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Title: Spanish America, Its Romance, Reality and Future, Vol. 2 (of 2)
Author: Enock, C. Reginald (Charles Reginald)
Language: English
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enclosed by equal signs is in bold (=bold=).

Additional Transcriber's Notes are at the end.

       *       *       *       *       *

SPANISH AMERICA

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SOUTH AMERICAN SERIES

_Demy 8vo, cloth._

  1. =CHILE.= By G. F. SCOTT ELLIOTT, F.R.G.S. With an Introduction by
  Martin Hume, a Map, and 39 Illustrations. (4th Impression.)

  2. =PERU.= By C. REGINALD ENOCK, F.R.G.S. With an Introduction by
  Martin Hume, a Map, and 72 Illustrations. (3rd Impression.)

  3. =MEXICO.= By C. REGINALD ENOCK, F.R.G.S. With an Introduction by
  Martin Hume, a Map, and 64 Illustrations. (3rd Impression.)

  4. =ARGENTINA.= By W. A. HIRST. With an Introduction by Martin Hume,
  a Map, and 64 Illustrations. (4th Impression.)

  5. =BRAZIL.= By PIERRE DENIS. With a Historical Chapter by Bernard
  Miall, a Map, and 36 Illustrations. (2nd Impression.)

  6. =URUGUAY.= By W. H. KOEBEL. With a Map and 55 Illustrations.

  7. =GUIANA: British, French, and Dutch.= By JAMES RODWAY. With a Map
  and 36 Illustrations.

  8. =VENEZUELA.= By LEONARD V. DALTON, B.Sc. (Lond.), F.G.S., F.R.G.S.
  With a Map and 36 Illustrations. (2nd Impression.)

  9. =LATIN AMERICA: Its Rise and Progress.= By F. GARCIA CALDERON.
  With a Preface by Raymond Poincaré, President of France, a Map, and
  34 Illustrations. (2nd Impression.)

  10. =COLOMBIA.= By PHANOR JAMES EDER, A.B., LL.B. With 2 Maps and 40
  Illustrations. (2nd Impression.)

  11. =ECUADOR.= By C. REGINALD ENOCK, F.R.G.S.

  12. =BOLIVIA.= By PAUL WALLE. With 62 Illustrations and 4 Maps.

  13. =PARAGUAY.= By W. H. KOEBEL.

  14. =CENTRAL AMERICA.= By W. H. KOEBEL.

  "The output of the books upon Latin America has in recent years been
  very large, a proof doubtless of the increasing interest that is felt
  in the subject. Of these the South American Series edited by Mr.
  Martin Hume is the most noteworthy."--TIMES.

  "Mr. Unwin is doing good service to commercial men and investors by
  the production of his 'South American Series.'"--SATURDAY REVIEW.

  "Those who wish to gain some idea of the march of progress in these
  countries cannot do better than study the admirable 'South American
  Series.'"--CHAMBER OF COMMERCE JOURNAL.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BRONZE STATUE OF BOLÍVAR IN THE PLAZA, CARÁCAS,
VENEZUELA.

  Vol. II. Frontispiece.]



  SPANISH AMERICA

  ITS ROMANCE, REALITY
  AND FUTURE

  BY

  C. R. ENOCK, C.E., F.R.G.S.

  AUTHOR OF "THE ANDES AND THE AMAZON," "PERU,"
  "MEXICO," "ECUADOR," ETC.

  WITH 26 ILLUSTRATIONS AND A MAP

  VOL. II

  T. FISHER UNWIN LTD

  LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE

       *       *       *       *       *

  _First published in 1920_

  (_All rights reserved_)



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                            PAGE

  IX. THE LANDS OF THE SPANISH MAIN: COLOMBIA
  AND VENEZUELA                                        11

  X. THE LANDS OF THE SPANISH MAIN: VENEZUELA
  AND GUIANA                                           32

  XI. THE AMAZON VALLEY: IN COLOMBIA, VENEZUELA,
  ECUADOR, BOLIVIA, PERU AND BRAZIL                    74

  XII. BRAZIL                                         111

  XIII. THE RIVER PLATE AND THE PAMPAS: ARGENTINA,
  URUGUAY AND PARAGUAY                                158

  XIV. THE RIVER PLATE AND THE PAMPAS: ARGENTINA,
  URUGUAY AND PARAGUAY                                202

  XV. TRADE AND FINANCE                               236

  XVI. TO-DAY AND TO-MORROW                           254

  INDEX                                               303



ILLUSTRATIONS


  BRONZE STATUE OF BOLÍVAR IN THE PLAZA, CARÁCAS,
  VENEZUELA                               _Frontispiece_

                                             TO FACE PAGE

  A SEAPORT ON THE AMERICAN MEDITERRANEAN, SANTA
  MARTA, COLOMBIA                                      14

  TRANSPORTING MACHINERY IN THE COLOMBIAN ANDES        22

  THE MAINLAND FROM TRINIDAD, AND VIEW IN THE
  DELTA OF THE ORINOCO                                 34

  INDIANS AT HOME, GUIANA                              52

  GEORGETOWN, BRITISH GUIANA                           64

  IN THE PERUVIAN MONTAÑA                              78

  UNCIVILIZED FOREST INDIANS OF THE PERUVIAN AMAZON    90

  INDIANS OF THE NAPO, PERUVIAN-AMAZON REGION          96

  THE BAY OF RIO DE JANEIRO                           112

  PALM AVENUE, RIO DE JANEIRO                         128

  A COLONY, RIO GRANDE                                132

  A VIEW IN SAO PAULO                                 140

  COFFEE HARVEST, BRAZIL                              150

  BUENOS AYRES                                        160

  MAR DEL PLATA                                       166

  MONTEVIDEO: THE PLAZA                               178

  MONTEVIDEO: THE HARBOUR                             178

  THE PAMPAS, ARGENTINA                               204

  THE CITY OF CORDOBA, ARGENTINA                      206

  IGUAZU FALLS                                        210

  A CHACO FLOOD                                       214

  BRINGING HOME YERBA                                 220

  PACKING YERBA                                       220

  STREET IN MEXICO CITY. CATHEDRAL IN DISTANCE        264

  CHAPEL OF THE ROSARIO, MEXICO                       266



SPANISH AMERICA

CHAPTER IX

THE LANDS OF THE SPANISH MAIN

COLOMBIA AND VENEZUELA


A sea-wall of solid masonry, a rampart upon whose flat top we may walk
at will, presents itself to the winds and spray that blow in from the
Gulf of Darien upon the ancient city of Cartagena, and the booming of
the waves there, in times of storm, might be the echo of the guns of
Drake, for this rampart was raised along the shore in those days when
he and other famous sea rovers ranged the Spanish Main, over which
Cartagena still looks out.

Cartagena was a rich city in those days, the outlet for the gold and
silver and other seductive matters of New Granada, under the viceroys,
and the buccaneers knew it well, this tempting bait of a treasure
storehouse and haven of the Plate ships. This, then, was the reason for
the massive sea-wall, one of the strongest and oldest of the Spanish
fortifications of the New World, which Spain had monopolized and which
the sea rovers disputed.

There is a certain Mediterranean aspect about Cartagena, which was
named by its founder, the Spaniard, Pedro de Heredia, in 1533, after
the Spanish city of Carthage, founded by the Phœnicians of the famous
Carthage of Africa. The steamer on which we have journeyed has crossed
the American Mediterranean, as the Caribbean has been not altogether
fancifully termed, for there is a certain analogy with the original,
and passing the islands and entering the broad channel brings into
view the ancient and picturesque town, with the finest harbour on the
northern coast of the continent, a smooth, land-locked bay, with groups
of feathery palms upon its shores.

Backed by the verdure-clad hills--whereon the better-class residents
have their homes, thereby escaping the malarias of the littoral--the
walls and towers of the town arise, and, entering, we are impressed by
a certain old-world dignity and massiveness of the place, a one-time
home of the viceroy and of the Inquisition. There are many memories
of the past here of interest to the English traveller. Among these
stands out the attempt of Admiral Vernon, in 1741, who with a large
naval force and an army--under General Wentworth--arrived expecting an
outpost of the place, which Drake had so easily held to ransom, to fall
readily before him. The attempt was a failure, otherwise the British
Empire might have been established upon this coast.

Colombia, like Mexico, has been a land of what might be termed vanished
hopes and arrested development. But the old land of New Granada, as
Colombia was earlier termed, has not the weight of wasted opportunity
and outraged fortune which now envelops the land of New Spain, which
in our generation promised so much and fell from grace. Colombia, by a
slower path, may yet reach a greater height than Mexico as an exponent
of Spanish American culture.

But a century ago, at the time Colombia freed herself, in company
with her neighbours, from the rule of Spain, her statesmen as well
as her neighbours hailed her as a favoured land upon which fortune
was to shine, which was to lead in industrial achievement, to redress
the balance of the Old World, to offer liberty and opportunity
to the settler, riches to the trader, to be a centre of art and
thought. At that time, indeed, New Granada was the leading State in
all the newly born constellation of Spanish America, and during her
earlier republican period one of her orators, with that command of
grandiloquent phrase with which the Spanish American statesman is
endowed, spoke as follows:

  "United, neither the empire of the Assyrians, the Medes or the
  Persians, the Macedonian or the Roman Empire can ever be compared
  with this colossal Republic!"

The speaker--Zea, the vice-president--was referring to the Republic of
_La Gran Colombia_, formed, under Bolivar, of Venezuela, Colombia and
Ecuador--a union which was soon disrupted and which neither geography
nor human politics could have done aught but tend to separate. The
union, like that of Central America, fell asunder amid strife and
bloodshed.

But let us take the road to Bogota, the beautiful and in many respects
highly cultured capital of Colombia.

We do not, however, take the road, but the river, starting either from
Cartagena by the short railway to Barranquilla, the seaport at the
mouth of the Magdalena River, or direct from that port, and thence by
the various interrupted stages of a journey that has become a synonym
of varied travel to a South American capital.

Barranquilla is an important place--the principal commercial centre of
the Republic. Here we embark upon a stern-wheel river steamer of the
Mississippi type, flat-bottomed, not drawing more than three to five
feet of water. The smaller boat, though less pretentious, may sometimes
be the better on the long voyage upstream, and may pass the bigger and
swifter craft if haply, as occurs at times, that craft be stranded on a
shoal. For the river falls greatly in the dry season.

[Illustration: A SEAPORT ON THE AMERICAN MEDITERRANEAN, SANTA MARTA,
COLOMBIA.

  Vol. II. To face p. 14.]

Journeying thus, we reach La Dorada, six hundred miles upstream, in
about nine days, for there are many obstacles against time on the
way, such as the current, the taking-in of fuel, the sand bars, which
prohibit progress by night, slow discharge of merchandise and so
forth. The heat may be stifling. A gauze mosquito bar or net is among
the equipment of the prudent traveller, as is a cot or hammock, and
rugs against the chill and damp of the nights. Also food, for the
commissariat on board often leaves much to be desired. In Colombia the
traveller requires clothing both light and heavy, as indeed in almost
all Spanish American countries. Quinine, moreover, must always be among
his equipment.

At Puerto Berrio, five hundred miles up the river, a railway runs to
the interesting city of Medellin, in the mountains, the second city in
importance in Colombia.

There are, from La Dorada, various changes to be made before Bogota
is reached. We must change to the railway that runs to--near--Honda,
circumventing the rapids, a line about twenty miles long. Here we have
a choice of routes and methods. We may proceed on mule-back through
magnificent scenery and the refreshing atmosphere of the Andes, with
tolerable inns, or we may take the steamer again to Giradot, on the
Upper Magdalena, and then a further trajectory of eighty miles by rail.
Seven changes are necessary in this journey from Cartagena to the
capital--ocean-steamer to train, thence to river-steamer, from that
to the train again, thence to river-steamer once more, thence to the
train, and again to another train--doubtless a record of varied travel.

The remote and famous city of Santa Fé de Bogota, founded by Quesada in
1538, the old viceregal capital of New Granada, the "Athens of South
America" as some of its admirers have termed it, stands pleasingly
upon its _Sabana_, or upland plain--one of the largest cultivated
mountain plateaux in the world--at an elevation of 8,600 feet above
sea-level, higher than the famous city of Mexico. It is in the heart
of the Tropics, but four degrees north of the Equator, and its equable
climate, a result of the offsetting of latitude by altitude, is in many
respects delightful.

Here the typical Spanish American character is stamped on the city
and reflected in the life of its people, where Parisian dress rubs
shoulders with the blanketed Indian. Here the aristocracy of Colombia,
implanted by Spain, centres. One street may be lined with the handsome
residences of the correct and elegant upper class, folk perhaps
educated in foreign universities, men of the world, passing by in silk
hat and frock-coat--attire beloved of the wealthy here--or in motor-car
or carriage, which whirls past the groups of half-starved, half-clothed
(and perhaps half-drunken) Indian or poor Mestizo folk, whose homes
are in the hovels of a neighbouring street and whose principal source
of entertainment is the _chicheria_, or drinking-den, such as exists
in profusion. And without desiring to institute undue comparisons--for
wealth and misery go side by side in London or New York, or any city of
Christendom--it may be pointed out that despite the claim of Bogota to
be a centre of literary thought and high culture, little more perhaps
than a tenth of the population of Colombia can read and write.

There are handsome plazas, with gardens and statuary, but few imposing
public buildings, although a certain simplicity is pleasing here. The
streets generally are narrow, and the houses low, as a precaution
against earthquake shocks. The _Capitiolio_, the building of the
Legislature, is spacious and handsome. Upon a marble tablet, upon its
façade, in letters of gold, is an inscription to the memory of the
British Legion, the English and Irish who lent their aid to Colombia
and Venezuela, under Bolivar, to secure independence from Spain a
century or more ago.

The story of the British soldiers in this liberation is an interesting
one.

  "With insubordination and murmurings among his own generals,
  decreased troops and depleted treasure, and without the encouragement
  of decisive victories to make good these deficiencies, the outlook
  for Bolivar and for the cause in which he was fighting might well
  have disheartened him at this time. In March, however, Colonel Daniel
  O'Leary had arrived with the troops raised by Colonel Wilson in
  London, consisting largely of veterans of the Napoleonic wars. These
  tried soldiers, afterwards known as the British Legion, were destined
  to play an all-important part in the liberation of Venezuela, and
  Bolivar soon recognized their value, spending the time till December
  in distributing these new forces to the best advantage.

  "Elections were arranged in the autumn, and on February 15, 1819,
  Congress was installed in Angostura. Bolivar took the British
  Constitution as his model, with the substitute of an elected
  president for an hereditary king, and was himself proclaimed
  provisional holder of the office. The hereditary form of the Senate
  was, however, soon given up."[1]

Before the Conquest Bogota was the home of the Chibchas people--Tunja
was their northern capital--the cultured folk of Colombia, who,
although inferior to the Incas of Peru, had their well-built towns and
a flourishing agriculture and local trade, their temples of no mean
structure, with an advanced religion which venerated and adored the
powers of Providence as represented by Nature; who worked gold and
silver and ornaments of jewels beautifully and skilfully, such things
as Quesada's Spaniards coveted--a culture which knew how to direct the
Indian population, but which, alas! fell before the invaders as all
other early American cultures fell.

To-day, as then, the high mountains look down upon the Sabana, and the
rills of clear water descend therefrom. Still the beautiful Mesa de
Herveo, the extinct volcano, displays like a great tablecloth from a
giant table its gleaming mantle of perpetual snow, over 3,000 feet of
white drapery. Still the emerald mines of Muzo yield their emeralds,
and still the patient Indian cultivates the many foods and fruits which
Nature has so bountifully lavished upon his fatherland.

Colombia, like Peru or Mexico, or Ecuador or other of the sisterhood
of nations in our survey, is a land of great contrasts, whether of
Nature or man. The unhealthy lowlands of the coast give place to the
delightful valleys of higher elevations, which in their turn merge
into the bitter cold of the melancholy _paramos_, or upland passes,
and tablelands of the Andes. Or the cultivated lands pass to savage
forests, where roam tribes of natives who perhaps have never looked
upon the face of the white man.

Every product of Nature in these climates is at hand or possible,
and the precious minerals caused New Granada to be placed high on
the roll of gold-producing colonies of the Indies. The coffee of the
lowlands, the bananas, shipped so largely from the pretty port of Santa
Marta, the cotton, the sugar and the cocoa, grown so far mainly for
home consumption; the coconuts, the ivory-nuts--_tagua_, or coróza,
for foreign use in button-making largely--the rice, the tobacco, the
quinine, of which shipments have been considerable; the timber, such as
cedar and mahogany; the cattle and hides, the gold, silver, platinum,
copper, coal, emeralds, cinnabar, lead, the iron and petroleum--such
are the chief products of this favoured land.

Many of the mines and railways are under British control, but in
general trade German interests have been strong, and the German has
identified himself, after his custom, with the domestic life of the
Republic. A rich flora, including the beautiful orchids, is found here,
as in the neighbouring State of Venezuela.

Two-fifths of Colombia is mountainous territory, the plateaux and spurs
of the Andes, between which latter run the Magdalena and Cauca Rivers.
The roads are mule-trails, such as bring again and again before us as
we experience their discomforts the fact that Colombia, in common with
all the Andine Republics, is still in the Middle Ages as far as means
of rural transport are concerned. Yet the landscape is often of the
most delightful, and the traveller, in the intervals of expending his
breath in cursing the trails, will raise his eyes in admiration of the
work of Nature here.

  Especially is this the case when, in the dry season, travel is less
  onerous and when nothing can be more pleasing than the varying
  scenery. Here "dipping down into a delightful little valley, formed
  by a sparkling rivulet whose banks are edged with cane, bamboo and
  tropical trees, inter-wreathed with twining vines; there, circling
  a mountain-side and looking across at a vast amphitheatre where the
  striking vegetation, in wild profusion, is the gigantic wax-palm,
  that towers sometimes to a height of 100 feet; then, reaching the
  level of the oak and other trees of the temperate zone, or still
  higher at an altitude of 10,000 or 11,000 feet, the _paramos_, bare
  of all vegetation save low shrubs, which might be desolate were it
  not for the magnificent mountain scenery, with the occasional view of
  the glorious snow-peaks of the Central Cordillera.

  "At times the road is poor: now and then, cut into the solid rock of
  the mountain-side, towering sheer hundreds of feet above you, while a
  precipice yawns threateningly on the other side, it may narrow down
  to a scant yard or two in width; it may, for a short distance, climb
  at an angle of almost forty-five degrees, with the roughest cobble
  paving for security against the mules slipping; or in a stretch of
  alluvial soil, the ruts worn by the constant tread of the animals
  in the same spot have worn deep narrow trenches, characteristic of
  Andean roads, against the sides of which one's knees will knock
  roughly if constant vigilance be not exercised; worse yet, these
  trenches will not be continuous, but will be interrupted by mounds
  over which the mules have continually stepped, sinking the road-bed
  deeper and deeper by the iterated stamping of their hoofs in the same
  hollow, till deep excavations are formed, which in the rainy season
  are pools filled with the most appalling mud. Such is a fair picture
  applicable to many a stretch of so-called road in Colombia.

  "The 'hotel accommodations' on the way are poor, of course; one
  stops at the usual shanty and takes such fare as one can get, a
  _sancocho_ or _arepas_, eked out with the foods prudentially brought
  along. It is in such passes as the Quindio, too, when one reaches
  the _paramos_, thousands of feet in altitude, and far above the
  clouds, that one experiences the rigorous _cold_ of the Tropics.
  The temperature at night is nearly always below forty degrees;
  occasionally it drops to freezing-point, and one feels it all the
  more after a sojourn in the hot lowlands. No amount of clothing then
  seems adequate. Travellers will remember the bitter cold nights they
  have passed in the _paramos_."[2]

This bitter atmosphere is experienced, let us remember, on or near
the Equator. But we are led on to the beautiful Cauca Valley perhaps,
whence, if we wish, we may continue on through the pretty town of Cali,
and up over the tablelands of Popayan and Pasto, and, passing the
frontier, so ride on to Quito, the capital of Ecuador--a journey which
will leave us with sensations both painful and pleasurable.

[Illustration: TRANSPORTING MACHINERY IN THE COLOMBIAN ANDES.

  Vol. II. To face p. 22.]

  "If you cannot withstand the petty discomforts of the trail for the
  sake of the ever-shifting panorama of snow-peaks, rugged mountains,
  cosy valleys, smiling woodlands, trim little valleys, then you are
  not worthy to be exhilarated by the sun-kissed winds of the Andes, or
  soothed by the languorous tropical moonlight of the lower lands, or
  to partake of the open-handed hospitality which will greet you.

  "Such is the fame of the Cauca Valley that it was long known
  throughout Colombia simply as _the_ valley, and that is now its
  legal name. It is the valley _par excellence_. The name is used to
  designate especially that stretch, about 15 to 25 miles wide and
  150 miles long, where the Cauca River has formed a gently sloping
  plain, at an altitude of 3,000 to 3,500 feet above sea-level, between
  the Central and the Western Cordilleras. A little north of Cartago
  and a little south of La Bolsa, the two ranges hem it in. The Cauca
  is one of the real garden spots of the world. No pen can describe the
  beauty of the broad smiling valley, as seen from favourable points
  on either range, with its broad green pastures, yellow fields of
  sugar-cane, dark woodlands, its towns nestling at the foothills, the
  Cauca River in the midst, silvered by the reflected sun, and looking
  across the _lomas_ of the rapidly ascending foothills, with cameo-cut
  country houses, topped by the dense forests of the upper reaches of
  the mountains, rising to majestic heights. From some places in the
  western range will be seen the snow-clad Huila in icy contrast to the
  blazing sun shining on the luxuriant tropic vegetation beneath.

  "The best developed parts of the hot and temperate zones of
  Cundinamarca are along the Magdalena Valley and the routes of the
  Girardot Railway, the road to Cambao and the Honda trail. In the
  warmer zone there are good sugar plantations: in the temperate zone
  is grown the coffee so favourably known in the markets of the world
  under the name of Bogota: it attains its perfection at an altitude
  of about 5,000 feet, and nowhere else in Colombia has such careful
  attention been given to its cultivation. The Sabana itself, by
  which name the plateau of Bogota is known, is all taken up with
  farms and towns--there is scarcely a foot of undeveloped land. The
  climate is admirably adapted to the European-blooded animals, and the
  gentleman-farmer of Bogota takes great pride in his stock. The finest
  cattle in Colombia, a great many of imported Durham and Hereford
  stock, and excellent horses of English and Norman descent are bred
  here. This is the only section in Colombia, too, where dairying on
  any extensive scale is carried on, and where the general level of
  agriculture has risen above the primitive. The lands not devoted to
  pasture are utilized chiefly for wheat, barley and potatoes.

  "To offset bad water, the food supply is excellent, and of wonderful
  variety. That is one of the beauties of the climate of the Sabana.
  One gets all northern fruits and flowers, blooming the year round,
  and vegetables as well as quite a few of the tropical ones. It is an
  interesting sight to see tropical palms growing side by side with
  handsome northern trees, like oaks and firs. Some of the Sabana roads
  are lined with blackberries, and one gets delicious little wild
  strawberries; apples, pears and peaches are grown, though usually of
  a poor quality, not properly cultivated. Even oranges can grow on
  the Sabana, and from the nearby hot country they send up all manner
  of tropical fruits and vegetables. Then there is no dearth of good
  cooks: the epicure can enjoy private dinners and public banquets
  equal to any in the world. The one lady who reads this book will
  be interested to know that the servant problem is reduced to a
  minimum in Bogota; good domestics are plentiful and cheap--five to
  ten dollars a month is high pay. In the houses of the well-to-do
  the servants are well treated and lead happy lives; they have ample
  quarters of their own, centring around their own _patio_; and enough
  of the old patriarchal regime survives to make them really a part of
  the family."[3]

       *       *       *       *       *

Descending from the mountainous part of the country, we reach, to the
east, that portion of Colombia situated upon the affluents of the
Orinoco, a region which we may more readily consider in our description
of that great river, lying mainly in the adjoining Republic of
Venezuela. Here stretch the _llanos_, or plains, and the forests which
are the home of the wilder tribes, for Colombia has various grades of
civilization among her folk, of which the last are these aboriginals,
and the middle the patient Christianized Indians, who constitute the
bulk of the working classes. These last have the characteristics, with
small differences, of the Indian of the Cordillera in general, of whom
I have elsewhere ventured upon some study.

In Colombia, although in some respects the Republic is pervaded by
a truly democratic spirit as between class and class, power and
privilege, land and education are in the hands of a small upper class.
This condition does not make for social progress, and in the future
may seriously jeopardize the position of that class. Wisdom here, as
elsewhere in Spanish America, would advise a broader outlook. Political
misrule in the past has been rampant, although revolutions of late
years have been infrequent.

There are innumerable matters in Colombia which the observant traveller
will find of the utmost interest, but upon which we cannot dwell here.
Our way lies back to the Spanish Main, whence we take steamer along the
coast to the seaports of Venezuela.

Colombia is in a unique geographical position upon the South American
Continent, in that it is the only State with an Atlantic and Pacific
coast; added to which is the hydrographic condition which gives the
country an outlet also to the fluvial system of the Amazon, by means of
the great affluents the Yapura and the Negro, as also the Putumayo--if
that stream is to be regarded in Colombian territory, for the region is
on the debatable ground claimed by three countries, Colombia, Ecuador
and Peru.

Indeed, this portion of South America, one of the wildest parts of the
earth's surface, is of great hydrographic interest, and looking at the
map, we see how these navigable streams bend north, east and south,
with the peculiar link of the Casiquiare "Canal" or river, uniting
the fluvial systems of the Orinoco and the Amazon. (It is--but on a
vaster scale--as if a natural waterway existed between the Thames and
the Severn, or the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence.) This "Canal"
lies but 150 miles from the Equator, a few miles from the border of
Colombia, in Venezuela. Beyond, to the north-east, is Guiana, the land
of Raleigh's El Dorado. Doubtless this region, in the future--far-off
it may be--will become of much importance, and what is now savage
woodland and danger-haunted waterways may some day be teeming with life
and activity.

The conditions as regards navigability are, of course, relative in many
instances here. Again, the region is not necessarily altogether an
uninhabited one, for the rubber-stations have been increasing rapidly
of late years.

A somewhat forbidding coast presents itself as our steamer, casting
anchor, comes to rest in the waters of La Guayra, the principal seaport
of Venezuela.

Here a bold rocky wall, apparently arising sheer from the sea, a
granite escarpment more than a mile high, cuts off all view of the
interior, and, reflecting the heat of the tropic sun, makes of the
small and somewhat unprepossessing town at its base one of the hottest
seaports on the face of the globe, as it was formerly one of the most
dangerous from the exposure of its roadstead.

But, as if in some natural compensation, there lies beyond this rocky,
maritime wall one of the most beautiful capital cities of South
America--Caracas, reached by yonder railway, strung along the face of
the precipice, and affording from the train a magnificent panorama of
the seaport and the blue Caribbean.

La Guayra, ranged like an amphitheatre around the indentations in the
precipice in which it lies, with its tiers of ill-paved streets, has
nevertheless some good business houses, and the Republic expended a
million pounds sterling upon its harbour works, executed and controlled
by a British company.

Looking seaward from its quay walls, we may recall the doings of the
old buccaneers of the Spanish Main, and of other filibusters, who from
time to time have sacked the place since its founding in the sixteenth
century. Upon these quays are filled bags of cocoa and coffee, and
mountains of hides, brought down from the interior, and other products
from plain and field and forest of the hinterland, for La Guayra
monopolizes, for State reasons, much of the trade that might more
naturally find outlet through other seaports.

The little railway which bears us up and beyond to Caracas winds, to
gain elevation and passage, for twenty-four miles, in order to cover
a distance in an air-line between the port and the capital of about
six. We find ourselves set down in what enthusiastic descriptions of
this particular zone love to term a region of perpetual spring; and
indeed, at its elevation of 3,000 feet, the city is alike free from
the sweltering heat of the coast and from the cold of the higher
mountainous districts beyond.

A handsome plaza confronts us, with an equestrian statue of Bolivar.
The plaza is mosaic-paved, electrically lighted, shaded by trees
and, in the evening and on Sunday, the military bands entertain the
people after the customary Spanish American method. Some showy public
buildings, and a museum with some famous paintings are here; there are
pleasing suburbs, luxurious gardens and well laid-out streets, and this
high capital takes not unjustifiable pride to itself for its beauty and
artistic environment and atmosphere--conditions which deserve a wider
fame.

When we leave the Venezuelan capital and travel over the wide territory
of the Republic, we find it is one of the most sparsely populated
of the Spanish American nations. Conditions in internal development
and social life are very much like those of Colombia, with highlands
and lowlands, river and forest, cultivated plain and smiling valley,
malarial districts and dreary uplands. We find the rudest Indian
villages and the most pleasing towns: the most ignorant and backward
Indian folk, the more docile and industrious Christianized labouring
class, and the highly educated, sensitive and oligarchical upper class.

Again, we find the same variety of climate, products and the gifts of
Nature in general. We see great plantations of coffee, especially in
that fertile region of Maracaibo, which Colombia in part enjoys, and
which gives its name to the superior berry there produced for export.
We see broad estates, in their thousands, devoted to the production
of the _cacao_, or chocolate, and similar areas over which waves the
succulent and vivid green sugar-cane, whereon sugar is produced often
by old-fashioned methods. These products yield returns so excellent
that the growing of cotton, on the vast lands suitable thereto, are
in large degree neglected, and must be regarded as an asset for the
future, whenever local labour may become better organized or more
plentiful.

Agriculture in this varied Republic, as in its neighbour, Colombia, has
been kept backward by the same lack of labour, largely a punishment for
the decimation of the labouring folk in the civil and other wars that
have so often laid waste both man and land.

Maracaibo, lake and district, of which we have made mention, is in some
respects a curious region. Let us look at the map. We remark a great
indent on the coast of the Spanish Main. It is the Gulf of Venezuela,
continuing far inland to what is termed Lake Maracaibo. The gulf is
partly closed by the curious Goajira Peninsula.

From the appearance of the dwellings of the Indian on this lake-shore,
the name of Venezuela, or "Little Venice," was given to the mainland
here; the lake-dwellings are built on piles driven into the water.
When the first Spaniards visited the coast, under Alonzo de Ojeada--on
board with him was Amerigo Vespucci, the Florentine who gave his name
to America--they were struck by the curious appearance of the Indian
settlements, and from so accidental a circumstance was the region
baptized. The same type of dwelling still characterizes the lake, and
were it not for the busy and important town of Maracaibo, the traveller
might almost fancy himself back in the sixteenth century, coasting with
the early explorers.

Indeed, as far as the Indians of the peninsula are concerned, we
might still be in these early times, for these sturdy descendants
of the Caribs, whom the Spaniards came to dread, have maintained
their independence to this day, and although they trade with the
white folk, resist all attempts at governmental control. This is a
curious circumstance upon the coast, which was the first part of South
America to be discovered, although it might be conceivable in the far
interior--especially in view of the proximity of the busy and populous
city on the lake, a port of greater importance than La Guayra in some
respects, full of modern life and trade. Maracaibo was at one time one
of the principal educational centres of South America. Unfortunately
the bar at the mouth of the harbour unfits the place for the entry of
large vessels.

In this district lie the important petroleum fields, which have been
made the seat of recent enterprise for the production of that coveted
oil of commerce.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] _Venezuela_, Dalton, South American Series.

[2] _Colombia_, Eder, South American Series.

[3] _Colombia_, op. cit.



CHAPTER X

THE LANDS OF THE SPANISH MAIN

VENEZUELA AND GUIANA


If, as we have said, the approach to the Republic of Venezuela at La
Guayra seems forbidding and inaccessible, it must not be inferred that
this is an inevitable characteristic of the coast. The Caribbean Hills
are splendid in their aspect from the sea. They are forbidding in their
grandeur. The mighty ramparts rise almost sheer from the ocean for
thousands of feet, with cloud-veils flung across them at times, and if,
from the steamer's deck, we may wonder how access to the hinterland can
be gained, we shall find that Nature has furnished her passes, and some
of the early English adventurers of the Spanish Main scaled these, as
we may read in the stirring pages of Hakluyt.[4] Personally, I retain
strong impressions of these cool-appearing, towering ramparts of Nature
seen whilst sweltering in the tropic heat on shipboard.

Moreover, the great spurs of the Andes die out into the sea as we go
east, and so Nature has broken down the rampart, giving vent to her
marvellous hydrographic forces, which here triumph over the orographic,
in the Gulf of Paria and the delta of the Orinoco, clothed with the
densest of tropical vegetation, the home of wild beast and wild man, as
shortly we shall observe.

There are further memories of British activity in regard to Venezuelan
seaports, more modern, less picturesque than those we have already
remarked. For, in the year 1903, the loans and arrears upon interest,
the defaulted payments and disputed interpretations of contracts, in
railway construction and other matters, and alleged arbitrary behaviour
on the part of Venezuelan Government officials, came to a head, with
the result that Great Britain, Germany and Italy sent a combined fleet
to blockade the seaports, and an enforced settlement of the creditors'
claims was brought about.

However, these unfortunate incidents are of the past. Venezuela has
shown a desire for more cordial relations with the outside world.
Lately she sent a representative to London with the purpose of
inaugurating closer commercial relations with Britain.[5]

We have now to explore the great river of Venezuela, the famous Orinoco.

The Orinoco, which pours its huge volume of water into the Atlantic
on the northern shore of the continent, through a vast delta of over
thirty mouths, a volume derived from over four hundred tributaries
which descend from the spurs of the Andes or from the wild and
mysterious forests of Guiana, flows through what might be one of the
richest valleys of the earth's surface, and doubtless in the future
may so become. But, like the valley of the Amazon, its resources are
comparatively little utilized at present. Devastating floods, malarious
forests, ferocious crocodiles are some of the elements the traveller
encounters on the higher waters of this great stream, notwithstanding
that Columbus wrote to his Spanish sovereign that he had "found one of
the rivers flowing from the Earthly Paradise."

Unfortunately it may be said that the Spaniard and his descendants have
wrought destruction rather than benefit here, and the population of the
valley is less now than it was four centuries ago.

We may ascend the Orinoco, in the stern-wheel steamers which ply
thereon, for about four hundred miles to Ciudad Bolivar, which town
forms the chief and indeed almost the only trade centre, and in the
rainy season, when the river is high, which is generally from June
to November, by smaller craft up the lengthy affluents. Such are the
Apure, the Meta, the Arauca and the Guaviare, many hundreds of miles
in length, rising far away to the west amid the Cordillera, the cold
eastern slopes of whose lofty summits condense and pour down torrents
of water into an extraordinary network of rivers which flow across
the plains of Colombia and Venezuela, flooding enormous areas of
land in their passage to the main stream. Boats and barges may reach
the Andes, whose beautiful landscape forms the water-parting of this
remarkable fluvial system.

[Illustration: THE MAINLAND FROM TRINIDAD, AND VIEW IN THE DELTA OF THE
ORINOCO.

  Vol. II. To face p. 34.]

In the dry season snags and sandbanks render navigation almost
impossible on many of these tributaries, and in some cases in the
remote districts the hordes of savages who dwell on the banks add to
the dangers of the voyager. There are miles of rapids on certain of the
waterways, and great cataracts, whilst the forest comes down to the
water's edge, forming an impenetrable screen of tropical vegetation,
in which the traveller who strays from his way is lost. This jungle is
flooded in the rainy season, the waters driving back all animal life to
the higher ground.

From the east comes the great Ventuari affluent, with its unexplored
head-waters in Guiana.

The Orinoco River is of much interest, whether to the traveller or
the hydrographer, and doubtless some day its potentialities will be
more greatly utilized. In some respects this fluvial system would lend
itself to the improvements of the engineer, and might perform for the
region which it waters services such as the Nile renders for Egypt,
instead of being, as it is, largely a destructive agent. The general
slope of the river is comparatively slight, and thus canalization and
consequent improvement in navigation might be carried out. Nearly
a thousand miles from the mouth the waters of one of the principal
affluents are little above sea-level, but the rise and fall of the
flood is sometimes as much as fifty feet, and confluences two miles
wide in the dry season are increased three or four times during the
rains.

One of the most interesting features of these rivers, as already
remarked, is found in the singular natural canal connecting the Orinoco
with the Amazon--the waterway of the Casiquiare Canal,[6] which cuts
across the water-parting of the two hydrographic systems. Here the
adventurous canoe voyager may descend from the Orinoco and reach the
Rio Negro, falling into the Amazon near Manaos.

The endless waterways of the upper reaches of the Orinoco share often
that silent, deserted character which we shall remark upon the Amazon
tributaries, and which indeed, is common to tropical streams often.
Bird and animal life seems all to have concealed itself. Even the
loathly alligator is not to be seen, nor the turtle, nor other creature
of the waters. Occasionally, however, a scarlet ibis appears to break
the monotony, or an eagle or heron. For mile upon mile, league upon
league, there may be no opening in the green wall of the dismal forest,
until, suddenly, as we pass, the wall gives way, a small clearing
is seen, with perhaps a Carib Indian hut, dilapidated and solitary,
whose miserable occupant, hastily entering his canoe, shoots out from
the bank with some meagre objects of sale or barter in the form of
provisions or other.

Such, however, is not always the nature of these rivers. The scene
changes: there are sandy shores and bayous, beautiful forest flowers
and gorgeous insect life, the chatter of the monkeys and the forms of
the characteristic tropical fauna. Rippling streams flow from inviting
woodland glades untrodden by man, and high cascades send their showers
of sparkling drops amid the foliage and over the fortress-like rocks
around. Wafted along by sail or paddle, guided by the expert Indian
boatmen, the craft weathers all dangers, and the passenger sees pass
before him a panorama of the wilds whose impression will always remain
upon his mind. Thus the charm of exploration never fails, and, borne
upon the bosom of some half-unknown stream, the traveller's cup of
adventure may on the Orinoco be filled to the brim.

For many hundreds of miles these western tributaries of the Orinoco
flow through the _llanos_, as the plains of this part of South
America--in Colombia and Venezuela--are termed, whose characteristic
flatness we shall remark from the deck of the vessel. A sea of grass
stretches away to the horizon on every side, giving place in some
districts to forest.

The level plains, lying generally about four hundred feet above the
sea, were once the home of enormous herds of cattle and horses and of
a hardy, intrepid race of folk known as the _llaneros_, men who kept
and tended the cattle and were expert in horsemanship and woodcraft.
These folk flourished best in the Colonial period. They formed some of
the best fighting material in South America, and made their mark in the
War of Independence, when, under Bolivar, the Spanish yoke was thrown
off. Again, civil war, revolution and hardships and losses consequent
thereon seriously reduced their numbers, and to-day both they and their
herds have almost disappeared.

The great plains which were the scene of these former activities might,
under better auspices, become an important source of food supply,
both for home and foreign needs. They could again support vast herds
of cattle on their grassy _campos_, irrigated by the overflow of the
Orinoco. This overflow, it is true, causes extensive lagoons to form,
known locally as _esteros_ or _cienagas_, but these dry up in great
part after the floods, which have meantime refreshed the soil and
herbage.

  "The great green or brown plain of the Llanos is often beautified by
  small golden, white and pink flowers, and sedges and irises make up
  much of the small vegetation. Here and there the beautiful 'royal'
  palm, with its banded stem and graceful crown, the _moriche_, or one
  of the other kinds, forms clumps to break the monotony, and along the
  small streams are patches of _chaparro_ bushes, cashew-nuts, locusts
  and so forth. The banks of the rivers often support denser groves of
  ceibas, crotons, guamos, etc.; the last-named bears a pod covered
  with short, velvety hair, within which, around the beans (about the
  size of our broad beans), is a cool, juicy, very refreshing pulp, not
  unlike that of the young cocoa-pod. Along the banks of the streams
  in front of the trees are masses of reeds and semi-aquatic grasses,
  which effectually conceal the higher vegetation from a traveller in a
  canoe at water-level."[7]

Much stress has been laid upon the possible economic value of the
_llanos_ by some writers, whilst others regard these possibilities as
exaggerated.[8] Their area is calculated at 100,000 square miles. They
are neither prairies nor desert. During a large part of the year they
are subject to heavy rainfall and become swamped, followed by a drought
so intense that the streams dry up and the parched grass affords no
pasture for stock. There is a total lack of roads, and the rivers are
unbridged, and the region is far from the ocean. The trade wind blows
fiercely across them.

The view over these vast plains as the traveller's eyes suddenly rest
upon them as he descends the Andes is very striking, and has been
described by various observers, among them Humboldt.

In the wet season, when the river overflows, the cattle are driven back
to higher ground. When the waters retire alligators and water snakes
bury themselves in the mud to pass the dry season.

In this connexion stories are told of travellers and others who,
having camped for the night in some hut or chosen spot, are suddenly
awakened by the upheaval of the ground beneath them and the emergence
of some dreadful monster therefrom. A certain traveller's experience in
the night was that of being awakened by the barking of his dogs, the
noise of which had roused a huge alligator, which heaved up the floor
of the hut, attacked the dogs and then made off.[9]

As for the old type _llanero_, half Spanish, half Indian, the wild,
brave, restless, devil-may-care cowboy, a Cossack of the Colombian
Steppes and a boastful Tartarin full of poetic fire rolled into one,
is rapidly disappearing. Vanished is the poetry and romance of his
life, if it ever really existed outside of his remarkable _cantos_,
wherein heroic exploits as soldier, as hunter and as gallant lover
are recounted with a superb hyperbole. He seems to have tamed down
completely, in spite of the solitary, open-air life, and in spite of
the continuance of a certain element of danger, battling with the
elements. Encounters with jaguars, reptiles, savage Indians are,
however, the rarest of episodes in the life of even the most daring and
exposed _llanero_.[10]

A "picturesque" character of original _llanero_ stamp was the notorious
President Castro of Venezuela, who defied the whole world at one time,
and almost succeeded in bringing about a conflict between England and
the United States over the Guiana-Venezuela boundary.

The wild tribes of Venezuela, and part of British Guiana, are typified
in those inhabiting the delta of the Orinoco. They have preserved their
racial character in marked degree here, and have been regarded as an
offshoot of the Caribs.

  "They are dark copper in colour, well set up, and strong, though not
  as a rule tall, and with low foreheads, long and fine black hair, and
  the usual high cheek-bones and wide nostrils of the South American
  'Indians.' Where they have not come into contact with civilization
  they are particularly shy and reticent, but they soon lose this
  character, and some are said to show considerable aptitude as workmen.

  "Living as they do mainly in the delta, their houses are of necessity
  near water, and are raised from the ground as a protection against
  floods, being sometimes, it is said, even placed on platforms in
  trees. The roof is supported in the middle by two vertical posts
  and a ridge pole, and is composed of palm-leaves, supported at the
  corners by stakes. The sides of this simple hut consist of light
  palm-leaf curtains, and the floor is of palm-planks. The hammocks are
  slung on the ridge pole, and the bows and arrows of the occupants
  fixed in the roof, while their household furniture, consisting of
  home-made earthenware pots, calabashes of various sizes, etc., lie
  promiscuously about the floor. Some of the Warraus are nomadic, and
  live in canoes, but the majority are grouped in villages of these
  huts, with captains responsible to the Venezuelan local government
  authorities.

