with smooth outlines, slopes
of earth or sand dipping into shallow water, and a climate extremely
dry. The latter half is enclosed between high, steep mountains which
are drenched by incessant rains. The eastern half is a channel, narrow
at two points only, leading through the southernmost part of the vast
Argentine plain, which has apparently been raised from the sea bottom
in comparatively recent times. The western half is a deep narrow cut
through the extremity of a great mountain system that stretches north
for thousands of miles, forming the western edge of South America, and
the rocks on each side of it are ancient (palæozoic or earlier). The
western half is grand and solemn, with its deep waters mirroring white
crags and blue glaciers. The low eastern half has no beauty save that
which belongs to vast open spaces of level land and smooth water over
which broods the silence of a clear and lucent air. A more singular
contrast, all within a few hours' steaming, it would be hard to find.
Unlike, however, as these two halves of the Straits are, they are both
impressive in the sense they give of remoteness and mystery, a passage
between two oceans through a wilderness most of which is likely to be
forever left to those overwhelming forces of nature, rain and wind and
cold, which make it useless to man.

Magellan's discovery of the Straits and circumnavigation of the globe
was an event of the highest geographical significance, for it finally
proved not only that the earth was round, and that the western sea
route to India, of which Columbus dreamed, really existed, but also
that the earth was immensely larger than had been supposed. A few years
after Magellan, Pizarro and his companions, sailing southward from
Panama to northern Chile, proved that the "South Sea" discovered by
Balboa stretched so far to the south that it must be continuous with
that which Magellan had crossed to the Philippines. Thereafter, not
much was done in the Southern Hemisphere until the discovery of New
Zealand and Australia two centuries later. But no great importance,
either commercial or political, belonged to a long and narrow strait
which it was extremely difficult to navigate against the prevalent
west winds, so when it was presently discovered that there was an open
sea not much farther south, it was round Cape Horn and not through
the Straits that most of the English and Dutch adventurers made their
way to plunder the Spaniards on the Pacific coast; and when the trade
restrictions Spain had imposed finally disappeared at the end of the
eighteenth century, commerce also went round Cape Horn, tedious and
dangerous as was the passage to those who had to face the prevailing
westerly gales. Even in the days when Charles Darwin sailed in the
_Beagle_ under Captain Fitzroy, hardly any merchant vessels traversed
the Straits. It was the application of steam to ocean-going vessels
that gave to this route the importance it has since possessed.[75] It
is now threatened, as respects passenger traffic, with the competition
of the Transandine railway; as respects goods traffic, with that of the
Panama Canal, and it may possibly retain only so much of the latter as
passes between Pacific ports south of Callao and Atlantic ports south
of the Equator.

The morning was brilliant with blue wavelets sparkling under a light
breeze as we passed out to the east and saw the low, flat bluff of Cape
Virgenes sink below the horizon. But the wind rose steadily, and next
morning the spray was dashing over the vessel when we caught sight,
through drifting clouds, of the shores of the Falkland Isles. They
were wild and dreary shores bordered by rocky islands and scattered
reefs, no dwellings anywhere visible on land, nor any boats on sea.
In the afternoon, having passed, without seeing it, the mouth of the
channel which separates the East from the West Falkland, we anchored
in the deep bay which forms the outer harbour of Port Stanley, the
chief harbour and village of the islands. The wind was still so strong
that our careful captain decided not to take his vessel through the
very narrow passage which leads to the inner harbour, so we got
into the tiny launch which had come out with the mails, and after a
tumble in the waves and a run through the narrows found ourselves in
a landlocked inlet, on the shore of which stands the capital city of
this remote and lonely part of the British Empire, a place of a few
hundred inhabitants. Here was Government House, a substantial villa
of grey stone. Indoors we found a cheerful little drawing-room with a
cheerful blaze in the grate, a welcome sight to those who had not seen
a fire during three weeks of almost constant cold. There was a tree
beside the house, the only tree in the islands, and a conservatory full
of gay flowers, looking all the prettier in such a spot. And from the
top of its tall staff the meteor flag of England was streaming straight
out in the gale. The village--it seems to be the only village in the
colony--consists of one street built mostly of wood and corrugated
iron, with a few better houses of stone whitewashed, and reminded us
faintly of the little seaside hamlets of Shetland or the Hebrides,
though here there was neither a fishlike smell nor any signs of the
industry which dominates those islands. All was plain and humble,
but decent, and not without a suggestion of internal comfort. The
only colour was given by some splendid bushes of yellow gorse in full
flower, an evidence that though it is never warm here, the thermometer
never falls very low. The climate is extremely healthy, but the winds
are so strong and incessant that everybody goes about stooping forward.

The isles were uninhabited when discovered, a fact creditable to
the aborigines of South America, for a more unpromising spot for a
settlement of savages could not be imagined; no wood and no food either
on the land or on the sea. At present there are about two thousand
three hundred inhabitants, nearly all of British origin, including a
good many Scots brought hither as shepherds, for the colony is now one
enormous sheep-farm, probably the biggest in the world, and lives off
the wool and skins it sends home and the living sheep it exports for
breeding purposes to Punta Arenas. Wild cattle, descendants of a few
brought long ago by the earlier settlers, were once numerous, but have
now almost disappeared; and the tall tussock grass, which was such a
feature in the days of Sir James Ross's Antarctic Expedition (1840),
has vanished, except from some of the smaller isles. Poor is the
prospect for an agriculturist, for the climate permits nothing to ripen
except potatoes and turnips with a few gooseberries and currants. As
in most oceanic islands, the native land fauna, especially of mammals,
is extremely scanty, and, what is stranger, there are, so one is told,
so few fish in the sea that it is not worth while to face the storms
to catch them. Perhaps this is an exaggeration, meant to justify the
laziness as timidity of those who won't go out. Certain it is that the
sea is always rough, and there are no fishing boats about. Neither are
there roads; the population is so thin that they would cost more than
its needs justify, and locomotion, even on horseback, is hindered by
the bogs and swamps that fill the hollows.

One naturally asks in the spirit which fills us all to-day, whether
anything can be done to "develop the place," _i.e._ to find some
resources for the people and help them to make something more of the
islands. Well, there are the seals which frequent the coast. They
belong to a species different from that of the North Pacific, but with
an equally valuable fur. Some are now taken by the few whaling vessels
which still resort to these tempestuous seas, but nothing is done to
prevent their destruction within territorial waters or to preserve a
land herd, and it would no doubt be difficult to exercise effective
control on such a wild and thinly peopled coast. Yet what one heard on
the spot seemed to suggest that steps might be taken by international
agreement for the protection and utilization of these and other large
marine mammals both here and in the other islands in this part of the
ocean. Some of the rarer species are threatened with extinction.[76]
The arrangements recently made by a treaty between Great Britain, the
United States, Russia, and Japan, for the benefit of the North Pacific
sealing industry constitute a useful precedent.

There are ports enough to furnish all the west coast of South America
with harbours of refuge, but no use for them, for few ships come
this way, and, as has been said, nobody goes fishing. Yet far out of
the world's highways as they lie, and slight as is their economic or
political value, the Falkland Isles have had a long and chequered
history. An English navigator, Davis, discovered them in A.D. 1592,
and they were afterwards explored by a French voyager from the port of
St. Malo, whence the name of Iles Malouines, by which the French still
call them. In 1764 Bougainville, one of those famous seamen who adorned
the annals of France in that century, and whose name is now preserved
from oblivion by the pretty, mauve-coloured flower which grows over all
the bungalows and railway stations of India, planted a little colony
here, with the view, fantastic as it seems to us now, of making this
remote corner of the earth a central point from which to establish a
transoceanic dominion of France in the Southern Hemisphere to replace
that which had been lost at Quebec in 1759. The Spaniards, desiring
no neighbours in that hemisphere, dispossessed these settlers. An
English colony planted shortly afterwards, presently driven out by the
Spaniards, and then re-established, was withdrawn in 1774. Finally, in
1832, the British government resumed possession of the islands, then
practically uninhabited, for the sake of the whale fishery, and in 1843
a government was organized. In its present form, it is of the type
usual in small British colonies, viz. a governor with an executive and
a legislative council, the two bodies nominated, and consisting almost
entirely of the same persons.

These political vicissitudes have left no abiding mark, except in
a few remains at the station of Port Louis which the French made
their capital, for there never was any population to speak of till
sheep-farming began. The Pacific liners call once a month on their
outward and inland voyages, and steamers go now and then to Punta
Arenas, but there are no British possessions nearer than Cape Colony
to the northeast and Pitcairn Island to the northwest, thousands of
miles away.

We walked with the Acting Governor to the top of a hill behind Port
Stanley to get some impressions of nature. There were as yet only
two or three flowers in bloom, and what chiefly struck us was the
resemblance of the thick, low mats and cushions of the plants to
some species that grow on the upper parts of the Scottish Highland
mountains. Among these, there was one producing a sweet berry, the
dillydilly, from which excellent jam is made, the only edible wild
product of the country. The prevailing strata are quartzose schists
and sandstones, which rise in two mountains to heights exceeding two
thousand three hundred feet, and as there is no trace of volcanic
action anywhere, the islands are evidently not a link between the
great Antarctic volcanoes and those of the Andean system, but perhaps
a detached part of the older rocks through which those volcanoes have

From the hilltop we looked over a wide stretch of rolling hills
covered with short grass, which in the wet hollows was yellowish or
brown. Ridges or peaklets of bare white or blue rock rose here and
there into miniature mountains, and there were runs of loose stones
on the slopes below the ridges,--altogether a wild landscape, with
no woods, no fields, no signs of human life except in the village
beneath, yet redeemed from dreariness by the emerald brilliance of
the air and the variety of lights and shadows falling on the far-off
slopes. The evening tints were mirrored in the landlocked inlet below,
and beyond the outer bay the cold, grey, ever-troubled sea stretched
away towards the South Pole. We felt as if quite near the South Pole,
yet were no nearer to it than the North Pole is to Liverpool. One
seemed to have reached the very end of the world. Though one might be
reminded a little of the Hebrides,--all windswept islands have points
of resemblance,--still the scenery was not really like any part of
our Northern Hemisphere, but had a character of its own. I have seen
many wild islands in many stormy seas, and some of them more bare and
forbidding than this, but never any inhabited spot that seemed so
entirely desolate and solitary and featureless. There was nothing for
the eye to dwell upon, no lake, no river, no mountain,--only scattered
and shapeless hills,--a land without form or expression, yet with a
certain simple and primitive beauty in the colours of the yellow grass
and grey-blue rocks, shining through clear air, with the sea-wind
singing over them. No spot could better have met the wishes of the
hermits who, in early Christian centuries, planted themselves on rocky
islets and lonely mountain tops on the coasts of Ireland, for here
there is nothing, even in Nature herself, to distract a pious soul from
meditation. Any one who to-day desires seclusion to think out a new
philosophy might find this a fitting place of peace, if only he could
learn to endure the perpetual drive of the wind.

The last flush of sunset was reddening on the inlet when we re-joined
our steamer and sailed down past the lighthouse out into the ocean,
a fresh flock of sea-birds appearing to bear us company. Three more
stormy days and stormy nights northward to Montevideo!



The interest which Argentina arouses is entirely unlike that which
appeals to the traveller's eye and mind in Peru or Bolivia or Chile.
In each of these three countries there is scenery grand in scale
and different in type from what any other part of the world has to
shew. In Peru and Bolivia there are also the remains of a primitive
civilization, scanty, no doubt, but all the more attractive because
they stimulate rather than satisfy our curiosity. They speak of
antiquity, and indeed all three countries have a flavour of antiquity,
though Chile has scarcely any relics coming down from it. But in the
River Plate regions there is (except along the Andes and in the far
north) little natural beauty, and nothing that recalls the past. All is
modern and new; all belongs to the prosperous present and betokens a
still more prosperous future. Argentina is like western North America.
The swift and steady increase in its agricultural production, with an
increase correspondingly large in means of internal transportation,
is what gives its importance to the country and shews that it will
have a great part to play in the world. It is the United States of the
Southern Hemisphere.

Not even the approach by sea to Alexandria or to the mouth of the
Hooghly below Calcutta, is duller than that to Buenos Aires. Before
land is seen, the vessel enters a muddy, reddish brown sea, and
presently the winding channel, marked for a long way by buoys, shews
how shallow is the water on either side. This is the estuary, two
hundred miles long and at this point about thirty miles broad, of
the Rio de la Plata, formed by the union of the great river Uruguay
with the still greater Paraná, streams which between them drain
nearly one-fourth part of the South American continent. Approaching
the Argentine shore, one sees a few masts and many funnels rising
above the tall hulls of steamships, docked in lines alongside huge
wharves. Beyond the open space of the wharf runs a row of offices and
warehouses, but nothing else is seen, nor can one tell, except from
the size of the docks and the crowd of vessels, that a great city lies
behind. Nothing can be seen, because Buenos Aires stands only some
thirty feet above high-water mark in a perfectly flat alluvial plain,
with scarcely any rise in the ground for hundreds of miles, and not
a rock anywhere. On entering the city one is surprised to find that
with a boundless prairie all around, the streets should be so narrow
that in most of them wheeled traffic is allowed to move only one way.
One great thoroughfare, the Avenida de Mayo, traverses the centre
of the city from the large plaza in which the government buildings
stand to the still larger and very handsome plaza which is adorned
by the palace of the legislature. Fortunately it is wide, and being
well planted with trees is altogether a noble street, statelier than
Piccadilly in London, or Unter den Linden in Berlin, or Pennsylvania
Avenue in Washington. In the newer parts of the city more width is now
being given to streets as they are from time to time laid out, but the
congestion of the nucleus is a serious obstacle to rapid locomotion,
which is otherwise well provided for by numerous electric car lines.
No North American city has a better car service. Though skyscrapers
have scarcely yet made their appearance, the houses are much higher
than in the west coast cities, because earthquakes are not feared;
and many mansions in the residential quarters, built in the modern
French style, have architectural merit. So, too, the numerous small
plazas, usually planted with trees or shrubs and furnished with seats,
partly atone for the want of space in the streets. It must be added
that the statues which adorn these plazas do not tempt the passer-by
to linger in æsthetic enjoyment. One is too acutely reminded of the
bronze equestrian warriors so numerous in Washington. The cities of the
western world, having a short history, seem to run to the commemoration
of heroes whose names, little known to other nations, will soon be
forgotten in their own, whereas the old countries, except Italy, seem
forgetful of those whom the western stranger would like to have seen
held up to reverence.

Buenos Aires deserves its name, for its air is clear as well as keen,
there being no large manufacturing works to pollute it with coal smoke.
The streets are well kept; everything is fresh and bright. The most
striking buildings besides those of the new Legislative Chambers,
with their tall and handsome dome, are the Opera-house, the interior
of which equals any in Europe, and the Jockey Club, whose scale and
elaborate appointments surpass even the club-houses of New York.

Buenos Aires is something between Paris and New York. It has the
business rush and the luxury of the one, the gaiety and pleasure-loving
aspect of the other. Everybody seems to have money, and to like
spending it, and to like letting everybody else know that it is
being spent. Betting on horses is the favourite amusement, and the
races the greatest occasion for social display. An immense concourse
gathers at the racing enclosure and fills the grand-stand. The highest
officials of state and city are there, as well as the world of wealth
and fashion. The ladies are decked out with all the Parisian finery
and jewels that money can buy; and although nature has given to many
of them good features and to most of them fine eyes, custom seems to
prescribe that nature shall not be left to herself. On fine afternoons,
there is a wonderful turnout of carriages drawn by handsome horses,
and still more of costly motor cars, in the principal avenues of the
Park; they press so thick that vehicles are often jammed together for
fifteen or twenty minutes, unable to move on. Nowhere in the world does
one get a stronger impression of exuberant wealth and extravagance. The
Park itself, called Palermo, lies on the edge of the city towards the
river, and is approached by a well-designed and well-planted avenue. It
suffers from the absolute flatness of the ground in which there is no
point high enough to give a good view over the estuary, and also from
the newness of the trees, for all this region was till lately a bare
pampa. But what with its great extent and the money and skill that are
being expended on it, this park will in thirty years be a glory to the
city. The Botanical Garden, though all too small, is extremely well
arranged and of the highest interest to a naturalist, who finds in it
an excellent collection of South American trees and shrubs.

As the Opera-house and the races and the Park shew one side of the
activities of this sanguine community, so the docks and port shew
another. Twenty years ago sea-going vessels had to lie two or three
miles off Buenos Aires, discharging their cargo by lighters and their
passengers partly by small launches and partly by high-wheeled carts
which carried people from the launches ashore through the shallow
water. Now a long, deep channel has been dug, and is kept open by
dredging, up which large steamers find their way to the very edge
of the city. Docks many miles in length have been constructed to
receive the shipping, and large stretches of land reclaimed, and huge
warehouses erected and railway lines laid down alongside the wharves.
Not Glasgow when she deepened her river to admit the largest ships,
nor Manchester when she made her ship canal, hardly even Chicago
when she planned a new park and lagoons in the lake that washes her
front, shewed greater enterprise and bolder conceptions than did the
men of Buenos Aires when on this exposed and shallow coast they made
alongside their city a great ocean harbour. They are a type of our
time, in their equal devotion to business and pleasure, the two and
only deities of this latest phase of humanity.

If the best parts of Buenos Aires are as tasteful as those of Paris,
there is plenty of ugliness in the worst suburbs. On its land side, the
city dies out into a waste of scattered shanties, or "shacks" (as they
are called in the United States), dirty and squalid, with corrugated
iron roofs, their wooden boards gaping like rents in tattered clothes.
These are inhabited by the newest and poorest of the immigrants from
southern Italy and southern Spain, a large and not very desirable
element among whom anarchism is rife. This district which, if it can
hardly be called city, can still less be called country, stretches far
out over the Pampa. Thus, although the central parts are built closely,
these suburbs are built so sparsely that the town as a whole covers an
immense space of ground. Further out and after passing for some miles
between market gardens and fields divided by wire fences, with never
a hedge, one reaches real country, an outer zone in which some of the
wealthy landowners have laid out their estates and erected pleasant
country houses. We were invited to one such, and admired the art with
which the ground had been planted, various kinds of trees having
been selected with so much taste that even on this unpromising level
picturesqueness and beauty had been attained. Everything that does not
need much moisture grows luxuriantly. We saw rosebushes forty feet
high, pouring down a cataract of blossoms. The hospitable owner had
spent, as rich _estancieros_ often do, large sums upon his live stock,
purchasing in Great Britain valuable pedigree bulls and cows, and by
crossing the best European breeds with the Argentine stock (originally
Spanish) had succeeded in getting together a herd comparable to the
best in England. To have first-rate animals is here a matter of
pride, even more than a matter of business. It is the only interest
that competes with horse-racing. Our friend had a number of Gauchos
as stockmen, and they shewed us feats of riding and lassoing which
recalled the old days of the open Pampas, before high stock-breeding
was dreamt of, when the Gaucho horsemen disputed the control of these
regions with the now vanished Indian.

Though Buenos Aires is often described as a cosmopolitan place, its
population has far fewer elements than would be found in any of the
great cities of the United States. There are English and German
colonies, both composed almost wholly of business and railway men, and
each keeping, for social purposes, pretty closely to itself. There is
a French colony, its upper section including men of intellectual mark,
while the humbler members serve pleasure rather than business. From
the United States not many persons have come to settle as merchants or
ranch owners, but the great meat companies are already at work. Of the
so-called "Latin" element in the inhabitants, half or a little more
is Argentine born, less than a quarter Spanish or Basque, more than
a quarter Italian, largely from Sicily and Calabria. Those Slavonic
parts of central and eastern Europe which have recently flooded the
United States with immigrants have sent very few to South America.
Thus the mass of the population in Buenos Aires is entirely Spanish
or Italian in speech, and the two languages are so similar that the
Italians easily learn Spanish while also modifying it by their own
words and idioms. A mixed, not to say corrupt, Spanish is the result.
That there should be an endless diversity of types of face is not
surprising, when one remembers how great are the diversities as well in
Spain as in Italy among the natives of the various provinces in both
those kingdoms.

The growth of a few great cities at a rate more rapid than that of the
countries to which they belong is one of the most remarkable facts
of recent years and fraught with many consequences. It is especially
visible in the newest countries. In New South Wales the population
of Sydney is nearly two-fifths that of the whole state, in Victoria
that of Melbourne more than two-fifths. In California two great
cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles, have one-third of the whole
population.[77] The same tendency is apparently in South America. Of
the whole population of Argentina, with its immense area of 1,135,000
square miles, one-fifth dwell in the city of Buenos Aires.[78] It is
probable that this ratio may be maintained so that when, thirty years
hence, Argentina counts twenty millions of inhabitants, Buenos Aires
will count four millions. There are other large cities, and one of
them, Cordova, has an ancient university and a society of cultivated
men. But business life and political life, as well as literary and
intellectual life, are so concentrated in Buenos Aires as to make it to
dwarf all the other cities and give to it an influence comparable to
that of Paris in France. The history of the republic was for many years
a history of the struggles between the capital--already pre-eminent in
revolutionary days--and the provinces. So the people of Buenos Aires
divide the Argentine nation into two classes, themselves, who are
called the Porteños (men of the Port), and all the rest, the dwellers
in the Campo or open country.[79] And though the wonderful development
of the railway system has accelerated the settlement of the interior
and brought the comforts of civilization to its towns, Buenos Aires
has continued to maintain its supremacy by constantly drawing people
from the interior. It is, moreover, the gateway through which all must
pass to and from Europe. Thus the Porteño is the type and flower of
Argentina,--the type of its character, the flower of its civilization.
When we try to understand and appraise the Argentine nation, which for
Argentina is the most interesting and indeed (apart from statistics of
production) the only subject of study, it is on him that the eye must
be fixed. Nevertheless he is far from being the only factor. The nation
is spread over a vast space. To conjecture its future we must think
of the physical and economic conditions under which it will develop.
These, therefore, I will try to sketch briefly, admitting that my own
personal knowledge is confined to Buenos Aires and its neighbourhood,
and to the region round Mendoza, mentioned in Chapter VII. I shall
speak first of the natural features of the country, and then of the
natives and of the colonists who came among them, before describing the
Argentina of our own time.

The northwestern part of the republic, lying east of northern Chile and
south of western Bolivia, is a tableland, sometimes rugged, sometimes
undulating, the higher parts of it much like the adjoining plateau of
Bolivia. But the rest of the country, nine-tenths of the whole, is an
immense plain more than two thousand miles long from Magellan's Straits
to the frontiers of eastern Bolivia and Paraguay. It is interrupted in
a few points by low ranges, but, speaking generally, is a prairie like
that which in North America lies between the hills of southern Oklahoma
and the Canadian border, though more level, for it wants the undulating
swells and ridges of Kansas and Iowa, and is less seamed by river beds.
The climate varies with the latitude. It is severe in the Patagonian
south, and almost tropical in the north. But in the region called the
Pampas, that is to say, a sort of square, six hundred miles wide from
the estuary of the Rio de la Plata to the outlying foothills of the
Andes and about as long from north to south, it resembles that of west
central Europe, for the heat is great only during the middle of summer
and the winter cold is moderate. Except in the far north, which has a
wet summer season with a heavy precipitation, the rainfall is scanty
and diminishes as one goes from east to west, so that much of the
western belt, lying under the Andes, is too dry to be cultivated except
by irrigation. Fortunately, the streams that descend from the snows
provide irrigation along their banks. Many of them lose themselves in
the arid ground on their course further eastward, but as this ground
has a slight uniform fall towards the east, they supply a certain
amount of subterranean moisture, so that in many districts where there
are no superficial streams, water can be had by digging.

All this level Pampa, except that subtropical northern section I have
referred to, is bare and open prairie, covered, as were the former
prairies of North America, with grass and flowers, the grass sometimes
six or seven feet high; but with no trees save here and there along the
beds of the few and feeble streams. The native fauna, especially in
the families to which the larger mammals belong, was poorer than that
of western North America and far scantier than that of the southern
parts of Africa in the same latitude. There were no buffaloes or elk,
and few horned creatures corresponding to the elands and hartebeests
and antelopes of South Africa. So remarkable a contrast is doubtless
explicable by the different geological histories of the two continents.

When the Spaniards arrived, this vast region was occupied only by a few
wandering Indian tribes, most of them low in the scale of civilization.
They did not cultivate the soil, they had no milk-giving animals, and
indeed hardly any animals to feed upon except the guanaco and the small
South American ostrich. As the chase furnished but little food to these
nomads, their numbers did not increase. Only in the hilly regions of
the northwest were there settled tribes which had learnt some of the
arts of life from their Peruvian neighbours. The rest of the country
was a vast open wilderness like the lands beyond the Missouri, but the
tribes were fewer and less formidable than the Sioux or Pawnees or

For three centuries after their arrival the Spaniards did little to
explore or settle the western or southern parts of the country. They
founded small posts from Buenos Aires northwards along the Paraná and
Paraguay rivers, and through them kept up communication with Potosi
and Lima across the vast Andean plateau. As the government forbade the
Argentines to trade with Europe direct, Spanish merchandise had to be
brought to them by a long and difficult land route _via_ Panama and
the ports of Peru, and thence over the Andes. The inconveniences of
this monstrous system, devised in the interests of a group of Spanish
traders, were mitigated by the smuggling into Buenos Aires, which was
carried on by means of English and Dutch ships. Life was not secure,
for the Indian tribes sometimes raided up to the gates of the little
towns, such as Cordova and Tucuman, but as the savages had no firearms
and no discipline, it was generally easy to repulse them. Meanwhile
some cattle and horses which had been turned loose in the Pampas after
the middle of the sixteenth century began to multiply, till by the
beginning of the eighteenth there were vast herds of both all over the
plains, wherever grass grew, as far south as Patagonia.

When the development of the country had received an impetus by
the creation in 1776 of a viceroyalty at Buenos Aires, and by the
permission given to the Atlantic ports to trade with Europe, the
cattle and horses became a source of wealth, men took to ranching, and
colonization spread out into the wilderness. Then, in 1810, came the
revolution which freed Argentina from Spain, and gave her people the
opportunity of making their own prosperity. Unfortunately a period of
civil wars followed, and it was not till the fall of the dictator Rosas
in 1852 that the era of real progress began.

All this time the native Indians had been disappearing, partly by war,
partly from the causes which usually break down aborigines in contact
with white men. A campaign organized against them in 1879 practically
blotted out the last of those who had roved over the central Pampas.
The more civilized Indians of the northwestern plateau are quiet and
industrious. A few nomads, now quite harmless, survive in Patagonia,
and some fiercer tribes maintain a virtual independence in the forest
and swamp country of the Gran Chaco in the far north. Otherwise the
aborigines have vanished, leaving no trace, and having poured only a
very slight infusion of native blood into the veins of the modern
Argentine. Meanwhile the strife with the Indians and the long civil
wars which followed independence, as well as the occupation first
of catching wild cattle and horses and then of herding tame ones,
had produced a type of frontiersman and cattleman not unlike that
of western North America between 1800 and 1880 and more distantly
resembling the Cossack of southern Russia a century and a half ago.
This was the Gaucho, a word said to be drawn from one of the native
languages, in which it means "stranger." He was above all things a
horseman, never dismounting from his animal except to sleep beside it.
His weapons against cattle and men were the lasso and the _boletas_,
balls of metal (or stone) fastened together by a thong, and so hurled
as to coil round the legs of the creature at which they were aimed.
Such missiles were used in war by some of the Andean tribes. His dress
was the poncho, a square piece of woollen cloth with a hole cut for the
head to go through, and a pair of drawers. He could live on next to
nothing and knew no fatigue. Round him clings all the romance of the
Pampas, for he was taken as the embodiment of the primitive virtues of
daring, endurance, and loyalty. Now he, too, is gone, as North American
frontiersmen like Daniel Boone went eighty or ninety years ago, and as
the cow-boy of Texas and Wyoming is now fast going.

Such was the country and such those who dwelt in it: boundless plains,
bare and featureless, but fertile wherever there was rain enough to
water them, and not too hot for the outdoor labour of a south European
race, a land fit for cattle and for crops, easy to traverse, easy to
till, because there were neither stones to be removed nor trees to be
felled. Yet in 1852 only an insignificant fraction of it was used for
tillage, and such wealth as there was consisted of the vast herds of
cattle. The population had scarcely reached a million and a half. What
is it now?

With the comparative peace that followed the fall of Rosas there came
the new factors which have enabled the country to advance so quickly:
the entrance of European capital, chiefly expended in providing means
of transportation, and the arrival of immigrants from Italy and Spain.
No country offers greater facilities for the construction of railways.
Quickly and cheaply built over a surface everywhere smooth and level,
they radiate out from the capital, and have now penetrated every part
of the country except the marshy wilderness of the Gran Chaco in the
north and the arid wilderness of remote Patagonia in the south. The
central part of the republic within three hundred miles of Buenos Aires
is as thickly scored with lines of steel as is Westphalia or Ohio.
Settlers, mostly following the railroads, have now put under crops
or laid out in well-appointed stock farms all this central region
and a good deal more of land to the north of it. The rest of the
plain is occupied by cattle ranches or sheep-farms, except where the
want of water makes stock raising impossible. Out of the 253,000,000
acres which are roughly estimated as being the area available for
agricultural or pastural purposes in Argentina--the total area of the
country being 728,000,000 acres--47,000,000 were under cultivation
in 1910, this, of course, including the slopes of the Andes in the
northwest round Tucuman and Jujuy, where sugar and other semi-tropical
products are grown.

An enormous area still remains available for tillage, though nothing
but experiment can determine to what extent lands hitherto deemed too
arid may be made productive by the new methods of dry farming, now
prosecuted so successfully in western North America, and beginning to
be tried in South Africa and Australia also. Of this central tract
already brought under cultivation, by far the largest part is fertile.
There are sandy bits here and there, but the bulk of it is a rich, deep
loam, giving large returns in its natural state. Thus the waving plains
of grass over which the wandering Indian roamed and the Gaucho careered
lassoing the wild cattle are now being rapidly turned into a settled
farming country.

The history of these regions and the process of their settlement
resembles in many points that of the western United States and
western Canada, but differs in one point of great significance. In
North America the settlement of the new lands has from first to
last been conducted by agricultural settlers drawn from the middle
or working-class of the older parts of the country or of Europe,
and the land has been allotted to them in small properties, seldom
exceeding one hundred and sixty acres. Thus over all the Mississippi
Valley states and over the Canadian northwest there has grown up a
population of small farmers, owning the land they till, and furnishing
a solid basis for the establishment of democratic institutions among
intelligent and educated men who have an interest in order and good
administration. In Argentina, however,--and the same is generally true
of Mexico, Chile, Peru, and Brazil,--the land, before or when it began
to be regularly settled, passed in large blocks into comparatively few
hands. There was no class like the men who settled New England in the
seventeenth century and whose descendants settled the Great West in
the nineteenth. The ideas of Spanish feudalism still lived among the
Argentine colonists of a century ago. Leading men or rich men took as
much land as they could get on the Pampas; and, seeing that there was
little competition, each could get pretty much all he wanted. Thus the
country became and is a country of great estates. They are measured
by the square league, which contains about six thousand acres. Though
a tendency to subdivision has set in and will doubtless continue,
_estancias_ of sixty thousand acres are not uncommon; and the average
holding is said to be even now about six square miles.

This feature has, of course, had important effects on the character of
the rural population. It consists, broadly speaking, of two classes,
the rich _estancieros_ or landholders, and the labourers. Though a
good many Englishmen and other foreigners have bought farms and mean
to stay on them, so that they or their children will doubtless end by
becoming Argentines, still most of the large landholders are Argentine
born. Many have become or are becoming opulent, not only by the sale
of their crops and their live stock, but simply by the rapid rise
in the value of land. They live in a liberal, easy, open-air way in
straggling mansions of the bungalow type, low and large, which they are
now, thanks to the railways, able to furnish with the modern appliances
of comfort. The labouring class, who gather like feudal dependents
round the _estancia_, are of two classes. Some are native, largely the
offspring of the old Gauchos, who have now settled down to work as
_peons_ (labourers), unlearning their wild ways, and beginning to send
their children to school. The rest are immigrants drawn from Italy and
Spain by the immense demand for labour. Most numerous are the natives
of northern Italy, hard-working men who do not fear the heat and can
live on very little. Many of them come out for the harvesting weeks
of December and January, and return home to reap their own harvest or
gather their own vines in the Italian summer and autumn, thus making
the best of both hemispheres, much as the sleepless herdsman in the
Odyssey could earn wages by working day and night. As the native peons
are the men qualified to handle live stock, so these Italians are the
most valuable for all kinds of agriculture. Some receive wages: some
who stay for a few years on the farm receive land to till and bring
into condition, and pay a part, perhaps one-quarter, of the crop by way
of rent. They seem to take to the country, and though many return to
Europe when they have accumulated what is to them a fortune, a large
and increasing number remain. Probably more and more of them will try
to acquire small holdings, and as the price of land rises, many great
landowners may, since the habit of extravagance is always growing,
be tempted to sell off bits of their estates. Thus a middle class of
peasant proprietors may grow up between the big _estanciero_ and the
lowly peon. But at the present moment small properties are rare. The
country is not, like western Canada, a place suitable for British or
Scandinavian immigrants of small means, not merely on account of the
climate, but because they could not easily get small farms and the
means of working them. At present it is only persons with some capital
who can be advised to come hither from England to farm.

Agricultural prosperity, more general here than almost anywhere else
in the world, is tempered by two risks, either of which may destroy
the profits of the year. One is drought. As the average rainfall is,
in most parts of the country, only just sufficient to give moisture
to the arable land, together with drink and grass to the animals, a
deficient rainfall means scanty crops and the loss of cattle. It is
only along the skirts of the Andes that much can be done by irrigation,
for the permanent rivers are few and the lagoons, which at one time
were frequent, have been drying up. Besides, they are often brackish.
The other danger is a plague of locusts. These horrible creatures come
in swarms so vast as to be practically irresistible. Expedients may
be used to destroy them while they are walking along the ground by
digging trenches in their path, tumbling them in and burning them, but
many survive these efforts, and when they get on the wing, nothing can
be done to check their devastating flight. Did the swarms come every
year, the land would not be worth tilling, but at present the yield of
good years more than covers the losses both of droughts and of locust
invasions. Men talk of erecting a gigantic fence of zinc to stop the
march of the creatures southward from the Gran Chaco, for here, as in
South Africa, they seem to come out of a wilderness. When the Gran
Chaco itself begins to be reclaimed, the plague may perhaps be stayed.

As aridity is the weak point of the Pampas in their agricultural
aspect, so monotony is the defect of their scenery. There is a certain
beauty in a vast plain, but this one is so absolutely dead a level
that you cannot see its vastness. There would be a charming variety
of colour in it, the vivid green of the alfalfa and the light blue
profusion of the flax blossoms contrasting with the yellowing wheat and
the more sober greyish tints of the maize and the bleached pasture,
but all these, as well as the shadows of the passing clouds, are not
visible when one is standing on the ground and can see no further than
a mile or two. The Pampa country has now been turned from a prairie
of grass and flowers into huge fields divided by wire fences and
intersected by straight roads, or rather cart tracks, marked by the
line of brown dust that a drove of cattle or a vehicle raises. The
landscape was in Gaucho days the same for hundreds of miles. It is so
still, but now it wants the wildness and the flowers, nor has it the
deep river channels and their overhanging bluffs which here and there
relieve the uniformity of the North American prairie states. However,
in many places orchards and clumps of other trees are being grown round
the mansion house. Such a clump, being the only sort of eminence that
breaks the skyline, is called a _Monte_. The swift-growing Australian
gum, which has now domesticated itself in most of the warmer parts of
the world, waves its pliant tops in the breeze, more picturesque in the
distance than it is close at hand. If man's hand takes something away
from the wild charm of nature, he also by degrees creates that other
charm which belongs to rural life, so this land will come in time to
be less dull and more homelike. Pleasure grounds round the _estancias_
will mitigate the roughness of a first settlement, and there will be
groves with dim recesses in their thickets to stir the imagination
of children. There is always in the Pampas an amplitude of air and a
solemn splendour of the sunset glow to carry the mind away beyond its
near surroundings.

Nevertheless one is glad not to have been born in the Pampas.

Perhaps those whose early years have been passed in flat countries do
not feel the need for hills in the landscape in the same way as do the
natives of Scotland or New England. Could any one of the latter class
dwell for twelve months in Argentina without longing to rush off for
refreshment to the mountains and lakes of the South Chilean Andes.

One word more on the economic aspects of Argentina before I come to the
people. The wealth of the land is in tillage and live stock. Its three
great agricultural products are wheat, maize, and linseed, in each of
which it is now in the front rank of exporting countries. Sugar and
cotton are grown in the north, and may increase largely there as that
region gets settled, and wine is made at Mendoza for home consumption.
Cereals will, however, remain the most important crops. Vast as has
been the increase of live stock, the limits of the ranching area have
not yet been reached.[80] The export of meat received a great stimulus
from the introduction of systems of cold storage and transport, and now
an enormous amount of European and North American as well as Argentine
capital is embarked in this trade. There is, so far as known, hardly
any coal in the country, and the sources of water-power are only along
the Southern Andes, so that manufacturing industries have not been
established on any large scale. The slopes of the Cordilleras furnish
mines of gold, silver, copper, and lead, but the production of these
minerals is small compared to that of Peru and Bolivia. The people have
not taken to the sea either as mercantile mariners or as fishermen,
and the demand for agricultural labour has been so large that there
was no occasion for any one to seek his living in those employments.
Thus we may say that among those great countries of the world which
Europeans have peopled, Argentina is that which is now, and is likely
to continue, the most purely agricultural in its industrial character.

The best evidence or illustration of the swift progress of the republic
and of the confidence which European investors feel in its resources is
to be found in the development of its railway system. The first railway
line was opened in 1857 and was twelve miles long. In 1911 there were
nearly 20,000 miles in operation, and the receipts in 1910 amounted
to £20,000,000. Most of these railways, many of which are of a gauge
broader than those of the United States or Great Britain, have been
built and are worked by British companies, a few by the government.[81]

In this immense fertile and temperate country with hardly six people
to a square mile, what limit can we set to the growth of wealth and
population? Already the nation is larger than the Dutch or Portuguese
or Swedish. Within thirty years it may equal Italy. Within fifty years
it may approach France or England, even if the present rate of its
increase be reduced. It may one day be the most numerous among all the
peoples that speak a tongue of Latin origin, as the United States is
already the most numerous of all that speak a Teutonic one. Many things
may happen to change its present character, yet the unformed character
of the youth before whom such a future seems to lie is well worth

First a few words about the race. No other Spanish-American state,
except Uruguay, has a people of a stock so predominantly European.
The aboriginal Indian element is too small to be worth regarding. It
is now practically confined to the Gran Chaco in the extreme north,
but elsewhere the influence of Indian blood is undiscernible among
the people to-day.[82] The aborigines of the central Pampas have
disappeared,--nearly all were killed off,--and those of Patagonia have
been dying out. We have, therefore, a nation practically of pure South
European blood, whose differences from the parent stock are due, not to
the infusion of native elements, but to local and historical causes.

Till thirty or forty years ago this population was almost entirely of
Spanish stock. Then the rapid development of the Pampas for tillage
began to create a demand for labour, which, while it increased
immigration from Spain, brought in a new and larger flow from Italy.
The Spaniards who came were largely from the northern provinces and
among them there were many Basques, a race as honest and energetic as
any in Europe. So far back as 1875 one used to see in the French Basque
country between Biarritz and the pass of Roncesvalles plenty of neat
and comfortable houses erected by men who had bought back their savings
from the River Plate. The Italians have flocked in from all parts of
their peninsula, but the natives of the north take to the land, and
furnish a very large part of the agricultural labour, while the men
from the southern provinces, usually called Napolitanos, stay in the
towns and work as railway and wharf porters, or as boatmen, and at
various odd jobs. In 1909, out of 1,750,000 persons of foreign birth
in the republic,[83] there were twice as many Italians as Spaniards,
besides one hundred thousand from France, the latter including many
French Basques, who are no more French than Spanish. Between 1904
and 1909 the influx of immigrants had risen from 125,000 annually to
255,000. The Spaniards, of course, blend naturally and quickly with the
natives, who speak the same tongue. The Italians have not yet blent,
for there has hardly yet been time for them to do so, but there is
so much similarity, not indeed in character but in language and ways
of life, that they will evidently become absorbed into the general
population. Children born in the country grow up to be Argentines in
sentiment, and are, perhaps, even more vehemently patriotic than the
youth of native stock.

Here, as in the United States, the birth-rate is higher among
immigrants than among natives. In the case of Italians it is twice, in
that of Spaniards one and a half times, as great.

What effect upon the type and tendencies of the future nation this
Italian infusion will have it is hard to predict, because no one knows
how far national character is affected by blood admixture. We have
no data for estimating the comparative importance of heredity and of
environment upon a population which is the product of two elements,
the foreign one injected into a larger native element whose prepotent
influences modify the offspring of new-comers.[84]

In considering the probable result of the commingling, and as a fact
explaining the readiness with which Italian immigrants allow themselves
to be Argentinized, one must remember that these come from the humblest
and least educated strata of Italian society. They are, like all
Italians, naturally intelligent, but they have not reached that grade
of knowledge which attaches men to the literature and the historical
traditions of their own country. Thus, the scantiness of their
education prevents them from making either to the intellectual life or
to the art of their adopted country those contributions which one might
expect from a people which has always held a place in the front rank
of European letters, art, and science. It may be expected, however,
that in the course of a generation or two inborn Italian capacity will
assert itself in the descendants of the immigrants.

The other foreigners, French, English (business men and landowning
farmers), and German (chiefly business men in the cities) are hardly
numerous enough to affect the Argentine type, and the two latter have
hitherto remained as distinct elements, being mostly Protestants and
marrying persons of their own race. They occupy themselves entirely
with business and have not entered Argentine public life; yet as many
of them mean to remain in the country, and their children born in it
become thereby Argentine citizens, it is likely that they, also, will
presently be absorbed, and their Argentine descendants may figure in
politics here, as families of Irish and British origin do in Chile.

The social structure of the nation is the result of the economic
conditions already described. In the rural districts there are two
classes only,--landowners, often with vast domains, and labourers,
the native labourers settled, the Italians to some extent migratory.
In the cities there exists, between the wealthy and the workingmen, a
considerable body of professional men, shopkeepers, and clerks, who are
rather less of a defined middle class than they would be in European
countries. Society is something like that of North American cities,
for the lines between classes are not sharply drawn, and the spirit of
social equality has gone further than in France, and, of course, far
further than in Germany or Spain. One cannot speak of an aristocracy,
even in the qualified sense in which the word could be used in Peru or
Chile, for though a few old colonial families have the Spanish pride of
lineage, it is, as a rule, wealth and wealth only that gives station
and social eminence. Manners, which everywhere in South America have
lost something of the courtliness of Castile, are here rather more
"modern" than in Mexico or Lima, because the growth of wealth has
brought up new men and has made money the criterion of eminence, or at
least of prominence. Here, as in England and the United States, one
sees that though the constitution is democratic, society has some of
the characteristics of a plutocracy.

The little that I have to say about the political life of the country
must be reserved for another and more general chapter, so I will
here note only two facts peculiar to Argentina. It is, of all the
Spanish-American republics, that in which the church has least to do
with politics. Though Roman Catholicism is declared by the constitution
to be supported by the state, and the president and vice-president
must profess it, that freedom of religious worship which is guaranteed
by law is fully carried out in practice, and all denominations may,
without let or hindrance, erect churches and preach and teach. The
legislature has shewn itself so broad-minded as to grant subventions
to a system of Protestant schools founded originally as a missionary
enterprise by a Protestant Episcopal clergyman, and many of the Roman
Catholic families of Buenos Aires send their children to schools
provided by the American Methodist Episcopal Church. In liberality of
spirit, Argentina is rather more advanced than either Peru or Chile,
not to speak of bigoted Ecuador. Still more noteworthy is it that
there seems to be little or no effort on the part of the church to
influence public affairs. No political party is allied with the clergy,
no clerical influence is felt in elections. The happy detachment of
the two spheres which travellers observe and admire in North America
deserves even more credit when found in a country where intolerance
long reigned supreme.

The other phenomenon which no one will connect with religious freedom,
inasmuch as it has appeared in nearly every country of Europe and of
North America, whatever be the religious conditions that prevail, is
the emergence here and nowhere else in South America of a vehement
anarchist propaganda. Among the immigrants from Italy and from eastern
Spain there have been enough persons engaged in this movement to cause
great alarm to the government. Not long ago the chief of the police
was killed by an explosive thrown by a Russian anarchist, and in the
summer of 1910 a bomb was exploded in the great Opera-house during a
performance, wounding a number of persons. These occurrences led to
the proclamation of a state of siege which was maintained for many
weeks. The police is said to be efficient,[85] and the Executive did
not hesitate to use powers which it would be less easy to obtain or
use in the United States or in England. Our age has seen too many
strange incidents to be surprised that these acts of violence should
be perpetrated in a country where, though no doubt there is an
ostentatious display of wealth, work is more abundant and wages are
higher than in any other part of the world. Such acts are aimed not at
oppression, nor at bad industrial conditions, but at government itself.

Here, as generally in South America, though less in Chile than
elsewhere, politics is mainly in the hands of the lawyers. A great
deal of the best intellect of the country, probably more in proportion
than in any European country or in the United States, goes into this
profession; and the contributions to the world's store of thought and
learning made by Argentine writers have been perhaps more considerable
in this branch of enquiry than in any other. In the sphere of
historical or philosophical or imaginative literature, not much has
yet been done, nor is the class prepared to read such books a large
one. Fiction is supplied by France. The press is a factor in public
affairs whose power is comparable to that exercised by the leading
newspapers in Australia. It is conducted on large and bold lines,
especially conspicuous in two journals of the capital[86] which have
now a long record of vigour and success behind them. The concentration
of political and commercial activities in Buenos Aires gives to them
the same advantage that belongs to the leading organs of Sydney and

The world is to-day ruled by physical science and by business, which,
in the vast proportions industry and commerce have now attained, is
itself the child of physical science. Argentina is thoroughly modern
in the predominance of business over all other interests. Only one
other comes near it. The Bostonian man of letters who complained that
London was no place to live in because people talked of nothing but
sport and politics, would have been even less happy in Buenos Aires,
because there, when men do not talk of sport, they talk of business.
Politics is left to the politicians; it is the _estancia_, its cattle
and its crops, and the race-course, with its betting, that are always
in the mind and on the tongue, and are moulding the character, of the
wealthier class. Business is no doubt still so largely in the hands of
foreigners that one cannot say that the average Argentine has developed
a talent for it comparable to that of those whom he calls the North
Americans, seeing that much of his wealth has come to him by the rise
in the values of his land and the immense demand for its products. He
is seldom a hard worker, for it has been his ill fortune to be able
to get by sitting still what others have had to work for, but he does
not yield to New York in what is called a "go-ahead spirit." He is
completely up to date. He has both that jubilant patriotism and that
exuberant confidence in his country which marked the North American of
1830-1860. His pride in his city has had the excellent result of making
him eager to put it, and keep it, in the forefront of progress, with
buildings as fine, parks as large, a water supply as ample, provisions
for public health as perfect, as money can buy or science can devise.
The wealth and the expansion of Buenos Aires inspire him, as the
wealth and expansion of Chicago have inspired her citizens, and give
him, if not all of their forceful energy, yet a great deal of their
civic idealism.

It is the only kind of idealism that one finds in the city or the
country. Every visitor is struck by the dominance of material interests
and a material view of things. Compared with the raking in of money and
the spending it in betting or in ostentatious luxury, a passion for
the development of the country's resources and the adornment of its
capital stand out as aims that widen the vision and elevate the soul. A
recent acute and friendly observer has said that patriotism among the
Argentines amounts to a mania. Such excess of sentiment is not only
natural in a young and growing nation, and innocent too (so long as
it is not aggressive), but is helpful in giving men something beyond
their own material enjoyments and vanities to think of and to work for.
It makes them wish to stand well in the world's eyes, and do in the
best way what they see others doing. If there is an excess, time will
correct it.

Loitering in the great Avenida de Mayo and watching the hurrying
crowd and the whirl of motor cars, and the gay shop-windows, and
the open-air cafés on the sidewalks, and the Parisian glitter of
the women's dresses, one feels much nearer to Europe than anywhere
else in South America. Bolivia suggests the seventeenth century and
Peru the eighteenth, and even in energetic Chile there is an air of
the elder time, and a soothing sense of detachment. But here all is
twentieth century, with suggestions of the twenty-first. Yet, modern
as they are, and reminding one sometimes of the gaiety of Paris and
sometimes of the stir and hurry of Kansas City, the Argentines are
essentially unlike either Europeans or North Americans. To say in what
the difference consists is all the harder because one doubts whether
there yet exists a definite Argentine type. They have ceased to be
Spaniards without becoming something new of their own. They seem to be
a nation in the making, not yet made. Elements more than half of which
are Spanish and Basque, and one-third of which are Italian, are all
being shaken up together and beginning to mix and fuse under conditions
not before seen in South American life. That which will emerge, if
more Spanish than Italian in blood, will be entirely South American in
sentiment and largely French in its ways of thinking, for from France
come the intellectual influences that chiefly play upon it. It will
spring from new conditions and new forces, acting on people who have
left all their traditions and many of their habits behind them, and
have retained but little of that religion which was the strongest of
all powers in their former home. Men now living may see this nation,
what with its growing numbers and its wealth, take rank beside France,
Italy, and Spain. It may be, in the New World, the head and champion
of what are called the Latin races. Will the artistic and literary
genius of Italy, France, and Spain flower again in their transplanted
descendants, now that they seem to have at last emerged from those long
civil wars and revolutions which followed their separation from Spain?
The very magnitude of the interests which any fresh civil wars would
endanger furnishes a security against their recurrence, and the temper
of the people seems entirely disposed to internal peace. No race or
colour questions have arisen, and religious questions have ceased to
vex them. They have an agricultural area still undeveloped which for
fifty years to come will be large enough both to attract immigrants
and to provide for the needs of their own citizens. Seldom has Nature
lavished gifts upon a people with a more bountiful hand.



Whoever wishes to have something by which to distinguish Uruguay from
its many sister republics, the size and character of each of which
are unfamiliar to many of us in Europe, may learn to remember that it
is the smallest of the South American states, and that it has neither
mountains, nor deserts, nor antiquities, nor aboriginal Indians.
Nevertheless, it is by no means a country to be described by negatives,
but has, as we shall presently see, a marked character of its own.

