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Title: Historical and Descriptive Narrative of Twenty Years' Residence in South America (Vol 1 of 3) - Containing travels in Arauco, Chile, Peru, and Colombia - with an account of the revolution, its rise, progress, and - results
Author: Stevenson, William Bennet
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Historical and Descriptive Narrative of Twenty Years' Residence in South America (Vol 1 of 3) - Containing travels in Arauco, Chile, Peru, and Colombia - with an account of the revolution, its rise, progress, and - results" ***

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|Transcriber's note:                              |
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_Engraved for Stevenson's Narrative of South America._]






















Marquis of Maranham,








The interest which the late successful revolution in Spanish America has
awakened in Europe renders any genuine account of the new world so
highly acceptable to the British nation, that it has become an almost
imperative duty in those who may possess original matter to communicate
it to the public; for it may be said, without the least exaggeration,
that although the countries thus emancipated were discovered in the
sixteenth century, they have remained almost unknown till the beginning
of the nineteenth.

Fully convinced of these facts, and being urged by my friends, when I
was on the eve of again crossing the Atlantic, to publish my collection
of notes and memoranda--the gleanings of a twenty years' residence--in
order to contribute my quota to the small stock of authentic matter
already laid before an anxious public, I have been induced to postpone
my voyage, and to embody my observations in the manner in which they now

It is undoubtedly of great importance to become acquainted with the
features of a country which has undergone any remarkable change in its
political, religious, or literary career, before that change took place;
and it is equally important to know the cause of and the means by which
the change was effected. I have therefore given a succinct history of
the state of the colonies before their fortunate struggle began to
germinate, by describing their political and ecclesiastical
institutions; the character, genius, and education of the different
classes of inhabitants; their peculiar customs and habits; their
historical remains and antiquities; and lastly, the produce and
manufactures of the country.

My opportunities for obtaining materials for the formation of this work
were such as few individuals even among the natives or Spaniards could
possess, and such as no _foreigner_ could possibly enjoy at the period
of my residence.

Dr. Robertson's celebrated history renders any account of the discovery
and conquest of America unnecessary; but as the Spanish authors from
whom his work was collected always kept in view the necessity of lulling
the anxiety of general curiosity with respect to the subsequent state of
the countries under the Spanish crown, that work cannot be supposed to
be better than the materials from which it is formed would allow; to
which I may add, that the different books published by the philosophic
Humboldt are too scientific, and enter into too few details, to become
fit for general perusal.

I am induced to believe, that my descriptions of tribunals, corporate
bodies, the laws, and administration, the taxes and duties, will not be
considered unimportant, because the newly-formed governments will follow
in great measure the establishments of Spain, modified by a few
alterations, perhaps more nominal than real. Indeed, the present
authorities have already determined, that so far as the Spanish codes do
not interfere with the independence of the country, they are to be
considered as the fundamental laws of the different tribunals.

The Plates are from original Drawings taken by Don Jose Carrillo, a
native of Quito, now in England.

Should the following pages merit the approbation of the British public,
the author will feel highly gratified by having fulfilled his duty in
both hemispheres; nor will this reward in the old world be accounted
less honourable than that which he has already obtained in the new.


CHAP. I.--Arrival at Mocha....Some Account of Mayo, one
of the Cape de Verd Islands touched at on our Passage....
Description of Mocha, its Productions, &c....Leave Mocha
and land at Tucapel Viejo....Description of the Indians,
their Dress, &c....Indians take me to their Home....
Description of the House, Family, Food, Diversions....
Appearance of the Country....What Trade might be introduced         1

CHAP. II.--Leave Tucapel Viejo, and arrive at Tubul....Description
of our Breakfast on the road....Stay at the House of the Cacique
of Tubul....Some Appearances of Civilization....Game of Peuca,
Wrestling, &c....Anchorage, Trade, &c....Face of the
Country....Arrival at Arauco....Taken to the Commandant
Interview described....Town of Arauco....Indians who come to
barter....Weaving of fine _ponchos_....Excursion to the
Water-mills on the Carampangue River....Entertainments,
_Mate_, &c....Visit Nacimiento, Santa Juana, and return
to Arauco....Ordered to Conception                                 20

CHAP. III.--Account of Cultivation of Farms, &c. in Araucania....
Thrashing, &c....Produce....Cattle....Locality....
Topographical Divisions....Government (Indian)....
Laws and Penalties....Military System....Arms, Standards,
&c....Division of Spoil....Treaty of Peace....
Religion....Marriages....Funerals....Spanish Cities
founded in Araucania....Ideas on New Colonies....Commerce          40