  "The staple diet of these people is manioc and sago, with _chicha_
  (a mixture of manioc meal and water). For clothing they dispense
  with everything in their homes, except the _buja_ or _guayuco_, a
  tiny apron of palm-fibre or ordinary cloth, held in position by a
  belt of palm-fibre or hair. That worn by women is triangular, and
  often ornamented with feathers or pearls. Among the whites the men
  always wear a long strip of blue cloth, one end of which passes round
  the waist, the other over the shoulder, hanging down in front; the
  women have a kind of long sleeveless gown. For ornament they wear
  necklaces of pearls, or more frequently of red, blue and white beads,
  and tight bracelets and bangles of hair or _curagua_ (palm-fibre);
  some pierce ears, nose and lower lips for the insertion of pieces
  of reed, feathers or berries on fête days. The characteristic dull
  red paint on their bodies is intended to act as a preventive against
  mosquitoes, and it is made by boiling the powdered bark and wood of
  a creeper in turtle or alligator fat. All hair is removed from the
  body by the simple but painful process of pulling each one out with a
  split reed.

  "Marriage, as is usual among savage races, takes place at a very
  early age, the husband being often only fourteen, the wife ten or
  twelve years of age. Polygamy is common, but not universal; where a
  chief or rich man has several wives, the first, or the earliest to
  become a mother, takes charge of the establishment during the absence
  of the owner on his hunting or fishing expeditions. The girls are
  sometimes betrothed at the age of five or six years, living in the
  house of the future husband from that time on.

  "At birth the mother is left in a separate house alone, where
  all food that she may need is placed for her, though she remains
  unvisited by any of her companions throughout the day; meanwhile the
  father remains in his hammock for several days, apparently owing to
  a belief that some evil may befall the child; there he receives the
  congratulations of the villagers, who bring him presents of the best
  game caught on their expeditions. This male child-bed, or _couvade_,
  is common to many of the Indian tribes.

  "The dead are mourned with elaborate ceremony--shouting, weeping and
  slow, monotonous music; the nearest relatives of the defunct cut
  their hair. The body is placed in leaves and tied up in the hammock
  used by the owner during life, and then placed in a hollow tree-trunk
  or in his canoe. This rude coffin is then generally placed on a small
  support, consisting of bamboo trestles, and so left in the deserted
  house of the dead man."[11]

The wild animal life of this part of South America has always been
of interest, whether to the scientist or the general reader. It is
varied, as it is in Mexico and elsewhere in Spanish America, by the
natural topographical and climatic divisions of _tierra caliente_,
_tierra templada_ and _tierra fria_, or hot, temperate and cold lands
respectively.

The various kinds of monkeys include the spider-monkeys, the
squirrel-monkeys, the marmosets, the vampires, the jaguar and puma--the
former of which has been credited with living in the high branches of
the trees in flood-times, to the perturbation of the monkeys, upon
whose home it intrudes, chasing them to the tree-tops. In the Andes
the peculiar "Speckled bear" has its abode. The manati is a native of
the Orinoco, and the sloth of its forests, as also the "Ant-bear" and
armadillo.

These creatures may not always be readily seen by the passing
traveller, but the birds are more present, although, as elsewhere in
the Tropics, their plumage is more noteworthy than their song.

  "Beautifully coloured jays, the peculiar cassiques, with their
  hanging nests, starlings, and the many violet, scarlet and other
  tanagers, with some very pretty members of the finch tribe, are
  all fairly abundant in Venezuela. Greenlets, some of the allied
  waxwings, and thrushes of various kinds, with the equally familiar
  wrens, are particularly abundant, nor does the cosmopolitan swallow
  absent himself from this part of the world. The numerous family of
  the American flycatchers has fifty representatives in Venezuela,
  and the allied ant-birds constitute one of the exceptions to the
  rule, in possessing a pleasant warbling note. The chatterers
  include some of the most notable birds of Venezuela, and we may
  specially notice the strange-looking umbrella-bird which extends
  into the Amazon territory, known from its note as the fife-bird;
  the variegated bell-bird, which makes a noise like the ringing of
  a bell; the gay manikins, whose colours include blue, crimson,
  orange and yellow, mingled with sober blacks, browns and greens; the
  nearly allied cock-of-the-rock is one of the most beautiful birds of
  Guayana, orange-red being the principal colour in its plumage, while
  its helmet-like crest adds to its grandeur; the hen is a uniform
  reddish-brown. The wood-hewers are more of interest from their habits
  than the beauty of their plumage.

  "The beautiful green jacamars, the puff-birds, and the
  bright-coloured woodpeckers are found all over Venezuela in the
  forests, but their relatives the toucans are among the most peculiar
  of the feathered tribe. With their enormous beaks and gaudy plumage
  they are easily recognized when seen, and can make a terrible din if
  a number of them collected together are disturbed, the individual
  cry being short and unmelodious. Several cuckoos are found in
  Venezuela, some having more or less dull plumage and being rare,
  while others with brighter feathers are gregarious. With the trogons,
  however, we come to the near relatives of the beautiful quezal,
  all medium-sized birds, with the characteristic metallic blue or
  green back and yellow or red breasts. The tiny, though equally
  beautiful, humming-birds are common sights in the forest, but a
  sharp eye is needed to detect them in their rapid flight through
  the dim light; some of the Venezuelan forms are large, however,
  notably the king humming-bird of Guayana; and the crested coquettes,
  though smaller, are still large enough to make their golden-green
  plumage conspicuous. The birds which perhaps most force themselves,
  not by sight but by sound, upon the notice of travellers are the
  night-jars; the 'who are you?' is as well known in Trinidad as in
  Venezuela. The great wood night-jar of Guayana has a very peculiar
  mournful cry, particularly uncanny when heard in the moonlight. The
  king-fisher-like motmots have one representative in Venezuela, but
  the other member of the group, which includes all the preceding
  birds, constitute a family by itself. This is the oil-bird, or
  _guacharo_, famous from Humboldt's description of the cave of Caripe
  in which they were first found. The young birds are covered with
  thick masses of yellow fat, for which they are killed in large
  numbers by the local peasantry. They live in caves wherever they are
  found, and only come out to feed at dusk.

  "Other birds which are sure to be observed even by the least
  ornithological traveller are the parrots and macaws, which fly in
  flocks from tree to tree of the forest, uttering their discordant
  cries. The macaws have blue and red or yellow plumage, but the
  parrots and parraquets are all wholly or mainly of a green hue.
  The several owls are naturally seldom seen, and, in the author's
  experience, rarely heard.

  "There are no less than thirty-two species of falcons or eagles
  known from Venezuela, and of these many are particularly handsome,
  such as the swallow-tailed kite and the harpy eagle of Guayana.
  Their loathsome carrion-eating cousins, the vultures, have four
  representatives.

  "In the rivers and caños of the lowlands there are abundant
  water-birds, and the identified species include a darter, two
  pelicans, several herons or _garzas_, the indiscriminate slaughter
  of which in the breeding season for egret plumes has been one of the
  disgraces of Venezuela, as well as storks and ibises. Among the most
  beautiful birds of these districts are the rosy, white or scarlet
  flamingoes, huge flocks of which are sometimes seen rising from the
  water's edge at the approach of a boat or canoe. There are also seven
  Venezuelan species of duck.

  "The various pigeons and doves possess no very notable
  characteristics, and one or two of the American quails are found in
  the Andes. Other game-birds include the fine-crested curassows of
  Guayana, the nearly allied guans and the pheasant-like hoatzin. There
  are several rails, and the finfeet are represented. The sun bittern
  is very common on the Orinoco. There are members of the following
  groups: the trumpeters (tamed in Brazil to protect poultry), plovers,
  terns, petrels, grebes, and, lastly, seven species of the flightless
  tinamous.

  "Descending lower in the scale, we come to the animals which are, or
  used to be, most often associated in the mind with the forests of
  South America. The snakes are very numerous, but only a minority are
  poisonous. Of the latter, the beautiful but deadly coral-snake is not
  very common, but a rattlesnake and the formidable 'bushmaster' are
  often seen. Of the non-poisonous variety the water-loving boas and
  _tigres_ or anacondas are mainly confined to the delta and the banks
  of the Guayana rivers. The _cazadora_ (one of the colubers) and the
  Brazilian wood-snake or _sipo_, with its beautiful coloration, are
  common; the blind or velvet snake is often found in the enclosures of
  dwellings.

  "One of the lizards, the amphisbæna, is known in the country as the
  double-headed snake, and is popularly supposed to be poisonous,
  but there are many species of the pretty and more typical forms,
  especially in the dry regions, while the edible iguana is common
  in the forests. There are eleven species of crocodiles, of which
  the _caiman_ infests all the larger rivers and caños. The Chelonidæ
  include only two land tortoises, but there are several turtles in the
  seas and rivers, and representatives of this family from the Gulf of
  Paria often figure on the menus of City companies.

  "There are some six genera of frogs and toads to represent the
  Amphibians, and the evening croaking of the various species of the
  former on the Llanos is very characteristic of those regions; one,
  in particular, emits a sound like a human shout, and a number of them
  give the impression of a crowd at a football match.

  "Fish abound in rivers, lakes and seas, but, considering their
  number, remarkably little is known about them. Some are regarded as
  poisonous, and others are certainly dangerous, such as the small but
  ferocious _caribe_ of the Llano rivers, which is particularly feared
  by bathers, as an attack from a shoal results in numbers of severe,
  often fatal, wounds. The _temblador_, or electric eel, is very
  abundant in the western Llanos, and is as dangerous in its way as the
  _caribe_.

  "The insects are too numerous for more than casual reference, but it
  may be noted that the _mosquito_ of the Spaniards is a small and very
  annoying sandfly; the mosquito, as we know it, is, and always has
  been, called _zancudo de noche_ by the Spanish-speaking inhabitants
  of Venezuela. The gorgeous butterflies and the emerald lights of
  the fireflies are in a measure a compensation for the discomforts
  caused by their relatives, but of the less attractive forms, the
  most interesting are the hunting ants, which swarm through houses at
  times devouring all refuse, and the parasol ants, which make with the
  leaves they carry hot-beds, as it were, for the fungus upon which
  they feed.

  "One of the most unpleasant of the lower forms of life in the
  forests is the _araña mono_, or big spider of Guayana, which
  sometimes measures more than six inches across; it is found in the
  remote parts of the forest, and its bites cause severe fever. The
  better-known tarantula, though less dangerous, can inflict severe
  bites. The extremely poisonous scorpions, and the _garrapatas_, or
  ticks, must be seen or felt to be appreciated.

  "We may leave the lower forms of life to more technical works, but
  the amusing 'calling-crab' deserves special mention. With his one
  enormous paw of pincers the male, if disturbed, will sit upon the mud
  or sand and apparently challenge all the world to 'come on' in a most
  amusing fashion."[12]

The wild people and the wild life of northern South America remind
us again that the first discovered part of the continent is in some
respects still the least known and most backward. The "streams flowing
from the Earthly Paradise" of Columbus still traverse an Elysium for
the adventurous traveller.

The coast of the Spanish Main trends now eastwards to the possession of
Britain, in the Guayanas, and the beautiful Island of Trinidad, which
we shall now enter upon.

Columbus, on his voyage in 1496, approaching South America, beheld
three peaks rising from a beautiful island clothed with verdure.
Uniting the pious custom of his time with his impression of the
topography of the new land, he called the island "Trinidad," or the
Trinity. Spain held it. Sir Walter Raleigh burned its capital, and
finally it fell to Britain at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
To-day, this land off this wild coast, under the flag of Britain,
is a revelation to the traveller, who--British or other--may have
forgotten its existence. Its capital, Port of Spain, is one of the most
pleasing towns in the West Indies, with two cathedrals, shaded streets,
tramways, government institutions and public buildings, libraries,
shops, a beautiful botanical garden and other evidences of a very
modern civilization and activity. The soil is rich, the climate good,
the hurricanes that from time to time devastate the West Indies do not
visit it. It lies almost in the mouth of the river Orinoco. Venezuela
claims it as hers. I well recollect the aspect of this foothold of
Britain after the wilds of South America. But its modernity does
not detract from the interest of the more ancient Spanish American
communities.

British Guiana, whose coast we soon approach, and its neighbours, Dutch
and French Guiana, are ranged in sequence along the Atlantic front for
seven hundred miles, and present topographical conditions curiously
alike.

Guiana, as a geographical term, is that district lying between the
water-parting of the Orinoco and the Amazon and the coast; and is
almost a topographical entity, embodying part of Venezuela. It is, in
a sense, an island, by reason of the union of the Orinoco and Amazon
fluvial systems by the Casiquiare.

Students of Anglo-American relations will recollect that the
controversy over the boundary line between British and Venezuelan
territory here became the subject of contention--and almost of
war--between Great Britain and the United States in 1895, by reason of
the work of the wild President Castro and the unwarranted behaviour of
President Cleveland of the United States--behaviour which was greatly
resented by English people in South America and which has not yet been
forgotten. Happily arbitration was entered upon--Britain practically
being awarded what she had justly claimed.

British Guiana is one of the neglected outposts of the British Empire,
the only foothold of England on the mainland of South America, a place
of considerable interest, beauty and utility, but about which the good
folk of Great Britain know and perhaps care little.

The British public cannot be expected to be well acquainted with all
the outlying parts of the immense empire which fortune or providence
has delivered over to them, but, through their statesmen, they could,
if they were so minded, bring about a much more constructive and
energetic policy than that which the inaccessible and old-fashioned
Colonial Office and Crown Colony officials consider does duty for
government and development.

The population of this land is a handful of folk of about the size of
a second-rate English town, notwithstanding that the extent of the
country is equal to the whole of Great Britain. Its rich littoral is
watered by large rivers, rising in a little-known interior. Sugar is
produced, but might be produced in quantities to satisfy the British
house-wife did British folk know anything about the subject. There are
enormous timber resources and valuable minerals.

[Illustration: INDIANS AT HOME, GUIANA.

  Vol. II. To face p. 52.]

But in such development comes the cry for "labour." It is the first cry
of all tropical possessions. Where is labour to come from? The remedy
generally proposed is that of bringing in coloured labour from other
parts of the empire, coolies and others. This policy has some fatal
defects. Among these the practice of bringing in hordes of coloured
men without their women or families is one of the most unwise. It is
unnatural to condemn these folk to live without their female partners,
and if persisted in will, sooner or later, bring serious evils upon
the community that practises it. The existing labour should be more
carefully fostered, and if labour be imported it should be as far
as possible in the form of permanent settlers, with their wives and
families, the condition of whose life and surroundings should be
intelligently mapped out beforehand.[13]

Guiana brings back sad memories of Sir Walter Raleigh, he who by reason
of his antagonism to Spain was a popular hero, and around whose figure
much romance has centred.

Partly with the object of recouping his fortune, Raleigh sailed, in
1595, to Guiana, a voyage of exploration and conquest, with the main
object of finding that El Dorado which was so strong an obsession of
Elizabethan times, imagined to be hidden somewhere amid the Cordillera
or forests of Spanish America. His book, recounting the incidents of
this voyage, _The Discoverie of Guiana_, which he published upon his
return home, is one of the most thrilling adventurous narratives of
the period, although it has been said that it contains much that was
romance rather than fact: and incredulity marked its reception. On his
second expedition, after Elizabeth's death--an expedition which was
perhaps one of the saddest of forlorn hopes, whereby Raleigh hoped,
trusting perhaps to a chapter of accidents, to escape from the dreadful
position of disfavour and threatened execution into which he had fallen
in the reign of James I--he reached Trinidad and sailed up the Orinoco,
fell sick of a fever and suffered many disasters in the endeavour to
carry out his undertaking to find a vast gold mine upon territory not
belonging to Spain. Should he fail, or trespass upon Spanish territory,
he was to be executed as a pirate, a fate which practically befell him,
though he was executed under his old sentence of conspiracy.

The illustrious Raleigh--whose name some writers love to
belittle--"took a pipe of tobacco a little before he went to the
scaffold," for the habit of smoking tobacco--that beautiful gift of the
Spanish American Indian to the Old World--had become rooted among the
Elizabethan courtiers.

But to return to Guiana. The topography of this part of South America
is full of interest and variety, as are the history and customs of
its people, aboriginal and other, although much of the past is marked
by dreadful happenings. Wars, the deeds of buccaneers, rebellions of
negroes, massacre of the whites, deaths from fevers and so forth stand
out from its pages.

It is a magnificent country, with grand rivers, cascades and the most
wonderful mountains and scenery, which it is difficult to surpass in
any part of South America. And here the traveller and the naturalist
may revel in the works of Nature.

Guiana was the first part of the New World to be explored by
adventurers other than the Spaniard and the Portuguese, and to this day
it stands out as foreign to the rest of Spanish America. The English,
the French, the Dutch fought between themselves for its territory and
its colonizing and trading stations. The English sought an El Dorado,
the Dutchman thought of its tobacco--which the Spaniards would not
permit him to obtain from their colonies--the Frenchman took part
possibly out of national pride, thinking he ought not to be left out
in the partition, but his work seems to have been of a disastrous
nature ever since he set foot there. The Pilgrim Fathers, before they
"moored their bark on a wild New England coast," had dreams of settling
here, where the warm climate and tropic possibilities seemed to hold
out greater allurements than the cold coasts of the more northern
continent. When Surinam, or Dutch Guiana, was exchanged for the New
Netherlands and New Amsterdam--to-day New York--few Dutchmen dissented,
and some English protested.

  "Like the valley of the Amazon, to which system it may be considered
  an offshoot, it is a land of forest and stream. The coast is
  generally an alluvial flat, often below high-water mark, fringed
  with courida (_Avicennia nitida_) on the seashore, and mangrove
  (_Rhizophora manglier_) on the banks of the tidal rivers. Where it is
  not empoldered it is subject to the wash of the sea in front and the
  rising of the swamp water behind. In fact, it is a flooded country,
  as the name, from _wina_ or _Guina_ (water) seems to imply.

  "The lowest land is the delta of the Orinoco, where the rising of
  the river often covers the whole. Coming to the north-west of British
  Guiana, we have a number of channels (_itabos_) forming natural
  waterways through swamps, navigable for canoes and small vessels. A
  similar series of natural canals is found in Dutch Guiana. From the
  Orinoco to Cayenne this alluvium is rarely above high-water mark,
  and is subject to great changes from currents, the only protection
  being the natural palisade of courida, with its fascine-like roots.
  On the coast of Cayenne, however, the land rises, and there are rocky
  islands; here the swamps come at some distance behind the shore, and
  between ridges and banks of sand.

  "Behind this low land comes the old beach of some former age--reefs
  of white quartz sand, the stunted vegetation of which can only exist
  because the rainfall is heavy and almost continuous. This is the
  fringe of the great forest region which extends over the greater part
  of the country. Here the land rises and becomes hilly, and the rivers
  are obstructed by a more or less continuous series of rocks, which
  form rapids and prevent them running dry when the floods recede.
  Behind these, to the south, the hills gradually rise to mountains
  of 5,000 feet, and in the case of a peculiar group of sandstone
  castellated rocks, of which Roraima is the highest, to 8,000 feet.

  "The numerous rivers bring down vegetable matter in solution, clay
  and fine sand suspended and great masses of floating trees and
  grasses. These form islands in the larger estuaries and bars at the
  mouths of most of the rivers; they also tinge the ocean for about
  fifty miles beyond the coast from green to a dirty yellow. Wind and
  wave break down the shore in one place and extend it in another,
  giving a great deal of trouble to the plantations by tearing away
  the dams which protect their cultivation. Every large river has its
  islands, which begin with sand-banks, and by means of the courida
  and mangrove become ultimately habitable. In the Essequebo there
  are several of a large extent, on which formerly were many sugar
  plantations, one of which remains in Wakenaam. The Corentyne and
  Marowyne have also fair-sized islands, but none of these has ever
  been settled. Off the coast of Cayenne the rocky Iles du Salut and
  Connetable are quite exceptional, for the coast is elsewhere a low
  mud-flat, sloping very gradually, and quite shallow.

  "The longest river is the Essequebo, which rises in the extreme
  south, and like most of the larger streams, flows almost due north.
  It is about 600 miles in length; the Corentyne is nearly as long, and
  the Marowyne and Oyapok are probably about the same length. Other
  rivers that would be considered of great importance in Europe are
  seen at intervals of a few miles all along the coast. The Demerara,
  on which the capital of British Guiana is situated, is about the
  size of the Thames, and 250 miles long, and the Surinam, on the
  left bank of which is Paramaribo, 300. All are blocked by rapids at
  various distances from 50 to about 100 miles inland, up to which
  they are navigable for small vessels, but beyond, only for properly
  constructed boats that can be drawn through the falls or over
  portages.

  "The smaller rivers, called creeks, whether they fall into the sea
  or into the larger streams, are very numerous; over a thousand have
  Indian names. Many of them are of a fair size, and the majority have
  dark water of the colour of weak coffee, whence the name Rio Negro
  has been given to several South American rivers. These take their
  rise in the pegass swamps, so common everywhere, and are tinged by
  the dead leaves of the dense growth of sedges, which prevent these
  bodies of water from appearing like lakes. There are, however, a
  few deeper swamps, where a lake-like expanse is seen in the centre,
  but no real lakes appear to exist anywhere. The creeks are often
  connected with each other by channels, called _itabos_, or, by the
  Venezuelans, _canos_, through which it is possible to pass for long
  distances without going out to sea. During the rainy season these
  channels are easily passable, and light canoes can be pushed through
  from the head of one creek to that of another, the result being that
  large tracts of country are easily passed. In this way the Rio Negro
  and Amazon can be reached from the Essequebo in one direction and the
  Orinoco in another, the watersheds being ill-defined from there being
  no long mountain ranges.

  "The higher hills and mountains are not grouped in any order. The
  group called the Pakaraima are the most important from their
  position on the boundary between British Guiana, Venezuela and
  Brazil, and also from the neighbourhood of Roraima giving rise to
  streams which feed the Orinoco, Amazon and Essequebo. This peculiar
  clump of red sandstone rocks forms the most interesting natural
  object in Guiana. Roraima is the principal, but there are others,
  named Kukenaam, Iwaikarima, Waiakapiapu, etc., almost equally curious
  and striking. All have the appearance of great stone castles,
  standing high above the slopes, which are covered with rare and
  beautiful plants, some of which are unknown elsewhere. The main
  characteristics of this group are due to weathering, the result being
  grotesque forms that stand boldly forth, together with fairy dells,
  waterfalls decorated with most delicate ferns and mosses and grand
  clumps of orchids and other flowering plants."[14]

It is not to be supposed that British Guiana has been neglected by
its modern administration. A great deal has been done in draining, in
reconstructing the villages, in fostering agriculture, in organizing
the natives, in providing against malaria and disease by scientific
methods, such as at Panama had been found so beneficial. The treatment
of immigrant labour is almost paternal in some respects. Surinam is
also progressing, stimulated by the example of Demerara. Cayenne, the
French possession, suffers still from being a penal settlement.

The life of the coloured folk, who so largely predominate among the
population, offers many problems, whose solutions will doubtless work
themselves out. The people of Guiana are possibly more varied than
those of any other community in the world, with representations of
every race--the European and Indo-European, the African negro, the
Chinese, folk from Java and Annam, together with its own native races,
and the white American, with many mixed breeds.

In the views of the writer already quoted--

  "Among the other points of interest there is the impress of the
  three nationalities upon the negro, which are very conspicuous in
  the women. The French negress is unlike her sister in Surinam, and
  she differs also from the English type in Demerara. Again, they all
  stand apart from the real African and the bush negro, illustrating
  the possibility of the perpetuation of acquired characters and the
  manner in which tribal differences have been developed. 'The French,'
  said an old writer, 'are a civil, quick and active sort of people,
  given to talking, especially those of the female sex'; the Dutch have
  a more heavy look and wear their clothes loose and baggy, cleanliness
  being more conspicuous than a good fit; the English (including
  specially the Barbardian) are decidedly careless and slovenly,
  and inclined to ape the latest fashion. A Frenchman speaks of the
  Demerara negress as dressing up in her mistress's old gowns and
  wanting a style of her own; we have seen a cook going to market in
  an old silk dress once trimmed with lace, now smudged with soot and
  reeking with grease. They all have a love for finery but no taste in
  colour; here and there, however, a girl with a pure white dress and
  embroidered head-kerchief pleases the eye and proves that dress is of
  some importance in our estimate of these people.

  "The negro man has no peculiarity in his clothes; he simply follows
  the European. His working dress is generally the dirty and ragged
  remains of what we may call his Sunday suit. He may be clean
  otherwise, but his covering gives us the contrary impression. There
  is a character about the Demerara creole, but he is not so English as
  the Barbadian, who is 'neither Carib nor creole, but true Barbadian
  born.' Loyalty to the Mother Country as well as to his own island is
  very conspicuous; he has followed the white man in this as well as in
  his language, which retains some of the obsolete words and phrases of
  the Stuart period, including the asseveration 'deed en fait' for 'in
  deed and in faith.' These national characteristics go to prove that
  the negro has been changed somewhat by environment, and this can be
  easily seen when he is compared with the African, who is represented
  here and there by a few of the old people who were rescued from
  slavers.

  "The bush negro of Surinam, who ranges also through Cayenne and into
  Brazilian territory, is a distinct type. Made up of a number of
  African tribes, and probably dominated by the Coromantee, the most
  independent of these, he has not been much affected by his short
  service under the Dutch. From a physical standpoint he is a fine
  fellow, muscular and brawny; a good boatman and warrior, he has held
  his own for two centuries. Having first gained his freedom by his
  strong arm, he fought to retain it; the result is a man that must be
  respected. Possibly he learnt something from the native Indian, but
  he has never been very friendly, for the aborigines do not like the
  negro. In Demerara, and to a less extent in Surinam, Indians were
  formerly employed to hunt runaway slaves, and this accounts for the
  ill-feeling.

  "We may consider the bush negro as an African savage, very slightly
  altered by the change from the forests of the Congo to the wilds of
  Guiana. Like African tribes, the communities have no bond of union,
  but are each under its own granman, or chief. This segregation has
  been the cause of much trouble in the past, for a treaty might be
  made with one chief which was by no means binding on the others.
  Their huts are low and confined, lacking any conveniences and without
  order. Their few arts are of African types, and their tribal marks
  coarse scars. Small clearings are made near their dwellings in which
  ground provisions enough to support their families are raised, and
  sometimes a little rice to sell. They also cut timber and bring it
  to Paramaribo for sale, with the proceeds of which they buy finery.
  Latterly they have been found useful to carry gold-diggers and
  balata-bleeders into the interior, for they are well accustomed to
  navigate the rapids. In Surinam the latest estimate of their number
  is 8,000; a few years ago they were put down as about 25,000 in
  all Guiana. They do not appear to increase to any extent; in fact,
  judging by the number of runaways who have taken to the bush in two
  centuries, the decrease from war and other causes must have been
  enormous. Their sexual relations, which are very loose, as among
  negroes generally, do not consist with an increase, but at the same
  time there is no doubt that we have here a survival of the strongest.
  Whether these people will ever mingle with other negroes is doubtful;
  at present the bush negro despises the fellow with a master or
  employer, and the black man of the settled portion of the colony
  treats him as a savage.

  "In British Guiana the runaways were hunted by Indians; it followed,
  therefore, that no such communities of wild men were possible. The
  river people are largely of mixed African and Indian blood, more
  often perhaps with more or less of the European. They carry on the
  timber trade and are prominent as boat hands. Formerly, every family
  had its bateau or corial, but since steamers have been plying up the
  rivers a craft is less needed.

[Illustration: GEORGETOWN, BRITISH GUIANA.

  Vol. II. To face p. 64.]

  "The coloured people are of all shades. The offspring of black and
  white is the mulatto, who generally partakes equally of the character
  of both races, but with variations. The man is coarser-looking
  than the woman, but as a rule he is strong and healthy; if, however,
  he marries a woman of his own colour the offspring are in many cases
  weaker than the parents. A cob is a reversion towards the negro, the
  child of one black parent with a mulatto, three-quarters black and
  hardly distinguishable. The mustee or quadroon, who is three-fourths
  white, and the costee or octoroon may be considered as practically
  white and in many cases can only be distinguished as coloured by
  those who know their parentage. In Guiana colour prejudice is most
  conspicuous among these lighter people, for they want to marry a
  'higher' colour than themselves, and are considered as degrading the
  family when demeaning it by coming down towards the negro. A black
  woman will think more of her illegitimate mulatto children than of
  those she has borne to her negro husband. The ideal of the pure negro
  is the bucra--the well-to-do European; poor whites or coloured people
  are in his opinion unworthy of respect. He rarely gets on well as
  servant to one of his own colour; quarrels and fights are common
  among workmen where they are under men of their own class. The negro
  also despises the Chinaman and East Indian, who in turn prefer to
  have few dealings with them. The general result is that there are not
  many sexual unions between the races. Now and again a respectable
  black man, doctor or lawyer, marries a white woman, but such unions
  generally bring trouble. The tendency now is for the darker coloured
  people to merge themselves in the black and the lighter in the
  white; the probable result will ultimately be to increase the
  distinction and reduce the present variations.

  "There will almost certainly, however, always remain a coloured
  class, the future of whom has often been considered by travellers
  and anthropologists. Some have gone so far as to say that they will
  ultimately be the rulers of the West Indies, but there is little
  foundation for such an opinion. No doubt the lighter-coloured people
  will in time take the place of the pure whites from their greater
  suitability to the climate; their number will, however, probably
  never be great enough to make much impression. The coloured man is
  not so aggressive as the educated negro, who has come to the front in
  late years as a political agitator, and who speaks of 'the people' as
  being those of his own race, notwithstanding the fact that in British
  Guiana they are exceeded in number by the East Indians.

  "The negro is prominent in the Legislature and the learned
  professions; he is the schoolmaster, the dispenser or sick nurse,
  and the lower grade clerk, but he does not succeed as a shopkeeper.
  The gold and diamond diggers and balata-bleeders are also black men
  under white superintendence. He undoubtedly fills a place which, in
  his absence, could only be occupied by inferior workmen of other
  races, and is gradually becoming a useful member of the community.
  As a plantation labourer he fails, mainly because he expects higher
  pay than estates can afford. He is capable of doing more hard work
  than any other tropical labourer, but he prefers a job of a few hours
  rather than steady, continuous work. His passions are easily roused,
  and when the fit is on it is useless to reason with him. After giving
  his employer volleys of abuse he sometimes asks a favour as if he had
  done nothing. Some will boast that they bear no malice, that they are
  open-minded, much better than some other people who will not forget
  an offence. Morality is largely a matter of law. 'You can't do me
  nothing' is a common reply when he is told that something he was
  doing was wrong. Many of them are well versed in the law, for crowds
  assemble round the magistrates' courts every day. Sometimes one will
  say that if he had ten dollars to pay the fine he would do something
  illegal; in fact, it is notorious that people who complain loudly of
  poverty can often pay fines of what is to them very large amounts.
  One day a poor woman will be begging a penny and the next paying two
  to five pounds in the court. Yet they have rarely anything saved, but
  the fines can be raised by loans and gifts from their relations and
  friends.

  "The East Indian will certainly be the man of the future in Guiana if
  the immigration system is continued. Already he is ahead in British
  Guiana, and forms more than a third of the population of Surinam, if
  we include the Javanese. Though not so strong as the negro, he is
  more reliable, and without him there would be no Demerara or Surinam
  sugar. He enjoys better health in the Tropics than other races, as
  is easily seen by the census returns of India and the death-rates
  on the plantations. A great increase of population may generally be
  predicted where people are kind to their children, and in this the
  East Indian is pre-eminent. We shall say something further about
  him in another place, and will only here deal with his clothes.
  He is probably the only real tropical man who dresses to suit the
  climate, and he is always well dressed. With a few yards of cotton
  cloth he drapes himself in a manner that could only be emulated by a
  great artist. Any one who knows what tight-fitting European clothing
  means in the Tropics can appreciate the loose folds of the East
  Indian. Through the ages he has learnt how to dress in a graceful
  and picturesque manner, which, however, is practically inimitable
  by others. The women wear most gaudy colours, but their taste is
  so perfect that there is rarely anything discordant. And yet these
  people are hardly ever of a higher class than that of the field
  labourer. This natural taste in drapery and colour must have been
  the result of experience during long ages; that light clothing is
  a success is proved by the natural increase, notwithstanding war,
  famine and pestilence.

  "The Chinese were imported as agricultural labourers, but may be
  considered as failures in that line, although in other respects very
  useful colonists. They have been condemned in other countries as
  undesirable, and even in British Guiana they were once stigmatized
  as sly rogues and thieves. Now the stigma is undeserved, for they
  form a trading class of considerable importance. A few have worked
  at the gold-diggings as well as in the forest as wood-cutters and
  charcoal-burners; there is also a small agricultural settlement on
  the Demerara River which is a picture of clean economic cultivation.
  They are, however, more conspicuous for their success in carrying
  on small country shops, where the profits are hardly sufficient to
  support people who are not content with a very bare living.

  "The only white men ever imported as labourers were the Madeira
  Portuguese. Madeira was almost ruined by the vine pest about the
  time of the slave emancipation, and thousands of poor people came
  to British Guiana. For want of care during the year of seasoning
  many died, and the remainder were found quite unfit for field work.
  They were, however, useful colonists, and are now traders and in
  many cases well-to-do property owners. They came as paupers, but by
  thrift and industry went ahead, until practically every spirit-shop
  and corner grocery was in their hands. Only the Chinaman can compete
  with them, and he only does so in the villages. The Madeiran is
  a law-abiding citizen, but he cringes too much to the negro. The
  general result of the competition of the small shops is that the
  poorer classes get their provisions very cheap. Unfortunately, by
  giving way to the demands of their customers, a condition of things
  has arisen that no independent shopkeeper could possibly endure.
  However, the Madeiran has learnt to bear and forbear, and he hardly
  ever resents the insults and bullyings which the negress with her
  penny is always ready to launch upon him. He is generally looked
  upon as mean, and willing to stint himself to save, but this is
  a character which is generally wanted in the Tropics, where the
  tendency to thrift is always sadly lacking.

  "The native Indian can hardly be reckoned as a member of the
  community; he is, however, useful to the traveller, the gold-digger
  and balata-bleeder. As a boatman, wood-cutter or huntsman, he is in
  his place, but his sturdy independence prevents him from becoming a
  reliable servant. Make him your friend and he will do anything in his
  power for you, but he takes orders from no one. This refers to the
  man of the forest whose wants are few, and when satisfied, there is
  no further necessity for his working. For a gun, powder or shot you
  may induce him to help you; when he gets these he naturally wants to
  be free to use them. There is, however, a class of half-civilized
  Indians growing up who are fairly reliable, but they do not remain
  in town longer than is necessary for transacting their business as
  carriers of timber, charcoal and cord-wood. No Indian man can endure
  the trammels of civilization; sometimes a buckeen, as the women are
  called, will take a place as house-servant, but even these are not
  common. Unfortunately, the men are given to rum-drinking, and laws
  are made for the country districts to prevent the sale to them of
  spirits.

  "The real wild Indian is disappearing from his old haunts. Forty
  years ago he could be found in many of the creeks of the Demerara
  River where now only a few of his degenerated descendants exist. As
  a huntsman he must have a sort of game preserve, which is impossible
  where gangs of wood-cutters and balata-bleeders carry on their work.
  He still exists, however, in the far interior, living in much the
  same way as he did when America was discovered, except that he does
  not fight. The men are still expert hunters and fishermen, and the
  women as proficient in cultivating and preparing the staff of life,
  cassava-bread. Their old weapons, the bow and blow-pipe, are largely
  replaced by the gun, but the large fishes about the rapids are still
  shot in the old way."[15]

The things of the natural world which meet the eye of the observant
traveller are of extreme variety and interest here.

  "Nowhere in the world, perhaps, are such beautiful adaptations to
  natural conditions and such perfect interdependence. The trees bear
  nuts and fruits to feed monkeys, rodents, birds, bats and fishes,
  and because these are present in such numbers the cat family is also
  well represented. Again, every tree has flowers that require insect
  fertilization, consequently myriads of insects are here; these, in
  turn, are kept within bounds by ant-eaters, birds, monkeys, lizards,
  and those classes of insects which feed on them, such as mantids,
  wasps and robber flies. In the water the smaller fishes feed on
  fallen fruit; they provide sustenance to the larger species, which in
  turn become the prey of alligators and otters. On the ground, in the
  water, and up in the trees the struggle goes on by which the balance
  of life is kept even. Notwithstanding this universal war on every
  side, species hold their own and develop great capabilities according
  to their needs. Beautiful contrivances have been gained to suit
  the conditions under which they live, among them being protective
  coloration and the careful adjustment of means to the end, whether
  to catch and hold or to get away. The jaguar stalks the acourie so
  that not a twig is snapped or a leaf rustled, but the sharp rodent
  is always on the alert, ready to leave its feed of nuts the moment
  it recognizes the nearness of its foe. Under this pitch-dark canopy,
  through which no glimmer of moon and stars can penetrate, many a
  painful tragedy goes on every night. But the acourie still lives, in
  spite of its enemies, for, like its relation, the guinea-pig, it is
  very prolific. The Indian says that every animal has its tiger; he
  himself is one of these, and must move as silently or be content to
  go without meat."[16]

Guiana is within comparatively easy reach of Europe and the United
States. It cannot be doubted that, in the future, it will more and more
become a resort of travel, and possibly of much greater settlement
and development. Its bad name will be lost: its virtues brought to the
front.

       *       *       *       *       *

South of the Guiana region and of the Orinoco lies the great region of
the Amazon Valley, which we shall now traverse.

FOOTNOTES:

[4] Readers of Kingsley's grand _Westward Ho!_ will remember the
description of La Guayra and the coast here too.

[5] The emissary was instructed to suggest the interesting trade policy
of a "goods for goods" exchange: a policy which in Latin America and
elsewhere might have an important future.

[6] This natural canal has been well described in _The Flowing Road_,
by Caspar Whitney.

[7] _Venezuela_, op. cit.

[8] Cf. _Colombia_, op. cit. Also _Venezuela_.

[9] _Venezuela_, op. cit.

[10] _Colombia_, op. cit.

[11] _Venezuela_, op. cit.

[12] _Venezuela_, op. cit.

[13] There is an indication that British Guiana is itself awakening
to the need for exerting itself, in order to bring itself before the
notice of a somnolent Mother Country. A deputation arrived in England
from the colony in the middle of 1919 charged with the purpose of
interviewing the Secretaries for the Colonies and Indian Government,
and they went through a course of dinners, meetings and lectures,
in which the customary excellent speeches were made. Certain of the
speakers made the asservations that British Guiana "could supply all
the meat, except mutton, consumed in the Mother Country," and sugar and
minerals received equal notice, whilst gold, diamonds and bauxite--an
ore of aluminium--were also dangled, metaphorically speaking, before
the Imperial-minded diners.

To produce these excellent matters, five thousand settlers per annum
are required, the word settler being employed as a well-meaning term
for coloured labour. There must be a flow of British capital too. But
British capital has not very readily been forthcoming. It can be spared
for enterprises anywhere in Spanish America, even "wild-cat" schemes,
but not for Guiana, apparently.

[14] _Guiana, British, Dutch and French_, Rodway, South American
Series, a most interesting and valuable work.

[15] _Guiana_, op. cit.

[16] _Guiana_, op. cit.



CHAPTER XI

THE AMAZON VALLEY

IN COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, VENEZUELA, BOLIVIA, PERU, BRAZIL


The River Amazon, whilst it has not the classic interest of the
Nile, nevertheless appeals to the imagination in a way that that now
well-mapped and travelled waterway may not--in its still mysterious and
gloomy solitudes, traversing the largest areas of virgin forests on the
face of the globe, spreading its vast and numberless arms over an area
unexceeded in size by any other river.

The Amazon is born amid the high ranges and the snowy peaks of the
Andes--the greatest mountain range in the world being a fit parent of
the earth's greatest river. These high streams watered the territories
where dwelt a civilization or native culture, moreover, as ancient
perhaps as that of Egypt, the Andine people, and their successors the
Incas of Peru, the remains of whose temples and habitations are still
to be encountered on headland and plateau in those high regions of the
great Cordillera, as we have already had occasion to see.

Except for a few towns upon its main stream, which were brought into
being by reason principally of one natural product--the rubber of the
forests--the presence of civilized mankind upon its waters or its
shores is almost a negligible quantity.

The first echo of the white man's voice in the woods and across the
waters of the Amazon was in the year 1540, when a party of intrepid
Spaniards, after the Conquest of Peru, trusted their fortunes to its
mighty bosom and floated eastwards into a world of which they had no
knowledge, and, borne down by the current across an entire continent
for nearly three thousand miles, were carried into the Atlantic Ocean.

The voyage is one of the most remarkable in the history of fluvial, or
indeed of any navigation. Let us briefly recall it.

One day early in the above-mentioned year there was movement in the
city of Quito, the ancient capital of the Shiris, in the northern
kingdom of the conquered Incas, when a body of Spaniards, captained by
Gonzalo Pizarro, brother of the famous Conquistador of Peru, Hernando,
set forth to reach a fabled land of gold, an unknown El Dorado, which
Indians, imaginative or deceptive, told their white masters lay far
within the forest fastnesses beyond the Andes, a land of "Oriental
spices," an empire in some beautiful and languorous region which might
far surpass in riches and enjoyment anything which even Peru had
yielded.

A clever guerilla captain, esteemed the best lance and master of horse
in Peru, Gonzalo Pizarro, fired by the idea of this fresh conquest,
called together over three hundred Spaniards, part of the retinue
of the Government of Quito to which his brother had appointed him.
Half the company were mounted, all were well equipped: a mountain of
provisions was borne by a band of four thousand Indian servants; a
great herd of swine was driven in the rear, further to furnish food
for the party; and a thousand dogs, some of a ferocious breed, to hunt
down Indians should such be necessary, completed the outfit. Quito lies
in a broad recess of the Andes, leaving which the expedition climbed
the forbidding and snow-crowned slopes which lay between them and the
forests beyond, and disappeared.

Little did the members of this eager band, or the folk of Quito, know
of what lay in store, or how the forces of Nature should overwhelm even
so well-prepared an expedition.

The many tributaries of the River Amazon that have their rise in this
portion of the Andes cut their way through extremely rugged territory,
profound gorges, buried in tangled forests, where passage even for a
few travellers must often be cut out through the jungle, and which
to a large body of horsemen offered almost impenetrable obstacles.
The intense cold and rarefied air of the mountain solitudes caused
considerable suffering to the explorers, and the traveller to-day,
whilst impressed with the grandeur of the scenery of the high Andes of
Ecuador, crowned by the magnificent avenue of snow-capped volcanoes of
which Chimborazo and Cotopaxi are the chief, gladly escapes from the
inclement altitudes to the warmer climate of lower elevations. Then,
as now, the land was frequently shaken and devastated by terrific
earthquakes and discharges from the volcanoes, and it would appear that
such a state of unrest was abroad at the moment when Gonzalo and his
party appeared, as if Nature resented their intrusion.