Having belonged to the viceroyalty of Buenos Aires, and being peopled
by men of the same pure Spanish stock as those who dwelt in Argentina,
it would probably have continued to be a part of that country but
for the fact that, as it lay close to Brazil, it was from time to
time occupied and held by the Portuguese of that county, sometimes by
conquest, sometimes by formal cession from the crown of Spain. Thus
its people, who had, when part of the Spanish dominions, a governor
of their own under the Viceroy, began to acquire a sort of national
consciousness as a community distinct from their fellow-countrymen on
the opposite shore of the Rio de la Plata and the Uruguay river. They
got the name of the _Banda Oriental_ (East Side), as opposed to the
rest of Argentina on the west side of the Uruguay. When the colonists
began, from 1810 onwards, to assert their independence of the crown
of Spain, the Orientales, as the Uruguayans were then usually called,
had to fight their own battle and fought it valiantly. The Portuguese
of Brazil, now allying themselves with Spain in defence of monarchy,
invaded the country, and it was their expulsion in 1814, as the
outcome of a long struggle under the famous patriot leader Artigas,
that finally set Uruguay free. After the Argentines had tried more
than once to force her into their federation, and the Portuguese had
again invaded and occupied the devastated land, Uruguay was ultimately
recognized as a sovereign State in 1828 by both Argentina and Brazil,
the latter now independent of Portugal. By this time incessant wars
and sufferings had formed a distinctive type of character and lit up a
flame of national feeling which has burnt strongly ever since.

With an area of only 72,000 square miles, as against 1,135,000 in
Argentina and 3,208,000 in Brazil, Uruguay seems like a garden plot
between two vast estates. But she is a veritable garden. There is
hardly an acre of useless ground within her borders. Except a few bare
hilltops and a few sandy stretches on the coast, all is available,
either for cattle and sheep, or for tillage, or for forest growth. No
country is more favoured by nature. The surface is gently undulating
along the sea and rises inland into swelling downs intersected here and
there by ranges of hills. The abundant grass is deemed the best for
cattle in all South America, so for many years ranching was practically
the only industry. Latterly, however, a great deal of land has been
brought under cultivation. Wheat and maize are the principal crops,
and there are now many vineyards. As the climate, while generally
resembling that of central Argentina, is tempered by the neighbourhood
of the Atlantic, the winters are less cold and the summers cooler
in Montevideo than they are on the other side of the Plate estuary.
Further north, where Uruguay adjoins Brazil, the midsummer heats
are severe and the vegetation becomes subtropical. It is a cheerful
country, with scenery constructed, so to speak, on a small scale, as
befits a small republic. Broad uplands of waving grass, with here and
there tree clumps, and in the centre and north of the country bosky
glens winding through rocky hills, make the landscape always pleasing
and sometimes romantic. There are no great forests, no deserts, no
volcanoes, nothing half so grand as the peaks of the Argentine Andes,
but nothing half so monotonous as the flats of the Argentine Pampa.

Montevideo the capital has the same air of freshness and cheerfulness
which belong to Uruguayan landscape and the Uruguayan climate. It has
grown to be a great and prosperous city in respect of its port, which
makes it the chief seat of the republic's commerce. The estuary of the
River Plate is much deeper on this northern side than on the southern,
so large ships have always been able to approach nearer to this
shore than they could do to the Argentine. By deepening the entrance
and running out breakwaters, a good harbour has now been created,
accessible to vessels of exceptionally deep draught which could not
(in 1910) come up to the docks in Buenos Aires. The city is also more
fortunate in its site, for the ground, a dead flat on the Argentine
side, here rises from the shore in a slope steep enough to afford fine
views over the sea and to enable the church towers and other tall
buildings to present an effective sky-line.

Montevideo, with its 300,000 inhabitants against the 1,300,000 of
Buenos Aires, has streets by no means so thronged as are those of the
Argentine capital. Neither are the houses quite so high, nor is there
the same sense of a vast country behind, pouring its products out by
this water-gate that leads to Europe. But here, just as in Buenos
Aires, everything is modern. Only one public building, the old Town
Hall in the chief plaza, dates from colonial times and has, or seems
by its quaintness to have, a sort of artistic quality which is absent
from the work, all French rather than Spanish in character, of the last
sixty years. The plazas are handsome, well laid out and planted, and
the street architecture creditable, with fewer contrasts of meanness
and magnificence than one usually sees in the growing cities of North
America. There is an absence not only of external squalor, but of any
marks of poverty, for the people seem brisk and thriving, with plenty
of money coming in. For many miles round the environs are studded with
tasteful villas, and the well-kept roads that traverse them are lined
by splendid rows of Australian blue gums. Three points of interest
deserve to be specially mentioned. One is the Cerro, an isolated
conical hill on the southwestern side of the bay, opposite the main
city, and an object so conspicuous and picturesque on this generally
tame coast that it has found a place in the arms of the republic. The
castle that surmounts it has no merit as a building, but the view is
superb along the coast and out to sea where the pale grey waters of
the Paraná and Uruguay meet the ocean blue. The second ornament of
the suburbs is the Botanical Garden. Its display of spring flowers,
both native and European, and the wonderful variety of trees from
semitropical and temperate regions, give a vivid sense of the powers of
this admirable climate, not oppressive in the blaze of its sunlight,
yet warm enough for roses twice as luxuriant as the best that Europe
can show. Lastly, there is a fine collection of wild animals in a
garden belonging to a private gentleman of large means, who is unique
in the personal relations which his kindly disposition has enabled
him to establish with the creatures, even with the beasts of prey.
There were splendid jaguars and pumas, and there were South American
ant-eaters with tongues longer than themselves. But what most delighted
the holiday crowd, who are permitted to ramble through the gardens,
was to see a brace of lion cubs strolling about in a friendly way
among men, women, and children, while the owner led us close up to the
bars of the cage in which his pet lion, a superb giant, sat peacefully
blinking and made us stroke it and rub its back. The lion took the
attention benignly and beamed on his master, but the attitude of the
lioness in the further corner of the cage did not encourage any such

Like Argentina, Uruguay is destined to be a pastoral and agricultural,
not a mining or manufacturing country. There are some minerals,
including gold, manganese, iron, and coal, but none of these is worked
on a large scale, and it has not yet been proved that either coal or
iron is present in quantities sufficient to form the basis of any
important industry. Cattle are at present the chief source of wealth,
the export of meat having been greatly increased by the recently
invented methods of freezing and chilling. Meat, hides, wool, wheat,
and maize are likely to continue to be the mainstay of the country's
prosperity; and as only about one-eighth of the surface is at present
under tillage, there is room for great expansion. No better evidence
of progress can be furnished than the extension of railways. The first
was begun in 1866. There were, in 1910, 1472 miles in operation,
and construction continues to go briskly forward. The chief centres
of population are either on the coast or on the banks of the great
navigable river Uruguay, whence cattle, meat, and wool are shipped.

So far, therefore, Uruguay has all the material conditions required for
prosperity and happiness, an abundance of good land, a temperate and
genial climate, water highways for traffic provided by Nature in her
rivers, artificial iron highways on land, supplied by enterprising
British capitalists. What is to be said of her inhabitants?

They were, till recent years, almost entirely of Spanish stock. The
warlike native Indians, one of whose tribes, the Charruas, were fierce
fighters, having been killed off, and the weaker tribes having quietly
melted away, very little aboriginal blood has mingled itself with
the Iberian stock. Some negroes are to be found along the Brazilian
frontier, but they do not seem to have perceptibly affected the
European element. Of late years a stream of immigrants has flowed in
from Italy, yet in no such volume as toward Argentina. There is also
a steady, though smaller, inflow from Spain; among whom there are,
fortunately, many industrious Basques. Rather more than a fifth of the
population are of foreign birth, a proportion small compared to that
of the foreign-born population of Rhode Island or Massachusetts. These
new-comers will soon be assimilated and are not likely to modify the
national type.

That type strikes the foreign observer as already distinct and well
marked. The Uruguayan is, of course, first and foremost a Colonial
Spaniard, but a Spaniard moulded by the conditions of his life during
the last ninety years. He has been a man of the country and the open
air, strong, active, and lawless, always in the saddle riding after
his cattle, handy with his lasso and his gun. Fifty years ago he
was a Gaucho, much like his Argentine cousin beyond the river. Now
he, too, like that cousin, is settling down, but he has retained
something of the breezy recklessness and audacity, the frankness and
free-handedness, of the older days. A touch of this Gaucho quality,
in a milder form, is felt through all classes of Uruguayan society.
Democratic equality in manners is combined with a high sense of
personal dignity, an immense hopefulness, an impulsive readiness to try
all experiments, a national consciousness none the less intense because
it already rejoices over the triumphs it is going to achieve. Whether
there is more of "ideality" than in Argentina I will not venture to
say, but there is less wealth and less ostentation. Englishmen and
North Americans settled in Montevideo like the Uruguayans, and say they
are good fellows. There is evidently something attractive about them
when the sons of such settlers grow up fond of the country, willing and
proud to be its citizens. You will hear an English-speaking youth of
either race say, if asked whether he is an Englishman or an American,
"I am an Uruguayan."

While we were in Montevideo a revolution broke out in the country.
There was sharp fighting about forty miles away from the city and the
railways were bringing in the wounded. It caused no great excitement,
having been expected for some weeks, and the newspapers told their
readers very little of what was happening. They did not know much, for
the military authorities had stopped every channel of communication.
That, however, would of itself have been a very poor reason for not
furnishing details. There were other and more imperative grounds for
reticence. We were unfortunately unable to see anything and could
learn little of the revolution, but its origin and especially the
perfect _sang-froid_ of the Montevideans, both natives and Englishmen,
struck us as curious. A short explanation of the conditions attending
such outbreaks may throw light on the phenomena of other republics as
well as Uruguay.

Ever since the colonists declared their independence of Spain, fighting
has been almost incessant in this smiling land. They fought first
against the Spanish troops, and then against the Portuguese rulers
of Brazil; they fought several times against Argentina and Paraguay,
and almost incessantly against one another. As soon as independence
had been secured and the Portuguese finally expelled, the two leading
generals (Rivera and Oribe) who had led the patriots to victory
quarrelled, and before long were striving in arms for the chief place
in the republic. Their adherents grew into two factions, which soon
divided the nation, or so much of it as took an active interest in
politics. At the first battle General Oribe, who headed one of the
parties, rode a white horse, and his lancers carried white pennons on
their spearheads; so they were called the Blancos. The followers of the
rival general, Rivera, had red pennons, and he rode a bay horse. They
were, therefore, the Colorados. From that day on Uruguayans have been
divided into Whites and Reds. Seventy-five years had passed and the
grandsons of the men who had fought under Oribe and Rivera in 1835 were
still fighting in 1910.

For what have they been fighting? At first there were no principles
involved; it was a personal feud between two soldiers, who not long
before had stood shoulder to shoulder against the Brazilian invader.
But just as political parties sometimes drop the tenets with which
they started and yet live on as organizations, so sometimes factions
which started without tenets pick them up as they go along and make
them watchwords. A party is apt to capture any current issue, or be
captured by it, and to become, thereafter, committed to or entangled
with it. Thus the Whites became in course of time the country party as
opposed to the Reds of the towns, and especially of Montevideo, and
thus, as the city is the home of new views and desires for change, the
Reds have become the anticlerical and the Whites the church party. It
would seem that the colours have nothing to do with the now almost
forgotten term (common in France in 1848-1851) of the "Red Republic,"
but another sort of connection with Europe may be found in the story
that the Garibaldian red shirt, which figured on so many battle-fields
in Sicily and Italy, was due to Giuseppe Garibaldi's having fought
on the Colorado side, in 1842-1846, against Rosas and the Argentine
invaders, the emblem being retained when that last of the heroes raised
his standard in the Italian revolution of 1848.[87]

When an insurrection is planned in Uruguay, word is sent round that its
supporters are to rendezvous, armed and mounted, at certain spots on
a certain day, and when the government gets to know of the plan, its
first step is to seize all the horses in the disaffected districts and
drive them to a place where they are kept under a strong guard. The
horse is the life of a revolutionary movement, a tradition from the
grand old Gaucho days; and without horses, the insurgents are powerless.

The Blancos have been out of power in Uruguay since 1864, but they hold
well together and compose an opposition which acts by constitutional
methods in the legislature (when any of its partisans can find an
entrance) and by military methods outside the constitution, in the open
country, whenever peaceful methods are deemed useless. The parties have
become largely hereditary; a child is born a little Blanco or a little
Colorado, and rarely deserts his colour. Feeling runs so high that in
Blanco districts it is dangerous for a man to wear a red necktie, just
as in driving through certain Irish towns a harmless botanist from
Britain may, when his car approaches a particular quarter, be warned by
the driver to throw away or cover over the ferns which he has gathered
in a mountain glen, because the sight of the obnoxious colour will
expose him to be stoned by those who regard its display as an affront.

These revolutions, however, have in the course of years been tending
to become rather less frequent, and certainly less sanguinary, just as
in parts of South America there are volcanoes once terrible by their
tremendous eruptions which now content themselves with throwing out
a few showers of ashes or discharging a stream of lava from a little
crater near the base. This rising ended with a surrender, accompanied
by an amnesty which included the absence of any decree of confiscation
of property, so no blood was shed except in the field.

When I asked what were the grievances alleged to justify the revolt
of November, 1910, the answer was that an election of the legislature
was impending, that the new legislature would, when elected, proceed
forthwith to the choice of a President of the republic for the next
four years, that the Blancos fully expected that the elections would be
so handled by the government in power as to secure a majority certain
to choose a particular candidate whom the Blancos feared and disliked,
and that therefore the only course open to the latter was to avert
by an appeal to arms the wrong which would be done to the nation by
tampering with the rights of the electors. How much truth there may
have been in these allegations the passing traveller could not know,
nor was it for him to judge whether, if true, they would warrant an
appeal to force.

The conditions in some Latin-American republics are peculiar, and can
be paralleled only in one or two other parts of the modern world. In
the years between 1848 and 1859 when despotic governments held sway in
most parts of Europe, the ingenuous youth of Britain used to assume, as
Thomas Jefferson had done fifty years before, that every insurrection
was presumably justifiable and entitled to the sympathy of all lovers
of freedom. Of recent years, since constitutional governments have
been established in nearly all countries, the presumption is deemed to
be the other way, and revolts are _prima facie_ disapproved. In some
American republics, however,--and here I am speaking not of Uruguay,
but of more backward communities,--there is no presumption at all
either way. A government in Nicaragua or Honduras, for instance, has
usually obtained power either by force of arms or by a mock election
carried through under military pressure. To eject it by similar means
is, therefore, in the eye of a constitutional lawyer, not a breach of
law and order, because the government which it is sought to eject has
no legal title, being itself the child of wrongdoing. On the other hand
the insurgents are probably no better friends of law and order than is
the government. If they succeed by arms, they will not hold an honest
election, but will rule by force, just as did their predecessors.
There is, accordingly, no ground for the award of sympathy or moral
approval to either faction, while for foreign powers the problem of
when to recognize a government that has come in by the sword, and will
presently, like the Priest of the Grove at Nemi, perish by the sword,
is no easy one, and must usually be solved by waiting till such a
government has made itself so clearly master of the situation as to
possess a _de facto_ title likely to hold good for some time to come,
and perhaps ultimately pass into a title _de iure_.[88]

Reverting to Uruguay, the most curious and historically instructive
feature of her case is that these recurrent civil wars and attempts
at revolution do not seem to have retarded her prosperity. She saw
more incessant fighting from 1810 till 1876 than any other part of the
world has seen for the last hundred years. Even since then risings and
conflicts have been frequent, and though there has been no foreign
war since 1870, when that with Paraguay ended, the presence on either
side of two great powers, not always friendly to her or to each other,
has often caused anxiety. Nevertheless, the country has continued to
grow in wealth and population. Capital has flowed in freely to build
railways, and the good opinion which European investors entertain is
shewn by the fact that the Uruguayan five per cent bonds average just
about par in the London stock market. Foreign trade has increased
fivefold since 1862. Without forsaking their love of fighting, the
people have turned to work, and the land or cattle owner depends less
on foreign labour than he does in Argentina. Thus it would seem that
as there have been countries ruined by war--as Central Asia Minor was
by the long strife between the Seljukian Turks and the East Roman
Emperors, and as Germany suffered from the Thirty Years' War injuries
it cost her nearly two centuries to repair, so there are countries
which have thriven in the midst of war. In the sixth and fifth
centuries B.C. the Greek cities of Sicily were seldom at peace. They
fought with the Carthaginians, they fought with one another, they
fought for or against a Tyrant within their own walls; and all this
fighting was done by citizen soldiers. Yet they throve and erected
those majestic temples whose ruins we admire at Girgenti and Selinunte,
while the iron peace of Rome in those later days, when the island had
been made a province, brought to the country folk misery interrupted
only by servile insurrections.

The occasional recurrence of such incidents as that of November, 1910,
had not for some years prior to my visit prevented the government of
Uruguay from emulating that of Argentina in efforts to keep abreast of
Europe in all sorts of administrative schemes for the advancement of
education, and for the development of the country. In two respects it
has entered on a policy different from that of other South American
states. It is the only one in which schemes or ideas tending towards
state socialism have been countenanced by the Executive, and it is
also the only one in which there is a distinctly antireligious party.
In Peru the church has still some political influence. In Chile she
has less, in Argentina practically none, but in neither is she the
object of hostility. Here, however, a section of the dominant party
is professedly antagonistic to the church, and this would seem to be
due not to any provocation given recently by the clergy, whose Blanco
friends have been long out of power, but rather to a spirit which seeks
to strike at and eliminate religion itself.

Such a movement does not seem, any more than do socialistic ideas, to
be a natural growth of the Uruguayan soil. Just as the anarchistic
propaganda in Argentina has been recently brought thither from Europe
by immigrants, so this less fierce expression of the revolutionary
spirit bears marks of having been transplanted from those parts of
southern Europe where the more violent advocates of change regard not
only the Roman Church, but religion itself, as hostile to progress and
to the reconstruction of society on a new basis. The rural population
of Uruguay are not the sort of people among whom such ideas would
spontaneously arise, for they belong, so far as their beliefs and views
of life are concerned, rather to the eighteenth than to the twentieth
century. Elsewhere in South America, enmity to the church has been due
to the power she has exercised in the secular world, or to the memory
of her old habits of repression. One does not hear, however, that she
has for a long time past been politically obnoxious here; nor can there
have been any memories of serious persecution to provoke hatred, for
the era of persecution was passing away when these regions began to be
thickly settled.

With her temperate climate and her fertile soil, Uruguay is an
attractive country. In no part of South America, except perhaps
southern Chile, would a European feel more disposed to settle down
for life. The people are of pure European stock and have many of
the qualities--frankness and energy, courage, and a high sense of
honour--which make for political progress. The country is no doubt
comparatively small, and it is the fashion nowadays to worship bigness
and disparage small nations. Yet the independent city communities, or
the small nations--such as were England and Holland in the seventeenth
century--have produced not only most of the best literature and art,
but most of the great men and great achievements which history records.
National life is apt to be more intense and more interesting where
it is concentrated in an area not so wide as to forbid the people to
know one another and their leaders. Thus one cannot but hope that
the Uruguayans, with some favouring conditions, and without the
disadvantage of excessive wealth suddenly acquired, will seriously
endeavour to smooth the road, now rough and dangerous, over which the
chariot of their republican government has to travel. It is not the
Constitution that is at fault, but the way in which the Constitution
is worked. The backward state of education and consequent incompetence
of the ordinary citizen is usually assigned as the source of political
troubles. There is certainly an inadequate provision both here and
generally in South America of elementary and secondary schools. But the
experience of many countries has shewn that the education of the masses
is not enough to secure a reform in political methods. There is surely
force in the view I heard expressed, that if the whole population, or
even the whole of the educated class in the population, were to exert
themselves to take more active part in politics, they could set things
right by checking the abuses or grievances out of which revolutions
grow and by moderating the party spirit which rushes to arms when
grievances remain unredressed.



That more than half of South America was settled by and still belongs
to the men of Portugal is due to what may be called an historical
accident. In the year following the discovery of the West Indies by
Columbus, Pope Alexander the Sixth issued his famous Bull (A.D. 1493)
which assigned to the Crown of Castile and Leon "all the islands and
lands to be discovered in the seas to the west and the south of a
meridian line to be drawn from the Arctic to the Antarctic Pole, one
hundred leagues to the west of Cape Verde and the Azores." Though there
is in the Bull no mention of Portugal, it was intended to reserve the
rights of Portugal in whatever she had discovered or might discover on
the other, _i.e._ the eastern, side of the line of delimitation. The
Portuguese, however, were not satisfied, and next year a treaty between
Spain and Portugal moved the line three hundred and seventy leagues
farther west. This had the effect, as discovery progressed, of giving
to Portugal the eastern, to Spain the western, part of the Continent
which was first touched by Columbus in his third voyage (1498). Now
it so happened that one of the first navigators who actually saw that
eastern part was a Portuguese, named Cabral. Driven out of his course
while sailing for India, in A.D. 1500, he touched the South American
coast, in latitude 8° south, and took possession of it in the name of
his sovereign. A few months earlier the Spanish sailor, Pinzon, had
struck the same coast and had taken possession of it for Spain, but as
Spain had plenty of discovered land already, and did not care to depart
from her treaty of 1494, the territory was left to Portugal. Both
nations had recognized the Pope as the authority entitled to dispose of
all new-found lands, and possibly they may have supposed in 1500 that
these new lands were part of the same Indies which Portugal had reached
by the eastern route in 1498, six years after Columbus had, as was then
supposed, reached them by the western.[89] Thus Brazil became and has
ever since remained a Portuguese country, except during the eclipse of
Portugal, when, after the death of King Sebastian, it fell for a time
under the Crown of Spain.

The area of Brazil is about 3,300,000 square miles, larger than that
of the United States, and more than double that of India. Most of its
territory is inhabited only by aboriginal Indians, many of them wild
savages, and a good deal is still practically unexplored. As I saw,
and can attempt to describe, only a very small part, it may be proper,
lest any reader should fancy that particular part to be typical of the
whole, to sketch very briefly the general features of the country.

It is geologically one of the oldest parts of the South American
Continent. The mountains which form its central nucleus stood where
they stand now long before the great volcanoes of the Andes, such as
Aconcagua and Chimborazo, had been raised. This mountain centre of
the country falls abruptly on the east to the Atlantic, more gently
on the west towards the level ground in the middle of the Continent,
and is composed of ancient crystalline rocks, which have probably been
reduced from a much greater height by the action of rain, sun, and
wind, continued through countless ages. It may be roughly described
as an undulating plateau, 800 miles long by 300 broad, traversed by
various ranges which are seldom of great height. Their loftiest summit
is Italiaya, about fifty miles to the southwest of Rio de Janeiro
and nearly 10,000 feet high. Few exceed 7000 feet, while the average
elevation of the highlands as a whole is from 2000 to 3000. The scenery
of their richly wooded eastern side, where they break down steeply
towards the Atlantic, is as beautiful as can be found anywhere in the
tropics. They are continued northward and southward in lower hills, and
on the west subside gently, sometimes in long slopes, sometimes in a
succession of broad terraces, into a vast plain, only slightly raised
above sea-level, from which streams flow southward into the Paraná,
northward into the Amazon. In this plain, still imperfectly explored,
Brazil touches Paraguay and Bolivia. The inland regions, both highlands
and plains, are less humid and, therefore, less densely wooded than is
the line of mountains which faces the Atlantic, the climate steadily
growing drier as one goes inland from the rain-giving ocean. Large
parts of them are believed to be fit only for ranching, but settlement
has in the western districts not gone far enough to determine their
capacity for agriculture, though it is known that some are unprofitable
because marshy and others because sandy. On the other hand the country
south of latitude 20° is for the most part fertile and well watered,
and more developed than any other part of Brazil except the coast strip.

There remains another and still larger region which lies in the
northwest part of the republic; I mean the vast plain of the Amazon
and its tributaries. It is the so-called Selvas, or woodland country,
covered everywhere by a dense forest and for part of the year so
flooded by the tropical rains which raise its rivers above their banks
that much of it can be traversed only in boats. Except for a few white
settlements here and there, its sole inhabitants are the uncivilized
Indian tribes, of whom there may be several hundred thousands in
all, a number very small when compared to the space over which they
are scattered. To these Selvas and their possible future I shall
return.[90] Meanwhile the reader will have gathered that: (1) The whole
eastern part of Brazil from latitude 5° south to latitude 30° south is
mountainous or undulating, with here and there wide valleys. All of
this country is valuable either for cultivation, for pasture, or for
timber, and it contains rich mines. (2) The western part and the whole
plain of the Amazon and its tributaries is practically quite flat,
and most of it is a forest wilderness. (3) Though there are some arid
districts along the coast north and south of the mouth of the Amazon,
there are nowhere in Brazil such deserts as those which cover so large
a space in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. (4) The only parts
that are as yet comparatively well-peopled are the coast strip and the
fertile valleys debouching on that strip, some inland districts in the
state of Minas Geraes, and in the southern states of São Paulo, Santa
Catharina, and Rio Grande do Sul. Even in these the population is still
far below the capacities of the country.

I have made these few remarks in order to give the reader some notion
of the general features of this immense country. The only parts I
saw were on the east coast; and these I shall try to describe before
returning to a discussion of the people and prospects of Brazil as a

The south Atlantic all the way from Buenos Aires to the Amazon has the
credit of giving passages as smooth and pleasant as any in the world.
Very different was our experience between Montevideo and Santos, for
there was some rain, more wind, and quite a heavy sea, with weather so
thick that little could be seen of the coast along which we sailed. We
were, of course, told that it was "quite exceptional weather," but old
travellers know that nothing is commoner than exceptional weather.

When at last our steamer, rounding a lofty cape, turned her prow
shoreward to enter the harbour of Santos, how unlike was the landscape
to any which we had seen since passing the Equator at the northern
extremity of Peru. All down the west coast there had been a stern and
mostly barren coast, with cold grey clouds over a cold grey sea. But
here at last were the tropics. Here was the region of abundant and
luxuriant vegetation, a soft, moist air and a sea of vivid blue, with
the strange thin-bodied, long-winged frigate birds hovering above
it. As we came near enough to see the waves foaming on the rocks, an
amphitheatre of mountains was disclosed, surrounding the broad, flat
valley through which a river descends to form the port of Santos.
To the north there ran along the coast a line of lofty promontories
against which the surges rose. The mountains behind, all densely
wooded, were shrouded with heavy mists, but the sun bathed in light the
banks of the river, covered with low trees and flowering shrubs, and
the gaily painted houses of the suburb which stretches out from the
town of Santos, embowered in palm groves, to the white sands of the
ocean beach.

Moving slowly up the winding channel into smooth water, we found many
British and German ships lying at the wharves, for the harbour has now
been so deepened as to admit large steamers, and its improvements,
accompanied by draining operations, have made the place reasonably
healthy. Twenty years ago it was a nest of yellow fever. I was told
that once, during an inroad of that plague, forty-three British ships
were lying idle in the river with their crews all dead or dying. Now
the disease has practically disappeared, and the port is one of the
busiest in South America, since it is the exporting centre for the
produce of the vast coffee country which lies inland. All day long, and
during the night, too, at some seasons, an endless string of stalwart
porters may be seen carrying sacks of coffee from the railroad cars on
the wharf to the ships lying alongside. In 1910 coffee to the value of
nearly £19,000,000 ($93,107,000) was exported from Santos, more than
half of what went out of Brazil to all quarters of the globe.

Such a trade gives plenty of traffic to the railway which connects the
coffee-planting interior and the thriving city of São Paulo with the
sea. It is quite a remarkable railway. First built in 1867, its most
difficult portion, which climbs a very steep slope, was laid out afresh
along a better line between 1895 and 1901, and is a really skilful and
interesting piece of engineering performed for a British company by
British engineers and contractors. As was observed a few pages back,
there lies behind this part of the Brazilian coast a plateau, here
averaging from 2500 to 3000 feet in height, which breaks down abruptly
to the sea. The edge of the plateau, which, from below, appears like
a mountain range, is called the Serra do Mar (Sea Range). To reach
the plateau from the flats at sea-level it was necessary to ascend
some 2500 feet, and this had to be done in a distance of about six
miles, which means an average gradient of about eight per cent from
the bottom to the top of the slope. The line has accordingly been
constructed in a series of five inclines, on which the trains are
worked by wire-rope haulage, each incline having its own power-house
and haulage plant, and safety being secured not only by the "locomotive
brake" which is attached as a last car to each ascending and descending
train, but also by the simultaneous descent and ascent of trains each
way, and other devices too numerous to describe. These, taken together,
are sufficient to ensure perfect safety. The extraordinary completeness
and finish of every part not only of the roadbed and rails, but also
of the stations and other buildings, and of the iron bridges and the
thirteen tunnels, together with the neatly set tile drains which have
been laid down the slopes to carry off in channels the rainwater
which might otherwise dislodge loose earth from above and weaken the
embankments below,--all these things witness to the unusual success
and prosperity of the line as a business undertaking. It has been the
best-paying one, next to that at Panama, in South America. Since the
dividend assignable to the shareholders is restricted, the directors
spend their surplus in securing not only efficiency and security, but
even elegance. The saying, current among Europeans in Brazil, is that
the only thing that remains to be done upon the São Paulo and Santos
line is to gild the tops of the telegraph poles.

The scenery, which we saw to advantage from seats placed in front of
the leading car, is extremely beautiful as the train winds along steep
slopes from which one looks down into richly wooded glens, with tiny
waterfalls descending through ravines amid a profusion of tall ferns.
It is a very wet bit of country, and before reaching the top, we were
enveloped in clouds and heavy rain, and so lost what are perhaps the
finest views, those looking back from the higher levels down the
main valley and out to the now distant ocean. On the top one seemed
suddenly to lose sight of the mountains, for we came out upon level
ground without any descent to the other side of the hill. The weather
cleared, and across a sparsely wooded undulating plain, in some parts
open moorland, in other parts under tillage, we could descry distant
peaks that rose sharp and clear in the less humid air. Whoever has
travelled from north to south in Spain will remember a similarly abrupt
transition when the railway, after climbing the mountains south of
Santander, dripping with the rainstorms that constantly drive in from
the Bay of Biscay, emerges on the bare dry plateau of Old Castile.

The train, speeding along the perfectly smooth roadbed which this
gilt-edged railroad boasts, brought us after fifty miles to the city
of São Paulo, the briskest and most progressive place in all Brazil,
though with less than half the population of Rio de Janeiro. It is
one of the oldest towns in the country, founded in 1553 by a Jesuit
missionary. The early settlers, many of whom intermarried with the
native Indians, became the parents of a singularly bold and energetic
race, who, in their search for gold and silver, explored the land and
raided the Indians and whites, too, if there were any, all the way
down from here to the Uruguay and Paraná rivers. In those days the
Portuguese government at Bahia, far off and weak, seldom interfered
with its subjects. The free spirit of these "Paulistas" has passed to
their descendants. Living in healthy uplands, they have shewn more
industrial and political activity than the people of any other state
in the federation. Since 1875 the planting of enormous tracts of land
with coffee has rapidly raised the wealth of the region, and this city,
being its heart and centre, has risen in sixty years from a small
country town to be a place of four hundred thousand inhabitants.

It stands upon several hills, from the highest of which there are
charming views to the picturesque ranges to the north and along the
valley of its river, the Tiete. Rising only thirty miles from the sea,
this stream flows away northwestward to join the Paraná and enter
the ocean above Buenos Aires, the slope of all this region, so soon
as one has crossed the Serra do Mar, being from east to west. The
city has grown so fast as to shew few traces of its antiquity, except
in the centre, where the narrow and crooked streets of the business
quarter have a picturesque variety rarely found in the rectangular
towns of the New World. The alert faces, and the air of stir and
movement, as well as handsome public buildings rising on all hands,
with a large, well-planted public garden in the middle of the city,
give the impression of energy and progress. This plateau air is keen
and bright, and, though the summer sun was strong, for we were in mid
November, the nights were cool, and the winter, which sometimes brings
slight frosts, restores men to physical vigour. We drove out a few
miles to see the Independence Building, a tall pile, which from its
hilltop looks over a wide stretch of rolling country. It was erected to
commemorate the revolt of Brazil from Portugal in 1822, and contains
what is one of the largest fresco paintings in the world, shewing Dom
Pedro of Braganza, then Regent of Brazil, surrounded by his generals,
proclaiming the independence of the nation, a spirited if somewhat
theatrical composition. There is a collection of objects of natural
history, as well as of native weapons and ornaments, but both here
and elsewhere in Brazil, and, indeed, generally in South America, one
is struck by the small amount of interest shewn in all branches of
knowledge, except such as have a direct practical bearing and pecuniary
value. Considering the enormous field of research which this Continent
presents, and what advances have been made in scientific natural
history during the last sixty years, far too little is being done to
gather or to arrange and classify specimens illustrative either of the
world of nature or of prehistoric and savage man. The collections are
for the most part inferior to what European museums were seventy years
ago. Let it be said, on the other hand, that the state of São Paulo has
set an admirable example to the rest of Brazil in the liberal provision
it is making for elementary schools.

Many immigrants from Italy have in the last decade entered the state
and the city, and now by their labour contribute largely to the
prosperity of both. Negroes are comparatively few; it is these Italians
that do the most and the best of the work. The larger business, both
commercial and industrial, for there are now a good many factories, is
chiefly in the hands of foreigners, Italians, Germans, and English,
with a few French, a state of things which accelerates material
progress and leaves the native or Portuguese Brazilians more free
to devote themselves to politics, a sphere of action into which, as
already observed, the modern Paulistas have carried the energy of their
ancestors. The state is not only the most prosperous, but politically
the most influential, in the republic. One way or another, what with
Paulistas and foreigners, city and state are vigorous communities, and
to see them disabuses the traveller of the common belief that the South
Americans are slack and inert.

The railway--a government line--from São Paulo to Rio runs at first
through that high, rolling country which lies behind the escarpment
facing to the coast. Its variety of surface, and its patches of
woodland, the trees handsome though seldom tall, make it very pretty,
and there are glimpses of the mountain range to the west, one of whose
summits is the loftiest in all Brazil. The line, as it approaches the
coast, begins to descend, running along the edge of deep gorges, where
the bright green herbage and luxuriant growths of shrubs and ferns
contrast with the deep red of the soil produced by the decomposition
of granitic rocks. After the arid severity of the Andean valleys of
Argentina and Bolivia, and the sternness of chilly Patagonia, there
was something cheering in this exuberance of vegetation, this sense
that Nature is doing her best to give man a chance to live easily
and happily. The train sweeps down a long ravine, and passes many a
waterfall, till at last the ravine becomes a wide valley and opens into
the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

How is one to describe Rio? I had read a score of descriptions, yet
none of them had prepared me for the reality. Why should a twenty-first
description be any more successful? Its bay has been compared to the
bays of Naples, of Palermo, of Sydney, of San Francisco, of Hongkong,
and of Bombay, as well as to the Bosphorus. It is not in the least like
any of these, except in being beautiful, nor, I should fancy, is it
like any other place in the world. Suppose the bottom of the Yosemite
Valley, or that of the valley of Auronzo in the Venetian Alps, filled
with water, and the effect would be something like the bay of Rio.
Yet the superb vegetation would be wanting, and the views to far-away
mountains, and the sense of the presence of the blue ocean outside the
capes that guard the entrance.

The name (River of January) suggests a river, but this was a mistake
of the Portuguese discoverers, for nothing but trifling streams enter
this great inlet. It is a landlocked gulf, twenty miles long and from
five to ten miles wide, approached from the ocean through a channel
less than a mile wide between rocky promontories upon which forts have
been erected. On the north side, inside the entrance, is the town of
Nictheroy, whose name commemorates a long-extinct tribe of Indians.
Bold rocky isles lie in front of it and high hills rise behind.

The city of Rio lies upon the south side of the gulf, the great bulk of
it inside, though two or three suburbs have now grown up which stretch
across a neck of land to the ocean. It runs along the shore for five or
six miles, occupying all the space between the water and the mountains
behind, and cut up into several sections by steep ridges which come
down from the mountains and jut out into the water. The coast-line is
extremely irregular, for between these jutting promontories it recedes
into inlets, so that when one looks at Rio, either from offshore in
front or from the mountain tops behind, it seems like a succession of
towns planted around inlets and divided from one another by wooded
heights. All these sections are connected by a line of avenues running
nearly parallel to the coast, so that the city sometimes narrows to a
couple of hundred yards, sometimes widens out where there is a level
space between the water and the hills, sometimes climbs the hill
slopes, and mingles its white houses with the groves that cover their
sides. Behind all stands up the mountain wall, in most places clothed
with luxuriant forests, but in others rising in precipices of grey
granite or single shafts of rock. Thus Rio stands hemmed in between
mountains and bays. There is hardly a spot where, looking up or down a
street, one does not see the vista closed either by the waving green of
forest or the sparkling blue of sea.

Other cities there are where mountains rising around form a noble
background and refresh the heart of such town dwellers as have learnt
to love them. "I will lift mine eyes unto the hills whence cometh
my aid." Such cities are Athens and Smyrna, Genoa and Palermo, San
Francisco and Santiago de Chile. But in Rio the mountains seem to be
almost a part of the city, for it clings and laps round their spurs
just as the sea below laps round the capes that project into the bay.
Nor does one see elsewhere such weird forms rising directly from the
yards and gardens of the houses. One can hardly take one's eyes off the
two strangest among these, which are also the most prominent in every
prospect. The Pan de Azucar (Sugar Loaf) is a cone of bare granite, so
steep as to be scaleable at one point only by the boldest climbers,
which stands on the ridge between the bay and the ocean. The other peak
is the still loftier Corcovado, a vertical shaft of rock something like
the Aiguille de Dru,[91] which springs right out of the houses to a
height of over two thousand three hundred feet. Such strange mountain
forms give to the landscape of the city a sort of bizarre air. They
are things to dream of, not to tell. They remind one of those bits
of fantastic rock scenery which Leonardo da Vinci loved to put in as
backgrounds, though the rocks of Rio are far higher, and are also
harder. A painter might think the landscapes altogether too startling
for treatment, and few painters could handle so vast a canvas as would
be needed to give the impression which a general view makes. Yet the
grotesqueness of the shapes is lost in the splendour of the whole,--a
flood of sunshine, a strand of dazzling white, a sea of turquoise
blue, a feathery forest ready to fall from its cliff upon the city in a
cascade of living green.

It is hard for man to make any city worthy of such surroundings as
Nature has given to Rio. Except for two or three old-fashioned streets
in the business quarter near the port and arsenal, it is all modern,
and such picturesqueness as there is belongs to the varying lines of
shore and hill, and to the interspersed gardens. A handsome modern
thoroughfare, the Avenida Central, has been run through what used to
be a crowded mass of mean houses, and it has the gay effectiveness of
a Parisian boulevard. Villas surrounded by trees crown the hills that
rise here and there; and one street is lined by two magnificent rows of
Royal palms, their stems straight and smooth as marble pillars, crested
by plumes of foliage. At the east end of the city the semicircular bay
of Botafogo is surrounded by a superb palm-planted esplanade, whose
parapet commands the finest general view over the entrance to the bay
and the heights behind Nictheroy, and as far as the Organ Mountains
which rise in a row of lofty pinnacles thirty miles away.

In such a city, the curious traveller does not need to hunt for
sixteenth-century churches or quaint old colonial houses. Enough for
him that the settings of the buildings are so striking. The strong
light and the deep shadows, and the varied colours of the walls and
roofs of the houses, the scarlet flowers climbing over the walls, and
the great glossy dark green leaves of the trees that fill the gardens,
with incomparable backgrounds of rock and sea,--all these are enough to
make the streets delightful.

Not less delightful are the environs. The Botanic Garden about a mile
away has long been famous for its wonderful avenue of royal palms, each
one hundred feet high, all grown from the seed of one planted a hundred
years ago, in the days when the king of Portugal held his court here.
But it has other things to shew, equally beautiful and more interesting
to the botanist. Not even the garden of Calcutta contains a more
remarkable collection of tropical trees, and its vistas of foliage and
bowery hollows overarched by tall bamboos are enchanting. As respects
situation, there is, of course, no comparison; for at Calcutta, as at
our own Kew, all is flat, while here the precipices of the Corcovado on
the one side, and the still grander crags of the Tijuca and Gavea on
the other, shoot up thousands of feet into the blue.

A longer excursion to the south of the city carries one in the course
of a five hours' drive through a succession of mountain landscapes
unsurpassed even in Brazil. A road winds up the hillside through leafy
glens, where climbing plants and tree-ferns fill the space between
the trunks of the great trees. Now and then it comes out on the top
of a ridge, and one looks down into the abysmal depths of forest,
bathed in vaporous sunlight. Through a labyrinth of valleys one
reaches a clearing in the forest, above which is seen the beautiful
peak of Tijuca, and beyond it, still higher, the amazing Gavea, a
square-sided, flat-topped tower of granite. In their boldness of line
these peaks remind one of those that stand up round the Mer de Glace at
Chamouni. There moraines and masses of fallen stones are heaped upon
the bases of these Aiguilles, and nothing breaks the savage bareness
of their sides except snow beds in the couloirs. Here the peaks rise
out of a billowy sea of verdure. The steepness of their faces seems to
defy the climber; yet on their faces there are crevices just big enough
for shrubs to root in, by the help of which a daring man might pull
himself aloft. Nature, having first hewn out these peaks into appalling
precipices, then set herself to deck them with climbing plants and to
find foothold for trees on narrow ledges and to cover the surface with
the bright hues of mosses and lichens, and fill chinks and crannies
with ferns and pendulous flowers that wave and sway in the passing
breeze. Some way further, from the top of a gap between the peaks, the
open ocean is suddenly seen a thousand feet below, its intense blue
framed between green hills, with long billows rushing up over the white
sands of the bay, and lines of spray sparkling round the rocky isles
that rise beyond, like the summits of submerged mountains.

Though the bay of Rio was discovered as far back as 1531 by the
Portuguese sailor who took its mouth for a river, and was settled not
long after, first by Frenchmen in 1558 and then by Portuguese in 1567,
the settlement grew slowly, and it was not till 1762 that the seat
of government was transferred here from Bahia, seven hundred miles
further to the north. Now the population, estimated at a million,
is in South America exceeded by that of Buenos Aires only, and in
recent years much has been done to improve both the city and its port
and wharves. Still greater service has been rendered by sanitary
measures which have not only cleared away slums, but have practically
extinguished yellow fever, and reduced the mortality from other
tropical diseases. Rio is now a pleasant place of residence in winter,
and the sea-breeze makes the climate agreeable in all but the hottest
months, during which Europeans find it debilitating. Fifty years ago
the then Emperor Dom Pedro the Second built himself a summer residence
among the mountains which rise beyond the further end of the bay, and
this presently became the "hot weather station," as people say in
India, for the richer class of citizens and for the representatives of
foreign countries. Now that Rio itself is more healthy, the need for
an annual migration is less imperative, but the natural charm as well
as the much cooler air of Petropolis--so the place is called--have
maintained it as a summer resort. It is an excellent centre both for
the naturalist and for the lover of scenic beauty.

The railway from Rio, after traversing the low and marshy ground along
the margin of the bay for more than twenty miles, reaches the foot
of the Organ Mountains, which form a part of the Coast Range already
referred to.[92] These Organ Mountains (Serra dos Orgãos) rising in
a row of granite towers to a height of 7300 feet, the ravines between
their peaks filled with luxuriant forest, make a noble ending to the
view from Rio along the length of the bay. A botanist could spend no
more delightful week than in rambling among them at a season when the
rains are not too heavy. The railway climbs the Serra at its lowest
point, about 2600 feet above sea-level, descending a little on the
other or northeastern side to Petropolis. The grade is so steep as to
require trains to be hauled up by a wire rope. Nothing can surpass
the beauty of the views which the ascent gives over the bay with its
islands and all the way southeastward to the mountains that surround

Petropolis is a pretty little spot, nestling under steep hills, its
streets well planted and shady, its rows of shops which address
themselves to the summer visitor reminding one of a Pyrenean or Rhenish
bathing place. But the charm of its surroundings is beyond that of any
place in Europe, for in no temperate clime are such landscapes with
such woods and such colours to be found. Here, better even than in
the neighbourhood of Rio, one can explore the glens and penetrate the
forests on foot, wherever a path can be found to follow, for to force
one's way along without a path, by cutting openings through the tangle
of shrubs and climbers with a _machete_, is a task beyond the powers of
the solitary walker. It is not so easy as in Europe to get to know the
mountains, for the pedestrian cannot go where he will. The thickness
of the wood stops him. He cannot fix upon some attractive summit
and say he will climb there for a view, because access on foot, and,
still more, access on horseback, is possible only where there exists
a regular "trail" or well-marked path. Yet it is a genial country,
fit to be loved, and not on too vast a scale, like the Himalayas or
the Andes. When one rambles along the valleys, new beauties appear as
the mountains group and regroup themselves with rock peaks springing
unexpectedly out of the forest, and new waterfalls disclose themselves
along the course of the brooks, for in this land of showers every
hollow has its stream. The heights are sufficient to give dignity,[93]
and the forms are endlessly varied, with here and there open pastures
or slopes of rocky ground rising to a rocky peak, while the heat is
tempered by the elevation and by the seldom failing breeze.

We learnt still more of the character of the country in an excursion
over the Leopoldina railway, down into the valley of the Parahyba
River, and back up one of its tributary glens, to the top of the Coast
Range whence we descended to the coast at Nictheroy opposite Rio.
In general one does not get the best impression of any scenery, and
perhaps least of forest scenery, from a railroad. Here, however, a
railroad must be turned to account, because roads are few and driving
difficult. Our train moved slowly and the rains had laid the dust.

This Leopoldina railway (the property of a British company, to the
kindness of whose managers we were greatly beholden) descends a
narrow valley, hemmed in by steep mountains whose projecting spurs and
buttresses turn hither and thither the course of the foaming river.
Right and left waterfalls leap over the cliffs to swell its waters. The
slopes are mostly too steep for tillage, but here and there a cluster
of houses clings to the slopes, and round them there are fruit trees
and maize fields or little gardens. At last the ravine widens and we
emerge into the broad valley, bordered by lower hills, of the Parahyba,
one of the chief rivers of the Atlantic side of Brazil. Running down
it, through a rich country, we stopped at a wayside station to take
horse and ride up to a _Fazenda_ (estate) whose hospitable owner had
invited us to see his coffee plantations and live stock. The house, set
on a hill with a pretty garden below it and charming views all round,
and inhabited by a large family of his children and grandchildren, gave
a pleasant impression of Brazilian rural life. Here was simplicity
with abundance, the beauty of groves and flowers, a bountiful Nature,
labourers, nearly all negroes, who seemed contented and attached to
their kindly master. A band of coloured people turned out to greet
us and played the national air of Britain. The plantation and stock
farms are managed by the owner and his son, who take pleasure in
having everything done in the best way. We saw the process, quite an
elaborate one, and carried on by machinery, of washing and drying the
coffee-beans, sorting them out by size and quality, separating the
husks and membranous coverings from the beans before they are fit to
be packed and shipped. Coffee is an exhausting crop. Fresh land must
be taken in from time to time and the old land allowed to rest; and we
were to see next day many tracts where it used to be cultivated, which
have now been abandoned to forest because the soil had ceased to repay
tillage. A large piece of ground was ready to be planted with young
coffee-plants, and we were asked to inaugurate it by planting the first
trees, which was done to the accompaniment of rockets let off by the
negroes in the full afternoon sunlight. The love of fireworks, carried
by the peoples of southern Europe to the New World, reaches its acme
among their coloured dependants.

Leaving with regret this idyllic home, we sped all too quickly down
the vale of the Parahyba. Everyone knows that there is nothing more
beautiful than the views one gets in following a river. But here we
felt as if we had not known before how beautiful a valley can be till
this Brazilian one was seen in its warm light, with the heavy shadows
of tropic clouds falling upon woods and pastures, the broad stream now
sparkling over the shallows, now reflecting the clouds from its placid
bosom. The nearer ridges that fell softly on either side were crowned
with villages clustering round white church spires; other ridges rose
one behind another to the west, their outlines fading in the haze of
distance. Not often in the tropics does one get the openness and the
mingling of cornfields and meadows with forest which make the charm of
south European scenery. Here the landscape had that Italian quality
one finds in Claude and in the backgrounds of Titian but bathed in the
intenser light of a Brazilian sun. In Brazil, as in Mexico, scenery
that is both splendid and romantic stands awaiting the painter who is
worthy to place it on canvas.

At last, turning away from the Parahyba, which the main line of railway
follows to the sea, we mounted by a branch up a lateral valley, passed
through great stretches of rough pasture land into the higher region of
thick woods, and halted for the night in the midst of a thunderstorm
which pealed and growled and flashed all night long, as often happens
in these latitudes where one bank of clouds comes up after another to
renew the discharges. Next morning the line, after keeping along the
heights for some miles, descended through a forest more wonderful in
its exuberance than any we had yet seen. From the summit we looked
over a wilderness of deep valleys, the waving green of their tree-tops
seamed with the white flash of waterfalls, with many ranges and peaks
rising in the far distance, few of whose tops any European foot had
pressed, for it is only the bottoms of the valleys that are inhabited.
The views were all the more beautiful because the precipices on the
hillsides beneath which we passed were dripping with rivulets from last
night's rain, and cascades leapt over a succession of rock ledges and
hurried in foaming channels down the bottoms of the glens.

In the hollow of the valley lies a quiet little town called Novo
Friburgo, because first inhabited by a Swiss colony brought here many
years ago to grow coffee. These Brazilian villages are loosely built,
the houses scattered along wide streets, among spreading trees, and
this one had retained something of the trimness of the industrious
people who first settled it. Many of the coffee plantations of forty
or even thirty years ago have been abandoned, and their sites are now
practically undistinguishable from the rest of the forest. How long it
will take for the land to recover its pristine vigour is not yet known,
and there is still so much virgin land waiting to be planted that the
question is of more importance to the individual owner than to the
nation at large.

From this smiling vale the line climbs another high ridge and then
descends once more through a long valley to the level land that lies
behind the bay of Rio, coming out at last in the town of Nictheroy
opposite the city.

This long run through the mountains on the top of the ridges and down
along the terraces cut out in their sides, whence one can look over
great spaces of woodland, completed the impressions of the forest
which our excursions round Rio and Petropolis had given. Regarded as
a piece of Nature's work, these Brazilian forests are more striking
than those of the eastern Himalayas or of the Nilghiri Hills in
India, more striking even than that beautiful little forest at Hilo
in Hawaii, which no one who has visited that extraordinary island can
ever forget. It is not that these Brazilian trees are very lofty. I was
told that further north there are places where the great trunks reach
two hundred feet, but here none seemed to exceed, and not very many
to reach, one hundred. Thus, as respects either height or girth or
general stateliness of aspect, these trees of the Serra do Mar are not
to be compared either to the so-called "Big Trees" of California[94]
or to the red woods of the Pacific Coast Range,[95] nor do they equal
the forests of the Cascade Range above Puget Sound, where many of the
Douglas firs and the so-called "cedars" approach, and some are said
to exceed, three hundred feet. But they have a marvellous variety
and richness of colour both in flowers and leaves. Very few--in this
part I could see none--are coniferous, but very many are evergreen,
changing their leaves not all at the same time, like the deciduous
trees of temperate countries, but each tree at its own time, so that
there are always some with fresh leaves coming as the others are
beginning to go. The variety of tints is endless, from the dark glossy
green of many a forest tree to the light green of the bamboos. Some
leaves have white undersurfaces, which when turned up by the wind are
bright enough to give the effect of flowers; and one tree, frequent
in these mountains, has a group of what seem white bracts round the
corymb at the end of its flower-shoots. Still more varied and still
more brilliant are the flowers. These are seen best from above because
it is the highest boughs touched by the sun that burst forth into the
most abundant blossoms. Though we were too early in the hot season to
see the blossom-bearing trees at their best, the wealth of colour was
delightful even in November. Yellow and white were perhaps the most
frequent, but there were also bright pinks and purples and violets.
Palms rising here and there often high above the rest gave a variety
of tint and form, while the space between the trunks was filled by
tree-ferns rising to twenty feet and by a bewildering profusion of
climbing and hanging and parasitic plants, many of them girdling the
boughs with flowers. There were far more than anybody could give me
names for, and as I had no means of ascertaining the scientific names,
it would not serve the reader to give the popular Portuguese ones,
especially as I found that the same name was sometimes applied to quite
different plants because their colour was similar.