CHAP. IV.--Valdivia....Port....Fortifications....River....
Government....Rents and Resources....Churches....
Exiles....Missions in the Province of Valdivia....War
with the Indians, and Possession of Osorno....Extract
from a Letter in the Araucanian Tongue, and Translation            67

CHAP. V.--City of Conception de Mocha....Foundation....
Military....Churches....Houses....Inhabitants and
Dress....Provincial Jurisdiction....Produce....Throwing
the _Laso_....Fruit....Timber Trees....Shrubs....Mines....
Birds....Wild Animals....Lion Hunt....Shepherd Dogs
....Breeding Capons....Return to Conception                        82

CHAP. VI.--Sent to Talcahuano....Description of the Bay
and Anchorage....Plain between Conception and Talcahuano....
Prospectus of a Soap Manufactory here....
Coal Mine....Town, Custom-house, Inhabitants, &c....
Fish, &c. caught in the Bay....Colonial Commerce....
Prospectus of a Sawing Mill                                       118

CHAP. VII.--Leave Talcahuano in the Dolores....Passage
to Callao....Arrival....Taken to the Castle....Leave
Callao....Road to Lima....Conveyed to Prison                      130

CHAP. VIII.--Lima, Origin of its Name....Pachacamac....
Foundation of Lima....Pizarro's Palace....Situation of the
City....Form of the Valley Rimac....River....Climate....
Temperature....Mists and Rain....Soil....Earthquakes....Produce   143

CHAP. IX.--Viceroys and Archbishop of Lima....Viceroyalty,
Extent....Viceroy's Titles and Privileges....Royal Audience....
Cabildo....Forms of Law....Military....Religion....
Inquisition....Sessions and Processes....Archbishop....
Royal Patronage....Ecclesiastical Tribunals....Chapter,
_Cabildo Ecclesiastical_....Curates....Asylum of Immunity
....Minor Tribunals...._Consulado_....Crusade....Treasury
....Accompts...._Temporalidades_, _Protomedicato_                 172

CHAP. X.--Taxes, Alcavala....Indian Tribute....Fifths of
the Mines....Lances....Stamped Paper....Tobacco....
_Media Anata_...._Aprovechamientos_...._Composicion_ and
_Confirmacion_ of Lands....Royal Ninths....Venal Offices....
Estrays....Confiscations....Fines....Vacant Successions....
_Cirquito_....Vacant Benefices...._Mesada Ecclesiastica_
...._Media Anata Ecclesiastica_....Restitutions....Bulls          195

CHAP. XI.--City of Lima....Figure and Division....Walls....
Bridge....Houses....Churches....Manner of Building
Colleges...._Plasa Mayor_....Market....Interior of the
Viceroy's Palace....Ditto Archbishop's Ditto....Ditto
Sagrario....Ditto Cathedral....Ditto Cavildo                      210

CHAP. XII.--Particular Description of Parish Churches....
Of Santo Domingo....Altar of the Rosary....St. Rosa
and other Altars....Cloisters....Sanctuary of Saint
Rosa....Church of San Francisco....Chapels _Del Milagro_,
_De Dolores_, _De los Terceros_....Pantheon....Cloisters,
San Diego....San Agustin...._La Merced_....Profession
of a Nun, or taking the Veil....Hospitals of San Andres,
of San Bartolome and others....Colleges of Santo Toribio,
San Carlos, _Del Principe_....University....Inquisition
....Taken to it in 1806....Visit to it in 1812, after the
Abolition....Inquisitorial Punishments....Foundling
Hospital....Lottery....Mint....Pantheon                           237

CHAP. XIII.--The Population of Lima....Remarks....Table
of Castes....The Qualifications of Creoles....Population
and Division....Spaniards....Creoles, White....
Costume....Indians....African Negroes....Their _Cofradias_,
and Royal Personages....Queen Rosa....Creole
...._Quarterones and Quinterones_....Theatre....Bull
Circus....Royal Cockpit....Alamedas....Bathing Places
....Piazzas...._Amancaes_....Elevation and Oration Bells....
Processions of Corpus Christi, Santa Rosa, San Francisco and
Santo Domingo....Publication of Bulls....Ceremonies on the
Arrival of a Viceroy                                              283

CHAP. XIV.--Fruits in the Gardens of Lima....Flowers....
Particular Dishes, or Cookery...._Chuno_, dried Potatoes
...._Chochoca_, dried Maize....Sweetmeats....Meals....
Diseases....Medical Observations....On the Commerce
of Lima....Profitable Speculations                                330