However, at length a land known as that of Canelas, or perhaps so named
by the Spaniards from the profusion of beautiful cinnamon-bearing
trees, the name being Castilian for that spice, was reached. This was
as far as the leader had expected to come, and finding their hopes
unrealized, it would indeed have been well had the band returned to
Quito, reading from the dreadful forest its true lesson. But, lured
onwards by the tales of the Indians, who persisted that a few days'
march beyond there lay a land teeming with gold, and inhabited by
civilized and docile peoples, they pressed onward. Broad plains opened
to the view, those vast savannas of the _Montaña_ of the Amazon plain,
and trees of stupendous growth, such as perhaps only the equinoctial
regions of America produces, interspersed with beautiful flowering
shrubs.

But it is a peculiarity of these regions that Nature herein provides
practically nothing for the sustenance of man. Of extreme fertility
under cultivation, there is little of fruits or game such as would
support life, and the traveller to-day caught in these vast solitudes
without an ample supply of provisions may wander about miserably, far
from human aid, until he perishes. Moreover, the incessant deluges of
rain which descend upon this part of America, and which are indeed
the sources of the mighty flood of the Amazon, cause provisions to
deteriorate and clothing to decay, and add infinitely to the burdens
of the traveller. So it befel the band of Spaniards. Their provisions,
after several months of travel, had become exhausted, and their
clothing was reduced to rags. Part of the herd of swine had escaped,
and now they were obliged to subsist on the lean bodies of the dogs
and of their horses, together with such roots--often unknown and
poisonous--which they dug up in the forest.

In this condition Gonzalo and his companions reached the borders of
the considerable river which, known later as the Napo, is one of the
principal Ecuadorian tributaries of the Amazon, and which to them,
accustomed to the comparatively small rivers of Europe, seemed an
enormous stream, for so far they had not gazed upon the Amazon itself.
Some encouragement was derived from this river; its waters were at
least a living thing; its current might be a highway leading to the
desired land.

[Illustration: IN THE PERUVIAN MONTAÑA.

  Vol. II. To face p. 78.]

At a point where the Napo--after the manner of many of these Andine
rivers--rushes through a narrow chasm cut like an artificial canal
through the last range of the mountains to escape to the plain the band
crossed, constructing a frail bridge by the method of felling a huge
tree across it, over which men and horses painfully made their way,
losing, however, one of their number, an unfortunate Spaniard, who,
missing his footing, seized with vertigo, plunged downwards several
hundred feet into the boiling torrent which thundered along the rocky
gorge.

Little was gained here. There was still no prospect of the promised
land. They were spent with toil and hunger; their provisions and their
powers were alike exhausted. Tribes of savage Indians were occasionally
met, who fought from behind rock or thicket with deadly poisoned
arrows; tribes such as still exist to-day in parts of this wild region
of the Amazon basin, and which still receive the traveller in similar
fashion. To go on or to return--that was the question which now pressed
itself on Gonzalo and his companions. But still the insidious tales of
gold and plenty lured them on.

At a point where the walls of the Amazon forest closed in impenetrably
upon the river verge, as is the natural character of these waterways,
monotonous by reason of their enclosure of the trees and creepers, and
affording no pathway along their banks, Pizarro called a halt. It was
decided that the present mode of progression was impossible. They must
take to the stream. A vessel of some sort must be constructed.

Necessity aiding their efforts, the Spaniards, after two months' work,
built a "brigantine," a vessel rudely constructed from the timber of
the forest joined together with nails from the horses' hoofs, rendered
watertight with the tattered clothes of the travellers used in lieu
of oakum, soaked in natural gums which abound in the trees, in the
place of pitch. This craft was capable of carrying only part of the
Spaniards: the remainder must continue to force their way along the
shore.

And now we hear of Orellana, destined to navigate the Amazon, in this,
the first European vessel--born of the forest, however, and not of
any foreign seaport--to float upon its waters, the first white man to
do so. For although the mouth of the Amazon had been visited by the
Spanish navigator, Pinzon, some time before, in 1500, the river had
only been ascended for some fifty out of its several thousand miles
of navigable waterway. Orellana, the lieutenant of Gonzalo, was given
command of the brigantine, which aided in transporting the weaker
members of the party; and thus, floating and journeying, the expedition
proceeded onwards.

But food, with the exception of "toads, serpents and a few wild
fruits," now gave out entirely. The last horse had been eaten. Famine
and death stared the expedition in the face. They could not go on on
foot. It was necessary that the vessel should be dispatched to obtain
succour from that fruitful land which it was still believed lay but a
few days distant, at a point where, according to information obtained
from wandering natives, the River Napo united its waters with those of
the main stream of the Amazon. Orellana, with fifty of the band, was
instructed therefore to descend the river and return with all speed
with the much-needed assistance. He embarked, and the brigantine and
its company disappeared from view round a bend of the river.

This was the last that Gonzalo and his remaining companions ever saw of
the vessel. They waited for weeks, supporting themselves heaven knows
how, day by day straining their eyes, hoping to see the form of the
returning bark upon the waters, but all was in vain.

Meantime, Orellana and his crew, borne down by the swift current,
reached in three days the point of confluence of the Napo and Amazon, a
mighty flood of waters, but there was no sign of the land of promise,
and instead of being able to load up with provisions and return, he
could barely obtain sustenance for his ship's company; nor did it
seem possible to make his way back against the current. What should
he do? Were it not better to proceed on his way, descend the river
to its mouth, reach the Atlantic, proceed to Spain and the Court,
and cover himself with glory as the discoverer of the great Amazon
and all the vast territory it traversed might contain? Eagerly his
companions accepted the idea. As to those left behind they must succour
themselves, and turning their prow downstream again the brigantine
pursued its way, swept along for two thousand miles by the vast waters
of the river.

How they escaped the dangers of rocks, whirlpools and savage Indians;
how they found considerable settlements of natives, and at length
reached the mouth of the river, and taking ship arrived at the Court
of Spain needs not to be related here. Orellana received considerable
honour at the hand of the Spanish Sovereign, with command over the
territory he had discovered.

The unfortunate Gonzalo and his companions, thus left starving in
the Amazon forest, suffered many vicissitudes and many lost their
lives. They were forced to return to Quito without having reached any
El Dorado of their dreams. The backward journey was one of the most
terrible in the early history of America, and out of all that great
band which set forth with such high hopes only about eighty Spaniards
and half that number of Indians returned to tell the tale--little over
a hundred haggard adventurers, who, falling down on the floor of the
cathedral, rendered thanks to heaven for their own escape from the
terrors of the Amazon wilds.

Thus ended the first expedition to the Amazon.

It was Orellana who gave the river its name. On his dangerous journey
adown the current, his band fought with what they believed to be an
army of women-warriors, or _Amazonas_, who rushing from the depths of
the forest, attacked the white men, but who, in reality, were only wild
Indians in loose cotton chemises or shirts flying in the breeze. There
is no legend here of an empire of women.

That the Amazon could be navigated was again shown later by Pedro
de Texeira, who, with his companions, performed the great feat of
ascending from the mouth of the river up to Quito, and returning
thence--a marvellous voyage for that period.

The River Napo, by which the Spaniards first entered upon the main
stream of the Amazon (there was an earlier exploration of the mouth of
the river in Brazil), is but one of many great navigable tributaries
which traverse the territories of those nations--Ecuador, Colombia,
Peru, Bolivia and Brazil--which lies partly within the region. Many
thousands of miles of such navigable waterways intersect it, some of
them very little known or used.

We may gain an idea of the size of the region drained by the Amazon
by noting that it covers four-tenths of the entire area of South
America. Yet less than a hundred square miles of it is cultivated,
and its "population"--if the term may be used for the bands of
savage or semi-savage Indians that dwell there and the few white
settlements--number perhaps half of that of the city of London: a few
million souls, who are lost in this immensity of forest, jungle and
river.

The chief obstacles to travel and development in the valley are the
broken or flooded nature of the country, the impenetrable forests,
through which, except off the few trails, the traveller has to hack
his way by means of the _machete_, wielded by his Indians. The heavy
rains, the mosquitoes and the malaria, the unreliability of the
natives. Dangers from wild beasts have been exaggerated. The worst of
these is the mosquito! The forests are not teeming with beasts of prey,
although they are to be met with. Often the traveller may pursue his
way for vast distances without seeing any living creature, and he must
not depend upon game for any particular addition to his larder, for
there is little, in many regions. Food must be carried, and the matter
of transport is one of the most serious obstacles. Without adequate
supplies the traveller will starve, and leave his bones in the dismal
forest, as has befallen many an adventurer here.

Except by actual travel no adequate idea of the Amazon forests can
be obtained: of their alternating gloom and splendour, of their
superabundant vegetation, of the impenetrable ramparts of their dense
foliage and matted trunks. The forest is the largest area of virgin
woodlands on the face of the globe, extending back from the Atlantic
seaboard to the slopes of the Andes for more than 2,500 miles, and
ranging in breadth from 200 miles on the coast, at the mouth of the
river or in Brazil to 900 miles between Venezuela and Bolivia.

The marvellously rich flora is among the wonders of the world. The
principal characteristic is in the variety of genera and species.
A single acre of ground may contain hundreds of different species
of tree and shrub, including palms, acacias, myrtles, mimosas and
others. The forest is in this unlike the great coniferous or other
forests, and the condition is not favourable in a commercial sense
as regards the industry of timber-cutting, although industrial kinds
of its trees afford the basis of profit. The trees are not always of
great height here, the average being perhaps a hundred feet, with many
kinds reaching two hundred feet, the shorter varieties being upon the
flood-plains.

The remarkable tropical growth is shown in the myriad lianas, or
creepers, which often bind the mass together, overgrowing even the
tallest trees. The traveller who has had to cut his way through these
networks of vegetation can best understand their impenetrability.
Above his head may tower that monarch of the forest the "Cow-tree," or
Massaranduba. This remarkable tree takes its name from the milk, or
milky sap, it yields--a latex used in rubber-curing and for medicinal
purposes. The timber is valuable for shipbuilding, and is also esteemed
by railway-builders for sleepers, the wood being highly resistant,
whether in air or water. Here, too, the mighty cedar rises amid its
neighbours, growing to an immense height; its great trunk a hundred
feet to its first branch. The wood is light, strong, and susceptible of
a high polish and is valued for these qualities for many purposes.

Here is another tree we shall view with a special interest in these
forest fastnesses. We shall regard it with such interest not only for
its great height--for it is one of the loftiest on the Amazon--but by
reason of its familiar product, as it is that which produces the Brazil
nut. The tree, however, will not be crowded by its neighbours, loving
the open ground. It is slender relatively for its height, perhaps three
or four feet in trunk diameter. Of the two varieties one is known as
the Bertholetra, the other the Sapucaya.

The collector of Brazil nuts will have a care not to approach the
trees in a high wind, that is when the nuts are ripe. For the nuts,
enclosed in their capsule or covering, are as hard and heavy as a
small cannon-ball, and will certainly crack his crown if by mischance
one falls upon his head. Prudently he waits until the pod falls, or,
opening the lid with which Nature has furnished it, flings the enclosed
nuts abroad, where they may be gathered. Many nuts, however, are wasted
in this dispersal. The only capital required by the nut-gatherer is
that involved in the ownership of a boat.

In view of the appreciation of the Brazil nut in foreign lands, and its
high price, the industry of its gathering, it would be supposed, might
have been more extensive.

The monarch, in a commercial sense, of the Amazon forests is the
rubber, the beautiful _Hevea_ and others. These have their own special
habitat. They are not found anywhere, but are solitary in their nature.

For description of the animal life of the Amazon we must turn to those
works of naturalists and travellers who have made this field their
special study. There we may learn about the manati, or sea-cow, one of
the most remarkable of mammals, growing at times to a size of twenty
feet in length, having its home in the lower and larger reaches of
the river. The world of the monkeys embodies fifty species. We find
them up as high as the denser parts of the Peruvian Montaña, and a
colony of these creatures in conclave is always a remarkable sight,
with their semi-human attributes. We shall see the sloth, and hear and
see the jaguar as also the peccary. The alligator will be our constant
companion amid the backwaters, and a dangerous and voracious one at
times he proves. The turtles may furnish the traveller with its flesh
and eggs for food, as it has done for the Indians always. The traveller
on occasion need not despise, moreover, the flesh of the monkey,
however repugnant it may seem in life to contemplate the creature as a
constituent of the forest larder. The mighty boa-constrictor will be
seen by the fortunate. The brilliant plumage of the many-hued birds
is perhaps a compensation of Nature for the lack of song of the many
feathered tribes of the valley. As for the parasitic creatures, the
ticks, the dreadful ants and a host of others, the traveller here will
rarely fail to make their close acquaintance.

The western or upper edge of the Amazon Valley differs much from
the denser region such as that to which the foregoing description
regarding the forest applies, conditions obtaining more particularly
in the Brazilian portion of the territory. This upper edge--extending,
however, in some cases a long way to the east--is known in Peru as the
Montaña, and embodies a much more broken and diversified landscape,
more beautiful and more habitable. Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela also
partake in territory of this character, which is formed by the slopes
of the Andes.

As the traveller descends the eastern slopes of the Cordillera, whose
tablelands and ridges we have traversed in a previous chapter, and
leaves behind him the vast grass-covered uplands, with their towering
peaks, he enters upon the line of tree-life, which lies at an elevation
of perhaps 11,000 feet: enters indeed upon another world. The climate
becomes warmer, the mists lie heavier, thickets of flowering shrubs
spread their beauty, cascades of falling water are projected like giant
fountains over sheer precipices, and timber-clad ridge and profound
cañon, between whose walls the torrential rivers now hurry eastwards,
diversify the journey; transformation scenes which delight the eye and
give an added zest to the arduous march.

A very small portion of the Montaña is occupied or inhabited. The old
Inca civilization did not penetrate it, nor did the Spaniards of the
Colonial period, nor yet did the white folk of the Andine Republics
establish more than nominal sway over savage nature and savage man in
these remote regions. Beyond the few settlers who live isolated from
the world, the folk consist of more or less uncivilized tribes of
Indians.

Each of these tribes generally bears its distinctive name and has its
various customs--curious, useful or bestial. The Aguarunas of the
Marañon build fixed dwellings and cultivate the soil. They are of
middle stature, the women often well-featured, and both sexes wear
short garments, in distinction to other tribes which go naked and
unashamed. A warlike people, fighting with poisoned arrows, they have
on various occasions destroyed the white man's settlements. These
people signal their messages through the forest for long distances
by means of the _tunduy_--a hollow log tautly suspended from a cord
attached to a tree, and which reaches the ground, and struck hard
blows with a club it emits a far-carrying sound, which, under a
species of "morse" code, carries the message onward--a kind of native
"wireless-telegraphy."

The Campas Indians occupy an enormous territory on the great Urubamba
and Ucayali Rivers, and have assimilated some degree of civilization
and are friendly to the whites. The Nahumedes are those who attacked
Orellana and were taken for women-warriors. The Orejones are so called
from the practice of making their ears of enormous size, by inserting
weights in the lobes. The Huitoto Indians, in Peru and Colombia, were
those who suffered under the excesses of the Putumayo, the great stream
descending from the Colombian Andes.

It would be impossible here to enumerate the many tribes of the
Montaña. Some of them were influenced by the Incas, and in consequence
are of a higher calibre. The Incas, according to the legends, had a
God-given mission to civilize the rude folk of Western South America,
and marvellously they carried it out, in a way that puts the modern
white man to shame, with his ruthless negligence or with the studied
barbarity he has visited upon the poor aboriginal rubber-gatherers.

Many of these tribes cultivate the ground and subsist upon the fruits
of their toil. Many of them have a more or less hazy belief in a
Supreme Deity, evolved from their inner consciousness or inherited
from the Incas or from the childhood of the world. The tribes have no
particular cohesion, and are thus at the mercy of whoever may oppress
them. At the head of each tribe is generally a _curaca_, a chief chosen
by reason of his superior strength or ferocity. Often they dwell in
huge community-houses.

The "Conquest of the Montaña" is for the Peruvian people a matter of
considerable moment; the region, embodying what in the future may be
perhaps the most valuable part of the territory of the Republic, and
the Government is becoming more humanely alive to its potentialities.

It has been calculated that the aggregate length of navigable waterway
of the Amazon affluents in Peru exceeds 10,000 miles, for steamers
varying from a draught of twenty feet down to two or four feet;
that is during high-water period throughout a part of the year.
This navigability is reduced to about half the distance in the dry
season.[17] In addition, the smaller channels for vast distances may be
utilized for canoe-journeys.

The _Oriente_, or corresponding region in Ecuador, offers analogous
conditions for navigation, although more limited in extent.[18] In
Colombia, as described elsewhere, navigation is possible by small craft
from the fluvial system of the Amazon to that of the Orinoco, a
remarkable hydrographic condition.

[Illustration: UNCIVILIZED FOREST INDIANS OF THE PERUVIAN AMAZON.

  Vol. II. To face p. 90.]

In Bolivia the Amazon system provides also some 10,000 miles of
navigation (and the Plate system a further thousand miles). The
principal affluent in Bolivia of this fluvial network is the Madeira
and the Mamoré.

The famous Madeira-Mamoré railway was built to avoid the cataracts and
rapids on that river, and provides a link in a chain of 2,000 miles
of river navigation, serving Bolivia and Brazil. The line has had a
terrible history, in the deaths during earlier explorations of the
route and during its construction, brought about by the adverse forces
of Nature in these forest wilds.

We reach the lower terminus of this railway by the steamer which
ascends the Amazon from Para and Manaos, at Porto Velho, 1,000 miles
upstream from the last-named town, and here our vessel, which may have
brought us from Liverpool or other European ports, lies 600 feet above
the level of the sea, where it has ascended under its own steam, 2,000
miles from salt water. Here the impenetrable curtain of the forest
closes in, and from it timidly emerge the harmless--if sometimes
cannibal--little Indian folk who dwell in its sombre depths.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "The northern region, including the territory of Colonias, the
  department of El Beni, and a portion of that of La Paz, is that in
  which the river navigation is most considerable, for it is in this
  region that the majority of the _barracas_ are situated. These are
  the establishments installed on the river banks by which the rubber
  of the region is collected. They are at the same time warehouses
  for the storing of rubber and stores containing the most varied
  merchandise. The _barracas_ are often surrounded by plantations.

  "Despite their number and their importance, the rivers of this part
  of the country are subject to the common fate of all the higher
  affluents and sub-affluents of the Amazon--namely, a considerable
  diminution of their waters during the dry season, which renders the
  channels difficult and unreliable on account of the obstacles which
  accumulate at certain points. It is really only during the season
  of high water that steam navigation is easy and rapid; in general,
  on the Rios Beni and Madre de Dios, the steamboats run freely from
  December to May. From June and July the steamers encounter increasing
  numbers of obstacles and are exposed to the risk of a sudden fall of
  water, when the types of vessel peculiar to each river come into use,
  particularly from August to November.

  "During the months of July and August navigation is inconvenient
  on account of the expanse of mud, which has not as yet had time to
  harden, but is left uncovered by the falling waters on either bank,
  making landing a difficult matter. The reefs uncovered at low water
  and the entanglements of tree trunks disappear with the rise of the
  waters, and the steamers recommence running.

  "Descending the rivers during high water, navigation is both
  easy and rapid, but it is also rather dangerous on account of the
  swiftness of the current. It is difficult to estimate the time needed
  to navigate this or that river, as the day's journey, ascending or
  descending, varies according to the river, the amount of water in it,
  the kind of vessel employed, the amount of cargo carried, and the
  crew which steers or propels the vessel.

  "The vessels peculiar to the rivers of those regions which do not
  permit of steam navigation, and which are everywhere employed when
  the waters are low, are the _balsa_ and the _callapo_, each a species
  of raft; together with boats of various dimensions--_monterias_ or
  _batelon_, _egariteas_, _canoas_ or _pirogues_, the latter being
  dug-out canoes.

  "The _balsa_ is a raft consisting of seven pieces or trunks of a
  peculiar and very light wood known as _palo de balsa_ (raft-wood);
  these pieces are either bound together or pinned with stakes of
  _chonta_, a kind of black palm which is very hard. The fore part
  of the raft is narrowed slightly, and the trunks are arranged on a
  curve whose elevation is perhaps eighteen inches, so that the sides
  are higher than the middle. Each of the seven trunks is perhaps five
  inches in diameter. On the framework thus made is placed a platform
  of plaited bamboos, known as _chairo_; this platform, which is
  intended for the reception of the cargo, and on which any passengers
  take their places, is called the _huaracha_. At each end of the raft
  a space of three to five feet is left free of any covering; here sit
  or stand the three boatmen who form the crew--two at the bow and one
  at the stern. A good raft is usually twenty-two to twenty-six feet
  long, by five to six feet wide, and will carry about 7-1/2 cwt. of
  cargo, as well as the three boatmen.

  "A _callapo_ or _monteria_ consists of two or three _balsas_ lashed
  together; such a raft will carry as much as 34 cwt. The crews of
  these rafts, according to their dimensions, consist of three to
  fifteen men; these men are Leco Indians, or Mosetenes, or Yuracares,
  who are highly skilled in this kind of navigation.

  "The pilot is the captain of the crew; he is naturally the calmest
  and the most expert; the _punteros_, who are stationed at the two
  ends, are the strongest; the rest are the rowers. The navigation of
  the _balsa_ is terribly hard work when mounting against a current;
  as a rule two men go ashore and tow the raft from the bank, pulling
  on a rope some fifteen yards in length; a third, armed with a pole
  sixteen or eighteen feet long, keeps the raft a certain distance from
  the bank, so that it shall not run aground. Where the water is too
  shallow to float the raft, it must be dragged over the stones in the
  bed of the river. In reaches where it is impossible to make one's way
  along the bank the raft is poled up-stream, a method of progression
  which costs more effort and is less speedy.

  "The crew of a _balsa_ or _monteria_ will usually navigate for some
  ten or twelve hours a day, during which they will perhaps make nine
  or ten miles; to rest, eat or sleep they go ashore, which action is
  known as _encostar_.

  "The navigation of the Mapiri (one of those rivers which run into the
  Beni) must be made in _balsas_ or _callapos_ manned by Leco Indians.
  From Mapiri the descent is rapid as far as Huanay, and the only
  obstacles are a few sunken reefs, which cause dangerous vortices in
  the impetuous stream. Where the Mapiri takes the name of Kaka (river
  of rocks)--that is, at the confluence of the Coroico--there are many
  dangerous passages full of surface rocks. This river finally flows
  into the Beni.

  "The Rio Boopi also leads to the Beni; rafts like those of the Mapiri
  are piloted by Mosetenes Indians. The passage is rapid, for at the
  outset the river enters a narrow gorge, that of the Meniqui, in which
  the current flows at a dizzy speed; eventually the Beni is reached
  at Guachi. Rafts are employed as far as Rurenabaque and Salinas or
  Puerto Brais, as between the two ports there is the dangerous passage
  of the Altamirani, which is encumbered with rocks and rapids.

  "The Rio Beni is then freely navigable by large steamers as far as
  Riberalta, at the mouth of the Madre de Dios, a distance of 473
  miles. Steamers cannot proceed to Villa Bella on account of the
  Esperanza rapids or falls, which are 340 yards long with a declivity
  of 18 feet; the river here is nearly a thousand yards wide, and its
  depth is three fathoms. The current is so rapid that boats and rafts
  must be unloaded both ascending and descending. The railway now
  being built between Riberalta and Guayaramirim will circumvent this
  difficulty.

  "The Rio Madre de Dios, on the banks of which there are numerous
  settlements, is navigable for steamers during the months of high
  water from Riberalta as far as its remotest tributaries, such as the
  Inambari, the Manu, the Tambopata or Pando, etc.; during the rest of
  the year the journey must be made in _callapos_. The navigation of
  this river is difficult only about the middle of its course, where
  there are two rapids, which are, however, completely covered when the
  water is high. The Madre de Dios is navigable by its affluents as far
  as the outlying spurs of the Andes.

  "To pass from this river to the Rio Acre there is a choice of two
  routes. One may go overland from the Carmen _barraca_ to Cobija, or
  by water, by way of the Rios Manuripi and Tahuamanu, affluents of
  the Orton. The Orton, an affluent of the Beni, is, like the Madre de
  Dios, navigated by steam-launches during the season of high water,
  and by other vessels--rafts and canoes--all the year. Numerous
  _barracas_ (rubber stations) lie along the Orton, whence one can
  easily pass to the Rio Acre."[19]

       *       *       *       *       *

The wealth of the rubber-bearing regions of Peru and Bolivia has
of late years been made the subject of considerable study, but the
industry of rubber-gathering and export has been overshadowed from a
variety of causes. The Acre territory in Bolivia and that of Colonias
have been regarded as regions of untold wealth in this respect.
Difficult roads lead thereto from the capital of the Republic, but
these, in some cases, are extremely picturesque.

[Illustration: INDIANS OF THE NAPO, PERUVIAN AMAZON REGION.

  Vol. II. To face p. 96.]

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Hardly has one crossed the Cordillera when on all sides, on the
  flanks of the mountains, far off on the plains, in the valleys, the
  vast virgin forests show as great sombre patches emerging from fields
  of verdure. Varied as the vegetation which composes them, some seem
  impenetrable, their huge trees garlanded with lianas and loaded with
  innumerable parasites. These trees are not of great diameter because,
  being huddled so closely together, they struggle upward to seek the
  air and the light.

  "Others, undulating in the wind, waving their palmated crests, seem
  like the parks of some destroyed Eden; they are often so burdened
  with flowers that when the wind blows it is as though the snow were
  falling. Some of these forests are incessantly alive with myriads
  of splendidly coloured birds and monkeys of every species; others,
  on the contrary, are so full of silence and shadow and mysterious
  solitude that the traveller might believe himself in a virgin world.

  "Everywhere innumerable watercourses drain the country; some contain
  flakes of gold, but the true wealth of the country is in its
  vegetation, so marvellously vigorous and varied that even in America
  the forests of the Amazonian basin are proverbial.

  "Although this region lies wholly within the Tropics, it contains
  every plant and animal to be found under the sun--from the cedar to
  the banana with its velvet leaves, which never thrives but under the
  Equator; from the jaguar to the heat-loving monkey gambolling in the
  sun, and even, in the great plains of the east, from the shepherd
  watching his flocks to the collector of rubber and the planter of
  cocoa established beside the rivers or in the depths of the odorous
  valleys.

  "Despite these natural advantages, the greatest to be found on
  earth, civilized man inhabits this region only at rare and isolated
  points. This portion of Bolivia is still a wilderness almost unknown,
  into which the Bolivians of the high plateau, attracted and held
  by the metalliferous strata from which they strive to tear their
  treasure, only come by chance to tempt fortune by the exploitation
  of rubber. As men are everywhere prone to generalize, the territory
  of Colonias has the reputation of being full of mosquitoes, Indians
  and wild beasts, each category more dangerous than the other.
  There is a manifest exaggeration here. Certainly the mosquitoes
  are an objectionable race, but they are not found everywhere, and
  as for the Indians, if they have on occasion displayed a certain
  malevolence--possibly justified, but of which they themselves are
  always the first victims--they are as a rule invaluable as boatmen
  and collectors of rubber, and it is regrettable that they are not
  more numerous. Remain the dangerous wild beasts: well, they fear man
  far more than he fears them, and moreover they speedily desert such
  localities as man inhabits or frequents.

  "The climate of the territory of Colonias varies according to the
  proximity of the chain of the Andes, the altitude, the abundance of
  watercourses, and the direction of the winds. The temperature in May,
  June and July is mild and agreeable, moderately cool in the morning
  and evening, varying between 53·6° and 76·6° from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.,
  and from 76·6° to 89·6° between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the hottest
  months (September to December). Rarely does the thermometer rise or
  fall above these extremes. The normal temperature does, however,
  suffer a sudden fall when the cold south winds blow that are known
  as _surazos_; they come in September and produce violent storms with
  great and almost daily variations in the temperature, which may give
  rise to affections of the lungs and throat as the sequel to sudden
  chills. The force and direction of the winds contribute greatly to
  modify the salubrity of any region; places reputed to be unhealthy
  have become notably healthy when the forest has been opened or closed
  in a given direction.

  "The great defect of the climate here is the abundance of the rains.
  They fall continually through the whole rainy season, which lasts
  from December to May. The vapours of the Atlantic are brought up
  by the east winds, which are prevalent at this season; on reaching
  the Cordillera they are chilled as the air expands and loses heat
  with its increasing altitude; then the vapours condense and fall in
  torrents of rain, which often lasts for whole days together. But
  these rains are never cold, so they are not unpleasant as such rains
  would be in Europe; one braves them without thinking anything of it,
  as in Europe one braves a summer shower.

  "When it does not rain (the dry season lasts from June to November)
  the climate is delightful; the middle of the day is hot, with a
  somewhat heavy heat, although the sky is usually covered with a
  diaphanous mist which tempers the rays of the sun.

  "Floods are caused not only by rains in the western mountain regions,
  but also by local rains. They are dependent on the slope of the
  surface and the insignificant fall of the rivers. When the larger
  rivers are full the tributaries rise because their waters are dammed
  up or even flow backwards. The waters then become stagnant in every
  sense of the word, and decompose rapidly through the action of the
  heat and the vegetable and other detritus which they contain; at
  such times they produce paludian fevers; principally in April and
  May, when the waters begin to fall and the larger rivers receive
  the supplies of stagnant waters released from their tributaries. As
  the fall continues the mud left uncovered on the banks becomes an
  additional cause of fevers.

  "These paludian fevers, which are prevalent more especially during
  the rainy season, attack more particularly the rubber collectors--an
  ignorant and primitive population who know nothing of the most
  elementary rules of hygiene. Careless or imprudent whites pay the
  same penalty.

  "The lack of medical attendance, intemperance, negligence which
  results in the drinking of stagnant water drawn from pools or swamps
  or from the river banks; above all, the bites of the mosquito,
  against which no protection is employed, and which convey malaria to
  healthy but debilitated persons: these are the causes of the ravages
  occasioned by paludism in this region, as throughout the Amazon basin.

  "These conditions do not obtain throughout the Territory; there are
  numerous healthy localities as, for example, along the middle reaches
  of the Madre de Dios, in all parts which lie at any altitude, and in
  regions not subject to floods where a portion of the forest has been
  cleared in order to give the beneficent breezes a free course. On the
  other hand, and we speak from long personal experience, any healthy
  individual of robust or even average constitution can maintain
  himself in good health, suffering, in the long run, from nothing
  worse than a little anæmia, by observing the following rules:

  "Do not drink stagnant water unless it has been boiled; if one must
  drink unboiled water take it from the river, not from the bank,
  but from the middle of the current; do not walk or ride or exert
  yourself in the morning fasting; cover the loins with a belt of wool
  or flannel; take short but frequent baths or douches in order to
  facilitate perspiration and to avoid congestion of the pores; and in
  fever belts, or during the rainy season, take daily, as a preventive,
  four to eight grains of sulphate or hydrochlorate of quinine (in
  a cachet or compressed in tabloids) as well as a few granules of
  arsenic; finally, keep to an abundant and nourishing diet and do not
  forget that the nights being cool it is indispensable to take warm
  clothing and good blankets; and, most important of all, never omit
  the protection of mosquito-nets.

  "Such is the territory of Colonias and the greater portion of El
  Beni, a land of magnificent vegetation; it is regarded, not without
  reason, as a country where tropical agriculture may have a future
  before it. At present this vast country possesses a population of
  only some 40,000 to 45,000 inhabitants, without counting its 15,000
  to 18,000 wild Indians, a population of which the greater portion
  if not the whole is occupied in the production and transport of
  rubber, the chief product of the territory and the neighbouring
  countries."[20]

       *       *       *       *       *

The conditions of life and the treatment of the rubber gatherers of the
Amazon Valley were brought strongly before the world some years ago
by the disclosures of the Putumayo, in Peru, when it was shown that
terrible ill-treatment was meted out to the aborigines of the forests,
in the greed for rubber. They were shown to be frequently starved,
flogged to death, or tortured in various ways, their "crime" being
that they would not or could not bring a sufficient quota of rubber.
A powerful London company was involved in these scandals, but the
directors, when brought before a Parliamentary Commission, protested
that they had no knowledge of the matter.

It cannot be doubted that cruelties are still practised on the Indian
folk, in the rubber-districts of Peru and Bolivia, under the curtain
of the forest, although the authorities of these countries have taken
measures to endeavour to prevent these.

The condition of the rubber industry in the Amazon forests are not, of
course, all barbarous or uneconomic. It afforded, or affords, a means
of livelihood to a considerable number of people, and created wealth
where there was little other means of enrichment. It is, to an extreme,
unfortunate that the industry is, in parts, a dying one--superseded
in large measure by the active rubber plantations of the Straits
Settlement, Malaysia and elsewhere. But it remains to be seen if, some
day, under better auspices, the Amazon industry will not be revived.
It also remains to be seen if the exotic plantations of Malaysia will
be permanent, or whether exhaustion of the soil and other matters with
what is an exotic industry there may not lead to deterioration, or
decrease of the commodity and its yield, although it is to be hoped
that such eventualities may not occur.

It is affirmed by experts that wild rubber is superior to plantation
rubber. One of the evils of the Malaysian system is that whereby coolie
labour is brought in without their women, and consequently no family
life is possible among these coloured workers. In the Amazon Valley
there are no such restrictions, and under better auspices the native
rubber-gatherer could prosper and multiply. Herein lie important
matters for the future, especially for that fortunate part of civilized
mankind that rides on the rubber tyres of the modern motor-car.

Let us cast a passing glance at a rubber metropolis, here on this
mighty South American river, at Manaos, a name familiar at least to
the London reader of financial newspapers and to the shareholders of
British concerns thereat--for British capital furnishes light, and
power, and docks, and other matters, for some of these Amazon river
ports.

Near that fork of the great river where on the one hand the black
waters of the Rio Negro come down from a thousand miles' course from
Venezuelan, Colombian and Ecuadorian forests and mingle with the muddy
waters borne from the Peruvian Marañon and its tributaries, there
stood, in the middle of last century, a riverside village of Indians,
a handful of Portuguese, negroes and half-breeds. From this humble
beginning a city sprang to being, the geographical and trade centre of
the Amazon, with every comfort and every vice of modern civilization.
What was the cause of this transformation? It was the discovery of the
uses of rubber, the exploitation of the "black gold" of the forests.
Manaos grew until the place, to which all the rubber-producing lands
of the neighbouring Republics are tributary, provided ninety per cent.
of the world's supply of rubber. It has not, however, given its name
to this commodity, which has been associated rather with that of Para,
another riverside city near the mouth of the Amazon, itself created
largely by this trade.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Formerly the basin of the Amazon was almost unpopulated. In 1848
  the city of Belem, the only one in Amazonia, had 15,000 inhabitants,
  but two years later an epidemic of yellow fever greatly diminished
  their number. As for Manaos, even thirty years later it was only a
  village; Mathews, who visited it in 1879, estimated its population
  at 5,000. The Indian tribes of the forest refused to work; and a few
  thousand half-breeds, _tapuyoz_, a mixture of Portuguese, Indian and
  negro blood--were utterly inadequate to draw upon the wealth that
  men were beginning to recognize in the bordering forests. Labourers
  were demanded on every hand. The first immigrants, who settled about
  Manaos, were Indians from Bolivia and Peru; but their numbers were
  wholly insufficient.

  "It was the influx of the inhabitants of Ceará, during the draught
  of 1877-79, that made the development of the rubber trade possible.
  From that date the colonization of the forest proceeded rapidly.
  The seekers of rubber dispersed themselves throughout Amazonia; but
  the region most regularly exploited was the basin of the Rio Purus
  and that of the Rio Jurua. These two rivers are navigable for a
  greater distance upstream than any other of the affluents of the
  Amazon, and in the virgin forest, which the rubber-seekers were the
  first to invade, the exportation of rubber is only possible along
  the navigable water-ways. The Brazilians who mounted the Purus and
  the Jurua did not stop at the Bolivian frontier; a war with Bolivia
  very nearly broke out on the subject of these lands, which a few
  years earlier had not even been explored. The foundation of the
  independent Republic of Acré, the treaty of Petropolis, and the
  cession of Acré to Brazil, were the result of the westerly march of
  the rubber-seekers.

  "The economic development of Amazonia was prodigiously rapid. In
  1890 it exported 16,000 tons of rubber; in 1900, 28,000 tons; in
  1905, 33,000 tons. It became, next to San Paulo, the most important
  centre of exportation in Brazil.[21] The cities increased in size;
  the population of Para surpassed 100,000; that of Manaos attained to
  50,000; and this growth of the cities, which was more rapid than the
  growth of the total population, is an index to the rapidity of the
  commercial development of the country. The Amazon became one of the
  great river highways of the world, serving not only the Brazilian
  Amazon, but also the regions of Peru which are crossed by the upper
  tributaries, and a portion of Venezuela, where products descend to
  Manaos by the Rio Negro.

  "The exportation of rubber created wealth on all sides. All other
  occupations were abandoned for the collection of rubber. The herds
  of cattle on Marajo and the cocoa plantations along the banks were
  neglected. Similarly, in the neighbouring districts of Guiana the
  fields and plantations were abandoned on the discovery of 'placer'
  gold. No one thought of anything but rubber. Up to that time
  the country had produced its own food; now it had to resort to
  importation. It became a market in which the other States of Brazil
  were able to sell their products at a highly profitable rate. All
  these changes were due to the importation of labour from Ceará."[22]

       *       *       *       *       *

We have seen elsewhere that the ocean steamer which carries us up
the Amazon will reach the Peruvian port of Iquitos, a place of much
importance, due to its position in the very heart of the continent, the
centre of a vast tributary region, whose value the future will better
be able to estimate.

A region of the utmost interest lies before the traveller who will
adventure himself upon these tributary streams and the diversified
territories which they drain. There might be fleets of motor-boats
upon these waterways, whether bent upon pleasurable exploration,
whether upon business and trade. The civilized folk of the eastern
slopes of the great Cordillera are, metaphorically, stretching out
their arms towards the east, casting eager glances thereover, for from
thence must come economic prosperity and civilized peoples.

And now, once more, a glance at the past in the great valley, though
brief, at those influences which have tried to make for good as against
evil: the forces of the Church and the missionary.

The Jesuit friars in Brazil have had terrible charges laid at their
doors, but they and the Franciscan friars did noble work in the forests
and the rivers among the savage or humble denizens. Had their work
been allowed to continue, it might have flourished greatly. Among the
missionaries the name of the Padre Samuel Fritz stands out (as did that
of Las Casas in the Cordillera and the coast). Fritz gave the greater
part of his life, from 1686, in work among these unfortunate Indians.
But the fighting between the Spaniards and the Portuguese, around the
forts built near Manaos, destroyed this work. The Portuguese dispatched
armed bands against the Spaniards, and destroyed the missions and the
settlements, waging war in their jealous pretensions over this savage
territory.

It will be recollected by students of history that the Popes--among
them Paul III--strove to protect the Indians of the Amazon. This
Pontiff, in 1537, issued a decree to the effect that "the Indians
were men like others." Later, alarmed by the atrocities which were
perpetrated in Mexico and Peru upon the aborigines, the Pope sanctioned
slavery as a means of avoiding such horrors. In 1639 Pope Urban VIII
excommunicated the captors and vendors of Indians, but later the
Portuguese Government allowed the establishment of slavery. Under Dom
John VI, the Indians were to be considered as "orphans" in the eyes of
the law, and to be protected. But the present condition of the Amazon
Indians is one in which they appear to have no civil or legal rights.

As regards modern missionary work here, this is full of difficulty,
for if it is to be carried out by Protestants it involves a clashing
with the Roman Catholic priesthood, which naturally occupies the whole
continent. The work, however, whether by Protestant or Catholic, is not
by any means neglected, although much greater effort is needful. Such
effort should go hand in hand with economic elevation--also a difficult
problem, due, in part, to the attitude of vested interests in the field.

It would but weary us to dwell upon the economic possibilities of the
Amazon Valley in detail. Its climate and the fertility of its soil
would render possible the cultivation of all those tropical products
which are needful to the growing and hungry world, which, complaining
that the cost of life is unbearable, is yet unable to set its hands to
the fuller development of the great fallow areas, among which lies the
vast Amazon territory. Here, then, is work for the future.

       *       *       *       *       *

We now turn to the huge Republic of Brazil, mistress of the greater
part of Amazonia, and of much else.

FOOTNOTES:

[17] _Peru_, op. cit., where full details are given.

[18] _Ecuador_, op. cit.

[19] _Bolivia_, op. cit.

[20] _Bolivia_, op. cit., where a full account of the rubber industry
will be found.

[21]

  Total exportation of Brazil in 1906,   £52,000,000
  Exportation of coffee    "      "      £26,500,000
  Exportation of rubber    "      "      £13,300,000

[22] _Brazil_, Pierre Denis, South American Series.



CHAPTER XII

BRAZIL


When, in the year 1502, the early Portuguese navigators entered the Bay
of Rio de Janeiro--it was the first of January, hence the name they
gave to what they believed to be the estuary of a great river--they
little dreamed of that superb city which, as the centuries rolled on,
should arise on the edge of the sparkling waters, with their background
of picturesque mountains, with a harbour perhaps the finest in the New
World.

But such is the capital of Brazil to-day, and the traveller approaching
Rio de Janeiro revels--if the weather be propitious--in the sunlit
sea, the emerald islets that stud its bosom, the palm-fringed shores
and colour of the vegetation upon the mountain slopes, fit setting for
the handsome buildings, esplanades and avenues which unfold to the
view. Here the beauty of the Tropics, shorn by modern science of much
of its lurking dangers, combines with the handiwork of man to form a
metropolis which South America may contemplate with pardonable pride
as an instance of its civilization. In this vast oval bay, which
stretches inland for twenty-five miles, the navies of the world might
lie at anchor, and indeed the flags of all maritime nations unfurl
their colours near the quays of this vast mercantile seaport below the
Equator.

It is a vast land which we thus approach. Brazil spreads like a giant
across its continent. Its arms are flung westwards over South America
for over two thousand miles to the base of the Andes, and from above
the Equator to beyond the Tropic of Capricorn, crowding its smaller
neighbours--if crowding be possible here--into the extremities of the
continent, an area in which the countries of Europe might be more than
contained, and which is larger than the vast Anglo-American Republic,
the United States.

Still almost unknown are great portions of this great territory, still
inhabited by tribes as savage as when first the white man set foot upon
it, or as when the faithless Orellana, Pizarro's lieutenant, abandoning
his companions in the heart of the dreadful forests of the Amazon,
floated down the mighty waters of that river from the source to the sea.

Brazil is, of course, not a Spanish American country, although it was
at one period under the dominion of Spain; and it stands apart from
the remainder of the great sisterhood of the Latin American Republics
by reason of its Portuguese origin and language, although the common
Iberian ancestry renders it similar thereto in other respects. It
differs, furthermore, in the constitution of its people, in that
the African negro race has been so considerably absorbed into the
twenty-two million souls which form the population of the Republic: an
admixture which is of considerable ethnological interest, and may have
some important bearing on the future relation of the white and coloured
races of the world.

[Illustration: THE BAY OF RIO DE JANEIRO.

  Vol. II. To face p. 112.]

The magnificent but somewhat incoherent land as is Brazil to-day,
offered at the time of its discovery few attractions to the sovereigns
of a Mother Country into whose coffers the wealth of Africa and of
India flowed. Its poor and barbarous tribes had no stores of gold ready
to the hand of the _Conquistador_; there was no civilized empire with
a polity and architecture and organized social life, with armies to
protect it, such as Mexico and Peru offered, and consequently neither
glory nor riches urged the European discoverer or invader to tempt
its hinterland and people its valleys and seaboard. For thirty years
the Portuguese sovereigns paid little heed to this newly acquired
dominion, except that they fought off the encroaching Spaniard and the
adventurers of France, who would have entered or traded with it.