It is in a region like this that one begins to realize the amazing
energy of nature. In the Andes we had seen the power of what are
called the inanimate forces acting from beneath to shake the earth
and break through its solid crust. There heat, acting upon water, has
produced volcanic explosions and piled up gigantic cones like Misti
and Tupungato, and has destroyed by earthquakes cities like Valparaiso
or Mendoza. Here heat and water are again the force and the matter on
which the force works; but here it is through life that they act. Every
inch of ground is covered with some living and growing thing. While the
tall stems push upward to overtop their fellows and let their highest
shoots put forth flowers under the sunlight, climbing plants slender
as a vine-shoot or stout as a liana embrace the trunk and mount along
the branches and hang in swinging festoons from tree to tree. The
fallen trunks are covered thick with ferns and mosses. Orchids and
many another parasite root themselves in the living stem, and make it
gay, to its ultimate undoing, with blossoms not its own. Even the bare
faces of gneiss rock, too steep for any soil to rest upon, support a
plant with a thick whorl of succulent leaves that is somehow able to
find sustenance from air and moisture only, its roots anchored into
some slight roughness of the rock. When a patch of wood has been cut
down to the very ground, five years suffice to cover the soil again
with a growth of trees and shrubs so rank that the spot can scarcely be
distinguished from the uncut forest all round. But this swift activity
of life is hardly more wonderful than is the variety of forms. Each
of the great forests of Europe and North America consists of a few
species of trees. In the New Forest in England, most beautiful of all,
in one place chiefly beeches are found, in another chiefly oaks, mixed,
perhaps, with some birches and white thorns. The woods of Maine and New
Hampshire are composed of maples and birches, white pines and hemlocks
and spruces, with now and then some less frequent tree. In the majestic
forests of the Pacific coast there are seldom more than three or four
of the larger species present in any quantity and this is generally
true also of the Eucalyptus forests of Australia. But on this Brazilian
coast the diversity is endless. Those who have traversed the Amazonian
forests have made the same remark. There as here you may find within
a radius of eighty yards, forty kinds of trees growing side by side,
species belonging to different families with myriad shapes and hues
of leaf and flower. Not content with the abundance of its production,
this creative energy of nature insists on expressing itself also in
an endless variety of forms. Do any principles which naturalists have
yet discovered quite explain such a marvellous diversity where the
conditions are the same?

After the doctrine of the Struggle for Life had been once propounded
by two great naturalists who had seen, one of them South America, and
the other, the tropical islands of the Further East, men soon learnt
to recognize and observe the working of the principle in every part of
the earth until in the arid desert or the freezing north a land was
reached where life itself was extinct. But it is in Brazil that the
principle is seen in the fulness of its potency. Here, where life is so
profuse, so multiform, so incessantly surging around like the waves of
a restless sea, this law of nature's action seems to speak from every
rustling leaf, and the forest proclaims it with a thousand voices.

Rambling round Rio, and noting the physical characteristics of the
ground it occupies, the rocky hills and the promontories and the
islands, the traveller is reminded of the historic cities of Greece
and Italy and naturally asks himself: Supposing Rio to have been one
of those cities, where would the Acropolis have been, and where would
the citizens have met in their assembly before they rushed to attack
a tyrant, and to what sea-girt fortress would a ruler have sent his
captives by water as the East Roman emperors seized their enemies
and sent them into exile from the Bosphorus? Then, remembering that
few streets or hills in Rio have any associations with the past, he
wonders whether such associations will come into being in the future,
and whether insurrections and civic conflicts may ever render some of
these spots famous. In old cities like Florence and Paris and Edinburgh
historic memories make a great part of the interest of the place. How
much of English history connects itself with the Tower of London and
with Westminster Hall! It so happened that during our stay in Rio there
befell an incident which shewed that the smooth surface of things may,
even in our own days, be troubled by explosive passions, an incident
which revealed a new kind of danger to which in times of domestic
strife modern engines of warfare may subject a maritime town.

On the day when we were to embark for Bahia and Europe, we started
early in the morning from Petropolis to come down by train to Rio,
and heard at the station rumours of a revolution, confused rumours,
for no one could say from whom the revolution, if there was one,
proceeded or against whom it was directed. When we reached Rio, things
cleared up a little. It was not a political revolution nor a military
pronunciamento, but a marine mutiny. The crews, almost entirely
negroes, of the two great Dreadnought battleships which the Brazilian
government had recently ordered and purchased from an English firm of
shipbuilders, and which had shortly before arrived in the harbour,
had revolted during the night. The captain of one of the vessels, the
_Minas Geraes_, had been murdered by his crew as he stepped on board
upon his return from dining on a French ship. The story ran that he had
been first pierced by bayonets and then hewed in pieces with hatchets.
Of the other officers some few had been killed, the rest put on shore.
The only white men left on board were some English engineers forcibly
detained in order to work the engines. The crews of a cruiser and
two smaller war vessels had joined in the revolt. All the ships were
in the hands of the crews, who, however, were believed to be obeying
non-commissioned officers of their own colour, and who were led by
a negro named João Candido,[96] a big man of energy and resolution,
who had shewn his grasp of the situation by ordering all the liquor
on the _Minas Geraes_ to be thrown overboard. The grievances alleged
by the seamen were overwork, insufficient wages, and the frequency
of corporal punishments. Rumours were busy connecting the names of
prominent politicians with the outbreak, but so far as could be made
out then or subsequently there was no foundation for these suspicions.
The mutiny seems to have been the spontaneous act of the crews, who,
it was remarked, had just arrived from Lisbon, lately the scene of a
revolution, and might have there caught the infection of rebellion. In
demanding the redress of their grievances, which was, of course, to be
accompanied by an amnesty for themselves, they had threatened to lay
the city in ashes, enforcing the threat by firing some shots into it
(not, however, from the heavy guns). One shot killed two children, and
several other persons were wounded.

The aspect of the city was rather less affected than might have been
expected. Some troops were moving about, here cavalry, there infantry.
Few carriages or motor cars and few women were to be seen. Business was
slack, and groups of men stood talking at street corners, evidently
imparting to one another those tales and suspicions and guesses at
unseen causes with which the air was thick. All water traffic from the
opposite side of the bay had been stopped by the mutineers, who had
also compelled the submission of one of the forts at the entrance.
Strolling along to the great Botafogo Esplanade under the palms, I
found a battery of field artillery, their guns pointed at the two
battleships, the _Minas_ and the _São Paulo_, against which they would,
of course, have been as useless as paper pellets. There the majestic
yellow grey monsters lay, fresh from Messrs. Armstrong's yard at
Newcastle, flying the ensign of Brazil, but also flying at the fore
the red flag of rebellion. So the day wore on, terror abating, but the
sense of helplessness increasing. We were lunching at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs--it was a small party, for considerations of safety
had kept away the ladies who had been invited--when suddenly the heavy
boom of the guns was heard, and continued at intervals all through the
repast. When again in the streets, I found that the two Dreadnoughts
were shelling some torpedo-boats, manned by crews still loyal, which
had approached them. The practice was bad, and none of the boats was
hit, but they prudently scurried off up the bay into shallow water
where the ironclads could not follow.

So the hours passed and everybody was still asking, "What is to be
done?" "The mutineers," so men said, "can't be starved out, because
they have threatened to destroy the city if food is refused them, and
the city is at their mercy. By this threat they have forced us to give
them water. We cannot blow up the ships with torpedoes, first because
they have stretched torpedo nets round the hulls, and secondly because
it would be a serious thing to destroy property for which we have paid
no small part of our annual revenue. Doesn't it look as if we should
have to submit to the mutineers? What else can we do?" Later on the
firing recommenced and I mounted to the third story of the British
Consulate to see what was happening. The ships were shelling the naval
barracks on the Isla das Cobras in the harbour, and the island was
replying, and we were near enough to see the red flash from the iron
lips just before the roar was heard. Lying out in the bay was the
British liner by which we were to sail for Liverpool. The lighters
that were carrying coal to her had been commandeered by the mutineers,
but she had just enough in her bunkers to get to Bahia. The immediate
difficulty was for the passengers to reach her across the line of
fire. At last, however, a boat was sent out from shore bearing a flag
of truce, and the _São Paulo_ consented to cease firing and let the
passengers get on board the British vessel. They were accordingly
embarked in a launch which, flying the Consulate flag, crossed
unharmed the danger zone. It was the only chance, but a sense of relief
was visible in every face when we stepped on board, for if a negro
gunner had been smitten by the desire to let fly once more at the Isla
das Cobras, his ill-aimed shot might very well have sent the launch
to the bottom. As we steamed slowly out to the ocean the magnificent
_São Paulo_ ran close alongside us, and we could see her decks crowded
with negroes and the red flag still flying. "A study in black and red,"
someone observed. Outside the entrance were lying the _Minas Geraes_
and the _Bahia_, partly to be out of harm's way from torpedoes, partly
to guard the mouth of the bay. In the sober light of a grey sunset, the
clouds hanging heavy on the Corcovado, but the lofty watch-tower of
the Pan d'Azucar still visible through the gathering shades, we turned
northward, and bade farewell to Rio. Two hours later, looking back
through a moonless night, we could still see the flash, from beneath
the horizon, of the searchlights which the _Minas Geraes_ was casting
on the sea all round her to guard against the stealthy approach of a
loyal torpedo-boat.

A few days later, at Pernambuco, we heard that peace had been restored.
The Chambers had voted an amnesty with eloquent speeches about the
beauty of forgiveness, and had promised to redress the grievances of
the mutineers. Another mutiny broke out afterwards, which, after many
lives had been lost, was severely suppressed, but these later events
happened when we were far away, nearing the coast of Europe, and of
them I have nothing to tell.

The coast for some way north from Rio continues high, but the
steamers keep too far out to permit its beauties to be seen. Before
one approaches Bahia, the mountains have receded, and at that city,
though picturesque heights are still visible, they lie further back,
and scarcely figure in the landscape. Still further north, towards
Pernambuco, and most of the way northwestward to Pará, the coast is
much lower. The bay of Bahia is singularly beautiful in its vast sweep,
as well as in the verdure that fringes its inlets, and the glimpses
of distant sunlit hills. Nor is the city, long the capital of Brazil,
wanting in interest; for, though none of the buildings have much
architectural merit, there is a quaint, old-fashioned look about the
streets and squares, with many a house that has stood unchanged since
the eighteenth century. The upper city runs along the edge of a steep
bluff, sixty or eighty feet above the lower town, which is a single
line of street, even more dirty than it is picturesque, occupying the
narrow strip between the harbour and the cliff. Here, far more than
in Parisianized Rio, one finds the familiar features of a Portuguese
town reproduced, irregular and narrow streets, houses, often high,
roofed with red tiles, and coloured with all sorts of washes, pink,
green, blue, and yellow. Sometimes the whole front or side of a house
is covered with blue or yellowish brown tiles, a characteristic of
Portuguese cities--it is frequent in Oporto and Braga--which has come
down from Moorish times. But a still greater contrast between this and
southern Brazil is found in the population. In São Paulo there are few
negroes, in Rio not very many, but here in Bahia all the town seems
black. One might be in Africa or the West Indies. It is the same in
Pernambuco and indeed all the way to the mouth of the Amazon.

Finding this to be a region filled with coloured people as São Paulo
was with white people, and knowing that a thousand miles further west
one would come into a region entirely Indian, one began to realize
what a vast country Brazil is, big enough to be carved up into sixteen
countries each as large as France. Were there natural boundaries,
_i.e._ such physical features as mountain ranges or deserts, to divide
this immense region into sections, the settled parts of Brazil might
before now have split apart into different political communities. As
it is, however, there are no such natural dividing lines, and if the
Republic should ever break in pieces it will be differences in the
character of the population or some conflict of material interests that
will bring this about.

How has it happened that so huge a country has fallen to the lot of a
people so much too small for it, since one can hardly reckon the true
Brazilian white nation at more than seven millions?

What did happen was that the French, English, and Dutch, having their
hands full in Europe, did not pursue their attempts to occupy the
country with sufficient persistence and with adequate forces, and so
lost their hold on the parts they had seized. Thus it became possible
for a handful of Portuguese on the Atlantic coast to send out small
colonizing parties into their unoccupied Hinterland, and as there were
no civilized inhabitants to resist them, to go on acquiring a title
to it without opposition until they met the outposts of the Spanish
government who had advanced from the Pacific across the Andes just as
the Portuguese had advanced from the Atlantic. Neither Portuguese nor
Spaniards had been numerous enough to colonize this interior region
of the continent, so it remains (save for a few trading posts on the
rivers) an empty wilderness.

Nevertheless, though Brazil is physically all one country, it contains
regions differing in climate, in economic resources, and in population.
I will try in a few sentences to indicate the character of each.

The most northerly part along the frontiers of Guiana and also along
a good deal of the coast between the mouth of the Amazon and Cape St.
Roque is the least valuable, for large tracts are stony and protracted
droughts are not uncommon. The extreme north has been hardly at all

The east central part, consisting of the mountain ridges and
table-lands referred to on page 368, together with slopes which descend
on all sides from these highlands, is a region of great natural
resources where all tropical crops and fruits can be produced. Most of
it is healthy, much of it not too hot for white men to work and thrive,
and the magnificent forests, no less than the mines, will make the
mountains for many years to come no less a source of wealth than are
the more level tracts. Its weak point is the want of white labour and
the inefficiency of black labour.

This tropical region passes imperceptibly into the temperate country
which occupies the states of São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catharina, and
Rio Grande, a section of the country no less fertile than the last
and better fitted for European constitutions. Here all sub-tropical
products can be raised; here also are forests; and here, where the land
has not yet been brought under tillage, there is abundant and excellent
pasture for all sorts of live stock. As the east central region is the
land of cotton and sugar, so this southern region is the land of coffee
and cattle,--coffee in its northerly parts, cattle and the cereals in
its southern.

There remain the vast spaces of the west and northwest, still so
imperfectly explored that it is hard to estimate their economic
value. To the Amazonian forests, the Selvas, I shall return in
another chapter.[97] They are the land of another great Brazilian
staple--rubber. Most parts of the region where Brazil adjoins Bolivia,
a vast level or slightly undulating country, partly grassy, partly
covered with wood or scrub, is believed to be available either for
cultivation or for ranching. At present access is difficult, and
markets are far away, but when the districts of Brazil, Uruguay, and
Argentina that lie between this region and the coast have been more
fully settled, its turn will come.

Taking Brazil as a whole, no great country in the world owned by a
European race possesses so large a proportion of land available for the
support of human life and productive industry. In the United States
there are deserts, and of the gigantic Russian Empire much is desert,
and much is frozen waste. But on the Portuguese of Brazil nature has
bestowed nothing for which man cannot find a use. Such a possession as
this was far more than enough to compensate the little kingdom for the
loss of the empire which it began in the sixteenth century to build up
in India, before the evil days came after the death of King Sebastian.

The material prosperity of a country, however, depends less on its
natural resources than on the quality of the labour applied to its
development and on the intelligence that directs the labour. In these
respects Brazil has been less fortunate. When the Portuguese first
settled the coast lands, they forced the Indian aborigines to work for
them, and in many places destroyed by their severities the bulk of the
native population. Negroes began to be imported about A.D. 1600, but
not in great numbers until the discovery of diamond and other mines
in the inland country created a sudden demand for labour. After that,
there came a large importation of slaves, for agricultural as well
as for mining purposes, from all the Portuguese dominions of Africa,
and from the Congo regions; and this went on, though latterly much
reduced, down to our own time. Between 1825 and 1850 it is said that
1,250,000 slaves were landed, and cargoes came in even later. Thus the
working population of the tropical region, including the coast towns,
became largely, and in the north, predominantly negro. Slavery was
abolished by successive stages, the last of which was reached in 1888.
For a time the plantation culture was disorganized, but most of the
freedmen ultimately returned to work. It is by their labour that sugar
and cotton are raised to-day, though they take life very easily, and
often content themselves with just so much exertion on just so many
days a week as is needed to provide them with food and the other scanty
necessaries of their life. Here, as elsewhere, the race is lighthearted
and thoughtless, caring little for the future, loving amusement in
its most childish forms. It is kindly and submissive, but dangerously
excitable, and quickly demoralized by drink. The planters find it hard
to count on their work people, who stay away if they feel more than
usually lazy, and will, if displeased, transfer themselves to another
planter, who, in the general scarcity of labour, is glad to have them.
Many children are born to them, but many die, especially in infancy,
so that, taking the country as a whole, they do not seem to increase
faster than the other sections of the population.

Such are the cotton and sugar regions: now let us turn to those
southerly states of the republic, whose staples are coffee and cattle
and cereals. In them, and especially in São Paulo and Rio Grande,
the conditions are altogether different. The number of negroes was
never large there, and it does not grow. Owing to the elevation of
the ground and to the less powerful sun, the heat is not excessive
in either state, and European immigrants can work and thrive and be
happy. So Europeans have flocked hither. Between 1843 and 1859 about
twenty thousand came from Germany to Rio Grande do Sul, and there
are now, it is said, about two hundred thousand, forming a compact
community which preserves its national habits and manages its own
affairs with little interference by the central government. It is, in
fact, disposed to resent any such interference and to "run things" in
its own solid German way. Even larger is the number of Italians who
in more recent years have entered these southern states. The labour
on the great coffee estates of São Paulo is almost entirely Italian;
and in Rio Grande they have become well-to-do peasant proprietors,
living in less comfort than their German neighbours, but working just
as steadily. This better quality of population has largely gone to
making the southern states the most progressive part of Brazil. Should
the Italians and the native Brazilians of the south, who have far
less negro blood than those of the middle states, continue to spread
themselves out as settlers over the still thinly peopled southwestern
districts, they will probably give prosperity to that region also.
Cattle ranching is in the south carried on by Gauchos much like those
of Uruguay or Argentina. They are said to have communicated their love
of horses to the Germans and Italians, so that on holidays even the
women of those races appear on horseback in a way that would startle
their peasant cousins left at home in Swabia or Lombardy.

The foreign element in Brazil is more important by its energy and
industry than by its numbers, for it probably little exceeds a million
all told, and the total population of the republic may approach
nineteen or twenty millions. In 1910 about 88,000 immigrants entered,
most of them Italians, and the rest Portuguese, Spaniards, and Syrians,
these last mostly travelling peddlers, or small dealers who establish
themselves in the towns. The afflux of Syrians that has found its way
to South America and the West Indies during the last few years is a new
and curious feature in the currents of ethnic movement that mark our

But what of the Brazilian people itself? The influences that tend to
make it vary from its original type are counterworked by the steady
immigration from Portugal, and from Spain also, for though any sort of
Spaniard (except a Gallego) differs materially from a Portuguese, the
two races differ much less from one another than either does from any
other European stock. The Brazilian is primarily a Portuguese in the
outlines of his mind and character. He has, however, been modified by
intermixture with two other races. The first of these is the native
Indian. The settlers both in São Paulo and along the northeastern
coast, while they killed most of the Indian men either in fight or by
working them to death as slaves, intermarried freely with Indian women.
The offspring were called Mamelucos, an Eastern term which it is odd
to find here, and which is now beginning to pass out of use. In the
south this mixed race as well as the pure Indian race has been now
absorbed into the rest of the population.[98] You would as soon expect
to see a Pawnee in Philadelphia as an Indian in Santos. In the north
the half-breed is generally called a _Caboclo_, a name originally given
to the tame native Indian, as opposed to the wild _Indio bravo_; and
in that region, a large part of the agricultural population is of this
mixed stock.

The second modifying influence is that of the imported Africans. When
the first slave ships disgorged their cargoes on the Atlantic coast,
the aborigines of those districts had already been either killed off
or merged in the Portuguese population, so that the mingling of Indian
and negro blood which is supposed to produce an especially undesirable
class of citizens was comparatively small. The intermarriage of blacks
and whites has, however, gone on apace, and the negroes constitute a
large, the mulattoes and quadroons a still larger, percentage of the
population. Some observers hold that the coloured people, taken all
together, equal or outnumber the whites. The intermixture continues,
for here, as in Portuguese East Africa, no sentiment of race repulsion
opposes it.[99] Any figures that might be given would be quite
conjectural; for the line between the mixed black and white and the
white cannot be drawn with any approach to accuracy. Even in the United
States, where conditions permit more careful discrimination, no one
can tell what is the percentage of mulattoes to the total coloured
population, nor how many quadroons and octoroons there are to be found
among those classed as whites, for many people who have some negro
blood succeed in concealing its presence, while others are classed as
coloured who in Europe would pass as white. Much more difficult is it
to tell in Brazil who is to be deemed a person of colour.

How far the differences between the Brazilian and the Portuguese of
to-day are due to racial admixture, and how far to the conditions of
colonial life and a new physical environment, is a matter on which
one might speculate for ever and come no nearer to a conclusion. The
descendants of Englishmen who were living in Massachusetts and Virginia
in 1840 before immigration from Continental Europe had begun to affect
the English stock shewed already marked differences from the Englishmen
of old England, and it is impossible to tell how far the changes that
have passed on the people of the United States since then are due to
the influx of new immigrants from Europe, how far to other causes.
The Brazilian is still more of a Portuguese than he is of any other
type. His ideas and tastes, his ways of life, his alternations of
listlessness and activity, his kindly good nature, his susceptibility
to emotions and to a rhetoric that can rouse emotion, belong to the
country whence he came.

Brazil was the latest country in the American continent to become a
republic. This befell in 1888. In 1807, when the armies of Napoleon
Bonaparte entered Portugal, the then reigning king, John, of the
house of Braganza, crossed the Atlantic and reigned at Rio till the
expulsion of the French enabled him to resume his European throne. In
1822 the people had become discontented under Portuguese misgovernment.
Republican ideas, stimulated by the destruction of Spanish power that
was proceeding on the Pacific coasts, were in the air, and the Regent,
Dom Pedro, son of King John, proclaimed the independence of Brazil
which was, after some fighting, conceded by the mother country in
1825. His action probably saved monarchical institutions, and when he
abdicated in 1831, disgusted with the difficulties that surrounded him,
and with the unpopularity to which his own faults had exposed him, he
was succeeded by his son, who ruled as the Emperor Pedro the Second.
This amiable and enlightened prince, a lover of natural science as well
as of art and letters, devoted himself chiefly to European travel and
to the economic and educational improvement of his country, interfering
very little with politics. A military conspiracy and the resentment
of the planters at the sudden abolition of slavery brought about the
revolution of 1888, in which a republic was proclaimed and the Emperor
shipped off to Europe. In 1891 a congress met and enacted a federal
constitution modelled on that of the United States. The immense size of
the country and its want of homogeneity suggested a federal system, the
basis for which already existed in the legislative assemblies of the
provinces. Since then Brazil has had its full share of armed risings
and civil wars.

At first the states were allowed the full exercise of the large
functions which the Constitution allotted to them, including the
raising of revenue by duties on exports and the maintenance of a
police force which in some states was undistinguishable from an army.
Presently attempts were made to draw the reins tighter, and these
attempts have continued till now. The national government has at its
disposal the important field of financial and tariff legislation, the
control of army and navy, and the opportunities of helping needy or
slothful states by grants of money or by the execution of public works.
Through the use of these powers it has latterly endeavoured to exert
over the states a greater control than some of them seem willing to
accept. Nor is this the only difficulty. While some of the states, and
especially the southern, have an intelligent and energetic population,
others remain far behind, their citizens too ignorant and lazy, or
too unstable and emotional, to be fit for self-government. Universal
suffrage in districts where the majority of the voters are illiterate
persons of colour suggests, if it does not justify, extra-legal methods
of handling elections. One illegality breeds another, and there is
perpetuated a distrust of authority and a resort to violence. As one of
the most recent and brilliant of European travelers[100] observes, in
a passage which conveys his admiration for the attractive qualities he
finds in the Brazilians, "The Constitution enjoys a chiefly theoretic
authority.... There is a lack of balance between the states which
have already a highly perfected civilization and the districts which
in theory are on a footing of equality, but whose black or Indian
population can only permit of a nominal democracy stained by those
irresponsible outbursts which characterize primitive humanity." That
the authority of a constitution should be "theoretic rather than
practical" must be expected where "a democracy is nominal"; for if
institutions the working of which requires intelligence and public
spirit are forced on Indians and negroes, their failure is inevitable.

In the Brazilian politics of to-day there are many factions, but no
organized parties nor any definite principles or policies advocated
by any group or groups of men. Federal issues are crossed and
warped by state issues, state issues confused by federal issues,
and both sets of issues turn rather on persons than on general
doctrines or specific practical proposals. One source of dissension
is, however, absent,--that struggle of the church and clericalism
against the principles of religious equality which has distracted the
Spanish-American republics. In Brazil the separation of church and
state is complete, and though the diplomatic corps enjoys the presence
of a papal Nuncio as one of its members, this adherence to tradition
has no present political significance. Here, moreover, as in Argentina
and Uruguay, the church and religion seem to have little influence
upon the thought or the conduct of laymen. The absence or the fluidity
of parties makes the executive stronger than the legislature both in
national and state politics. There are many men of talent, especially
oratorical talent, and many men of force, but not enough who shew
constructive power and the grasp of mind needed to handle the enormous
economic problems which a country so vast, so rich, and so various

Among the economic issues of to-day may be reckoned that of protection,
as against free trade. Brazilian policy is at present highly
protectionist, and does not hesitate, when some powerful interest asks
for further help, to double or more than double whatever protective
duty it finds existing. The chief social questions are those relating
to the extension of education and the enactment of better labour laws
for the benefit of children and the security of workpeople. The chief
constitutional question is the relations of the national and the state
governments. European critics complain that upon none of these does
any legislative group seem to put forward any definite and consistent
policy. Yet such critics must be reminded that the country has been
a republic only since 1891, and free from the taint of slavery only
since 1888, and that her peace has been since those years frequently
disturbed. It is too soon to be despondent.

Brazilian society seems to a passing observer to be in a state of
transition, and may not for some time to come succeed in reconciling
the contrasts between the old and the new, and between theory and
practice, which it now displays. The old system was aristocratic not
only because a number of respected families surrounding the imperial
court enjoyed a pre-eminence of rank, but also because a newer class
of rich men, chiefly landowners, had grown up. The aristocracy of rank
is now almost gone, but the aristocracy of wealth remains and is in
control of public affairs. In most parts of the country, it stands
far above the labouring population, with little of a middle class
between. Democratic principles have been proclaimed in the broadest
terms, but thinking men see, and even unthinking men cannot but dimly
feel, that no government, however good its intentions, can apply such
principles in a country where seven-eighths of the people are ignorant,
and half of them belong to backward races, unfit to exercise political
rights. The conditions here noted may be thought to resemble those of
the southern states in the North American Union. But there are two
conspicuous differences. In Brazil no social "colour line" is sharply
drawn, and the fusion of whites and blacks by intermarriage goes
steadily on. In Brazil the pure white element, though it preponderates
in the temperate districts of the south, is less than half of the
whole nation, whereas in the United States it is eight-ninths. Yet
in the southern United States nearly all the coloured population has
been disfranchised and all declarations of democratic principles
are understood to be subject to the now fundamental dogma that white
supremacy must be absolutely assured.

Though the financial stability of Brazil is said to be hardly equal to
that which Argentina was enjoying in 1910, and though the growth of
national and individual wealth has been less rapid, there is a sense
of abundance, and the upper classes live in an easy open-handed way.
Slaveholding produces extravagant habits, especially among plantation
owners, for what is the use of looking after the details of expenditure
when one has thriftless labourers, whose carelessness infects all who
are set over them? Like their Portuguese ancestors, the Brazilians are
genial and hospitable, and they have the example and the excuse of a
bounteous Nature around them. They seem less addicted to horse-racing
and betting than are the Argentines and Chileans, but the gambling
instinct finds plenty of opportunities in the fluctuations of exchange,
as well as in the rapid changes of the produce markets.

The Brazilian is primarily a man of the country, not of the city.
Rio, large as it is, is a less potent factor than Buenos Aires is in
Argentina, or Santiago in Chile. The landowner loves his rural life,
as did the Virginian planter in North America before the Civil War,
and lives on the _fazenda_ in a sort of semi-feudal patriarchal way,
often with grown-up sons and daughters around him. Estates (except in
the extreme south) are extensive; near neighbours are few; families are
often large; the plantation is a sort of little principality, and its
owner with his fellow-proprietors is allowed, despite all democratic
theory, to direct the politics of the district just as in England,
eighty years ago, the county families used to control local affairs and
guide the choice of representatives in Parliament.

I have observed that the Brazilian, though modified in some parts of
the country by Indian or negro blood, is primarily a Portuguese. Now
the Portuguese, a people attractive to those who live among them, have
also had a striking history. They are a spirited people, an adventurous
people, a poetical people. For more than a century, when they were
exploring the oceans and founding a dominion in India, they played a
great part in the world, and though they have never quite recovered the
position, wonderful for so small a country, which they then held, and
have produced no later poet equal to Camoens, men of practical force
and men of intellectual brilliance have not been wanting. Neither are
they wanting in Brazil. A love of polite letters is common among the
upper classes, and the power of writing good verse is not rare. The
language has retained those qualities which it shewed in the Lusiads,
and the possession of that great poem has helped to maintain the taste
and talent of the nation. There are admirable speakers, subtle and
ingenious lawyers, astute politicians, administrators whose gifts are
approved by such feats as the extinction of yellow fever in Rio and
Santos. The late Baron do Rio Branco was a statesman who would have
been remarkable in any country. Yet it is strange to find that, both
here and in other parts of South America, men of undoubted talent are
often beguiled by phrases, and seem to prefer words to facts. Between
the national vanities and self-glorifying habits of different nations,
there is not much to choose, but in countries like England and the
United States, the rhetoric of after-dinner speeches is known clearly
and consciously by the more capable among the speakers, and almost as
distinctly by the bulk of the audience, to be mere rhetoric. They are
aware of their national faults and weaknesses and do not really suppose
themselves more gifted or more virtuous than other peoples.

In Latin America, where eloquence comes by nature and seems to become
a part of thought itself, the case is different. Exuberant imagination
takes its hopes or predictions for realities, and finds in the gilded
clouds of fancy a foundation on which to build practical policies.
Proud of what they call their Democratic Idealism, they assume as
already existing in their fellow-countrymen the virtues which the
citizens of a free country ought to possess. To keep these unrealized
ideals floating before one's eyes may be better than to have no
ideals at all, but for the purposes of actual politics, the result
is the same either way, for that which is secured for the principles
embodied in the laws is what M. Clémenceau happily calls "an authority
chiefly theoretic." Let us, nevertheless, remember that although the
habit of mistaking words for facts and aspirations for achievements
aggravates the difficulties of working constitutional government in
South American countries, these difficulties would in any case exist.
They inhere in the conditions of the countries. It is vain to expect
a constitution closely modelled on that of the United States to work
smoothly in Brazil, just as it is impossible to expect the British
Cabinet and Parliamentary system to work smoothly in those small
nations which have recently been copying it, without an incessant and
often ludicrous contrast between doctrine and practice. A nation is the
child of its own past, as Cervantes says that a man is the child of his
own works.

The Brazilians, who never forget that they were for a time, during the
French invasion of Portugal, their own mother country, and head of the
whole Portuguese people, cherish their national literary traditions
with more warmth than do the Spaniards of the New World, and produce
quite as much, in the way of poetry and _belles lettres_, as do the
writers of Portugal. They have a quick susceptibility to ideas, like
that of Frenchmen or Russians, but have not so far made any great
contributions to science, either in the fields of physical enquiry
or in those of economics, philology, or history. One can hardly be
surprised that learning and the abstract side of natural science
are undervalued in a country which has no university, nothing more
than faculties for teaching the practical subjects of law, medicine,
engineering, and agriculture. This deficiency of a taste for and
interest in branches of knowledge not directly practical is the more
noticeable, because the Brazilians do not strike one as a new people.
Less here than in Argentina or Uruguay, has one the feeling that the
nation is still in the first freshness of youth, eagerly setting itself
to explore and furnish its home and to develop resources the possession
of which it has just begun to realize. Business and sport are not such
absorbing topics of conversation here as they are in Argentina; there
is neither such a display of wealth nor such a passion for spending
it. Yet one doubts whether this freedom from the preoccupations of
industry and commerce, the latter mainly left to foreigners, enures
to the benefit of public life. Most of those who follow politics seem
absorbed in personal intrigues. Comparatively few shew themselves
sensible of the tremendous problems which the nation has to face, with
its scattered centres of population to draw together, its means of
communication to extend, its public credit to sustain, its revenues
to be scrupulously husbanded and applied to useful purposes, above
all, its mass of negro and Indian population to be educated and
civilized. Nowhere in the world is there a more urgent need for a wise
constructive statesmanship.

It is hard to convey the impression with which one sees the shores
of Brazil sink below the horizon after coasting along them for three
thousand miles from the Uruguayan border to Pernambuco, and coming to
know something of the boundless wealth which Nature has lavished upon
man in this vast land. Not even the great North American republic has a
territory at once so large and so productive. What will be its future?
Is the people worthy of such an inheritance?

The first thought that rises in the mind of those who are possessed, as
in this age we all more or less are, by the passion for the development
of natural resources, is a feeling of regret that a West European race,
powerful by its numbers and its skill, say the North American or German
or English, has not, to use the familiar phrase, "got the thing in
hand." The white part of the Brazilian nation--and it is only that part
that need be considered--seems altogether too small for the tasks which
the possession of this country imposes. "How men from the Mississippi
would make things hum along the Amazon and the Paraná!" says the
traveller from the United States. In thirty years, Brazil would have
fifty millions of inhabitants. Steamers would ply upon the rivers,
railways would thread the recesses of the forests, and this already
vast dominion would almost inevitably be enlarged at the expense of
weaker neighbours till it reached the foot of the Andes. Second or
third thoughts suggest a doubt whether such a consummation is really
in the interests of the world. May not territories be developed too
quickly? Might it not have been better for the United States if their
growth had been slower, if their public lands had not been so hastily
disposed of, if in their eagerness to obtain the labour they needed
they had not drawn in a multitude of ignorant immigrants from central
and southern Europe? With so long a life in prospect as men of science
grant to our planet, why should we seek to open all the mines and cut
down all the forests and leave nothing in the exploitation of natural
resources to succeeding generations? In the long run doubtless the
lands, like the tools, will go to those who can use them. But it may be
well to wait and see what new conditions another century brings about
for the world; and the Latin-American peoples may within that time grow
into something different from what they now appear to the critical eyes
of Europe and North America.



In A.D. 1808, when Napoleon Bonaparte, the true Liberator of Spanish
America, moved his armies into Spain, the dominions of the Spanish
Crown stretched south eight thousand miles from the bay of San
Francisco to the Straits of Magellan. The population that was scattered
thinly over that vast region was mostly native Indian, but there may
possibly have been a million of pure Spanish stock and many times that
number of mixed Spanish and Indian blood. All except the Indians spoke
Spanish; all except the wild heathen tribes were Roman Catholics, and
the white men were orthodox Catholics, with universal and genuine
horror of heresy. All who were of pure European or of mixed blood
followed customs and held ideas generally similar; all had been ruled
by governors sent from Spain under laws and an administrative system
drawn up and carried out on similar lines. In every region the Roman
Church was powerful and monasteries abounded. There were no sharp
local distinctions among this Spanish and Indo-Spanish population.
Intercolonial trade was indeed forbidden, and permission to travel from
one colony to another had to be obtained. But as all were subjects of
one king and members of one Church, there was no political separation
beyond that which was involved in the existence of various local
jurisdictions. A native of Mexico was not a stranger on the banks
of the Orinoco or the Paraná any more than the Bostonian Benjamin
Franklin had been a stranger when he came to settle in Philadelphia.
They could hardly be said to form one nation, for they had no national
organization, but they all alike belonged to the same Hispano-American

In A.D. 1908 there were in the same area, but now between the
Rio Grande Del Norte and Cape Horn (the territories now known as
California, Arizona, and New Mexico having by this time become annexed
to the United States) sixteen independent republics,[101] all of which
had freed themselves from the Spanish Crown between 1810, when the
first risings took place in Mexico and Argentina, and 1826, when the
flag of Spain was finally lowered on the fortress of Callao, the last
stronghold on the American mainland of the successor of Charles the
Fifth. That which had been one widely scattered and loosely connected
people had become divided into many distinct communities, each with its
own government, its separate historical traditions, its local prides
and local antagonisms, its more or less definite and sharp-cut national
consciousness. From the amorphous mass of protoplasm, so to speak, of
1808, each part of which was generally similar to every other part,
there had emerged sixteen separate organisms, some markedly different
and no two alike, although those distinctive features which make up
national character had become much more fully developed in some than in
others. That is to say, there are now instead of one people sixteen new

But can we describe these sixteen republics as Nations?

What is a Nation?

It is dangerous to offer a definition which may not correspond to
usage, for usage is the only true master and interpreter of words;
and usage is in this case loose and varying. But it might be not far
wide of the mark to say that while a nationality is a population held
together by certain ties, as, for example, language and literature,
ideas, customs, and traditions, in such wise as to feel itself a
coherent unity, distinct from other populations similarly held together
by like ties of their own, a Nation is a nationality, or a subdivision
of a nationality, which has organized itself into a political body,
either independent or desiring to be independent. This description
would encounter some doubtful cases. The Athenians in antiquity and the
Florentines in the Middle Ages were hardly nations, though they were
independent states, for they were parts of a wider Greek and Italian
people. The Swiss, Alemannian Germans to begin with, grew slowly into
a nation, and were scarcely so to be described before A.D. 1648. Now,
though they speak three languages and spring from at least three
nationalities, they are as united a nation as there is in the world.
The Magyars did not cease to be a nation because their constitutional
freedom and rights of self-government were overthrown in 1849 and not
regained till nearly twenty years later. Were the thirteen American
colonies before 1776 a nation, or did they become so in that year,
or not till the union of all of them was finally assured in 1791?
Tuscany, though independent under its local rulers till 1859, was not
a nation, and still less were the States of the Church. But is Bavaria
to-day to be deemed a nation? Ireland and Scotland figure as nations
in after-dinner speeches on the days of their respective saints: are
they so at other times also? and if they are, is Wales a nation? Were
the Transvaal and the Orange Free State nations before the South
African war of 1899? They were certainly parts of a Dutch South African
nationality. If Canada and Australia are nations, is the Union of South
Africa one also? or does the whole British people all over the world
constitute a nation?

Without multiplying doubtful cases, however, the description presented
above, and any description which tries to represent current usage,
would recognize the fact, that wherever a community has both political
independence and a distinctive character recognizable in its members,
as well as in the whole body, we call it a nation. Applying such a
test to the Spanish-American republics, some of them, such as Mexico,
Argentina, and Chile, are undeniably nations, while even some at
least of the smaller, such as Cuba, Ecuador, and Paraguay, have
attained sufficient individuality and consciousness of corporate
unity to make them feel and act together and desire to preserve
their independence.[102] If they maintain that consciousness and
that independence for another fifty years, their nationhood will be
indisputable. The bud is opening, even if the form and colours of the
petals are not yet fully visible.

By what process, then, and through the working of what forces did
this more or less uniform common substance, this raw material for the
making of states, which a century ago was spread over the vast Spanish
colonial empire, become differentiated into the sixteen nations that
exist to-day?

There is nothing in history more interesting than the study of the
process by which nations are evolved from races or tribes. The widest
range of phenomena are those supplied by the formation of the kingdoms
of modern Europe through the admixture or contact of the peoples
comprised in the Roman Empire with the barbarian tribes which entered
it or received civilization from it. The growth of France, Germany,
Spain, Portugal, England, Scotland, and (by contact with little
mixture) of Poland, Russia, and the Scandinavian states, and in more
recent times the creation of Greece and Belgium and Rumania and the
re-creation as nations of Servia and Bulgaria, are all instances of
the process. But in the case of the greater and older nations this
process occupied many centuries, and its earlier stages are obscure.
Here in Spanish America it has been going on under the eyes of the
civilized world in an age when everything is or can be known, and
it has taken only a hundred years. In all probability, nothing like
this, no creation of new national entities coming about over so large
an area in so short a time, can ever occur again. The causes which
have produced these divergences from one type into many, turning the
colonial Spaniard, who was in essentials much the same kind of man
wherever he lived, into a Mexican or Uruguayan, a Peruvian, Chilean, or
Argentine (to take a few of the more marked new national forms), are as
interesting a subject for enquiry and reflection as could engage the
thoughts of a philosophic historian.

All I can do here is to suggest some of these causes which occur to
the mind of one who travels in Spanish America. To work the subject
out in detail would need years of reading as well as many a journey.
Hitherto few of those who have read have travelled, and few of those
who have travelled have read. I have done so much less of either than
the magnitude of the subject demands, that I must ask indulgence for
even throwing out suggestions which are meant to urge others, better
equipped than myself, to prosecute the enquiry.

The primary factor which determined the territorial limits of each
republic is to be found in the existence in colonial days of certain
administrative divisions. The Viceroyalties and Captaincies General
constituted so many governmental areas, the inhabitants of each of
which felt a sort of community among themselves, although they had no
share in the government. In a few of these areas there existed what
might be called the rudiments of a distinctive character belonging
to the inhabitants of that area and marking them off from those who
dwell in other divisions. In the larger number of areas there was not
yet anything of the sort. When the insurrections broke out and as
the War of Independence proceeded, the dwellers in each Viceroyalty
or Captaincy General fought for themselves (with more or less help
from insurgent bands elsewhere), and when they set up a revolutionary
government, they tried to make the old provincial capital the seat of
that government, so that in this way the boundaries of the old areas
tended to remain, and that which had been an administrative division
passed into a Republic. Yet it was still only a body of inhabitants in
an area, not a nation. What we have to ask is--How did these groups of
inhabitants occupying each its own territory, in only some few of whom
did there exist the rudiments of a distinctive national character--how
did they grow into Nations in the proper sense of the word?

The aim of this chapter will accordingly be:--

    I. To indicate the main influences which have differentiated the
         inhabitants of Spanish America into distinct Nations. These
         influences are partly physical, partly racial, partly

   II. To enquire how far the process of differentiation has gone in
         making the people of any, and which, of the republics into true
         Nations, _i.e._ in giving them both distinctive traits of
         character and a strong national self-consciousness.

  III. To ascertain to what extent there remains among the peoples of
         these republics any common Hispano-American sentiment, any
         sense of kinship linking them together in spite of political
         separation, possibly even underlying political hostility.

I. Among the causes or influences which have tended to differentiation,
the first place may be assigned to geographical position. Where one
part of a nationality is cut off from the other parts by the sea, or by
deserts, or by dense forests, any peculiarities that already belonged
to it tend to develop further and become intensified, because they are
not affected by contact from without; and such a part, moreover, being
isolated, attains a stronger consciousness of itself as a separate
social and political entity. Two island republics, Cuba and Santo
Domingo, were thus destined by nature to stand apart from those of
the mainland as soon as their connection with the European sovereign
had been broken. The people of Chile, severed from Peru by a wide and
waterless desert, drew farther and farther apart from those of that
country. The Chileans and the Argentines are divided from one another
by a lofty mountain range, passable at a few points only, and at
those points with difficulty, so the differences between them, which
more frequent intercourse might have lessened, grew more pronounced.
Paraguay stands almost alone in her forests, and till steamships began
to ply on the great Paraná, could be reached from the coast only by a
tedious upstream voyage or an even more toilsome land journey.

Not less important is the influence of physical environment in
modifying both the race itself and the economic conditions of its life.
In Mexico, for instance, the existence of a compact area of fertile
soil around the lakes on whose shores the semi-civilization of the men
of Tezcuco and Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) arose, created in that area
a comparatively large population of pure Spanish blood and a still
larger one of mixed blood which ultimately became the core of the
Mexican republic and enabled it not only to hold together the outlying
territories, but, also, when it got a strong ruler, to set up a strong
centralized administration. Peru is cut up by the lofty and barren
Andean ranges into a number of valleys, each more or less isolated.
Some of its cities, like Arequipa, stand in solitary oases surrounded
by deserts, while the eastern towns are severed from the capital by so
many ridges and gorges that the formation of an active and homogeneous
public opinion has been retarded. Chile, on the other hand, had till
recently nearly all her inhabitants gathered in a comparatively
small cultivable area, favourable to the growth of a united people,
and similar conditions have accelerated the material progress and
intensified the patriotism of Uruguay. In the vast territories of
Colombia and Venezuela where, besides three or four cities lying far
apart, there are only small settlements scattered through a region of
mountain and forest, political cohesion and the sense of national life
must needs advance far more slowly than in a level and cultivated land
like Argentina, covered with a network of railways.

Climate has told for much in compelling the inhabitants of the colder
regions to work hard and enabling those of the hotter to take life
easily. The tropical states have on the whole lagged behind the
temperate ones, and there is between them a perceptible difference
in character and habits. In Bolivia the combined effect of the low
temperature, thin air, extreme dryness, and poor food has not only made
a large part of the plateau a sterile desert, but has also checked
the advance of the aboriginal race, and has confined the population
of Spanish origin to a small number of towns lying so far away from
one another that common political action becomes difficult and social
antagonisms remain acute.

While these physical differences have told upon all the divisions of
Spanish America, they have been in some all the more efficient because
they have been followed by economic consequences, and have induced
certain forms of industrial life. Cattle and the horse have determined
the habits of the Argentine and Uruguayan. Mining has had more to do
with the Peruvian and the Mexican. No one of the nations has taken to a
sea-faring life except the Chileans.

Whoever will compare Spanish America with Anglo-America (_i.e._ the
United States and Canada) will be struck by the far greater differences
of physical environment between the various parts of the former and
those of the latter, where no section of the country, except Florida,
Louisiana, and Texas is oppressively hot, even in summer, and where no
section, till one reaches Labrador, suffers from severities of cold
and wet such as check settlement in the far south of Chile and of
Argentina. Nature does less to differentiate Anglo-American man into
varieties than she does in the case of Spanish-American man.

Even more important than the influence of natural conditions has
been the presence in Spanish America of the aboriginal tribes. These
differed greatly in intelligence, courage, and a disposition to
industry. In some regions they were both numerous and warlike, as in
Mexico and Chile. In others they were numerous but easily conquered,
as in the Peruvian highlands and Central America and Paraguay. In
some they were too few to hold their ground, as in central Argentina
and Uruguay, or so feeble as neither to offer serious resistance
nor furnish servile labour. This was the case in Cuba and on some
of the coasts of the Caribbean Sea. The differences in intellectual
capacity were expressed in the degree of progress they had made
towards civilization; the Mexicans and the subjects of the Peruvian
Incas standing at the top, and the Amazonian savages in the east of
Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru at the bottom of the scale. As another
chapter treats of their present relations to the European part of the
population, it is enough to call attention here to the effect of the
infusion of native blood in differentiating various parts of the old
colonial population from one another. The volume of that infusion has
been greater in some regions than in others, and the native blood has
been unequal in quality. A half-Indian people tends to differ--whether
for worse or for better is another question--from a white people;
and a people mixed with Indians of a strong race, like the native
Mexican, differs from one which has received a blend of weaker native
blood. In persons of mixed race, the white element predominates, but
less evidently in physical appearance than in mental attributes. The
mestizos are all Christians and more generally educated; they draw
their ideas and habits from their European rather than their native
parentage, which, indeed, they prefer to ignore.

Besides this influence, which we may call physiological, we must
further note, as a factor producing diversity, the social effect which
the presence of a native semiservile class has upon the character of
the ruling element in the population. Where such a class supplies
labour, the ruling element generally despises and refuses manual
work. Where the former is both numerous and ignorant, it usually
lowers the moral and probably also the intellectual standard of the
European inhabitants. In some republics the presence of this class has
encouraged civil wars and revolutions by furnishing Indian soldiers who
can be forced to fight and will fight well for causes in which they
take no interest. It has moreover made the provisions of constitutions
which confer universal suffrage seem hollow shams.

In some few Spanish-speaking countries, particularly along the
Caribbean coasts and in some of the maritime towns of Colombia and
Peru, the negro, imported after the Conquest, has become a race factor,
mingling with the whites to produce an intermediate breed which is
usually superior to the pure black, and mingling with the Indian to
produce one which is deemed to have the faults of both parents and the
merits of neither. But it was only the colony from Portugal which was
formerly the Empire and is now the republic of Brazil that received
slaves on a great scale. There are believed to be now at least eight
millions of blacks and mulattoes in that country, probably two-fifths
of the whole population. Such Indian blood as was mingled with the
Portuguese settlers has become scarcely noticeable, except in Pará and
along the banks of the Amazon. Brazil is, however, so different from
the Spanish republics in other respects that one need not insist on
this element of diversity.

From these physical and racial influences I pass on to those of a
historical order. Chief among these were the long-protracted struggle
for independence and the interminable civil wars that followed its
attainment. Under the Crown of Spain the collective life both of the
inhabitants of its dominions as a whole and of each section of those
inhabitants had been stagnant. Independence quickened its pulses and
accelerated the development of such latent forces as existed into
new forms. The political events of the revolutionary epoch and of
the ninety years that followed have done much not only to create new
nations, but also to mould them, while they were growing up, into
diverse shapes. In some republics the civil wars lasted longer than
they did in others, and left the country more exhausted and distracted;
in others again foreign intervention had the effect of consolidating
the people and creating a stronger patriotism than had existed before.
This was conspicuously the case in Mexico. The French invasion and
the long struggle which ended in the dethronement and death of the
unfortunate Maximilian of Hapsburg determined the fortunes of that
country, extinguishing the power of the Church, and renewing the
nation's confidence in itself which had been shattered by the war with
the United States. So, too, the heroic efforts made by the Uruguayans
under Artigas to shake off the yoke of Brazil and their subsequent
conflict with Argentina, then ruled by the tyrant Rosas, left a
permanent impress upon their character. In most of the Central American
states, on the other hand, progress in education, in civil order,
and in the turning to account of natural resources has been arrested
by their incessant strife with one another as well as by internal

The general result of the wars and revolutions which make up so much
of Spanish-American history has undoubtedly been to differentiate the
peoples and build up separate nations and strengthen the national
consciousness of the inhabitants of almost every republic. Whether that
strengthening has been a good thing or not, I do not attempt here to
enquire. But apart from it, the other consequences of so long a period
of struggle and bloodshed have been deplorable.

Effort and suffering do no doubt test and try a community. War, be it
civil or foreign, never leaves men the same as it found them, though
the common assumption that it makes them either stronger, or wiser in
the exercise of their strength, is as false as it is dangerous. If war,
apart from the pure aim and high spirit in and for which it conceivably
may be, but seldom has been, undertaken, ennobles the soul as well
as toughens the fibre of a nation, what virtues ought it not to have
bred in these South American countries, where the lance was always
glittering and the gun-shot always echoing?

Of the other formative and stimulative influences which the deliverance
from Spanish rule might have set to work upon the peoples of the
republics, of the development of science, art, and letters, and in
particular of that part of intellectual life which goes deepest down
into the soul of a people, theology and religious faith, of these
things as influences in building up a national individuality, there
is little to be said, because disturbed political conditions and the
backward state of education checked all such development. Until the
last thirty years it has had no fair chance, and in some republics has
little even now. One may observe, however, that in such progress as
can be recorded the Church has had scarcely any share. Both her claims
to authority and her property have been at one time or another (though
much less in recent years) a cause of political conflicts in most
republics. But the unfavourable conditions referred to have told upon
the Church itself, not to add that her ministers were under Spanish
rule and have continued to be both less well instructed and (of course
with many exceptions) less exemplary in life than the Roman Catholic
priesthood of France or Germany or of the United States.

The recent economic development of some few of these countries, and
especially the extension of their agriculture and their mining, have
naturally tended to give a practical turn to thought and action,
fixing men's minds on business, on the public improvements which
wealth makes possible, and on the enjoyments to which it invites.
If even old and highly cultivated nations, like the Germans and the
Italians, are felt by themselves and seen by their neighbours to
have been somewhat altered in spirit and aim under new conditions of
industrial and commercial life, how much more must similar conditions
tell upon communities intellectually younger and, so to speak,
more fluid, less "set" in a definite mould. These causes have been
increasing the differences between the more progressive and the more
backward republics. They have been setting their stamp upon Argentina
and Chile. A similar change, though it affected only a small class,
was discernible in Mexico during the later years of the supremacy of
Porfirio Diaz.

Immigration from Europe has not yet gone far enough to affect the
"type" of any South American people, or bear a part in the process of
national differentiation. It may, however, do so in the future, for
in countries where prosperity has created a large demand for labour,
and where public order is little disturbed, there begins to be an
inflow of settlers from abroad. In Mexico and Cuba immigration is
steady though not large, and is drawn almost entirely from Spain. In
Peru it is small, for the Chinese and Japanese who come are too few
to affect the character of the population. Some Germans entered Chile
thirty years ago, and constitute a valuable though comparatively small
element. A far greater number have settled in southern Brazil. Uruguay
receives a considerable but at present (1912) declining immigration
both from Italy and from Spain. To Argentina there come not only many
Spaniards, but a still fuller stream of Italians, who now form so
large an element that the Argentine of the future will be probably
one-third Italian in blood.[103] Into the other Spanish-speaking parts
of the New World there is at present very little immigration, nor are
the tropical regions fitted for agricultural settlers from Europe.
Chinese or Japanese or Indian coolies might do better, and there are
already plenty of Hindus in British Guiana. Should valuable minerals
be discovered in places where, as in Colombia, Venezuela, and northern
Brazil, labour is scarce, the temptation to introduce Asiatics would be

II. We have now to enquire what have been the results of the process of
nation-building. How many, and which, of the republics that were once
parts of the great Spanish dominion have now grown to be true nations?
But here a preliminary difficulty meets us. In speaking of the peoples
of these republics, are we to think of all their inhabitants, or only
of the ruling Hispano-American element, excluding the aborigines? Are
the aborigines, and such collective character as they possess, to be
taken into account when we seek to determine which communities deserve
to be called nations, or are they rather to be deemed subject tribes
standing outside and not sharing in genuine national life?

Without anticipating what will be said in a later chapter, it is
enough to remark here that from the United States frontier at El Paso
in latitude 32° north, down to the Tropic of Capricorn (latitude
23° south) a very large, though unascertained and at present
unascertainable part of the population--possibly a majority--consists
of Indians, most of whom speak their native languages, and some of whom
are mere savages. Even those who, like the Quichuas and Aymarás of the
Andean plateau, are in a fashion civilized, lead a life apart, and,
though in most republics legally citizens, have practically nothing
to do with the government of the countries they inhabit, except as
combatants in its foreign or civil wars. In Argentina the question
scarcely arises, because nearly all the population is of European
stock, while in Chile the Araucanians are practically the only pure
Indians left. We must, therefore, restrict our view to the two other
elements, the European and the mixed, these forming, for nearly all
practical purposes, one body. It is of them, not of the Indians, that
we have to think when we ask how far the inhabitants of each republic
have advanced into true nationhood.

For the purpose of determining whether any community ought to be
deemed a nation, one must distinguish two things which are apt to
be confounded. The one thing is the presence in the community of a
distinctive national character, the other is the presence of strong
national sentiment. The former consists in the possession by the
members of the community of certain attributes and certain qualities,
visible in its collective action, which are peculiar to it, and mark
it off from other communities. The latter is the consciousness of
political unity, taking shape in the spirit of self-assertion against
other communities, expressing itself in the effort to make good the
community's position in the world, to push its claims and to defend its
rights. The former is in practice usually accompanied by the latter;
that is to say, a community whose members feel themselves to be a
political entity, with distinctive ideas and traditions of their own,
naturally desires to prevent itself from being overridden or swamped by
other communities. The latter, however, does not necessarily imply the
former. A community may have little that is peculiar or distinctive;
may have no racial traits of its own, no literature, no special beliefs
or customs, and a history too short to have formed traditions. Yet the
circumstances of that short history, coupled with vanity (collective
and individual) and a combative spirit, may have created a sensitive
and inflammable patriotism which makes the community feel and act as a
Nation, however little there may be to distinguish it from surrounding
peoples beyond the fact that historical accidents have divided it from
them and started it on a course of its own. In this latter set of
cases, an observer who studies the community may discover nothing that
constitutes a distinctive national character. Its citizens may seem
much the same in ideas and habits as those of the other independent
branches of the same nationality around them. Yet they may be found
to hate those neighbours of the same speech just as bitterly as races
that have been secular enemies, like Turkomans and Persians, hate one

Applying these tests to the Latin-American republics, it will appear
that by both tests several of the greatest are indisputably nations.
Chile and Argentina have each of them a distinctive national quality
which so marks them off from their neighbours that even the passing
traveller can discern it. They have national character as well as
national sentiment. So, too, have Mexico and Peru.[104] The same thing
is true of Uruguay, the people of which, originally the same as that
of Argentina, have developed, in the course of a tempestuous history,
a somewhat different type. Brazil, being Portuguese, has always had
a character of its own. These six republics may all be deemed to be
nations in the European sense of the word. I have not visited Paraguay,
but should suppose that in it the numerical preponderance of the native
Guarani stock brings about a result similar to that which an infusion
of coloured blood has had in Cuba, but more marked.

In most of the other republics there seems to be much less that can be
called distinctive of each. Colombians, Venezuelans, and Ecuadorians
inhabit regions generally similar, have had a similar history, and
have all received about an equal infusion of native blood, though
in each--and especially in Colombia--there are some few old Spanish
families who have remained unaffected. The average citizen of any of
these countries is said to be but slightly distinguishable from the
average citizen of either of the other two.[105] The same is the case
as regards Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. But in each and all
of these states there is a profusion of militant nationalist spirit,
which, in Central America, has been fostered by frequent wars. Ecuador
has been repeatedly on the point of taking up arms against Colombia on
one side and Peru on the other, over disputes about territory. So far
as national sentiment can make a nation, these republics have it to
overflowing. Their common Hispano-American nationality no more checks
aggressive displays of enmity than a common Tuscan origin mitigated the
strife of Florence and Siena, or a common Bœotian origin the hatred of
Thebes and Platæa.

The republic whose individuality has been most fully developed is
Chile. Its citizens are seen at first sight to be Chileans, just as in
Europe we recognize at once a member of any of the leading peoples.
Most Spanish Americans are good fighters, but the Chileans perhaps
the best; for they are the children of the most dogged of the native
races as well as of the most stalwart of the Spanish settlers. The same
combination of patriotism and pugnacity is seen in the Uruguayans.
In character as well as in speech, the Argentines are also beginning
to shew a character different from that of the other peoples; but the
mental and moral type, as is natural in a country rapidly growing and
deluged with immigrants, is not yet fully formed.

It may be asked whether the best evidence of the emergence of a genuine
and distinctively national life ought not to be found in the growth
of a national literature expressing, in whatever form, the ardour
and the aspirations of the people. Those who quote the age of Queen
Elizabeth and the age of Lewis the Fourteenth as instances to support
the doctrine that eras of successful war and growing power herald, or
coincide with, an epoch of literary creation, may expect to find that
the incessant strife which has kept hot the blood of the citizens in
some republics, and the rapid material progress of others, promise an
era of intellectual production in South America. Of this, however,
there has been so far no sign. National spirit seems little disposed
to flow in this channel. In the southern republics there is plenty
of energy, but not much of it is directed towards art or science or
letters. The long and fierce conflict of Chile and Peru was marked
on both sides by much valour and some heroism, but no poem like the
_Araucana_ followed. In the more backward states, incessant strife
has hindered instead of stimulating intellectual as well as economic
progress. In the prosperous ones, men's minds are bent upon the
development of natural resources, and in the very richest, where there
should be most leisure for mental cultivation, upon material pleasures
and luxuries.

III. We have still one more question to ask before closing this
consideration of the process by which nations have been evolved out
of the old administrative divisions of Spanish America, divisions
originally due to the historical accidents, which had in colonial times
placed different districts under the authority of different officials.
How far does there exist among the peoples of these republics the
sense of a common Hispano-American nationality? Do they feel their
common Spanish origin, together with Spanish literature and the ideas
and social customs which they share, to be a source of common pride
and a bond of unity between them, linking them together despite
political severances and antagonisms? Spaniards had a certain amount
of common Spanish feeling before Castile and Aragon were united, and
Italians, so far from ceasing to feel themselves Italians during the
centuries before 1848, when they were cut up into many states, some
of them ruled by foreign dynasties, were stirred by a more vehement
nationalism in that year than ever before. Can one, then, for any and
for what purposes, treat Spanish America as being one whole, either
intellectually or sentimentally?

It has already been observed that to the traveller the differences
between one republic and another seem comparatively slight, not greater
than those which he would have noted in wandering leisurely through
Germany before 1866 and 1870 when first the North German Confederation
and then the new German Empire came into being. Not only is the
language the same, with dialectic variations which are comparatively
few when one considers the vast area and the large aboriginal
element in the population, but manners and social usages are similar
everywhere, though less polished in the wilder parts.

Similarity goes even deeper, for it is found in ideas and in mental
habits. A Costa Rican and an Argentine differ less than a Texan does
from a Vermonter, or a Caithness man from a Devonshire man. All remain
in a sense Spanish; that is, they are much more like Spaniards and more
like one another than they are like Frenchmen or Italians. They are
nearer to one another than North Americans are to Englishmen. They have
the broad features of Spanish character and temperament,--the love of
sonorous phrases, the sensitiveness to friendliness or affront, the
sense of personal dignity, steady courage in war, and the power of
patient endurance. And among men of education and thought the basis
of intellectual character and the sense of moral values seems to be
substantially the same.

Nevertheless, the feeling of a common Hispano-American brotherhood is
weak. In Old Spain there was before and during the sixteenth century
a localism strong enough to make Catalonians and Castilians and
Andalusians care more for their province than for Spain, unless, of
course, a question of national union against the foreigner came in.
The sentiment of racial fraternity expressed in the saying that "blood
is thicker than water" is easily suspended or even overridden and for
the time extinguished by political bitterness. The Thebans, according
to the story, fined their great poet because he had consecrated two
splendid lines to the praise of Athens. Not even the closest literary
and commercial intercourse and the pride of an ancient and glorious
stock prevented the people of New England from hating those of old
England for more than a generation after the War of 1812. Among the
Spanish Americans literature and historical traditions have not
been forces making for cohesion, for there has been, in most of the
republics, little literary production, and their traditions seldom go
back further than the revolutionary war.

Were there then no memories of Spanish greatness? These may have had
some power in colonial days while the struggle of Spain and Catholicism
against England and Holland was at its height. But in later times the
preference shewn by the viceroys to persons sent out from the mother
country, and the habit of reserving for them all offices of profit,
exasperated the _criollos_, as the native-born colonists were called.
They were further alienated by the stupidly repressive character of
colonial administration. These follies and abuses, and the cruelties
which accompanied the long War of Independence, seem to have effaced
the sense of any community based on the Spanish name. One might,
indeed, have rather found a bond in the common aversion to Spain and
in a sympathy with one another springing out of the struggle against
her power. The war was, however, in the main, waged independently by
each colony. The Argentine army of San Martin gave effective help to
Chile, and with Chilean troops practically achieved the liberation
of Peru, where the royal cause was strongest; and in that result the
Venezuelan Bolivar had also a share. Colombia and Venezuela helped
one another, and both helped Ecuador. But so far has this coöperation
been from becoming a basis for friendship, that the bitterest of all
South American antagonisms is that of Peru and Chile, and it is only
recently that the danger of a conflict between Chile and Argentina has

Neither has their common profession of the Roman Catholic faith
served to strengthen affection among the republics. As there was no
Protestantism in Spanish America, they were never called upon to rally
together in defence of the Church, and in some republics men united
to attack her privileges or her property. She has often brought not
peace, but a sword. The only thing that to-day would draw the republics
into line and knit them together would be any threat of aggression
from outside. They have long ceased to fear invasion, still less
subjugation, by any European power. But the enormous strength of the
United States and recollections both of the war she waged against
Mexico in 1846 and of some more recent events make them watch the
actions of that country with a sensitive suspicion which even the
correctness of her conduct in twice evacuating Cuba has not entirely

The observer who has realized that many of these states are not natural
political entities, but the creation of a series of accidents,
naturally wonders whether they are likely to remain as at present.
May not the two or three greatest swallow up the weaker, or may not
some of the smaller seek strength in a voluntary union, federal at
first, and perhaps ultimately leading to a unitary state? This is not
impossible. The three republics of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador
might renew the federal tie they dissolved in 1831. Some, or all, of
the Central American republics might similarly form a confederation.
Mr. Root, when Secretary of State of the United States, tactfully
acting in conjunction with Mexico, succeeded in persuading all those
republics to set up and promise to obey a sort of Federal Court of
Justice for the determination of disputes between them, and the Court
still exists, though the promise to use it has been generally forgotten
when the time came. There are those who think that Bolivia, one of
the least homogeneous among South American countries, may possibly be
partitioned, like Poland, by her more powerful neighbours, but of this
there seems no present risk. It is chiefly in Central America that the
existing situation may be deemed to lack stability, for while Costa
Rica and Salvador are comparatively peaceful and well-governed states,
and Guatemala has latterly kept quiet, Nicaragua and Honduras have
been in a state of constant disturbance, and any ambitious president
attaining power in either might be tempted to attack his neighbours.

It is of more importance to enquire what are the prospects of a
continued and durable peace in the continent of South America. Here
three states stand out as far stronger than any of the others. Chile,
Argentina, and Brazil have all of them considerable armies, and have
now provided themselves with fleets, including powerful ironclads,
not in any direct or immediate contemplation of war, nor because any
one of them is threatened by any other naval power, but apparently in
imitation of the United States and of the largest nations of the Old
World. It seems to be thought nowadays that the dignity and status of
great nations require a big navy, just as in the sixteenth century a
nobleman of high degree was expected to travel about with and maintain
a crowd of useless retainers. Each of these three nations is as strong
as any two of the other republics. Next to them come Peru and Uruguay,
while the northern states, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela, find their
chief defensive strength in the difficult nature of their territories.

There has been no war (other than a civil war) in South America since
1883, when peace was made between Chile, Peru, and Bolivia. The tension
over disputed boundaries between Argentina and Chile ended with the
acceptance of the Delimitation Award made by the king of England in
1902. The friction between Argentina and Brazil which arose once or
twice at a later date seems to have passed away, and the friendly
relations now subsisting between these three, which one may call the
Great Powers of the Continent, are of good augury for the averting of
hostilities, more than once threatened, between Ecuador and Peru and
between Colombia and Ecuador. The influence of the United States also
has been usefully exerted towards the same end. Most of the causes
to which European wars have been due are absent from this Continent.
There are no religious differences. There are, as between states, no
race questions, no nationalities held in bondage against their will
and struggling to be free. There are no rival claims to lay hold of
unoccupied or semicivilized territories in other parts of the world.

Fish, and the element in which fish live, have often been quarrelled
over elsewhere, but in South America there are no fishing rights worth
a quarrel (except perhaps the pearl fisheries of Panama), and the only
water questions that have ever given trouble are those relating to the
respective jurisdictions of Argentina and Uruguay in the river Plate
estuary and regarding the navigation rights of Colombia and Venezuela
in the river Orinoco. Boundary disputes remain. Some of them, like
that of Chile and Argentina, that of Bolivia and Argentina, and that
of Brazil and Peru, have been recently settled, but there are still
outstanding not only the controversy between Peru and Chile regarding
Tacna and Arica,[106] but also the three-cornered quarrel of Colombia,
Ecuador, and Peru about their respective claims to the half-explored
Amazonian region in which their territories meet on the eastern side of
the Andes.

There remains an unclassifiable margin of other possible incidents
which might precipitate into war the inhabitants of the more backward
republics, men of an over-sensitive and explosive temper, a temper
which holds every question to be one of honour, and even if it has been
induced to accept a reference to arbitration, refuses to accept the
award when rendered. Thus the danger of wars in this Continent cannot
be deemed to have vanished, though it has so greatly diminished that
its extinction seems to approach. Let us, nevertheless, remember one
possible contingency. Now and then there has arisen in some republic
a man of ruthless force whose unslaked ambition, after it has made
him master of his own country, turns its arms against its neighbours.
Though there are signs that the era of revolutions and tyrannies is
passing away, such a man might again appear, rising by the favour
of the populace and ruling by military force, and he might try to
strengthen his domestic control by foreign conquest.

Of wars with European Powers there has for a long time past been no
question, and as those Powers do not try to annex South American
territories, and have no causes of quarrel except when their subjects
complain of debts unpaid and injuries inflicted, so the South Americans
have not taken a hand in the game of Old World politics. They need
not now be tempted to do so, for there is at present plenty in the
changeful relations of their own republics to engage the capacity of
the ablest statesman. As to what may happen when one or two of the
South American countries have reached the population and wealth of
France or Italy, it is vain to speculate. Those who live to see that
day will see a world wholly unlike our own.



Although races, unlike in character and differing in the scale of
upward progress, must have come into contact from the earliest
times, it is only in recent years that the phenomena attending that
contact have been carefully observed and studied. From the end of the
fifteenth century European nations have been conquering the backward
races. In some countries they enslaved, in others they extirpated,
these races. They have now portioned out the whole world of savagery,
barbarism, and semicivilization among themselves, so that, as the
result of discoveries, wars, and treaties, six great and three smaller
powers[107] have now appropriated all the extra-European world, except
three or four ancient Asiatic states. In our own day the questions
connected with race contact have obtained both a new moral interest,
because the old methods of killing off the so-called lower branches
of mankind by the sword or by slavery have fallen into discredit, and
also a new scientific interest, because we have become curious to
know what are the effects of a mixture of markedly dissimilar racial
stocks. Such mixture raises some of the most obscure problems in the
doctrine of heredity. Does the blending of one race with another tend
to weaken or to improve the breed, and how far are any marked qualities
of one parent stock transmissible by blood to a mixed progeny which is
placed in and powerfully affected by a different environment? Spanish
America offers a large and varied field for the study of these and
other similar questions, and a field which has been, so far, little
examined. My own knowledge does not go far enough to enable me to do
more than state a few broad facts and suggest to those who have better
opportunities for enquiry some of the problems which the subject

When the Spanish and Portuguese conquerors began to occupy the New
World they found it peopled everywhere by native tribes whose physical
characteristics and, to some extent, their languages also, indicated
that although they had inhabited America during countless ages, they
probably all had the same, and that an east Asiatic, origin. No part of
the two continents from Behring's Straits to Cape Horn (except a few
hopelessly barren deserts) was quite untenanted, but some regions were
far more populous than others. These regions were the high plateaus
of Anahuac (Mexico) with the adjoining lower regions of Yucatan and
Guatemala, the plateau of Bogotá, and the plateau of Peru. It was in
these that the greatest progress had been made toward civilization and
a settled agricultural life; while the lower woodlands and the more
or less arid prairies, such as those of the Missouri and of southern
Argentina, were more thinly inhabited. There may well have been in
Anahuac and Yucatan as many people as in all the rest of North
America, and in the Peruvian realm of the Incas as many people as in
all the rest of South America.

Now the existence of this aboriginal population has been and still is
a factor of the first magnitude in all parts of the continent (except
Argentina and Uruguay, where it hardly exists), and in this fact lies
one of the most striking contrasts between the northern and southern
halves of the Western Hemisphere. The importance of the native Indian
element in South America--and the same thing holds true of Mexico and
Central America--resides partly in the fact that it furnishes the
bulk of the labouring people and a large part of the army, partly in
the influence which it has exerted, and still exerts, on the whites,
commingling its blood with theirs and affecting their habits and life
in many ways.

When the Spaniards came to the New World, they came mainly for the sake
of gold. Neither the extension of trade, the hope of which prompted
the Dutch, nor the acquisition of lands to be settled and cultivated,
thereby extending the dominion of their crowns, which moved most of
the English and French, nor yet the desire of freedom to worship God
in their own way, which sent out the Pilgrims and Puritans of New
England,--none of these things were uppermost in the minds of the
companions of Columbus and Ponce de Leon, of Vasco Nuñez and Cortes
and Pizarro. No doubt they also desired to propagate the faith, but
their spiritual aims were never suffered to interfere with their
secular enterprises. Few settlers came from Spain to till the land.
The first object was to seize all that could be found of the precious
metals, much to the astonishment of the natives, who thought that gold
must be to them a sort of fetich. The next was to discover mines of
those metals and make the Indians work them. The third was to divide
up the more fertile districts into large estates, allotting to each
adventurer his share of labourer-natives along with his share of the
lands. No settlers came out to clear the ground from wood and build
homes upon it, as did the colonists of New England, and those also who
sought to create a New France on the St. Lawrence. No Spaniard thought
of tilling the soil himself. Why should he, when he could make others
till it for him? Where it was already under cultivation by the native
peasants, they were turned into serfs attached to the _encomienda_.
Where there was forest, the conquerors seldom troubled themselves to
fell it, and that which they found as wilderness remained wilderness
in the hands of the savage tribes. Where it was open prairie, there
was as little reason for disturbing the nomads who wandered over it.
Accordingly, the invaders became a ruling caste, living on the labour
of their Indian serfs, and for a long time they confined themselves
to the lands on which the latter were already established. So it
befell that the aborigines, who in the northern parts of North America
were either destroyed or driven out to the west, continued to be in
Spanish America one-half or more of the population, those who were
already semicivilized being kept as labourers, those who were savages
being left to themselves in their forests or half-desert prairies. No
agricultural European population grew up in the settled districts.
As there were aborigines on the spot to cultivate the land already
improved, comparatively few negroes were transported from Africa, and
these chiefly to the shores of the Caribbean and to Peru. It was only
in the tropical regions of the Antilles and (somewhat later) of Brazil
that negro slavery grew up on a large scale; and even there mining,
rather than agriculture, was the first cause of their being brought
from Africa. The need for negroes was not great in Mexico or Peru,
because the native Indians were of a hardier stock than the feeble
Arawaks of the Antilles, and lived on under their European masters,
though ground down and reduced in numbers by ill treatment. Thus when
at last the Spanish colonies asserted their independence, they started
without that incubus of a mass of negro slaves which brought so much
trouble upon the southern states of the North American Union.

Between the numerous aboriginal tribes there were the greatest
differences not only in their degree of advancement toward
civilization, but in intelligence, in virility, in fighting quality,
and in that kind of resisting power which enables a people to survive
under oppression. The best fighters seem to have been--I am not now
including the tribes of eastern North America--the Aztecs of Mexico
and the Mapoche or Araucanians of Chile. The Caribs in some of the
Lesser Antilles and in Venezuela were fierce and tenacious, while
their neighbours, the Arawaks of the other Antilles, seem to have
become extinct under Spanish severities in half a century. We have no
materials for even the vaguest guess at the numbers of these tribes,
but it is evident that some disappeared altogether, and that others
were greatly reduced. The Chibchas of Bogotá, who were estimated at a
million when first reached by the Conquerors, are said by a Spanish
annalist to have been almost exterminated in twenty years. Of the
Mochicas or Yuncas on the Peruvian coast, still numerous at the coming
of Pizarro, though many had perished during their conquest by the
Incas, few were left after half a century, and their cities have long
been heaps of ruins, perhaps partly because the irrigation works which
brought water to them were allowed to perish. A census taken in Peru by
the Viceroy Toledo in A.D. 1575 is said to have shewn eight millions
of Indians in what is now Peru and Bolivia. Two centuries later there
were less than half that number. So it is stated that the Indians
round Panama rapidly declined in number when the Spaniards established
themselves there. The natives of northeastern Brazil were killed off
in the end of the sixteenth century, though the tale that two millions
were destroyed in about twenty years is scarcely credible; and the
less numerous tribes of central Argentina and Uruguay have entirely
vanished. The process still goes on, though to-day the means are
usually less violent. It is intoxicating liquors and European diseases,
not any ill treatment by the Chileans, that have been reducing the
stalwart Araucanians to a fourth or fifth part of what they were eighty
years ago, and the Tehuelches and other Patagonian tribes, including
the wretched Fuegians, are dying out largely from natural causes. But
in the Amazonian forests along the Putumayo river--and that within the
last few years--the cruelties and oppressions practised by the rubber
gatherers upon the helpless Indians have destroyed many thousands of
lives and apparently altogether blotted out some tribes.

How many aborigines now remain in Latin America, it is impossible
to ascertain. Even in such advanced countries as Mexico and Peru,
there are no trustworthy figures, not only because it is impossible
to find means of counting the wild nomads of northwestern Mexico and
the still wilder savages of eastern Peru, but also because, even in
the civilized districts, it is hard to determine who is to be deemed
an Indian and who a mestizo, or half-breed. However, any estimate,
if clearly understood to be merely conjectural, is better than none
at all, so I may say that in Mexico[108] there are probably, out of
fifteen millions of people, about eight millions of Indians, with at
least six millions of mixed blood, and the rest Spaniards; while in
Peru and Bolivia, out of a total of about six millions, three and a
half millions are Indians, one and a half millions mestizos, and the
rest more or less pure Spaniards.[109] The one state which is almost
wholly Indian, so that the Guarani language is the prevailing tongue,
is the inland country of Paraguay, and the one which has no Indians at
all is Uruguay, lying on the coast, not far from Paraguay. Of the total
population of South America, estimated at forty-five millions, probably
eight to nine millions may be pure Indians. Besides these there are,
possibly, thirteen millions of mestizos or half-breeds, and fifteen
of persons who deem themselves white, even if a good many have some
infusion of aboriginal blood.[110] But if we omit Argentina, almost
entirely, and Uruguay entirely, white, as well as Brazil, and confine
our view to the other eight republics in which the Indian element is
larger, a probable estimate would put the number of pure Indians at
more than double that of the whites, and a little less than that of the
mestizos. Upon such a computation the total quantity of native blood
would much exceed the European. Such an estimate, however, can make no
claim to accuracy. I give it only because it seems, from all I could
gather, to represent, in a rough sort of way, the proportions of the
races. Anyone who chooses to consider all the more educated mestizos
as whites, and all Indians with any touch of white blood as mestizos,
would, of course, bring out different figures. The tendency of official
statistics is in that direction, for everybody wishes to be reckoned
as a white man, but such a method does not truly represent the racial

Of the total of about nine millions of Indians, two or three millions
may be wild, _Indios bravos_, as the South Americans call them, and in
little contact with civilized whites or mestizos. To this class belong
many of the aborigines in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, as
well as most of the far smaller number still left in Argentina. Of the
more or less civilized and settled Indians, more than one-half, about
three and a half millions, are in Peru and Bolivia; and it is of these
that I shall now proceed to speak, as I had opportunities in these
countries of ascertaining their position, and as they are themselves
more interesting, because they are the descendants of what was, before
the Spanish Conquest, a comparatively advanced people. What is true of
them is, moreover, true, in a general sense, as regards the settled
aborigines of the northern republics. In those states, however, there
is no such solid mass of sedentary agricultural Indians as dwell on the
plateaux and inter-Andean valleys of Peru and Bolivia.

Though at the time of the Conquest there were probably in the Inca
empire many different tribes speaking different languages, all have now
been fused into two, the Quichuas to the north of Lake Titicaca, and
the Aymarás, both around its shores and to the south of it in Bolivia.
Having given some account of both races in earlier chapters,[111] I
need only add that the two languages are generally spoken all over the
central Andes from the frontiers of Ecuador on the north to those of
Chile and Argentina on the south. Comparatively few of these Indians,
probably less than a fifth, are able to talk Spanish. Some few live in
the towns and practise handicrafts. Three-fourths of the population
of La Paz is Aymará, while in Cuzco at least one-third is Quichua.
The vast majority, however, are country folk cultivating the soil as
tenants or labourers or tending sheep and cattle as herdsmen for the
landowners, who are, of course, either of Spanish or of mixed blood.
Comparatively few Indians own small plots of their own. The landlords,
who in the colonial times oppressed the peasants so atrociously as
from time to time to provoke even this naturally submissive people to
rebellion, no longer venture to practise the exactions and cruelties of
those days. Authority is not feared as it was then, and could not be
used to support such flagrant injustice. Neither do the clergy wring
money from their flocks, as in those old bad days, though even now
the fees charged for marriages are so high that the rite is commonly
neglected. The ancient tribal system has melted away and the _cacique_,
as the Spaniards called him, who was the head of a local community
down till the end of the eighteenth century, is now gone, but the
old organization of the dwellers in a village by brotherhoods, and
resting, or supposed to rest, upon blood relationship, still exists,
and local affairs are managed by the local officials mentioned in an
earlier chapter.[112] Thus, the Indian is left very much to himself,
except that he pays rent to the landlord and is often bound to render
him personal service at his residence during part of the year. This is
called the _Mita_. His food is not very nutritious, consisting largely
of _chuño_, _i.e._ frozen potatoes, usually ground into flour. His
clothing is scanty, his mode of life hard and wretched, especially
on the bleak plateaux. Yet he is not in that abject poverty which
fears starvation; perhaps, indeed, not so near the minimum level of
subsistence as are millions of the people in China and India. He does
not contrast his own evil case with the luxury of the rich, as do the
slum dwellers of European cities, nor does he feel his case to be evil,
for it is no worse than his forefathers have borne for ten generations,
and he knows no other.

Not only the Quichuas and Aymarás, but the Indians of the northern
republics and of southern Chile are quite illiterate, and, as respects
education, just where they were under the Incas, perhaps rather farther
back, because there was then a sort of national life which has been
long since quenched. There seems to be among them little or no desire
for instruction. Even should any seek to rise in life, he would find
no means of doing so, unless perchance some kindly priest should give
the rudiments of knowledge to a boy brighter than the rest. Religion
does nothing to stir their minds. They are nominally Christians, but
of many of them that may be said to-day which was said in 1746 by the
humane and orthodox Spaniards, Antonio de Ulloa and Jorge Juan, whose
secret report upon things in South America, and among others upon the
condition of the Indians in Peru and Ecuador, made to the king of
Spain, was published in England eighty years later. They say:--

"The religion of the Indians is no more like the Christian religion
than it is to that which they had while they were pagans, for if the
matter be well examined it will be found that notwithstanding the
nominal conversion of these tribes, so small is the progress they have
made in knowledge that it will be hard to discover any difference
between the state in which they now find themselves, and that in which
they were at the time of the Conquest."[113]

That the influence of the priesthood did not commend religion to the
people nor relieve their misery may be gathered from this further
extract from the same secret report:--

"The miserable state of the Indians is to be ascribed to the vices of
the parish priests (_curas_), the extortions of the corregidores, and
the bad treatment which they generally receive from all Spaniards.
Unable to endure their sufferings, and longing to escape from slavery,
many of them have risen up and moved off to unconquered districts,
there to continue in the barbarous practices of heathenism.... In the
community of Pimampiro in the province of Quito, which consisted of
more than 5000 Indians, and was prosperous, the conduct of the parish
priest drove the Indians to despair. Uniting in one body, they rose in
rebellion and in one night passed to the Cordillera, where they joined
themselves to the wild heathen Indians, with whom they have continued
until now."[114]

It ought to be remembered that the avarice and moral faults charged
upon the clergy in these reports, as well as in other accounts
belonging to the eighteenth century are brought against the parish
priests rather than the religious orders, although Ulloa describes the
level of conduct as having sadly declined among these also. To some
of the orders, most of all to the Jesuits, and in a less degree to
the early Dominicans, much credit is due for their efforts not only
to spread the gospel, often at the risk of their lives, but also to
secure justice for the unfortunate Indians. The great Las Casas was
only the most conspicuous among many admirable Spanish churchmen who
threw their hearts into this campaign of humanity, though they seldom
prevailed against the hard-hearted rapacity of the landowners and mine
owners who wished to keep the Indians in serfdom and did not care how
many perished under their hands. These worthy ecclesiastics sometimes
secured good ordinances from the Council of the Indies in Spain, but
the colonial governors found that the path of least resistance was
to proclaim the ordinance and wink at its neglect. On many a law was
the note made, "It is obeyed, but not executed" (_Se obedece pero no
se ejecuta_). In Paraguay, where the population was almost wholly
Indian, the reign of the Jesuits was generally beneficent. They could
not do much for the education of the mass of their subjects, but while
they trained some few of the promising youth, they impressed habits
of industry and good conduct upon the rest. Perhaps it is to the
excessive inculcation of obedience that the blind submissiveness of the
later Paraguayans to such despots as Francia and Lopez may be partly

The oppressions, both civil and ecclesiastical, referred to in the
extracts given above, have long since ceased, but their consequences
remain in the abject state of the aborigines and their ignorance of
the truths and precepts of Christianity. As a learned student of
Indian life observes, it is to them a kind of magic, more powerful for
some purposes than their own ancient magic which was based on nature
worship. "They believe in Dios (God)," says Mr. Bandelier,[116] "but
believe more in Nuestra Señora de la Luz (Our Lady of the Light)
at Copacavana." They worship evil spirits and make offerings to the
mountain _Achachilas_ and to the Earth. Even in Mexico, where the
Indians are, as a rule, much more subject to enlightening influences,
I was told in 1901 that an archbishop, visiting the parishes of his
diocese not long before, had found the ancient idols hidden away behind
the altars and occasionally brought out at night to receive marks of
reverence. The Peruvians had at the conquest hardly advanced to the
stage of a regular mythology with images of the deities, so idols were
less common and prominent, while the worship of the spirits immanent in
natural objects was universal.

Where the church fails to stir the currents of intellectual life among
the masses of such a people as this, what other influence is there to
make for progress?

These Peruvian races were specially unfortunate because their natural
leaders, the _caciques_ or local chieftains who had formed a sort
of aristocracy before the Conquest, were either slaughtered or, in
some few cases, incorporated into the colonial upper class, so that
they were lost, as protectors, to the subject class, who, having
little force of character, sank unresistingly into serfdom. Once, in
1781-1783, under the leadership of Tupac Amaru, of whom I have spoken
briefly in an earlier chapter, they rose in a revolt which lasted for
three years. Being unwarlike and untrained, ill-armed and ill-led,
they were defeated with great slaughter, after atrocious cruelties had
been perpetrated on both sides. But they accomplished one feat rare
in the annals of war in destroying, along with its Spanish garrison,
the city of Sorata, which they had long besieged in vain, by damming
up the course of a mountain torrent and turning its full stream on the
place. Since those days, even the few chiefs that then remained have
vanished, and the aboriginal race consists wholly of the poorest and
most neglected part of the population. That which to them makes life
tolerable is the incessant chewing of coca, a very old habit, but now
less costly than in Inca days, because the leaf can be more easily
imported from the hot country east of the Andes.

Their enjoyments are two. One is intoxication, mostly with chicha, the
old native beverage, but now also with fiery alcohol, made from the
sugar-cane. The other is dancing at their festivals. The priests, when
they were converting the natives, thought it better not to disturb the
ancient heathen dances, but to transfer them to the days which the
church sets apart for its feasts, expunging, so far as they could,
the more offensive features of the dance, though what remains is
sufficiently repulsive. Such ceremonial performances are common among
the Indians of North America, also, and used often to be kept up for
days together before a declaration of war. The dances of the Hopi and
other Indians which the visitor sees to-day in Arizona are dull and
decorous affairs. A striking description of the dances which he saw at
Tiahuanaco on Corpus Christi Day is given by Mr. Squier,[117] and the
much more recent account given by Mr. Bandelier of those he witnessed
on another festival at Copacavana shew that things are much the same
to-day.[118] The music, of a drum-and-fife type, is loud, harsh, and
discordant, but this does not imply that a taste for sweet sound is
wanting, for the Indian often carries his simple flute or pipe with him
on his journeys and enjoys the monotonous ditties which he makes it

Three other facts may be adduced to illustrate the condition of the
aborigines. There is no recent literature in their languages, not
even a newspaper or magazine. They seem to be very rarely ordained as
priests, though I was told in Mexico that there are a good many Indian
priests there; and it seldom happens that any Indian rises into the
learned or even into the educated class. I heard of one such at Lima,
who had a remarkable knowledge of natural history; there may have been

Whether owing to the character of the Indians, or to their fear of the
white man, robberies and assaults are rare not only among the more
gentle Quichuas, but also in Bolivia, where the Aymarás, a more dour
and sullen race, frequently break the peace among themselves, village
attacking village with sticks and slings, while the women carry bags of
stones to supply ammunition for the men's slings. In fact, the safety
of the solitary European traveller in most parts of South America is
almost as remarkable as the like circumstance in India.

In respect of civil rights, there is no legal distinction between the
Indian and the white. Both enjoy the same citizenship for all private
and public purposes, to both is granted the equal protection of the
laws, equal suffrage, equal eligibility to office. This is to some
extent a guarantee to the Indian against ill treatment, but it does not
raise him in the social scale. He seldom casts a vote; not, indeed,
that it makes much difference in these countries whether the citizen
votes or not, for a paternal government takes charge of the elections.
He is never--so far as I could learn--a candidate for any national
office. The laws of the two republics interfere very little with his
life, which is regulated by ancestral custom. Even in revolutions he
does not seem to come to the front. He is, however, willing to fight,
and a good fighter both in foreign and in civil wars, however little
interest he may take in the cause. But for this fact there would have
been fewer and shorter revolutions. Thus the Indian is a member of
the nation for military, if not for political, purposes. The former
are at least nearer to his comprehension than the latter, for he
cares, and thinks of caring, about politics no more than did the needy
knife-grinder in Canning's verses. No one has yet preached to him the
gospel of democracy; no one has told him that he has anything to gain
from action as a citizen. The whole thing is as completely out of his
sphere as if he were still living under the Spanish viceroys, or,
indeed, under the rule of the Inca Huayna Capac. There is, therefore,
not yet any "Indian question" in South America.[119] There ought to
be an Indian question: that is to say, there ought to be an effort to
raise the Indians economically and educationally. But they have not yet
begun to ask to be raised.

So much for the Indian as he is in Peru and Bolivia; and, apparently,
also in those settled parts of northwestern Argentina where Indians
still remain. In Paraguay the position is so far different that the
Indians form not the lowest class, but the bulk of the nation. In the
forest-covered regions of the Amazon and its tributaries, the _Indios
bravos_ are outside civilization altogether.

To understand the social relations of the white and Indian races one
must begin by remembering that there is in Spanish and Portuguese
countries no such sharp colour line as exists where men of Teutonic
stock are settled in countries outside Europe. As this is true of
the negro, it is even more true of the Indian. He may be despised
as a weakling, he may be ignored as a citizen, he may be, as he was
at one time, abominably oppressed and ill treated, but he excites
no personal repulsion. It is not his race that is against him, but
his debased condition. Whatever he suffers, is suffered because he
is ignorant or timid or helpless, not because he is of a different
blood and colour. Accordingly the Spanish Americans do not strive to
keep off and keep down the Indian in such wise as the North Americans
and the Dutch and the English--I do not mean the governments, but
the individuals--treat their black subjects. There is not even such
aversion to him as is shewn in California and in Australia to the
Chinese, Japanese, and Hindus. The distinction between the races is in
Spanish America a distinction of rank or class rather than of colour.
Against intermarriage there is, therefore, no more feeling than that
which exists against any union palpably below a man's or woman's own
rank in life. If it is rare for a pure white to espouse a pure Indian,
that is because they are of different ranks, just as it is rare for
a well-born Englishman to marry a peasant girl. There is nothing in
the law to oppose such a union, and though whites seldom marry pure
Indians, because the classes come little into contact, the presence of
an unmistakable Indian strain in a suitor makes no difference to his
acceptability to a white woman of the same rank. Whether this contrast
between the Spanish attitude towards the Indian and the Anglo-American
attitude to the negro is due to differences between Roman Catholicism
and Protestantism,[120] or to the fact that the Indian was never
legally a slave, or to the fact that the aboriginal American races
shew a less marked divergence in colour and features from the white
than does the negro, is a question which need not be here discussed.
Possibly all three causes may contribute to the result; and probably
the circumstance that most of the early Spaniards, having brought no
wives with them, treated their numerous children by Indian women as
being legitimate and belonging to their own race, was also a factor.
Such a usage, established in the days of the Conquest, would naturally
continue to affect men's attitude. The result is anyhow one of great
significance, and makes the racial problem here quite different from
what it is in the southern states of North America.

The most salient point of difference lies in the position of the
half-breed or mestizo. In North America a mulatto, a quadroon, even an
octoroon who is only one-eighth black, counts as a negro. Here, except
perhaps in a few of the oldest cities, a mestizo counts as a white.
His half-Indian blood is no disparagement to his social standing, no
obstacle to his reaching any public position. One may remark of such
and such a person that he has evidently a strong infusion of Indian
blood, of such another that he looks a Spaniard through and through,
and the latter doubtless cherishes a secret satisfaction in his pure
Iberian stock. But for the practical purposes of business and politics,
the two, supposing them to belong to the same educated class, stand
upon the same level. The families which value their lineage so highly
that they would deem the marriage of a child to a person of mixed
blood, otherwise desirable, to be a _mésalliance_, must be now few,
and hardly exist outside five or six cities--such as Bogotá, Lima,
Arequipa, and Santiago.

Thus one may say that there is no "colour question" in South America.
Its republics have political and economic problems enough, but they
are spared a source of embarrassment and danger constantly present
to the minds of thoughtful North Americans, and present also (though
less painfully) to the minds of South Africans. Although, therefore,
both in Spanish America and in the United States there are social
distinctions which coincide with race distinctions, the character
of those distinctions is different. In both countries there are two
sections. But in the United States everyone who is not white is
classed as coloured, however slight the trace. In Spanish America
everyone who is not wholly Indian is classed as white, however marked
the Indian tinge.[121] Thus the mixed population, which in the United
States swells the negro element, is in Spanish America a part of the
white nation, and helps to give that element its preponderance. And
a further difference appears in the fact that whereas in the United
States the man of colour is discriminated against for social purposes,
irrespective of his wealth, education, or personal qualities, in
Spanish countries race counts for so little that when he emerges out
of the poverty and ignorance which mark the Indian, his equality with
the white man is admitted. So rarely, however, does he emerge that one
may broadly say that the Nation consists in these republics of white
men and mestizos only, the Indian constituting, if not another nation,
yet a separate nationality, marked off not merely by poverty, but by
its language and the adherence of its members to ancient superstitions.
They have nothing, except the worship of the saints and a fondness
for liquor, in common with the class above them, for they speak a
different language, think differently, feel differently, have their
own amusements, and cherish, in a dim way, faint memories of a time
when their forefathers were masters of the land. They are not actively
hostile to the white people, and, indeed, get on better with their
landlords than some European peasantries have done with theirs. But
they live apart, inside the nation, but not of it. The Aymarás are
silent, suspicious, sullen. The Quichuas are more kindly, but hardly
less reserved. This reserve and suspicion characterize the Mexican
Indian also, who is generally more intelligent than the Peruvian.[122]
Both Aymarás and Quichuas are tenacious of their customs, and do not
seek to assimilate any of that modern life and lore which has found
its slow way even into the recesses of the Andes. No one from without
tries to give it to them, no one rises from among themselves stirred by
a desire to acquire it and then impart it to his fellows.

This want of leading, and want not only of light but of a wish for
light, is the feature of the Indian population which most surprises
the traveller, because he knows of no parallel to it among the subject
races of Europe in the past or those of western Asia to-day. The
Greek and Armenian in Turkey have at times suffered as much from the
Turk as the Quichua has suffered from his conquerors in Peru, but in
intelligence and capacity for progress they have been the superiors of
the Turk; and had there been more of them, they would before now have
shaken off his control.

If it is asked how the presence of this solid Indian mass,
unassimilated by the white nation, has affected that nation and
the progress of the country as a whole, the answer is that in the
first place it prevented all chance of the growth of a free European
agricultural population, even in those high valleys where Europeans
could work and thrive. Had the hardy and laborious peasantry of
Galicia, Asturias, and Aragon settled in these regions, how much more
robust, mentally and physically, might the nation have been! How much
might agriculture have been improved had there been intelligent labour!
But besides this want, and besides the weakening of the state by the
lack of national spirit in half of its population, the presence of a
large mass of ignorance and superstition has operated to reduce the
general intellectual level. There have been countries where a small
rich and ruling class, living on the toil of inferiors, has cultivated
art and letters with brilliant success, but we find nothing of the sort
here. The ignorant mass has depressed the whole, as a glacier chills
the air of its valley.

Whether the Spanish stock has deteriorated through the mixture of
Indian blood is a more difficult matter to determine. The Peruvians
and Bolivians of to-day, both whites and mestizos--and the same thing
is true of Venezuelans and Ecuadoreans--differ much from the Spaniards
of the sixteenth century and from the European Spaniards of to-day.
They are probably more excitable; they are naturally less industrious
because they live in hot countries and have Indians to work for them.
But in Spain itself there are great differences between the peoples
of the north and the south and the east. The Catalans are more
energetic than the Andalusians, the Gallegos more industrious than the
Valencians. The conditions of colonial life in the presence of a large
aboriginal population, coupled with long misgovernment and intellectual
stagnation, account for a good deal of the variation from the Spanish
type. It is a sound maxim never to lay weight upon uncertain causes
when certain causes are available as explanations. Moreover our
knowledge of heredity in its influence on race development is still
imperfect. The Argentines, who are of an almost pure white stock, also
differ much from the modern Spaniard.

It might seem natural to assume _a priori_ that men of pure European
race would continue to hold the foremost place in these countries, and
would shew both greater talents and a more humane temper than those
in whose veins Indian blood flows. But I doubt if the facts support
such a view. Some of the most forceful leaders who have figured in
the politics of these republics have been mestizos. I remember one,
as capable and energetic and upright a man as I met anywhere in the
continent, who looked at least half an Indian, and very little of a
Spaniard. Nor have there been any more sinister figures in the history
of South America since the days of Pedro de Arias the infamous governor
of Darien who put to death Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, than some who were
pure Spaniards. No half-breeds have shewn more ruthlessness than the
Spanish Carbajal in the days of Pizarro, or than Rosas, the Argentine
dictator of seventy years ago. And in this connection it deserves to be
noticed that the ancient Peruvian Indians, though they thought nothing
of indiscriminate slaughter and occasionally tortured captive enemies,
did not generally shew the same taste for blood as the Aztecs shewed in
their sacrifices nor the same propensity to methods of elaborate and
long-drawn-out cruelty as did the Red men of North America.

As I have so far been speaking chiefly of Peru and Bolivia, where the
Indian population is larger and more civilized than elsewhere, a few
observations ought to be added regarding the other republics in which
a considerable aboriginal population remains. I omit Uruguay, because
it has none at all. In Argentina there are some civilized Indians in
the northwestern districts round the cities of Jujuy and Tucuman, and
to these the remarks made regarding their neighbours, the Bolivian
Indians, apply. There are also wild Indians, perhaps one hundred
thousand, perhaps more, on the Gran Chaco of the far north,[123] and
the scattered remnants of nomad Patagonians in the far south and in
Tierra del Fuego. These seem to be disappearing. The Onas in that
island have been freely killed off by the ranchmen on whose flocks
they preyed, and tubercular disease is destroying the rest. In Chile,
besides the Araucanians, described in Chapter VI, there are a few
small tribes, in a low state of barbarism, left in the archipelago of
wet and woody isles along the Pacific coast. The rural population of
the republic--indeed, nearly all of the poorer and less educated part
of it--is mestizo, a bold and vigorous race, good workers and fine
fighters. Paraguay is an almost purely Indian country.

Of the four northern republics, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and
Ecuador, I have seen only the first. In each of these the number of
purely Spanish families is small. It is probably largest in Colombia.
In Venezuela the Indians have been more largely absorbed into the
general population than has happened in Colombia and Ecuador. In all
four states such of the Indians as remain wild forest dwellers are
passive, and practically outside the nation, which is, as a social and
political entity, predominantly mestizo. What has been said of Peru
and Bolivia is true of these states also: there is no colour line; the
mestizos are treated as white and are not, as a class, intellectually
inferior to the white. The Indian forms the lowest stratum, and seldom
rises out of it.

There remains Brazil, distinguished from the other republics by the
fact that in addition to her small mestizo population and her pure
Indian population, most of it wild, she has a great mass of negroes
and a still larger mass of mulattoes and quadroons. It is hardly too
much to say that along the coast from Rio to Bahia and Pernambuco, as
well as in parts of the interior behind these two cities, the black
population predominates. In character and habits it somewhat resembles
the negroes of the British West Indies and Santo Domingo, being
superior to the Haytians, but inferior in education and enterprise
to the coloured people of the southern states of North America. High
as is its fecundity, its death-rate is also so high, owing to the
general neglect of sanitary precautions, that it does not appear
to be increasing relatively to the general population. It is well
treated--slavery was seldom harsh among the kindly natured, easy-going
Portuguese--and bears no ill-will to its former masters. Neither do
they feel towards it that repulsion which marks the attitude of the
whites to the negroes in North America and South Africa. The Brazilian
lower class intermarries freely with the black people; the Brazilian
middle class intermarries with mulattoes and quadroons. Brazil is
the one country in the world, besides the Portuguese colonies on the
east and west coasts of Africa, in which a fusion of the European and
African races is proceeding unchecked by law or custom. The doctrines
of human equality and human solidarity have here their perfect work.
The result is so far satisfactory that there is little or no class
friction. The white man does not lynch or maltreat the negro: indeed,
I have never heard of a lynching anywhere in South America except
occasionally as part of a political convulsion. The negro is not
accused of insolence and does not seem to develop any more criminality
than naturally belongs to any ignorant population with loose notions of
morality and property.