Twenty years before the Conquest of Mexico it was that the first
explorer sailed the Brazilian coast--and only eight years after
Columbus had sighted the American mainland--that the Spaniard, Vicente
Yañez Pinzon, a companion of Columbus, with whom sailed Amerigo
Vespucci--who gave his name to America--sighted the shore of what is
now Brazil, near Cape San Augustine, reconnoitring the mouth of the
Amazon and coasting along to the Orinoco. He took away some gems from
the Indians, some drugs and a load of dye-wood.

From this later commodity of the dye-wood, the great dominion of Brazil
took its name. "Brazil" was originally a legendary island in the
Atlantic, which long retained its imaginary position in the lore of
the forecastle and upon the ancient charts, and from this circumstance
the name came to be bestowed upon that enormous part of South America
which produced the red dye-woods similar to those which bore the name
of Brazil in the Middle Ages.

A few months after the keel of Pinzon had furrowed these unknown seas,
another explorer, Cabral, close upon Easter in 1499 (O.S.), following
the course of Vasco de Gama to the east, was drifted by an adverse gale
so far from his proper track that he reached this same coast, and,
anchoring in Porto Seguro, erected an altar there, celebrated Mass, set
up a stone cross and took possession of the country for the King of
Portugal. He, like Columbus, thought he had reached India, and sent a
vessel to Lisbon with the news.

Let us turn for a space to examine the great land thus brought to
knowledge by these early voyagers.

To-day, the traveller in Brazil will soon be impressed by the immensity
of its spaces, will remark how broad are these wide tablelands, how
interminable the _serras_ and mountain ranges, how boundless the
forests. The territory of this great land is fifteen times that of
France. It is larger than the United States (without Alaska); it is
over 2,600 miles long upon the Atlantic, and 2,700 miles wide from
its coast to where, across the heart of the continent, it touches the
frontier of Peru. Its boundaries touch those of every South American
nation except Chile. Persistent trespassers were the Portuguese in the
early Colonial period, and their land-hunger carried them beyond those
boundaries which the Pope, as we have seen in a former chapter, fixed
between Portugal and Spain.

What is the general nature of this great territory? Here is a coastline
with many sandy beaches, mangrove swamps and lagoons, with inland
channels following the coast for long distances, but giving place to
rolling, fertile coastal plains terminating in headlands overlooking
the Atlantic waves. The coast is indented with many land-locked bays,
forming large and easily accessible harbours, with others smaller and
difficult of approach.

Back from this characteristic littoral, from Cape San Roque--nearly the
easternmost point of South America, whose tropic headland here juts
out far towards Europe--and southward to Rio de la Plata extends a
vast tableland, covering half Brazil, and beyond this we reach immense
undulating plains of sandy soil, forming the great depression of South
America from the basin of the Amazon in the north to the basin of the
Paraná River in the south.

Thus do we remark a singular incoherence and lack of symmetry in
the physiography of Brazil, largely due to geological conditions.
Yet Brazil is a land which has been immune from violent geological
disturbances from an early time. Such oscillations as there have
been have not brought to being enormous mountain chains or intensive
foldings of the rocks, such as are so marked elsewhere in South
America. Flat bedding or low angles mark the geological horizons since
the Devonian Age, and since that age it would seem that none of Brazil
has been beneath the sea. There are eruptive rocks in the Devonian and
carboniferous beds, but since the Palæozoic epoch it does not appear
that there has been any volcanic activity. These devastating forces
of Nature seem to have had their vent on the western side of the
continent. The Palæozoic beds of the interior are of red sandstones,
and these have their place in marked degree in the economics and
appearance of the landscape.

The formation of the country has been interestingly described by a
well-informed recent writer, whom we may quote here.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "The high plains of the interior, which shed their waters both
  north and south, have never been of economic importance; the
  valley of the Amazon has been developed only of late years, and
  its population is as yet small. It is therefore the tableland of
  the Atlantic seaboard, from Uruguay to Ceará, that constitutes the
  soil of historic Brazil. Through its length of 1,800 to 2,200 miles
  this tableland presents the greatest variety of aspect, and has no
  hydrographic unity. Its height is greater to the south, where it
  reaches some 3,200 feet. This general slope from south to north is
  revealed by the course of the San Francisco. In Brazil the name of
  Borburema is employed to denote the northern portion of the plateau.
  This old geographical term deserves preservation, as it represents
  a region which has its own peculiar characteristics. The dry season
  there is a long one, and the Borburema does little to feed the small
  seaboard rivers which flow fan-wise into the Atlantic; for the
  plateau in that region slopes gently to the sea.

  "It is otherwise in southern Brazil. From the State of San Paolo
  southwards the seaward face of the plateau is a huge bank, some 2,500
  or 3,000 feet in height, which separates a narrow strip of coast from
  the basin of the great rivers inland. This long bank or watershed
  bears successively the titles of Serra do Mar and Serra Geral. From
  San Paolo to the Rio Grande no river pierces its barrier; but the
  streams which rise upon its landward side, almost within sight of
  the sea, cross the whole width of the plateau before they join the
  Paraná or the Uruguay. Thus the Serra do Mar is not really a mountain
  range; though it has, from the sea, all the appearance of one, owing
  to its denticulated ridge; but the traveller who reaches the crest
  by crossing the inland plateau arrives at the highest point by the
  ascent of imperceptible gradients, and only discovers the _serra_
  when he breaks suddenly upon the sight of the ocean thousands of feet
  below.

  "Beyond the _serra_ is the territory of Minas; a confused mass of
  mountainous groups, among which it is no easy matter to trace one's
  way, either on the map or on the trail itself. An enormous backbone
  of granite, the Mantiqueira, crosses the southern portion of Minas;
  and the railway painfully ascends its grassy slopes. The Mantiqueira,
  which receives on its southern flank the rains brought by the ocean
  winds, is the highest point of the plateau, and the hydrographic
  centre of Brazil. It gives birth to the Rio Grande, the principal arm
  of the Paraná.

  "As soon as we cross the southern frontier of the State of San
  Paolo the plateau is transformed; there is no more granite, and the
  landscape grows tamer. The primitive measures of gneiss and granite,
  out of which the Serra do Mar is carved, are covered to the westward
  by a bed of sedimentary rocks, of which the strata, dipping toward
  the west, plunge one after the other under other more recent strata.
  They consist exclusively of red and grey sandstone, and the sandy
  soil which results from their decomposition covers the western
  portions of the four southern States. The topography of the country
  changes with the geologic structure. The outcrops of sandstone,
  which one crosses in travelling westward, cut the tableland into
  successive flats. Irregular ranges turn their abrupter slopes towards
  the east, as the banks of the Meuse and Moselle in the basin of the
  Seine; the rivers flow close underneath them, running through narrow
  gorges. Even the least experienced eye could never mistake these
  cliffs of sandstone for ridges of granite; these are not mountain
  chains, not _serras_, but, according to the local term, _serrinhas_.

  "In Santa Catharina and Rio Grande enormous eruptions of basaltic
  rocks have covered a portion of the plateau. The basalt has even
  reached the seaboard, and southward of the island on which Desterro
  is built it overlies the granites of the Serra do Mar. The south
  flank of the plateau, which overlooks the prairies of Rio Grande, is
  also basaltic. The popular judgment has gone astray, having given the
  same name--the Serra Geral--to the granitic chain and to the edge of
  the basaltic overflow, as if one were a continuation of the other.

  "If we except the prairies of Rio Grande, where the pampas of the
  Argentine and of Uruguay commence, there is nothing in front of the
  Serra do Mar but a narrow sandy waste. The rains which scar the
  face of the _serra_, wearing it into ravines, do not irrigate it
  sufficiently; and the rivers, of little volume, are spent in slowly
  filling the marshes that border the coast; they are lost finally
  among the granite islets, in the deep bays which the first explorers
  insisted were great estuaries. From the Rio Grande to Espirito Santo
  the Parahyba is the only river that has been able to deposit, at the
  foot of the _serra_, and around its outlets, a solid and fertile
  alluvial plain; it is there that the sugar-mills of Campos are
  established.

  "It is the vegetation above all that gives the various regions of
  Brazil their peculiar character. It is a mistake to suppose that
  Brazil is entirely covered with forests. The forests are concentrated
  upon two regions: the basin of the Amazon and a long strip of
  seaboard along the Atlantic coast between Espiritu Santo and Rio
  Grande. The forests require abundant rains; and the Serra do Mar,
  receiving the humidity of the ocean winds upon its dripping flanks,
  incessantly hidden by mists, produces far to the south the conditions
  which have made the Amazonian basin the home of the equatorial
  forest. For a distance of 1,200 miles those who have landed at the
  various practicable inlets have found everywhere on the slopes of
  the _serra_ the same splendid and impenetrable forest. Even to-day
  it is almost untouched. It encircles and embraces Rio; it seems to
  refuse it room for growth, as in the tale of Daudet's, in which the
  forest reconquered in a single springtide the land which the intrepid
  colonists had stolen from it in order to found their settlement.

  "Beyond the belt of swamps which extends along the coast, where
  ill-nourished trees, overladen with parasites, struggle against
  imperfect drainage and poverty of soil, at the very foot of the
  _serra_, the true forest begins. The dome-like summits of the great
  trees, ranged in ascending ranks upon the slope, completely screen
  the soil they spring from, thus giving the peculiar illusion that
  this wonderful vegetation rises, from a common level, to the extreme
  height of the range. Here and there only emerges from the foliage the
  smooth water-worn side of a granite bluff. The railway track runs
  between walls of verdure; the underwoods, which elsewhere suffer from
  the lack of light, grow eagerly along the sides of the trench-like
  clearing. Lianas, ferns, bamboos, grow vigorously as high as the
  tree-tops. One seems actually to see the brutal struggle of the
  plants toward the sunlight and the air. Many travellers have spoken
  of the sense of conflict and of violence produced by the virgin
  forest. There is, indeed, along the clearings cut by man, and over
  the trees which he fells but does not remove, a fierce battle between
  species and species, individual and individual; a desperate struggle
  for space and air. As always, it is man who introduces disorder into
  the heart of Nature. Far from his track order reigns, established by
  the victory of the strongest; and the forest which has never been
  violated gives a profound impression of peace and calm.

  "The _serra_ is the true home of the equatorial forest. But it
  covers beyond the ridge the southern and western portions of the
  State of Minas and the basins of the Rio Doce and the Parahyba.
  The Martiqueira very nearly marks the limit of the forests; beyond
  commences a dense growth of bush. I remember a long journey along
  the northern slope of the range upon which is built the new capital
  of the State of Minas, the city of Bello Horizonte. Towards the north
  we could see vast stretches of uncovered land; the mountains were
  partly clothed with narrow belts of forest, which climbed upward
  through the valleys to the very sources of the streams; we passed
  alternately through thickets of thorn and prairies where the soil
  was studded with the nests of termites. The dense trees, deprived
  of their leaves by months of drought, were beginning to revive, and
  were decking themselves with flowers, of a startling wealth of colour
  unknown to the forests of the humid regions. There it was that the
  bush commenced. It stretched unbroken to the north--unbroken save for
  the streams, which were full or empty according to the rain they had
  received.

  "In San Paolo also and Paraná the region of afforestation is not
  limited by the ridge of the _serra_. Forests and prairies alternate
  on the plateau. The fires which the Indians used to light in the
  savannahs have destroyed the forest in places; yet man has played
  but a little part in the present distribution of vegetation. The
  forest has persisted wherever the natural conditions were favourable,
  holding tenaciously to the humid slopes of the hills or to rich and
  fertile soils. Certain soils, either by reason of their richness or
  their moisture, particularly favour the forest, while on lighter
  soils the trees can ill resist the drought. The diabasic soils of
  San Paolo are always covered with a mantle of forest; so much so that
  a map of the forests would be equivalent to a geological map.

  "The forest of the plateau, intersected as it is by stretches of
  prairie, is less dense and less exuberant than the forest the
  _serra_; and as we approach the south the difference is yet more
  evident. Towards the boundaries of San Paolo and Paraná the tropical
  trees are replaced by resinous varieties. The immense pines of the
  Paraná, with straight trunks and wide, flattened crests, whose shape
  is rather reminiscent of that of a candelabrum with seven branches,
  cover with their sombre grey the wooded portions of the plateau from
  the Paranápanema to beyond the Uruguay. With their open foliage,
  pervious to the light, these woods resemble the pinewoods of Europe.

  "To find the tropical forest once more we must push as far as the
  Serra Geral, whose southern slopes run down towards the prairies
  of Rio Grande, as on the east they descend towards the sea. There,
  on the basaltic flanks of the _serra_, is a last fragment of the
  tropical woods. In magnificence it almost equals the forests of Rio
  or of Santos. It is the equatorial forest that makes the continuity
  of the _serra_, not its geological constitution. When the Brazilians
  speak of the _serra_ they think of the forest rather than of the
  mountains. Incautious cartographers, who have worked from second-hand
  data, which they have not always interpreted correctly, have sown
  the map of Rio Grande with a large number of imaginary ranges. One
  seeks them in vain when traversing the country; but one finds, in
  their place, the forests which the inhabitants call _serras_; the
  term for mountain has become, by the latent logic of language, the
  term for forest. Nothing could better emphasize the importance
  of vegetation in the Brazilian landscape; it effaces all other
  characteristics.

  "Forest, bush and prairie change their aspect with the cycle of the
  seasons. The whole interior of Brazil knows the alteration of two
  well-defined seasons. The temperature is equal all the year through;
  there is no hot season, no cold season, but a dry season and a
  rainy season; this latter corresponds with the southern summer. At
  the first rains, which fall in September or October, the wearied
  vegetation abruptly awakens. Then comes the time of plenty, when
  earth affords the herds of cattle an abundant pasturage. March brings
  back the drought to the scorching soil. The region of rainy summers
  includes all the State of San Paolo, extending sometimes as far as
  Paraná. Further south the rhythm of vegetable life is no longer
  swayed by the distribution of the rains, but by the variations of the
  temperature, which grow always greater as one travels south. From
  June to September frosts are frequent in Rio Grande. The cattle on
  its pastures suffer from cold as much as from hunger. Spring returns,
  and the grass grows as the sun regains its power. This is the only
  portion of Brazil in which the words winter and summer are understood
  as they are in Europe.

  "But the _ocean_ side of the _serra_ knows no seasons; all the months
  of the year are alike; all bring with them an almost equal rainfall.
  There vegetation is truly evergreen, everlasting, unresting. The
  ridge of the _serra_ divides two different countries. If it is true
  that the division of the year into well-marked seasons, that powerful
  aid to the agriculturist, is the privilege of the temperate regions,
  then tropical Brazil is found only at the foot of the _serra_ and on
  its slopes; the interior is another Brazil.

  "Its advent into Brazilian history dates very far back. The first
  colonists immediately climbed the _serra_, and so discovered the
  vast territories which offered them a climate more favourable to
  their efforts. The belt of seaboard was too narrow and too hot to
  be the cradle of a nation. Colonization was effected otherwise than
  in the United States. In North America the pioneers settled along
  the seaboard, in a bracing, healthy climate, and there dwelt for
  a long period without any thought of crossing to the west of the
  mountains which limited their outlook. They prospered and multiplied
  in their narrow domain, and, having formed a nation, only then began
  to extend their territories toward the west. In Brazil, although the
  administrative capital of the colony remained upon the coast, men
  quickly began to penetrate the interior. To-day even to the seaward
  of the plateau to which the immigrants made their way, and which
  they have everywhere opened up for exploitation by labour, the soil
  remains but sparsely populated. While the forests of the interior
  gradually recede before the agriculturist, Brazil has kept the forest
  of the littoral intact, and man has not disputed the claim of the
  woods. They form, between the seaboard cities and the agricultural
  regions of the plateau, an uninhabited frontier, a sumptuous but
  deceptive frontage. Many travellers know nothing of the country but
  the seaboard forest. It deceives them as to the nature of Brazil, and
  as to its economic progress. The living members of Brazil are hidden
  behind it as behind a screen.

  "After the first astonishment has abated, and when one has travelled
  far and for long periods, the eyes at last become tired; they
  become inured to the opulent scenery, and even find the landscape
  monotonous. The sombre green of forest or prairie everywhere hides
  the rocks; the soil stripped bare by the roads, is of a dull,
  uniform red; even the dust is red. Bright colours and broken lines
  are equally rare. One travels continually among rounded hillocks
  of green; the humid climate hides or softens the contour of hill
  and valley alike. The memories of one's journey's blend and grow
  confused; reminiscences of forests, skirted or traversed; clumps of
  banana-palms near fordable streams; windings of the twisted trail in
  the midst of undulating prairies."[23]

From mountain slopes and forest glades let us turn to glance into the
Brazilian home, at the Brazilian people.

In one sense, Brazil is an old country, as far as any American nation
may be termed so, and in its three hundred years of life since the
white man became established within its shores life has taken on a
settled form and engrafted itself upon its environment. It is a land
of marked social customs and distinctions. It has an aristocracy, a
culture refined and stable. Education, music, poetry, the arts, are
revered and enjoyed, and in this sense the traveller is transported
to the Old World. Yet Brazil is democratic in its ideas, as far as
democracy has been possible in the Latin American Republics--a matter
which is of circumscribed limits at present.

The foreigner, unless he specially lay himself out to know the folk of
the Latin American lands, cannot readily look into their homes. They
are a people, as elsewhere remarked, full of reserve, almost mediaeval
in their seclusion, sensitive, yet extremely hospitable and open-handed
whenever these barriers of reserve are penetrated. This is naturally
but the Iberian social character transplanted to America.

It is to be recollected, moreover, that Brazil was a slave-owning
land, with all in social life that that condition brings. Brazil was
always a viceregal or monarchical country too. The fall of slavery in
1888 in part brought about the fall of the empire. Thus we have here
everywhere--except in the southern States where recent immigration has
brought other thoughts and customs--a rigid ruling class and caste, the
privileges of an old society, such as does not exist in its neighbour
of Argentina, for example, and which is foreign to the United States.
Essentially an agricultural country, the land, moreover, belongs almost
in its entirety to this ruling class.

Yet this condition of land-owning seclusion and reserve is not
necessarily accepted as a final and irrevocable circumstance. "In
the cities, and especially Rio, where social life is more developed
and the national character tempered by contact with foreigners of
all nationalities, the country magnates, ignorant of the ephemeral
passage of the fashions, are the subject of ready ridicule. The country
magnate's name is never pronounced without exciting merriment."[24]

This is a curious circumstance, and shows how custom differs in varying
lands. In England, for example, the "country magnate" is generally a
personage upholding all that is best in the community.

In Brazil there is a marked taste for country life, such as is scarcely
yet developed in the Spanish American Republics. The elegant suburb
does not necessarily attract the newly rich Brazilian, who loves to
return to the _fazenda_, or country estate. It has been said, however,
that this is less the result of delight in rural amenities than in the
lust of power, for in the _fazenda_ he is absolute master, with a
power over his dependants stronger perhaps than in any other land.

[Illustration: PALM AVENUE, RIO DE JANEIRO.

  Vol. II. To face p. 128.]

  Says the writer before quoted: "One of the qualities of the
  _fazendeiro_, one which I ought particularly to mention, is his
  extreme hospitality. In cordiality, delicacy and unfailing tact the
  hospitality of the Brazilian surpasses the imagination of the most
  hospitable of Europeans. The _fazendeiro_ will make every possible
  effort to render his house agreeable to you; if you wish to take the
  air the best horse is at your service; or the safest, according to
  your talents as a horseman; the eldest son of the house will be your
  companion. After dinner the family will search among the gramophone
  discs for the latest music, the latest French songs. In the morning,
  upon your departure, your host, cutting short your thanks, will
  assure you of the gratitude he owes you for your visit. I have
  witnessed this scene a score of times, and each time--whether or
  not I owed such fortune to my French nationality--I felt that I was
  received as an old family friend.

  "Such hospitality introduces one to the heart of many families.
  These families, too, are large; ten children are considered in no
  way extraordinary. Paternal authority is respected; the son, upon
  his entrance, kisses his father's hand. The wife is occupied with
  household cares; the husband's duty is to do the honours of the
  house. A stranger rarely sees Brazilian women, except as the guest of
  a Brazilian family. The women do not receive male callers; for them,
  or so it seems to me, mundane life ceases upon marriage.[25] They
  marry, I believe, very young, and are absolutely under the marital
  thumb. Outside their family their independent life is extremely
  limited. Admirable mothers, one knows them rather by their children
  than personally; they seem to cherish their domestic obscurity. The
  traveller who lands in the United States is immediately surrounded,
  questioned, advised and chaperoned by the American woman; there is
  nothing of this sort in Brazil.

  "In addition to its social authority, this Brazilian aristocracy
  enjoys political power as well. Brazil has, it is true, established
  universal suffrage; but the sovereign people, before delegating
  its sovereignty to its representatives, confides to the ruling
  class the duty of supervising its electoral functions. The large
  landed proprietors choose the candidates, and their instructions
  are usually obeyed. They form the structure, the framework, of all
  party politics; they are its strength, its very life; it is they
  who govern and administer Brazil. And the administration is a great
  power in Brazil. Its province is very wide, and much is expected
  from it; whether the explanation is to be found in Latin atavism, or
  in the material conditions of life in this limitless territory, or
  in the fact that the individual is so powerless, and association
  so difficult. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the
  administration plays the same part in Brazil as in a European colony
  like Algeria, or as in India.

  "Between the members of the all-powerful administration who during
  my travels granted me facilities, and their friends and relations,
  whose hospitality I enjoyed in their _fazendas_, I was perhaps in
  danger of becoming exclusively acquainted with the superior social
  class of which a portion directs the agricultural exploitation of the
  country while the remaining portion governs it. It would be a great
  mistake to suppose that this class, by itself, is Brazil. I have done
  my best to see beyond it, and to keep in mind the populace, which is
  both more numerous and more diversified; a confused mass of people
  upon whom, before all else, the whole future of Brazil depends. It
  lives under a benign climate; or at least under a climate which makes
  impossible what we call poverty in Europe. It is also a rural class;
  all the agricultural labour of the country is performed by its hands.

  "In Southern Brazil the population has been renewed, all through
  the second half of the nineteenth century, by a stream of
  European immigration. In San Paolo the Italians have provided the
  long-established Paulista population with the labour necessary to
  the extensive production of coffee. They live on the plantations, in
  villages which are veritable cities of labourers. Nothing ties them
  to the soil; they do not seem to feel the appetite for land; very
  few buy real estate. They bind themselves only by yearly contracts;
  they readily change their employers after each harvest. No more
  nomadic people could be imagined; they change incessantly from
  _fazenda_ to _fazenda_. Neither is there anything to retain them in
  the State of San Paolo; and not the least danger of the coffee crisis
  is the exodus which it is producing among the Italian colonists.

  "Farther south, from Paraná to Rio Grande, immigration has
  resulted in the settlement of a very different population: a small
  peasant democracy, composed of Poles, Germans and Venetians. Being
  proprietors, they are firmly rooted to the soil. Just as the influx
  of Italians to San Paolo was not a spontaneous movement, but the work
  of the Paulista administration, so the German and Polish colonization
  of the south was evoked and subsidized by the Government of Brazil
  and the interested provinces. The newcomers were sent into regions
  hitherto unpopulated, where commercial communications could not be
  established and economic vitality was unknown. There they lived
  abandoned to themselves, without neighbours, without customers. The
  political and artificial origin of these colonies condemned them to
  isolation; isolation kept them faithful to their national customs
  and languages, which they would soon have abandoned under other
  circumstances."[26]

       *       *       *       *       *

It is seen that the Brazilian has a strong leaning towards the
exercise of the intellectual gifts of mankind. They are philosophical.
The love of scientific and learned titles is strong. The doctorate--of
laws, literature, medicine, science--has been a coveted distinction,
indeed has been carried out to become a weakness or failing, a passion,
as among all Latin American communities. At one time the ambition of
every family capable of affording a superior education to its sons was
that the boy should be a priest. That passed, and then he was to be a
doctor, in one of the professions, and, moreover, to marry the daughter
of a neighbour who was also a member of the learned class. Nearly all
professions, it is to be recollected, in the Latin communities carry
the doctorate with them. Nearly all statesmen are doctors--when they
are not military men, and then the sword is apt to oust the diploma!

[Illustration: A COLONY, RIO GRANDE.

  Vol. II. To face p. 132.]

Now Brazil--and the same has taken place in Chile--has abolished the
doctorate as being "undemocratic," has abolished the universities
and all their ceremonies and the cap and gown, regarding them as too
aristocratic-seeming, and, in their place, a simple certificate of
knowledge is given from the "professional school."

This may seem destructive, but perhaps there is a measure of wisdom
in it, for apart from a measure of danger in too marked social
distinctions, the system tended among the youth of the country towards
too great an aspiration for academic honours, and not enough towards
the more practical and productive walks of life.

The aristocratic society of Brazil naturally centred around the
monarch, for, as we have not forgotten, Brazil was the only
self-contained empire in the New World, except for Mexico's short-lived
monarchical regime. We may not here trespass much upon the field of
history, but we shall recollect that, in 1808, the fugitive Portuguese
Court, under the regent, Dom Joâo VI, sought Rio de Janeiro as his
refuge. This advent gave a stimulus to the growth of the capital,
which was opened to foreign commerce with the removal of industrial
restrictions, printing was introduced and medicine and literature
established. In 1822 Brazil declared its independence, with Dom Pedro I
as its emperor. The expulsion of royalty in 1889, by a military revolt,
was accomplished without bloodshed, but under subsequent presidents
revolution reared its head.

Brazil is a land that has depended largely for its prosperity upon the
system of what may be termed "monoculture," that is, the exploitation
of one principal crop or product. In earlier times this was sugar; more
recently it has been coffee. This policy, whilst it had advantages,
and, indeed, may have been inevitable, has also serious disadvantages.
Such products are bound for foreign markets and susceptible to the rise
and fall of exchange. The producers may be enriched or impoverished by
such fluctuations.

Moreover, "monoculture," as pointed out elsewhere, tends to the
sacrifice or neglect of other interests, those of smaller and more
varied industries, which go to make up the life of a nation, to
increase its happiness, prosperity, knowledge--indeed, to feed it and
supply it. There is a tendency to draw off labour under monocultural
systems from smaller occupations, from local food supply and
local industry, to herd labour into barracks or congested places,
to discourage individual initiative and peasant proprietorship,
concentrating industry into too few hands. This condition is of easy
growth in such countries as Spanish America, where raw materials,
rather than finished articles, are produced.

There are evidences, however, that Brazilian Governments are awakening
to these matters and encouraging the implantation of a wider variety of
industry. Along such paths undoubtedly lies greater national prosperity
and stability.

The high protective tariffs of the Latin American countries at the
same time tend to raise enormously the price of imported articles
and to foster the industries of the countries themselves. In Brazil
the national manufacturing industries have grown very considerable
under this system of economic fostering. None is more striking
than the cotton-weaving industry, and we are already in sight of
the time when the country will cease to import English or other
foreign cotton goods, except perhaps certain special kinds. This, of
course, is sound economics (however unpleasing it may be for British
manufacturers). Brewing and soap-making are other industries that
have similarly prospered in the Republic. But, so far, factories are
few, comparatively, though there is some useful decentralization of
manufacture. One finds tiny factories in small struggling villages
where their presence might have been unsuspected, industries brought
about by the immensity of distance, the high cost of carriage, which
soon exceeds the value of the finished product, and thus Nature has
here provided a sort of natural protective zone; factories being
established where customers exist, and for the purpose of serving them,
rather than for the object of sale beyond their borders. Each small
factory has its own circle of customers, under these circumstances, and
can rely upon its market close at hand. It enjoys a monopoly of its
peculiar region.

Apart from any defects to which such a system may give rise, this may
be regarded as a valuable condition, and, if preserved, may avoid
in Brazil the serious evils which in some European countries, such
as England, over-centralization of manufacture has given rise--a
philosophy to which, however, English people have not yet awakened.

Similar conditions exist as regards agriculture: the dispersal or
decentralization of industry is necessarily accompanied by the
dispersal or decentralization of agriculture. Food products are grown
where they are to be consumed. Each hamlet, and indeed each family,
has its own fields of maize, manioc and often sugar-cane. The village
is enabled not only to provide itself with employment and with
manufactured articles, but with foodstuffs, and, in the future, this
circumstance might give rise to an intensive general settlement and
contentment.

For trading conditions it may have its adverse side. But the question
is how far trading should be encouraged as against economic settlement.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "As a result of the difficulty of communications, and also, perhaps,
  of the defective organization of trade, Brazil is far from forming
  a national market. Her territory may be decomposed into a host
  of little isolated markets, each independent of the other, each
  sufficing to itself. If the prices vary, neither rise nor fall
  affects the outer world. In Rio I find the sugar-planters in a state
  of joyful excitement: in a few months the price of sugar has risen by
  100 per cent. Two days later I land in Paraná; there, in the narrow
  tropical belt of seaboard, are a few sugar-plantations, whose crop
  is sold on the plateau; not in the shape of sugar, but as 'brandy,'
  _aguardiente_, or, strictly speaking, rum. The local crop of cane is
  abundant, the owners of the sugar-mills at the foot of the _serra_
  are grumbling at having to sell their spirit at far below its usual
  price.[27] Similarly the price of coffee will fall in San Paolo
  and in Santos, until the Paulist coffee industry appears in actual
  danger, and the State undertakes the perilous business of running
  up the prices to save the planters. Yet in Ceará there are only a
  few growers, who can barely supply the consumers of the State, who
  are selling an inferior coffee at double the usual prices, and know
  no other anxiety than the fear that the drought may threaten their
  crops. Such contrasts are frequent. If such is the case with luxuries
  like sugar and coffee, what of the heavier products, whose transport
  is still more costly?

  "The limitation of the markets renders the economic life of the
  country unequal and ill-adjusted. It exposes it to continual partial
  crises which naturally check its development. When production
  exceeds consumption the local market cannot unload itself upon the
  neighbouring markets, in which the producers would perhaps receive
  better prices, since these, on account of the cost of transport,
  are shut off, as it were, by water-tight compartments. Prices
  accordingly fall, without any possible remedy; immediately production
  is limited and becomes insufficient; then prices rise, and there
  is no importations from without to limit their rise. Reawakened by
  better prices, production is once more stimulated; and its very
  improvement provokes a new crisis. I found the settlers of Paraná
  accustomed and even resigned to the sudden leaps of the market, which
  they had come to regard as a normal and inevitable state of affairs.
  They live, therefore, always in a state of uncertainty, never able
  to foresee what will be their resources for the coming year. The
  spirit of saving has decayed among them. In the same way wholesale
  trade used to suffer formerly from the extravagant variations of
  exchange. The Brazilians have at last come to understand the dangers
  of such conditions. There is only one remedy: to improve the means of
  communication. The great question of Brazil is above all a question
  of roads."[28]

       *       *       *       *       *

In Brazil the question of means of transport is a serious one. The
magnificent network of railways (largely built by British capital)
serves only the more settled part of the country.

The great export trade of Brazil, with its staple products, furnishes a
stream of gold, which, more or less, becomes dispersed throughout the
country, and creates strong ties of union between the various States,
which otherwise might not exist in unison.

As to sugar, however, Brazil is in large degree its own customer. The
great export is coffee, as it was once sugar, and in part rubber. Meat
also finds its principal market at home. Brazil will soon supply its
own wants in flour, which now comes in part from Argentina.

The rise of the coffee-growing industry in Southern Brazil, in the rich
State of San Paolo, has in it the element of an economic romance.

The condition was the result of Nature's geological work here. It was
discovered about the year 1885 that Nature had disposed large areas of
what came to be called "red earth"--a certain diabasic soil of rich
decomposed lavas--in this part of Brazil, and that the coffee-shrub
flourished wonderfully upon them. A coffee-planting "fever" was the
result. Rich and poor flocked in to take up these lands and plant the
berry; other forms of agriculture were despised; all hunted for the
red-earth deposits, built their homes, set out rows of young shrubs.
The forests receded, cut down by the axe of the new settlers. Towns
sprang to being as if by magic, where people were drawn from the four
quarters of the globe, from every nation. _Fazendas_ rapidly spread,
railways were multiplied, coffee occupied all minds. They thought it
the one thing on earth. Coffee was their art, literature, religion.

Thus the great and to-day rich and handsome city of San Paolo grew up,
into which coffee pours, to have its final outlet for the market beyond
the sea, at Santos--once a dreadful and fever-stricken port, whose
very name was anathema to the traveller, now a fine and fairly healthy
seaport of vast importance.

[Illustration: A VIEW IN SAO PAULO.

  Vol. II. To face p. 140.]

The life and circumstances of the immigrants or "colonists," as they
are termed, in these coffee-growing districts of Brazil is one of
peculiar interest for the student of race matters and human geography,
of great value in the science of colonization. Here is an account by a
careful observer:

  "Each _fazenda_ constitutes a little isolated world, which is all
  but self-sufficient, and from which the colonists rarely issue; the
  life is laborious. The coffee is planted in long regular lines in the
  red soil, abundantly watered by the rains, on which a constant
  struggle must be maintained against the invasion of the noxious
  weeds. The weeding of the plantation is really the chief labour of
  the colonist. It is repeated six times a year. Directly after the
  harvest, if you ride on horseback along the lines of shrubs, which
  begin, as early as September, to show signs of their brilliant
  flowering season, you will find the colonists, men and women, leaning
  on their hoes, while the sun, already hot, is drying behind them the
  heaps of weeds they have uprooted.

  "Each family is given as many trees as it can look after; the number
  varies with the size of the family. Large families will tend as many
  as eight or ten thousand trees; while a single worker cannot manage
  much more than two thousand.

  "Like the vine, coffee requires a large number of labourers in
  proportion to the area under cultivation; it supports a relatively
  dense population. The two thousand trees which one colonist will
  receive will not cover, as a matter of fact, more than five to
  seven acres; yet the coffee supports other labourers who work on
  the _fazenda_, in addition to the labourers proper, or colonists.
  Pruning, for instance, which so far is not universally practised, is
  never done by the colonists, but by gangs of practised workmen, who
  travel about the State and hire themselves for the task. The colonist
  is only a labourer; if he were allowed to prune the shrubs he would
  kill them. Heaven knows, the pruners to whom the task is confided
  ill-treat the trees sufficiently already! They use pruning-hook and
  axe with a brutality that makes one shudder.

  "When the coffee ripens, towards the end of June, the picking of
  the crop commences. Sometimes, in a good year, the crop is not all
  picked until November. The great advantage enjoyed by San Paolo, to
  which it owes its rank as a coffee-producing country, is that the
  whole crop arrives at maturity almost at the same moment. The crop
  may thus be harvested in its entirety at one picking; the harvester
  may pick all the berries upon each tree at once, instead of selecting
  the ripe berries, and making two or three harvests, as is necessary
  in Costa Rica or Guatemala. This entails a great reduction in the
  cost of production and of labour. San Paolo owes this advantage to
  the climate, which is not quite tropical, and to the sequence of
  well-defined seasons and their effect upon the vegetation.

  "At the time of picking the colonists are gathered into gangs.
  They confine themselves to loading the berries on carts, which
  other labourers drive to the _fazenda_; there the coffee is soaked,
  husked, dried and selected, and then dispatched to Santos, the great
  export market. All these operations the colonists perform under the
  supervision of the manager of the _fazenda_. A bell announces the
  hour for going to work; another the hour of rest; another the end
  of the day; the labourers have no illusions of independence. In the
  morning the gangs scatter through the plantation; in the evening they
  gradually collect on the paths of the _fazenda_, and go home in
  family groups, tired after the day's work, saving of words, saluting
  one another by gestures. On Sunday work is interrupted; games are
  arranged; parties are made up to play _mora_, or Italian card games,
  with _denari_ and _bastoni_. Women hold interminable palavers.
  Sometimes, on an indifferent nag, borrowed at second or third hand
  from a neighbour, the colonist will ride as far as the nearest town,
  to see his relations, exercise his tongue, and pit himself against
  such hazards of fortune as the world outside the _fazenda_ may offer.

  "What are the annual earnings of the agricultural worker? The
  conditions vary in different localities, but we may estimate that
  the colonist receives about 60 or 80 milreis--£4 to £5 7s. at the
  present rate of exchange--per 1,000 stems of coffee. This is a
  certain resource; a sort of fixed minimum wage. To this we must
  add the price of several days' labour at about 2 milreis, or 2s.
  8d. A still more irregular element in the profits of a colonist's
  family is the amount it receives for the harvest. By consulting
  the books of several _fazendas_ I was able to realize the extent
  of this irregularity. Sometimes the wage paid for the harvest is
  insignificant, while sometimes it is greater by itself than all the
  other sources of income put together. It is calculated at so much per
  measure of berries given in by the colonist. When the branches are
  heavily laden, not only is the total quantity greater, but the labour
  is performed more rapidly, and each day is more productive. Years
  of good harvest are for the colonist, as for the planter, years of
  plenty. With this important element essentially variable, how can we
  estimate the annual earnings of the colonist?

  "His expenses, again, cannot be estimated with any exactitude. An
  economic family will reduce them to practically nothing, if it has
  the good fortune to escape all sickness, and so dispense with the
  doctor, the chemist and the priest.

  "What really enables the colonists to make both ends meet is the
  crops they have the right to raise on their own account, sometimes on
  allotments reserved for the purpose set apart from the coffee, and
  sometimes between the rows of the coffee-trees. They often think more
  of the clauses in their contract which relate to these crops than to
  those which determine their wages in currency. A planter told me that
  he had learned that a party of colonists intended to leave him after
  the harvest. We met some of them on the road, and I questioned them.
  'Is it true that you are engaged to work on Senhor B----'s _fazenda_
  for the coming year?'--'Yes.'--'What reason have you for changing
  your _fazenda_? Will you be better paid there? Don't you get over £6
  a thousand trees here?'--'Yes.'--'How much do they offer you over
  there?'--'Only £4.'--'Then why do you go?'--'Because there we can
  plant our maize among the coffee.'

  "The culture of coffee is thus combined with that of alimentary
  crops. Almost all the world over the important industrial crops have
  to make room in the neighbourhood for food crops. Every agricultural
  country is forced to produce, at any rate to some extent, its own
  food, and to live upon itself if it wishes to live at all. In
  Brazil the dispersion of food crops is extreme, on account of the
  difficulties of transport; it is hardly less in San Paolo, in spite
  of the development of the railway system. Each _fazenda_ is a little
  food-producing centre, the chief crops being maize, manioc and black
  beans, of which the national dish, the _feijoade_, is made.

  "It even happens at times that the colonists produce more maize
  than they consume. They can then sell a few sacks at the nearest
  market, and add the price to their other resources. In this way crops
  which are in theory destined solely for their nourishment take on a
  different aspect from their point of view, yielding them, a revenue
  which is not always to be despised.

  "The colonists make their purchases in the nearest town, or, more
  often, if the _fazenda_ is of any importance, there is a shop or
  store--what the Brazilians call a _negocio_--in the neighbourhood
  of the colonists' houses. Its inventory would defy enumeration; it
  sells at the same time cotton prints and cooking-salt, agricultural
  implements and petroleum. An examination of the stock will show
  one just what the little economic unit called a _fazenda_ really
  is. Although the colonists are to-day almost always free to make
  their purchases where they please, the trade of shopkeeper on a
  _fazenda_ is still extremely profitable. He enjoys a virtual
  monopoly; the _fazendeiro_ sees that no competitor sets up shop in
  the neighbourhood. The shop is the planter's property; he lets it,
  and usually at a high rent, which represents not only the value of
  the premises, but also the commercial privilege which goes with it.
  It is a sort of indirect commercial tariff levied by the planter
  on the colonists; a sign of the ever so slightly feudal quality of
  the organization of property in San Paolo. The custom that used to
  obtain, of the planter himself keeping shop for the profit, or rather
  at the expense of his colonists, has generally disappeared.

  "One of the most serious of the planter's anxieties is the
  maintenance of the internal discipline of the _fazenda_. This is
  a task demanding ability and energy. One must not be too ready to
  accuse the planters of governing as absolute sovereigns. I myself
  have never observed any abuse of power on their part, nor have I seen
  unjustifiable fines imposed. The _fazendeiro_ has a double task to
  perform. He employs his authority not only to ensure regularity in
  the work accomplished, but also to maintain peace and order among
  the heterogeneous population over which he rules. He plays the
  part of a policeman. The public police service cannot ensure the
  respect of civil law, of the person or of property. How could the
  police intervene on the plantation, which is neither village nor
  commune, but a private estate? It falls to the planter to see that
  the rights of all are protected. Many colonists have a preference
  for plantations on which the discipline is severe; they are sure of
  finding justice then. The severity of the planter is not always to
  the detriment of the colonist.

  "Individually the colonists are often turbulent and sometimes
  violent; collectively they have hitherto shown a remarkable docility.
  On some _fazendas_, however, there have been labour troubles, and
  actual strikes; but they have always been abortive. The strikes
  have not lasted, and have never spread. One of the means by which
  the planters maintain their authority and prevent the colonists
  from becoming conscious of their strength is the prohibition of all
  societies or associations. They have had little trouble in making
  this prohibition respected. Among an uneducated group of labourers,
  of various tongues and nationalities, the spirit of combination does
  not exist. We have seen the development of working-men's societies,
  of socialistic tendencies, in the cities of San Paolo, but nowhere
  in the country. An incoherent immigrant population, but lightly
  attached to the land, is not a favourable soil for the growth of a
  party with a socialistic platform. One must not look for agricultural
  trade unions in San Paolo. The contract between the planter and his
  labourers is never a collective but always an individual contract.

  "Accounts are settled every two months. It often happens, even
  to-day, that the colonist is in the planter's debt. The planter
  has kept up the custom of making advances, and every family newly
  established in the country is, as a general rule, in debt. But the
  advances are always small, the colonist possessing so little in the
  way of securities; he has few animals and next to nothing in the way
  of furniture. His indebtedness towards the planter is not enough, as
  it used to be, to tie him down to the plantation; that many of them
  continue to leave by stealth is due to their desire to save their
  few personal possessions, which the planter might seize to cover his
  advances. At the last payment of the year all the colonists are free;
  their contract comes to an end after the harvest. Proletarians, whom
  nothing binds to the soil on which they have dwelt for a year, they
  do not resume their contracts if they have heard of more advantageous
  conditions elsewhere, or if their adventurous temperament urges them
  to try their luck farther on.

  "The end of the harvest sees a general migration of the agricultural
  labourers. The colonists are true nomads. All the planters live in
  constant dread of seeing their hands leave them in September. Even
  the most generous _fazendeiros_ experience the same difficulty.
  According to the Director of Colonization, 40 per cent. to 60
  per cent. of the colonists leave their _fazendas_ annually. It
  is difficult to confirm this statement; but at least it is no
  exaggeration to say that a third of the families employed on the
  plantations leave their places from year to year. Towards September
  one meets them on the roads, most often travelling afoot; the man
  carrying a few household goods and the woman a newly born child,
  like the city labourers at the end of the season. One can imagine
  what a serious annoyance this instability of labour must be to the
  coffee-planter. Long before the harvest the planter is planning
  to fill up the gaps that will appear in the colony directly after
  the harvest. He secretly sends out hired recruiting agents to the
  neighbouring _fazendas_ or to the nearest town; he employs for this
  purpose some of the shrewder colonists, to whom he pays a commission
  for every family engaged. Finally, at the end of his resources, if
  he no longer has any hope of finding workmen in the neighbourhood
  who are experienced in plantation work, he decides to apply to
  the colonization agent in San Paolo, and resigns himself to the
  employment of an untrained staff, whom he will have to spend several
  months in training.