What ultimate effect the intermixture of blood will have on the
European element in Brazil I will not venture to predict. If one may
judge from a few remarkable cases, it will not necessarily reduce the
intellectual standard. One of the ablest and most refined Brazilians I
have known had some colour; and other such cases have been mentioned to
me. Assumptions and preconceptions must be eschewed, however plausible
they may seem.

The chief conclusions which the history of the relations of races in
the South American continent suggests are the three following. The
first may be thought doubtful. It is negative rather than positive,
and though it seems worth stating, I state it with diffidence.

The fusion of two parent stocks, one more advanced, the other more
backward, does not necessarily result in producing a race inferior to
the stronger parent or superior to the weaker. The mestizo in Peru is
not palpably inferior in intellect to the Spanish colonial of unmixed
blood, but seems to be substantially his equal. The mestizo in Mexico
is not palpably superior--some doubt if he is at all superior either
physically, morally, or intellectually--to the pure Tarascan or Zapotec
Indian, who is, no doubt, a stronger human being than the South
American Quichua or Aymará.

The second conclusion is this: Conquest and control by a race of
greater strength have upon some races a depressing and almost ruinous
effect. The Peruvian subjects of the Incas had reached a state of
advancement which, though much below that of the ancient Egyptians and
Babylonians, was remarkable when one considers that their isolation
deprived them of the enormous benefit of contact with other progressive
peoples, and when one considers also the disadvantage of living at a
great altitude, the absence of milk-yielding animals, and the paucity
both of animals capable of domestication and of cereal plants. The
impact of Spanish invasion not only shattered their own rudimentary
civilization to pieces, but so took all the heart and spirit out of
them that they have made practically no advances during four centuries,
and have profited hardly at all by the western civilization of their
masters. The aborigines of Mexico, having more stamina of intellect and
will, have suffered less by the shock, but have done almost as little
to assimilate the arts and ideas of Europe.

Thirdly, the ease with which the Spaniards have intermingled by
marriage with the Indian tribes--and the Portuguese have done the like,
not only with the Indians, but with the more physically dissimilar
negroes--shews that race repugnance is no such constant and permanent
factor in human affairs as members of the Teutonic peoples are apt
to assume. Instead of being, as we Teutons suppose, the rule in this
matter, we are rather the exception, for in the ancient world there
seems to have been little race repulsion; there is very little to-day
among Mohammedans; there is none among Chinese. This seems to suggest
that since the phenomenon is not of the essence of human nature, it may
not be always as strong among the Teutonic peoples as it is to-day.
Religion has been in the past almost as powerful a dissevering force
as has racial antagonism. In the case of Spaniards and Portuguese,
religion, so soon as the Indians had been baptized, made race
differences seem insignificant. Islam has always done this in the East
and in Africa.

As touching the future, it seems as certain as anything in human
affairs can be that the races now inhabiting South America, aboriginal,
European, and African, will be all ultimately fused. The Spanish
republics (except the purely white Argentina and Uruguay) will be
Ibero-American, Brazil will be Ibero-American-African. All present
facts point that way, and that any hitherto unfelt repulsion will arise
seems most improbable. When, however, will the process be complete?
In the Spanish republics, hardly before two centuries, probably not
even then. It seems not much nearer now than it was in 1810, when the
revolutionary struggles began, though anything which stirred up the
Andean population, such as the discovery of a large number of new and
rich mines, bringing in foreign labour and increasing the demand for
domestic labour, or anything that roused a spirit of economic and
political change, might accelerate the consummation.

Still less predictable is the quality of the mixed race that will
emerge. One cannot but fear that the Portuguese of tropical Brazil may
suffer from the further infusion of an element the moral fibre of which
is conspicuously weak, though there are those who argue that the blood
of the superior race must ultimately transmute the whole. But we need
not assume that the peoples of the Spanish republics will necessarily
decline, for the present degradation of the Indians may be due as much
to their melancholy history as to inherent defects. It is still too
soon to be despondent. There may be in the Indian stock a reserve of
strength, dormant, but not extinct, ready to respond to a new stimulus
and to shoot upwards under more inspiriting conditions.



Alexander Hamilton bade his fellow citizens to think continentally; and
Herodotus, in the short introduction prefixed to his history, explains
its theme as being an account of the relations of two great continents,
Europe and Asia, and of the reasons which produced such recurring
strife between them. Let us attempt to think a little of the southern
part of the Western world as a whole, in its relations as a continent
to the other continents, and especially to that continent with which it
is connected by a narrow neck of land, the Isthmus of Panama, and which
has drawn its name from the same navigator. The series of incidents
by which the name of a Florentine adventurer was given, first, to a
continent he probably did not discover, and then to another which he
never saw, is as curious as anything in geographical history.

Everybody knows that Christopher Columbus sailed out into the west in
search of new lands, expecting them to be a part of Asia, and that to
the day of his death, after four voyages, he believed that he had found
India.[124] In the last of those voyages, when he was wearily beating
up along the coast of Darien against the currents, he fancied himself
near the Straits of Malacca. It is natural, therefore, that neither he
nor his first successors in exploration should have given a name to
the new western land south of the Caribbean Sea, even when, some while
later, they had explored enough of it to recognize it for a continent.
They named particular regions, but a general name was not needed
because it was expected that the parts seen would turn out to be parts
of Asia. Then in 1497 other voyagers who sailed forth to explore said
that they found a new land, far off in the ocean to the southwest of
the Canary Islands. Next year Columbus discovered on the south side of
the Caribbean Sea the "Tierra Firma," which we call Venezuela. Americus
Vespuccius of Florence, one of the ship's company of the 1497 voyage,
wrote letters, giving an account of this (and of a later voyage, also)
to the new land far to the southwest, in which he described it as "a
New World, a New Fourth Part of the Globe," Europe, Asia, and Africa
being the other three. The letters made a great sensation; and one of
them was made the basis of a book called _Cosmographiæ Introductio_,
published in 1507, at St. Dié in France, by a certain Waldseemüller
(Hylacomylus), a professor there, who suggested that as Americus was
the discoverer of this Fourth Part of the World, it should be called
after him.[125] The book was read far and wide; the name took. It was
not intended to be applied to the lands west and south of the Caribbean
Sea, which between 1497 and 1507 had been discovered by Columbus and
others; still less to the lands discovered by John Cabot in the far
north, but to an entirely different piece of land much to the south and
east of what Columbus had discovered. But when all the lands bordering
on that part of the Atlantic had been sufficiently explored and the
records of the voyages compared, it appeared that the lands lying in
the part of the ocean to which the descriptions of Americus referred,
were, in fact, continuous with the coasts of the Caribbean and Gulf of
Mexico. Thereupon all the land from the Rio de la Plata (discovered in
1516) northward to the Isthmus of Panama, came to be included under the
name America, just because there was no other general name for what had
been, at least till 1513, when the Pacific was discovered by crossing
the Isthmus at Darien, still believed to be part of Asia. As soon as
the Pacific had been reached, and still more when the ever famous
voyage of Magellan had shewn that Asia lay thousands of miles further
away beyond the Pacific, a general name began to be wanted. Much later,
and again, just because there was no other competing name, the term
America was extended to include everything north of the Gulf of Mexico
up to the Arctic regions, and when the need was felt for distinguishing
the two parts, the words North and South were added. Although applied
earlier to the southern than to the northern continent, the name when
used alone now denotes to most Europeans the latter.

How much simpler and better it would have been if each continent had
received a name of its own. South America might have been called after
Columbus, as the first man who saw its _terra firma_, and North America
might have received the name of Cabotia or Pinzonia or Ponceana,
whichever navigator may be best entitled to be deemed its first and
true discoverer. How much trouble would have been saved and how many
mistakes avoided! Italian peasants would not have fancied that a cousin
who had gone to Buenos Aires was the near neighbour of another who
had gone to New York. Similarities would not have been imagined where
differences exist. The South Americans would not have resented the
assumption by the people of the United States of the name to which
they claim an equal right, and the people of the United States would
not have formed the habit of believing that the Spanish and Portuguese
speaking inhabitants of the southern continent are their affectionate
relatives, because they share in the same family name.

These, however, are vain regrets. The names have long been fixed,
though for a great while the Spaniards declined to talk of North
America. The thing is one instance among many to shew how much may
flow from a name which is itself the result of a mere accident.

Now let us turn from names to things, and consider in what respect the
two Americas, and their peoples, resemble and differ from one another,
and how far they constitute, politically or otherwise, one whole world
apart, and what are the relations of the southern, or Spanish and
Portuguese, continent to the other, now mainly Teutonic, continent,
and to the countries of Europe, and whether the term "Pan Americanism"
describes a fact or merely conveys an interesting aspiration. Some
points in the history of each continent may come out more clearly, and
become more significant when the two are compared, for the history of
each illustrates that of the other.

The physical structure of the two continents shews certain
similarities. Each is traversed from north to south by a great mountain
chain, sometimes breaking into parallel ridges and sometimes widening
out into high tablelands. In each this chain is much nearer to the
western than to the eastern coast, and in each there are volcanic
outbursts at various points along the lines of elevation, these being
more continuous and on a vaster scale in the southern continent. In
each there is, moreover, an independent mountain mass on the eastern
side, the Appalachian system in North America, the Brazilian highlands
in South America. Each has, nearer to its western than to its eastern
coast, a desert, and in that desert an inland river basin with lakes,
Great Salt Lake in Utah corresponding roughly to Lakes Titicaca and
Poopo in Bolivia. Each has two gigantic rivers, though the Mississippi
and St. Lawrence are not equal in volume to the Amazon and the Paraná.
The shores of both are washed by mighty ocean currents, but while the
Gulf Stream warms the east coast of the northern, the Antarctic current
chills the west coast of the southern, continent.[126] Their climates
are so far similar that in both the east side of the continent receives
more rain than the west, but South America, having its greatest breadth
in the tropics, lies more largely within the torrid zone.

It is, however, with the settlement and subsequent history of the two
continents that the real interest of the comparison begins. There are
three remarkable points of similarity, but the points of difference are
more numerous and instructive, and, in noting them, we shall see how
potent each point of difference has been in directing the course of
events and in forming the character of the communities that have grown

The points of similarity are these. Both continents were when
discovered inhabited by races entirely unlike those of Europe, who over
the greater part of this area were in the savage state, but had in a
few regions favoured by nature made some progress towards civilization.
Both were conquered by Europeans, and easily conquered, owing to the
superiority of the invaders in arms and discipline. The peoples of both
(with one important exception in the northern and three unimportant
exceptions in the southern continent) ultimately revolted against the
kingdoms whence the European part of their population had come and have
ever since managed their own affairs as republics, seven republics in
North, eleven in South America.

Having noted these general resemblances in the fortunes of the two, let
us enquire what were the differences, natural and political, which made
the lines of their subsequent development diverge.

At this point, however, it is proper to leave off talking of North
and South America, for the southern part of the former continent
belongs historically and to some extent physically also, to the latter
continent. As Alexandre Dumas said in writing of his journey to Spain,
"Africa begins at the Pyrenees,"--it is a saying which the Spaniards
have never forgiven,--so we may say, "South America begins at the Rio
Grande del Norte." Mexico and the states of Central America down to the
Isthmus of Panama were parts of the Spanish colonial Empire, conquered,
settled, and administered in much the same way as the still larger
part of that Empire which lay farther south. We must, therefore, group
the regions that once belonged to that Empire under the general name
of Spanish, or, when it is desired to include Brazil (a Portuguese
country), "Latin" America, referring to the other parts of the northern
continent as "Teutonic America."[127]

The aboriginal tribes with which the English and French came in contact
when they settled the Atlantic coasts of North America were scattered
over a vast wooded region, lived mainly by the chase, and had formed no
habits of regular industry. They were mostly fierce fighters, proud and
dogged, unwilling to bear any control, and it was found impracticable
to make slaves of them, or use them for any kind of regular labour.
They were unfitted for it, and it would have cost the settlers more
effort to compel the Indians to cut down trees and till the ground than
to do the same things themselves. There was, accordingly, never any
question of Indian slavery or serfdom, either on the Atlantic coasts or
when the march of colonization advanced further inland, nor was there
more than a scanty intermarriage between the settlers and the natives.

Other reasons besides those connected with labour prevented any
admixture in these regions of the white with the native races. There
was little social intercourse, because the Indians, even the majority
of the less warlike tribes of Virginia and the regions south of
Virginia, were driven out, or retired, or died out. Their barbarous
way of life drew a sharp line between them and the white intruders.
The latter, moreover, brought their women with them, and had less
temptation to seek wives among the Indians. Thus it was only among the
French voyageurs and trappers of the region round and beyond the Great
Lakes that any mixed race grew up, half white, half Indian, and this
race has now almost disappeared.

In Spanish America, the case was quite different. Both in Mexico, in
parts of Central America, and in Peru there was a large sedentary
population of aborigines, cultivating the soil and trained to industry
during many generations. The Conquerors immediately turned them into
serfs, parcelling them out among the persons who received land grants,
and who thereafter lived on the produce of this semiservile labour.
The result was that whereas in Teutonic America there grew up, slowly
at first, a white agricultural population and ultimately a white
manufacturing population also, in Spanish America agriculture was
left almost entirely to the aborigines, and the pure white population
increased hardly at all, because few new settlers came. There appeared,
however, and that within two or three generations, a considerable
mestizo or half-breed population, which has come, after three
centuries, to constitute most of the upper class and practically the
whole of the middle class in all but two of the republics.

This was the beginning of the divergent careers of the two sets of
European colonists, Spaniards and Englishmen, a divergence which
ultimately gave to the social system of each set its own peculiar
structure. Two other circumstances helped to deepen the divergence.
One was the hot climate of most parts of Spanish America, which made
field labour, or, indeed, any kind of manual labour, more distasteful
to men of European stock than such labour was in the northern parts of
Teutonic America. The same cause, it need hardly be said, had much to
do with the importation of negroes on a vast scale into the southern
parts of the British North American colonies. Such an expedient was
less needed in Mexico and Peru, because they possessed (as already
remarked) a native population that could be reduced to serfdom. In
Spanish America, accordingly, all forms of labour connected with
land were left by the European settlers to the natives, and no white
peasantry grew up.

The other circumstance was that whereas in Teutonic America few or no
mines were discovered or worked for a long time after the country had
begun to be occupied, the Spaniards, having hit upon regions rich, some
of them in gold, many of them in silver, began greedily to exploit this
natural wealth and forced the natives to toil for them in this (to the
native particularly odious) kind of work. The destruction of human
life was terrible, but in those days life was little regarded. So was
the slave-trade terrible in the deaths it caused and the suffering it
inflicted, but the conscience of England was not stirred against it
till the end of the eighteenth century. The development of mining in
Spanish America, immense for the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth
centuries, when comparatively little was going on elsewhere, had many
effects for Spain and for the world. For Mexico and Peru the most
direct effect was to enrich a good many persons without any industrial
efforts put forth by themselves,[128] and to lead the settlers as
a whole to rely less upon agriculture than men did in the English
colonies. A luxurious style of living established itself in the city
of Mexico and in Lima, most unlike the frugal simplicity of Boston or
Providence, or even of Philadelphia or New York, in the eighteenth

It has often been observed that whereas the men who went to the
northern English colonies were mostly small farmers or townsfolk of
the trading or artisan classes, the Spanish emigrants were mainly
adventurers, making gold and silver their first object, the acquisition
of plantations or mines to be worked by natives the second. This
stamped on Spanish colonial society what can hardly be called an
aristocratic character, for many of the emigrant-adventurers, like
the Pizarro brothers, sprang from a humble social stratum, but yet a
character which lacked both the sentiment of equality and a respect for

Not less marked than these social differences were those which belonged
to the sphere of government and administration. The English colonies
were for the most part left to govern themselves. Each had not only its
colonial assembly, but also local assemblies for towns and counties,
along with the English arrangements for securing justice in civil and
criminal matters by juries. Even the governors sent out from England,
where such there were, interfered but little with the power of the
colonists to regulate their own affairs. The Crown did occasionally
assert its prerogative, but these instances and the resistance which
arbitrary intervention evoked bear witness to the general adherence
to the principles of local self-government. In the Spanish colonies,
on the other hand, all power remained in the Crown, and was exercised
either directly from Spain by ordinances made or orders issued there,
or else through the viceroy or captain-general of each colony.
Lucrative posts were reserved for persons of Spanish birth, who
obtained them by court favour at home, or perhaps from a viceroy,
who had brought them out in his suite. In the field of religion the
contrast was even greater. Ecclesiastical power had in Spanish America
been almost equal to civil. Although the Crown of Spain yielded less
authority to the Pope in its transatlantic than it did in its European
dominions, the church as a whole, archbishops and bishops, the Orders
and the Holy Office, were, in America, an immense and omnipresent
force, with whom even viceroys had to reckon, for their influence was
great in the Court at home as well as over the minds and conduct of
the colonists. Society was saturated with clericalism, and a taint of
heterodoxy was more dangerous than one of disloyalty.

Putting all these things together, it can be seen how little in common
Teutonic America and Spanish America had when the colonial period ended
for each of them by its severance from the mother country. They were,
in fact, unlike in everything, except their position in the Western
Hemisphere. Few, and far from friendly, had been their relations.
There had been very little commercial intercourse but a great deal of
fighting. English and American buccaneers and pirates--the two classes
were practically the same--had been wont to prey upon Spanish colonial
commerce and pillage Spanish colonial cities. There probably remained
more aversion between the two races in America than in Europe, for in
their hostility to France during the eighteenth century the people
of Britain had almost forgotten their hostility to Spain. To the New
Englander or Virginian the colonial Spaniard had been a Papist and a
persecutor, to the colonial Spaniard his neighbours on the north were
pirates and heretics.

What change was made by the two wars against the two mother countries
and the independence which followed? It might have seemed likely that
now, when both parts of the New World were disconnected from the Old
and both had republican forms of government, they might begin to draw
together. Independence, though it came nearly forty years later to
Spanish America, made more difference there than it had done to the
English colonies. Those who had been kept in leading strings by Spain
were now left to their own devices. Ill-built and ill-steered had been
the vessel that carried their fortunes, but now they began to drift and
be tossed about with neither compass nor pilot. An era of civil wars
and military revolutions set in, which lasted in Mexico nearly half a
century, in Peru and Argentina still longer, and which seems to have
become chronic in some of the more backward states. While Teutonic
America was making enormous strides in population and prosperity,
intestine strife checked all progress, educational and material, in the
Spanish lands during two generations. It is to the last thirty years
of the nineteenth century that the development of Mexico, Argentina,
Chile, and Uruguay belongs. After the Latin-American countries had
become independent, there was no more commercial intercourse between
them and the United States than there had been in colonial days and
no more community of feeling. Warm sympathy had been expressed by the
latter with the colonies in their struggle against Spain, and the
declaration made by John Quincy Adams in concert with the English
George Canning against any interference by the Holy Alliance to support
the cause of monarchy in the New World, was gratefully welcomed
by the insurgents. But no friendship between English-speaking and
Spanish-speaking men grew up, and the war of the United States against
Mexico in 1846, undertaken not so much because there were grievances
against Mexico as from a desire to extend the area of slavery in the
United States, and strengthen the Slave Power itself, exposed United
States policy to suspicions that sank deep into the Spanish-American

From this consideration of the past relations of the two American
continents, let us return to the divergence of their fortunes. At the
time of the Discovery, the regions which passed under the rule of Spain
were richer, more advanced in the arts of life, and far more populous
than those whose settlement began with the expeditions of Champlain
and Raleigh. We have no data for guessing at the population of the New
World either in 1500 or in 1600, but at both dates there evidently
were in Mexico and Central America far more inhabitants than in all
the rest of the Northern Continent taken together. As regards South
America, the empire of the Incas alone probably contained from nine to
eleven millions[129] of persons, a number many times greater than that
of all the aborigines that at any one time dwelt between the Arctic
circle and the Gulf of Mexico. Even in 1800 the population of Mexico
alone, without counting South America, was far larger than that of the
United States and Canada. But from 1810, when the revolt of the Spanish
colonies began, down till 1860, the growth of those colonies was slow,
and in some there was even retrogression. Meanwhile the United States,
and latterly, Canada also, have been advancing with unexampled speed,
so that now their population, about 108 millions, far exceeds that of
all the Spanish republics in both continents. The hotter countries were
at one time more populous than the temperate; now the reverse holds.
If we regard wealth, there is, of course, no comparison at all between
Teutonic America, as it stands to-day, and the southern regions. Yet
Spain was long supposed to have got by far the best parts of the New
World, not so much because they had tropical productiveness, as in
respect of the quantity of the precious metals they contained. The
economic change from the sixteenth century to the twentieth which the
progress of natural science and mechanical invention has brought about
can hardly be better illustrated than by the changed importance which
coal, iron, and copper have for our time when compared with that which
gold and silver had in the days of Charles the Fifth.

When the North American colonies separated from England, they were a
small nation of less than three millions on the Atlantic coast. Thence
they spread out over the vast space beyond the Alleghany Mountains,
then across the Mississippi, finally over the Rocky Mountains to
the Pacific, remaining one nation over a territory thirty times
greater than that which had been actually settled at the time of the
Revolution. The same process happened later and on a smaller scale in
the dominion which remained to England in the north. The Canadians have
spread out from the banks of the St. Lawrence to Vancouver Island, also
remaining one people. Thus Teutonic America now consists of two nations
only.[130] How different the fate of the Spanish colonies. Scattered
over a space eight thousand miles long from San Francisco to Magellan's
Straits, in days before railways existed and with even steam navigation
in its infancy, they did not think of trying to maintain political
connection across vast distances, and naturally fell apart into many
independent states, roughly corresponding to the administrative
divisions of colonial days. The number of these states has varied from
time to time. At present there are six on the North American continent,
and ten on the South American, without counting Portuguese Brazil and
the three island republics of Cuba, San Domingo, and Hayti. Out of the
lands that obeyed Charles the Fifth, nineteen states have grown, all
(except Hayti) speaking Spanish, while the English-speaking peoples are
but two. Although the size of the territory occupied by these nineteen
is the primary cause of this multiplication of small nations, there are
other causes, also, political and social, which have been discussed in
an earlier chapter.[131] One bond of union they had, one solid basis
of common sentiment which, nevertheless, did not avail to hold them
together. They all professed the Roman Catholic faith and all obeyed
one spiritual sovereign at Rome, whereas among the men of English
speech in Teutonic America there were, and are, not only many Roman
Catholics, but also among the larger mass of Protestants many forms of
Protestantism, and no common ecclesiastical authority at all.

This summary review of the causes which have made the currents of
Spanish-American and Teutonic-American history run in different and
divergent channels may be closed by enquiring what the two divisions of
the New World have in common to-day.

They are alike in being (always excepting Canada) republican in
the outward forms of their governments; that is to say, there is
nowhere any official called a king. How far the governments of most
Spanish-American states are from being republican in spirit and working
everybody knows. To most men's minds, however, the form means a great
deal. In Spanish America itself people who acquiesce in transitory
dictatorships would be horrified at the idea of a hereditary sovereign,
however constitutional. And there are still many people in the United
States who find some virtue in the mere name of republic.

The two divisions are also alike in belonging to a New World; that
is to say, they have shaken loose from many ideas and habits that
belonged, and still more or less belong, to the Old World of Europe.
Spanish America has done this more completely than has Teutonic
America, because even in colonial days the ties of thought and feeling
which bound the colonists to Spain were really less strong than those
which connected the English of the United States with their mother
country, and because the latter were, when the separation came, in
a higher stage of institutional and intellectual development. The
most signal instance of the general American breach with the Old
World is the sense of social equality that now prevails alike in the
English-speaking and the Spanish-speaking peoples. The forms in which
this sense appears are not quite the same. Among the Spanish Americans
there is more external deference on the part of the humbler to the
higher placed, and the pure Indian is treated, and submits to be
treated, as a social inferior. In Chile, for instance, the _roto_, or
half-breed peasant, stands far more distinctly below the landowner than
the North American day labourer stands below his employer; though it
is his ignorance, not his mixed blood, that assigns this position to
him. But in both continents the complete absence of any artificial and
formal distinctions of rank is in striking contrast to the habits and
ideas that still hold in most parts of Europe.[132]

It must be added that these republics of the West have, politically
regarded, one important common characteristic. They constitute what
German historians call a "States-System" of their own; _i.e._ they take
no part in the politics of the Old World, but only in those of the New.
This is no longer true as respects the United States, for though they
do not interfere in questions purely European, and have touched those
of Africa only slightly in the Congo, and more effectively in Liberia,
which, indeed, they called into being, they have, by conquering the
Philippine Islands, made themselves an Asiatic power, and by annexing
Hawaii and one of the Samoan Islands, a Pacific power. Latin-American
republics, however, have (so far as I know) intervened neither in
European nor in Asiatic affairs, being content to attend strictly to
their own business, which is sufficiently absorbing.

Latin America consists of two separate state-systems. One includes
Mexico and the five small Central American republics, two of which,
Costa Rica and Salvador, are peaceful within and seldom embroiled
abroad, while the other three have had more chequered careers.
Members of this group have had plenty to do with the United States,
but seldom come into contact with the South American countries. The
little republic of Panama, which is virtually under the protection
of the United States, may now be deemed a "buffer state," between
Colombia and the republics to the north, nor does any Central American
republic possess a navy. The larger group is composed of the eleven
South American states. It presents some analogies to the Europe of the
eighteenth century in which there were several great powers "playing
the great game" against one another and against the smaller powers,
nominally in the interest of that so-called Balance of Power which was
to prevent any one from dominating the others, but often in reality
for the sake of appropriating territory, whenever a dynastic pretext
could be found. In this group there are three great powers, Argentina,
Brazil, and Chile; and when these three stand together, they can
keep all the rest quiet, especially if (as they may usually expect)
the United States throws its influence into the scale of peace. At
present these three are tolerably friendly, and there is no reason why
they should not remain so. Between them there exist no longer such
territorial controversies as disturb the repose of Ecuador, Colombia,
and Peru.[133] The politics of South America present an interesting
field for study, but it is one upon which I cannot now and here enter.

Some publicists have suggested that troubles might arise to affect
South America from without if Japan or China were to insist on flooding
her with their emigrants, and that if this were attempted against
one of the weaker South American republics, either the greater South
American Powers, or the United States, or both, might be tempted to
intervene. There are at present some Chinese and a very few Japanese
on the Pacific coast, but no more seem to have been arriving in recent
years. Any danger of this nature seems remote and improbable.

With these three things, however,--republican forms, social equality,
and detachment from European politics,--the list of the things which
the two Americas have in common ends. Far more numerous and more
important are the points in which they stand contrasted.

Many causes have gone to the making of the contrast. Race and religion,
climate and history have all had their share. The contrast appears
both in ideas and in temperament. The Spanish American is more proud
and more sensitive to any slight. He is not so punctilious in his
politeness as is the Spaniard of Europe, and is, indeed, in some
countries a little brusque or offhand in manners and speech. But he
feels a slight keenly; and he knows how to respect the susceptibilities
of his fellow-citizens. I will not say that he is more pleasure-loving
than the North American, for the latter has developed of late years a
passion for amusement which would have startled his Puritan ancestors.
But he is less assiduous and less strenuous in work, being, in this
respect, unlike the immigrant who comes from Old Spain, especially the
Asturian and the Gallego, who is the soul of thrift and the steadiest
of toilers. He is not so fond of commercial business, nor so apt
for it, nor so eager to "get on" and get rich. The process of money
making has not for him that fatal attraction which enslaves so many
capable men in the United States and (to a less degree) in England
and Germany, leading them to forget the things that make life worth
living, till it is too late in life to enjoy them. In South America
things are taken easily and business concerns are largely in the hands
of foreigners. The South American--and here I include the Mexican--is
an excitable being and prone to express his feelings forcibly, having
absorbed from the Indians none of their stolid taciturnity. He is
generally good natured and hospitable, and responds quickly to anything
said or done which shews appreciation of his country and its ways.
Private friendship or family relationship have a great effect on his
conduct, and often an undue effect, for one is everywhere told that the
difficulty of securing justice in these republics lies not so much in
the corruptibility of judges, as in their tendency to be influenced by
personal partiality. Things go by favour.

These contrasts of temperament between North and South Americans give
rise to different tastes and a different view of life, so that, broadly
speaking, the latter are not "sympathetic" either to the former or to
Englishmen.[134] To say that they are antipathetic would be going too
far, for there is nothing to make unfriendliness, nor, indeed, is there
any unfriendliness. But both North Americans and Englishmen are built
on lines of thought and feeling so different from those which belong to
South Americans that the races do not draw naturally together, and find
it hard to appreciate duly one another's good qualities.[135]

The use of nicknames has a certain significance. In South America a
North American or Englishman is popularly called a "Gringo," as in
North America a person speaking Italian or Spanish or Portuguese is
vulgarly called a "Dago." Neither term has any eulogistic flavour.

Thus we return to the question whence we started, and ask again whether
there is any sort of unity or community in the two Americas. Are the
peoples of these continents a group by themselves, nearer to one
another than they are to other peoples, possessing a common character,
common ties of interest and feeling? Or does the common American name
mean nothing more than mere local juxtaposition beyond the Atlantic?
Is it, in fact, anything more than a historical accident?

The answer would seem to be that Teutonic Americans and Spanish
Americans have nothing in common except two names, the name American
and the name Republican. In essentials they differ as widely as either
of them does from any other group of peoples, and far more widely than
citizens of the United States differ from Englishmen, or than Chileans
and Argentines differ from Spaniards and Frenchmen.

Nevertheless, juxtaposition has induced contact, though a contact
which we shall find to have been rather political than intellectual or
social. It is worth while to examine the attitude of each to the other.

When the Spanish colonies revolted[136] against the Crown of Spain,
the sympathy of the United States went out to them profusely, and
continued with them throughout the war and long after. Their victories
were acclaimed as victories won for freedom and for America, and
children were called after the name of Simon Bolivar, whose exploits in
Venezuela had early fixed upon him the attention of the world, and have
given him a fame possibly beyond his merits.

The struggling colonists were cheered by this as by the similar
sympathy that came to them from England. They were, as already
observed, grateful for the support given them by the diplomacy
of Canning and John Quincy Adams, and when they framed their
constitutions, took that of the United States for their model. Their
regard for the United States, and confidence in its purposes, never
quite recovered the blow given by the Mexican War of 1846 and the
annexation of California; but this change of sentiment did not affect
the patronage and good-will extended to them by the United States,
whose people, and for a time the English Whigs also, maintained their
touching faith that countries called republics must needs be graced by
republican virtues and were entitled to favour whenever they came into
collision with monarchies. This tendency of mind, natural in the days
when the monarchies of continental Europe were more or less despotic,
has begun to die down of late years, as educated men have come to look
more at things than at names, and as United States statesmen found
themselves from time to time annoyed by the perversity or shiftiness of
military dictators ruling Spanish-American countries. The big nation
has, however, generally borne such provocations with patience, abusing
its strength less than the rulers of the little ones abuse their
weakness. For many years after the achievement by the Spanish colonies
of their independence, a political tie between them and the United
States was found in the declared intention of the latter to resist any
attempt by European Powers either to overthrow republican government
in any American state or to attempt annexation of its territory. So
long as any such action was feared from Europe, the protection thus
promised was welcome, and the United States felt a corresponding
interest in their clients. But circumstances alter cases. To-day, when
apprehensions of the old kind have vanished, and when some of the South
American states feel themselves already powerful, one is told that
they have begun to regard the situation with different eyes. "Since
there are no longer rain-clouds coming up from the east, why should a
friend, however well-intentioned, insist on holding an umbrella over
us? We are quite able to do that for ourselves if necessary." In a very
recent book by one of the most acute and thoughtful of North American
travellers, there occurs a passage which presents this view:--

"Many a Chileno and Argentino resents the idea of our Monroe
Doctrine applying in any sense to his country and declares that we
had better keep it at home. He regards it as only another sign of
our overweening national conceit: and on mature consideration it
does seem as though the justification for the doctrine both in its
original and in its present form had passed. Europe is no longer
ruled by despots who desire to crush the liberties of their subjects.
As is frequently remarked, England has a more democratic government
than the United States. In all the leading countries of Europe the
people have practically as much to say about the government as they
have in America. There is not the slightest danger that any European
tyrant will attempt to enslave the weak republics of this hemisphere.
Furthermore, such republics as Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, Chile, and
Peru, no more need our Monroe Doctrine to keep them from being robbed
of their territory by European nations, than does Italy or Spain. If it
be true that some of the others, like the notoriously lawless group in
Central America, need to be looked after by their neighbours, let us
amend our outgrown Monroe Doctrine, as already suggested by one of our
writers on International Law, so as to include in the police force in
the Western Hemisphere those who have shown themselves able to practise

There is truth in this. The talk often heard in the United States
about the Doctrine has injured and is injuring her influence in South
America. It excites suspicion and alarm. It is taken to imply an intent
to claim a sort of protectorate over the other American republics, than
which nothing could more offend Spanish-American sentiment. The wisest
among American foreign ministers, such as Mr. Hay and Mr. Root, are
those who have least frequently referred to the Doctrine. To examine
this subject, however, would lead me into the field of politics, and
with politics I have nothing to do, seeking only to indicate the
influences of interest, of intellectual affinity, and of temperamental
sympathy which draw the peoples of Spanish America towards one or other
of the great peoples of the Northern Hemisphere.[138]

As regards the United States there is a balance between attraction and
suspicion. The South Americans desire good relations, and recognize
the value of her diplomatic action in trying to preserve peace between
those of their republics whose smouldering enmities often threaten to
burst into flame. On the other hand, as already observed, they are
jealous of their own dignity, not at all disposed to be patronized,
and quick to resent anything bordering on a threat, even when
addressed, not to themselves, but to some other republic. It is as the
disinterested, the absolutely disinterested and unselfish, advocate of
peace and good will, that the United States will have most influence
in the Western Hemisphere, and that influence, gently and tactfully
used, may be of incalculable service to mankind.

The matters in which these republics are wont to imitate or draw
lessons from the United States are education, especially scientific
and technical education, and engineering. Of the influence upon their
constitutions of the North American Federal Constitution I have
already spoken. Their publicists continue to follow with attention
the decisions given upon the application of its principles to new
conditions as they arise, and attach value to the opinions of North
American international jurists. Otherwise, there is little intellectual
affinity, and still less temperamental sympathy. The South Americans
do not feel that the name "American" involves any closer community or
co-operation with the great Teutonic republic of the north than it does
with any other people or peoples. They are just as much a race or group
of peoples standing by themselves as if the lands they occupy had been
that entirely detached continent out in the southern seas, supposed to
lie far away from all other continents, to which the name of Amerigo
Vespucci was first applied.

With whom, then, have the Spanish Americans real affinities of mental
and moral constitution? With the peoples of southern Europe. If anyone
likes to call them the "Latin" peoples,[139] there is no harm in the
term so long as it does not seem to ignore the fact that there exist
the greatest differences between Italians and Frenchmen and Spaniards,
for whoever has studied the history and the literature of those peoples
knows that it is only the existence of still more marked differences
between them and the Teutonic peoples that makes them seem to resemble
one another.

It might be supposed that the relations of the Spanish Americans would
be most close with their motherland, Old Spain. But these relations are
not intimate, and have never been so since the War of Independence.
Even in those old colonial days when the ports were closed to all
but Spanish vessels, in order to stop all trade, export and import,
except with the mother country, the days when Englishmen and Dutchmen
were detested as heretics, and Frenchmen as dangerous rivals, there
was an undercurrent of anti-Spanish feeling. It was chiefly due to
the practice of reserving all well-paid posts for natives of Spain.
The _criollos_, as they were called, men born in the colonies, were
naturally envious of the strangers, and resented their own exclusion
and disparagement. They suffered in many ways, economic as well
as sentimental, both from laws issued in Spain and from authority
exercised on the spot by men from Europe who did not share their
sentiments, treated them as socially inferior, and flouted their
local opinion. Accordingly, when the separation came, there was less
sense of the breaking of a family tie than there had been among the
North American colonists in the earlier stages of their revolution.
This antagonism to Spanish government was, of course, accentuated and
envenomed by the long duration of the struggle for independence, which
in Peru lasted for fifteen years, and in the course of which many
severities were exercised by the governors and generals who fought
for the Crown. As for the Indians, the oppressions they suffered and
the memory of the hideous cruelties with which the rebellion of Tupac
Amaru was suppressed, made the name of Spain hateful to them. After
the flag of Castile had ceased to fly anywhere on the continent, and
the last Spanish officials had departed, there were few occasions
for communication of any kind. Spain herself was in a depressed and
distracted state for many years after 1825. There is to-day little
trade between her and the New World, nor is there, except to Mexico and
Argentina, any large Spanish immigration. Where it does exist, it is
valued, for the men who come from northern Spain (as most settlers do)
are of excellent quality.

Family ties between colonists and the motherland had, moreover, become
few or loose. Seldom in Spanish America does one hear anyone speak
of the place his ancestors came from, as one constantly hears North
Americans talk of the English village where are the graves of their
forefathers. Seldom do South Americans or Mexicans seem to visit Spain,
either to see her ancient cities and her superb pictures or to study
her present economic problems. They do not feel as if they had much
to learn from her governmental methods, and her modern literature has
apparently little message for them. For the Spanish Americans there
seems to be no Past at all earlier than their own War of Independence.
In all these respects the contrast between the position of Spain
towards South America and that of Britain towards North America strikes
an Englishman with surprise. If that revival in Spanish literature and
art, of which there have recently been signs, should continue, and if
Spanish commerce should develop, the position may change, for the tie
of language will always have its importance.

I may add in this connection that among the educated classes of
Spanish America one finds few signs of that sort of interest in the
history of Old Spain which the best North Americans take in the
history of England. The former have no link of free institutions
brought from the old soil to flourish in a new one. Is it because the
Conquistadores were Spaniards, or because many of their deeds shock
modern consciences, or because it is felt that to honour them would
be an offence to Indian sentiment, faint as that sentiment is in
Mexico and still fainter in Peru, that there are in Spanish America no
statues or other honorific memorials of these brilliant and terrible
figures? Even the statue of Queen Isabella the Catholic, which stood in
Havana, was shipped back to Spain after the independence of Cuba had
been declared in 1898. There is no monument to Cortes in Mexico, nor
to Pizarro in Lima, nor (so far as I know) any statue of any of his
companions except one of Pedro de Valdivia, set up on the hill of Santa
Lucia in Santiago, where he built his fort and founded the capital of
Chile. On the other hand, Cuahtémoc or Guatemozin, the last of the
Aztec kings,[140] has a fine statue in the park that lies between the
city of Mexico and the castle palace of Chapultepec, and the name of
Caupolican, the Araucanian chieftain whom the Spaniards shot to death
with arrows, like St. Sebastian, is about to be commemorated by a
charitable foundation at Temuco in Chile.

Between Italy and Latin America there never were any direct relations
except, of course, ecclesiastical relations with Rome, until in recent
years Italian immigrants began to pour into Argentina and southern
Brazil. As many of these go backwards and forwards, and as swift
lines of ocean steamers have been established between Buenos Aires
and the ports of Italy, there is now a good deal of intercourse, but
this has not so far led to any closer connection either political or
intellectual. The Italian immigrants belong almost entirely to the
scantily educated classes, and have brought with them little that
is Italian except their language and their habits of industry. If,
however, the Italians, who, in Argentina, are now nearly one-third
of the population, do not too quickly lose their language and become
assimilated to the native Argentines, these people may not only form an
intellectual link between their old home and their new one, but may
give an impetus to the progress of art and music, perhaps of literature

With England and Germany the commercial relations of most of the
South American countries are close and constant. Nearly £300,000,000
sterling of British capital ($1,500,000,000) have been invested in
railroads and otherwise in Argentina alone, besides very large sums
in Uruguay, Brazil, and some of the lesser countries. Many Englishmen
own ranches or farms in Argentina. Germans have done less in railroad
construction and in the acquisition of landed properties, but they run
lines of ocean steamers, and a great part of the commerce of the more
progressive republics is now in their hands. They take more pains than
do the English to master Spanish and understand the customs of the
land. The German army and its arrangements are taken as a model for
South American ministers and officers to follow, and a like deference
is paid to the British navy and its methods. Upon thought and art and
taste, however, neither of these countries exerts much influence.
Though a certain number of Argentines, Chileans, and Brazilians can
read English and a smaller number German, and though statesmen and
serious students appreciate the English political system and the German
administrative system, and follow the scientific work done in both
countries, books in these languages are not widely read. The members
of the English and German colonies in seaports like Buenos Aires,
Montevideo, Rio, and Valparaiso are personally liked and respected,
but they have not done much to popularize the ideas and habits and
tastes of their countries. The mental quality and the views of life are
essentially dissimilar. Between the peoples, there is little more than
reciprocal good-will and what Thomas Carlyle calls the "cash nexus."
English fashions are, however, followed in horse-racing and other
branches of sport.

There remains France. Her influence may be traced to several causes.
Though the North American Revolution of 1775-1783 had suggested to the
Spanish Americans the idea of separation from their mother country,
the French Revolution of 1789-1799 stirred their minds more deeply,
and the literature produced in France, both before and during those
years and still later, was the strongest and most novel intellectual
force that had ever fallen on these previously backward countries, as
well as upon those few colonists who visited Europe in the end of the
eighteenth century. Severed by a violent shock from Spain, the Spanish
Americans must needs turn elsewhere. French had for a century been the
one foreign language which was learnt by men who learnt any foreign
language. Whoever travelled to Europe needed it and the similarity of
its vocabulary to their own made it easier for them than any Teutonic
tongue. With England there was in those days very little intercourse,
with Germany and the United States still less, for commerce was
insignificant. Thus French established itself as what might be called
the gateway to European thought. French literature has, moreover, a
double attraction for the South Americans, including the Brazilians.
It gratifies their fondness for graceful and pointed and rhetorical
expression. Spaniards, like Frenchmen, love style, and French style
has for them a peculiar charm. With a great liking for what they call
"general ideas" they set less store by an accumulation of facts and
an elaborate examination of them than do the Germans or the English,
and prefer what may be called the French way of treating a subject.
In short, they have an intellectual affinity for France, for the
brightness of her ideas, the gaiety of her spirit, the finish of her
literary methods, the quality of her sentiment.

Then there is Paris. When South Americans began to be rich enough to
travel to Europe and enjoy themselves there, Paris became the Mecca
of these pilgrims of pleasure. Many a wealthy Argentine landowner,
many a Brazilian coffee planter, every dictator of a Caribbean
republic who, like Guzman Blanco of Venezuela, has drawn from the
public revenues funds to invest in European securities, goes to the
metropolis of fashion and amusement to spend his fortune there. All the
young literary men, all the young artists who can afford the journey,
flock thither. There is a large South American colony in Paris, and
through it, as well as through books and magazines, the French drama
and art, French ideas and tastes dominate both the fashionable and
the intellectual world in the cities of South America. The writers
of France have often claimed that there is something in the "French
spirit," in their way of thinking and their way of expressing thought,
which, distinctive of themselves as it is, has, nevertheless, a sort
of universality, or an adaptability to the minds of all men, that has
more than once in history given it an empire such as no other modern
literature has enjoyed. In and for South America this claim has been
made good, for here French influence reigns supreme.

All this has, of course, no more to do with the political relations of
these republics to foreign powers than has the ownership of Argentine
railways by British shareholders. But it is a further illustration of
the fact that South America has nothing in common with Teutonic North
America beyond the name and the form (in some countries an empty form)
of institutions called republican. She is much nearer to being an
Ibero-Celtic West European group of nations, planted far out in the
midst of southern seas.

But can the South Americans really be classed among south or west
European peoples? May they not be--if one can speak of them as a
whole, ignoring the differences between Chileans, Argentines, and
Brazilians--a new thing in the world, a racial group with a character
all its own?

This is their own view of themselves. It would need more knowledge
than I possess either to deny or to affirm it. They are all, except
Argentines and Uruguayans, largely Indian or (in Brazil) African in
blood. Even the Uruguayans and Argentines strike one as differing at
least as much from Spaniards as North Americans differ from Englishmen.
They give the impression of being still nations in the making, whose
type or types, both the common type of all Spanish America and the
special types of each nation, will grow more sharp and definite as the
years roll on and as life becomes for them more rich and more intense.

When this happens and the world of A.D. 2000 recognizes a definite
South American type (or types), may there be thence expected any
distinctively new contribution to the world's stock of thought, of
literature, of art? Each nation is in the long run judged and valued
by the rest of the world more for such contributions than for anything
else. There is a sense in which Shakespeare is a greater glory to
England than the empire of India. Homer and Virgil, Plato and Tacitus
are a gift made by the ancient world to all the ages, more precious,
because more enduring, than any achievements in war, or government,
or commerce. The opportunities for the growing up of new nations with
creative gifts specifically their own seem to be getting few because
the world is getting full; there is no more room for new nations.

That there is vitality and virility in the Spanish-American peoples
appears from the number of strong, bold, forceful men who have figured
in their history, including one the Mexican Juarez, of pure, and many
of mixed, Indian blood. Few, indeed, have shewn that higher kind of
greatness which lies in the union of large constructive ideas with
decisive energy in action, the Napoleonic or Bismarckian gift. In most
of the republics, political conditions have been so unstable as to give
little scope for constructive statesmanship. Still there is no want of
vigour, and it is something to have produced in San Martin one truly
heroic figure in whom brilliant military and political talents were
united to a lofty and disinterested character.

If Latin America has not yet produced any thinker or poet or artist
even of the second rank, this will not surprise anyone who knows what
was her condition before the War of Independence and what it has been
from that time till recent years. Could any one of those ancient sages
whom Dante heard in Limbo, speaking with voices sweet and soft, have
been brought back to earth and permitted to survey Europe as it was in
the welter of the tenth century, such an one might have thought that
art and letters, as well as freedom and order, had forever vanished
from the earth. Yet out of that welter what glories of art and letters
were to arise.



It is not my purpose to describe or discuss either the political
institutions or the practical politics of the South American states.
Even with a fuller knowledge of them than I was able to acquire in the
short time at my disposal it would have been difficult for me to treat
of them with the requisite freedom. But that which a traveller who has
been the recipient of many courtesies may do without offence, and that
which even a limited knowledge may qualify him to do, is to present a
summary account of those physical, economic, and social features of the
South American countries which are the basis of its political life,
and constitute the conditions under which that life has to be carried
on. Whoever has seen and understands these, realizing how altogether
different they are from those of any European country, will find
himself able to judge the troubled history and the present prospects
of these states more fairly than those can do who apply to them a
West European or a North American standard. The maxim, "To comprehend
everything is to pardon everything," goes too far, but such truth as
belongs to it is eminently applicable to these countries. One must know
their conditions before attempting to pass judgment on their defects.

When republican governments sprang up on Central and South American
soil as the authority of Spain was slowly swept away from one
region after another, those governments were eagerly welcomed by
European Liberals and still more effusively acclaimed by the people
of the United States. The latter found in them a double source
of satisfaction. Their appearance meant the disappearance of an
old enemy, and their democratic institutions were a tribute of
imitation to the success of popular government in the United States,
where people still believed that there could be no freedom under a
monarchy. Though this sympathy of the North Americans long continued
to be extended to the new republics, especially when they came into
collision with any European power, the friends of freedom in Europe
presently lost interest in communities which were not reflecting
credit upon democracy; and European writers of the opposite school
soon began to point to them as shocking examples of liberty that had
degenerated into license and violence. The last Spanish troops left
the American continent in 1826. Decade after decade passed with no
signs of improvement. Revolutions and dictators succeeded one another
so quickly, and seemed to mean so little, that after a while the
only Europeans who followed the fortunes of South America were the
bondholders whose loans remained unpaid. The financial credit as well
as the political character of the new states fell very low. Newspapers
ridiculed them. Conservative statesmen and cloistered political
philosophers drew warnings from them. Sir Henry Maine, one of the most
brilliant writers of the last generation, in his ingenious, but elusive
and unsatisfying, book on Popular Government, whenever he seeks to
supply a link or point an epigram in his long indictment of democracy,
constantly refers to the South American republics as instances of its
failure in this or that respect. Yet such a line of argument is really
no more legitimate than that of the enthusiastic North Americans who
were prepared to defend the government of any South American country
that called itself a republic. Both the assailant and the apologist
looked only at the name, and did not stop to enquire into the thing.
Sir Henry Maine's reasonings were valid against those who held, as did
the North Americans, that the name of republic is enough to ensure
good government, but valid against them only. There are always people
ready to assume that things are what they are called, because it is
much easier to deal with names than to examine facts. Paraguay under
the military tyrannies of Francia and the elder and younger Lopez was
called a republic and had a republican constitution.[141] The same was
true of Venezuela under the tyrannies of Guzman Blanco and of Castro.
Were Paraguay and Venezuela, therefore, true republics, entitled to
the sympathy which democrats give to "governments deriving their just
powers from the consent of the governed"? If they were, then arguments
drawn from the misdeeds of Lopez and Castro are good arguments against
the champions of republican or democratic government. If they were
not, then the sympathy felt by North Americans for these so-called
republics is groundless, and the incidents of their history prove
nothing either for or against democracy. It is a mere question of
names, and not of things.

Throwing names aside, let us go to the facts. I shall have to speak of
these states as republics, because they are so called, but the term is
meant not to describe, but only to denote. Europeans have been wont
until lately to lump all of them in a general condemnation. That was
always unjust, and is still more unjust now than it was formerly. There
is as great a difference between the best and the worst of them as
there is between the best and the worst of European monarchies. Some
of them are true republics in the European sense, countries in which
the constitutional machinery is a reality and not a sham. Others are
petty despotisms, created and maintained by military force. In the
fairly large class which lies between these two groups, the machinery
works, but more or less irregularly and imperfectly. The legislature
has some influence as an expression of public opinion; the rights of
individuals to personal safety and to property receive some respect;
the application and enforcement of the law, though uncertain, are not
subjected to the arbitrary will of the executive.

To enquire into the causes which have determined the history of the
Spanish-American states as a whole, and prevented them from realizing
the hopes that gilded their birth ninety years ago, would be a long and
serious undertaking, too large for this book. What may, however, be
done concisely is to indicate the conditions under which independent
political life had to begin in the lands that had thrown off the
dominion of Spain. I will place these conditions in five classes:--

I. Physical or geographical conditions.

II. Racial conditions.

III. Economic and social conditions.

IV. Historical conditions belonging to the Colonial period.

V. Historical conditions attending the struggle for independence.

I. _Physical Conditions._--In nearly all the republics the population
was and is small in proportion to the area, and in most of them
communication across this thinly peopled area is hindered by mountains
or deserts or forests. Colombia, for instance, with a territory of
435,000 square miles (more than twice the size of France) has only ten
persons to the square mile (whereas France has nearly two hundred),
and is so intersected by lofty and heavily wooded ranges that most
parts of it are accessible only by long and difficult journeys along
mule paths. Bolivia, three times the size of France, has only three
and a half persons to the square mile, and its few towns, only one of
which has more than twenty-five thousand inhabitants, are separated by
long spaces of wilderness. Peru is cut up by the numerous chains of
the Andes into narrow valleys, each of which has little intercourse
with the others. In such countries--and this applies to nearly all of
them--there is, and there can be, very little public opinion common
to the nation, because the means of intercommunication are defective
and slow. Officials representing the central government cannot easily
be supervised or controlled. When local discontent exists, it may
find no constitutional vent, because the legislature is distant and
cannot be got to understand the situation. When a revolt breaks out,
it may spread fast, and become formidable before any adequate force
can be collected and despatched to the spot to suppress it. All these
conditions also prevent the growth of a press capable of informing
and aiding the growth of opinion. Nothing but an efficient system of
popular local self-government could secure good administration under
such conditions, and the rule of such a public opinion as England and
the United States possess becomes almost impossible, because people
know little either of one another, or of current questions, or of the
conduct of their representatives sent to the capital. Patriotism there
may be, and passion may be excited far and wide over the country by
some event touching the honour or the supposed interest of the nation,
but there can hardly be that controlling influence of the whole people
which is needed in free governments to keep the rulers steady and to
impress upon them a sense of responsibility.

II. _Racial Conditions._--It has been shewn in an earlier chapter
that in all the republics, except Argentina and Uruguay, the native
Indians and the mestizos form a large element in the population. In
Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Paraguay, the pure Indians are a majority
of the whole. In Chile the poorer class is practically all mestizo;
in Venezuela and Colombia and Panama, there are few pure Europeans.
Speaking little or no Spanish, the Indians constitute a practically
distinct nation. They have nothing to do with the white people, except
in so far as they pay rent or work for employers. By the constitution
they are, in many states, citizens and have votes. But they have never
heard of the constitution and they never think of voting, having,
although free, no more to do with the government than the slaves had in
the southern United States before the Civil War.

Bolivia, though its population is not so preponderatingly aboriginal
as that of Paraguay, furnishes a good instance. The Indians,
mostly Aymarás, are either tillers of the soil, or engaged in the
transportation of goods by mule or llama, or are artisans of the ruder
sort. They are entirely illiterate. Nominally Catholics, their religion
is the primitive spirit worship of their ancestors with a varnish of
Christian forms and the cult of Christian saints. Politics are left
entirely to a few Spaniards and mestizos living in four or five towns,
each of which, in default of a common interest and general public
opinion, is obliged to try to get as much as it can for itself. Thus,
politically regarded, the Bolivian nation of two millions shrinks to
some thousands. A few thousands gathered into one city may give a
vigorous life to a genuine republic, as happened in many a city of
ancient Greece and mediæval Italy; but where citizens are scattered
over many thousands of square miles, without railways to bring them
together and newspapers to convey the ideas of each group to the other,
democratic government becomes scarcely possible. What all sections of
such a population can do is to fight, for defects that unfit them to be
voters do not unfit them to be soldiers. The aboriginal races of the
central and northern Andes have not that love of fighting for its own
sake which the Aztecs or the Araucanians had. But they have little fear
of death and can be readily forced or tempted to swell the forces of
a revolting general. Although in Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama, the
proportion of whites and mestizos is larger, the general result is the
same, for the vast majority of the people are illiterate and qualified
only for the fighting side of public life.[142]

Some may conceive that the racial facts of the country are unfavourable
in a further way. That an admixture of the blood of a backward race
must injure the white element, is a view which suggests itself
naturally to European pride. There are even persons who assume that
the Indo-European or so-called Aryan races are superior to others--a
gratuitous assumption, for there are three non-Aryan races in Europe,
the average members of which are equal in talent and character to the
average members of the other peoples among whom they dwell.[143] It is,
of course, possible that the Spanish race has suffered by intermarriage
with Indians, but who can tell how much of the difference between the
Spaniards of Old Spain and those of Peru or Venezuela is due to blood,
how much to climatic and other local conditions? One high Chilean
authority thinks his countrymen all the better for having reinforced
their stock from the hardy Indians of the south.[144]

There are also those who carry race disparagement still further
and hold that the Spanish or "Iberian" races are unfitted for
constitutional government, in company, it would appear, with the
Celtic and Slavonic and all others except the favoured Teutons. This
doctrine is not worth discussing, because it cannot be brought to
any test of history, and it is history alone that enables us to test
such theories. The collapse in the sixteenth century of that free
constitutional government for which there seemed at one time to be
almost as good a chance in Spain as there was in contemporary England,
can be explained by causes altogether irrespective of race. It is not
in the hypothetical inferiority of any pure or any mixed race that
the importance of race questions for South America lies, but in the
fact that the existence in the same state of different races, speaking
different languages, prevents that homogeneity and solidarity of the
community which are almost indispensable conditions to the success of
democratic government.[145]

III. _Economic and Social Conditions._--Economic phenomena and social
phenomena may be considered together, because the latter depend
largely on the former. All the republics except Argentina, Chile, and
Brazil, of which I shall speak presently, are poor countries, not that
natural resources are wanting, but that these have been so imperfectly
developed as to bring little wealth to the native population.
Almost the only fortunes made in them are made by foreigners or
foreign companies who have got concessions for mines, or have bought
plantations, because there is very little native capital and not much
talent or experience to work mines or develop estates.[146] The land,
it is true, belongs to large proprietors, but they do not form a
class of men who, having a common and solid interest in the country,
constitute a sort of natural aristocracy, concerned to preserve order,
and make the government stable. Similarly, there is only a small native
class of substantial business men, with a like interest in public
tranquillity and good administration. The want of local capital has
left the larger industrial and financial enterprises to foreigners.
It is better that the country should be developed by foreign capital
than that it should not be developed at all, yet we may regret that
what is gained in the way of experience as well as of money is not
gained for the people of the country. That which Europeans call a
"lower middle class," composed of shopkeepers and skilled artisans,
is small, and the towns in which it exists are so few and far apart
from one another, that it has been hitherto a feeble political factor.
Lastly, the agricultural population consists in some states largely, in
others almost entirely, of those ignorant aborigines who have no sense
of their interest in progress or good government. The absence of that
class of intelligent small landowners, which is the soundest and most
stable element in the United States and in Switzerland, and is equally
stable, if less politically trained, in France and parts of Germany,
is a grave misfortune for South and Central America. What is wanting
in these countries is a sufficient number of citizens who have no
personal ends to secure, and nothing to get out of government, except
good administration, but whose interest in such administration is
intelligent enough and strong enough to rouse them to their civic duty.
Public spirit and an active participation in public life without the
prospect of such private gains as professional politicians make out of
politics,--that and nothing else is what provides in every country the
public opinion needed to guide and control the ruling authorities of a

It may be said that nowhere in the world can we expect ideal conditions
for popular governments. Such governments have existed and have
attained creditable results in countries where both physical conditions
and racial conditions might have seemed unfavourable, because the
people possessed the gifts and the training that enable the rule of the
people to succeed.

Admitting this to be true, it raises the question whether those who
were summoned to govern the new republics that emerged from the War
of Independence did possess, and could have been expected to possess,
the requisite gifts and the training. Such gifts are not natural. They
are the result of a people's previous career and of experience gained
therein. What, then, had been the history of the colonial dominion of
Spain and what sort of practice in government had the Crown allowed to
its Spanish-American subjects?

This brings us to a fourth branch of the enquiry,--viz.:--

IV. _Historical Conditions during the Colonial Period._--The Spanish
Conquerors of the New World were men of extraordinary audacity and
energy. No such forcible individualities had been seen in the world
since the Norsemen of the tenth century and their children, the
Normans, of the eleventh. They were, however, loyally submissive to
the Spanish Crown and never thought of asking for, or of setting up
for themselves, any self-governing institutions. Neither did the
Spanish Crown ever think of granting such institutions. Those which
existed in Castile had just disappeared; but even had they continued,
it is improbable that any idea of reproducing them in the colonies
would have been entertained. The English Crown granted charters to
the companies which undertook colonization in North America, and the
settlers themselves were soon organized by counties in Virginia, by
townships and counties in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Forms of
local self-government more effective than those which then existed
in England were in full working order in those colonies, all through
the eighteenth century, until they separated from the mother country.
But everywhere in Spanish America the authority of the viceroy, or
captain-general, or _Audiencia_ and their subordinate officers,
was paramount, and covered the whole field. There were no elected
assemblies or elected officials. All power came from above; the people
had nothing to do with administration, and were not enough permitted
to subject it to public criticism. The only exception was furnished
by the sort of municipal council in the towns which was called a
_Cabildo_ or _Ayuntamiento_, and the members of which, while in a
few towns freely elected by the householders, or perhaps by the more
substantial householders, were in others nominated, and often nominated
because they had bought the nomination. The despotic power of a viceroy
or other governor was, of course, restrained by the instructions he
received and by the laws which the Crown enacted for the colonies, and
to some extent also both by the ecclesiastical magnates and by local
sentiment. But there were no responsibilities devolved on the people,
and no machinery in and by which they could acquire any training in
public affairs. In the English North American colonies the management
of church affairs belonged to the laity as well as to the clergy; and
the New England Congregational churches in particular, founded on the
principles of liberty, became direct exponents of popular feeling.
In the Spanish colonies the Roman Church represented the principle
of authority, and impressed it on the minds of the laity by all the
sanctions she possessed. All books and publications of every kind were
subjected to a searching ecclesiastical censorship; and the right of
freely expressing opinion either by speech or in writing was steadily

V. _Historical Conditions at the Close of the War of
Independence._--Thus, when the revolt from Spain threw all power into
the hands of the people, the people were unfit to exercise it. It was
easy to frame constitutions modelled on that of the United States. But
who were the people and what did they know about the working of free
governments? What was the capacity of the citizens whose votes were to
choose legislatures, and of what sort of persons were the legislatures
to be composed?

Ten or twelve years of fighting against Spanish troops, years in
which there had been many severities and cruelties perpetrated on
each side, had accustomed everybody to violence and had made soldiers
the only leaders. Everyone's mind was full of dreams of liberty, but
no one knew how to secure it by coupling liberty with law. Even in
the United States the first years after the acknowledgment of the
independence of the thirteen colonies had been marked by so many
errors and so much legislative weakness that the constitutional
convention of 1787 was regarded by the wisest men of the time as a
last chance for saving the nation. Yet the North American states were
carrying on governments which had existed for several generations
and following principles which their forefathers had established in
England five centuries before. Small wonder that among the Spanish
Americans, who had no experience at all in the most complicated of
all human undertakings,--the conducting of government by the will of
the majority, but according to settled law and with due respect to
the rights of the minority,--small wonder that legislatures were not
honestly elected, that, when elected, they wasted time in vain debates
and neglected business, that each party in turn drove out its opponents
or cowed them by violence, that debts were recklessly contracted and
left unpaid, that the government remained one not of laws, but of men,
and those men mostly military adventurers at the head of armed bands.

The inhabitants, accustomed to be ruled by others in State and
in Church, had never been given a chance of learning to think of
government as their own business nor of themselves as responsible for
public order. When a long and sanguinary war had destroyed the habit of
obedience to constituted authority, they were remitted--constitution
or no constitution--to that primitive state of things in which force
prevails. There being often either no authority _de iure_, or one too
feeble to protect those who appealed to it, authority _de facto_ had to
be recognized, and the notion of legal right and legal duty vanished.
It must be remembered that these were small and scattered communities,
in each of which there were but few men who were at once law-abiding
and intelligent, able to impose some check on the partisans of one or
the other of the adventurers who were fighting for power. The parties
were usually factions following the banner of a particular chief.
Only one set of controversies raising questions of principle emerged
from time to time in one republic or another, those that turned on the
property and claims of the Church. Other issues were usually either
local or personal, seldom economic, hardly ever racial.

Several thoughtful South Americans in the days of the Revolution
perceived that their countries were not fit for democracy. The
illustrious San Martin favoured a republican government based on a
limited suffrage; and Bolivar himself desired to be life president
of a confederation of states. Apart, however, from the difficulty of
proposing constitutions which would have excluded a large part of those
whose arms had secured independence, the enthusiasm for liberty that
prevailed and the rapturous belief that liberty was enough to secure
peace and prosperity, prescribed democratic arrangements, and it was
only in later struggles between rival parties that some leader would
enact qualifications calculated to exclude his opponents. Everywhere
the system of vesting executive power in a president holding office
for a term of years was adopted. It seemed the simplest plan, and
was recommended by the example of the United States, but it set up a
tempting prize for ambition and generally led straight to dictatorship.
Bad men abused it to enrich themselves or their friends, good men found
that the quickest and possibly the only way to carry out the reforms
which the country needed was to stretch their constitutional authority.
High-minded and public-spirited rulers were not wanting, but they
could not, with the best will in the world, create the materials for a
true democracy.

Whoever travels through these countries,--I include Mexico and
Central America, but not Chile or Argentina, of which more anon,--and
whoever, having thus obtained some knowledge of their physical and
racial character, studies their history, finds himself driven to three
conclusions. The first is that these states never have been democracies
in any real sense of the word. The second is that they could not have
been real democracies. To expect peoples so racially composed, very
small peoples, spread over a vast area, peoples with no practice in
self-government, to be able to create and work democratic institutions
was absurd, though the experience which their history has furnished to
the world was needed to demonstrate the absurdity. The third conclusion
is that injustice is done to the Spanish Americans by censures and
criticisms which ignore these fundamental facts. There is no more
Original Sin among them than there is in other peoples. Many of their
statesmen and generals were honest patriots, who loved liberty and
sought to give their country as much liberty as it was capable of then
receiving. It was neither their fault nor the fault of the people that
the conditions then existing made real representative and responsible
government impracticable. The constitutions did not suit the facts, and
the facts had to prevail against the constitutions, sometimes against
their letter, usually against their spirit. When voters were obviously
unfit to elect, and when fair elections could not be secured, it
was not wonderful that power should be seized without legal title,
or that an election should be so controlled by force or arranged and
put through by fraud, that while the form of it was respected, it did
not express any popular will. When one party had done these things,
the other party repeated the process as soon as it had a chance, and
thereafter things moved round in the same vicious circle.

Why does the machinery of constitutional government work smoothly in
Switzerland and the United States and England? Because its forms,
being consecrated by tradition and supported by public opinion, are
respected by the officials who have to work them. In these South
American republics, there were no traditions, and very little public
opinion; and this was due not to any inborn defects of the people, but
to historical causes which had deprived them of such advantages as the
Swiss possess and had given them constitutions quite unfitted to their

If the democratic frames of government they adopted were unsuitable,
what other frames would have been suitable? Bolivar desired a sort
of elective life monarchy, to be sure with himself as monarch. San
Martin (as already observed) preferred an oligarchic republic. Either
might have been better than what was actually taken. An "honest"
oligarchy, _i.e._ one professing to be what it really is; may
be--doubtless is--better than a sham democracy. In a country where only
a minority--perhaps a small minority--of the citizens are capable of
taking part in the government, it may be safer legally to recognize
them as the governing class, and thus bring theory into accord with
facts, rather than that the divergence of facts from theory should
prove an irresistible temptation to force or fraud. This, however,
remains matter for speculation, since no country has permanently
established elective monarchy, and few have embodied oligarchical
provisions in their constitutions. Let it be added that the better
or worse political condition of these states has seldom turned upon
the extent to which the suffrage has been granted, for in those where
violent methods prevail, the result would be the same whether the
number of voting citizens were great or small.

Although for the sake of conciseness I have spoken of these republics
as a whole, the remarks made being more or less applicable to them all,
still there are marked differences between those which have advanced
and are advancing and others whose political health seems little better
now than it was fifty years ago. We may distinguish three classes of
states. The first consists of those in which republican institutions,
purporting to exist legally, are a mere farce, the government being,
in fact, a military despotism, more or less oppressive and corrupt,
according to the character of the ruler, but carried on for the benefit
of the Executive and his friends. The second includes countries where
there is a legislature which imposes some restraint upon the executive
and in which there is enough public opinion to influence the conduct
of both legislature and executive. In these states the rulers, though
not scrupulous in their methods of grasping power, recognize some
responsibility to the citizens and avoid open violence or gross
injustice. The third class are real republics, in which authority has
been obtained under constitutional forms, not by armed force, and
where the machinery of government works with regularity and reasonable
fairness, laws are passed by elected bodies under no executive
coercion, and both administrative and judicial work goes on in a duly
legal way.

Instances of the first class are too familiar to need mention. By far
the worst is Hayti. The most striking example of the second class was
Mexico under the government of President Porfirio Diaz. The government
of that statesman, one of the most remarkable men of our time, was
autocratic. His power had been won by fighting, but was maintained
under legal forms. The legislature obeyed him implicitly. Elections
were managed by his government, and that with little difficulty
because, until 1910, when his hold had begun to be shaken, no one
ventured to vote against him. His personal superiority to all the
vulgar temptations was recognized and admired. His ministers talked to
the Chambers, but took their orders from him alone. His policies were
directed to the material development of the country by the construction
of railways, the encouragement of manufactures, the opening up of mines
and extension of irrigation. Order was maintained by a rural police
formed out of former bandits, who by having been enrolled, disciplined,
and regularly paid became useful members of society. The lure to
conquest which the weakness of the republics to the south held out was
firmly resisted, and only a moderate army maintained. Under this régime
the country was advancing rapidly in wealth and a class of persons
interested in order and prosperity was being formed. Had the President,
when old age arrived, been able to find someone like himself to whom he
could have handed over the reins, prosperity and order would doubtless
have continued. The sort of government he gave the country was probably
what best suited it.[147] The Indian population, constituting a
majority, were (though naturally intelligent) obviously unfit for civic
functions. The uneducated mass of the mestizos were almost equally so.
An oligarchic government, formed out of the richer class, would have
furnished a less efficient administration, and would probably, after
some years of quarrelling, have given place to a military chief.

Of the third class good examples may be found in Chile and Argentina,
both of which are _bona fide_ republics. Chile is of all the
Latin-American states the one which best answers to European or North
American notions of a free constitutional commonwealth, one of the
chief reasons being that her population is unusually homogeneous and
unusually concentrated within a comparatively small area. Northern
Chile is an arid desert, southern Chile a forest wilderness, but in
the centre there is an area five hundred miles long by fifty wide
within which the large majority of her 3,300,000 citizens dwell.
The suffrage is limited, and governing power is practically in the
hands of a comparatively small landed aristocracy, and a few lawyers.
Government, including what we called the party game, is carried on with
the same spirit and by the same methods as it was in England during the
eighteenth century, allowing for the differences between a monarchy
and a republic. There are constant changes in the ministers, but the
machine works, and the general lines of national policy are preserved.
There have been no revolutions within the living memory, but there was
once a civil war. President Balmaceda, finding that he could not carry
out his policies within the strict limits of his constitutional powers,
exceeded them and defied the legislature. Each party, like the English
Charles I and his Parliament, took up arms to fight out the question of
right. Balmaceda, defeated in battle, put an end to his own life. He
had the weaker legal case, but was a man with some ideas, quite above
the common type of ambitious adventurer. After him, Chilean politics
resumed their normal constitutional course. There were, in 1910,
six parties, one Conservative and five Liberal sections, the latter
sometimes acting together, sometimes divided. The level of capacity,
as well as of eloquence, is high, and so is the national spirit of the

Argentina has had a more troubled and more sanguinary history than
Chile, and has more recently emerged from among the breakers into
smooth water. Sixty years ago she had in Rosas a tyrant as cruel as
Barrios of Guatemala and as bloodthirsty as Lopez of Paraguay, and even
later, civil wars raged between the people of Buenos Aires and those
of the northern states. But as the country began to be settled and
railroads were made and labour was provided by the influx of Italian
and Spanish immigrants and large cities sprang up, the effect of
general prosperity was felt in a growing sense of the value of order
and peace. Though the foreign merchants whose interests were involved
took no direct part in politics, their influence was felt not only in
promoting sounder finance, but in making the native men of substance
feel that frequent revolutions were retarding the development of their
properties. Thus, since 1893, there has been no armed civil strife
of the old kind and the public tranquillity is now disturbed only
by alarms similar to those which the spread and the violent methods
of anarchism have caused in some parts of Europe. That flavour of
militarism which was so strong in former years has now virtually
disappeared. The administration is conducted by civilians, and is
pervaded by a legal spirit. In short, Argentina is now, like Chile, a
constitutional republic, whose defects, whatever they may be, are the
defects of a republic, not of a despotism disguised under republican

The examples of these two countries prove that there is nothing in
South American air or Spanish blood to prevent republican institutions
from working. If the working is not perfect, neither is it perfect
anywhere else in the world. What these countries have shewn is that
with favouring conditions the true constitutional spirit can be
more and more infused into constitutional forms and the old habits
of violence eradicated. The case of Argentina in particular suggests
the process by which we may expect that other Latin-American states
will, by degrees, advance towards a more settled and genuinely legal
government. What is the first thing that is needed to enable any
community to prosper? Is it not the desire for order and the respect
for order, the sense that there must be a curb on the impulses and
passions of individuals, some law duly enforced, some means of checking
violence and of protecting life and property against physical force?
This sense grows with the growth of property and with the development
of industrial habits. The larger the number, and the greater the
influence in a community, of those who feel that revolutions injure
not only the country, but also themselves personally, the better is
the prospect of breaking the revolutionary habit, for a public opinion
grows up which condemns violence and actively opposes those who resort
to it. Moreover, the more property there is and the more industry there
is in a country, the smaller is the proportion of those who join in a
revolution either from a love of fighting or in the hope of bettering
their fortunes. In a prosperous country, more can be done and more is
likely to be done for public instruction, one of the most urgent needs
of these nations. Argentina's recent efforts in that direction are an
instance, and education, if it does not make men good citizens, makes
it at least easier for them to become so.

To speak of increasing wealth as a factor making for the political
progress of a country may sound strange to those who in Europe and
the United States see how the working of free institutions may be
endangered and perverted by the corrupting influences of money and the
money power. Nevertheless, according to the proverb, "One man's meat is
another man's poison," there are stages in a nation's growth when it is
so essential to establish security and give everybody a sense of the
need for it, that whatever makes for security makes for progress. The
heart is better than the pocket, but it is easier to fill the pocket
than to purify the heart. The love of liberty is a nobler thing than
the love of security, but sometimes the latter needs to be diffused
before the former can have its perfect work.

It is true that the desire for order and security may lead men to
submit willingly to arbitrary power. This has often happened since the
days of Julius Cæsar and his nephew. But it has usually happened not
because men have ceased to value liberty, but because, finding that
they are failing to secure either security or liberty, they think it
better to have one than to have neither.

There are, in Spanish America, some communities still so far from being
capable of genuine popular self-government that the best thing for them
is the strong rule of an able ruler which will give them prosperity
through peace, shew them how to develop their resources, make them,
by education and by better communications, a more homogeneous people.
Those things done, such communities will, like Argentina, find
themselves fitter to work free institutions. At present, under the
rule of selfish adventurers and corrupt legislatures who are the tools
of the adventurer, the conditions of progress are absent. Two or three
of the South American republics--they are not among those which I
saw--are still in this condition. The rule of a man like Porfirio Diaz
would seem to give them the best chance of emerging from it. At present
they advance neither morally nor materially.

Nevertheless, taking the eleven South American states as a whole, their
condition is better than it was sixty years ago. In most of them the
civil element has tended to grow and the military element to decline.
The lawyer-politician is not always a law-abiding politician, yet
on the whole preferable to the soldier-politician. His methods are
less brutal. May not even a perversion of the law be a trifle better
than a disregard of all law? Revolutions and civil wars have become
less sanguinary; the execution of political opponents less frequent.
Political assassinations, which in Europe have unhappily been growing
more frequent,[148] are now more rare here. The sort of savagery that
existed in the days when Artigas, fighting for the independence of
his country, used (according to the story) to sew up prisoners in
oxhides by batches and roll them downhill into the river has long since
passed away. Nor is it to be forgotten that there is extremely little
brigandage or insecurity in most of these states, far less than there
was a few years ago in Sicily. The ordinary citizen is little affected
even by the revolutions which, where they occur, are carried on by a
small part of the population. Perhaps if the ordinary citizen suffered
more, revolutions would be fewer.

Ecclesiastical questions have been almost wholly eliminated from
politics in all the larger and some of the smaller states, and
religious liberty has been established on a basis not likely to be
shaken. A long-standing and bitter cause of strife has thus been

All the Spanish-American countries, even Paraguay, are now more open
to the world than they used to be; and the currents of its opinion
reach them in ever increasing volume. As few of them have peaceful
political traditions of their own to guide or inspire them--when they
invoke the past, it is the exploits of revolutionary heroes that are
recalled--they must needs look to the thought and practice of the
older nations for principles and precedents in the art of government;
so whatever brings them into intellectual touch with Europe and North
America is helpful. Already one discovers an increasing number of men
who perceive that for their nations the only path upward and forward is
through the creation of a spirit of self-control and a higher sense of
civic duty.

To understand these countries, one must think of them as having, under
the rule of the Spanish Crown and of the Church, dropped two centuries
behind the general march of civilized mankind. When they were finally
liberated in 1825, they were practically still in the seventeenth,
while Europe and the United States were in the nineteenth, century,
with the additional disadvantages of a large aboriginal population, a
thinly peopled land, fifteen years of bloodshed and disorder, such as
Europe had not seen for nigh three hundred years, and no preëxisting
constitutional forms or usages. A few of them, favoured by physical or
by racial conditions, have already overcome these difficulties. Their
example will tell upon and encourage the rest.

In the middle of last century, when European Liberals, disappointed
at the failure of their earlier hopes, had begun to pass a severe
judgment on the peoples of these republics because freedom had not made
them at once virtuous, happy, and prosperous, were not those Liberals
themselves misled by their own too sanguine temper? Had they not too
implicit a faith in the power of liberty? They ascribed all the faults
of existing governments to the monarchies or oligarchies of the past
and did not understand, having little experience of popular rule, how
many faults in governments have been, and will continue to be, due not
to their form, but to human nature itself. Since 1859, power has in
many countries passed from the hands of the few into the hands of the
many, but no millennium of virtue and peace has yet followed. There
is still bitterness and discontent, there are still complaints that
the law is not fair between classes, still a distrust of legislative
bodies, still demands for an extension of direct popular control over
the whole machinery of administration and, in North America, even over
the judiciary. No sensible man proposes to go back to the absolutism
and repression of the older time; but every sensible man feels that the
problems of government are far more difficult than our grandfathers
had perceived, and that men have still much to learn from a fuller
experience. These things being so, ought not the judgment passed on the
Spanish Americans to be more lenient? Their difficulties were greater
than any European people had to face, and there is no need to be
despondent for their future.



Whether it is well to rejoice that the population of our planet has
grown so fast during the last century, even as the inhabitants of a
city rejoice when a decennial census reveals a rapid growth in their
city, is a question which may be deemed a branch of the larger one
whether life is worth living. The fact, however, being unquestionable,
raises a practical question. If the present rate of growth should
continue for a few centuries, there presently will be little room left
on the planet. What will then happen? During the nineteenth century
the surface of the earth has been explored sufficiently to enable us
to know how much of it is available for the production of food. Of
that part which was available and unused in 1800 a great deal had
been settled by 1900. In Europe there is no more land to be occupied,
because the waste spaces of southern Russia have now been almost filled
by settlers from the rest of that country. In the temperate parts of
Asia, though there has been considerable Russian immigration into
western Siberia and considerable Chinese immigration into Manchuria,
there still remain in those countries large tracts unoccupied and not
too dry for cultivation. In Australia it is still doubtful how much
of the land whose aridity has discouraged settlement can be turned to
account either for tillage or for pasture. In North America the immense
rush to the West, which began after 1830 with the building of railways,
has now filled nearly the whole of the United States, and a very large
part of Canada, so that another forty or fifty years may see the
country filled up as far as the frozen north. In Africa there are parts
of Tunisia and Algeria which irrigation might reclaim, there are parts
of Morocco which could support a larger population than now dwells in
them, and there is also a limited highland area on the eastern side of
the continent fit to be inhabited by men of European stock. The rest,
including not only the Sahara, but most of the country south of the
Tropic of Capricorn, is either arid desert, or else so hot and humid
that it must be given up to the black races, who have so far shewn no
capacity for settled industry when left to themselves. Thus, if we omit
the tropical countries inhabited by savage peoples (central Africa and
the islands of southeastern Asia), it will appear that, should the
present increase of the civilized peoples be maintained, the rest of
the world will not suffice for their agricultural expansion for more
than a short period, that is to say, a period shorter than the four
centuries which have elapsed since the outward movement of the European
peoples began with the discovery of the New World.

What then of South America? Before dealing with it, let me advert to
two considerations which may modify the conclusions suggested by any
review of the total area now available to meet a continued growth of

May not intensive cultivation and the further developments of chemical
science greatly increase the food-producing power of lands already
occupied? Doubtless they may. They are doing so already. But such an
increase cannot be expected to go on indefinitely. The urgency of the
problem may be postponed, but the problem will remain ahead of us.

May not the rate of increase of the world's population decline, and
perhaps go on declining until an equilibrium between that increase and
food production has been reached? This is possible. Observations made
during the last thirty years have already thrown grave doubts upon
the propositions advanced by Malthus three generations ago which were
for a long time taken as irrefragable. That the signs of decreasing
birth-rate are so far visible only among some of the most advanced
peoples is not a cheering circumstance, for what we must desire in
the interests of mankind at large is that the more highly civilized
races should increase faster than the more backward, so as to enable
the former to prevail not merely by force, but by numbers and amicable
influence. All these considerations, however, regarding birth-rate are
still too uncertain to be allowed to affect any enquiries regarding
future food supply and the regions from which it is to come. Whatever
light the next few decades may throw upon the former question, the
latter deserves to be investigated as a subject of growing significance.

And now we may return to South America, the only continent containing
both a large temperate and a large tropical area capable of cultivation
which still remains greatly underpeopled. It is, therefore, the chief
resource to which the overpeopled countries may look as providing a
field for their emigration, and to which the world at large may look
as capable of reinforcing its food supply. That it has not been sooner
occupied is due partly to the political disorders which have given it a
bad name, partly to its being less accessible than North America. Both
these adverse conditions no longer apply to its temperate regions.

Considered as a field for emigration, South America may be divided
into three sections. There are, first, the tropical and forest-covered
regions of Colombia, Venezuela, Guiana, and eastern Brazil; secondly,
the temperate and grassy or wooded regions of Argentina, Uruguay, and
southern Brazil outside the tropics; and lastly, the great central
plain of the Amazon and its tributaries which the Brazilians call the
Selvas (woods). I exclude altogether the mountainous parts of Ecuador,
Peru, and Bolivia, because they are already as well inhabited as they
deserve to be. A very small part of them is fit for stock or for
agriculture, and the climatic conditions (except in a few valleys)
are repellent to persons not accustomed to great altitudes. Not even
Italians can be expected to cultivate fields twelve thousand feet above

The other three sections just mentioned are much underpeopled. The
first is better fitted for negro or Indian labour than for that of
whites, yet there are many parts of it where men of south European
stock can work in the open air and thrive. In an area of about two
millions of square miles, it has about seven and a half million
inhabitants, of whom a small minority are pure whites, the rest Indians
or negroes or mixed. Four or five times that number could easily find

The second section is the one pre-eminently fitted to receive white
men. Its area may be roughly conjectured at a million and a half of
square miles, but so much of the Argentine part of it is desert that
it would not be safe to reckon more than two-thirds of it as available
for settlement. As there are now only twelve millions of people in this
million of square miles, there is evidently plenty of room for more.

This is the part of South America which has drawn most immigrants
during the last sixty years, southern Brazil leading the way, Argentina
and Uruguay following. It is also the region which will chiefly
continue to attract Europeans for many years to come.

In Argentina and most of Uruguay, as in the prairie states of North
America and the Canadian Northwest, there are no trees to be felled, so
the land, extremely fertile, can be brought under crops immediately.
The estates are at present large, but if there were settlers with
enough capital to buy small lots, these could soon be had, and already
some Italians are establishing themselves as peasant cultivators.[149]
It is a country where the labour is at present small in proportion
to the area utilized, partly because much of the land is in pasture,
partly because its flatness makes the use of agricultural machinery
specially easy, partly because the harvests are largely reaped by
migratory Europeans who return home for part of the year. Nevertheless,
after making all allowances, both Argentina and the other tracts I
have referred to are capable, supposing immigration to continue at
the present rate, of providing work and homes for immigrants for at
least sixty or seventy years to come. Locusts are said to destroy the
crop once in three or four years, but this plague is deemed likely
to diminish as settlement and civilization extend northwards to the
regions whence it now comes. The estimate that before the end of the
century Argentina may have fifty, Uruguay ten, and southern Brazil
thirty millions of people (assuming the birth-rate to be maintained)
need not seem extravagant to anyone who knows how rapidly settlement
has advanced in North America and who realizes that before long the
stream of agricultural immigration will cease to flow into the United
States and may slacken in its flow towards Canada.

The cultivable areas of Chile are relatively small; and the Chileans
themselves seem to think they need more land for their national
development. To one who travels through southern Chile there seems,
however, to be still room for a greatly increased population in its
well-watered valleys, which enjoy a delightful climate. The future of
these four countries is assured, so far as the gifts of nature can
assure it. The world will always want what they produce.

Far more doubtful is the future of the third section, the Selvas, or
forest-covered Amazonian plain. It includes nearly all the western half
of Brazil, and the eastern parts of Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. An
estimate of its area at 2,300,000 square miles, including the basin of
the Tocantins river, might not be extravagant. It is an almost absolute
level 1200 miles long, from north to south, and 1500 wide. Those parts
which lie along the great river and its larger tributaries are so low
that these rivers when they rise in the rainy season spread out their
waters for from sixty to eighty miles or more on each side, and immense
stretches of country not actually flooded become impassable morasses.
But away back from the rivers there are higher grounds, flat, but
raised sufficiently to be above the inundations; and on its western
margin the great plain is bordered by a stretch of undulating country
before the foot of the Andes is reached. All the country, whether level
or undulating, is covered with forest. The trees grow so close that
there is no way of travelling except by boat along the streams. Intense
heat and abundant moisture combine to make vegetation so profuse and
rank that ground cleared of trees is, after three or four years,
covered thick again.

In this vast area there are, except in a few trading stations along
the river, only one of them a considerable town,[150] practically no
inhabitants, perhaps not a human being to a square mile. The few and
scattered inhabitants outside these stations are Indians, nearly all
savages, most of them heathens. Some are warlike, and skilful in the
use of their bows and of the long blow pipe from which they discharge
poisoned darts, but the greater number are timid and feeble, an easy
prey to the rubber gatherers, who have in some places shewn themselves
more cruel than the wildest Indian.[151] Here and there in Peru and
Bolivia there are a few cultivated districts in the undulating ground
along the base of the Andes, where some sugar, coffee, and cocoa are
raised. But the only product of any commercial importance is rubber,
collected from several kinds of trees, and exported in vast quantities
down the tributary rivers into the Amazon and thence to the sea. The
whole region, however, appears to be of extreme fertility, and to this
the size of the trees, as well as the profusion of the vegetation,
bears witness. Most of it is covered with vegetable soil accumulated
during many thousands of years, and has never been touched by human
hand. As many of the woods are valuable, there might be a considerable
trade in timber, but the cost of getting out great logs is practically
prohibitive, for the trees are of so many different kinds that it is
hard to obtain a large supply of the same kind on any given area, and
there has hitherto been no means of transport, except by water.

Can these Amazonian Selvas, which form the largest unoccupied fertile
space on the earth's surface, be reclaimed for the service of man?

This question is not a practical one for our generation, and I mention
it only because it raises an interesting problem, the solution of which
will one day be attempted, since so vast and so fertile an area cannot
be left forever useless. Since men have begun to make railways through
mountains and deserts, and to build bridges across arms of the sea like
the Firth of Forth, and most of all since the cutting of the Panama
Canal, it has become an accepted doctrine that every work is only a
question of cost.

If ever, when the world is fuller than it is now, it becomes worth
while to attempt the reclamation of this vast region, the process would
probably begin by placing colonists on the more elevated grounds above
the annual inundation and setting them to clear away the wood and
cultivate the soil. Hard work would be needed to keep down the efforts
of Nature to hold her own against man by her tremendous vegetative
power, but those who know the country believe that this could be done,
and that the difficulties of transport through the lower parts of
the forest to the banks of navigable streams might also be overcome.
Hundreds of thousands of square miles might be in this way rendered
habitable and cultivable, assuming that capital and the proper kind
of labour could be obtained. To reclaim the lower land along the banks
of the rivers by constructing embankments or levees like those along
the lower Mississippi would be a more arduous undertaking, and might
involve an expenditure disproportionate to the results.

Whence would come the capital? If the country belonged to some great
and wealthy nation, in which there were many enterprising men seeking
employment for their wealth, the thing might be attempted on a great
scale, perhaps even by the nation itself. Whether capitalists from
other countries will embark on such an enterprise, which could hardly
be carried out except by the aid of a government, is doubtful. If
attempted at all, it must be on a large scale, for such gradual
colonization by settlers coming in small groups, as would be the
natural process in temperate regions, is scarcely possible in a country
where man has so powerful a nature to overcome.

Supposing the capital provided, the question of labour would remain.
Who would do the work? and when the work was done, who would inhabit
and cultivate the lands reclaimed? Thirty years ago the fear of
tropical diseases would have made these regions seem impossible for
white men, even as foremen or overseers. To-day the discovery that
insects are the chief poison carriers of disease has reduced our fears.
But to-day it still remains doubtful whether the men of any European
race can retain health and vigour in a climate so moist and so hot, and
so far away from sea or mountain breezes, as are the central parts of
the Selvas. It is at any rate unlikely that they could do continuous
open-air work there. If white men cannot be employed, what other labour
would be available? As the native Indians are too few and too feeble to
be worth regarding, it would be necessary to bring in some race native
to the tropics which had already formed habits of steady industry. If
the world were to-day what it was a century ago, this would be a simple
matter. Negroes would be kidnapped in Africa and taken up the rivers
to work under white or mulatto overseers. Nowadays, compulsion being
impossible, persuasion alone remains. Negroes abound on the east side
of Brazil, but they have plenty of land there and are masters of the
situation, seeing that the planters are more eager to get them than
they are to work for the planters. Nowhere in South America is there a
problem of the unemployed. Whether Chinese or Indian coolies could be
brought into the Selvas, and whether if brought they would remain under
the control of the white employers who had imported them, are questions
which may one day arise. Nothing is being done now to exploit these
regions except as sources of wild rubber supply. But it seems certain
that coming generations will endeavour to turn to the service of man
the largest unused piece of productive soil that remains anywhere on
the earth's surface.

Leaving this forest wilderness out of account, and confining our view
to the near future, can any estimate be made of the probable growth of
population in South America generally, and of the total it may reach
by the end of the present century?

As respects the temperate regions, there exist some data for a
conjecture: Should the influx of immigrants belonging, as do the
Italians, to a prolific stock be maintained, the countries south of
the Tropic of Capricorn may in A.D. 2000 contain at least one hundred
millions of people.

As respects the equatorial regions, which now receive hardly any
immigrants and in which the natural growth of population is slow,
no such data exist. Considering, however, the material development
which is going on in some, and may be expected in all, of them, they
also may probably increase in population which would bring them from
twenty-eight up to at least forty millions.[152] Were this to happen,
the continent would have by A.D. 2000 a population not far short of
one hundred and fifty millions. At present, with only about forty-five
millions, it has much less than half the population of North America,
now about one hundred and twenty millions. The rapid growth of North
America, likely to continue for two generations at least, may make the
proportion between the two much the same in A.D. 2000 as it is to-day.

All such speculations are, however, subject to the possibility that
the birth-rate, either in the temperate regions, or generally, may
decrease. Such a decrease has, as respects Australia, thrown out the
calculations made forty or fifty years ago.[153]

More important than the quantity of a population is its quality. Any
enquiry as to what that of the South American countries will be when
they are tolerably well filled up at the end of the present century can
profitably address itself to one point only, viz. the several races and
their relations to one another. There are now three races, Whites (of
Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian origin),[154] Indians, of many tribes
speaking different languages, and Negroes. A very rough estimate of
the racial elements in the whole continent[155] might give some such
results as these:--

Whites, 15,000,000 (more than half of them in Argentina and Uruguay).

Indians, 8,000,000.

Negroes,[156] 3,000,000.

Mixed whites and Indians (mestizos), 13,000,000.

Mixed whites and negroes (mulattoes and quadroons), 5,700,000.

Mixed negroes and Indians (zambos) (chiefly in Brazil) perhaps 300,000.

The reader will understand that these figures, based partly on a
comparison of those given in various books and partly on enquiries
addressed to competent observers, are given as only a rough
approximation to the facts. There are no data for any exact estimate,
and the difficulty of drawing any line between those who ought to be
classed as pure whites and those who ought to be classed as mestizos or
mulattoes, would be insuperable even if a regular and careful census
were taken.[157] In arriving at this conjectural estimate, those who
have three-fourths or more of white blood are counted as whites, those
who have less than three-fourths as mestizos, or mulattoes.

If these figures are somewhere near the truth it will be seen that
if we deduct 8,000,000, representing the two purely white republics
of Argentina and Uruguay, we shall find that in the other Spanish
republics, taken together, the mestizo element is much larger, and the
Indian element somewhat larger than the white element. To explain the
practical significance of these figures let me repeat what was said in
an earlier chapter, that the mestizos and whites are, for political and
social purposes, practically one class and that the ruling class, the
Indians being passive, and in a political sense outside the nation.
Even in Paraguay, an almost purely Indian state, the comparatively few
mestizos dominate politically. In Brazil it is the whites who rule, but
many of them are tinged with negro, fewer with Indian, blood.

Four questions may be asked regarding the racial future:--

1. Which of the races is or are increasing?

2. Is the intermingling of races likely to continue?

3. Which type predominates in persons of mixed race?

4. What is likely to be the ultimate outcome of the mixture of races?

1. There are no official figures supplying an answer to this question
as regards the northern and the Andean republics; but the traveller
receives the impression that the Indians are more prolific than the
whites, though their neglect of sanitary conditions gives a high
death-rate, especially among children. It is rare to see an old man
among them. If either they or the mestizos are now increasing, it is
at no rapid rate. The pure whites in Argentina, Uruguay, and southern
Brazil are certainly increasing, and thus the proportion of white to
other blood in the continent as a whole is growing.

2. Everything points to a continuance of the process of race mixture.
It is the rule in all parts of the world, except where religion or
a strong feeling of race antagonism (such as exists in the United
States) prevents it. Neither of these hindrances exists in South
America. In Peru and Bolivia, however, the process is so slow that it
may be centuries before the white and aboriginal elements have been so
completely commingled as to form one race, and leave no pure Indians

3. In the mixed race (mestizo or mulatto) the white element seems
usually to predominate. I do not state this as a physiological fact. It
may or may not be so; nobody seems to have investigated the matter.
But it is true as a social fact; that is to say, the mestizo deems
himself a white, wishes to be a white, tries to live and think as a
white, and is practically recognized by others as a white. This is not
equally true of the negro, because he is, physically regarded, further
off the white than is the Indian. But in Brazil, when the negro is able
to take his stand, so far as education and property go, beside the
white, he too thinks and acts like a white man and is so treated.

4. The facts just stated make it probable that the nations likely
to emerge when the process of fusion is complete, perhaps at a very
distant date, will be white much more than Indian nations. Blood is
only one factor, and not the most important factor, in the making
of men. Environment and the influence of the reigning intellectual
type count for more. In the United States the child of the Polish
or Rouman or Italian immigrant grows up as an American. He may be a
more emotional and impulsive, a more violent or more criminal, a more
artistic and sensitive American; but the stamp of the new country is
on him. So apparently will it be, so at any rate it has been, with the
Indian. Tinged however slightly by the blood of the higher race, he
will become a Spanish-speaking man of the colonial kind, which differs
from the European kind at least as much as an English-speaking North
American differs from an Englishman. These mixed nations will, however,
stand nearer, intellectually and socially, to the South European group
of nations than to any other white peoples.

It may seem natural to assume that such mixed nations will, in respect
of their aboriginal blood, be inferior to their European relatives. But
this is a mere assumption. No one has yet investigated scientifically
the results of race fusion. History throws little light on the subject,
because wherever there has been a mixture of races there have been also
concomitant circumstances influencing the people who are the product
of the mixture which have made it hard to determine whether their
deterioration (or improvement) is due to this or to some other cause.
So in these countries there may be reservoirs of dormant strength in
the ancient native races waiting to be opened by conditions better
than fortune has given them since the days of the Conquest. Who knows
whether when the fusion is complete the Bolivian of two or three
centuries hence, who will be nine-tenths, or the Paraguayan, who will
be nineteen-twentieths, of Indian blood, will be inferior to his
neighbours with a smaller aboriginal infusion? The Chilean peasant
to-day, who is at least half Indian, is not inferior to the Argentine
peasant, who is almost pure white.

In speaking of the future South American type as likely to be in the
main "Spanish-colonial," I do not suggest that it will be uniform.
Already there are variations in character between the peoples of the
several republics; and these are more likely to be accentuated than to
disappear. The different extent to which aboriginal elements become
absorbed, and the differences in those aboriginal elements themselves,
will be among the factors which will produce what may be called
national "sub-types" of character. But apart from such causes it seems
to be a general--I will not say universal--law of social growth that an
independent political community, even if originally the same in race,
religion, and habits as its neighbours, tends to draw apart from them,
and to form an individuality of its own, creating a national type and
impressing that type upon its members.

Were there any forces compelling these various republics to close
political alliances, such as the fear of attacks by a Power outside
their continent, they might suppress their jealousies and ally
themselves close with one another and realize better than they do now
all that they have in common. But they are not, and are not likely to
be, so threatened. Holland, France, and England all at one time meddled
in South America, but all three, while each retaining a foothold in
Guiana, have long ago drawn apart and left Latin America to itself.
Politically its republics live in a little world of their own; they
have their own alliances, their own wars and bitternesses, with which
strangers do not intermeddle. Of wars they have had, since 1825, their
full share; nor is the danger of war yet extinct. No states seem likely
to unite with one another of their own free will, but it is possible
that smaller states may be annexed by or partitioned among some of
the larger ones, their weakness and internal disorders furnishing to
powerful neighbours, as in the famous case of the partition of Poland,
at once the temptation and the pretext.

As the Old World no longer interferes with the South American states,
so they are unlikely to interfere with the Old World. They have never
proclaimed any such self-denying ordinance, and have not hitherto
been strong enough to make it seem needed. But even if any among them
becomes a first-class power, small is the chance that it can acquire
interests in other parts of the globe that would collide with those
of other nations. Were Colombia and Venezuela strong states owning
strong navies, there might be Caribbean questions to embroil them with
neighbouring maritime states. But the three leading powers of South
America belong to its southern half, and there are now no unoccupied
countries left to be acquired as colonies.

To what has been said in a preceding chapter regarding the internal
political conditions and political prospects of the South American
republics little need here be added. He who studies their history
since Independence, with a knowledge of what they were when it was
assured in A.D. 1825, will find nothing surprising in the storms that
have buffeted them, nor anything to discourage a hope that they may
eventually reach a smoother sea. The moral of that history is that
nations have to be trained to self-government, just as individual men
have to be trained to every work requiring patience and skill. The
error into which the victorious colonists fell when they expected
freedom and prosperity to follow at once on their deliverance from
Spain was not their error only. It was shared by their friends in
Europe and even more fully by their friends in North America. The
latter had succeeded in establishing efficient state governments and
thereafter an efficient federal government. They attributed this partly
to liberty, _i.e._ to their having broken their tie with a European
monarchy, partly to the benign influences of a new Continent, free
from the evil traditions of the Old World. Many among them made the
mistake, which no intelligent North American makes now, of thinking
that their history began in 1776, the mistake of ignoring the centuries
during which their ancestors had been learning the principles of
self-government in England and the century and a half during which they
had been putting those principles into practice in the older colonies.
In this state of mind and attaching a magic significance to the name
of a republic, the people of the United States did not see why Spanish
America, which had imitated them in rejecting a European king and
was placed, like them, in a new land, should not repeat their happy
experiences. Liberal enthusiasts in England and France and Italy were
scarcely less sanguine. None of them realized that Spanish America
belonged, in 1825, to an age which England and North America had long
left behind. Most of the land was wilder than England or Germany had
been in the twelfth century, a thin population, no roads, settlements
scattered here and there in forests or deserts. The peasantry were
further back than those of western Europe in the fifteenth century, not
merely rude and ignorant, but speaking native languages and soaked in
primeval superstitions. The upper class were further back than those of
Europe in the seventeenth century, for few of them had received any
sort of higher education and none of them had any personal knowledge
of free institutions, or any experience in civil administration. Thus
both classes wanted the foundation on which free governments must be
erected. The humbler class did not know and could not know how to
elect representatives or supervise those whom they elected. The upper
class did not know how to legislate or govern. They tried to erect a
superstructure of complicated political institutions when there was no
solid foundation to build on, when only a few of the choicest minds
knew what order meant and what liberty meant and what was the relation
between the two. Such experiments were foredoomed to failure.

The troubles of these ninety years have, accordingly, nothing in them
that need dishearten either any friend of Spanish America or any friend
of constitutional freedom. The person who ought to reconsider his
position is the man who holds that any group of human beings called
"the people" are always right, that the best and sufficient way to fit
men for political power is to give it to them, and that the name of
Republic has the talismanic gift of imparting virtue and wisdom to the
community which adopts it. The mistaking of names for things is an old
error, and has sometimes proved a fatal one.

Yet there was something noble in the over-sanguine confidence of the
North American and European liberals, as well as of some of the finest
minds among the South Americans themselves when they expected freedom
to work miracles. The ideal of liberty that these men set up, though
rarely realized, has never been lost. Servility and obscurantism have
never resumed their old sway in South America. And as it is true that
men need to be trained to self-government, so it is also true that
men never become fit for the work till they try it. The ninety years
of turmoil have not been altogether wasted. Two real constitutional
republics have already emerged from it and their example cannot but
tell on those others who, oppressed by less favourable conditions,
still lag behind. That sort of progress which consists in getting rid
of the old ideas and old habits of thinking and acting and replacing
them by better ones must needs be a slow process. Something has already
been done, and the closer and more frequent contact with Europe and
North America into which these Spanish-American states are being
brought ought to accelerate the process. So ought the additional
motives for desiring order which the growth of material prosperity
brings with it. Already the presence of foreigners imposes a certain
check, and their property is generally respected in revolutions. The
more the citizens acquire capital and themselves enter on commercial
undertakings, and form business habits, and get to look at things with
a practical eye, the stronger and more general will grow the public
sentiment that insists on replacing the reign of force by the reign of
law. When force has been eliminated, the task of making governments
pure and rooting out fraudulent methods will become less difficult.
It is a fair conclusion from European history that violence is, of
all the evils that afflict a state, the evil which must be first
extinguished. In England, a period of corruption set in after the great
Civil War had ended, and the forms of constitutional government were
often grossly perverted, but corruption and perversions ultimately
disappeared with the growth of a higher sentiment.