  "The instability of agricultural labour is the most striking
  characteristic of rural life in the State of San Paolo. It is a
  result of the unusual and even artificial nature of the hasty
  development of coffee-planting."[29]

The colonists on the coffee-plantations are, in the main, Italians, of
whom there may be perhaps three-quarters of a million in San Paolo.

The settlers or immigrants in Brazil, however, are not all of the San
Paolo type, and in other parts of the Republic the condition of their
life differs altogether from those of the coffee-plantation labourers.
In Paraná, Rio Grande and elsewhere, very diverse pictures of colonial
life may be painted, more independent in their colours, with less of
the "rural proletariat." There are rural democracies of small holders
in some instances, and a wide variety of products are cultivated, or
small industries pursued.

In Paraná, the famous and valuable _maté_ is largely grown, and the
leaf of this small shrub--not unlike the ilex, or evergreen oak, is
exported far and wide to Argentina, and other lands of the Plate, and
to Chile, across the Cordillera. For Paraná, the _maté_ is what coffee
is for San Paolo.

[Illustration: COFFEE HARVEST, BRAZIL.

  Vol. II. To face p. 150.]

       *       *       *       *       *

  "_Maté_ is not cultivated. It grows freely in the forest, and in
  the forest its leaves are harvested. As soon as plucked the leaves
  undergo a first preparation, which is designed principally to
  diminish their weight before transport, but also to prevent their
  fermenting or turning sour. They are dried at the fire, and are
  then packed in sacks which are sent to Curitiba, where improved
  mills reduce the leaves to powder, separate the various qualities,
  and deliver the product ready for consumption. Some colonists, more
  fortunate than others, found on their allotments large numbers of
  _maté_-trees; this meant for them a small fortune acquired without
  labour. The _maté_-leaf, or _the leaf_, as they call it in Paraná--a
  light but precious merchandise--bears the cost of transport more
  easily than maize; so that the owners of lots upon which _maté_ is
  found are able to make a profit by the sale of their leaves. Such
  good fortune is unhappily rare.

  "The great _hervaïs_, as they call the forest cantons where _maté_
  grows abundantly, are nearly all in the interior of the State; beyond
  the colonies, on that portion of the plateau which approaches the
  Paraná River; a country little known to geographers, but which,
  thanks to _maté_, is not lacking in importance nor economic vitality.
  At the season for plucking 'the leaf' it is intensely animated; a
  veritable army goes into camp, and all the forest paths are busy.
  From the eastern border the pack-mules carry their loads of leaves as
  far as the roads which lead to Curitiba, capital of the trade; and to
  the west the paths are no less busy. There are Paraguayans, coming to
  take part in the harvest, and Paraguayan smugglers, who seek to cross
  the river without being sighted by the Customs officials; for a large
  portion of the harvest is destined for the border regions of Paraguay
  and Misionès.

  "In the _hervaïs_--whether public or private lands--the harvest is
  farmed out to contractors, who undertake to organize it. They employ
  a numerous staff. Each contractor constructs a hearth for drying the
  leaves, and this hearth becomes the centre of the little ephemeral
  world which lives for a few months in the heart of the forest,
  leading an isolated and laborious existence. Four or five tons of
  leaves are often prepared in a day. Some of the workers prune the
  trees; the others dry the leaves. The gangs are recruited from all
  over the State, and from the first day of harvest the Polish colonies
  furnish a good number of recruits. The men alone leave the colony,
  the women remaining to take care of the allotments. Some of the Poles
  are simple workmen, while those with more initiative are themselves
  contractors. All bring from the forests the money representing their
  wages or their profits, and on this money the colonies have managed
  to live."[30]

       *       *       *       *       *

Here is a picture of the negroes on the sugar-producing lands and
elsewhere.

  "A small proportion of the land belongs to negroes. Small ownership
  among the negroes dates from before the abolition of slavery. The
  masters who freed slaves often gave them, with their liberty, a
  piece of land to ensure their subsistence. The negroes who have
  inherited these small holdings are to-day the best element of the
  black agricultural population. They form the majority of a class
  of peasant proprietors, tilling their land with their own hands,
  which also comprises mulattoes and even a few whites. This class is
  unfortunately too restricted.

  "Taking them all in all, the negroes in the sugar-producing regions
  like Minas form a type of labourer of very indifferent economic
  value. The very sun assures them of many alimentary products,
  obtained without agricultural labour. Fish swarm in the marshes
  of the coast. A child will catch in one day enough to feed ten
  men. The fish, indeed, save the blacks from the obligation of
  regular labour. Although by no means the whole of the soil is under
  cultivation, certain sugar-producing districts are thus able to
  support a population of extraordinary density, swarming like ants in
  an ant-hill.

  "In Bahia the sugar plantations have entirely disappeared. In
  Pernambuco the majority of the negroes live, as formerly, on the
  plantations. A large number, however, have crowded into the towns;
  for the negroes, who, in order to show their independence, have
  scattered far from the _fazendas_ on which they used to live, none
  the less hate solitude, and are very eager for an urban life. In
  Pernambuco and Bahia the urban population is too large for the
  business capacity of the cities and the activity of the harbours.
  Around the cities properly so called stretch immense suburbs, vast
  villages where the negroes live, without very appreciable resources,
  among the mango and bread-fruit trees. It is amazing, on crossing
  a _fazenda_ in Minas, or a Campos plantation, to see the number of
  negroes who can lodge and feed themselves on a minimum quantity of
  work. One feels the same astonishment in the large villages of the
  north. If you desire a boat, twenty boatmen dispute your custom. In
  Pernambuco market I remember having seen twenty merchants who had
  between them a stock of fruit which could have been carried in two
  baskets.

  "To sum up: the moral and economic inferiority of the negro
  population of Brazil is incontestable. The puerility of the negroes
  is extreme. They have no foresight, and are innocent of any form of
  ambition, the sole motive-power of progress. They are modest in their
  desires and easily satisfied. Whoever has heard, in the streets of
  Bahia, the sincere, sonorous, joyful laughter of some negro woman
  cannot fail to have experienced the mixture of contempt, indulgence
  and envy with which this nation of children inspires the Caucasian.
  Their imagination is strong and nimble; their sentimental life
  active; intellectual life they have none. They are superstitious,
  and their devotion has supported and still supports the four hundred
  churches of Bahia.

  "They amuse themselves with ardour. More than half their life is
  devoted to amusements and festivals. The circus is their favourite
  amusement. The wit of the clown keeps them happy for hours. Some
  of their festivals are connected with their agricultural labours.
  They were formerly celebrated on the _fazenda_ by the slaves; they
  have survived slavery. In Minas the black workers still come, when
  the coffee harvest is over, bearing in their hands boughs of the
  coffee-tree, which they ornament with multi-coloured ribbons of
  paper, shouting for the master to give the signal for the rejoicings
  to commence."[31]

In Southern Brazil we may still see the picturesque figure in an
old industry--the _gaucho_ of the cattle-plains. The _gaucho_, or
"cowboy," is a product of his calling, a creature of his kind. From
childhood he has lived on horseback; has early learned all feats of
wild horsemanship, including the throwing of the _riata_, or lasso,
and the _boliadeira_, the latter a thong with a ball at each end
which, dexterously thrown, winds around the legs of a fleeing animal
and brings it to the ground. This form of lasso is peculiar to the
South American _gaucho_, and is unknown to the _vaquero_ of Mexico,
whose marvellous exploits with the ordinary noosed lasso, or riata, we
may have witnessed. Again, the _gaucho_ will stem a charging bull by
striking it across the muzzle with a short whip, and he seems quite
fearless at the animal's onslaught upon him.

The life of this strange cattle-minder may be lived on the lonesome
_pampa_ for long periods. For his meat he may bring down a steer, cut
off a portion of flesh with hide attached, and lay it in the embers of
the camp fire, in rude cookery. He eats _farinha_ with it, washed down
with water, if his wine or _aguardiente_ has given out, but follows
it with the inevitable _maté_, the "Paraguayan tea." He will not live
in the town, he is a creature of the plains. His wide-brimmed hat and
silken or woollen poncho and huge coloured neck-handkerchief, raw hide
boots, and enormous silver spurs, and other decorated trappings, are
the habiliments he fancies best, and no ornate palace in Rio would
tempt him to abandon his free and independent life.

Turning now to a different field; if the interests of the traveller in
Brazil lie in the rich world of minerals, he will not find here so
varied and historical a field as that we have traversed in the regions
of the Cordillera. Yet Nature has not necessarily been niggardly even
here. In centuries past much gold has been produced, in _placer_
and other workings, and diamonds have been exported for nearly two
centuries. One of the most famous gold mines of South America, indeed,
the largest and most constant producer of any on this continent, is
situated in the Republic, that of the St. John del Rey, whose workings
are a matter of annual congratulation to its London shareholders, with
its plentiful dividends, distributed with almost monotonous regularity
to an amount approaching at times to half a million sterling per annum.
The mine is of enormous depth.

Baser metals have also their possibilities here. Brazil has been
endowed by the geological operation of Nature with immense deposits of
iron, such as we certainly do not encounter in any other part of Latin
America, and these we may survey in the department of Minas Geraes.
Very high-grade ores of iron exist here--thousands of millions of tons.
Unfortunately the country has little coal for purposes of smelting the
ore, and the iron industry may be largely confined to that of export of
the raw mineral.

Along the sandy coasts of Brazil another mineral, found of recent years
to be of value, has been disposed. This is the peculiar monazite.
There are, in addition, many other metals and minerals of commerce in
various parts of the country: also petroleum. Perhaps the mining laws
of Brazil have not been so favourable to the foreigner as those of the
Spanish American Republics.

The general economic policy of Brazil, one which with greater or less
intensity seems to be set before the Government and the intelligent
classes, is a scheme of self-supplying trade, commerce and production
in general, to produce its own food supplies, to manufacture its own
goods, to be less dependent in these matters on the outside world. The
magnificent and varied resources of the country are such as, as far as
material is concerned, would render this policy possible of fulfilment
as time goes on. It has been said by some observers that the Brazilian
hates trade. Be it as it may, the country is very highly protected in
a fiscal sense. It is a wealthy land, and undoubtedly has before it a
future of such life and importance as at present it is impossible to
picture in detail, but which might well be one of prosperity.

In Brazil there are innumerable matters of great interest, whether
in town or country, whether in "the desert or the sown," which we
have not space here to consider; and the traveller and observer will
find material of the most varied and surprising nature to absorb his
energies, be they in what field they may.

To the south, Brazil merges into those distinctive regions of the great
plains and rivers of the Plate, which we now enter.

FOOTNOTES:

[23] _Brazil_, op. cit.

[24] _Brazil_, op. cit.

[25] This is not the case among the business and commercial circles of
Rio and San Paolo, where many of the women are educated in Paris and
visit it yearly.--[TRANS.]

[26] _Brazil_, op. cit.

[27] Besides being grown in the great sugar centres, the sugar-cane is
a staple crop in Brazil. It is most often used, not for the manufacture
of sugar, which calls for a costly plant, but for the production of an
alcohol, or sometimes a crude kind of sugar known as _rapa dura_, which
is sometimes a kind of molasses, sometimes a sticky cake-sugar.

[28] _Brazil_, op. cit.

[29] _Brazil_, op. cit.

[30] _Brazil_, op. cit.

[31] _Brazil_, op. cit.



CHAPTER XIII

THE RIVER PLATE AND THE PAMPAS

ARGENTINA, URUGUAY AND PARAGUAY


The name of the River Plate, or the Rio de la Plata, is one which
falls familiarly on English ears, or at least upon the hearing of
those whose interests in finance, stock and share, and bank and
railway of the South American shore, finds material of activity in the
South American "market" in the city of London. They may not know the
origin of its name, nor whence it comes or whither it flows. It is the
"Silver River," named from the _plata_, or silver, which from the Inca
Empire adventurers brought that way, and to-day it carries a stream of
treasure to the pocket of the modern shareholder.

As to the Pampas--a word we also owe to the Inca tongue, this name must
carry memories to many a Briton and inspiration to many another.

Here, then, we are bound for the Plate, towards whose mighty estuary a
fleet of England's steamships constantly directs its course, together
with craft from other European lands, bearing traveller, emigrants or
merchandise; returning thence with the foods of half a hemisphere.

This mighty stream of the Plate, with its tributaries, is second only
in size to the great Amazon in this continent. But how different is its
destiny from that of the dark river of the Equator! If it rises amid
the savage wildernesses, at least it flows through fruitful plains and
waters the abodes of a great civilization.

Let us pay the small homage to the River Plate of first laying out the
map upon our table, and so mark its winding curves and mazy courses.
They come from mountain, from forest, from savage jungle; they sweep
from north and west, pour over the cascades of Brazil, from the slopes
of the far-off Andes, from the dim forests of Paraguay; they filter
through the swamps of the Pilcomayo, a perilous and savage stream, all
in the heart of a continent; the Paraná, the "Mother of the Sea," as
the old Guarani Indians termed it, the Uruguay, the Paraguay, giving
their names to those lands these full-flowing rivers caressingly
encircle, all sweeping down to east and south, perilous or gentle,
by foaming rapid or gentle current, past fertile fields and many a
handsome town, pouring onwards for many a thousand mile, to empty into
that remarkable vent of the South American waters and activity, the
Plata Estuary.

A little over four hundred years ago, in 1516, the Spanish navigator,
Juan de Solis, the chief pilot of Spain, bent upon that insistent
search for a strait--that elusive strait which in the minds of the
geographers of that time showed a way to the real Indies and the East,
but which none found, for the reason that Nature had not afforded one
there--found the great estuary of what is now La Plata, a hundred and
fifty miles wide. Back to Spain with the news he went, returning with
a further mandate to explore, when he sailed up the great waters for
three hundred miles.

Here he thought to capture some of the Indians of the "Mother of
Waters," and to take them with him to Spain. But they, resenting the
pretension, ambushed the explorer's party, and de Solis was killed.
Four years later Magellan essayed the passage.

But the name of La Plata did not result from these voyages. It was
Sebastian Cabot, the Englishman in the service of Spain, who, later,
ascending the great estuary then known as the Mar Dulce, or fresh-water
sea, discovered the Paraná, and, following it and the Paraguay River
upstream, and landing where the city of Asuncion now stands, found
the Guaranis wearing silver ornaments, and from these baubles--which,
however, came in reality not from the district itself but from across
the Andes, from the still unknown Inca Empire of Peru--gave the name of
the Plate or Plata River.

Its wealth to-day comes not from precious metals, but from the bounties
of Nature in the vegetable and animal world: the wealth of corn and
cattle.

[Illustration: BUENOS AYRES.

  Vol. II. To face p. 160.]

Cabot established a settlement at San Espiritu. The rumours of a
great, rich, unknown empire fired his imagination. Then he returned
to Spain for means to open up communication with the lands beyond the
Andes. But in his absence the garrison was massacred by the Indians. A
chief of the Timbus became enamoured of a certain Spanish lady among
the few colonists, and he, striving to gain possession of her, caused
the treacherous murder of the garrison. Two years after Cabot's return
to Europe, the astounding news of Pizarro's conquest of Peru arrived,
in 1532, and adventurous spirits were fired with the desire themselves
to set forth on similar quests of gold and fortune. Among these spirits
of the times was the Marquis of Mendoza, and the story of how he failed
in reaching Peru forms one of the interesting pages of history in
this picturesque period. Mendoza, on February 2, 1534, founded Buenos
Ayres, which has grown to the vast and wealthy Argentine capital[32]
of to-day. Some of Mendoza's people, who had survived the dangers to
which many fell victims, founded Asuncion, the first Spanish American
interior capital, to-day the capital of the Republic of Paraguay.

But let us turn to our map.

The Paraná River, rising in Goyaz, in Southern Brazil, flows for 1,600
miles to its confluence with the Paraguay, and thence 600 miles to the
Plate. Its main branch, the Paranahyba, drains a region but little
known on the southern watershed of Brazil; and there are many other
tributaries which, although obstructed in places by rapids, may be
navigated in canoes, carrying the venturesome traveller into regions
wild and remote, amid the rocky valleys and dense forests beyond the
Tropic of Capricorn. There are magnificent cascades on these rivers,
and dreadful rapids and profound gorges, cut out by the river in the
rocks, through which the torrent plunges with frightful velocity, its
roar awakening the echoes of the woods and the broken wilderness.

By the main stream of the Paraná our steamer, of not more than twelve
feet draught, reaches the city of Paraná, and here we are 300 miles
above Buenos Ayres. Rosario, which we shall have passed on the voyage
upstream, is 185 miles from Buenos Ayres, and may be reached by larger
vessels of fifteen feet draught.

To proceed now onwards upstream to Asuncion, our steamer must not
draw more than ten feet of water, or it will strand on the shallows,
but here we are little short of a thousand miles from the Plate, in
the very heart of the continent. To reach Asuncion, after five days'
steaming up this full-flowing river, we have entered a region of
gorgeous forests and beautiful backwaters, the home of the _Victoria
regia_ lily and of bright plumaged kingfishers and of the alligator.
Away to the west lies the great Chaco plain or desert, and the
Pilcomayo River. The elevation of the town is about 250 feet above
sea-level, and thus we have ascended to that altitude on the current.

To ascend the Pilcomayo River, the western affluent of the Plata, will
demand more effort than the easy passage of Paraná. It is a stream
tortuous and of great length, but of little volume in comparison with
those great streams which irrigate the lands we have described.

Unexplored in part, this wild waterway has a sinister reputation by
reason of the disasters which have befallen the early attempts to
navigate its waters. Its headwaters are in the Andes of Bolivia, in
the region of Sucre and Potosi, and from thence to the edge of the
Chaco the river falls 8,000 feet in 350 miles. It filters through a
vast and dismal swamp a hundred miles across, and traverses numerous
lagoons. Racing down the mountain slopes the Pilcomayo crosses the
great plain of the Chaco and pours into the Paraguay River not far
from the town of Asuncion. Many tributaries, many bifurcations, divide
and lessen its current on its winding course, which at times wanders
about in search of new channels, eroding and washing away the soil of
the Pampas; a desolate and capricious stream. But one valuable asset
of this and kindred waterways in the future, we may reflect, will be
in the hydraulic power it is capable of furnishing, an asset indeed of
value, to be developed some day, in a region where Nature has omitted
to furnish motive power in the more accessible form of coalfields.
Moreover, as this part of the continent becomes more settled under the
growing exigencies of civilization, there is the valuable function of
irrigation to be developed.

A waterway of a very different character is the Uruguay River. We may
trace its course for a thousand miles, from where its many headstreams
flow down the slope of the Brazilian Serra do Mar, or maritime range,
leaving which the river runs through beautiful country, open and
hilly, for a long distance. Great cataracts interrupt the course,
and, in places, contracted in width between deep, thickly wooded
banks, the stream is of great depth, and its waters, flowing over a
sandstone bottom, are generally clear, with little silt. It is subject
to heavy floods by reason of the rains in its upper basin, which at
times submerge the rocks which obstruct its current. But, apart from
its upper reaches, broad and full-flowing, the Uruguay encircles the
Republic whose name it bears on its western side, and, falling into the
Plate, affords, in conjunction with the sea, a water-frontage on three
sides of the State, and is navigable for 200 miles from its mouth as
far as the towns of Salta and Paysandu. Many hundreds of miles of the
river are navigable in smaller craft, affording valuable waterways for
the inhabitants on its banks.

The enormous quantity of water of this great fluvial system, pouring
into the Plate, give that estuary a greater volume than the great
Mississippi. At its mouth the Plate is 138 miles wide, and opposite
Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital, its bosom is still 57 miles broad,
whilst, narrowing, it is 25 miles across at the confluence of the
Paraná and Uruguay.

The port of Buenos Ayres, however, is not favoured by Nature as
regards the depth of its harbour, which is only kept open for ocean
steamers by constant dredging. This commercial and maritime navel
of South America thus suffers from a considerable disadvantage. An
outlay amounting to over £12,000,000 has been necessary to render the
docks of the great entrepôt always accessible to the numerous ocean
steamers which make it their haven. Before the artificial channels were
dredged, such vessels as drew over fifteen feet of water could not
approach within twelve miles of the port, and unloading was laboriously
performed from launches.

It cannot be said that the shores of the estuary of the Plate River, as
we approach Buenos Ayres, impress themselves upon the mind by reason
of their beauty. The city stands on a flat plain, without background
of hills or other pleasing topographical feature, and its surroundings
are, in consequence, low and monotonous. The main objects to break
the skyline are the unhandsome forms of giant grain elevators--those
structures more familiar to the traveller from the United States, where
they abound. Other outstanding objects are the huge slaughter-houses,
like those of Chicago. The aspect of the place is, in fact, strictly
utilitarian. When, moreover, we read the enthusiastic descriptions of
the city, of its wealth, its public buildings, its boulevards, we must
recollect that these features lie beyond the poor, clustered dwellings
near the water-front, of folk who, largely necessitous immigrants,
have been unable or unwilling to proceed into the interior, whether
by reason of disillusion or from the abuses they fear will be
practised upon them. The Argentine Government has done much towards
the settlement of the Republic, but the economic conditions and humane
direction of immigrants is one which no Government has yet been able
sufficiently to compass. These considerations, however, may be left for
further remark elsewhere in these pages. Buenos Ayres is a handsome
city, a source of pride to Argentina, and an instance of the civic
possibilities of the Spanish American race.

Before reaching Buenos Ayres we shall have entered Montevideo, the
capital of Uruguay, the smallest of the South American States, a
seaport and city more beautifully situated, extending around the shore
of its bay, with a rocky headland jutting out in the west. Here the
Atlantic breezes blow freely over the city--situated on its rolling
lands, a city one of the cleanest in the world and one of the most
pleasing in South America.

[Illustration: MAR DEL PLATA.

  Vol. II. To face p. 166.]

The sky of Montevideo seems unfailingly blue, the sun shines
constantly, the temperature is that of summer, rarely falling below
50° even in winter. The handsome harbour has been rendered safe for
vessels, and docks were built under large expenditure: work carried out
by national funds, without the need of a foreign loan--that inevitable
Spanish American method of performing a public work. Rio de Janeiro
and Buenos Ayres have their advantages, æsthetic or commercial, but
Montevideo, in point of climate and other amenities, is their leader.

On the opposite shore of the estuary stands the Argentine city of
La Plata, capital of Argentina, a few miles inland from the port of
Ensenada, a provincial capital founded in 1882. The model taken in
its town-planning was Washington, but the streets are of a width so
considerable as to give an air of disproportion, in conjunction with
the low brick buildings. Here we may visit the most important museum in
South America, ethnographical and archæological.

But to return to Uruguay.

We shall not confuse in our minds the two Republics of Uruguay and
Paraguay, as is often done. The one is progressive and wealthy, the
other backward and poor. Their boundaries are far from each other,
separated by portions of Brazil and Argentina, but they are united by
the great waterways of the Plate, as we have already seen.

If Uruguay is a small country in point of area, being about the size of
the British Isles, which is not large in comparison with the vast areas
of territory of her neighbours on the Continent, the Republic contains
much that is important, both as regards its own life and development
and its relations with foreign lands. As an indication of the latter
element, we may recollect the many millions sterling of English money
invested here in public works and other matters.

The history of the land has been a chequered one. War and peace have
alternately succeeded each other ever since independence was gained,
and the soil has had its full baptism of the blood of its own sons. But
much of this customary dreadful history of Spanish America has here
been tinged by the patriotic spirit of the Uruguayans, their strong
national mind and their individualism.

The strange mixture of idealism and cruelty which is found in the
outstanding figures of Spanish American revolutionary history is, we
may here reflect, remarkable. We find men who have lived the dreadful
lives of guerilla chiefs, with their hands not merely stained with
blood, but their honour besmirched with the most horrible deeds--deeds
of torture, of treason, of massacre, of rape, of robbery--sometimes
enunciating the most philosophical and beautiful sentiments or enduring
aphorisms. The dividing line between bloodshed and cruelty and
philosophy is, in Spanish America, a very narrow one, and the Spanish
American may be called upon to cross it perhaps between breakfast and
lunch. We find such figures and situations in every one of the twenty
States of Iberian America, from Mexico to Uruguay.

A national hero of Uruguay was Artigas, an ex-smuggler who rose to be
Dictator over a vast territory; who rose with dramatic rapidity in the
turbulent times of the War of Independence and the civil struggles
that followed. It is not here suggested that Artigas was of the
character described in the former paragraph, although some historians
have painted him in the darkest colours, but opportunity is taken to
show the varied sides of such characters, in their enunciations of
lofty sentiments. When, in 1815, Artigas was endowed by the Montevideo
Government with the title of "Captain-General, Protector and Patron
of the Liberty of the Nation," he replied: "Titles are the phantoms
of States. Let us teach our countrymen to be virtuous. It is thus I
have retained the title of a simple citizen." Now comes the flash of
philosophy. "The day will come," said this guerilla chief, "when men
will act from a sense of duty, and when they will devote their best
interests to the honour of their fellow men."

Here is a further page from the early history of Independence on the
River Plate:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  "The war itself was each month growing more savage in character.
  Such virtues as the Uruguayan army possessed were recognized least
  of all by the Spaniards. Elio, the Viceroy, had erected a special
  gallows in Montevideo for the benefit of any prisoners that might be
  captured, while Vigodet, his successor, endeavoured to strike terror
  by measures of pure barbarity. By his order a body of cavalry scoured
  the countryside, slaying all those suspected of Artiguenian leanings,
  and exposing the quartered portions of their bodies at prominent
  places by the roadside. Each patriot, moreover, carried a price upon
  his head. It is not to be wondered at that the Uruguayan forces made
  reprisals, and that corpses replaced prisoners of war."[33]

These matters took place a century or more ago, as did the picturesque
incidents of the _Treinta y Tres_, the thirty-three resolutes who swore
to liberate their country, when the news of the Battle of Ayacucho, in
Peru, on the distant Andes, had reached the land of the Plate and the
Pampas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  "Thus ere Lavalleja's expedition had succeeded in crossing the stream
  there had been moments of wild bustle in Dolores. Officers sprang out
  of bed to gird on their swords in haste; soldiers ran to assemble
  with uniforms even more than usually awry, while the municipal
  officers doubtless ran to and fro in aimless confusion. Nevertheless
  by the time that the turmoil was at an end the garrison had had an
  opportunity to muster, and to sally out against the advancing band
  that had not yet gained the town."[34]

To-day considerable prosperity is seen among those who hold power and
place, and control lands and commerce in this enterprising Republic;
and the people of Uruguay have evolved their own personality.

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

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

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

[Illustration: MONTEVIDEO: THE PLAZA AND THE HARBOUR.

  Vol. II. To face p. 178.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  "As the open country appears in the wider gaps left between the
  remoter quintas, and the space between the halting-places of the tram
  is correspondingly lengthened, the speed of a car becomes accelerated
  to a marked degree. The cottages that now appear at intervals at the
  side of the road are trim and spotlessly white. They are, almost
  without exception, shaded by the native ombú-tree, and are surrounded
  with trellis work of vines and with fig-trees, while near by are
  fields of broad beans and the extensive vineyards of commerce."[35]

Montevideo, we remark, is a city whose population may soon approximate
to the figure of half a million. It is fortunate, moreover, in
possessing good roads around it, for the country--unlike Argentina--is
seamed with good stone for highway building, and thus the surrounding
landscape may readily be surveyed.

Before leaving Uruguay, we should cast a glance towards its _Campo_,
the lands of its Pampas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  "On the right has now risen the loftiest bluff that has yet marked
  the Uruguayan shore. It forms one of the walls of a striking and bold
  tableland. The place is now known as the _Mesa de Artigas_--the table
  of Artigas. It was upon the summit of this hill that the Uruguayan
  national hero had his chief encampment, and it has been described
  as a desolate and lonely spot, haunted by murdered spirits and by
  the memory of horrors, that no living being cared to approach. The
  description cannot be said to hold good at the present moment. The
  green slopes are dotted with grazing cattle and sheep, while at one
  point the distant figures of two mounted Gauchos are careering to and
  fro, and the cattle in the neighbourhood are wheeling together and
  lumbering forward as a result of their manœuvres."[36]

Uruguay is known as the Oriental Republic, from its position on the
eastern side of the river--the _Banda Oriental_--and it was formerly
part of Argentina, but became separated in 1828, after revolutionary
war, brought to an end through the mediation of Great Britain, which
declared it a free and independent State.

The towns of Paysandú and Salto, which the steamer reaches on the
Uruguay River, are at the head of low-water navigation. Paysandú has
its tale of political savagery to tell, when its gallant defender,
Leandro Gomez and his companions, were butchered in cold blood, after
bombardment of the place by Brazilian forces. It has suffered much from
revolution.

Both these towns are famous for the exports from their _saladeros_, or
meat-curing establishments. Beyond Salto lies a rich grazing country,
on whose undulating hills fat herds of cattle subsist. And indeed we
are here in some of the richest stock-raising land of South America,
bordering on similar districts in Southern Brazil, whose frontier lies
not far to the north. Both towns are laid out with modern conveniences
and public institutions. Between them navigation has its risks from
rocks and shoals, and above Salto continuous navigation is not
possible, as before remarked.

The Uruguay River forms in its higher reaches the eastern boundary of
the Misionès province, a curious enclave belonging to Argentina, thrust
in between Paraguay and Brazil; a region of sad memories, perpetuated
in its name and in the lifeless villages along the banks of the Paraná
and Uruguay Rivers. It was the land of the Missions of the Jesuit
fathers, with their terrible and melancholy history, at which we shall
presently cast a glance. First, however, we must do justice to the
great land of Argentina.

FOOTNOTES:

[32] The administrative capital is La Plata.

[33] _Uruguay_, Koebel, South American Series.

[34] _Uruguay_, op. cit.

[35] _Uruguay_, op. cit.

[36] _Uruguay_, op. cit.



CHAPTER XIV

THE RIVER PLATE AND THE PAMPAS

ARGENTINA, URUGUAY AND PARAGUAY


Of comparatively recent times there has arisen, in the temperate zone
of South America, facing upon the Atlantic seaboard, a city which has
rapidly become a centre of great wealth and an emporium of world trade,
with a population greater than that of any other metropolis of Latin
America, and with an ebb and flow of modern life and activity such as
we have been prone to associate with the Anglo-Saxon rather than the
Spanish development of American civilization.

Such is this city of Buenos Ayres, which we now approach; the capital
of the huge territory of the Republic of Argentina, which, having
its northern boundary above the Tropic of Capricorn, extends for two
thousand miles towards the frigid region above Cape Horn.

It is with no feelings of envy that we call to mind the fact that this
enormous and potential region might have formed part of the British
Empire; a Canada in South America. For such might have been its destiny
if General Beresford, in 1806, had not been forced to surrender, after
obtaining possession of Buenos Ayres, and if General Whitelocke, later,
had not been forced to capitulate before the organized opposition of
the colonists, when Spain and France were pitted against Great Britain.

The Republic of Argentina is a country so enormous and diversified that
to attempt here to give anything but the merest descriptive outlines
would be futile. But let us endeavour to obtain at least a slight idea
of its form and configuration.

We shall bear in mind that the country consists broadly of four
topographical divisions. First is the land of the Pampas, at which
we have already glanced. Second we may speak of the great plains and
broken, and in part forested, deserts, of what is termed the Gran
Chaco, forming that curious northern, undeveloped part of Argentina,
bounded by Paraguay on the one hand and the Bolivian Andes on the
other. Third we have the broken Andine region, abutting upon Bolivia
and running south to the frontiers of Chile. Fourth is the vast
territory of Patagonia, with the Chilean Andes on its west; a region
occupying all the great narrowing part of the continent to the frigid
south.

Argentina, as it is known to travel, commerce and history, is the
Argentina of the Pampa. Herein lies its civilization, its great towns,
its railway network, the things by which it lives.

The Pampa is a vast storehouse of food, and in some respects it does
not lack beauty. Much of it is a dead level, but it has its elevations
(both materially and metaphorically). It has, too, its great scourges
of Nature, in the droughts which at times have ruined its industries,
and which must inevitably have their periods of visitation; in the
other plagues, as of the devastating locust, for which doubtless
science will produce remedy or extirpation. The tempestuous winds which
blow across it are at times another scourge, and the dust storms may
often cause the dweller to ask whether the plagues of Egypt shall still
be visited upon it! As to the droughts, we do not know if these are
not extending, just as it may be that the snowfields of the Andes are
diminishing, as if threatening some slow drying-up of the fountains of
heaven here.

The early folk of these great plains were not of a meek and humble
character, such as the Spaniards so often encountered. They were
_Indios bravos_; fighters and stubborn savages, implacably hostile.
Nevertheless, they gave way in time, as destiny had decreed they should.

[Illustration: THE PAMPAS, ARGENTINA.

  Vol. II. To face p. 204.]

Perhaps the things of the animal world, in its commercial sense, might
be taken as most remarkable here. From few mares and stallions brought
in by the men of Spain, vast equine droves, half wild, appeared with
marvellous rapidity, and the later breeds multiplied similarly. It was
a horseless land before the white man came. To-day a horseman pursuing
his way over the vast plain is a very prominent object against the
skyline. There was no ox or cow, but to-day the teeming herds in
their millions--though not unnumbered--have built, through commerce,
through the products of their hides and bodies, the palaces and
boulevards of Buenos Ayres and its sister cities, the homes of the
millionaires of this new American nation; a land where the progenitors
of both man and beast first humbly crossed from old Europe, and now
pour forth their riches thereto.

How far this wealth shall still increase we do not know. It may be that
the limit of the pastoral industry in the Argentine Pampas has been
reached or approached. The herds do not now greatly increase, since
their census in 1908, of nearly thirty million head of cattle. Nature
and man both take a heavy toll, the one in adverse climatic conditions,
the other in waste and carelessness, as if the prodigality of the
fruits of the earth were inexhaustible. On the great ranges, the cattle
exist almost automatically, bearing the scorching sun or piercing
wind; and in the droughts, as we pass thereover, the vision will be
shocked by a lamentable spectacle of dying or rotting cattle on every
hand. They are too numerous; they cannot be fed or watered, or buried
when they succumb. Dust, flies and mummified bodies around offend the
traveller here, and it is doubtful if man has a right to bring to being
animals in such profusion that Nature cannot support them.

Possibly, in the future, better quality and lesser quantity will be the
methods forced upon the cattle owners here. There is, too, a tendency
towards smaller cattle ranges and perhaps more "intensive" methods,
and what may be called "cattle feudalism" may beneficially suffer some
modification. Irrigation, again, brings about a more varied production.

Cold storage and the making of meat extracts are, of course, one of the
primary features of the cattle industry.

The enormous wheat-plains are the next source of wealth here, and
other lands have cause to be grateful for both the wheat and the meat
of Argentina. But the yield is comparatively low, being but twelve to
thirteen bushels to the acre, for methods of cultivation are often
crude.

The Argentine farmer is greatly dependent upon his wheat and maize,
and if his cereal crop fails he has few resources to tide him over the
bad time. The resources of Argentina in cereals are very great, and it
has been calculated that there are 175 million acres of land available
for their cultivation. Argentina provides a great part of the world's
supply of maize, perhaps half, but in times of drought this falls very
seriously.

[Illustration: THE CITY OF CORDOBA, ARGENTINA.

  Vol. II. To face p. 206.]

Social conditions on the Pampa will doubtless become modified in the
future. There is too great a contrast--for a democratic or republican
country--in the palatial home of the rich _estanciero_ and those of the
labourer. Again, the arriving immigrant, upon whom Argentina is so much
dependent for labour, being unable often to obtain land for himself in
this enormous country, emigrates again, and during some years half of
their numbers go away elsewhere. It would seem that the Government
is awake to this condition, although the remedy is slow.

The great plains of the Chaco may, in the future, bring to being
another important branch of agriculture, in the growing of cotton, an
industry already successfully implanted in this often fertile belt,
whose rich black soils have been likened to those of the Mississippi
Valley. This region might add much to the world's wealth in cotton
production, but here again the question of labour is paramount.

But let us take our further way across these oceans of the Pampa, until
the far line of the Andes rises on our horizon.

We may leave Buenos Ayres early and reach Rosario in the afternoon, the
train making its way over a country flat as a table, with fields of
wheat or maize, or pasture lands; with here and there a white-washed
house and a few trees around it: trees of that variety which the
all-devouring locust will not attack, for such a species there is.
Perhaps the locusts are upon us, swarming in at the window of the
carriage, where the native traveller crushes them vindictively. They
may be as thick in the air as the flakes of a snowstorm.

On the farms, one method of getting rid of the locusts is by creating
an infernal din by the beating of pots and pans, when they retreat to
the lands of a neighbor! Where do they come from? The Gran Chaco has
been accused of being their breeding-ground and point of departure,
but whatever their origin, they are a veritable destructive plague,
destroying perhaps in a few hours wide areas of smiling crops and
fruitful gardens.

We reach Mendoza, beautifully situated, and watered by streams which
flow from the Andes, giving life to many a fruitful sugar-cane
plantation and vineyard, where under irrigation scientifically
practised, from dams and conduits, the fertile soil yields up wealth in
its most delightful forms, wealth of sugar, of wine, of deep pastures
of alfalfa. Here, indeed, is the California of Argentina, on the slopes
of the Andes, with Mendoza as its pleasing metropolis.

To the north lies Tucuman, famous in still greater degree for its
production of sugar, with over thirty factories making sugar and
alcohol, and yielding great wealth to their owners.

Here, however, if we are disposed to be critical, we shall point to the
unlovely barracks of the labourers who are instrumental in producing
this wealth. In Argentina, unfortunately, agricultural labour is little
protected by the law, and contrasts are often painful. However, the
climate at least is kind.

Leaving this region we shall traverse belts of dusty wilderness, which
constitute part of Argentina--deserts that extend to the Andes. In
this, the _Arabia Deserta_ of South America, caravans in olden times,
in the Colonial period, often perished and left no trace. The thirst,
the dust, the savage Indian, swallowed them up. Spain ordered that all
trade should pass this way, through Tucuman and Salta, the route from
Peru. It was in the town hall of Tucuman town that Independence from
Spain was first pronounced.

The railway system in this part of South America pushes its conquering
path westwards, and through Juyjuy--a name of difficult pronunciation
for the uninitiated[37]--and beyond we may reach the railways of
Bolivia, and so the Andes.

But the great thoroughfare of travel is the Trans-Andine Railway, a
monumental work of the engineer, which, after many delays, pierced the
Andes and gave means of access to Chile and the Pacific coast. We may
have reached Rosario by the great highway of the river. The city is the
outlet to a rich productive region, and stands on the eastern margin of
the great Pampas. Rosario is, in the main, a commercial centre, whence
many products of Northern Argentina are embarked on the full-flowing
Paraná which washes its quays. Sacks of wheat, bales of hay, cattle
and all their products, bags of sugar, maize in large quantities, and
_quebracho_ extract, are the principal of these exports. It reflects,
or indeed in part gives rise to, the activities of Buenos Ayres, to
which it comes second in importance as regards size and commerce.

Upon the site of Rosario, until the middle of last century, but a small
village stood, founded in 1730, where now the straight cross-streets,
in chess-board regularity, of the modern town are laid out, together
with a handsome boulevard lined with residences, pleasingly
interspersed with turf and trees, and many public buildings.

Paraná, which we reach in our further voyage upstream, is also classed
as a seaport, notwithstanding that it is more than 600 miles from the
open sea. Yonder ferry boats gives access to Santa Fé, on the opposite
side of the river, a town of more ancient character, founded by the
Spanish in 1573 as a halting-place on the voyage to Asuncion.

Paraná stands well above and some distance from the river, and is
the capital of the rich province of Entre Rios, over whose territory
the agriculturist or economist may well cast a satisfactory glance.
The name of this province in English signifies "between the rivers";
descriptive of the region bounded on the one side by the waterway
we have ascended, and on the other by the Uruguay River. This is
the "Mesopotamia" of Argentina, otherwise known as the "garden of
Argentina," from its well-watered and fertile nature, its pastoral and
agricultural occupations, its products of fruits and corn, its woods
and its mild and healthy climate. Had this province devoted more energy
to its better development materially and morally, and less to political
conflict and revolutionary strife, its picturesque designation would be
more amply justified, but it has ever been one of the most turbulent
districts in the Argentine confederation. Now, its prosperity has
resulted in more settled conditions.

[Illustration: IGUAZU FALLS.

  Vol. II. To face p. 210.]

Our way now lies still farther up this great waterway, to the
romantic land of Paraguay, for such this inland country has often been
designated.

We have already seen that Asuncion is reached by steamer, and this
was, indeed, until a few years ago, when the railway was built, with a
train-ferry, the only means of reaching the Paraguayan capital.

  "He who can afford time for an up-river journey from Buenos Ayres to
  Asuncion will find the experience as instructive as anything else of
  the kind throughout South America. It is true that the flat pastures
  which go to make up the earlier stretches of the landscape lack a
  good deal from the picturesque point of view. But it is this very
  distribution of the scenery which adds to the charm of the trip,
  for, as the sub-tropical regions begin to exert their influence,
  and as the banks approach each other more nearly, the charm of the
  surroundings increases steadily.

  "After a certain point has been reached there are very few hours
  or dozens of miles which are not productive of some new feature or
  other to captivate the eye of the traveller. But not until that
  famous wheat centre, the Argentine town of Rosario, has been reached
  does this phase of the journey begin. There for the first time the
  flat, reed-covered banks of the river fall away, to give place to
  definite _barrancas_, or cliffs, that boldly mark the edge of the
  great stream. When the grain-shoots and line of moored steamers
  that mark this thriving town have been passed, the sandstone cliff
  continues at intervals on alternate banks; the vivid scarlet of the
  ceibo-tree becomes more frequent; and the clumps of camelota, the
  floating water hyacinth, tend to increase in size. The districts,
  moreover, are obeying one of the primal laws of the world in that, as
  the blossoms, birds and butterflies increase in brilliancy, so does
  the human complexion tend to grow duskier. But here this applies only
  to the humbler people on the banks and to the fisherfolk and watermen
  who sit in their crude dugout canoes. The more important persons
  continue white-skinned, the sole distinction between them and their
  brethren of the lower reaches of the river being that they now begin
  to form the aristocracy of the land instead of standing as the mere
  representatives of the wealthier classes.

  "When the roofs and parks and gardens of Paraná have been passed
  and the buildings of Colastiné, the river port of Santa Fé, have
  been left behind, the warmer airs already give a foretaste of what
  is to come farther to the north. All this time the vegetation has
  been increasing on the banks. The wide stretches of open, treeless
  pastures have long ago fallen away. The country where the cattle
  graze is now pleasantly interspersed with clumps of indigenous trees,
  and the line of the banks is obscured in parts by dense clusters of
  verdure, in which the palms begin to occupy a more and more important
  space.