Those South American states which have a large aboriginal population,
even if they cannot become--and is it desirable that with such a
population they should become?--democracies of the modern type, may at
least try to secure order and such material prosperity as will bring
them into closer touch with the outer world, and enable their peoples
to learn, and be influenced by, the ideas and the methods of government
that prevail among the great nations.

Intellectual and social progress were both in the ancient world
and in the Middle Ages largely due to the reciprocal influences of
nations on one another. As the want of these influences retarded the
movement towards civilization of the Peruvians and Mexicans before the
Conquest, so the isolation of the Spanish Americans has retarded their
development ever since. They stood almost entirely outside the current
of European thought and had little personal contact with Europeans
till English and German merchants and English railway men, and North
American mining engineers began to come among them from about 1860
onwards, and till somewhat later, the wealthy Argentines and Brazilians
found their way to Paris. Although this contact has brought capital
in its train, and given a start to material development, it has been
a force rather among the people than of the people. It comes from
without and is pumped into them like oxygen from a tube. It touches
only one section of the inhabitants, and one side of their life. It
is teaching them business methods and all that is therein implied,
but it affects them only slightly on the literary, or scientific, or
artistic side. This is of course less true of countries like Argentina
and Chile than of the smaller northern republics, yet even in the
former it is material interests that are dominant. This is, no doubt,
in our day true of all European countries as well as of North America.
In Europe, however, and also in the United States and Canada, the
number of men who occupy themselves with science and letters is far
larger in proportion to the population than it is in the South American
countries, and the provision made for higher education incomparably
more ample. Argentina has, indeed, not only the University of Buenos
Aires, already staffed by able and energetic teachers, but the older
and more ecclesiastically coloured University of Cordova and the new
University of La Plata and its excellent military school, as Chile
has its university in Santiago, and as Uruguay has the University
of Montevideo. But these stand almost alone. Isolation, as well as
poverty, has been a cause of the weakness of these organs of national
life, a deficiency which order and prosperity ought presently to remove
in other states as they have in Argentina.

One cause of the isolation I have referred to is found in the fact
that there has been comparatively little literary production during
the last two centuries in the language which these nations speak.
Spanish is no doubt what the Germans call a "World Speech." It is now
used by sixty millions of people in the New World as well as by twenty
millions in Old Spain. But Old Spain never supplied to her colonies
through books anything approaching the volume of that perennial stream
of instruction and stimulation which English-speaking writers have for
nearly four centuries supplied to those who can read English all over
the world, and which France has likewise supplied to all who can read
her language. In South America, men now learn French in increasing
numbers, but they are still a small percentage of the educated
population of Spanish America.

Of the eight or nine millions of people in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia,
and Paraguay probably one-half are not only illiterate, but cannot
speak even Spanish. These facts constitute no reproach on the peoples
of these states. They are a result of the circumstances attending
the Conquest in the sixteenth century and of the way in which Spain
thereafter administered her colonial empire.

That political conditions will improve during the next century seems
altogether probable, and although social advance must be slow,
especially where the native population is very large, political
progress is sometimes unexpectedly rapid. To anyone observing England
during the Wars of the Roses civil strife might have seemed so
ingrained a habit as to be likely to last for generations. Yet after
the accession of the first Tudor there were only a few slight troubles
down till 1641, when a really great issue appeared which had to be
fought out and was fought out within four years. So in our own days we
have seen a new country, Bulgaria, as soon as it was delivered from a
foreign despotism, step forward towards settled government with a firm
tread which surprised all Europe. Democracy in the North American sense
may be still far distant, but a settled government, maintaining order,
giving opportunities for educational and social as well as material
improvement, and responsible to the opinion of the more educated
classes, may be much nearer than the never-ending, still beginning,
troubles of the last ninety years have led most Europeans to expect.

To forecast what one may call the intellectually creative future of
the Spanish-Americans is far more difficult. Considering themselves
not Spaniards, but a new people, or peoples, they hold that views or
predictions about them based on the history and tendencies of Spaniards
are beside the mark. Nevertheless, as the other race factors--the
quality of the aboriginal element and the results of an intermingling
of the aboriginal with the Spanish colonial stock--are obscure, it is
only in the Spanish element that any sort of basis for speculation can
be found. Now the Spanish, or so-called Iberian, race, more or less
Latinized during the ages of Roman dominion, and slightly Teutonized by
the Germanic invasions of the fifth century, has been always a strong
race. It was strong when it fought against Rome, and strong when it
resisted the Moors in its mountain fastnesses and drove them step by
step backwards, and ultimately out of the peninsula. It produced in the
Middle Ages and afterwards many warriors and statesmen of the first
rank. But the genius of the race seems to have at all times run more
to practical life than towards intellectual creation. Two or three
writers are of world fame, and so are two or three artists, without
reckoning the mostly unnamed or unknown mediæval architects who reared
ecclesiastical buildings of unsurpassed beauty. Metaphysical talent,
turned into theological channels, gave birth to some dogmatic and
casuistical writings of unquestionable power. Still the total quantity
of literary or artistic product of high excellence is small when
compared with that of Italy or France. That this is more markedly true
of the later seventeenth and the eighteenth than of earlier centuries
may be explained by the extinction in the sixteenth of intellectual
freedom. French literature still flourished while Spanish was sinking
under ecclesiastical censure.

In Spanish America, where remoteness from European influences darkened
the firmament still further, scarcely any literary or scientific work
of permanent merit was accomplished, though the fountain of pleasing
verse did not cease to flow.[158] The stormy times of the War of
Independence and the domestic turmoil that everywhere followed gave
no opportunities for acquiring knowledge nor any leisure to use
it. It is only recently, and chiefly in Mexico and in the southern
South American states, that the day of more benignant conditions has
seemed to be dawning. It is true that in them, as political conflicts
subside, material interests come first to the front, and, like a rank
growth, so cover the ground that not much room is left for the play
of intellect upon matters promising no direct pecuniary gain to the
nation or to individuals. This was to be expected at a time when the
development of natural resources attracts foreign capital and fills
the minds of enterprising men. It is the salient feature of the life
to-day of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, and to a slighter extent of
Chile also. But it need not be permanent. Just as in North America
there came, not long after the Civil War, a passionate eagerness to
found universities and extend the range and improve the efficiency
of the higher scientific and literary teaching, so the leading men
in these more advanced states may realize the need for basing their
civilization on the enlightenment of the people. The task before them
is harder than that which the North Americans had, because their system
of elementary and secondary education is far less complete. With this
extension of higher instruction and the closer communion of the best
minds with those of the northern hemisphere, there may at any time come
an outburst of purely intellectual activity. Prediction is so much more
difficult in this field than in the field of politics that one must
abstain from venturing to enter it. Shrewd observers living in the
middle of the eighteenth century were able to foretell some sort of
political upheaval as approaching in France; but nobody foretold the
flowering in Germany of the great literature which began with Kant and
Lessing and continued in Goethe and Schiller, Fichte and Hegel.

The traveller in South America who confines himself, as many do, to the
larger cities, finds them so like those of Europe and North America
in their possession of the appliances of modern civilization, in
their electric street cars and handsome parks, in their ably written
press, in the volume of business they transact--I might add in the
aspect of the legislatures and in the administrative machinery of
their government--that he is apt to fancy a like resemblance in the
countries as a whole. But the small towns and rural districts are very
far behind, though least so in Chile and Argentina. If one regards
these various nations as a whole, one is struck by the want of such an
"atmosphere of ideas," if the phrase be permissible, as that which men
breathe in Europe and in North America. Educated men are few, books
are few, there is little stir of thought, little play of cultivated
intelligence upon the problems of modern society. Most of these
countries seem to lie far away from the stream of intellectual life,
hearing only its distant murmur. The presence of a great inert mass of
ignorance in the native population partly accounts for this; and one
must remember the difficulty of providing schools and the thinness of a
population scattered through mountainous or desert or forest-covered
regions. These disadvantages may in years to come be lessened, but in
the meantime those who are born with superior talents are born into an
ungenial environment, ill-fitted to develop and polish such talents
to their own and to the public benefit. The traveller finds, now and
then in some of these states, gifted men who would be remarkable in
any country. One whom I knew in Mexico years ago was as brilliant and
as accomplished in many lines of knowledge as any person I have ever
known. But it takes a large number of such men to influence a nation
and guide the course of its opinion. Men of marked ability abound,
but their talent, like the system of instruction of the country, is
directed almost exclusively to practical ends, and does less than
it ought either for political progress or for the expansion of the
national mind. Their interest in science is almost entirely an interest
in its applications, and their hero is the great inventor. Science and
learning, pursued for their own sake, have not yet won the place they
ought to hold. Those in whom a taste for philosophical speculation
or abstract thought of any kind appears, seldom devote themselves to
patient investigation. They are apt to be captured by phrases and
formulas, perhaps of little meaning, which seem to give short cuts to
knowledge and truth.[159]

Another fact strikes the traveller with surprise. Both the intellectual
life and the ethical standards of conduct of these countries
seem to be entirely divorced from religion. The women are almost
universally "practising" Catholics, and so are the peasantry, though
the Christianity of the Indians bears only a distant resemblance to
that of Europe. But men of the upper or educated class appear wholly
indifferent to theology and to Christian worship. It has no interest
for them. They are seldom actively hostile to Christianity, much less
are they offensive when they speak of it, but they think it does not
concern them, and may be left to women and peasants. The Catholic
revival or reaction of the first half of the nineteenth century did
not touch Spanish America, which is still under the influence of the
anti-Catholic current of the later eighteenth. The Roman Church in
Spain and Portugal was then, and indeed is now, far below the level
at which it stands in France, Germany, and Italy. Its worship was
more formal, its pressure on the laity far heavier, its clergy less
exemplary in their lives. In Spanish America the obscurantism was
at least as great and the other faults probably greater. There was
not much persecution, partly, no doubt, because there was hardly any
heterodoxy, and the victims of the Inquisition were comparatively few.
But the ministers of religion had ceased not only to rouse the soul,
but to supply a pattern for conduct. There were always some admirable
men to be found among them, some prelates models of piety and virtue,
some friars devoted missionaries and humanely zealous in their efforts
to protect the Indians. Still the church as a whole had lost its hold
on the conscience and thought of the best spirits, and that hold it has
never regained. In saying this I am comparing Catholic South America
not with the Protestant countries of Europe, but with such Roman
Catholic countries as France, Rhenish Prussia, and Bavaria, in all of
which the Roman Church is a power in the world of thought and morals.
In eastern Europe the Orthodox Church has similarly shrivelled up and
ceased to be an intellectual force, but there it has at least retained
the affection of the upper class, and is honoured for its fidelity
during centuries of Musulman oppression. In the more advanced parts of
South America it seems to be regarded merely as a harmless Old World
affair which belongs to a past order of things just as much as does the
rule of Spain, but which may, so long as it does not interfere with
politics, be treated with the respect which its antiquity commands. In
both cases the undue stress laid upon the dogmatic side of theology
and the formal or external side of worship has resulted in the loss
of spiritual influence. In all the Spanish countries, the church had
trodden down the laity and taken freedom and responsibility from them
more than befell anywhere else in Christendom, making devotion consist
in absolute submission. Thus when at last her sway vanished, her moral
influence vanished with it. This absence of a religious foundation for
thought and conduct is a grave misfortune for Latin America.

The view which I am here presenting is based chiefly on what I saw in
Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil, the three countries in which there is a
larger educated class than in the less populous republics. It applies
in a less degree to Chile; and there are, of course, exceptions in
the three first-named republics also, though not numerous enough to
affect the general truth of what I am trying to state. The phenomenon
is all the more remarkable because in the days when America began to
be settled there was no part of Europe where religion had so strong a
hold on the people as it had in Spain and Portugal. The Conquistadores,
whatever may be thought of the influence of their faith upon their
conduct, were ardently pious in their own way. Even in the desire they
professed for the propagation of the faith among the Indians, they were
not consciously hypocritical, though they never allowed their piety to
stand in the way of their avarice.

The fiery vigour of that extraordinary group of men has often blazed
out in their descendants. It is the appearance in almost every state
of men of tireless energy and strenuous will that gives their chief
interest to the wars and revolutions of the last hundred years. Few
of these men, besides the heroes of Independence, such as San Martin,
Belgrano, Miranda, Bolivar, and Sucre, are known to Europe, and of
those who are known, some like Francia and Artigas and Rosas and Lopez,
have won fame by ruthlessness more than by genius. Of late years
the leading figures have been more frequently statesmen and less
frequently soldiers. Both types are honourably represented to-day in
many of the republics. There is plenty of strength in the race, and
Juarez of Mexico is only one of many examples to show that Indian blood
does not necessarily reduce its quality. Into what channels its force
will be hereafter directed, and whether it will develop a gift for
thought and for artistic creation commensurate with the activity which
it has shewn in other fields, is a question upon which its history
since 1825 sheds little light. The wind bloweth where it listeth.

In the more progressive states, conditions are changing as fast as
anywhere else in this changeful age. Here, as everywhere, the Present
is the child of the Past, but the features of the child change as it
grows up, and all we know of the future is that it will be unlike the
past. No countries have more possibilities of change than those of
South America. European immigrants are streaming into the southern
republics. The white race is commingling with the aboriginal Indians
in the west and with the negroes in the east. Scientific discovery
is bringing its latest appliances into contact with countries still
undeveloped and with peoples long left behind in the march of progress.
Till the middle of the eighteenth century the world of trade, politics,
and thought was practically a European world. It then expanded to take
in North America, then southern Asia and Australia, and then, last of
all, the ancient nations of the Far East. South America, which has
hitherto, except at rare intervals, stood outside, has now begun to
affect the commercial and financial movements of the world. She may
before long begin to affect its movements in other ways also, and
however little we can predict the part that her peoples will play, it
must henceforth be one of growing significance for the Old World as
well as for the New.


NOTE I. The reader who desires fuller information regarding the
countries treated of here may wish to be referred to some books in
English. The most convenient general historical accounts are perhaps
to be found in Mr. Akers' _History of South America, 1854-1904_, and
in Mr. T. C. Dawson's _The South American Republics_ (2 vols.). For
Peru Sir Clements Markham's _History of Peru_ is still the best, to
which may be added, for the earlier period, his recent work, _The
Incas of Peru_. Mr. Scott Elliot's _History of Chile_ is useful. The
chapters on Peru in _The History of the New World_, by Mr. E. J.
Payne, a scholar of great talents too soon lost to historical science,
contain a thoughtful study of the causes to which the progress towards
civilization of the ancient Peruvians was due. The two books of
Professor Moses, _The Establishment of Spanish Rule in America_ and
_South America on the Eve of Emancipation_, are fair in spirit and
throw much light upon topics regarding which little has been written
in English. The fullest and most careful account of Peruvian and
Bolivian antiquities is still that of Mr. Squier: _Peru, Travel and
Exploration in the Land of the Incas_ (1877). Of more recent works
of travel that which stands first in the field of natural history is
John Ball's _Notes of a Naturalist in South America_ (1887). Among
others of a more general kind the following may be named: _Across South
America_, by Hiram Bingham; _The South Americans_, by Albert Hale;
_The Other Americans_, by Arthur Ruhl; _Uruguay_, by W. H. Koebel;
_Argentine Plains and Andine Glaciers_, by Walter Larden; _Panama_, by
Albert Edwards; _Argentina_, by W. A. Hirst; and the _Ten Republics_,
by Robert P. Porter. Sir M. Conway's _Travels and Explorations in
the Bolivian Andes_ is addressed primarily to mountain climbers, but
contains much that is interesting to other readers also. A recent book
in French entitled _Le Brésil au XXme Siècle_, by M. Pierre Denis,
is short, but singularly clear, well informed, and judicious.

In the publications issued by the Pan American Union in Washington a
great deal of valuable statistical information brought up to date may
be found. The South American Supplements issued monthly by the London
_Times_ are well edited and constitute a useful current record of what
is going forward.

NOTE II. Some readers may also wish to hear what are the facilities
for travel in the parts of South America covered by this book. There
are now many well-appointed railways in Argentina and Uruguay, and a
smaller number in Chile and Brazil, and both in these and other states
the work of construction is going on steadily. Roads fit for driving
are still comparatively few and rough, but in level countries like
Argentina one drives over the Pampa wherever wire fences do not bar the
way. Travel in the Andes is mostly upon mule back; it is slow and has
become expensive. The capital cities of the republics have good hotels.
In Arequipa, the larger coast towns of Chile, and three or four of
the Argentine and Brazilian cities, fair accommodation can be had.
Elsewhere it is very poor, and the food no better. The scale of prices
is everywhere high, but most so in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, which
have won the reputation of being the most expensive places in the world
to live in, surpassing even Petersburg and Washington.

A great deal of what is most interesting in the six republics above
referred to can now be seen by railway, and if a few plain but fairly
comfortable hotels (such as that at Santa Rosa de los Andes on the
Transandine Railway) were placed here and there upon the chief
Peruvian, Chilean, and Brazilian lines, journeys along them would
present no exceptional difficulties. There is now no yellow fever
except in Guayaquil and on the Amazon; and the conditions of health
are on the whole not unfavourable. Those who intend to travel in the
loftier parts of the Andes ought, however, to satisfy themselves that
their hearts and lungs are sound.

NOTE III. A remarkable testimony to the harm wrought by the Spanish
Conquest on the aboriginal inhabitants of Peru may be found in the will
of Leguisamo, one of the last survivors of the Conquistadores, made at
Cuzco in 1589, and printed in Sir Clements Markham's book, _The Incas
of Peru_.

"I took part in the conquest and settlement of these kingdoms when
we drove out the Incas who ruled them as their own. We found them in
such order and the Incas governed them in such wise that there was not
a thief nor vicious man nor adulterer nor bad woman admitted among
them. The men had honest and useful occupations. The lands, forests,
mines, pastures, houses, and all kinds of products were regulated and
distributed in such sort that each one knew his property without any
one else seizing it, nor were there lawsuits. The operations of war,
though numerous, never interfered with the interests of commerce or
agriculture. All things from the greatest to the smallest had their
proper place and order. The Incas were feared, obeyed, and respected by
their subjects as men capable and versed in the arts of government....
We have subdued these kingdoms and we have destroyed by our evil
example the people who had such a government as these natives enjoyed.
They were so free from committing crimes that the Indian who had a
large quantity of gold in his house left it open, only placing a small
stick across the door as a sign that its master was absent. With that
according to their custom no one could enter or take anything.... But
now they have come to such a pass, in offence of God, owing to the bad
example we have set them in all things, that these natives have changed
into people who do no good or very little."

Some allowance must be made in this description for the disappointment
and sadness in which Leguisamo wrote, as appears from other parts of
his will; and other evidence at our disposal shews that his picture of
Peru under the Incas is too favourable, yet even after making these
deductions, the admission of the harm wrought by the conquerors and the
consequent decline in native character and conduct carries weight.

[Illustration: SOUTH AMERICA]

[Illustration: PANAMA CANAL]

[Illustration: BOLIVIA AND PERU]

[Illustration: STRAIT OF MAGELLAN]




  Aboriginal population, present condition of, in Andean regions,
    the Araucanians in southern Chile, 232-238;
    of Brazil, 367;
    influence of, on differentiation of various parts of Spanish
        America into nations, 432-433;
    importance of, as a factor in all parts of the continent except
        Argentina and Uruguay, 454 ff.
    _See_ Indians.

  _Achachila_, Mountain Spirit, 186.

  Aconcagua, Mt., 57, 142, 214, 268;
    description of, 257-258.

  Adams, John Quincy, diplomacy of, 497, 508.

  Adobe houses, Payta, 41;
    at Sicuani, 88;
    in Lake Titicaca region, 123.

  Agriculture, in Peru, 41-42, 78;
    of Indians in interior of Peru, 87-88;
    on central plateau of Peru, 120, 122-124;
    importance of, to Bolivia, 193;
    in southern Chile, 231, 240;
    difficulties of practice of, on Falkland Isles, 310;
    in Argentina, 329-331;
    risks to, in Argentina, from drought and locusts, 333-334, 557;
    rank of Argentina in agricultural products, 336;
    in Uruguay, 354;
    in Brazil, 403 ff.;
    retardation of, by the unassimilated Indian population, 475-476;
    suitability of Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil for, 556-557.

  Aguas Calientes, town of, 87.

  Akers, _History of South America_ by, 587.

  Alakaluf tribe of Fuegians, 294.

  Albatrosses, seen on voyage to Straits of Magellan, 287, 288.

  Alcaldes of Indian villages, 91;
    powers and duties of, 180-181.

  Alcohol from sugar-cane, made by Peruvian Indians, 467.

  Alexander VI, Pope, bull of, dividing New World between Spain and
        Portugal, 366.

  Alfalfa, 177, 202, 263, 334.

  Almagro, Diego de, 204, 218.

  Alpacas, 78, 81.

  Alpaca wool, 122.

  Alps, comparison of Andes and, 277.

  Altars of churches, Cuzco, 99.

  Altitude, mountain sickness resulting from high, 83;
    effects of, of La Paz, 171-174;
    of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia a deterrent to immigration, 555.

  Amazonian plain (the Selvas), 369-370;
    future of, 558-562.

  Amazon River, 40, 369;
    forests of the, 75-76, 393-394;
    sources of the, 86.

  _American Commonwealth_, cited, 340 n.

  Americas, the two: the naming of, 484-487;
    names which might have been given, 487;
    physical similarities between, 488-489;
    points of similarity in settlement of, 489-490;
    points of divergence, 490 ff.;
    Latin America and Teutonic America, 490;
    differences in the aboriginal tribes, 491-492;
    differences in climate, in discoveries of mines, and in class of
        immigrants to, 492-494;
    differences in the sphere of government and administration, 494-495;
    resultant unlikeness of, in everything but position in Western
        Hemisphere, 495-496;
    effect on mutual relations of achievement of independence, 496-497;
    divergence of fortunes of, as to wealth and population, 497-499;
    difference in the formation of nations,--two in Teutonic America
        against nineteen states in Latin America, 499-500;
    points of resemblance to be found in republican forms of government,
        in social equality, and in detachment from European politics,
    contrasts between people of, in ideas and temperament, 504-505;
    present attitude of, toward one another, 507 ff.;
    common relations between, shown to be wholly wanting, 507-520;
    the Monroe Doctrine, and South American view of, 508-510.

  Ampato, Mt., 57, 81.

  Anahuac, Peruvian Indians compared with those of, 159, 160;
    plateau of, compared with the Andes, 278.

  Anarchist propaganda in Argentina, 343.

  Ancohuma (Hanko Uma), peak of, 142.

  Ancon, hill of, 9-12.

  Ancon, village of, 27.

  Ancud, channel of, 239.

  _Andenes_, terraces in Lake Titicaca region, 122.

  Andes mountains, 38, 39, 42, 47;
    description of peaks of Western Cordillera, 55-58, 60, 61,
        63, 81, 82;
    gold in the, 192;
    splendor of scenery of, 200-201, 203, 241-242;
    tunnel through the, 251, 256;
    trips across the, 252-261, 267-271;
    passage of, by San Martin's army, 268, 280-281;
    the Christ of the, summit of Uspallata Pass, 269-270;
    descent of, on open trolley, 270-271;
    comparisons of, with other great ranges, 271 ff.;
    as a field for mountain climbers, 272;
    advantages of distance for viewing, 272-275;
    why an unfavourable field for landscape painters, 275-276;
    comparison of, with Himalayas, 276-277;
    comparison with Alps and North American ranges, 277-279;
    expense and difficulty of travel in the, 588.

  Andrez, nephew of Tupac Amaru, 92.

  Animals, on Peruvian highlands, 77-78, 81-82;
    of Bolivia, 177;
    of forests of southern Chile, 245;
    absence of, among Fuegians, 294-295;
    on Pampas of Argentina, 325-326.

  Antarctic current, the, 38, 39, 43, 45, 489.

  Antimony mines, 87.

  Antiquities. _See_ Ruins.

  Antiquity of Cuzco, 109 n.

  Antofagasta, 169, 202, 210, 211, 215.

  Antofagasta and Bolivia Railroad, 187, 189-190, 191-192.

  _Araucana_, epic by Alonzo de Ercilla, 236.

  Araucanian Indians, 159, 225;
    home of, in Central Valley of Chile, 232-233;
    primitive semi-civilization of, 233-234;
    maintain their independence against the Spanish, 233-235;
    Chile asserts authority over, 235-236;
    remain the one unconquered native people of South America, 236;
    estimates of former and present numbers, 236;
    inroads of disease and drink among, and government protection
        of, 236-237;
    religion of, 237-238.

  _Araucaria_, conifer of southern Chile, 244.

  Arawak Indians, 457.

  Areche, Spanish judge, 116.

  Arequipa, Peru, 60;
    history, 60;
    altitude, 60;
    climate, 60-61;
    Harvard Observatory at, 61;
    scenic wonders at, 62-64;
    houses, streets, and people, 64-66;
    Indian labourers in, 66;
    an ecclesiastical stronghold, 66-67;
    romance of the runaway nun at, 69-74;
    terminal of Southern Railroad of Peru, 80.

  Argentina, 52;
    entrance to, across the Andes, 251-260;
    contrasts between Chile and, 264-265;
    railways of, 264, 329, 337, 588;
    difference as to interest aroused between Peru, Bolivia, and Chile
        and, 315, 346;
    proportion of population of, dwelling in Buenos Aires, 322-323;
    natural features of, 324-325;
    the Pampas, 325-329;
    farms and cattle ranches of, 329-331;
    allotment of land into large estates held by great landowners,
    Italians in, 332-333, 339-340, 438, 516-517;
    leading agricultural products of, 336;
    cattle, sheep, and horses in, 336 n.;
    possibilities of, as to growth in wealth and population, 337-338;
    composition of population of the country, 338-340;
    effect on future of nation of European commingling, 339-341,
    separation of church from politics in, 342-343;
    anarchist propaganda in, 343;
    relative positions held by politics, literature, and business
        in, 344-346;
    excessive patriotism of people, 346;
    influence of geographical position on its differentiation as a
        separate political entity, 429;
    a true nation by the test of possessing a distinctive national
        quality and a strong national sentiment, 441;
    armament maintained by, 449;
    slight influence of Italians on political and intellectual life
        of, 516-517;
    British capital invested in railways of, 517;
    a _bona fide_ republic, after a troubled and sanguinary political
        history, 544-545;
    pre-eminent fitness of, for immigration, 556-557;
    universities and schools in, 575;
    writers on theoretical jurisprudence and international law in, 578 n.

  Arias, Pedro de, 477.

  Arica, 169.

  Aridity of the Pampas of Argentina, 333.

  Armies of South American countries, 449.

  Arrow points found at Tiahuanaco, 148.

  Art, displayed in altars of churches at Cuzco, 99;
    lack of excellence in, in South America, 99;
    ancient Peruvian, 106-107;
    inferiority of ancient Peruvian, as a whole, 154.

  Artigas, José, savage treatment of prisoners by, 548, 584.

  Ascotan, 201.

  Assassinations, political, in South America and in Europe, 548.

  Asuncion, 179.

  Atacama, Desert of, 204.

  Atahuallpa, treachery of Pizarro to, 98, 192.

  Aullagas Lake, 126, 190-191.

  Australia, effect of Panama Canal on trade to, 34;
    decreasing birth-rate of, 563 n.

  Australian gum trees, world-wide spread of, 92-93;
    at La Paz, 176-177;
    on the Pampas, 335;
    in Montevideo, 353.

  Ausungate, Mt., 108.

  Avenida Central, Rio de Janeiro, 381.

  Avenida de Mayo, Buenos Aires, 316-317, 346.

  Ayacucho, battle of, 166.

  _Ayllu_, Indian clan, 180.

  Aymará Indians, 121-124;
    traditions of the, 149;
    at La Paz, 179, 182;
    one of the two divisions of Indians found by Spanish, 183-184;
    present condition of, 460-462;
    isolated social position of, 474-475.

  Ayuntamiento, municipal council, 535.


  Bahia, city of, 400-401.

  _Bahia_, battleship, 396-399.

  Balboa, Vasco Nuñez de, 1, 4, 8, 11, 37, 283, 477.

  Balboa Hill, Panama, 8.

  Ball, John, _Notes of a Naturalist in South America_ by, 227, 289, 587.

  Ballivian, Señor, 178.

  Balmaceda, President of Chile, 222;
    advanced policies, defeat, and death of, 544.

  Balsas, boats of _Totora_, Lake Titicaca, 125, 141.

  Bandelier, _Islands of Titicaca and Koati_ by, quoted and cited,
        63-64, 142 n., 185 n., 465-466, 467-468.

  Barley, grown on central plateau of Peru, 120, 122.

  Barnevelt Island, 293.

  Barrios, Gerardo, 545.

  Bas Obispo, 21.

  Bath of the Inca, Island of the Sun, 133.

  Beagle Sound, 292.

  "Big Trees" of California, comparison of South American trees
        with, 245, 391.

  Bingham, Professor Hiram, ascent of Coropuna by, 57 n.;
    cited on antiquity of Cuzco, 109 n.;
    _Across South America_ by, cited, 113 n., 588;
    quoted on South American view of Monroe Doctrine, 509-510;
    on number of North Americans as compared with number of Germans in
        Brazil, 510 n.

  Biobio River, 225, 227, 235.

  Birds seen on voyage to Straits of Magellan, 287-288.

  Birth-rate, acceleration of, among immigrants to Argentina, 339, 566;
    decrease in the world's, may help to solve overpopulation
        problem, 554-555;
    unreliability of estimates based on, as shown by Australia, 563;
    higher among Indians than among whites, 566.

  Blanco, Guzman, 519, 525.

  Blanco, Rio, 254.

  Boats of Indians on Lake Titicaca, 125, 141.

  Bogota, 52.

  _Boleta_, weapon of Gauchos, 328.

  Bolivar, Simon, 167;
    fame of, exceeds merits, 507;
    Pan-American Union project of, 511 n.;
    form of government favoured by, 538, 540.

  Bolivia, 42, 57;
    distinction between Peru and, purely arbitrary, 121-122;
    reasons for lack of natural boundaries, explained by history
        of, 166-167;
    named for Simon Bolivar, 167;
    an entirely inland state, 167;
    people, 167;
    area, population, and towns, 168;
    railways of, 168-169, 186-187, 191-192, 193-194;
    minerals of, 190, 192-193;
    necessity of railways to, for sake of cohesiveness of country,
    the risk of a future partitioning of, 448;
    proportion of Indians in population of, 458;
    population in proportion to area, 527;
    not a country for immigrants to turn toward, 555.

  _Bolson_, basin-shaped hollow, 95.

  Borax, lakes of, 199;
    mining and preparing of, 199-200.

  Botafogo Bay, Rio de Janeiro, 381.

  Botanical Garden, Buenos Aires, 319;
    Montevideo, 353-354;
    Rio de Janeiro, 382.

  Bougainville, colony planted at Falkland Isles by, 312.

  Brazil, area and aboriginal Indians of, 367;
    mountains, valleys, and inland plain of, 368-369 (_see_ Selvas);
    exportation of coffee, 372;
    wonders of scenery of, 385 ff.;
    character of villages, 389-390;
    trees, flowers, and forests of, 390-394;
    how it fell to the Portuguese to colonize, 401-402;
    negroes in, 401, 404-405, 408;
    account of different regions of, 402 ff.;
    proportion of foreign population in, 407;
    political history of, 410-411;
    present political conditions, 411-413;
    chief economic and political issues in, 413;
    transitional state of society in, 414;
    status of coloured population, 414-415, 479-480;
    financial standing of the nation, 415;
    letters and oratory in, 416-417;
    possibilities of, in other hands than its present possessors,
    characterized by true national qualities, 441;
    armament maintained by, 449;
    slavery in, 456;
    effect of intermixture of blood in, 480;
    titles of nobility in, 502 n.;
    slight influence of Italians on political and intellectual life
        in, 516-517;
    pre-eminent fitness of southern, for immigration, 556-557.

  Brewery, at Cuzco, 102;
    at Valdivia, 229.

  Brigandage, decrease in, 548.

  British, at Valdivia, 229;
    population of Falkland Isles composed of, 310;
    capital invested by, in Argentine railways, 337;
    in Argentina, 340-341;
    capital of, in railways of Uruguay, 354-355;
    Santos-São Paulo railway line built and owned by, 372;
    Leopoldina railway owned by, 386;
    capital of, invested in South America generally, 517.
    _See also_ English.

  Buccaneers, English, 12, 15-16.

  Bueno, Rio, excursion on the, 242-243.

  Buenos Aires, city of, 216 n., 262;
    dulness of water approach to, 315-316;
    general appearance, streets, houses, etc., 316-318;
    business rush and social gaiety of, 318;
    docks and harbour works at, 319-320;
    shanties in suburbs of, 320;
    outer rim of pretentious places, 320-321;
    make-up of population of city, 321-322;
    predominance of Spanish and Italian speech in, 322;
    proportion of population of whole country dwelling in, 322-323;
    terms used to designate population of, as opposed to that of rest
        of nation, 323;
    anarchists in, 343;
    the press of, 344;
    numbers of North Americans and of Germans in, 510 n.;
    University of, 575;
    expense of living in, 589.

  Buenos Aires, viceroyalty of, 166, 327, 349.

  Building, excellence of ancient Peruvians in, 154-155.


  Cabildos, municipal councils, 535.

  _Caboclos_, half-breeds called, 408.

  Cabral, Pedro Alvares, 366-367.

  Cachendo, town of, 56.

  Calama, village of, 202.

  Calcutta, comparison of Botanic Garden at, with that at Rio de
        Janeiro, 382.

  California poppy about Valparaiso, 214.

  Callao, 46.

  Canal Zone, the, 4-35.

  Canary Isles, mummies of primitive inhabitants of, 157 n.

  Candelaria, celebration of feast of, Copacavana, 129-130.

  Candido, João, mutineer leader, 396.

  Cannibalism in ancient Peru and among Amazonian tribes, 157.

  Canning, George, diplomacy of, 497, 508.

  Cape Horn, 293.

  Caracoles, 270.

  Cara Indians, 159.

  Carbajal, Francisco, 477.

  Carib Indians, 456-457.

  Casas, Bartolomé de las, 464.

  Castro, dictator of Venezuela, 525.

  Cathedral, Lima, 48-49;
    Arequipa, 65, 67;
    Cuzco, 97-98;
    La Paz, 175;
    Santiago, 217.

  Catholicism, position of, in Argentina, 342-343;
    effect of, on attitude of whites toward Indians and negroes, 471-472;
    status of the Church in Spanish America generally, 582-584.

  Cattle, transportation of, across the Andes, 252 n.;
    breeding of, about Buenos Aires, 321;
    on Pampas of Argentina, 327, 328;
    numbers of, in Argentina, 336 n.;
    in Uruguay, 354.

  Caupolican, Araucanian chief, 184, 235;
    memorial to, at Temuco, 516.

  Cedars of southern Chile, 245.

  Census of Peruvian Indians taken by Viceroy Toledo, 457.

  Central America, ruins in Peru contrasted with those in, 106, 113;
    to be grouped with South America rather than North, 490;
    impossibility of existence of a real democracy in, 539.

  Cereals, the important production of Argentina, 336.

  Ceremonial dances of aboriginal tribes, 130, 185, 467-468.

  Cerro, hill and castle of, Montevideo, 353.

  Chachani, Mt., 56-57, 60, 62, 81.

  Chagres River, 6, 7, 8, 15, 20-21, 24.

  Challa, Bay of, 134.

  Charles V, Emperor, 12, 98, 284, 499, 500.

  Charrua Indians, 159, 355.

  _Chenopodium_, 120.

  Chibcha Indians, Bogota, 13, 457.

  Chicha, drink brewed from maize, 90, 123, 467, 468 n.

  Chile, 52, 57;
    Peruvian nitrate provinces conquered by, 42;
    peculiarity of length and breadth of, 205;
    mountains and valleys of, 205-206;
    three regions of, 206-207;
    the nitrate fields, 207-209;
    revenue to, from export duties on nitrates, 209;
    large estates and landed aristocracy of, 220;
    predominance of politics in, 221;
    civil war in (1890), 222;
    party divisions and an election in, 222-223;
    description of southern portion, 223 ff.;
    coast towns and seaports of the south, 225-232;
    fusion of whites and Indians in, 232;
    immigration into southern, from Europe, 239-240;
    lake, river, and mountain region of, 241-247;
    contrasts between Argentina and, 264-265;
    influence of its geographical position on separate political
        status of, 429;
    a true nation in possessing a distinctive national quality and a
        strong national sentiment, 441;
    armament maintained by, 449;
    successful working of real republican government in, 543-544;
    room for increased population in, 557-558;
    university in Santiago, 575.

  Chile River, 60, 82.

  Chiloe, island of, 223, 239.

  Chimborazo, Mt., 40.

  Chimu city, ruins of, near Truxillo, 44, 153, 183.

  China, slight immigration into South America from, 438;
    improbability of danger to South America from, 504.

  Chincha Islands, guano deposits on, 46.

  Chinchilla, habitat of the, 200.

  Chingana, Labyrinth, on Titi Kala, 136-137.

  _Cholos_, half-breeds at Oruro, 190, 195 n.

  Choqquequirau, ruins at, 113.

  Christianity, attitude of Indians toward, 465-466.

  Christ of the Andes, statue of, 256, 269-270.

  Chucuito, lake of, 136 n.

  Chullpas, on Island of the Sun, 133.

  Chuquisaca (Sucre), 166, 167, 168, 193-194.

  Church, of Company of Jesus, Arequipa, 67;
    at Copacavana, 129-130;
    at Tiahuanaco, 148.

  Church, the Roman Catholic, separation of, from politics in
        Argentina, 342-343;
    party antagonistic to, in Uruguay, 363-364;
    complete separation of state and, in Brazil, 412-413;
    slight influence of, on progress of South American countries toward
         national life, 436-437;
    present status in Spanish America, and causes, 582-584.

  Churches, Cuzco, 98-99;
    La Paz, 174-175.

  Cities, phenomenon of growth of, out of proportion to that of the
        countries to which they belong, 322.

  Clémenceau, Georges, _South America of To-day_ by, quoted, 412, 417.

  Climate, on coast of Peru, 38-39;
    at Lima, 51;
    effect of differences in, on development of the two Americas,
        431, 492.

  Coal, lignite, at Punta Arenas, 300;
    lack of, in Argentina, 336.

  Coast Range, western South America, 81, 224, 225, 297;
    of Brazil, 381, 384.

  Coca, liquor made from, 89-90.

  Coca-leaf chewing, 182, 467.

  Cochabamba, 168, 193.

  Cochrane, Lord, 230, 280.

  Cockburn Channel, 292, 298-299.

  Coffee, exportation of, from Brazil, 372;
    description of a plantation, 387-388;
    region where grown, in Brazil, 403.

  Cog-wheel railway on Transandine line, 252.

  Coillelfu, town of, 244.

  Collahuasi copper mine, 198.

  Collao, country called the, 121, 183.

  Collao Indians, 86.

  Colombia, 17, 76;
    forests of coast, 39;
    question of true national qualities of, 441-442;
    population in proportion to area, 527;
    poetic output of, 578 n.

  Colon, city of, 5, 11, 13, 23.

  Colour line, absence of a, in South America, 470-474, 479, 482.

  Columbus, Christopher, statue of, 5;
    voyage of Magellan as compared with voyages of, 282;
    belief of, that it was India he had reached, 484-485.

  Commerce, effect of Panama Canal on European, 34.

  Concepcion, 225-226.

  Condorcanqui, José Gabriel (Tupac Amaru), 92, 116.

  Congresses of American republics, 511 n.

  Conquistadores, undeniable piety of, 584.
    _See_ Pizarro.

  Conway, Sir Martin, climbing in the Bolivian Andes by, 142;
    on composition of mountains in Cordillera Real, 143;
    on varying effects of rarity of air, 173;
    attempted ascent of Mt. Sarpiento by, 299;
    book by, 588.

  Copacavana, shrine of Virgin of the Light at, 126, 129.

  Copan, ruins of, comparison of ruins at Cuzco with, 106.

  Copper mines, Peru, 42;
    near Aguas Calientes, 87;
    Bolivia, 189, 190, 192;
    the Collahuasi mine, 198.

  Copper smelting, Corral, 229.

  Coquimbo, 39, 206, 211.

  Corcovado, peak of, Rio de Janeiro, 380.

  Cordillera range in Peru, 55-58, 77-79.

  Cordillera Real, the, 127, 141-143.

  Cordova, Argentina, 323, 326;
    University of, 323, 575.

  Coronel, port of, 227.

  Coropuna, Mt., 57, 83.

  Corral, town of, 229-230, 280.

  Cortes, 516.

  Costa Rica, 13, 503.

  Cotton, production of, in Argentina, 336;
    labour on Brazilian plantations of, 404-405.

  Courtship, South American, 51.

  _Criollos_, the, 513.

  Criticism, susceptibility of South Americans to, 506.

  Croker Peninsula, 292.

  Crooked Reach, Straits of Magellan, 293, 297.

  Crucero Alto, the, 83.

  Cuahtémoc, last of the Aztec kings, 516;
    statue of, 516.

  Cuba, influence of geographical position on its status as a political
         entity, 429.

  Culebra Cut, Panama Canal, 8-9, 20, 21-22, 23, 24-25.

  Cumbre, the, 267, 268, 280.

  Cusipata, plaza of, Cuzco, 97.

  Cuzco, 54;
    position as an ancient capital, 95;
    description of the present-day city, 95-97;
    cathedral of, 97-98;
    churches at, 98-99;
    merits and demerits as a place of residence, 100;
    University of, 100-101;
    Indian population of, 101-102;
    walls at, 103 ff.;
    walls of Sacsahuaman, 106 n., 107-112, 118;
    proof of extreme antiquity of, 109 n.;
    rumours of subterranean passages at, 110;
    the Rodadero, 111;
    the Seat of the Inca, 111-112;
    Sacsahuaman probably older than, 112-113;
    other ruins of walls about, 113;
    horrors of Spanish rule at, 115-117;
    memories and reflections aroused by, 117;
    railway lines to, 194;
    contrast between Santiago and, 217.


  "Dago" and "Gringo," use of the words, 506.

  Dances, primitive heathen, 130, 185, 467-468.

  Darwin, Charles, _Voyage of the Beagle_ by, 294 n.

  Darwin, Mt., 293.

  Davis, John, discoverer of Falkland Isles, 311.

  Dawson, T. C., _The South American Republics_ by, 587.

  Death rate, Canal Zone, 29;
    a high, among Indians of South America, 236-237, 457-458, 566.

  De Lesseps, Ferdinand, 4, 18.

  Delimitation Award, 449.

  Democracies, impossibility of existence of real, in Spanish American
        states, 539.

  Denis, Pierre, work on Brazil by, 588.

  Desaguadero River, 126, 143-144;
    Indians on lagoons of the, 183.

  Deseado, Cabo (Cape Pilar), 285, 290, 291.

  Deserts, 40-41, 75;
    in Bolivia, 167, 196;
    scenery on, 196-197;
    of Argentina, 266-267.

  Desolation Island, 291, 293, 295.

  Diaz, Bartholomew, 283.

  Diaz, Porfirio, 532 n., 548;
    autocratic government of, the form best suited for Mexico, 542-543.

  Dictatorships in young South American republics, 538-539.

  Dominican missionaries, 464-465.

  Drake, Sir Francis, 15, 17;
    attack of Araucanians on, 235;
    passage of Straits of Magellan by, 286.

  Dramas of ancient Peruvians, 155-156.

  Dress, of Indians of Peru, 89;
    of Indians at La Paz, 175-176;
    of Gauchos, 328.

  Drought, the risk of, in Argentina, 333, 557 n.

  Dry farming, 330.

  Dumas, Alexandre, a saying of, quoted, 490.

  Dungeness, Cape, Tierra del Fuego, 305.

  Duties, protective, in Brazil, 413.


  Earthquakes, freedom of Panama from, 24;
    prevalence of, at Lima, 48;
    at Arequipa, 64;
    at Valparaiso, 203;
    at Mendoza, 262;
    absence of, at Buenos Aires, 317.

  Earth Spirit of Indian tribes, 185, 466.

  Easter Island, figures on, compared with figures at Tiahuanaco, 150.

  Eastern Cordillera, 188.

  East Indian coolies in Guiana, 564 n.

  Ecuador, 39, 40, 76, 342;
    question of true national qualities of, 442;
    not a country for immigrants, 555.

  Eden, _Decades of the New World_ by, 303.

  Education, comparatively small provision made for in South
        America, 575;
    the outlook for a wider, 579-580.

  Edwards, A., _Panama_ by, 588.

  Elliot, Scott, _History of Chile_ by, 587.

  _Encomienda_, system of the, 455.

  English, residing at La Paz, 179;
    at Valparaiso, 215-216;
    adverse criticism on, quoted, 216;
    at Buenos Aires, 321;
    in Argentina, 340-341;
    in state of São Paulo, 377;
    lack of sympathy of feeling between South Americans and, 506;
    influence of, restricted to commercial relations, 517-518.
    _See also_ British.

  English names of headlands, bays, and channels of Straits of
        Magellan, 292-293.

  English Reach, Straits of Magellan, 293, 298.

  Ercilla, Alonzo de, _Araucana_ of, 236.

  Espiritu Santo, Cape, 305.

  Estates of great landowners, Chile, 220-221;
    in Argentina, 331-333.

  Eucalyptus trees in South America, 92-93, 176-177, 335, 353.

  Evangelists, islands called, 290.

  Export duties on nitrates, 209.


  Falkland Isles, visit to, 308-314;
    sheep industry predominant on, 310;
    possibilities for development of, 310-311;
    chequered history of, 311-312;
    present form of government, 312;
    impressions of nature obtained at, 313-314.

  Farming country, Argentina, 329-330.
    _See_ Agriculture.

  Ferro Carril Transandino, 251.

  Fevers, Isthmus of Panama, 3;
    preventive measures, Canal Zone, 28-30;
    at Guayaquil, 40.

  Fitzgerald, E. A., _High Andes_ by, 258 n.

  Fitzroy, Cape, 292.

  _Flor del Inca_, shrub called, 133.

  Flowers, Isthmus of Panama, 7;
    in forests of southern Chile, 243, 244, 245, 246;
    of Brazil, 391-394.

  Flying fish, 43.

  Forests, of Colombia and Ecuador, 39;
    of the Amazon, 75-76;
    of Brazil, 390-394;
    of southern Chile, 241-247;
    of the Selvas, 558-560.

  Formosa, Cape, 291.

  Fortifications, Panama Canal, 19, 32-33.

  Francia, José Gaspar Rodriguez, 465, 525, 584.

  Franciscan monks, Copacavana, 129.

  Frazer, J. G., _Golden Bough_ by, cited, 159 n.

  Free trade, an issue in Brazil, 413.

  French, attempts of, to construct Panama Canal, 18, 31-32;
    mining carried on by, at Pulucayo, 195;
    copper smelting at Corral by, 229;
    residing at Coillelfu, 244;
    on the Falkland Isles, 311-312;
    colony at Buenos Aires, 321;
    in Argentina, 340;
    in state of São Paulo, 377;
    influence of, in things intellectual and social, 518-520;
    spread of language and literature of, in South America, 576.

  Froward, Cape, 293, 298, 305.

  Fuegian Indians, 292, 294.

  Fury Island, 293.


  Gama, Vasco da, voyage of, as compared with that of Magellan, 282.

  Garden, at Lota, 227-228;
    Botanical Garden at Buenos Aires, 319;
    at Montevideo, 353-354;
    at Rio de Janeiro, 382.

  Garden Mountain, the, 201.

  Garibaldi, story of fighting by, in Uruguay, 358.

  Gatun Dam, 6, 21-22, 23-24.

  Gaucho horsemen, Argentina, 321, 328;
    in Uruguay, 355-356;
    in Brazil, 406.

  Gavea, Mt., 383.

  Germans in South America, 102;
    at La Paz, 179;
    at Valparaiso, 215-216;
    at Valdivia, 229;
    immigration of, into Chile, 239, 438;
    at Osorno, 239;
    at Buenos Aires, 321;
    in Argentina, 340-341;
    in state of São Paulo, 377;
    large number of, in Rio Grande do Sul, 406;
    in Brazil, 438;
    in Uruguay, 438;
    a factor to be reckoned with commercially in Brazil and South
        America generally, 510 n.;
    influence of, restricted to commercial relations, 517-518.

  Glaciers, Andean, 84, 85;
    of Cordillera Real, 141, 143;
    on Mt. Illimani, 176;
    on Mt. Aconcagua, 249, 258;
    on mountains along Straits of Magellan, 295, 296.

  Goethals, Colonel, 26-27, 30.

  Gold, in Peruvian and Bolivian Andes, 192;
    retardation of real development of Spanish America caused by, 493.

  Gold Hill, 21, 25 n.

  Gorgas, Colonel, 29.

  Governments of Spanish American states, effect of physical conditions
         on, 527-528;
    of racial conditions, 528-531;
    of economic and social conditions, 532-534;
    of historical conditions during the colonial period, 534-536;
    of historical conditions at close of War of Independence, 536-539;
    have never been real democracies, 539-540;
    question of what form might have been preferable, 540-541;
    three classes of states under republican forms, 541-545;
    encouragement to be got from Chile and Argentina, 543-546;
    states still unfitted for popular self-government, 547-548;
    leniency called for in judging Spanish American, 549-551.

  Graham Land, 284.

  Gran Chaco, the, 327, 329, 338, 478;
    plagues of locusts emanating from, 334.

  "Gringo," use of word, 506.

  Guanacos, in Tierra del Fuego, 304;
    in Argentina, 326.

  Guano, 42, 45-46;
    a source of evil to Peru, 209.

  Guaqui, Bolivia, 125, 144, 169.

  Guarani Indians in Paraguay, 441, 459.

  Guayaquil, city of, 40, 589.

  Guayaquil, Gulf of, 38-39, 40.


  Hale, Albert, _The South Americans_ by, 510, 588.

  Half-breeds, in Brazil, 407-408;
    social status of, in South America, 472-473;
    a negligible quantity in North America, 491-492.
    _See_ Mestizos _and_ Mulattoes.

  Hanko Uma, peak of, 142.

  Harvard Observatory, Arequipa, 61.

  Hayti, government of, 542.

  Himalaya Mountains, comparisons between Andes and, 276-277.

  Hindus in British Guiana, 438.

  Hirst, W. A., _Argentina_ by, 588.

  Horse-racing, in Chile, 221-222;
    at Buenos Aires, 318, 345;
    in Brazil, 415.

  Horses, importance of, in Uruguayan insurrections, 359;
    found on Pampas of Argentina, 327, 328;
    numbers of, in Argentina, 336 n.

  Hotel accommodations, 589.

  Houses, adobe, 41, 88, 123;
    cane and reed, Lima, 47-48;
    ancient Peruvian, 131-132.

  _Huaca_, sacred object (fetish), 139.

  Huanchaca, 195.

  Huayna Capac, Inca sovereign, 111.

  Huayna Potosi, Mt., 142, 187.

  _Huillca_ of ancient Peruvians, 157.