  "Presently on the right bank of the river, and thus to the left of
  the steamer's bow, appears that curious low-lying country of the
  Chaco, the alternate forests, swamps and pastures that extend from
  here northwards through the entire length of Paraguay and well into
  Bolivia on the other side. There are orchids hanging up aloft among
  the foliage now, and doubtless a monkey or two among the denser
  clumps of woodland. But these pioneer creatures of the Tropics to
  the north are rare enough here, and in any case are invisible. Their
  presence thus is generally unsuspected by the newcomer, which is not
  the case with the mosquitoes and those clouds of other _bichos_,
  whose numbers increase in the most amazing fashion with almost every
  hour that goes by.

  "Indeed, did one judge of the winged pests of these neighbourhoods
  by the myriads which abound above the fervid waters, the outlook
  would be sufficiently unpromising even to the most mosquito-hardened
  of men. The song of this plague is continuous of an evening now,
  and when the daylight has vanished in the abrupt fashion in which
  it is wont to fade away in these latitudes, the electric globes of
  the steamer are all but obscured by the insects that dance about
  them so thickly as to resemble dense clouds of smoke that roll in
  confused masses about a half-seen flame! Fortunately, these river
  reaches--most beloved of all the haunts of the winged creatures--do
  not afford a fair and moderate sample of the insect life of these
  latitudes, quite considerable enough though the usual run of this is
  wont to be.

  "Arrived at the Argentine town of Corrientes, one of the most
  important strategic spots in the whole river system has been reached.
  To one bound upstream this is the parting of the river ways. A few
  miles to the north of the town the choice is open to the traveller
  whether he will turn to the right and ascend the waters of the Alto
  Paraná, with Argentina on his right hand and Paraguay on his left,
  or whether he will keep straight on to the north and reverse this
  territorial situation, having Argentina on his left and Paraguay on
  his right.

  "The main line of the waters, with Asuncion as its object, lies
  straight to the north, and almost immediately after leaving
  Corrientes the steamer has entered the Paraguay River. It is at this
  point that the somewhat curious nomenclature of the various streams
  becomes most evident. It is the remarkable fate of the Paraguayan
  when bound from his home to the Atlantic Ocean to have to descend
  three different rivers, or, if you prefer it, various stretches of
  the same river known by three different names. From the point of view
  of fluvial equity, there is no doubt that considerable wrong has
  been done to the River Paraguay in the way of nomenclature. Why this
  splendid navigable stream, at its junction with the cascade-broken
  and far shorter Alto Paraná, should yield its name to that of the
  lesser current, and should continue to flow southwards as the Paraná,
  is a sufficiently incomprehensible matter to most geographers. And
  then, when it has all but run its course, the river performs a second
  wedding, with the Uruguay this time, and again changes its name.
  But on this occasion neither stream obtains the advantage over the
  other, for both roll their few remaining miles to the sea under the
  entirely fresh name of La Plata. Nevertheless, there does not seem
  to be a doubt that, from the point of view of importance, the name
  of the great stream which rises to the north of the inland Republic
  should be the Paraguay for its entire course as far as the ocean.

[Illustration: A CHACO FLOOD.

  Vol. II. To face p. 214.]

  "This digression, however, has led us away from the upstream journey
  to Asuncion. Once in the Paraguay River, the beauties of the
  scene would seem to have become more marked. The banks have drawn
  sufficiently near to each other for their increasing charms to become
  plain. No longer does the steamer steer a tortuous course through
  a maze of low and reedy islands that never permit the stranger to
  be certain whether he is gazing on the mainland or whether further
  channels at the bank lie between him and the actual shore.

  "Now the banks of the stream, with their flower-starred vegetation,
  are plainly defined. Once to the north of the mouth of the Bermejo
  tributary, moreover, which pours its amazingly red and muddy waters
  into the main stream, the river has become comparatively limpid.
  Alligators had already made their appearance in the Paraná; but such
  banks of sand and mud as emerge here and there from the waters of
  the Paraguay are far more thickly covered with the sluggish bodies
  of the small saurians, that in these latitudes seldom exceed six or
  seven feet.

  "Presently, as the steamer drops her anchor before a port to her
  right, there is a significant touch of colour about the small
  official boat which puts out to her from the shore. Hitherto the
  light blue and white of Argentina has flown at the stern of these
  craft. But from this one for the first time floats the red, white,
  and blue of Paraguay. The steamer has arrived at Humaitá, the first
  port of the inland Republic."[38]

A massive, stark ruin, standing up on the bank of the river, the church
of Humaitá, carries us into the history of the dreadful war which laid
the land desolate here, and to which we must shortly refer. Continuing
for the present our way upstream, the view extends over tobacco and
sugar-cane fields, interspersed with luxuriant banana groves. Reed
huts cluster here and there near the bank, and groups of dark-skinned
workers are seen. On the opposite shore a fringe of dense vegetation
hides the Chaco plains--the haunt of the savage Indian and the tapir,
but marked by occasional clearings. Rafts of _quelracho_ timber float
down the stream, the heavy wood buoyed up by trunks of a lighter kind,
for the _quelracho_ does not float. Soon we reach the mouth of the
Pilcomayo, with its low bank, and then the roofs and spires of Asuncion
come into the field of view, the salient points of a city that spreads
itself over the rolling ground, surrounded by pleasant verdure.

Asuncion is to be regarded as a picturesque city. There is a wealth of
flower, which often covers the hovels on the outskirts. The city is
built partly on its hills and partly on the sandy riverine plain, and
contains some interesting buildings. Life here is generally simple,
and has certain attractions by reason of this simplicity. It is nigh
upon the tropic zone, but its environment is such that the climate is
pleasant indeed, and, in fact, has been enthusiastically described by
some as "containing all the elements of perfection."

Asuncion was long the seat of Spanish rule, which extended over this
vast region of river and forest, and here, among other phases, the
bitter struggle between the Church and the Jesuits was played out.

Life, we have said, is simple, even for the upper class, although
in its way typical of Spanish American culture. In humbler circles,
clothing is simple. A cotton chemise is a sufficient garment for a
woman, and perhaps a white _manta_ round the head, in the fashion
brought by Spain from the Moors; whilst her husband wears nothing more
than a loose shirt and trousers--clothing that costs little and lasts
long.

These sartorial conditions refer to the Indian folk who, however,
constitute the bulk of the nation. Upper-class people, of course, wear
boots and shoes, and would indignantly refute any aspersion as to being
backward in the refinements of life. There are some good buildings
in Asuncion, showing the customary Spanish American ideas in civic
architecture. The most prominent edifice is a bank, built originally
as a palace by the younger Lopez, and there is a national college and
a public library, but educational progress is slow in Paraguay. The
principal streets are paved, and lighted with gas and electricity, and
there are street cars and telephones.

The name of Lopez brings forward one of the most dreadful periods of
history in this part of South America, upon which we may well pause a
space.

Francisco Solano Lopez, dictator of Paraguay, and self-styled
"Protector of the equilibrium of the La Plata," forced his country into
war against Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, who, aggrieved, combined for
the purpose of suppressing him, "until no elements of war should be
left in Paraguay," as their declaration ran. The country was invaded,
the war lasted five years, 1865 to 1870; a struggle involving enormous
sacrifice of blood and treasure, closing only when the Paraguayans were
practically annihilated. During the struggle every male Paraguayan
was forced to bear arms; there were regiments of boys from twelve
to fifteen years old; women were used as beasts of burden to carry
ammunition and stores, and were murdered or left to die by the wayside
when their strength gave out. From a population of nearly one and a
half million, that of Paraguay fell as a consequence of the struggle
to a quarter of a million. It is recorded that, in the retreat, Lopez
ordered every town and village to be destroyed and every living animal
slaughtered. Imagining a conspiracy against his life, this half-crazed
dictator, it is recorded, ordered hundreds of the foremost citizens
of Paraguay to be seized and executed, including his own brother and
brothers-in-law, judges, cabinet ministers, officers, bishops, two
hundred foreigners and several diplomatic representatives of the
legations. The end of this extraordinary specimen of a Spanish American
ruler was death in the river, for, having been reduced to a handful of
adherents, on the northern frontier of Paraguay, he was surprised by
Brazilians, and shot, as he endeavoured to swim the stream.

Leaving these dreadful reminiscences of civilized savagery, however,
let us take our way through the Republic. Much of it is extremely
fertile; rich soil abounding in meadows and pastures, with such varied
products as might make of this portion of the continent a veritable
garden or orchard. Our eyes rest on groves of orange-trees, clustering
with golden fruit, on fields of waving sugar-cane of immense growth,
on vineyards and tobacco fields, on cotton and hemp plantations. So
prolific are the citrus fruits that hogs are sometimes fattened on
oranges. Millions of dozens of the fruit are exported down the river to
the large towns on its banks.

The principal product, however, is the well-known _yerba maté_,
or Paraguayan tea, and the growing and collecting of this gives
occupation to the Indian peasants whom we see clustered in the fields
or simple villages. The cost of production of this article is small,
and, exported to Argentina, Brazil and Chile, the leaf takes the place
to some extent in those communities of tea and coffee. The leaves of
the shrub, the _Ilèx Paraguayensis_, are stripped, sun-dried and packed
in sacks for export.

This tea could be sold in England at perhaps sixpence per pound, but,
notwithstanding its useful qualities, it is almost unknown in Britain.

Paraguay is a land where soil and climate lends itself well to
stock-raising, and doubtless this industry in the future will be much
more extensively cultivated in the Republic, in view of the world's
needs for the products it yields. Natural pasture is abundant, shelter
is unnecessary, but drought at times is a source of loss. The breed of
the cattle, too, calls for improvement. The great South American meat
and meat-extract companies have already cast eyes on the possibilities
of the Paraguayan pastures.

[Illustration: BRINGING HOME AND PACKING YERBA MATE.

  Vol. II. To face p. 220.]

If we are students of social science, we may recollect that this
land we are momentarily treading was the scene of an interesting
experiment in communism, when, some twenty-five years ago, William
Lane and his companions, of Sydney, founded their colony of "New
Australia." This little band of Australians, who at least had the
courage of their convictions, suffered endless misfortunes in their
endeavour to demonstrate their economic theories, in which there
was to be neither master nor servant, nor rich nor poor, but each for
all. Before starting, their individual possessions were made over to
the common fund. The Government of Paraguay treated the enterprise
exceedingly well, granted them a tract of extremely fertile land,
which, however, was in a remote spot, and helped them in various ways,
believing, as did the band of Australians, that success would attend
their endeavours. But at length disillusionment arose, and although
the leader and a few of his adherents struggled bravely on, disaster
befel the settlement, which lapsed finally into purely individualistic
methods.

A far earlier "socialistic" system flourished in this part of South
America. The story of the Jesuit missions is one of great interest, but
with a sad ending, and we may cast a glance at it here.

  "It was in 1588 that the first Jesuits arrived in Paraguay, where
  they met with a warm welcome at the hands of the colonists, between
  whom and the missionary Fathers a bitter feud was eventually destined
  to spring up. These early workers made a cosmopolitan company,
  counting among their number Spaniards, Portuguese, Italians and
  Scots, besides other nationalities. Setting dauntlessly out into the
  forests of Paraguay, they passed from tribe to tribe, making converts
  of the Indians in a fashion sufficiently wholesale to receive some
  condemnation at the hands of their detractors. However much or
  however little the average Guaraní may have understood of his actual
  reception into the Christian faith, the perils and hardships of the
  early missionaries remained the same, and these were undoubtedly
  sufficient to tax the resolution of any but the most single-hearted
  pioneer.

  "Little by little, as more Jesuits arrived from abroad to assist in
  the work, and as the numbers of the Guaraní converts grew, began
  the definite foundations of that society of the Paraguayan missions
  which was feared and hated by those Spaniards outside its borders
  who imagined, rightly or wrongly, that its presence was the cause of
  much material wrong to themselves. This country of the Jesuits had
  every right to be known as a State. It administered its own laws and
  authority, and was subject to none of the local colonial officials,
  a circumstance that undoubtedly gave rise to numerous outbursts of
  jealousy. It was, moreover, rigidly shut off from the outer world,
  and, although travellers were permitted to pass, closely watched,
  from one of its towns to another, none but the Jesuit administrators
  were in the least conversant with the affairs of the community, and
  with the events which were happening in the State. It is this latter
  circumstance, of course, which has been responsible for so many of
  the disputes concerning actual facts--arguments which have arisen
  both during the period of the Jesuit dominion and after the expulsion
  of the Fathers. But in any case no dispute has ever arisen concerning
  the fact that this land of the Jesuits was a self-governing State,
  whether it be known by any of the various names which have been
  applied to it--a republic, an empire, or a socialistic community pure
  and simple.

  "The mission country of the Jesuits was situated amid those
  delightful tracts of land where the modern Republics of Paraguay,
  Brazil and Uruguay now meet. From north to south it lay, roughly,
  between the parallels of 25° and 30°, and thus it comprised a stretch
  of territory the open spaces of which may rightfully be called 'the
  Garden of South America.' We may now survey this spot in the height
  of its prosperity, beginning with some aspects of its thirty towns,
  which, of course, include some of the most salient features of all.

  "The Jesuits of Paraguay were nothing if not consistent, and their
  policy was eloquently shown in the construction of their towns. None
  of their converts, decreed the missionaries, should be permitted to
  outdo his, or her, neighbourhood in the matter of dress and outward
  appearance. The priests did their best to ensure equality and the
  absence of heartburning by a regulation that every Indian should
  be garbed exactly the same, both in material and cut, as were his
  brethren and sisters. This same theory was made to apply in the
  case of the dwelling-places of the Guaranís. It has been remarked
  that these resembled each other as closely as one drop of water
  resembles another. 'The arrangement of these,' says Alvear, who
  wrote from personal experience, 'is so uniform that when you have
  seen one you may say that you have seen them all. Some tiny freak
  of architecture or some little touch of private adornment--that is
  the only difference that may be remarked. Essentially they are all
  the same, and this has been brought to such a pitch that those who
  travel through them are apt to begin to wonder if they are not being
  accompanied by the same enchanted town, the eyes of a lynx being
  needed to tell the difference between the inhabitants and clothes
  of one of these places and those of another. The plan of them all
  is rectangular, the streets stretching from north to south and from
  east to west, and the Plaza, which is always roomy and level, in the
  middle. The church, college and cemetery occupy that side of the
  Plaza that faces north.'

  "This description affords, at all events, a rough and general outline
  of one of the Jesuit towns. It leaves, however, many details of
  interest to be filled in. The aspect of one of these places, it may
  be said, was extremely pleasant, the Jesuits who understood these
  matters very thoroughly, having introduced orange-groves and other
  such growths with consummate skill among the buildings. The church
  would be a most solidly built edifice, containing three or five
  naves, as the case might be. Its interior, moreover, was richly
  decorated by the Indian craftsmen and workers in metal, and here,
  one imagines, some distinguishing originality must have occurred,
  although no doubt this was avoided as much as possible.

  "Attached to the college, which was usually a very large building,
  were the workshops and storehouses of the town, which were thus
  under the immediate eye of the Fathers. The buildings in which
  the Indians themselves were accommodated were very extensive but
  low-roofed structures, being some sixty yards in length and ten in
  breadth. The majority of the buildings were contrived of great blocks
  of the locally found _Tacurú_ stone, which for the purpose of cutting
  possesses the very unusual advantage of being comparatively soft
  when first taken from the earth, hardening little by little as it is
  exposed to the air. The magnificent woods of the neighbouring forests
  were frequently employed in addition, and the ubiquitous _adobe_ was
  made to serve here and there. All the buildings were very solidly
  tiled.

  "So much for the general description of one of those Jesuit towns
  of which only the ruins now remain, all but swallowed up by the
  encroaching verdure of the forest. In their neighbourhood was nearly
  always a stone-lined spring, welling out into a pool planted about
  with palms, and thus presenting a most agreeable appearance. Near
  this would be the chapels of the 'Stations of the Cross.'

  "Finally, it must be said that many of these centres which were most
  exposed to the raids of the hostile Brazilian inhabitants of San
  Paolo were strongly fortified, being surrounded by a deep ditch and a
  solid wall of hardened mud.

  "Each of these towns was in charge of two Jesuits, not too large
  a number, it must be admitted, to have control of a town the
  population of which was probably about four thousand. These,
  however, were assisted by numerous Guaraní officials, and their
  management appears to have been conducted with exemplary smoothness.

  "Having now obtained a glimpse of the plan and aspects of a Jesuit
  mission town, it is time to consider some attributes that are at
  least as important--its inhabitants. Proceeding downwards along its
  hierarchy from the two Jesuit Fathers in charge--who were responsible
  only to a superior of their own order who travelled continually to
  and fro between the various towns--we arrive at the higher Guaraní
  officials. At the head of these was a _cacique_, who in a sense
  acted as Governor of the place, although his office was under the
  closest supervision of the two Jesuits in charge. There were also
  _corregidores_, _regidores_, _alcaldes_, and many other officials,
  whose posts corresponded more or less with those held by Spaniards in
  the somewhat cumbrous municipal scheme that obtained in the peninsula.

  "In order that the position of these dusky dignitaries should be
  properly emphasized they were raised above the law which decreed
  perfect equality of dress for all, and on feast days their uniforms
  were wont to be sufficiently gorgeous to distinguish them from the
  rest.

  "The dress of the rank and file of the inhabitants was simple to a
  degree. The material employed for that of both men and women was
  white cotton. The men wore a species of shirt above short breeches,
  while the women were dressed in petticoats, above which was an
  armless chemise known as the _typoi_. The hair was plaited into
  one or two tails, and was generally adorned with a crimson flower.
  To such a degree had this doctrine of similarity of costume become
  implanted into the minds of the Indians that, after the expulsion of
  the Jesuits, those who succeeded the missionaries--and endeavoured in
  vain to carry on the work--were astonished at the tenacity with which
  they clung to it. Desirous of rooting out entirely the influence
  of the Jesuits, they assiduously pointed out to the Indians the
  advantages of individuality in dress. But it was a very long time
  before one of these could bring himself to distinguish his person
  from the rest by means of any of those added touches which are
  usually so eagerly sought after by the dusky races.

  "The supposition that Satan finds work for idle hands to do was
  acknowledged by the Jesuits with an enthusiasm on which was founded
  the principal tenets of their communities. In the mission towns
  any risk of this kind was quite infinitesimal! Indeed, one of the
  charges levelled by the opponents of the missionaries has been to
  the effect that they harnessed the Guaranís from the age of five
  years upwards to an endless and grinding routine of toil. Indeed, in
  estimating the benefits derived by the company of the Jesuits from
  this fount of labour, a very gifted modern Argentine writer estimates
  the eighteenth-century Guaraní population of the Paraguayan missions
  at some 150,000, adding that, so healthy was the climate of their
  country that almost the entire force of this community was available,
  invalids being almost unknown. In this he unconsciously pays a
  notable tribute to the methods employed in the 'Reductions'--by which
  name these mission towns were also known. For this remarkable lack
  of invalids may well be compatible with the circumstances attending
  ordinary hard work, but they suggest nothing of that grinding toil
  such as the _conquistadores_ were only too frequently accustomed
  to inflict on the aborigines--labour involving broken health and
  premature death.

  "The admittedly healthy condition of the Jesuitical Guaranís is in
  itself sufficient to refute such a charge as this.

  "The various kinds of work carried on in the mission towns were of
  an amazingly comprehensive nature. Even their most hostile critics
  have never attempted to dispute the administrative abilities of the
  missionaries. These found a full opportunity in the fertile soil and
  varied products of the country. One of the first industries they
  took up was that of collecting the famous Paraguayan tea, the yerba
  maté, from the forests in which it grew. Undoubtedly this was one of
  the severest tasks which the Guaranís had to undertake, since the
  yerba-tree, the _Ilèx Paraguayensis_, favours the denser forests that
  are the haunt of the jaguar, the venomous snake and countless noxious
  insects. Moreover, as the yerba maté-trees in the neighbourhood of
  the settlements became used up, the journeys of the Indians grew
  longer and more difficult, and the return marches, under the burden
  of the yerba loads, still more strenuous.

  "Another industry which rapidly attained to great importance was that
  of cattle-breeding. It is difficult to picture the Jesuit Fathers
  galloping with flying robes after the scampering herds of cattle,
  gathering them into _rodeos_, and 'parting' them after the fashion of
  the gaucho--and this they undoubtedly did not do! At the same time,
  it is certain that they must have closely supervised their dusky
  herdsmen; for the numbers of their cattle rapidly increased to an
  extent which could only have been possible under an efficient, and
  comparatively scientific, management. This will be evident when it is
  explained that more than thirty thousand head of cattle grazed on one
  of their estates alone, and that at the time of the expulsion of the
  company their pastures were found to contain nearly 800,000 cattle,
  nearly 100,000 horses and mules, and over 200,000 sheep and goats.

  "Beyond this there were the fields of cotton, maize, rice,
  sugar-cane, tobacco, and all those cereals which went to make up
  the store of the mission towns, as well as the spreading groves of
  orange-trees, and all the fruits of the sub-tropics and of Southern
  Europe which were cultivated with immense success in the rich red
  soil of Paraguay. It is a tribute to the energy of the Jesuits,
  moreover, that sufficient wheat was grown within the missions to
  render them self-supporting in this respect, when the small amount of
  wheat is taken into consideration that is at present produced within
  the Republic of Paraguay.

  "It was in these pastoral and agricultural pursuits that the main
  supply of Guaraní labour was employed. The Jesuits saw to it that
  the tasks of the Indians were made as attractive as possible. Thus
  they would march to the fields singing chants and preceded by a small
  band of instruments, and they would return in the same impressive
  fashion when the labours of the day were done. In all such ways as
  this the work of the Indians was lightened, and undoubtedly the
  policy possessed its practical side in that far more satisfactory
  agricultural results were obtained from these contented people than
  would have been the case had they been dejected and apathetic.

  "The scope of the mission work, however, was by no means confined to
  the pastoral and agricultural pursuits. The community was entirely
  self-supporting, and it was thus necessary to quarry the stone of
  which the town buildings were constructed, to build the small vessels
  in which much of the produce was sent to be sold in the large cities
  lower down the river, and even to found the cannons and to produce
  the gunpowder which were necessary in order to defend the settlements
  from the slave-raiding attacks of those arch-enemies of the missions,
  the _Mamelucos_, who came out with fire and sword from the Brazilian
  town of San Paolo.

  "But, when the disposition and attainments of the original Guaraní
  tribe are taken into consideration, some of the most remarkable
  achievements of the missionaries were in connection with the finer
  arts and crafts rather than with the cruder labours of the main
  industries. It is true that at the head of each of these branches was
  a Jesuit who was a complete master of his particular art or craft.
  But this alone does not suffice to explain the astonishing progress
  made in these directions by a race that a generation or two before
  had represented one of the most primitive types of Indian in the
  world--naked savages without the faculty of hieroglyphics, unable to
  count beyond the few first numbers, ignorant of the very rudiments of
  music, and lacking sufficient imagination to provide themselves even
  with a reasonable supply of that superstition which stands for the
  religion of the savage.

  "Yet it was from these very folk that were produced craftsmen of
  a really able type. It was they who, under the coaching of the
  missionaries, learned to become carpenters, to carve stone with
  professional cunning, and who became expert locksmiths, gunsmiths
  and workers in metals. There were many weavers and printers, and
  among them were a certain number who had actually attained to the
  expert art of watchmaking. Among the most astonishing walks of life,
  however, to which the Guaraní was transported was that of painter--in
  the artistic sense of the vocation. Hand in hand with this art went
  that of music. Indeed, one of the proofs of how thoroughly these
  matters were undertaken lies in the fact of the bringing over from
  Europe with a view to teaching the Guaranís music and singing, of
  Padre Juan Basco, who had previously been at the head of an archducal
  institution of music.

  "A school and a hospital were attached to each Reduction, and each
  of these, in addition, was provided with an asylum for the aged and
  infirm. Even here a certain amount of work was carried on, and the
  inmates of this institution were given such light tasks as they could
  perform."[39]

       *       *       *       *       *

This colonization system was broken up by the _Mamelucos_, the greedy
folk of San Paolo, who, having enslaved the Indians of that part of
Brazil, cast envious eyes upon the peaceful labour of the missions,
which they longed to impress in their own services. They therefore
began a series of merciless onslaughts on the settlements, which,
however, valiantly defended themselves for a time. But the Arcadia
was doomed to fall, and the Jesuits were expelled from Paraguay in
1768, and little remains now but the ruin of their wonderful work,
which Nature rapidly covered up with her generous robes of flower and
foliage, as if desirous of hiding from view the brutalities of mankind
in this one of her fairest provinces of South America.

We shall now leave this fertile heart of the continent, to traverse
with rapid strides a region of a very different nature: that of the
"Far South"--a south, however, whose attributes of climate and general
environment are not such as we generally associate with that point of
the compass, and of which we have obtained a passing glimpse in our
survey of the great Cordillera.

In the southern-most part of the New World, the tapering portion of the
South American continent, lies a vast region of which comparatively
little is heard or known, yet one which in the future must take its
place in the economic development of the globe. This is the Territory
extending throughout the lower portion of Argentina, Patagonia and
Tierra del Fuego.

It is a land lying far beyond the Tropics, in part a sort of Siberia of
South America, terminating in those regions which Magellan described as
"stark with eternal cold."

We generally speak of Argentina and Chile as if they were compact
topographical and political entities, instead of territories between
two and three thousand miles long, covering zones on the surface of the
globe comparable, as far as latitude is concerned, to one extending
from nigh mid-Africa, through Europe into Scotland, with climate
similarly varying.

But this southern land has great possibilities. It has received a bad
name, largely resulting upon the description of Darwin, who visited
it in the voyage of the _Beagle_, a reputation which more recent
travellers have shown not to be deserved. Darwin spoke of the "curse of
sterility" and of the eternally "dreary landscape," but, like Siberia,
Patagonia may prove to be a region desirable in many respects.

Yet Patagonia strikes the traveller as huge and elemental, and
settlement and development, as far as they go, are but the work of the
few recent years. It offers great and abrupt contrasts of pampa and
mountain, with rivers cutting across the plains from the Andes to the
Atlantic.

  "On the Atlantic coastline it is four or five days' ride to the
  nearest farm. In the interior Nature enfolds you with her large,
  loose grasp. Who, having once seen them, can forget the Pampas?
  Evening, and the sun sloping over the edge of the plain like an
  angry eye, an inky-blue mirage half blotting it out; in the middle
  distance grass rolling like an ocean to the horizon, lean thorn, and
  a mighty roaring wind. This wild land, ribbed and spined by one of
  the greatest mountain chains in the world, appears to have been the
  last habitation of the great beasts of the older ages. It is now the
  last country of all to receive man, or rather its due share of human
  population. Out there in the heart of the country one seems to stand
  alone, with nothing nearer or more palpable than the wind, the fierce
  mirages, and the limitless distances."[40]

However, farms and cattle ranges are springing up, and Nature has
placed in one spot on the coast an important petroleum field, to say
nothing of the valuable forests.

This far southern region of South America is shared by the British
Empire, in its distant outpost of the Falkland Isles, forming its most
southerly colony. The latitude here in the south corresponds roughly
to that of England in the north, but climate is very different, with a
constantly overcast and rainy sky, although the extremes of heat and
cold are far less. The treeless, grass-covered lands maintain large
numbers of sheep. The little capital of Stanley is mainly built of
wood, with a Government House of grey stone, calling to mind an Orkney
or Shetland manse. There is nothing of Spanish American atmosphere
here. Far from the mainland, the only association with the continent of
South America of the Falkland Isles is that they are the headquarters
of the bishop of that diocese, which, as we have seen elsewhere, covers
so wide a field in Spanish America, and perhaps the fact that Argentina
still regards the possession of these somewhat melancholy and remote
sea-girt isles by Britain with disapproval; claiming them as hers. The
name is immortal in the destruction of the German fleet in those waters
during the Great War.

FOOTNOTES:

[37] Pronounced, phonetically, "Who-Who-e," with the accent on the last
syllable.

[38] _Paraguay_, Koebel, South American Series.

[39] _Paraguay_, op. cit.

[40] _Patagonia_, Hesketh Prichard, London 1911.



CHAPTER XV

TRADE AND FINANCE


There is a certain element of interest, apart from money-making,
attaching to commerce with that wide and varied group of peoples
which come under the distinctive nomenclature of the Latin American
Republics, and this is perhaps a fortunate circumstance. There is,
as already remarked, an element of adventure about trade operations
therewith which may be said to stimulate and assist enterprise--the
enterprise of buying and selling in those remote and still
half-developed communities.

Your merchant packs and dispatches his wares, marking his packages
with names and destinations whose lettering and pronunciation, though
they may cost him an effort to write or speak correctly, have in them
something redolent of the blue seas and skies of the Tropics, upon
whose shores they will presently be landed, to be handed over--the
attentions of cigarette-smoking and gold-laced Customs officers
satisfied amid much Castilian _chárla_--to the mercies in many cases
of rude but patient muleteers, when, bound on the backs of mules they
will be borne over mountain paths and through tangled jungles to many a
distant interior village of the Pampas or the Cordillera.

And those returning goods which lie upon our quays, fresh from the hold
of the steamer which brought them hither, have their own origin stamped
upon them, and often betray by their aroma their special nature. Who
has not walked upon the docks and remarked with interest the bales of
coffee, the piles of hides, the sacks of ore, the packages of raw cocoa
and other raw material sent hither, the product of industrious natives
of the picturesque _hacienda_ and the mine?

Your commercial traveller, too, if he be a man of parts--and such he
must be to treat successfully in these communities--smells the battle
from afar, and, setting forth again, girds himself thereto, prepared to
exercise that needful show of courtesy which even commercial dealings
require in those lands where Spanish and Portuguese is the medium of
barter or sale, and schools his tongue to speak in their softer accents.

The trade of Latin America is now a much coveted field. The English
merchant, who long held this field, has now to contend with the keen
competition of others. There was, before the war, the German, who by
ability and craft had firmly and remuneratively established himself
therein, and who now seeks to build up the trade edifice which the
punishment of his criminal war has caused to fall. There is the
American, as keen as any, studying by what means he may overcome the
disadvantages which worked against his more successful exploitation
of the Latin American sphere in the past, and thinking, perhaps, to
predominate over his rivals. There are the French, the Italian, the
Spaniard and others, all demanding their share; and coming forward now
is the Japanese, acclaiming his right to whatever he may wrest, either
from the sphere of his competitors or in the finding of fresh pastures.

From whence is this keen desire to profit by the trade of the Central
and South American States? Despite its attendant risks, of distance,
of long credits, of "slow payers" and repudiated debts, it must be
profitable. There must be a demand for goods, a wide and sufficient
market and a margin of considerable balance over costs and expenses.

This is, in fact, the case; but as we shall note, it is possible to
overdraw these attractions of the counting-house and the manufactory.

Latin America is a territory whose wealth and population are growing.
There is an increasing class demanding the things of luxury and
necessity which Europe and North America produce, and which Japan
produces--for it will be unwise to leave these sharp-witted traders
of Asia out of our survey. The Latin American peoples are plastic and
emotional, imitative, pleasure-loving, fond of personal adornment.
They are emerging from the poverty and austerity of the influence of
the Colonial period. Some of them are very wealthy. Their women must
be clad in expensive finery; their homes must be furnished with showy
furniture; upon their tables must lie the delicacies that other nations
enjoy.

So far they have not learned to exercise the ingenuity latent within
them to make these things--although here is a factor we shall
shortly consider--for themselves, and, in consequence, a stream
of articles,--textiles, machinery, clothing, prepared foodstuffs,
jewellery, furniture and all else--takes its way from foreign ports
towards their shores.

It is part of our task here to consider what are the conditions of
successful trading in these growing communities, but before doing so
it will be well to sound a note of caution as to over-exaggerated
expectations of trade and profits in Latin America.

In the first place an unlimited market for exported articles of luxury
and need argues a considerable class of persons capable of absorbing
such.

Compared with other communities, the purchasing class of Latin America
cannot be regarded as very extensive. We have here a score of States or
Republics whose total population perhaps approximates eighty million
souls, all but a small proportion of whom, probably less than ten per
cent., are folk of the poorest class, without purchasing power for
more than the barest necessities or simplest articles of everyday
life--articles which they themselves can produce--the great bulk of
them illiterate Indians or Mestizos. Until the standard of life of
these people be raised very considerably--and there is little evidence
of this uplifting so far--they cannot develop either the power or
the inclination to spend. Their masters--like masters all the world
over--pay them the lowest possible wage, blind to the economic fact
that this parsimony rebounds upon themselves, stinting production,
output, consumption and demand.

Thus it is that the purchasing power of the Latin American population
is a limited one, and markets and warehouses may readily be
over-stocked, stuffed--as has happened on various occasions--with goods
which cannot be sold, or must be sold at a loss.

Especially is this the case with articles of textile manufacture, bales
of cloth, dress fabrics and so forth, when all the large emporiums and
shops have had their shelves loaded and could digest no more. All the
merchants of Spanish American capitals and large towns have experienced
this, and although the cessation of imports during the war emptied the
shelves and disorganized their markets, it cannot be long, given the
keen desire to forward goods from abroad, when the same plethora will
recur.

There is a further condition to consider, of still greater economic
importance.

The tendency of nations in the future is bound to become more and more
self-supplying in the manufacture or production of articles of everyday
consumption. The spread of knowledge, the need for local employment,
the high cost of production and--a very important matter--the high
cost of carriage or transport, which latter, in fact, is becoming
prohibitive in some cases, are all factors making towards the principle
of self-supply.

As an economic principle, this of self-supply is altogether sound, and
its extension to the utmost is advisable and beneficial. It will help
to eliminate waste; it will perhaps work against over-production and
over-competition, both wasteful forces; it will tend to conserve the
native resources of the globe, especially in fuel and raw material,
which, during the "factory age," have been severely drawn upon and
in many instances ruthlessly wasted. To produce a thing where it is
to be consumed, we may repeat, rather than carrying it over seas and
continents from distant producer to consumer, is a sound economic and
sociological principle, so far little recognised.

The growth of such conditions, however, is not likely to be of benefit
to trade in general. One of the first branches of manufacture to be
affected thereby is the textile industry of Britain and other lands as
regards the export trade. It has been shown in these pages that the
Latin American countries, in some instances, have now set up their own
mills and are manufacturing their own textiles. This is specially true
of such countries as Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and others, where the
production of "piece goods" and other textiles and articles of clothing
is being extensively carried out with marked success, and with a
corresponding limitation of import. These mills are often worked by
water-power, and so are free from the difficult and expensive element
of fuel. Labour, moreover, is much cheaper, even if less efficient,
than abroad.

The same condition is growing as regards other manufactured articles,
and there is no physical reason why the whole of the Latin American
States should not manufacture many articles for their own requirements
which at present they import. They possess within their own shores all
the necessary raw material, except in some few instances.

But do they possess the skill to make these articles? There is little
doubt that the Latin American folk, the artisan, the mechanic, the
craftsman, are learning the methods of manufacture in many fields.
They may not be an inventive folk, but they are an imitative folk, and
possessed withal of great patience and painstaking ingenuity.

These last-named qualities are revealed in their ancient native
industries. Any one who takes the trouble to examine the examples of
these old crafts will often be struck by their beauty and ingenuity.
In textile work they excelled. The old tapestries of the Inca and the
fabrics of the Aztec, and of the Queches of Guatemala, of the Mayas,
and, in brief, all others of the cultured or semi-cultured early folk
of Spanish America reveal this, and examples are to be seen in the
museums. The Indians of the Andes to-day make their own "tweeds" of
sheep or llama wool; also their own felt hats. They weave ponchos
of Alpaca wool that are waterproof, so closely are they hand-woven.
They dyed these things in beautiful native patterns (often of much
archæological interest) with native dyes which in some cases were
superior to the imported synthetic dyes of Europe. As a matter of fact,
it is unfortunate from a true economic and artistic point of view that
these native industries should be displaced by outside products.

Again, such articles as the Panama hat of Ecuador and Colombia show of
what the Indian is capable; as did the beautiful jewellery, in precious
metals and stones, of the ancient culture-area of Central America,
or the exquisite vessels and objects of adornment of the Incas, some
of which still exist. The powers in stone-working are seen by the
remarkable structures scattered over the whole Spanish American world,
revealing the use of the chisel.

There is, however, no need here to labour this argument, but it is more
than possible that a marked growth of Latin American craftsmanship will
come to being again, under the stimulus of modern needs.

On the other hand, it is not to be supposed that the foreign
manufacturer is likely immediately to find the ground cut away from
under his feet. There are numerous articles of commerce which the Latin
American folk do not, and possibly cannot, make for themselves, or not
yet.

Among these matters is the important one of machinery. So far,
throughout the length and breadth of the Latin American States, not
a single locomotive has ever had its birth, and that in a land where
the locomotive is so essential a factor. Nor is bar iron or steel rail
rolled anywhere here (except possibly a little experimental work in
Mexico and elsewhere). In fact, the manipulation of iron and steel has
not yet come to being.

When we take note of the mines to be worked, the cotton, sugar and
other mills and factories to be equipped, the railways to be built
and maintained, the demand for motor-cars, the call for agricultural
machinery, the use of household utensils of iron and steel, the wire
fencing and a host of articles, it is evident that the field of trade
here will not yet be cut off.

In the superior textile again, skill has not yet reached a capacity
to supply all wants. The growing requirements of people to be clothed
by the best class of goods will doubtless long keep up the imports of
such, unless governments institute absolutely prohibitive tariffs--a
matter upon which it is impossible to speculate.

It would be out of our province here to deal in detail with the various
articles of trade in the Latin American field. There are recent sources
of such information which fill all requirements.[41]

There is an important condition in connection with the conduct of
business in Spanish America. This is, in the more leisurely and
courteous bearing observed in such transactions, and the commercial
traveller or his chief is well advised to study it.

The merchant or business man here will not be hustled or too
brutally--in a commercial sense--approached. A friendly chat, inquiries
as to matters of mutual interest, or upon current events, or regarding
the members of each other's family, or other subjects general or
politely personal, paves the way to the more concrete business of the
occasion.

"Personality" counts for much in Spanish American relations, not only
in society but in business. The Spanish-speaking people have a word
for which in English we have no exact equivalent; that is the word,
or adjective, _simpatico_ (or the feminine form _simpatica_). It does
not necessarily mean exactly "sympathetic" or "personal magnetism"--to
use the latter rather stupid English term. It means intuitive,
comprehensive. A person who is _simpatico_ may command much greater
attention than one who is not.

It is to be recollected that the Latin American man of any position is,
or aims at being, a _caballero_, a gentleman, and it is to be remarked
that this is a pleasing and valuable ideal, which might well be more
closely cultivated amid the often boorish methods of Anglo-Saxondom.

Thus your commercial traveller should accept the proffered cigar or
cigarette--there is generally such an offer--of his desired client, or
offer one himself, and not attempt to come immediately to the point
or instantly thrust his wares beneath the nose of the person upon whom
he calls, hoping to make an immediate sale and rush out to perform the
same operation on perhaps a rival dealer next door.

That "Time is money" has also its rendering in Spanish: _Tiempo
es oro_, and it does not follow that business will be delayed by
diplomatic methods. Yet this habit of courtesy should not merely be
acquired as a trick. Business is sometimes carried through in a quicker
way than in Europe or the United States, and the term the "land of
_mañana_" has often been over-applied, at least as regards business
transactions.

Again, it must be recollected that the Ibero-American--with a touch
perhaps of Orientalism--does not always like to give a direct "yes"
or "no." In the latter case, perhaps, he does not wish to hurt his
visitor's feelings, and may leave him to infer a negative from the
general conversation. This should be understood, and a direct reply not
sought.

On the other hand, this method of courtesy does not necessarily
apply to all operations of dealing. The rudeness of the shop-hand in
Latin American towns is a matter of note often; his brusqueness and
incivility. It is possible that this may arise in part from the custom
of haggle; that is, of not having fixed prices for articles sold, and
the customer, especially women, enter and argue to a wearisome length
often, in obtaining a reduction, or finger the goods to such an extent
as to exasperate the whole race of counter attendants. Be it as it may,
courtesy by the shopkeeper is not a marked condition here. There are,
of course, exceptions.

We shall also remark a further condition. The Latin American is
generally more urbane in his conduct than the Spaniard. The pure
Iberian is often a very direct fellow, blunt of speech and behaviour.
Often his speech, when excited, is interlarded with the most tremendous
oaths.

These matters of deportment are not necessarily intricate, and they
should not be overdone. Frankness and sincerity always appeal. The
Spanish American wishes to appear to be direct. He will tell you he is
so. _Yo soy franco, señor_--"I am frank," he will frequently exclaim
in the course of any argumentative conversation, or, _Vamos á ser
practicos_--"let us be practical." It does not, of course, follow that
he is always either frank or practical. Often, however, he is.

The Englishman generally finds that prejudice is in his favour in these
circles. The _Ingles_ has a name for fair and straightforward dealing
(which Heaven grant always is and always may be deserved!). Here we
have the well-known and oft-quoted aphorism of the _Palabra de Ingles_;
that is, the "word of an Englishman," which is reputedly held to be as
good as his bond. He is supposed to carry out, without chicanery or
mental reservation, what he has undertaken to do. His goods will be
up to the sample; his fulfilment as his promise. He will often find
this national trait appraised here, and often with disparagement of the
methods of the traders of other nationalities, and this not merely as a
form of subtle flattery.

Whether this high standard is always now kept, under the pressure of
increasing competition, it may be left to others to determine.

Again, the excellence of British manufacture is generally looked upon
as a foregone conclusion.

Cheap goods, such as textiles, however, in the face of this
competition, wherever they come from, are probably often very free from
reproach, and an enormous quantity of cheap rubbish must find its way
on to the backs of the poorer wearers in these lands, of British and
other manufacture.

Against the British manufacturer there is always the old outstanding
accusation that he does not sufficiently regard the tastes or needs
of his clients overseas, but adopts a "take-it-or-leave-it attitude,"
and this is a point writers on the subject generally bring forward.
Doubtless it has been somewhat exaggerated.

Again, another theme is that of disregard of the important matters of
packing, both as to external appearances of boxes and packages which
are to be exposed for sale and the packing for means of transport such
as the exigencies of the road call for here.

Many writers on British trade take it upon themselves to disparage
their own methods and institutions, but this has been overdone. If
there are defects in British methods, they occur equally in those of
the traders of other nations. However, self-disparagement is a British
characteristic in many things, and may readily be discounted.

The subject of finance, credits and so forth are matters which always
come up for discussion here. Long credits are often necessary,
especially in the case of the smaller merchants or dealers of Latin
America, and in the smaller towns, where these have not capital for
quick payments and the goods have to be sold before a return is reaped.
There may be bad debts often, or dishonest customers, but as a rule
the purchasing store-keeper is often kept in the path of rectitude by
the knowledge that dishonesty will result in cutting off his supplies
sooner or later, with consequent ruination.

To return to business. It is an error to suppose that the Latin
American is lacking in enterprise, for the reverse is generally the
case.

Again, the folk of these lands we are here treading are exceedingly
assimilative of new ideas and novelties. They like to be thought
"up-to-date." New appliances and luxuries catch their fancy.
Motor-cars, gramophones, cinematographs and so forth are eagerly
purchased. Were the roads better, bicycles would have had an enormous
vogue, and may yet have. Aeroplanes are likely to be very prominent
things in the future. Anything new, fashionable or pleasurable is
regarded with favour, from notepaper to flying machines.