  Humboldt current, the, 38, 39, 43, 45, 489.


  _Ilacata_, Indian official, 180.

  Iles Malouines, French name for Falkland Isles, 311.

  Illampu, Mt. (Sorata), 57, 134, 141-142.

  Illimani, Mt., 134, 142, 176, 177, 186, 188.

  Immigration, to southern Chile, 239-241;
    to Argentina, 338-339;
    of Germans and Italians to Brazil, 405-407;
    of Portuguese, Spaniards, and Syrians, 407;
    slight effect of, on national differentiation in South America,
    from Spain, 514;
    of Italians to Argentina and Brazil, 516;
    mountainous parts of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia unsuited for, 555;
    the three sections of South America to be regarded as a
        field for, 555;
    pre-eminent fitness of Argentina, Uruguay, and southern
        Brazil, 556-557;
    room for, to Chile, 557-558;
    the Amazonian Selvas considered with a view to, 560-562.

  Incas, the, 41, 44, 45, 46, 60, 92, 94;
    civilization of the, 78-79;
    ancient highway of the, 86;
    traces of empire of, at Cuzco, 102-118;
    stories of the gold of the, 110;
    depth of the fall of the, 114-115;
    relics of, at Copacavana, 128-130;
    on Sacred Isles, Lake Titicaca, 132, 133, 135-139;
    Sacred Rock honoured as the ancient home of race of, 139;
    traces of people who antedated the, at Tiahuanaco, 149-150;
    type of civilization of, compared with that of Aztecs, 160;
    administration of government, roads, rest-houses, etc.,
        of, 160-161;
    political astuteness of, 161-162;
    disastrous results of overthrow of, by Spanish, 162;
    destruction of people of, 162-163;
    question of completeness of development of semi-civilization of,
        when overthrown, 164-165;
    belonged to the Quichua race of Indians, 183;
    naming of unusual natural phenomena after the, 258-259.

  Inca's Bridge, the, 258-259.

  Indian runners, service of, under the Incas, 60, 161.

  Indians, prehistoric, 3, 13;
    of San Blas, 13-14;
    on Isthmus of Panama, 13-14;
    at Arequipa, 66;
    enslavement of, by rubber producers, 76, 458;
    as shepherds, Peru, 81, 83;
    of towns in interior of Peru, 84;
    at Sicuani, 88-92;
    predominance of, at Cuzco, 101-102;
    of central plateau of Peru, 121-124;
    inferiority of Andean, compared with other tribes, 159-160;
    in Bolivia, 168;
    large proportion of, among population of La Paz, 179;
    present condition of aborigines in Andean regions, 180 ff.;
    tribal organization of, 180-181, 461-462;
    _Ilacatas_ and _Alcaldes_ of, 180-181;
    illiteracy of, 181-182, 468;
    indulgence in alcohol and more especially in coca leaf chewing,
    two divisions of, the Quichuas and the Aymarás, 182-184;
    characteristics of, 184-185;
    religion of, 185;
    feelings toward white men, 185-186;
    fusion of, with white race in Chile, 232;
    the Araucanians, 232-238;
    to south of Araucanians, 238-239;
    on islands off south Chilean coast, 288, 478;
    along Straits of Magellan, 294;
    of the Pampas of Argentina, 326, 327, 338;
    among the police of Buenos Aires, 343;
    of Uruguay, 355;
    of Brazil, 367, 369;
    statistics of, in Brazil, 408 n.;
    influence of, on differentiating various parts of Spanish America
        from one another into separate nations, 432-433;
    have nothing to do with government of countries they inhabit, 439,
        469-470, 529;
    constitute an economic factor of the first magnitude except in
        Argentina and Uruguay, 454;
    attitude of Spanish conquerors toward, 454-456;
    vast differences in qualities of aboriginal, 456-457;
    present numbers of, 457;
    proportion of, in population of Mexico and South America, 458-460;
    numbers of wild tribes, 460;
    civil and ecclesiastical oppression of, under the Spaniards and
        later, 460-465;
    religion of, 462-466;
    work of Dominicans and Jesuits among, 464-465;
    attitude toward Christianity, 465-466;
    indulgence of, in drinking and dancing, 467-468;
    safety of white people among, 468-469;
    relations between whites and, in Paraguay, 470-473;
    constitute separate nationalities from those of the combined white
        and mestizo, 474;
    retardation of industrial and intellectual progress by, 475-476,
    effect of intermarriage with, on the Spanish stock, 476-477;
    Peruvian Indians free from bloodthirstiness, 477;
    of the Selvas, 559;
    estimated total number in whole continent, 564;
    rate of increase of, 566.

  _Indios bravos_, wild Indians, 460, 470, 530 n.

  Inquisition, hall of the, Lima, 50.

  Insurrections, South American and other, 359-361, 362-363.
    _See also_ Revolutions.

  Intensive cultivation, postponement of fear of overpopulation by, 554.

  Intermarriage, of whites and Indians in Paraguay, 471;
    effect of, on quality of Spanish stock, 476-477, 530-531;
    between whites and negroes in Brazil, 480.

  Invention, lack of, in ancient Peruvians, 155.

  Inventors, esteem of Spanish Americans for scientists as, 581.

  Iodine, a by-product of nitrate, 208.

  Iquitos, town of, 559.

  Irrigation, Lima, 47;
    at Mendoza, 263.

  Isabella the Catholic, statue of, returned to Spain, 515.

  Island of the Sun, Lake Titicaca, 132-140.

  Isthmuses, interest attached to, geographically and commercially, 1-2.

  Italians, at Mendoza, 263;
    increasing numbers of, in Argentina, 264-265, 438;
    in Buenos Aires, 321-322;
    as labourers in Argentina, 332-333;
    distribution of, in Argentina, 339;
    birth-rate among immigrants, 339;
    question of influence of, on future nation, 339-340;
    in Uruguay, 355;
    in São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul, 376-377, 406-407;
    slight effect of, on political and intellectual life in South
        America, 516-517.

  Italiaya, Mt., 368.


  Japanese, slight immigration of, to South America, 438;
    remoteness of danger from, 504.

  Jesuit annalist quoted, 63-64.

  Jesuits, churches of, in Peru, 67, 98-99;
    mission work of, among the Indians, 464-465.

  Jockey Club, Buenos Aires, 318.

  John VI of Portugal, 410.

  Johnson, Sir H. H., on coloured race in Brazil, 408 n.

  Juarez, Benito, 184, 521, 585.

  Jujuy, town of, 330, 478.

  Juliaca, village of, 84.

  Juncal, town of, 254, 270.

  Juncal Valley, the, 271.

  Jungle, Isthmus of Panama, 6-7;
    of Amazonian plain, 75, 76, 393-394.


  Kaka Aka, Mt., 142.

  Koati (Koyata), Island of the Moon, Lake Titicaca, 131-132.

  Koebel, W. H., _Uruguay_ by, 588.


  Labourers, Panama Canal, 26 n., 27-30;
    negro, on Brazilian cotton and sugar plantations, 404-405;
    in coffee, cattle, and cereal regions of Brazil, 405-407;
    importance of Indian population as, 454.

  Ladrone Islands, Magellan reaches the, 285.

  Lakes in southern Chile, 246-247.

  Landowners, class of great, in Chile, 220-221;
    in Argentina, 331-333;
    absence of a middle class of small, in South America, 532-533.

  La Paz, 121, 141, 144;
    population, 168;
    the approach to, 168-169;
    site called Our Lady of Peace, 170;
    choice of singular site of, 170-171;
    altitude of, 171;
    effects on strangers of altitude, 172-174;
    streets, churches, houses, and people, 174-176;
    fascination of strange scenes and scenery at, 176-178;
    museum at, 178;
    legislative session at, 178-179;
    contrast between Santiago and, 217.

  La Plata, University of, 575.

  La Raya, pass of, 85.

  Larden, Walter, work by, 588.

  Las Cuevas, 257, 267, 269.

  La Serena, town of, 211.

  Las Heras, Colonel, 280.

  Latin America and Teutonic America, 490.
    _See_ Americas.

  Lautaro, Araucanian chief, 184, 235.

  Lemaire, Neveu, work by, cited, 191.

  Leopoldina Railway, 386-390.

  Lignite coal near Punta Arenas, 300.

  Lima, ancient importance of, 46-47;
    situation, 47;
    streets and houses, 47-48;
    square and cathedral, 48-50;
    notable buildings, 49-50;
    University of, 50;
    climate, 50-51;
    gaiety and social enjoyment at, 51-52;
    Spanish air retained by, 52-53;
    lack of evidences of the past and lack of progress at, 53;
    contrast between Santiago and, 217;
    society in, for the protection of the Indians, 470 n.

  Limon, Bay of, 6, 20.

  Linseed, production of, in Argentina, 336.

  Literature, of ancient Peruvians, 155-156;
    place of, in Argentina, 344;
    influence of the French on South American, 518-519;
    comparative smallness of output, 576;
    outlook for, 578-580.

  Llai Llai, station of, 251.

  Llamas, Peru, 65, 77, 81, 86, 92, 94;
    droppings of, used as fuel, 121;
    at La Paz, 169, 176, 177.

  Loa River, 202.

  Locks, Panama Canal, 22, 23, 24, 31 n.

  Locusts, plagues of, 333-334, 557.

  Long Reach, Straits of Magellan, 293, 295.

  Lopez, Francisco Solano, 465 n., 525, 545, 584.

  Los Patos Pass, 268.

  Lota, town of, 227, 286;
    garden at, 227-228.

  Lowell, James Russell, quoted, 283.

  Lumbering on the Amazonian plain, 559-560.

  _Lusiad_, Camoens', 416.

  Lynch, Patricio, 230.

  Lynching practically unknown in South America, 480.


  Macchu Pichu, ruins at, 113.

  _Machete_, cutlass-like knife, 7, 385.

  Madre de Dios River, 194.

  Magellan, Ferdinand, remarkable voyage of, 282, 291-292, 305, 486;
    discovery and exploration of Straits of Magellan by, 284-286,
        297-298, 299;
    great geographical importance of voyage of, 307.

  Magellan, Straits of, discovery, 282-286;
    Francis Drake's passage of, 286;
    account of trip from Lota, Chile, to, 286-290;
    entrance to, from the west, 290-291;
    English names of headlands, bays, and channels of, 292-293;
    mountains along the, 293, 295-297;
    First and Second Narrows, 304-305;
    general physical character of, 305-307.

  Maine, Sir Henry, work on Popular Government by, 524-525.

  Maize, on central plateau of Peru, 120;
    in Argentina, 336;
    in Uruguay, 351.

  Maize Mother in Peruvian mythology, 157.

  Malarial fever, Guayaquil, 40.

  Malthusian theory, question of correctness of, 554.

  Mamelucos, half-breeds called, 407.

  Manaos, town of, 559.

  Manco Capac, Inca sovereign, 108, 137, 138.

  Manufacturing, small amount of, in Argentina, 336.

  Mapoche Indians, 233, 236, 238.
    _See_ Araucanian Indians.

  Maranon River, 86.

  Markham, Sir C., works on South America by, 147 n., 587.

  Marriage between races, 471, 480.
    _See_ Intermarriage.

  Marriage fees imposed on Indians, 461.

  Maule River, 225.

  Maya Indians, 13.

  Meat-packing, Argentina, 336;
    Uruguay, 354.

  _Médanos_, sand hills, 58-59.

  Medina, José Torribio, historian and bibliographer, 221.

  Megillones, 202, 210-211.

  Mendoza, Spanish governor, 249.

  Mendoza, town of, 249, 250, 253, 256, 261, 280;
    location and growing importance of, 261-262;
    description of, 261-263;
    beauty of scenery at, 265-266.

  Mendoza River, 262.

  Merced, church of, Cuzco, 98-99.

  Mercedario, Mt., altitude of, 260 n.

  Mestizos, half-breeds of Spanish and Indians, 90-91;
    position of, regarding Indians, 186;
    proportion of, in population of Mexico, Peru, and South America
        generally, 458-460;
    social status of, 472-473;
    forceful leaders found among, 477;
    estimated total number of, in the continent, 564;
    numerical predominance of (excepting in Argentina and Uruguay), 565;
    rate of increase of, 566;
    predominance of the white element in, 566-567.

  Mexican War, suspicions of South America against United States
        aroused by, 447, 497, 508.

  Mexico, ruins in Peru contrasted with those in, 106, 113;
    the qualities of a true nation possessed by, 441;
    proportion of Indians in population of, 458;
    secret idol worship in, 466;
    characteristics of Indians of, 474;
    to be grouped with South America rather than North, 490;
    impossibility of existence of a real democracy in, 539;
    suitability of Diaz' autocratic form of government for, 542-543.

  Military school, University of La Plata, 575.

  Minas Geraes, state of, Brazil, 370.

  _Minas Geraes_, battleship, 396-399.

  Mineral springs, Aguas Calientes, 87.

  Mines, silver and copper, Peru, 42.

  Mining, at Oruro, Bolivia, 189;
    condition of, in Argentina, 336;
    evils to early Spanish America resulting from, 493-494.

  Miraflores, Isthmus of Panama, 22, 27.

  Misti, volcano, Peru, 56-57, 60, 61, 63, 81, 82, 392.

  _Mita_, personal service rendered landlords by Indians, 462.

  Mitla, comparison of ruins of, with ruins at Cuzco, 106.

  Mitre, _Historia de San Martin_ by, 281.

  Mochica Indians, 457.

  Mochica language, 44, 183.

  Mollendo, town of, 54-55, 187, 215.

  Monolithic gateway at Tiahuanaco, 146-147.

  Monroe Doctrine, 508-510.

  Montaña, district called the, 75.

  Montevideo, 314;
    description of, 351-354;
    population, 352;
    University of, 575;
    expense of living in, 589.

  Moon, Island of, Lake Titicaca, 131-132.

  Moon, worship of, by Peruvians, 157.

  Morgan, English buccaneer, 12, 15-16, 17.

  Moses, Bernard, works by, quoted and cited, 463-464, 587.

  Mosquitoes, preventive measures against, in Canal Zone, 28-29.

  Mountain climbers, Andes considered from viewpoint of, 272.

  Mountains, Isthmus of Panama, 7-8;
    Andes, 38, 39, 42, 47;
    Western Cordillera of Andes, 55-58, 60, 61, 63, 77-87, 198, 203;
    Coast Range, 81, 224, 225, 297;
    Cordillera Real, 127, 141-143;
    attitude of aborigines toward, in the way of names, 142-143;
    Eastern Cordillera, 188;
    along Straits of Magellan, 293, 295-297;
    Brazilian Coast Range, 368;
    about Rio de Janeiro, 379-381, 384-386.
    _See also_ Andes.

  Mountain sickness, 83, 172.

  Mulattoes, estimated total number of, in the continent, 564;
    predominance of the white element in, 566-567.

  Mummies, Peruvian, 107, 157.

  Museum, at La Paz, 178.

  Museums, inferiority of South American, 376.

  Mussulmans, negroes of Brazil as, 409 n.

  Mutiny on battleships at Rio de Janeiro, 395-400.

  Mythology of primitive Peruvians, 156-159.


  Napoleon III, theories of, concerning the "Latin" peoples, 512 n.

  Nassau Bay, 293.

  Nations, the division of Spanish America into, 422-424;
    question of what constitutes, 424-426;
    lines of old administrative divisions a primary factor in
        determining territorial limits in Spanish America, 427-428;
    influence of geographical position in differentiating, 429-430;
    influence of physical environment, 430-431;
    effect of presence of aboriginal tribes, 432-434;
    effect of War of Independence and later civil wars, 434-436;
    effect of conditions of industrial and commercial life, 437;
    position of different Spanish-American countries as true
        nations, 438 ff.;
    judged by the test of possessing a distinctive national character
        and a strong national sentiment, 439-443;
    test of creative activities in art, science, and letters applied to
         South American republics, 443;
    question concerning the sense of a common Hispano-American
        nationality, 444 ff.

  Naval harbour of Talcahuano, Chile, 226-227.

  Navies of South American countries, 449.

  Negroes, West Indian, as labourers on Panama Canal, 26 n.;
    living in Peru, 66;
    in Uruguay, 355;
    in state of São Paulo, 376;
    in Bahia, Pernambuco, and other cities, 401;
    in Brazil, 401, 404-405, 408, 456;
    status of, as compared with coloured race in United States, 414-415,
        472-475, 479-480;
    influence of, felt as a race factor, 433-434;
    numbers of, in all South America, 459 n., 564.

  New Granada, Republic of, 17.

  New South Wales, decrease in birth-rate of, 563 n.

  Newspapers, Argentine, 344.

  Nictheroy, town of, 378, 390.

  Nitrates, deposits of, 42, 202, 206;
    account of work in fields, 207-208;
    export duties on, 209;
    question of benefits of this natural wealth, 209-210.

  Nombre de Dios, 5, 14, 15.

  North Americans at La Paz, 179.
    _See under_ Americas.

  Norway, scenery of Straits of Magellan compared with that of, 296.

  Novo Friburgo, town of, 389.

  Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, convent of, Arequipa, 69.


  Oca, grown on central plateau of Peru, 120.

  Ocean currents, 489.

  O'Higgins, Bernardo, 230.

  Oil wells, Piura, 41.

  Ollague, Mt., 198, 199.

  Ollantay, drama of, 156.

  Ollantaytambo, ruins at, 113.

  Ornate, volcano of, 63, 64 n.

  Ona tribe of Patagonian Indians, 303-304, 478.

  Orchids, Isthmus of Panama, 7;
    in Brazilian forests, 393.

  Organ Mountains (Serra dos Orgãos), 381, 384-385.

  Oribe, General, 357.

  Oriental quality in Spanish-American cities, 65-66.

  Oruro, town of, 168, 183, 189-190.

  Osorno, town of, 224, 239.

  Our Lady of Peace, original name given to La Paz, 170.

  Overpopulation, the danger of, 552-554;
    partial solution of problem of, by intensive cultivation,
        developments of chemical science, and decline in birth-rate,
    South America viewed as a means of postponing menace of, 555 ff.


  Pachacamac, Earth God of Peruvians, 156.

  Pachacamac, Peru, excavations at, 153-154.

  Pacific Steam Navigation Company, 54.

  Paganism, among Andean tribes, 158, 467.

  Palace of the Inca Roca, Cuzco, 104-105.

  Palace of the Viceroys, Lima, 49.

  Palace of the Virgins of the Sun, Koati, 132.

  Palacios, Dr., _Raza Chilena_ by, cited, 531.

  Palenque, comparison of ruins of, with ruins at Cuzco, 106.

  Palermo, park at Buenos Aires, 318-319.

  Pampaconas River, ruins on the, 113 n.

  Pampa of Peru, 58-59;
    of Argentina, 262, 266.

  Pampas of Argentina, 324-325;
    horses and cattle on the, 327;
    Gauchos on the, 328;
    agricultural possibilities of, 333-334;
    monotony of scenery, 334-335.

  Panama, city of, 9, 11, 12, 15-16, 19.

  Panama, Isthmus of, 1-36.

  Panama, Republic of, 14, 18-19, 503.

  Panama Canal, 4-5;
    French attempts to construct, 18;
    enterprise taken over by United States, 18-19;
    length, breadth, and width, 20;
    description of the four sections, 20-23;
    the Culebra Cut, 20-22, 23, 24-26;
    the Gatun dam, 23-24;
    labourers and conditions of labour, 26 ff.;
    mortality rate, 29;
    importance of sanitation of Canal Zone, 30;
    cost of canal, 32;
    fortifying of, 32-33;
    effect of, on international trade, 33-35;
    the last of large changes in earth's surface, 35-36.

  Panama Railway, 5-9, 12, 17-18.

  Pan Americanism, 488.

  Pan American Union, 511 n.;
    publications issued by, 588.

  Pan de Azucar, Rio de Janeiro, 380.

  Pando, General, 179.

  Paraguay, question of true national qualities of, 441;
    despotisms of Francia and Lopez in, 465;
    social relations of white and Indian races in, 470-472.

  Paraguay River, 326.

  Parahyba River, 386, 387;
    scenery along the, 388-389.

  _Paramo_, bleak regions between valleys in Peru, 79 n.

  Paraná, state of, 403.

  Paraná River, 167, 316, 326, 429.

  Paris, the Mecca of South American pleasure-seekers, 519.

  Patagonia, 284;
    aborigines of, 303-304, 327.

  Paterson, William, 16.

  Patriotism of Argentines, 346.

  Payne, E. J., chapters on Peru by, 587.

  Payta, Peru, 40-42, 54.

  Pearl Islands, 10, 37.

  Pedrarias, Spanish viceroy, 11, 14.

  Pedro I of Brazil, 410;
    statue of, 376.

  Pedro II of Brazil, 384, 410.

  Pedro Miguel, Isthmus of Panama, 22.

  Pelucon, the word, 232 n.

  "Penitentes" in the Andes, 259-260.

  Peons in Argentina, 332.

  Peru, coast of, 37 ff.;
    coast towns, 44;
    ruins, 44-45, 152 ff.;
    mountains of Western Cordillera, 55-58;
    great inner plateau of, 58-60;
    central Peru, 77 ff.;
    height of central plateau, 77;
    area and population, 78;
    plateau surrounding Lake Titicaca, 119-124;
    distinction between Bolivia and, purely arbitrary, 121-122;
    antiquity of the semi-civilization of, 149-151;
    disadvantages of isolated position of, as to civilization, 151;
    reasons for importance of prehistoric remains in, 152-153;
    discussion of religion, mythology, and semi-civilization of
        primitive inhabitants of, 152-165;
    true national qualities possessed by, 441;
    proportion of Indians in population of, 458;
    not a country for immigrants to turn toward, 555.

  Peruvian Corporation, the, 80.

  Petrels seen on voyage to Straits of Magellan, 287.

  Petropolis, 384, 385.

  Philip II of Spain, 4, 36.

  Pichu Pichu, Mt., 56, 60, 62.

  Pigafetta, Magellan's chronicler, 284, 285;
    quoted, 285-286, 303.

  Pilar, Cape (Magellan's Cabo Deseado), 290, 291.

  Pinzon, Martin Alonso, 96, 367, 494.

  Pisac, ruins at, 113.

  Piura, town of, 41.

  Piura, valley of, ancient population, 44.

  Pizarro, Francisco, 11-12, 37, 39, 44, 46, 47, 60, 96, 97, 102, 103 n
        ., 192, 307, 494;
    assassination of, 49;
    massacre of Atahuallpa's followers by, 98.

  Pizarro, Gonzalo, 96, 170, 494.

  Plata, Rio de la, 167, 284, 316, 486;
    advantages to Montevideo from the, 351-352.

  Plaza, La Paz, 175.

  Plaza de Armas, Lima, 48-49.

  Plazas, Cuzco, 96-97.

  Politics, interest in, in Chile, 221;
    in Argentina, 344;
    in Uruguay, 358-359.

  Polo-playing, Valparaiso, 214-215.

  Poncho, dress of Gauchos, 328.

  Poopo, Lake, 124, 126, 190-191, 488.

  Population, growth of, of cities, 322-323;
    questions raised by the growth of, 552 ff.;
    forecasts of growth of, in South America, 562-565;
    estimates of total number of whites, Indians, negroes, mestizos,
        and mulattoes, 564-565;
    of the future will be white rather than negro or Indian, 567-569.
    _See_ Races.

  Porteños and Campos, Argentina, 323.

  Porter, R. P., _Ten Republics_ by, 588.

  Port Louis, Falkland Isles, 312.

  Port St. Julian, 303.

  Port Stanley, Falkland Isles, 308-309, 313.

  Portuguese, in Uruguay, 349, 350;
    explanation of possession of Brazil by, 366-367.

  Potatoes, raised on central plateau of Peru, 120, 122.

  Potosi, 168;
    silver mining at, 192.

  Pottery, Peruvian, 106.

  Prehistoric monuments at Tiahuanaco, 144-148.
    _See_ Ruins.

  Protection, economic issue of, in Brazil, 413.

  Protector of the Indians, office of, 237.

  Puente del Inca, 258-259.

  Puerto Bello, 5.

  Puerto Montt, 206.

  Pulucayo, mine at, 195.

  _Puna_, mountain sickness, 172.

  Puno, port on Lake Titicaca, 84, 125.

  _Puno_, the, 77, 84.

  Punta Arenas (Sandy Point), 284, 300;
    the commercial centre of southern South America, 300-301.


  _Quebradas_, narrow glens, of the Andes, 224.

  Quichua Indians, 90, 101-102, 110, 121;
    one of the two divisions of Indians found by Spanish, 183-184;
    present condition of, 460-462;
    isolated social position of, 474-475.

  Quinoa, grown on central plateau of Peru, 120.

  _Quipus_, knotted strings of various colours used by primitive
        Peruvians, 160.


  Races, mixture and numbers, in Brazil, 407-410, 414-415;
    discussion of relations between, in South America generally,
    difference in relations between, in South America and United
        States, 470-475;
    conclusions on relations of the, 480-483;
    favourable or unfavourable results of commingling of, 530-531;
    total population of the continent according to, 564-565;
    questions as to their respective increase, as to continuation of
        their intermingling, as to which type predominates in persons
        of mixed race, and as to ultimate outcome of the mixture,

  Rafts of _Totora_, Lake Titicaca, 125, 141.

  Railways: Panama Ry, 5-9, 12, 17-18;
    in Peru, 41, 54, 55-56, 59;
    Southern Railroad of Peru, 80-86, 125;
    Bolivian, 168-169, 186-187, 191-192, 193-194;
    Chilean, 223-224, 244, 588;
    Transandine line, 249-261;
    Argentine, 264, 329, 337, 588;
    British capital invested in, 337, 372-373, 517;
    Uruguayan, 354, 588;
    line from Santos to São Paulo, 372-373;
    São Paulo-Rio Janeiro line, 377-378;
    Leopoldina Railway, 386-390;
    facilities for travel by means of, 588.

  Rainfall, Isthmus of Panama, 3;
    absence of, on coast of Peru, 45;
    in Chile, 224;
    at Punta Arenas, 301;
    on the Pampas of Argentina, 325;
    smallness of, in Argentina, 333.

  Reds and Whites, parties called, in Uruguay, 357-359.

  Religion: of primitive Peruvians, 156-159 (_see under_ Indians);
    open attacks on, in Uruguay, 363-364;
    of Indian population, 462-466;
    a matter for women and peasants only, 582-584.

  Religious toleration in Argentina, 342-343.

  Republics, division of Spanish America into, 422 ff.;
    lack of success of South American countries as, 524-526;
    impossibility of real democracies existing in Spanish-American
        states, 539.

  Revolutions, Lima, 51-52, 53;
    in Brazil, 410-411;
    frequency of, in early South American republics, 524-525;
    breaking the habit of, by a growing sense of order, 546.

  Rimac River, 47.

  Rinihue, Lake, 244, 246-247.

  Rio Blanco, station of, 270.

  Rio Branco, Baron do, 416.

  Rio de Janeiro, 216 n.;
    description of, 378 ff.;
    harbour, 378-379;
    mountain landscapes about, 379-381, 382-383;
    settlement, and growth in population, 383-384;
    comparisons of, with ancient and modern European cities, 394-395;
    account of mutiny on battleships at, 395-400.

  Rio Grande do Sul, state of, 370, 403, 405.

  Rivera, General, 357.

  Roads, of the Incas, 161;
    scarcity of modern, for driving, 588.

  Rock of the Sun and the Wild Cat, shrine of, island of Titicaca, 126.

  Rodadero, the, at Cuzco, 111.

  Romero, Dr., _Los Lagos de los Altiplanos_ by, 191 n.

  Root, Elihu, common Court of Justice for Spanish-American countries
        set up through efforts of, 448;
    speech by, 506 n.

  Rosas, Juan Manuel de, 327, 329, 477, 544-545, 584.

  Rosas Pata, ruins at, 113.

  Ross, Sir James, Antarctic Expedition of, 310.

  _Rotos_, Chilean peasants, 208, 232 n., 253, 502.

  Rubber, production of, on Amazonian plain, 75-76, 403, 559;
    cruelties perpetrated upon Indians by gatherers of, 75, 458, 559.

  Ruhl, Arthur, _The Other Americans_ by, 588.

  Ruins, of cities on coast of Peru, 44;
    of Chimu, 44;
    of walls at Cuzco, 103, 105-106;
    of Sacsahuaman, 106 n., 107-112, 118;
    of Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Macchu Pichu, and Rosas Plata, 113;
    on Island of the Moon, Lake Titicaca, 131-132;
    Island of the Sun, 132-133;
    at Tiahuanaco, 144-151;
    summing up and conclusions on subject of, 151-165.

  Runaway nun, romance of the, 69-74.

  _Rurales_ organized by Diaz, 542.


  Sacred Isles, Lake Titicaca, 130-134.

  Sacred lake, a, 85-86.

  Sacred tree of Araucanian Indians, 238.

  Sacsahuaman, fortress hill of, Cuzco, 97;
    walls of, 106 n., 107-112, 118.

  Sahama, Mt., 188.

  St. Dominick, church and convent of, Cuzco, 105.

  St. George, Cape, 289.

  St. Paul, Indian village of, Lake Titicaca, 141.

  St. Paul, volcano of, 201-202, 203.

  St. Peter, village of, 141.

  St. Peter, volcano of, 201-202, 203.

  St. Philip, fort of, Callao, 46.

  St. Thomas, legends of presence of, in South America and Mexico, 138.

  Salt marsh on plateau of southern Bolivia, 196-198.

  Salvador, Republic of, 503.

  San Bias, church of, Cuzco, 99.

  San Bias, Colombia, Indians of, 13-14.

  San Cristobal, hill of, Valparaiso, 220.

  Sanctuary of the Rock, Lake Titicaca, 135.

  Sand hills, plateau of Peru, 58-59.

  San Francisco, church of, La Paz, 174-175.

  San Francisco, plaza of, Cuzco, 97.

  San Isidro, 299.

  San Martin, General José de, 49, 281;
    statue of, 262;
    leads army across the Andes, 268;
    account of passage of the Andes, 280-281;
    tribute to character and achievements of, 281, 522;
    form of republican government favoured by, 538, 540.

  Santa Catharina, state of, 370, 403.

  Santa Cruz (de la Sierra), 168, 193.

  Santa Lucia, hill of, Santiago, 218-220.

  Santa Rosa, village of, Peru, 85.

  Santa Rosa de los Andes, 251, 252, 280;
    hotel at, 589.

  Santiago, capital of Chile, 216 ff.;
    striking position of, 216-217;
    description of, 217-218;
    hill of Santa Lucia at, 218-220;
    predominating influence of, in the nation, 220, 221;
    social life of, 220-221;
    horse-racing at, 221-222;
    an election in, 223;
    rainfall and height of Coast Range at, 224;
    San Martin's march upon, 280;
    university in, 575.

  Santissima Virgen de la Candelaria, image of, 129-130.

  Santo Domingo, position as a separate political entity determined by
        its geographical situation, 429.

  Santos, town of, 371-372;
    coffee exported from, 372.

  São Paulo, city of, 216 n., 372;
    description of, 374-377.

  São Paulo, state of, 370, 403, 405.

  _São Paulo_, battleship, 396-399.

  Sarmiento, Mt., 299, 300.

  Schools, inadequate provision for, in Uruguay and South America
        generally, 365;
    elementary, in state of São Paulo, 376.

  Science and learning, forecast concerning, in South America, 577-581.

  Scots, settlement of, Isthmus of Panama, 16;
    ubiquity of Aberdonians, 190;
    on Falkland Isles, 310.

  Sculptures, prehistoric, at Tiahuanaco, 145-148, 154.

  Sea-birds, coast of Peru, 43;
    seen on voyage to Straits of Magellan, 287-288.

  Seals on coast of Falkland Isles, 311.

  Sea Reach, Straits of Magellan, 293.

  Seat of the Inca, Cuzco, 111-112.

  Seebey, F., cited, 344 n.

  Selvas (woodlands), 168, 369;
    as a field for development by immigration, 555, 558, 560-562;
    area and surface features, 558;
    vegetation on, 558-559;
    Indians of the, 559;
    production of rubber on, 559;
    timber trees on, 559-560.

  Serra do Mar (Sea Range), 372;
    trees of the, 390-394.

  Serra dos Orgãos, 381, 384-385.

  Setebos, discussion of the word, 303.

  Shakespeare, material found by, in account of Magellan's voyage, 303.

  Sheep, farming of, in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, 300-301;
    on Falkland Isles, 310;
    numbers of, in Argentina, 336 n.

  Shrines, about Lake Titicaca, 126, 129-130.

  Sicuani, town of, 88-92.

  Silver, mines of, in Peru, 42;
    mining of, in Bolivia, 189, 190, 192;
    existence of, a misfortune to Spanish America, 493.

  Slavery, in Brazil, 404-405, 456.

  Smyth's Channel, 288, 291, 292.

  Snowy Range, 143.

  Soldier's Leap, the, 254.

  Songs of Peruvians, 155.

  Sorata, Mt. _See_ Illampu.

  Sorata, village of, 141, 142;
    Spanish city at, destroyed by Peruvian Indians, 467.

  _Soroche_, mountain sickness, 83, 172.

  Southern Railroad of Peru, 80, 125.

  Spain, restrictions placed on South American trade by, 326, 513;
    relations of Spanish Americans with, 513-516;
    literature not supplied to her colonies by, 576.

  Spaniards, in Panama, 14-17, 35;
    atrocities practised by, at Cuzco, 92, 115-117;
    fewness of, at La Paz, 179;
    in Buenos Aires, 321-322;
    in Argentina, 338;
    immigration of, to Uruguay, 355;
    treatment of aboriginal population by, 454-456;
    decrease of Indians under régime of, 457.

  Spencer, Herbert, popularity of, among philosophically inclined South
         Americans, 581 n.

  Spirit worship among Indians, 63, 157, 185, 466, 529.

  Squier, _Travels in Peru_ by, cited, 467, 587.

  Stars, worship of, by Peruvians, 157.

  Staten Island, Argentina, 293.

  State socialistic propaganda in Uruguay, 363-364.

  Statues, absence of, of the Conquistadores, 515-516.

  Steamboats, Lake Titicaca, 125;
    on Rio Bueno, 242.

  Steamship lines, west coast of South America, 42, 54;
    running south from Chile, 288-289;
    Pacific Steam Navigation Company's line through Straits of
        Magellan, 308 n.;
    between Buenos Aires and Italian ports, 516;
    activity of Germans in running, to South America, 517.

  Stock exchange, Valparaiso, 215.

  Straits, interest attached to, geographically and commercially, 1-2.

  Subterranean passages, reports of famous, 110-111.

  Sucre (Chuquisaca), 193-194.

  Suez Canal, comparisons and contrasts between Panama Canal
        and, 2-4, 23;
    competition between Panama route and, 34.

  Sugar, production of, in Argentina, 336;
    region where produced, in Brazil, 403;
    labour on plantations of, 404-405.

  Sugar Loaf, the, Rio de Janeiro, 380.

  Sun, Island of the, Lake Titicaca, 132-140.

  Sun, worship of, by aborigines, 113, 157.

  Superstitions of primitive Peruvians, 158-159.

  Swamps, Isthmus of Panama, 6, 9.

  Switzerland, solidarity of government of, despite its three races,
        424-425, 531 n.

  Syrian immigrants to Brazil, 407.


  Talcahuano, 210, 225, 226-227.

  _Taquia_, use of, as fuel, Peru, 121.

  Tarapaca, province of, 42.

  Tehuelche Indians, 303.

  Temple of the Sun, Cuzco, 105, 113, 114.

  Temuco, 231, 235.

  Teutonic America _vs._ Latin America, 490.

  Tiahuanaco (Tihuamacu), ruins at, 144-151, 154;
    builders at, antedated the Incas, 149-150.

  Tibet, comparisons between Peruvian plateau and, 119, 122.

  Tierra del Fuego, 300-304.

  Tijuca, Mt., 382.

  _Times_, London, South American Supplements, 588.

  Tin mining, Bolivia, 189, 190, 192.

  Tiquina, Straits of, 141.

  Tirapata, town of, 84, 194.

  Titicaca, Lake, 54, 82, 84, 86, 488;
    altitude of, 119;
    area and shape, 120;
    coasts, depth, waters, fauna and flora, 124-125;
    purity of water, 126;
    native craft on, 125;
    steamboats on, 125;
    shrines about, 126;
    colour of, 126-127;
    Sacred Islands in, 130-140;
    evidence of waters of, receding, 144.

  Titicaca Island, illiteracy of Indians on, 181.

  Titi Kala, Sacred Rock, at Lake Titicaca, 135-140.

  Titles of nobility in Latin America, 502 n.

  Tocantins River, 558.

  Toledo, Francisco de, 115;
    census of Peruvian Indians taken by, 457.

  Tolls, Panama Canal, 33, 34.

  Tolorsa, Mt., 268-269.

  _Totora_, water plant on Lake Titicaca, 125;
    native craft made of, 125, 141.

  Trade, effect of Panama Canal on international, 33-35.

  Trade restrictions imposed by Spain, 326, 513.

  Transandine railway line, 249-261;
    effect of, on traffic _via_ Straits of Magellan, 301.

  Travel, facilities for, in South America, 588-589.
    _See_ Railways, Steamship lines, _etc._

  Trees, Isthmus of Panama, 5-6;
    of the Montaña, 75, 76;
    on central plateau of Peru, 120;
    of southern Chile, 244-246;
    Brazilian, 390-394;
    of the Selvas, 558-560.

  Tres Montes, headland of, 289.

  Trevelyan, G. M., work by, cited, 358 n.

  Trolley ride down the Andes, 270-271.

  Trumajo, town of, 242.

  Truxillo, town of, 44;
    ruins of Chimu city near, 153-154.

  Tuberculosis, among Araucanian Indians, 237;
    among the Onas, 478.

  Tucuman, town of, 326, 330, 478.

  Tumbez, town of, 39.

  Tunnel through the Andes, 251, 256.

  Tupac Amaru, last of the Inca line, 92, 115, 466-467, 514.

  Tupac Amaru, a second, 92, 116.

  Tupiza, 191.

  Tupungato, Mt., 254, 268, 392;
    altitude and description, 260.

  Tussock grass, Falkland Isles, 310.


  Ubinas, volcano of, 64 n., 82.

  Ucayali River, 86.

  Ulloa, Antonio, 463 n.

  Ulloa, Juan, quoted on Indians of Peru and Ecuador, 463.

  Underground passages, legends of, 110-111.

  United States, people from, in Buenos Aires, 321;
    suspicious watch kept on actions of, by South American countries,
        447, 497;
    influence of, used to avert hostilities between South American
        states, 449-450;
    difference in relations between races in South America and, 470-475;
    causes of differences between South American republics and, traced
        from early settlement, 488 ff.;
    little change in relations resulting from achievement of
        independence by both South America and, 496-497;
    complete divergence of fortunes of, and causes, 497-500;
    sole point of resemblance to-day their location in New World, 501;
    states-system of, has been the same as South American republics',
    departure of, from original policy in conquering the Philippines
        and annexing Pacific islands, 502;
    sympathy of, extended to Spanish colonies in revolt against
        Spain, 507, 524;
    Constitution of, taken as a model by new republics in Spanish
        America, 508, 538;
    present South American view of Monroe Doctrine of, 508-510;
    general attitude of South Americans toward, 510-512.

  Universities in Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, 50, 100-101, 323, 575.

  Urcos, lake of, 111.

  Urubamba River, 86.

  Uruguay, 52;
    history of, leading up to independence, 349-350;
    area and character of country, 350-351;
    economic outlook for, 354;
    people of, 355 ff.;
    revolutions in, 356-360;
    Red and White factions, 357;
    growth in wealth and population, despite revolutions, 362-363;
    schemes tending toward state socialism in, 363-364;
    an attractive country, whose political conditions need remedying,
    true national qualities possessed by, 441;
    lacking in Indian population, 459;
    fitness of, for immigration, 556-557;
    University of Montevideo in, 575.

  Uruguay River, 316, 354.

  Urus, Indian tribe, 121, 183.

  Uspallata, plain of, 260-261, 267.

  Uspallata Pass, 250, 280.

  Uyuni, 168, 183, 191, 194-197.


  Valdez, Dr., 156.

  Valdivia, Pedro de, 218-219, 229;
    statue of, 220, 516;
    invasion of Araucanians' country by, 234.

  Valdivia, town of, 224, 228-230.

  Valley of Desolation, the, 261, 267.

  Valparaiso, 39;
    harbour of, 212;
    description of, 212-214;
    flourishing commerce of, 215-216;
    comparison of Germans and English at, 215-216.

  Valverde, Vicente de, 97-98.

  Van Dyck, paintings attributed to, 67, 97.

  Van Dyke, _The Desert_ by, 196 n.

  Vega, Garcilaso de la, 117.

  Vegetation, in southern Chile, 241-247;
    on the Selvas, 558-560.

  Venezuela, question of true national qualities of, 442.

  Vespuccius, Americus, 367 n.;
    the naming of the two Americas for, 484-487.

  Viacha, railroad junction, 169, 170, 186, 187.

  Viceroys, despotic power of Spanish, in South America, 535.

  Victoria, Australia, decrease in birth-ate of, 563 n.

  Victoria, Mt., 298.

  Vicuñas, 82; rugs from wool of, at La Paz, 178.

  Vilcamayu River, 86, 92, 94, 180;
    ruins along valley of the, 113.

  Vilcañota, Sierra of, 85, 93, 121.

  Vina del Mar, suburb of Valparaiso, 214-215.

  Vinamarca, Lake, 141, 143.

  Vines, Mr., ascent of Aconcagua by, 258;
    of Tupungato, 260 n.

  Vineyards, at Mendoza, 263;
    in Uruguay, 351.

  Viracocha, Inca sovereign, 91 n., 95.

  _Viracocha_, Indian name for white man of superior station, 91.

  Virgenes, Cape, 284, 305, 308.

  Virgin of the Light, shrine of, Copacavana, 126.

  Virgins of the Sun, Palace of the, Koati, 132.

  Volcanoes: El Misti, 56-57, 60, 61, 63, 81, 82, 392;
    Omate, 63, 64 n.;
    Ubinas, 64 n., 82;
    below Sicuani, 93;
    of Western Cordillera, 200-201.

  Voyages of Columbus, Da Gama, and Magellan compared, 282-284.


  Walls, ruins of, at Cuzco, 103, 105-106;
    of Sacsahuaman, 106 n., 107-112, 118;
    on island of Koati, 131;
    at Titi Kala, 136-137.
    _See also_ Ruins.

  War, prospects and possibilities of, in South America, 448-451,

  War of Independence, the, 166, 327;
    influence of, on awakening of national life, 434-436.

  Waterfalls, Parahyba River, 387, 389.

  Wealth, hope for political progress in increase of, 546-547.

  Western Cordillera, 55-58, 198, 203.

  West Indian negroes, as labourers on Panama Canal, 26 n.

  Westminster Hall, island of, 292.

  Whales, coast of Peru, 43.

  Wheat, production of, in Argentina, 336, 351.

  Wild Indians, 460, 470, 478, 530 n.

  William III of England, 16.

  Wine, made at Mendoza, 263, 336.

  Women as priests among the Araucanians, 238.

  Wool, trade in, at Punta Arenas, 300-301;
    production of, in Uruguay, 354.


  Yahgan tribe of Fuegians, 294.

  _Yareta_ moss as fuel, 121, 200.

  Yellow fever, on Isthmus of Panama, 3;
    measures taken against, 28-29;
    in city of Guayaquil, 40;
    former inroads of, at Santos, 371-372;
    extinction of, at Rio de Janeiro, 384;
    general freedom from, 589.

  Yunca Indians, 457.

  Yungas, region called the, 177.

  Yupanqui, Francisco Tito, 129.

  Yura, village of, Peru, 81.


  Zambos, half-breeds of Indians and negroes, 66;
   estimated total number of, 564.

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[1] All things tend naturally towards non-existence. So in the original
statutes of Oriel College, Oxford (founded in A.D. 1327).

[2] All that comes into being deserves to perish.

[3] The trade to the Philippines crossed the Continent at Tehuantepec.

[4] The reader will find at the end of the volume a small map which may
help him to understand the topography of the region.

[5] The highest point of excavation at Gold Hill is 534 feet above sea
level and the highest elevation of the original surface of the ground
along the centre line of the Canal was 312 feet above sea level. The
vertical depth of the cut on the centre line is thus 272 feet, the
bottom of the cut being 40 feet above sea level.

[6] The unskilled labourers employed are mostly West Indian negroes
from Jamaica and Barbadoes, with some Spaniards, but no Chinese. The
skilled men are from the United States. Many Chinese were here in the
French days and died in great numbers.

[7] Among the white population of the Zone, excluding the cities of
Panama and Colon, the rate was higher, viz. 16.47 for 1910 and 15.32
for 1911, the part of the population not under official control being
less careful to observe health rules.

[8] Fascinated by the example of Suez, and not realizing how greatly
the problem of construction was affected by the difference between the
very wet climate of Panama and the absolutely dry climate of Suez, the
French engineers originally planned a sea-level canal. To have carried
out that plan would have added enormously to the cost, for the Culebra
cutting must have been not only eighty feet deeper, but immensely
wider. Few who examine the spot seem now to doubt that the decision to
have a lock canal has been a wise one.

[9] The last estimate presented puts the amount at $375,000,000. The
fortifications are expected to cost about $12,000,000 more.

[10] London to Sydney via Suez 11,531 miles, via Panama 12,525; London
to Auckland via Suez 12,638 miles, via Panama, 11,404.

[11] Since our visit Coropuna has been ascended by my friend Professor
Hiram Bingham of Yale University (U.S.A.). The average of his
observations gives it a height of 21,700 feet. A very interesting
account of his long and difficult snow climb may be found in _Harper's
Magazine_ for March, 1912.

[12] The Harvard Observatory Report gives it as 7550.

[13] Quoted in the learned notes to Mr. Bandelier's valuable book,
_Islands of Titicaca and Koati_, p. 161, from a MS. in the National
Archives at Lima. Omate is probably the volcano now usually known as

[14] Chapter XVI.

[15] _Paramo_ is the name applied to these bleak regions between the

[16] This is the term of respect by which an Indian usually addresses a
white man of superior station. The word was in Inca mythology the name
of a divine or half-divine hero--it was also the name of one of the
Inca sovereigns.

[17] Above this valley, nearly a hundred miles away to the northeast,
rises the splendid peak of Salcantay, whose height, said to approach
22,000 feet, will some day attract an aspiring mountain climber.

[18] It is fair to say that when the conquest was once accomplished,
Valverde seems to have protested against the reduction of the Indians
to slavery.

[19] While these pages are passing through the press (April, 1912), I
am informed that a serious effort is about to be made to lay drains in
and generally to clean up Cuzco.

[20] The name "Inca" properly belongs to the ruling family or clan in
the Peruvian monarchy, of whose ethnic relations to its subjects we
know very little, but I use it here to denote not only the dynasty,
but the epoch of their rule, which apparently covered two centuries
(possibly more) before the arrival of Pizarro. The expression "The
Inca" means the reigning monarch.

[21] A patient archæologist might be able by examining and
photographing specimens of each style to determine their chronological
succession and thus throw some light on the history of the city. The
oldest type appeared to be that of the Inca Roca wall, very similar to
that of the Sacsahuaman walls to be presently described.

[22] Good specimens of all these things may be seen in the American
Museum of Natural History of New York.

[23] Some of the granite blocks in the fortress at Osaka in Japan are
even larger, but these belong to the time of Hideoshi, early in the
seventeenth century. There is some reason to think that the city or
at least the neighbourhood of Cuzco may have been inhabited from very
remote times.

[24] Such as that at Choqquequirau described by my friend Professor
Bingham in his book entitled _Across South America_. He discovered, in
1911, an Inca building at a place on the river Pampaconas fifteen days'
journey north of Cuzco and only two thousand feet above sea-level. It
was not previously known that their power had extended so far in that

[25] Dr. Sven Hedin gives the height of Tso Mavang as 15,098 feet above
sea level.

[26] In some parts of Mexico the Indians use the seeds of a species of
_Chenopodium_ for food. Civilized man has not yet troubled himself to
enquire what possibilities of development there may be in some of the
plants which primitive or barbarous man turned to account.

[27] Dr. Uhle has suggested that the so-called seats may have been
places on which to set images. Mr. Bingham thinks they were more
probably spots on which priests stood to salute the rising sun by
wafting kisses with their hands, a Peruvian practice described by
Calancha, who compares the book of Job, chap. xxxi, v. 27.

[28] Lake Titicaca was originally, it would seem, called the lake of
Chucuito, from an ancient town on its western shore.

[29] St. Thomas, according to an early legend, preached the Gospel on
the coast of Malabar, so the Spanish ecclesiastics when they came to
Mexico and Peru and heard tales of a wise deity or semi-divine teacher
who had long ago appeared among the natives, concluded this must have
been the Apostle, the idea of the connection of Eastern Asia with these
new Western lands being still in their minds.

In the ancient city of Tlascala in Mexico I have seen a picture
representing St. Thomas preaching to the natives in the guise of the
Mexican deity Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Snake. St. Thomas is depicted
as half serpent, half bird, but with a human head.

[30] Sir M. Conway gives the height of the higher peak Ancohuma (Hanko
Uma) at 21,490. The loftiest summits in Peru seem to be Huascaran (some
way N.N.E. of Lima), about 22,150 feet, and Coropuna (see p. 57),
21,700 feet. Aconcagua in Chile is the culminating point of the Andes
and the whole Western World (see p. 260).

[31] _Climbing and Exploration in the Bolivian Andes_, 1901.

[32] See Bandelier, _Islands of Titicaca and Koati_, ch. I, and notes.

[33] They have some likeness to the carved stone found at Chavin in
northern Peru, figured in Sir C. Markham's _The Incas of Peru_, p. 34.
There was also found lately in a grave near Lima a textile fabric with
a pattern resembling this.

[34] The arrow point may however have been brought from the
northeastern shores of Titicaca. Mr. Bingham tells me that such
obsidian tips are sometimes found in auriferous gravels there.

[35] The primitive inhabitants of the Canary Isles, who were apparently
of Berber stock, also preserved their dead as mummies.

[36] Abundant evidence on this subject may be found in Mr. J. G.
Frazer's _Golden Bough_. In Cornwall and Ireland sacred wells still
receive offerings. I once met a French peasant who believed in
were-wolves and knew one; and I remember as a boy to have been warned
by the peasants in the Glens of Antrim to beware of the water spirit
who (under the form of a bull) infested the river in which I was

[37] It is, however, probable that the early Spanish accounts of the
excellence of the roads were exaggerated, for few traces of them can be
discerned to-day.

[38] See note III at end of book.

[39] It is not clear how much territory this enumeration covered and it
was probably only a rough estimate; still, the fact that the population
was far larger in the middle of the sixteenth than it was in the
eighteenth century seems beyond doubt.

[40] A vast deal still remains to be done both in Mexico and Peru,
perhaps even more in the latter than in the former, to examine
thoroughly both the accounts given by the early Spanish writers and the
existing remains of buildings and graves and the objects found in or
near them, so as to lay a founda