It is, however, noteworthy that the deeper refinements of life are
less considered. Thus the Latin American folk are not great readers
of books or purchasers of pictures. Nor have they a great love for
antiques. It is true that books published in Spanish (or Portuguese)
are generally limited in range and miserably printed and bound, and
it is probable that a foreign publisher who should undertake to cater
to a growing literary appetite here would find in it a remunerative
business. Something, of course, has been done in this way, especially
in Argentina, where imports of books from Britain have increased
rapidly.

As to pictures, gaudy oleographs and calendars often do duty for these.
But the love of pictures for themselves seems to have diminished at the
present time among all peoples, even in Anglo-Saxondom: perhaps it has
fled before more material delights; perhaps it may return.

The British Governmental attitude towards trade abroad--and Latin
America naturally takes an important place--somewhat halts between
two opinions, as concerns official representation. Shall British
representatives be mainly diplomatic, ambassadorial, or shall they
also descend to that less distinguished field of commerce? Shall
the atmosphere of the Minister Plenipotentiary or that of the more
commercialized Consul be paramount?

England--Britain--is constantly upbraided by traders and trade-writers
on account of her alleged supineness with regard to foreign trade. We
are accused of not doing enough, of not having sufficiently active
representatives abroad, of not attending to the wants of foreign
purchasers, of not knowing their languages, of not sufficiently
pressing our wares upon them, and so forth.

But when all is said that can be said upon this subject, it must be
recollected that Britain has had a very prosperous day as the workshop
of the world, and has greatly enriched herself in foreign markets.
There seems little doubt that she is disposed to rest somewhat on her
laurels now. Apart from this, there are physical causes why it is
difficult for Britain to pretend to hold predominance here, as well as
sociological reasons. A steady export trade should be aimed at, not a
feverish attempt at perpetual predominance.

We turn now to the important matters of foreign investment and finance
in these widely diversified lands of Latin America.

The statistics of finance inform us that, among the oversea enterprises
of the British capitalist, more than a thousand million pounds
sterling are invested in stocks, bonds and shares in undertakings in
the Republics of Latin America; securities quoted upon the London
Stock Exchange. There are further enterprises not so quoted. From this
considerable sum a steady stream of dividends flows to Great Britain,
amounting to over eighty million pounds per annum.

In these statistics we have an indication of the great activity that
has taken place in the past by the British individual, or joint-stock
company in this field, from Mexico to Peru or Chile, from Venezuela and
Colombia to Brazil or the River Plate.

Wherever we journey in Spanish America, we shall find our countrymen
engaged in some important enterprise or industry. If we ascend to the
high plateau of Mexico it will be upon an English owned and operated
railway, from the coast of Vera Cruz, which we have reached upon an
English steamer. If we enter the rich mines here we shall see English
capital extracting gold and silver, which flows to London, and other
minerals too. If we survey Mexico City, we shall see that it and its
lake-basin is drained by a wonderful canal and tunnel, a work which the
Aztecs and the early Spaniards tried to perform but failed in, and do
we cross from sea to sea over the Tehuantepec Isthmus it will be upon a
railway rebuilt, with fine harbours at each approach--a competitor, in
some respects, with the Panama Canal--by English engineers and money,
whilst the electric lights and trams of the capital are nourished from
the same source. (The tramway system, indeed, from the _centavos_ of
the travelling Mexican poor, pay or did pay the working costs before
nine o'clock in the morning, leaving the rest of the day for the
dividends.)

In South America we can scarcely take train in any of the numerous
Republics without travelling over rails laid down by the genius
of Albion, or without helping, in the purchase of our ticket, to
contribute towards the exchequer of the British company which built or
controls it. When we rise from the Spanish Main to the mountains of
Venezuela or Colombia, it is upon lines made by British brains and
purses; or when we go up from sea-level to the dizzy heights of the
Andes of Peru or Chile, it is behind the iron horse whose trajectory or
working has been rendered possible by Britain. The wonderful network
of rails that traverse Brazil and Argentina, and bring forth to the
seaboard the product of corn, cattle, coffee and all else, were built
with gold from Lombard Street, as were the docks and harbours whence
they discharge their wealth of products from the hinterland. Again,
if we penetrate the dark reaches of the Amazon, England is giving gas
light, electric light, water supply, dock service and much else there;
and we shall have ascended that mighty stream on an English steamer.
Nay, some of the rubber of these forests is extracted by the power of
British gold. Banks are largely British.

England, in brief, has performed an enormous service in the New World
with her money. The United States built itself up on British capital,
so that every Republic in America has had cause for gratitude for the
use of English gold. England is not a gold-producing country, but
nevertheless a stream of gold has proceeded from her shores to nourish
the most distant lands.[42]

FOOTNOTES:

[41] Such, for example, as _South America as an Industrial Field_
Koebel, in the South American Series.

[42] Excellent work as regards British trade and general relations was
done by the British Diplomatic and Commercial Mission to South America
in 1918, under Sir Maurice de Bunsen and Mr. Follett Holt; a Report of
which was issued: and some return missions have been sent to England.



CHAPTER XVI

TO-DAY AND TO-MORROW


In our travels throughout the very extensive and varied regions dealt
with in these pages, we shall have remarked certain outstanding
features of life characteristic in perhaps peculiar degree of the Latin
American civilization. The marked division of the classes into which
the social life of the Republics falls, the system of government,
the distinctive architecture, civil and ecclesiastical, the peculiar
mining industry--_sui generis_; the roads--or absence of such--and the
special atmosphere surrounding travel in the wilds, the undeveloped
condition of enormous areas of territory and their lack of population,
the absence of manufacturing industry and predominance of rural
occupations, the relations with foreigners, and the relations--or lack
of such--of an inter-American nature; whilst there has always been
before the observer interested in the sociological development of the
world, the problems of the future here.

Despite eccentricities of character and difficulties of environment, we
shall remark that Spanish American government and other institutions
are, in general, laid down upon excellent lines, and in the future may
be expected to develop in their own way.

As to government, the constitutions--written constitutions--of
these States might be described almost as counsels of perfection.
Theoretically they provide for all contingencies, and, were they
followed, little would be amiss. Unfortunately the temperament of the
Latin American people often is, that the individual will lay down the
most excellent laws for the community, but apparently reserving for
himself the right to contravene them, as far as he is concerned, if
occasion so demand. Herein is the difficulty of self-government under
the Iberian temperament.

The constitutions of the Republics are generally modelled upon that
of the United States; but there is a slight difference between the
associations of the various provinces or departments in some cases.
Thus the Federal Republic Model, under which the provinces enjoy a
species of home rule, has been adopted by Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela,
whilst the remainder have what is termed the centralized form, the
supreme head being the capital, with prefects set over the provinces.

The governing powers embody the executive, the legislative and the
judicial; the president and his cabinet, national congress of two
chambers, and a supreme tribunal. Ministers with portfolios are
generally those of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Agriculture, Industry and
Commerce, Communications and Public Works, War and Marine, to which is
frequently added a _Ministro de Fomento_, after the Spanish model, a
department which concerns itself with the development of new industries
and means of transport, land concessions, and so forth, the word
meaning "encouragement" or "fostering."

A considerable bureaucracy naturally exists under this regimen, and
there is a strong tendency among the educated folk to seek Government
employ. On the whole, however, the system of government, with its
ramifications, must be regarded as efficient and competent, and the
machinery works smoothly. It is not necessarily thrown out of gear
altogether by the sudden revolution or _golpe de estado_, which so
frequently occurs, unless this be more than ordinarily severe. But
the _caudillo_, the political leader or "boss" (to use an American
equivalent) is often a corrupting and disturbing element.

With regard to the religious system, the regimen and machinery of the
Romish Church is, too, well organized, from arch-bishop down to village
_cura_ or priest. But the education and character of this last often
leaves a good deal to be desired.

As with government, so is it with education in the Latin American
countries. The theory is excellent, and education is everywhere
extolled, but in practice the proportion of literates, indeed of folk
who can but read and write alone, is exceedingly small, amounting
perhaps to ten or fifteen per cent. of the population, rising to
fifty per cent. in the most advanced land, Argentina. Education is
everywhere free and compulsory, and the Latin American youth can reach
the universities with little cost.

The conditions of civic life in Spanish American lands are often
pleasing in some essentials, and students of sociology and economics
might well find matters of utility here. It might not be an
exaggeration to say that there is more public spirit, of a kind, in
a small Spanish American town than in its English or United States
equivalent. More interest is taken in local government; there is more
discussion in local matters. The inhabitant, if he has any grade of
education and knowledge, thinks it natural to assert his opinion as a
unit of his habitat, and public opinion is a strong factor. It is a
good augury for the future.

Indeed, in the connection, it is to be noted that Spanish American
people--even in circles where it would be supposed that such matters
would be beyond their ken--think much and talk profoundly on questions
of government, polity, economics and so forth. They display a wider
range of intelligence than--for example--the lower middle-class English
folk in such matters.

Useful and pleasing features in civic life are to be found in the
general "town-planning" of the Latin American town or village. The
Spaniards inaugurated the general plan of a central plaza or square,
with streets radiating therefrom, and cross streets--the well-known
"chequer board" style. It is quite possible to overdo this system,
or to adhere too rigidly thereto. But the central plaza, with the
church and municipal buildings, chief shops and so forth around it,
is a convenient arrangement, whilst the institution of the _serenata_
or open-air concert here, on Sunday afternoon and during week-day
evenings, brings the people together and creates a pleasing atmosphere,
and is, in fact, a social amenity of value. The plaza is the pulse of
the locality.

It is, of course, to be recollected that the climate generally permits
such amenities. Also, as the roads cease on the outskirts of the place,
there is really nowhere else for the inhabitants to take exercise on
foot. We should not like to sacrifice our typical English village, with
its High Street and church on the hill, to this more stereotyped plan,
but the amenities of the plaza might be much more widely copied. It has
its nucleus in the village green, but the social atmosphere is lacking
in this last.

The traveller in the cities and towns of Spanish America finds himself,
often without knowing or analysing the cause, in an atmosphere quaint,
restful and pleasing. He seems transplanted to an old-world or
semi-mediaeval environment, as of some more ancient or remote place of
European lands where the vulgarizing hand of the commercial age is as
yet unknown. Looking around and above him he finds the sensation is
imparted by the buildings, the façades of the streets, the churches
and the general disposition architecturally of the place. It is the
atmosphere and influence of the old Spanish Colonial architecture.

Notwithstanding the very considerable extent and interest of this
field, few writers on Spanish America appear to have made any broad
study of the subject, or at least to have set down much in the way of
description of what is so noteworthy and important a feature of life in
these widely-scattered communities, but it is a matter worthy of some
study.

This type of architecture is, naturally, more intensively represented
in those parts of the Spanish American Continent which were the
principal seats of viceregal rule, such as Mexico and Peru, but the
style predominates throughout the whole of Central and South America,
and in the West Indian Islands, such as Cuba and Santo Domingo, which
were under Spanish sway. The example set, the style was followed to
a considerable extent after the time of Independence, and with some
modification, subservient to modern economic, domestic or commercial
requirements, is employed in modern erections. Here, however, a new
note has been introduced, an unpleasing note, and the dignified and
quaint "classic" of the Colonial architecture has to some extent given
place to a cheaper-appearing "Gothic," which, beside the older style,
often appears frivolous or tawdry, although its exponents may derive
some satisfaction from their claim to be "modern" and "progressive."
The façades of the streets--and the circumstance is notable especially
in the larger cities--has in some cases been vulgarized by the
erection of huge business premises or blocks, in which the utilitarian
has triumphed over the dignified and chaste.

There is less call for comment on this last-named condition in such
centres as Buenos Ayres and others, which have sprung to being in
comparatively recent times, and even Rio de Janeiro; but even here,
as in modern Rio de Janeiro, the old chaste style has been widely
reproduced and perpetuated, side by side with the "commercial" order
and the somewhat riotous stucco architecture of the plutocratic
residence.

The principal features of the Colonial style of street architecture are
the square-headed windows with their moulded architraves, and, more
elaborately, pediments, and the prominent cornices, friezes and sills.
The balcony to the upper windows, and the _rejas_ or iron grilles,
to the lower--the latter originally and indeed still a necessary
safeguard, from various causes--are the most prominent features,
together with the wide _saguan_ or principal doorway, high enough for a
mounted horseman to enter, giving access to the _patio_ or courtyard,
around which, generally open to the sky, the interior doors and windows
are disposed--a type, of course, inherited from the Moors through
Spain. The houses are built close against the street. There is no
garden or space in front, but the _patio_ is generally planted, often
beautifully so, with shrubs and flowers, often with the addition of a
fountain. Around the upper wall of the _patio_ a gallery runs, reached
by an outside staircase, giving access to the various apartments of the
first floor.

In the public buildings, and in the more elaborate private mansions,
such as the main residential streets of the capitals display, the
window-heads are frequently arched. Much effect is gained by the
method of severity in the greater part of the façade, with elaborate
carving disposed where needful. The material is generally of stone in
the older buildings, and in the newer--but with an effect that does
not deceive--the scheme is carried out in plaster or stucco, whose
appearance is sometimes too artificial. The most notable feature of
the façades of those buildings which form the sides of the plazas, or
public squares, are the _portales_ or arcades, of arches supported on
columns, a covered footpath thus being formed, with the upper stories
of the buildings thereover. This type of building is, of course, common
to Latin countries in Europe.

When we come to the church architecture of the Spanish American towns,
we enter a somewhat different field. Enormous work has been lavished
upon them. Their façades are sometimes loaded with the most ornate
carvings, exciting admiration for the beauty and dexterity of their
individual parts, but giving occasion for the criticism of being
overdone and overburdened.

The cathedrals and churches of the larger Mexican cities are things to
marvel at, in many instances. So intricate, beautiful and elaborate
is the ornamentation which has been lavished upon these and other
ecclesiastical structures, even in remote towns whose very name is
unknown to the ordinary European traveller, that words fail to describe
them, and they must be seen to be appreciated. The work was performed
mainly in the time of the viceroys.

The temples of Peru are less noteworthy, but nevertheless follow out in
some degree the same lavish style, as evidenced in the sacred edifices
of Lima and to a less extent those of Cuzco and Arequipa. If Mexico was
a "city of palaces" (as Humboldt termed it), Lima has at least claims
to be considered a city of beautiful ecclesiastical structures.

Other Spanish American capitals may also point with pride to the
beauty of their old public and consecrated buildings, and, indeed,
Spanish culture in this respect, the fervour and piety of the Romish
Church in Iberian hands, has conferred a benefit upon the New World
for which it might well be grateful. Throughout thousands of miles of
savage territory Spain caused to arise these oases of religious and
monastic culture, appreciation of which the lapse of time, rather than
diminishing, should augment.

Let us consider in some brief detail a few examples of the Colonial
mural art. In Mexico there is such lavish wealth that we must be
content with a few examples.

A building generally regarded by the Mexicans as perhaps one of the
most chaste and pleasing of their public edifices, although not one
of the oldest, is that of the former Temple of San Augustin, of which
a picture is here given. It was erected in 1692, and, after the time
of the Reform, when ecclesiasticism was dispossessed, it became, by
mandate of President Juarez, the Biblioteca Nacional, or Public Library
of the city of Mexico. The lower portion is Ionic, the upper partakes
of the Churrigueresque style, which predominated in New Spain from the
sixteenth century, replacing the severer architecture prior to that
period.

Here, amid the two hundred thousand volumes of the library, are
documents, little known and unprinted, containing valuable matter
concerning the early history of America.

In contrast with the moderately severe style of the above is the façade
of the principal entrance of the Sagrario, or Basilica Metropolitana,
intricately sculptured portals of majestic character, a network
of carved pilasters and figures, a typical work of Churriguera,
which compels the admiration of the visitor. It is built of the red
_tezontle_ stone, compact and clear-hued, adding to its ornate beauty.

The temple abuts upon the garden of the cathedral. This splendid
structure is the finest from some points of view, of its nature, in the
whole of America, north or south. Its two great towers, rising for two
hundred feet from the pavement, are landmarks far and wide throughout
the Valley of Mexico. It is four hundred feet long and two hundred
wide, in the form of a Greek cross, with two naves and three aisles and
twenty-two side chapels. The vaulted roof is supported by twenty Doric
columns, and its great candelabra of gold, silver and copper, altars,
rare paintings and other appointments, render it a notable example of
church architecture.

There are sixty massive churches in Mexico City, and as many more old
convents and monasteries, or such was their original purpose before
they were turned over to secular uses by the Reform. The domes--for
many are domed--and towers of the ancient buildings stand out finely
from the mass of the city, as beheld from the hills which surround
the valley, bearing witness to the devout, the fanatic, the love of
the beautiful which inspired Mexico under the viceroys. The cathedral
was erected to face the great Zocalo or plaza on whose site stood the
Teocalli or pyramid of the Aztec war god, a scene of bloody rites and
barbarous sacrifice, stormed by Cortes and his Spaniards and razed to
the ground.

The view here given of one of the side streets of the Mexican capital
serves to show the type of severe street architecture before described,
and affords a glimpse of the towers of the cathedral. Upon the street,
face old residences of Spanish nobles or viceroys, and one side of the
Palacio Nacional, formerly the residence of Cortes. The solid blocks
of red _tezontle_ of which they are built, so largely employed in the
Viceregal period, give a sombre aspect to this broad thoroughfare,
lightened somewhat by the white habit of the Indian porters on the
pavement.

[Illustration: STREET IN MEXICO CITY. CATHEDRAL IN DISTANCE.

  Vol. II. To face p. 264.]

A beautiful edifice, open to the public by reason of its use as
the principal hotel of the city, is the Hotel Iturbide, the former
residence of that short-lived and ill-fated emperor of Mexico. Its
interior patio, surrounded by colonnades, is typical of this class of
dwelling, and the slender column and symmetry of its arches are such as
arrest the visitors' gaze.

Yet another type of public building, remarkable in its solidity and
massive beauty, is the great Edificio de Mineria, as it is now termed,
being used as a school of engineers, an institution of which Mexico
has been justly proud. This fine building dates from the end of the
eighteenth century, when the Colonial period was expiring, and it is
typical of the severe style of the period. Tolsa, the architect of this
and some other Mexican buildings, took his inspiration from Rome and
Greece.

The wonders of Mexican Colonial architecture are not monopolized by
the capital. We may find in the remote towns examples as remarkable,
whether in the great northern towns of the plateau, whether in the
States of Oaxaca and Vera Cruz, places where the traveller might pass
many pleasing hours, but unknown to the outside world.

A feature of the architecture, or rather decorative scheme, of Spanish
American houses, which the traveller will not fail to note, is that
of the use of colour on the exterior. This, however, is not employed
on the well-built or stone structures, but mainly on those of the
plastered adobe dwellings of the lower middle and poorer classes,
although old Government palaces and public buildings often have a wash
or tint over their faces. Architraves of painted blue or red, panelling
in orange, generous rose-tints over the whole façade are to be seen,
especially in the smaller towns and the villages.

This custom of exterior house painting is, of course, from Spain and
the Moors. Whilst it may be objected to as being gaudy, nevertheless
it is often pleasing and picturesque, relieving the drab aspect
of the streets. The adobe wall is, naturally, plastered with some
material, lime or in some cases--as at Oruro--kaolin, thus presenting
a smooth surface for the colour. The colour material may be paint, or,
generally, a kind of "distemper" or wash.

The effect is an unfamiliar one to the English or North American
traveller, accustomed to the severe and colourless aspect of his own
streets, but looking along these Spanish American thoroughfares or
highways and byways of the towns--which are often the framing for a
distant picture of a far-off Cordillera, blue in the distance, or a
snow-capped peak, or a piece of tawny desert--the colour scheme is
rather an added element in the general effect.

We find this custom largely in Mexican towns, in Central America,
in Peru, Bolivia and the Cordillera generally--in brief, almost
everywhere.

[Illustration: CHAPEL OF THE ROSARIO, MEXICO.

  Vol. II. To face p. 266.]

From the towns we come naturally to the roads. Of the "philosophy of
the road" in Spanish America, I have spoken elsewhere.

It will be impressed upon us in our travels in the wild regions
of Spanish America that, however fruitful Nature may be here, we
cannot adequately enjoy these fruits until means of transport and
communication are more plentiful and easier. There are thousands of
miles of territory where the sound of the locomotive has never been
heard, where, indeed, neither road nor bypath exists. The difficulties
of railway and highway building here are often immense. The topography
of the country is against it; the geological formation, the climate
offer serious obstacles. Precipitous hills and unstable ground and
torrential rainfall render almost impossible in places either the
construction or maintenance of any form of highway.

Yet we shall doubt if the limit of human ingenuity has been reached
here, and greater inventive and mechanical genius must be brought to
bear on the problem, in new types of road and railway. The engineer is
somewhat apathetic in this connection, whether in America or Europe.

The people of Spanish America seem unable to do much for themselves in
the building of railways. No line is ever built except by British gold
and foreign engineers. They could do much more themselves, especially
as regards roads.

Will air-navigation help to solve the problem of transport in South
America? Perhaps, to a limited extent. Aeroplane services might be
of inestimable value in rendering communication possible with the
sequestered towns of the Cordillera, for example. There are vast open
spaces where landing would be easy, given the overcoming of atmospheric
difficulties. Some investigation is beginning. In Peru some study of
the possible routes among the mountains has been made. In Chile the
Andes have been crossed by an airman. Flying, although possibly its
"circus" attributes are most attractive, appeals to the temperament of
the Spanish American. But a Peruvian airman[43] strove to be the first
to cross the Alps, and gallantly perished in the attempt. Brazil also
furnished its pioneer airman.[44] Hydroplanes might be of service, as
they could alight on the rivers, in crossing the Amazon forests.

A glance now at the mining industry, so largely dependent upon means of
transport here.

It cannot be said that gold plays a predominant part in the mining of
to-day in the Latin American countries. More important is the winning
of the baser metals.

It is, in fact, somewhat remarkable that a land, fabled earlier for its
plenitude of gold, should in modern times, yield so relatively small an
output. The value of the whole gold production of the Latin American
countries scarcely reaches the annual amount of £8,000,000, which
shrinks into insignificance beside the £50,000,000 of a single group
of mines in another continent, the South African Rand. Of this, Mexico
produces three-quarters, leaving the vast continent of South America
with the small sum, as contribution to the world's stock of the yellow
metal, of some two million pounds' sterling only.

We may inquire as to the reason of this paucity, and the reply, in the
first instance undoubtedly is that, although Nature has placed gold
in the rocks and soils of Central and South America in almost every
quarter, the metal is in a form that does not always lend itself to
the winning in large bulk. The mines are rich, but often small and
scattered. There have not here been discovered the enormous bodies of
ore which, although of low grade, as in South Africa, by their very
extent and compactness, render mining economically and physically a
more profitable undertaking. Further, it may be said that, in more
recent times, mining enterprise and the attention of capital needful
for such has not been drawn so strongly to the possibilities of
gold-mining in the Latin American countries, and, lastly, political
unrest and revolution in these States has in some cases rendered it
precarious.

This last condition need not be exaggerated. It may be said that the
Governments of the Latin American Republics are, in the main, generous
in their treatment of foreign mining enterprise in their territories,
and that sporadic revolution does not necessarily seriously affect
the working of the mines, though at times it may cause temporary
inconvenience and possible loss. The foreign shareholders of the few
considerable gold mines of South America, and even of Mexico, have
in general reaped excellent returns on their investments. Conditions
in Mexico, however, of late have been intolerable in some cases, with
confiscation and even murder attending them.

We have remarked the need of a greater population in the Latin American
States, and the Governments of these in most cases strive to obtain
settlers and workers from Europe, offering often what appear to be
attractive conditions for immigrants. In Argentina the modern life of
the Republic has in large part been built upon this element, largely
of Italians, and the national character stands somewhat apart from the
other States from this reason. Brazil has also absorbed many immigrants
of the Latin race from the Old World, and the Germans here, and in
Chile, have formed important communities.

But much remains to be done in this respect. It is seen that a good
deal of the immigrant population in Argentina and Brazil remains as
a floating or unsettled element. Much of it does not go out upon
the land, but congregates in poverty in the cities--a defect of all
immigrant systems, even in the British Dominions. In Argentina and
Brazil immigrants often cannot obtain land, although the Governments
are seeking to modify the conditions of vast estate holding and the
rural proletariat.

It may be that the stream of emigrating humanity from Europe will not
flow so freely in the future, in view of altering conditions on the
older continent. Of late, too, the larger South American States are
inclining towards the restriction of immigration.

The opportunities for settlement, for taking up land and establishing
industry and reaping reward and profit in Spanish America are, or
rather might be, attractive. They might be, in some respects, more
attractive than those offered by Britain's colonies, for reasons which
I will give.

Why are these opportunities not taken? Here are enormous areas of
territory full of natural resources, with, in some cases, a mere
handful of folk to the square mile. Here are natural pastures for
cattle, lands which will produce fruits and foods of every kind--figs,
grapes and oranges, cotton, coffee, cocoa, corn and wine and olives.
Not a variety of fruit, not a cereal, not a single article of need for
the comfort and use of the settler is there that could not be produced.
Here are minerals of every kind known to commerce--gold, silver,
copper, lead and iron, and all the non-metallic minerals--to be had for
the working.

But above all, there are innumerable small centres of population, of
quiet and docile folk, hungering for the presence of intelligent and
enterprising settlers who would look kindly upon them, who would foster
their local life, increase the productivity of the neighbourhood, take
part in their civic and economic advancement. Nowhere in the world is
there such desire for these things, nowhere is there such opportunity
for the settler for benefiting both himself and the folk around him as
is to be found in the innumerable little villages and towns of Spanish
America hidden away in Cordillera, plain, valley and woodland. There
are literally myriads of such localities scattered over the face of the
Latin American world, and I could give many instances from personal
experience.

The well-meaning foreigner in such places, with some small capital,
becomes one of the most esteemed and predominant personages of the
locality. He could acquire and profit by flocks, herds, plantations,
mines. There is plenty of labour, among the Indian and other folk, to
be obtained--labour, that is, in small local undertakings, not for
over-greedy or absorbent joint-stock operations--under the relation
of master and servant. Here is an opportunity, then, for those good
English and other folk who complain so hardly of heavy taxation and
other burdens of life! Any degree of climate may be chosen, from heat
to cold, including the "region of perpetual spring," of which we have
spoken elsewhere.

It is not intended here to advocate settlement in Spanish America as
against the British colonies. The field is scarcely suitable for the
settler who has to depend upon his own labour, without capital. He
could not possibly compete with the native. The difference is, that
here are innumerable old-established centres of population, centres
of civic life, and not, as in Canada or Australia, vast areas of
unsettled territory where the lonely colonist is remote from social
amenities. Moreover, with every desire to people the British Empire
with settlers from Britain, it is also to be recollected that British
settlers in Spanish America increase the prestige--and incidentally the
trade--of Britain in those lands--matters which should be encouraged.
In Mexico, in better times, there was something about the atmosphere
and environment that very strongly attracted the American settler, and
large numbers of people from the United States established themselves
in the country--conditions which unfortunately do not now exist.

In this connection we might ask ourselves a serious question as regards
Mexico. Have we, the more advanced nations of the world, who mainly
by reason of climate and geography have been blessed with a different
temperament, made any particular effort to help that country, or
tried to influence its people? We have invested our money there, with
the hope of dividends. We have maintained our more or less starchy
diplomatic representatives. We have issued Foreign Office Reports
abounding in figures and pointing out the ways of trade and the
resources of the land. But have we tried to influence the country to a
better life?

It may be replied that we could not readily do so, that one country
cannot mix itself up in the affairs of another. But that is not a
sufficient answer. We have been content to take profits from railways
and mines, but among the rude and picturesque hordes of Mexican miners,
an impressionable and really industrious folk, there might have been
some good element at work maintained by a little of the gold we won
from them. Is the mine manager or the book-keeper, busied necessarily
on the technical details of his post, the only agent we might have kept
there?

The same reflection may be made as regards the other Latin American
States, with a word of warning to directors and shareholders. The
native miners are a hardy and often turbulent race. If they were
not hardy they would not be miners, and if they were not headstrong
they would not be likely to undertake the onerous and dangerous
livelihood of the mines. These folk are, as regards "labour" ideas,
mostly ignorant and unorganized at present. Directly they learn their
power, and directly some greater amount of education filters in among
them--accompanied, as is ever the case, by socialistic or even anarchic
ideas--they will begin to demand their "rights." (The nitrate-workers
in Chile, for example). Such ideas might spread very rapidly among
these impressionable folk, and they would be likely to stop at nothing
once the spark of disorder were kindled, even to Bolshevism of the
brown race. Let us be wise in time and study the methods, before too
late, by which their lot may be improved and their intelligence better
directed under a wider spirit of economic instruction and justice. We
may not like to face these eventualities, but that will not influence
the march of events.

The same holds good with every form of foreign investment in Latin
America--railways, plantations and all else. So I would venture to
say, if we expect always to draw dividends from our investments in
Spanish America, let us wisely have more regard to the social and
economic status of the worker. How, practically, that is to be done is
a question of our own intelligence. Perhaps some advisory body might be
instituted in London, financed by the large British interests in Latin
America, such as would devote itself to the study of the conditions of
life surrounding the workers in those lands, or at least as regards
their own employees. I offer this suggestion on behalf of the poorer
folk of these lands. They generally look to the "Ingles" as a person of
influence--one, moreover, whose pockets are always, they imagine, lined
with silver! In their way these folk believe that _noblesse oblige_
(in their own term for that concept) is a universal axiom of the
Englishman, and there is something almost pathetic in this faith in a
foreigner. Let us beware that by negligence or greed we do not forfeit
this esteem. I offer the suggestion also as a contributory safeguard to
British investment here.

Apart from the attitude of the individual worker in these communities
in relation to foreign capital, we shall be well advised to keep in
touch with the attitude not only of the workers as a whole but of
the Governments which control national affairs. Of late there have
been certain indications that a policy of antagonism towards foreign
capital and enterprises is growing up. It has been very marked in
Mexico, but in Argentina, a much more advanced community, and in
the Brazilian States it is at times disquieting. It is not so much
antagonism, however, as a feeling of dissatisfaction that the earnings
from national or public works should go to foreign shareholders. The
Argentine railways of late years have felt a good deal this disturbing
element; as also the burden of numerous strikes. British capital was
the pioneer in building railways in the republic, and has conferred
enormous benefit upon it. More than 15,000 miles of line are owned by
British companies, or three times as much as the remaining mileage,
which is French and national mainly. Whilst these railways are, it
is generally conceded, worked and controlled as economically and
efficiently as ever, it cannot be said that they are undertakings so
profitable as should cause envious eyes to be cast upon them. For the
past few years the average net return of these British-owned railways
in Argentina has not exceeded the modest amount of three and a half
per cent. This is a low return, especially for Argentina, where two or
three times the yield is obtained on ordinary safe mortgages on houses
and land. The British-owned banks in South America may yield twenty per
cent. profit. Yet voices arise in the land, asking why the transport
of the country should be conducted for the interests of foreign
shareholders, and begin to demand a larger share. A cry of this kind
soon becomes general, and when a government has come into power on
the strength of popular promises--and to obtain votes and power this
condition arises now in South America, as in all other lands--it has
to attempt to carry out its promises, and the line of least resistance
here is sometimes the foreign corporation. There is one simple remedy
which discontented governments and folk here could apply--in purchasing
for themselves the shares of the railway companies in the open market,
but it does not appear that this legitimate operation is much indulged
in.

With regard to the native labour, it is to be recollected that there
are few (or no) laws to safeguard it from exploitation by the employer.
It is only just beginning to learn how to combine in its own interest.
As I have shown in these pages, it is in many instances and throughout
the whole region often over-exploited. The upper-class employer, the
Spanish American, does not lack kindliness and charity, but it is
contrary to his custom and outlook to think much of the labourer. The
Spaniard and the Portuguese have been oppressive in this connexion
throughout history.

Strikes in Argentina and Uruguay have of late become very bitter in
character, and bloodshed generally occurs. Trains have been derailed
and passengers and drivers fired upon. It is to be recollected that
labour is not necessarily all of the native stock, but is supplemented
by the flow from turbulent Spanish and Italian sources. The poor
Iberian or Calabrian comes over with a sense of wrong against society,
which in his own lands he often has good reason to nourish, and
which he cannot throw aside on this new soil as readily as he may
the picturesque native costume of his fatherland. In this respect we
might indeed say--_Coelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt_.
The great estuary of the River Plate receives in its haven many a
discontented emigrant, many an agitator from the Latin lands of Europe,
whose social defects, national and individual, by a curious combination
of circumstance, many an English home--holder of shares in Argentine
and Brazilian railways--is, in a sense, called upon to expiate!

There can be little doubt, moreover, that the reins of power in certain
South American States tend to fall more and more into the hands of
politicians of a very democratic type--not to say socialistic--and as
the education of the "proletariat" increases this element is likely
to increase. The Cabinet formed of "doctors," of the upper and select
strata of society, men of distinguished type--but often out of touch
and indeed sympathy with the masses of their poorer countrymen--and of
military men, also of the upper strata, is likely to be more and more
diluted with the ruder element who bears, sincerely or for political
purposes, the social wrongs of his constituents as his creed. In brief,
we may expect to see in Latin America a wave of that unrest which
now has submerged Russia, perhaps Germany, and which in some degree
threatens every land. Let us hope that, before it is too late, the
channels of human intelligence will flow with a true spirit of humanity
and the milk of human kindness and order. But the general world-outlook
is not encouraging, and no doubt there is yet to be bitter experience
in these lands of Cancer and Capricorn, of Central and South America,
in the development of their social affairs.

The relations of foreigners with the Latin American people opens a wide
field of discussion, upon which we may lightly touch.

The social culture of these communities in the past has been most
greatly influenced by French ideas, and France is still the ideal
nation. It may be that France, by reason of her apostasy and her
expulsion of the religious orders from her shores in recent time, has
lost prestige however.

The relations of the Americans of the United States with the people
of Latin America present a number of interesting conditions and
problems. The two types of people and their civilizations differ from
each other in every respect, yet, neighbours on the same continent and
twin-continent, they are and in the future will be more and more thrown
into contact with each other. The situation is such as that which would
arise if England and Spain or England and France found themselves with
a common frontier, that of only a small river, or the imaginary one
of a parallel of latitude between them. This is exemplified on the
Mexico-United States border, where the two races, the Spanish American
and the Anglo-Saxon American--if that term may be correctly applied
to the people of the United States--come into contact but do not
assimilate.

The first problem is one of nomenclature. The people of the United
States have arrogated to themselves the name of "Americans," although,
of course, this belongs equally to all inhabitants of the New World.
The Latin Americans do not necessarily agree with the pretension, and
have among themselves applied the term _Norteamericanos_ to their
northern neighbours--that is, "North Americans." This alternates with
the term _Yanquis_, the hispanicized form of the soubriquet "Yankee,"
of doubtful origin; not, however, necessarily used in a derogatory
fashion, but familiarly. The word _gringo_ is also a common term
applied to the Americans; not, however, to them alone, but to any
foreigner not of Latin race. The origin of this term is obscure, and it
cannot be said to be a flattering designation. The word is often meant,
however, as describing a person whose hair and eyes are not dark,
contrasting thus with the general type of the Latin American. Blue eyes
and blonde hair are essentially _gringo_.

The Americans of the United States, as has often been pointed out,
are a people without a distinctive or appropriate race name. The
Canadian, the Mexican, the Brazilian, the Peruvian and all other
units of America have their own designation. So far no term for the
American has developed, and convenience warrants the usage of that
they have adopted, which is as if a single nation of Europe were to
take to itself the name European. To the American aborigine, whether
in the Northern or Southern continent, ethnologists have applied the
term _Amerind_, a contraction of "American Indian," and the word seems
to have been adopted, at least as a technical term. (No one, however,
has applied the name "Amersaxon" to the people of the United States,
although it would be equally correct.)

The relation between the two races, or rather the common possession of
the New World by them, has given rise to that peculiar and well-known
policy or system known as the Monroe Doctrine. Washington recommended
the policy that the United States should refrain from entangling
itself in the politics of Europe. The converse, that Europe should be
prevented from meddling in American affairs, grew as the importance
of the United States increased, and was enunciated--after a hint from
Canning--by President Monroe, in a message to Congress in 1823, at the
time of the "Holy Alliance" of European Powers, which it was feared
would attempt to restore the dominion of Spain to the Spanish American
colonies, which had asserted their independence. "We should consider
any attempt on their part (the European Powers) to extend their system
to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and
safety. With the existing colonies of any European Power we have not
interfered and shall not interfere. But with the Governments who have
declared their independence we could not view any interposition for the
purpose of oppressing them or controlling their destiny by any European
Power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly
disposition towards the United States." So ran the decree.

The Latin American States, whilst probably not ungrateful for the
Doctrine in general, resent any assertion of hegemony upon the part
of the United States. They do not regard themselves as in any way
inferior thereto, except as concerns the material development of the
more mechanical arts of civilization. Their own social culture, the
traditions of the _caballero_, or gentleman, they consider as superior,
and if truth must be told, it is so in some respects. The people of
the United States--and Canada--have preferred the less-polished and
more practical outlook and social port; the Spanish American the more
reserved and ceremonious. Indeed, the southern folk often regard the
northerner as uncultured. There is no doubt that the two races have a
good deal to learn from each other, the southerner in the practical
things of life, the northerner in social amenities, and each could well
absorb some of the virtues of the other.

Until very recent times there was a disposition on the part of the
Spanish American people to imagine the northerner as disposed to
overrun them, and there was an element in the United States which
undoubtedly had such purpose before it. But probably this is past,
and the idea that the Monroe Doctrine of "America for the Americans"
meant in reality "America for the North Americans," may die out. The
judicious and generous attitude of the United States in Cuba after
the war between the United States and Spain has been put against the
methods employed, for example, in the case of Panama and the Canal.
Mexico, however, remains a difficult question, upon whose future
relations with her neighbour it would be impossible to dogmatize. The
United States at the present time are in the heyday of their commercial
life, and would appear to be resolved to conquer the Latin American
countries commercially. This may or may not lead to strife in the
future. We shall not forget that the Great War was, in large degree,
the outcome of the modern phase of commercial jealousy, and what
developments the future holds we cannot foresee.

We ought not to close our survey of the Latin American nations without
at least briefly recording their attitude in the Great War, in the
question of right against might, of civilization against German
savagery. Far out of the beaten track of European (and North American)
affairs as are these growing nations, their history in this connexion
might readily be forgotten, and its importance overlooked.

It was not unnatural perhaps that the Latin American Republics should
have been tardy in entering into the war, in view of the attitude
of the senior Republic of the Western Hemisphere--the United
States--which hung so long in the balance. It did not at all follow
that they would imitate that country. In some respects they might do
so; in others they did not necessarily regard their cousin of the north
with entire confidence. However, they were greatly influenced thereby.

The earlier attitude of the United States towards the war must ever
remain a source of wonder to the historian, accompanied by regret. It
was largely, if not principally, the result of the attitude of their
President, Dr. Woodrow Wilson. It will be recollected that the United
States did not enter the war against the German barbarians until April,
1917--that is, over two and a half years after the outbreak of the
war. That was the period necessary for the Republic to overcome its
own suspicion of Europe, and especially England; to overcome its own
self-interest, to awaken to the truth; and this notwithstanding all the
horrors that had been visited upon Belgium. Long after these dreadful
occurrences had sunk into the mind of the Allies, who, originally
unprepared for war, were fighting for their life in support of humanity
against the huge organized army which Germany had for decades been
building up to carry out her ambitions, the American President could
send out his extraordinary Note to all the belligerents (December,
1916) stating that in his view "the objects on both sides appeared to
be the same." In plain words, the respective merits of the combatants
were as good or bad as each other! In this view, however, to the
credit of the United States, it should be said that a large body of
Americans had a much clearer moral perception of the issues at stake
than their leader, and among them was the vigorous ex-President, Mr.
Roosevelt. But it required a direct blow in the face for the United
States before the President could shake off his pacifist attitude, and
actual injury to American property and life; and this incentive was
furnished by the German submarine activity and the sinking of American
ships. The United States' interposition in the war had not been asked
for by England and the Allies at first, but it had become evident
long before that the Republic should have ranged itself on the side
of law, order, and humanity; and America lost an opportunity, which
may never recur, of asserting her moral influence in the world--a
loss which, it may be said, is hers as much as that of Europe. The
American interposition was of great value when it did come, but the
bulk of the work had been done. America was almost too late to save her
prestige and to take efficient part in this great adventure. When the
Americans did enter they displayed great energy and valour, and it must
also be recollected that the part the United States had played in the
supply of munitions of war, foodstuffs, credit and so forth had been
of the utmost value, and there was more in this than a mere business
transaction.

The Latin American States did not necessarily hasten to follow
President Wilson's implied suggestion of February, 1917, on severing
diplomatic relations with Germany, that the remaining neutral
States should follow suit, which no doubt was largely aimed at the
southern republics. There were various reasons against it. Many of
these thought their own interests would best be served by remaining
neutral; some were afraid of Germany--it was not unnatural. Some were
angered with France, for reasons later discussed; some were--at least
clerically--pro-German. On the whole, however, it must be recorded
that Latin American sympathy as a whole was, and had been from the
beginning, on the side of the Allies. It would indeed have augured ill
for their moral perception if the reverse had been the case, and would
have seriously injured them in the eyes of historians.

Of these twenty independent Latin American States, eight actually
entered the war, on the side of the Allies and the United States. They
were (in alphabetical order) Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala,
Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Five broke off relations with
Germany but did not declare war. They were Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, San
Domingo (the Dominican Republic) and Uruguay. Peru and Uruguay were
practically belligerents, by their various acts against Germany, but
Germany did not appear so to regard them. However, both these republics
were invited to the Peace Conference, and signed the Peace Treaty.
Seven republics remained neutral. They were Argentina, Chile, Colombia,
Mexico, Paraguay, Salvador and Venezuela.

Putting the area of Latin America at nine million square miles and the
population at ninety millions (of both these items various estimates
are given), it may be said that six million square miles and fifty
million people were at least non-neutral.

However, such figures must be taken for what they were worth. Only
Brazil and Cuba took any active part. Argentina and Chile, the two most
important and powerful States after Brazil, carefully preserved their
neutral attitude. (It will be recollected that the group of the three
greatest Powers of Latin America, which have been termed the "A B C"
Powers, are Argentina, Brazil and Chile.) Mexico, the second largest
State of Latin America in point of population, was also neutral, and
at one time appeared to be strongly pro-German--an attitude which was
partly instrumental in influencing the United States to take up arms.

It must always be recollected, again, that the official attitude of
these States--as in the case of the United States also, before it
took part--did not necessarily represent that of the majority of the
intelligent classes.

The actual entry of Brazil did not come until October, 1917; that of
Cuba came simultaneously with that of the United States. Peru broke
off relations with Germany in October; Ecuador in December; Bolivia in
February (with the United States); Uruguay in October; Panama at the
same period; Guatemala in April; Honduras and Nicaragua in May; Costa
Rica in September; Haiti and San Domingo in July.

We may cast a glance at the various influences at work in the
respective attitudes of these States towards the war.

Some of the States regarded with alarm the possibilities of a German
victory as such would concern themselves. They had not forgotten that
their independence was largely a result of the European outburst that
followed the French Revolution, nor yet the designs of Napoleon on
the Spanish American colonies and Brazil, which England had helped to
thwart, and those of Spain and the Holy Alliance after Independence,
which, again, England and the United States had frustrated. They knew
Germany but for the Monroe Doctrine--an Anglo-American creation--would
long ago have striven to help herself to South American territory.
On the other hand, German propaganda had been especially active and
sinister among them during the war--business men and professors--and
the Germans had strong influence there. Also Spanish and other clerical
influences were at work among them, often representing France as the
great atheist nation, due to her anti-Church legislation and apostasy,
and--for example in Chile--it was even said that Germany was the chosen
instrument of heaven to punish France on this account. Further, there
was always the smouldering distrust of the "Colossus of the North,"
the _Norteamericanos_ of the United States, which it was often thought
desired to exercise an undue hegemony over Latin America. Colombia
retained an animus against the United States as a result of the Panama
affair.

The most active spirit in Brazil on the side of the right was the
eminent Brazilian statesman, Ruy Barbosa, and it was soon seen where
the sympathies of Brazil lay. Submarine outrages on her merchant
marine and other motives brought forth pronouncements against the
German assassins, and the seizure of the large German vessels in
Brazilian ports followed, and both public and official opinion led to
the rupture. The Brazilian Navy co-operated with that of the Allies,
and Brazil even sent forces to the Western front, and the republic
assisted with supplies. As for Argentina, the war brought her enormous
prosperity as a neutral, but here the neutrality was far more official
than popular, and was largely motivated by the President. An episode
in Argentina was in the famous _Spurlos Versenkt_ Notes of the
unspeakable Luxburg, the German Chargé d'Affaires in the republic,
of May and July, 1917. "As regards Argentine steamers," he wrote to
his Government--through the medium of the Swedish Minister at Buenos
Ayres, be it noted!--"I recommend either compelling them to turn back,
letting them through, _or sinking them without trace_." This devilishly
cynical pronouncement goes down to history with that of the infamous
German "scrap of paper" argument. Argentine neutral citizens were to
be murdered in cold blood for German ends! The Minister received his
passports, the German club in Buenos Ayres was burnt by the mob, and
there was a popular demand for a break with Germany; and the Senate
passed resolutions. But it ended in nothing. It has been said that
President Irrigoyen's extraordinary attitude in opposing the popular
mind was due to pro-German feeling--which, however, was denied; to
his aversion from merely following in the wake of the United States;
and from a desire to preserve Argentina from war in order that his
deep-seated plans of social and economic reform might not be disturbed.
Be it as it may, Argentina lost her chance.

With regard to Chile, neutrality also was profitable, in the enormous
demand for her nitrates. German influence was very strong in the
country, both in matters military and educational; and the clerical
attribute--the Church is powerful in Chile--was also a factor, as
before remarked. But a large element viewed Germany with detestation,
and the republic "reserved its right to act in the event of hostility
against her vessels." However, Chile also lost her opportunity.

It is to be noted that it was the submarine policy of Germany in the
direct attack upon vessels which was the determining factor in all
these principal republics, from the United States downward.

The attitude of Uruguay was always pro-Ally. The Government of that
country issued a noteworthy decree in defining its position: that "no
American country, which, in defence of its own rights, should find
itself in a state of war with nations of other continents will be
treated as a belligerent." It may be said in general terms that the
attitude of all these States proclaimed the principle of "American
solidarity," or Pan-Americanism.

The considerable element of British whose homes or occupations are in
Latin America followed the varying fortunes of the war with eagerness,
for the name and fame of England is dear to these exiled sons. Their
hearts were broken with the Tarapacá disaster to the British squadron,
but resuscitated by the great victory of the Falkland Isles. It must
not be forgotten that they, in considerable number, left their homes
and occupations and came to England as volunteers early in the war.
They were not grouped together as a separate force, being of so
scattered an origin. But the King approved a special badge for them,
and England should be grateful for their noble effort--we trust she was
and is!

The effect of the war upon the Latin American States--whilst it cut
off supplies at first of European manufactured goods and disorganized
exchange and currency--was to cause an enormous demand for their raw
materials, with corresponding increase of wealth. Even the first-named
condition was a benefit in disguise, causing a development of home
manufacture.

German trade in South America, for the time being, was ruined--a severe
blow--a result of the British blockade. British and French trade of
course suffered temporarily. The trade of the United States, on the
other hand, increased: American goods replaced European, and it seemed
at one time that the change might be permanent; but it was found that
their goods were inferior, or at any rate less acceptable, than those
of the older exporters. However, new horizons--trade, banking and so
forth--opened in Latin America for the United States.

It cannot be said that the two American peoples know very much of
each other. The aloofness is partly from geographical, partly from
racial causes. Enormous distances separate their respective principal
centres of life. New York and the city of Mexico, for example, are
several thousand miles apart, although linked by more than one railway
system. Huge deserts intervene, those dreadful wildernesses of Northern
Mexico, on whose existence, indeed, an early president of Mexico,
who distrusted the northern neighbour, was wont to congratulate his
country, summing up the sentiment in his aphorism of "Between weakness
and strength--the Desert!" As for communication by sea, it may be
recollected that Europe is more accessible to, for example, Brazil and
Argentina, than is New York. On the Pacific side of the continent the
greater part of a hemisphere intervenes between the large centres of
population of North and South America. From San Francisco, or other
great seaports, to Callao and Valparaiso the steamer voyage occupies
far more time than is necessary to cross the Atlantic. The people
of Peru and Chile or Ecuador, and the people of California or Oregon
are little more than names to each other, inhabitants of another
world. Great stretches of undeveloped territory intervene, and through
communication by rail has not yet been established, as the Pan-American
Railway remains still on the lap of the future.

Among those nations which in the future may be reckoned upon as likely
to display a desire for closer relations with Spanish America are
the Chinese and the Japanese. The Mongolians seem to have--as before
remarked--some affinity with the American Indian race, possibly by
reason of some very ancient kinship or common ancestry, for it is
held by ethnologists that America may have been very early peopled by
Mongolians. In Peru, for example, the Chinaman readily establishes
himself in business in the smaller villages (and often surrounds
himself with several wives or female companions from among the Indian
women). The Japanese have long cast eyes upon the upper reaches of
the Amazon basin, or Montaña, of Peru and Brazil, for purposes of
settlement and industry, and of late a company from Nippon has acquired
a large tract of land there, with such an object. These folk are not
unwelcome, or not so far, by the South Americans, who are desirous of
seeing these vast and sparsely inhabited regions brought to life.

This possibility of a modern Mongolian "invasion" into the heart of
South America is one which may take on greater importance in the
future.

In general terms, however, it must be recollected that the Pacific
Ocean is vast and wide. There is, nevertheless, a school of thought
arising of late which affects to believe that the Pacific Ocean is
destined to become the centre of the world's commercial activity.
As this centre changed, they say, from the Mediterranean to the
Atlantic, so will it change from the Atlantic to the Pacific. They
regard the "basin" of the Pacific as a sort of entity, and look for
enormous developments in this respect, of fleets bearing travellers and
merchandise, of great interchange of products and so forth.

Whilst this view may be well-founded, I venture to think that certain
natural factors have not been sufficiently taken into account. There
is, first, the condition of enormous width from the Asiatic to the
American shore; second, it is not sufficiently understood that this
American shore, whether in North or South America, is in the nature
of a narrow strip of land greatly cut off from the interior of the
continents by vast mountain ranges and deserts. In North America the
Sierra Nevadas and the Great American Desert have to be crossed between
California and the eastern and central part of the United States, and
the Rocky Mountains in Oregon and British Columbia, whilst in Mexico
the Western Sierra Madre offers a similar obstacle. In South America,
as we have seen, the Andes is a perfect mountain wall, cutting off
the interior absolutely from the narrow and comparatively infertile
Pacific littoral. The natural outlet of the vast area of South America
is to the east; it falls to the Atlantic, not to the Pacific. Where,
then, are the people and the products that would give rise to so great
a movement upon the Pacific Ocean?

Lastly, I am inclined to doubt (although I may be in error) whether the
future of the world is to show a vast increase in overseas trade and
trafficking such as would change its centre of gravity in this respect.
There are factors against such--as have been discussed in the chapter
dealing with trade; factors of the natural development of self-supply,
as against import of commodities, factors of the huge and increasing
cost of transport, scarcity of fuel and so forth. Moreover, what does
Asia want from America, or America from Asia? Both continents produce
the things of the temperate and the tropic zones; both are capable of
manufacturing the finished goods which they require.

Taking all these matters into consideration, it may be doubted if the
Pacific Ocean is to attain to the great importance which some have
imagined for it, although doubtless its traffic will increase.

A glance now towards the future of these great lands beneath the
Southern American sun, and our task will be done. What is to be their
future; what part are they to play in the great scene-shifting of the
developing world?

First we shall have remarked that the Latin American people are
material in the making. They are not a worn-out race; they are, rather,
unformed, plastic, with their life before them. Second, they inhabit
perhaps the richest portion of the surface of the globe, which, so
far from being exhausted, has not been heavily drawn upon in some
respects. It is true that coal, that adjunct of the civilization of the
industrial age, is not plentiful (except in certain districts). But the
future may not be so largely dependent upon this mineral. Possibly,
moreover, Nature had a purpose in the absence of coal, ordaining that
at least one of the world's continents should not undergo the terrors
of the factory age!

Let us turn now to certain more general conditions.

The growth of the Latin American republics might seem to offer a future
for the growth and even regeneration (and some writers have said the
predominance again) of the Latin races in the world generally. Here,
at least, is an enormous territory, some of the richest and most
fertile on the globe, at present but thinly inhabited. By the close of
the present century it might be that South America would contain 250
million people. A century ago there were but 15 millions. Of course
the enormous growth of the population in Europe and the United States
has been a result of the machine, or industrial age--by no means an
unmixed good. This has depended upon the resources of coal, iron and
so forth in their soils, and statistics and forecasts show that these
resources, under the present system of depletion and waste, especially
in England and the United States, will tend to exhaustion in a few
generations. Whether that will lead to a corresponding decline in
population remains to be seen, but in this and other respects it may
be said that coming events cast their shadows before. Probably the
greatest reproach that can be placed upon Anglo-Saxon life to-day is
that we are drawing heavily upon the exhaustible resources of the earth
without establishing the basis of a permanent or adequate civilization.

It should be urged that the time has come when we should take a more
comprehensive, judicious and constructive outlook upon the world--its
natural resources and its folk. We are inclined to think that Nature's
resources, because partly unexplored here and there, are "exhaustless."
The Spanish American people are fond of speaking of their _inagotable
riqueza natural_--their "inexhaustible natural resources"; but these
are not inexhaustible, as I have elsewhere remarked. We need a survey,
a stocktaking, of the earth's resources; we need to conserve, to
economize them. It is a remarkable fact, however, that the latest
pronouncement of the League of Nations contains no idea or suggestion
of a fundamental policy of retrenchment, conservation, development of
these potentialities. The pronouncement, which seems to be largely an
echo of President Wilson's original "Fourteen Points"--which doubtless
had among them certain merits at the time of their enunciation--does
not get beyond advocating "increased production," the "entire removal
of all economic barriers," in this respect. In brief, it is the old
dreary doctrine, largely, of creating and selling, of forcing goods
on communities and folk who do not necessarily need them, without any
scientific outlook upon the native potentialities and requirements,
or the world's natural divisions--a dreadful "internationalism"
which we hoped was declining. The League of Nations, as regards its
economic knowledge and spirit, is a magnificent opportunity wasted, or
will be so unless it develops into something far more fundamentally
intelligent. This matter of outlook by so important a body is of
vital importance to the Latin American States, as to all others.
The exploitation of the great remaining natural resources of these
countries--as is the case with many others--cannot be successfully
done under the present relations of labour and capital. Capital must
have its fair reward, labour must be fairly paid; but the two things
at present clash, and we shall have to find the way out before the
enormous, but not fruitless, wilderness of South America and Mexico
can yield up what they contain. The cream of the earth's resources has
been skimmed everywhere; the remainder calls for much more scientific
consideration.

Indeed, it is impossible to forecast what the future of the
world--which has been shaken to its foundations by recent events--is
to be. Civilization may advance or it might recede, or hang fire for
centuries. That depends upon the efforts and the conscience of mankind.
It may be that a quieter, less strenuous life awaits it, with less of
material activity and more of moral and intellectual growth. In fact,
some of us who have studied the world in its economic and political
aspects, will doubt if the present type of civilization has not reached
its apogee and is to enter on some other phase, a phase which we
believe and hope is to be of the nature indicated.

If that be so, there is no reason why the Latin American States should
not acquire growing importance. The character of their more thoughtful
and educated classes is towards such a life, whilst the resources of
Nature they command could afford them everything needful for their
existence. The Spanish American lands have been dowered with every
variety of climate and product, and by going up or down their valleys
their folk can gather every known food-product or thing of the animal,
vegetable and mineral world.

As to their character for national turbulence, it has been shown in
these pages that such disturbing influences are but the activities of a
relatively small class. Their ideals are high, their aim is towards a
high civilization. Some of the nations of the Old World that considered
themselves foremost in civilization--such as Germany and Austria--have
shown by their actions that they can fall lower in barbarity than any
of the most backward nations. Moreover, all nations are restless, all
their cultures are in the melting-pot, all are at fault. There must be
regeneration and reconstruction everywhere.

The future of the world will be in the exercise of true spiritual
factors, interwoven with or influencing what I have, elsewhere,
ventured to term ethical-economic constructive principles.[45] From a
wise consideration of these, there must emerge a "science of corporate
life," or science of humanity, which will learn to build up the true
"economic structure" of society, in conjunction with its intellectual
and spiritual activities--a constructive human geography, which will
aim at the true and final reaction of mankind from its environment.
Elemental forces are at work, for good or ill, at the present time,
and elemental forces must be met by fundamental principles. One nation
to-day is almost as far from such a philosophy as another, although
to-morrow might see the turning of a page which should disclose its
beginnings. In this evolving book of life the Latin American Republics
have their opportunity, as far as the possible exercise of principle
goes, with all other nations.

The problem for these nations is to bring on their own culture,
avoiding, if possible, the errors of Europe and the United States: that
is, avoiding the factors of industrial unrest and economic waste that
have accompanied progress. They could profit by example and experience
gained by these other lands: to bring on the education and economic
uplifting of the backward masses of their people, not by crowding
them into factories or refusing them a living wage, not by drawing so
heavily on their fruitful soils as to begin to exhaust these, but by
methods more in accordance with those principles which alone can ensure
permanence and nobility.

We have seen that the Latin American nations have been dowered by
Providence with everything that could make a people prosperous and
contented, if wisely disposed. In some respects their circumstances
are superior to those of Europe and Asia. They have no over-powerful
or rapacious neighbours, no chasms of race or religion to divide them,
no insensate trade rivalries--things such as in the Old World have
wrought such havoc with mankind. To the traveller who has sojourned in
these lands it will always remain a matter of interest to see how their
lives develop, what fortune or vicissitudes befall them. Under any
circumstances, they offer a field of abiding interest--scenic, natural,
antiquarian--and their folk are likely ever to retain the traits which
attract us. Commerce and business will doubtless grow and expand
between them and the Old World, or their neighbours of the United
States, with corresponding benefits, but there are many features of the
region which fortunately will never fall under the domain of business.
One thing, again, which humanity needs is more intercourse, and Latin
America is too remote from us. Books are useful, but there should be a
greater interflow of people. Unfortunately, it is a feature of life now
that travel becomes more rather than less expensive, and we do not know
what the future may hold for or against the traveller in this connexion.

This circumstance, also, is one of those which await the more logical
outlook and constructive ability of mankind, concerning the things by
which we live and move and have our being.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such, then, is the romance, reality and future of these interesting
lands of the Spanish American world, as far as it has been possible to
depict them in these pages.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[43] Chaves.

[44] Santos-Dumont.

[45] _Can We Set the World in Order: a Science of Corporate Life_
(London, 1916). Also _The Tropics: their Resources, People and Future_
(Grant Richards, Ltd.).



INDEX


  Abattoirs, 165

  "ABC" Powers, 288

  Acré, 96, 106

  Aeroplanes, 267

  Alcohol, 208, _see_ Rum

  Alligators and crocodiles, 34, 40, 48, 87, 162, 213

  Aluminium, 54

  Amazon, 26, 51, 74-110, 208

  "Amazons" 82

  Amenities, civic, 257

  Americans, 237, 273, 275, 284

  Amerigo Vespucci, 30, 113

  Andes, 20, 34, 74

  Architecture, Colonial, 259, 261

  Argentina, 158, 202, 235, 276

  Artigas, 168, 199

  Asuncion, 160, 162, 211, 216

  Aviation, 267

  Ayacucho, 174


  Balata, 64

  Bananas, 19, _see_ Fruits

  Baranquilla, 14

  Barbosa Ruy, 289

  _Beagle_, 233

  Belem, 105

  Bello Horizonte, 122

  Beni, 95

  Beresford, General, 202

  Birds, 35, 44-8, 71, 87, 162

  Blow-pipe, 71

  Bogota, 14

  Bolivar, 13, 29

  Bolshevism, 274

  Borburema, 117

  Brazil, 106, 111-57, 276

  Brazil nuts, 85

  British, 17, 19, 33, 54, 156, 237, 273

  British Guiana, 56

  British Legion, 17, 285

  Buenos Ayres, 161, 165, 202, 209

  Butterflies, 49


  Cabot, 160

  Cali, 22

  California, 208, 280

  _Campo_, the, 178, 185

  Canoes, 36, 59, 93

  Caracas, 27

  Caribbean, 11-50

  Cartagena, 11

  Carthage, 12

  Casiquiare, 26, 36, 51

  Castro, President, 40, 52

  Cattle, 24, 37, 107, 155, 195, 205, 220

  Cauca Valley, 20, 22

  Cayenne, 57, 60

  Ceará, 105

  Chaco, the, 162, 207, 213, 216

  Chaves, airman, 268

  Chibchas, 18

  Chicago, 165

  Chile, 133, 274

  Chimborazo, 76

  Chinese, 65, 68, 280

  Chocolate, _see_ Cocoa

  Church, the, 108

  Church architecture, 261

  Churrigueresque style, 263

  Cinnabar, 19

  Cinnamon trees, 77

  Ciudad Bolivar, 34

  Cleveland, President, 52

  Climate, 21, 99

  Coal, 19, 156, 283

  Cocoa, 19, 29, 98, 107

  Coconuts, 19

  Coffee, 19, 23, 29, 137, 139

  Colombia, 11-25

  Colonists, 140

  Columbus, 34, 53

  Commercial traveller, 237

  Constitutions, 255

  Coolies, _see_ East Indians

  Copper, 19

  Cordillera, _see_ Andes

  Corrientes, 213

  Cortes, 264

  Cotopaxi, 76

  Cotton, 19, 29, 219

  Country life, 128

  Courtesy in business, 238

  _Couvade_, 43

  Cow tree, 85

  Creoles, 62


  Dairying, 24

  Darien, Gulf of, 11

  Darwin, 233

  Demerara, 58

  Doctorate, abolition of, 133

  Drake, 11

  Dutch, 56

  Dyewoods, 114


  East Indians, 65

  Ecuador, 26

  Education, 256

  El Dorado, 27, 54, 75

  Elizabeth, Queen, 54

  Emeralds, 18

  Entre Rios, 210

  Essequibo, 58

  Estancias, 206


  "Factory Age," 283

  Falkland Isles, 235

  Farming, 24

  Fauna, 44

  _Fazendas_, 128, 140

  Fevers, _see_ Malaria

  Fishes, 49

  Flora, 37, 84, 97, 187, 212

  Forests, 37, 56, 77, 115-27, 234

  Fray Bentos, 194

  French, 56, 61, 238, 276, 286

  Fritz, Padre, 108

  Fruits, 24, 219

  Future, the, 285


  Gauchos, 154, 189

  Germans, 19, 33, 132, 237

  Gold, 19, 53, 64, 68, 107, 156, 269

  Gomez, 200

  Government, 255, 277

  Guaranís, 160, 221

  Guiana, 50-73


  Hammocks, 41

  Hemp, 219

  Heredia, 12

  Hides, 29

  Holy Alliance, 277

  Honda, 15

  Horses, 37, 204

  Houses, Spanish American, 25, 260

  Humaita, 216

  Humboldt, 39


  Immigration, 131, 140-52, 206, 270

  Incas, 74, 88

  Indians, 25, 29, 36, 41, 70, 76, 89, 109, 190

  Inquisition, 12

  Investments, British, 251, 271

  Iquitos, 107

  Iron, 19, 156

  Irrigation, 208

  Italians, 33, 131, 149, 238, 270

  Iturbide Hotel, 265

  Ivory nuts, 19


  Jaguar, 72, 87

  Japanese, 238, 280

  Jesuits, 221, 108

  Juyjuy, 209


  Labour, 30, 53, 60, 208, 274

  La Guayra, 27

  La Plata, 167

  Las Casas, 108

  Lasso, 155, 170

  Law, William, 220

  Lead, 19

  Lemco, 191

  Lepidoptera, 49, 71

  _Llanos_, 25, 37

  Loans, default of, 33

  Locusts, 204, 207

  Lopez, 218


  Madeira-Mamoré, 91

  Madre de Dios River, 95

  Magdalena River, 14, 20

  Maize, 206

  Malaria, 12, 29, 60, 83, 100

  Malaysia, 103

  Mamelucos, 232

  Manaos, 91, 104

  Manati, 86

  Mangroves, 56

  Manioc, 42, 135

  Maracaibo, 29

  Meal packing, 191, 220

  Medellin, 15

  Mediterranean, 12

  Mendoza, 161, 208

  Mesa de Herveo, 18

  Mexican public buildings, 263

  Mexico, 262, 276

  Mining, 19, 156, 269, 271

  Missions, Jesuit, 201, 221

  Mississippi, 207

  Monazite, 156

  Monkeys, 37, 44, 71, 86

  Monoculture, 134

  Monroe Doctrine, 277, 281

  Montaña, 77

  Montevideo, 164, 166, 177, 180

  Mosquitoes, 49, 83, 98, 213

  Motor-cars, 249

  Muzo mines, 18


  Napo, 78

  Native arts, 242

  Navigation, river, 14, 35, 37, 57, 59, 64, 90, 92-6, 191, 211

  Negroes, 61, 152

  Negro River, 26

  New Amsterdam, 56

  "New Australia," 220

  New Granada, 11

  New York, 56


  Oranges, 219

  Orchids, 19

  Orellana, 80

  Orinoco, 25, 33-57


  Pacific Ocean, 281

  Painting of houses, 266

  _Palabra de Ingles_, 247, 275

  Pampas, 158, 203

  Panama, 283

  Panama hats, 243

  Pan-Americanism, 283, 291, 293

  Pan-American Railway, 280

  Para, 91, 106

  Paraguay, 159, 167, 211

  _Paramos_, 19

  Paraná, 160, 209

  Pasto, 22

  Patagonia, 203, 233

  Paysandu, 164, 191, 197

  Peccaries, 87

  Peru, 26, 208

  Petroleum, 19, 30, 234

  Pilcomayo, 168

  Pilgrim Fathers, 56

  Pinzon, 113

  Pizarro, 75

  Plate, River, 158

  Platinum, 19

  Poles, 152

  Popayan, 22

  Pope, decrees of, 109

  Population, 113, 270

  Portuguese, 69

  Protective tariffs, 135

  Putumayo, 26, 89, 103


  _Quebracho_, 209, 216

  Quesada, 18

  Quicksilver, _see_ Cinnabar

  Quindio, 21

  Quinine, 19

  Quito, 22


  Rafts, 93

  Railways, 15, 27, 267, 276

  Rainfall, 95

  Raleigh, 27, 53, 54

  Religion, 256, _see_ Church

  Riberalta, 95

  Rice, 19

  Rio de Janeiro, 111

  Rivers, _see_ Navigation

  Roads, 267

  Rosario, 162, 207, 209, 211

  Rubber, 27, 75, 86, 89, 92-110

  Rum, native, 137


  _Sabana_ of Bogota, 24

  St. John del Rey, 156

  Salta, 164, 208

  Salto, 191

  San Paolo, 130-49, 225

  Santa Fé, 210

  Santa Marta, 19

  Santos-Dumont, 268

  "Science of Life," 290

  _Serra_, 117

  Settlers, opportunities for, 271

  Shiris, 75

  Silver, 19, 158

  Slavery, 128

  Snakes, 48, 87

  Socialism, 220, 274, 278

  Solis, 159

  Spaniards, 238, 247

  Sugar, 19, 23, 29, 53, 120, 139, 208, 216, 219

  Supreme Deity, 90

  Surinam, 56, 60


  _Tagua_, 19

  Tapir, 216

  Texiera, 82

  Textiles, 240, 242

  Tierra del Fuego, 223

  Timber, 19, _see_ Forests

  Tobacco, 19, 53, 216, 219

  Tortoises, 38

  Town-planning, 256

  Trade, 236

  Transandine railway, 209

  Travel, conditions of, 14, 20, 35, 37, 209, 301

  _Treinta y Tres_, 173

  Trinidad, 50

  Tucuman, 208


  Ucayali, 89

  United States, 72, 275

  Urubamba, 89

  Uruguay, 164, 167, 191, 277


  Venezuela, 27

  Vernon, Admiral, 12

  Vineyards, 141, 208


  War, the Great, 283

  Wheat, 206

  Wilson, President, 284

  Wine, 208

  "Wireless telegraphy," native, 89

  Women, status of, 43, 65, 129, 143, 154, 171, 238, 180, 217


  Yapura, 26

  Yerba _maté_, 150, 219


  Zea, 131

       *       *       *       *       *

  _Printed in Great Britain by_

  UNWIN BROTHERS, LIMITED

  WOKING AND LONDON

       *       *       *       *       *

ZANZIBAR: The Island Metropolis of Eastern Africa. By Major FRANCIS B.
PEARCE, C.M.G. (British Resident in Zanzibar). With a Map and 32 pages
Illustrations. Super Royal 8vo, cloth. 30s. net. [Second Impression.

This important work deals with the past and present history of
Zanzibar. From the earliest times this island, owing to its commanding
position off the coast of Africa, controlled the great trade-routes
which traversed the Continent from the Indian to the Atlantic Oceans,
and it has remained to the present day the Metropolis of the East
African Region. It has known many over-lords, and the author, who is
His Majesty's Representative in Zanzibar, traces the story of this
romantic island-kingdom down the centuries. The close association of
this African island with ancient and mediæval Arabia is demonstrated,
and the advent of the old Persian colonists to its shores explained.
Coming to later times such names as Vasco da Gama and Sir James
Lancaster, that famous Elizabethan sea-captain, are met with; until
leaving beaten tracks, the author introduces the reader to the hoary
kingdom of Oman, whence come those princes of the Arabian desert
who subdued to their sway the rich spice-island of Zanzibar and the
adjacent territories of Central Africa. Modern Zanzibar is fully dealt
with, and the enlightened Prince who occupies the throne of Zanzibar
to-day is introduced to the reader in a personal interview. The
latter portion of the work is devoted to descriptions of the ruined
Arab and Persian stone-built towns--the very names of which are now
forgotten--which, until cleared by the author, lay mouldering in the
forests of Zanzibar and Pemba. The text is elucidated by a series of
beautiful photographs, and by specially prepared maps. This volume must
be regarded as the standard work on the Sultanate of Zanzibar.

       *       *       *       *       *

MODERN JAPAN: Its Political, Military, and Industrial Organization. By
WILLIAM MONTGOMERY MCGOVERN, Ph.D., M.R.A.S., F.R.A.I., etc., Lecturer
on Japanese, School of Oriental Studies (Univ. of Lond.), Priest of the
Nishi Hongwanji Kyoto, Japan. 15s. net.

Unlike the book of casual impressions by the tourist or globe-trotter,
or a tedious work of reference for the library, Mr. McGovern's book
on "Modern Japan" gives for the average educated man an interesting
description of the evolution of Japan as a modern world Power, and
describes the gradual triumphs over innumerable obstacles which she
accomplished. The book relates how the Restoration of 1867 was carried
out by a small coterie of ex-Samurai, in whose hands, or in that of
their successors, political power has ever since remained. We see
portrayed the perfecting of the Bureaucratic machine, the general,
political and institutional history, the stimulation of militarism
and Imperialism and centralized industry. It is a vivid account of
the real Japan of to-day, and of the process by which it has become
so. Though comprehensible to the non-technical reader, yet the more
careful student of Far Eastern affairs will find much of value in
the acute analysis of the Japanese nation. The author is one who has
resided for years in Japan, was largely educated there, who was in
the Japanese Government service, and who, by his fluent knowledge of
the language, was in intimate contact with all the leading statesmen
of to-day. Furthermore, his position as priest of the great Buddhist
Temple of Kyoto brought him in touch with phases of Japanese life most
unusual for a European. While neither pro- nor anti-Japanese, he has
delineated the extraordinary efficiency of the machine of State (so
largely modelled on Germany), while, at the same time, he has pointed
out certain dangers inherent in its autocratic bureaucracy.

       *       *       *       *       *

_New Volume in 'The Story of the Nations'_

BELGIUM: From the Roman Invasion to the Present Day. By EMILE
CAMMAERTS. With several Maps and many Illustrations. Large crown 8vo.,
cloth. 7s. 6d. net.

A complete history of the Belgian nation from its origins to its
present situation has not yet been published in this country. Up till
now Belgian history has only been treated as a side issue in works
concerned with Belgian art, Belgian literature or social conditions.
Besides, there has been some doubt with regard to the date at which
such a history ought to begin, and a good many writers have limited
themselves to the modern history of Belgium because they did not see
in olden times sufficient evidence of Belgian unity. According to the
modern school of Belgian historians, however, this unity, founded on
common traditions and common interests, has asserted itself again and
again through the various periods of history in spite of invasion,
foreign domination and the various trials experienced by the country.
The history of the Belgian nation appears to the modern mind as a slow
development of one nationality constituted by two races speaking two
different languages, but bound together by geographical, economic and
cultural conditions. In view of the recent proof Belgium has given of
her patriotism during the world-war, this impartial inquiry into her
origins may prove interesting to British readers. Every opportunity
has been taken to insist on the frequent relationships between the
Belgian provinces and Great Britain from the early Middle Ages to the
present time and to show the way in which both countries were affected
by them. Written by one of the most distinguished Belgian writers, who
has made a speciality of his subject, this work will be one of the most
brilliant and informing contributions in "The Story of the Nations"
(now numbering sixty-seven volumes), a series which has achieved a
world-wide reputation.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ADVANCE _of_ SOUTH AMERICA

_A few notes on some interesting books dealing with the past history,
present and future possibilities of the great Continent._

When in 1906 Mr. Fisher Unwin commissioned the late Major Martin
Hume to prepare a series of volumes by experts on the South American
Republics, but little interest had been taken in the country as a
possible field for commercial development. The chief reasons for this
were ignorance as to the trade conditions and the varied resources
of the country, and the general unrest and unstability of most of
the governments. With the coming of the South American Series of
handbooks the financial world began to realize the importance of the
country, and, with more settled conditions, began in earnest to develop
the remarkable natural resources which awaited outside enterprise.
Undoubtedly the most informative books on the various Republics are
those included in THE SOUTH AMERICAN SERIES, each of which is the work
of a recognized authority on his subject.

  "The output of books upon Latin America has in recent years been very
  large, a proof doubtless of the increasing interest that is felt
  in the subject. Of these the 'South American Series' is the most
  noteworthy." _The Times._

  "When the 'South American Series' is completed, those who take
  interest in Latin-American affairs will have an invaluable
  encyclopædia at their disposal." _Westminster Gazette._

  "Mr. Unwin's 'South American Series' of books are of special interest
  and value to the capitalist and trader."--_The Chamber of Commerce
  Journal._

Full particulars of the volumes in the "South American Series," also of
other interesting books on South America, will be found in the pages
following.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SOUTH AMERICAN SERIES

CHILE. By G. F. SCOTT ELLIOTT, M.A., F.R.G.S. With an Introduction
by MARTIN HUME, a Map and 39 Illustrations. Cloth, 15/- net. [Fifth
Impression.

  "An exhaustive, interesting account, not only of the turbulent
  history of this country, but of the present conditions and seeming
  prospects."--_Westminster Gazette._

PERU. By C. REGINALD ENOCK, F.R.G.S. With an Introduction by MARTIN
HUME, a Map and 64 Illustrations. Cloth, 15/- net. [Fourth Impression.

  "An important work.... The writer possesses a quick eye and a keen
  intelligence; is many-sided in his interests, and on certain subjects
  speaks as an expert. The volume deals fully with the development of
  the country." _The Times._

MEXICO. By C. REGINALD ENOCK, F.R.G.S. With an Introduction by MARTIN
HUME, a Map and 64 Illustrations. Cloth, 15/- net. [Fifth Impression.

  "The book is most comprehensive; the history, politics, topography,
  industries, resources and possibilities being most ably
  discussed."--_The Financial News._

ARGENTINA. By W. A. HIRST. With an Introduction by MARTIN HUME, a Map
and 64 Illustrations. Cloth, 15/- net. [Fifth Impression.

  "The best and most comprehensive of recent works on the greatest and
  most progressive of the Republics of South America."--_Manchester
  Guardian._

GUIANA. British, French and Dutch. By JAMES RODWAY. With a Map and 32
Illusts. Cloth, 15/- net.

  "Mr. Rodway's work is a storehouse of information, historical,
  economical and sociological."--_The Times._

BRAZIL. By PIERRE DENIS. Translated, and with an Historical Chapter by
BERNARD MIALL. With a Supplementary Chapter by DAWSON A. VINDIN, a Map
and 36 Illustrations. Cloth, 15/- net. [Third Impression.

  "Altogether the book is full of information, which shows the author
  to have made a most careful study of the country."--_Westminster
  Gazette._

URUGUAY. By W. H. KOEBEL. With a Map and 55 Illustrations. Cloth, 15/-
net. [Third Impression.

  "Mr. Koebel has given us an expert's diagnosis of the present
  condition of Uruguay. Glossing over nothing, exaggerating nothing, he
  has prepared a document of the deepest interest."--_Evening Standard._

COLOMBIA. By PHANOR JAMES EDER, A.B., LL.B. With 2 Maps and 40
Illustrations. Cloth, 15/- net. [Fourth Impression.

  "Mr. Eder's valuable work should do much to encourage investment,
  travel and trade in one of the least-known and most promising of the
  countries of the New World."--_Manchester Guardian._

ECUADOR. By C. REGINALD ENOCK, F.R.G.S. With 2 Maps and 37
Illustrations. Cloth, 15/- net. [Second Impression.

  "Mr. Enock's very thorough and exhaustive volume should help British
  investors to take their part in promoting its development. He has
  studied and described the country in all its aspects."--_Manchester
  Guardian._

VENEZUELA. By LEONARD V. DALTON, F.G.S., F.R.G.S. With a Map and 45
Illustrations. Cloth, 15/- net. [Third Impression.

  "An exhaustive and valuable survey of its geography, geology,
  history, botany, zoology and anthropology, and of its commercial
  possibilities in the near future." _Manchester Guardian._

LATIN AMERICA: Its Rise and Progress. By F. GARCIA-CALDERON. With a
Preface by RAYMOND POINCARÉ, President of the French Republic. With a
Map and 34 Illustrations. Cloth, 15/- net. [Fifth Impression.

  President Poincaré in a striking preface to this book, says: "Here is
  a book that should be read and digested by every one interested in
  the future of the Latin genius."

BOLIVIA. By PAUL WALLE. With 4 Maps and 59 Illustrations. Cloth, 15/-
net.

  Bolivia is a veritable El Dorado, requiring only capital and
  enterprise to become one of the wealthiest States of America. This
  volume is the result of a careful investigation made on behalf of the
  French Ministry of Commerce.

PARAGUAY. By W. H. KOEBEL. With a Map and 32 Illustrations. Cloth, 15/-
net. [Second Impression.

  "Gives a great deal of serious and useful information about the
  possibilities of the country for the emigrant, the investor and
  the tourist, concurrently with a vivid and literary account of its
  history."--_Economist._

CENTRAL AMERICA: Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama and
Salvador. By W. H. KOEBEL. With a Map and 25 Illus. [Second Imp.

  "We strongly recommend this volume, not only to merchants looking
  ahead for new openings for trade, but also to all who wish
  for an accurate and interesting account of an almost unknown
  world."--_Saturday Rev._

       *       *       *       *       *

_OTHER BOOKS ON SOUTH AMERICA_

SPANISH AMERICA: Its Romance, Reality and Future. By C. R. ENOCK,
Author of "The Andes and the Amazon," "Peru," "Mexico," "Ecuador."
Illustrated and with a Map. 2 vols. Cl., 30/- net the set.

  Starting with the various States of Central America, Mr. Enock
  then describes ancient and modern Mexico, then takes the reader
  successively along the Pacific Coast, the Cordillera of the Andes,
  enters the land of the Spanish Main, conducts the reader along the
  Amazon Valley, gives a special chapter to Brazil and another to the
  River Plate and Pampas. Thus all the States of Central and South
  America are covered. The work is topographical, descriptive and
  historical; it describes the people and the cities, the flora and
  fauna, the varied resources of South America, its trade, railways,
  its characteristics generally.

SOUTH AMERICA: An Industrial and Commercial Field. By W. H. KOEBEL.
Illustrated. Cloth, 18/- net. [Second Impression.

  "The book considers such questions as South American commerce,
  British interests in the various Republics, international relations
  and trade, communications, the tendency of enterprise, industries,
  etc. Two chapters devoted to the needs of the continent will be of
  especial interest to manufacturers and merchants, giving as they do
  valuable hints as to the various goods required, while the chapter
  on merchandise and commercial travellers affords some sound and
  practical advice."--_Chamber of Commerce Journal._

VAGABONDING DOWN THE ANDES. By HARRY A. FRANCK, author of "A Vagabond
Journey Round the World," etc. With a Map and 176 Illustrations. Cloth,
25/- net. [Second Impression.

  "The book is a brilliant record of adventurous travel among
  strange scenes and with even more strange companions, and vividly
  illustrates, by its graphic text and its admirable photographs,
  the real conditions of life in the backwood regions of South
  America."--_Manchester Guardian._

  "Mr. Franck is to be congratulated on having produced a readable and
  even fascinating book. His journey lay over countries in which an
  increasing interest is being felt. Practically speaking, he may be
  said to have started from Panama, wandered through Colombia, spending
  some time at Bogota, and then going on to Ecuador, of which Quito is
  the centre. Next he traversed the fascinating country of the Incas,
  from the borders of which he entered Bolivia, going right across that
  country till he approached Brazil. He passed through Paraguay, cut
  through a corner of the Argentine to Uruguay, and so to the River
  Plata and the now well-known town of Buenos Ayres."--_Country Life._

IN THE WILDS OF SOUTH AMERICA: Six Years of Exploration in Colombia,
Venezuela, British Guiana, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay and
Brazil. By LEO E. MILLER, of the American Museum of Natural History.
With 48 Full-page Illustrations and with Maps. Cloth, 21/- net.

  This volume represents a series of almost continuous explorations
  hardly ever paralleled in the huge areas traversed. The author is a
  distinguished field naturalist--one of those who accompanied Colonel
  Roosevelt on his famous South American expedition--and his first
  object in his wanderings over 150,000 miles of territory was the
  observation of wild life; but hardly second was that of exploration.
  The result is a wonderfully informative, impressive and often
  thrilling narrative in which savage peoples and all but unknown
  animals largely figure, which forms an infinitely readable book and
  one of rare value for geographers, naturalists and other scientific
  men.

THE PUTUMAYO: THE DEVIL'S PARADISE. Travels in the Peruvian Amazon
Region and an Account of the Atrocities committed upon the Indians
therein. By E. W. HARDENBURG, C.E. Edited and with an Introduction by
C. REGINALD ENOCK, F.R.G.S. With a Map and 16 Illustrations. Demy 8vo,
Cloth, 10/6 net. [Second Impression.

  "The author gives us one of the most terrible pages in the history of
  trade."--_Daily Chronicle._

TRAMPING THROUGH MEXICO, GUATEMALA AND HONDURAS. By HARRY A. FRANCK.
With a Map and 88 Illustrations. Cloth, 7/6 net.

MEXICO (STORY OF THE NATIONS). By SUSAN HALE. With Maps and 47
Illustrations. Cloth, 7/6 net. [Third Impression.

  "This is an attractive book. There is a fascination about
  Mexico which is all but irresistible.... The authoress writes
  with considerable descriptive power, and all through the
  stirring narrative never permits us to lose sight of natural
  surroundings."--_Dublin Review._

THINGS AS THEY ARE IN PANAMA. By HARRY A. FRANCK. With 50 Illus. Cloth,
7/6 net.

THE SPELL OF THE TROPICS. POEMS. By RANDOLPH H. ATKIN. Cloth, 4/6 net.

  What Kipling is to India, and Robert W. Service to Canada, Randolph
  H. Atkin is to South America. Read his remarkable volume of poems,
  descriptive of life in Central and South America.

BAEDEKER GUIDE TO THE UNITED STATES. With Excursions to Mexico, Cuba,
Porto Rico and Alaska. With 33 Maps and 49 Plans. Fourth Edition, 1909.
Cloth, 15/- net.

       *       *       *       *       *

IMPORTANT. _Travellers to the Republics of South America will find
WESSELY'S ENGLISH-SPANISH and SPANISH-ENGLISH DICTIONARY and WESSELY'S
LATIN-ENGLISH and ENGLISH-LATIN DICTIONARY invaluable books. Bound in
cloth, pocket size, price 4/- net each. Ask for Wessely's Edition,
published by Mr. T. Fisher Unwin._

T. FISHER UNWIN LD., 1 ADELPHI TERRACE, LONDON, W.C. 2

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Footnotes have been moved to the end of each chapter and relabeled
consecutively through the document.

Illustrations have been moved to paragraph breaks near where they are
discussed.

Punctuation has been made consistent.

Chapters XIII and XIV have identical titles.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation were retained as they appear in
the original publication, except as noted below.

Changes have been made as follows:

p. 20: "profuison" changed to "profusion" (wild profusion, is)

p. 45: "cock-of-the rock" changed to "cock-of-the-rock" (allied
cock-of-the-rock is)

p. 57: "eixst" changed to "exist" (only exist because)

p. 65: "tho" changed to "the" (bucra--the well-to-do)

p. 66: "notwtihstanding" changed to "notwithstanding" (race,
notwithstanding the)

p. 109: "aboriginies" changed to "aborigines" (the aborigines, the)

p. 116: "devasting" changed to "devastating" (These devastating forces)

p. 167: "Amercia" changed to "America" (South America, ethnographical)

p. 178: "MONTEVIDEO; THE PLAZA: AND THE HARBOUR." changed to
"MONTEVIDEO: THE PLAZA AND THE HARBOUR."

p. 225: "adadmitted" changed to "admitted" (be admitted, to)

p. 286: "Dominician" changed to "Dominican" (the Dominican Republic)

p. 289: "motived" changed to "motivated" (largely motivated by)





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