CHAP. XV.--Visit to Pisco....Town of Pisco....Bay of Pisco
....Curious Production of Salt...._Huano_...._Huanaes_
....Vineyards, Brandy....Vineyard _de las Hoyas_....
Fruits....Chilca, Village of Indians....Leave Lima,
Road to Chancay....Pasamayo House...._Niña de la
Huaca_....Maize, Cultivation....Use of _Huano_....Hogs
....On the Produce of Maize....Different kinds of....
Time of Harvesting....Uses of....Chicha of....Sugar of....
Town of Chancay...._Colcas_....Town of Huacho....
_Chacras_ of the Indians....On the Character of the Native
Indians....Refutation of what some Authors have said of
....Manners and Customs of....Tradition of Manco
Capac....Ditto Camaruru....Ditto Bochica....Ditto
Quitzalcoatl....These Traditions favourable to the Spaniards....
Government of Manco Capac....Representation
of the Death of the Inca....Feast of Corpus Christi at
Huacho....Indian Dances....Salinas                                355

CHAP. XVI.--Villa of Huara....Description....Village of
Supe....Ruins of an Indian Town...._Huacas_, Burying
Places....Bodies preserved entire....Village of Barranca
....Earthquake in 1806....Barranca River....Bridge of
Ropes....Village of Pativilca....Sugar Plantation....
Produce and Profit....Cane cultivated....Mills....Sugar-house
....Management of Slaves....Regulations &c. of Slaves             410


     Arrival at Mocha....Some account of Mayo, one of the Cape de Verd
     Islands touched at on our passage....Description of Mocha, its
     Productions, &c....Leave Mocha, and land at Tucapel
     Viejo....Description of the Indians, their Dress, &c....Indians
     take me to their Home....Description of the House, Family, Food,
     Diversions....Appearance of the Country....What Trade might be

On the 14th of February, 1804, I landed on the Island of Mocha, after a
passage of upwards of five months from England, during which we passed
between the Cape de Verd Islands, and touched at one of them called
Mayo, for the purpose of procuring salt, which appears to be the only
article of commerce. It is produced by admitting the sea water on flats,
embanked next to the sea, during the spring tides, and allowing it to
evaporate: the salt is then collected and carried off before the return
of the high tides, when the water is again admitted, and the same
process takes place. The sea water is here strongly impregnated with
salt, owing probably to the great evaporation caused by the intense
power of the heat, which also aids and hastens the process on shore. The
inhabitants whom I saw were all blacks, with the solitary exception of
a priest, and many of them in a state of nudity, even to an age at which
decency if not modesty requires a covering. A small quantity of bananas,
the only fruit we could procure, and some poultry, were brought from St.
Jago's, another of the islands, visible from Mayo.

The Island of Mocha, situate in 38° 21´ S. and that called Santa Maria,
lying about 80 miles to the northward of it, were the patrimony of a
family, now residing at Conception, of the name of Santa Maria, who
lived on the latter, and sent some people to reside at Mocha, but after
the commencement of the war between England and Spain, in 1780, the
family, as well as the whole of the inhabitants, were ordered by the
government of Chile to quit the islands, under the pretence that these
were a resort for smugglers: a pretence derived from the common error,
that privacy is preventive of contraband.

During the time that Mocha was in the possession of the Santa Marias a
number of the original indian inhabitants, belonging to the tribe found
on it when first visited by the Spaniards in 1549, resided there, but
they were also removed to Conception.

These two islands having been once inhabited, there are yet to be found
some few remains of cattle, which have continued to procreate: on Mocha
are horses and pigs, and some barn door fowls. Mocha is about fifteen
miles in circumference, hilly in the centre, and sloping towards the
coast, more so on the western side, where a tolerably good anchorage and
a safe landing place, on a sandy beach, may be found. Fresh water flows
from several springs; wild turnips, mint and other herbs grow in
abundance; the trees on the hilly part are principally the white
cinnamon, named by the Spaniards _canelo_, the magui, the luma, a tree
called _espino_, and others. Here are also apple, peach and cherry
trees, with a variety of wild strawberries, and myrtle-berries. Some
solitary seals yet remain on the rocks on the south side of the island.

I left Mocha after remaining there alone thirty-two days, and landed
from the brig Polly at Tucapel Viejo, the residence of one of the
Caciques, or Ulmenes, of the Araucanian indians, by whom I was most
hospitably treated.

The male indians who appeared on the beach were of a reddish brown or
copper colour, few of them reaching to the height of six feet. They were
finely shaped and very muscular, having a round face, well formed
forehead, small black eyes, flattish nose, moderately thick lips and
good teeth, but no beard. The whole of the countenance is expressive of
a certain portion of vivacity, and not uninteresting; the hair is black
and strong, all of it being drawn behind the head and platted. The women
are lower in stature than the men, their features similar, and some of
the girls, if I be not allowed to call them handsome, I cannot abstain
from saying are very pretty. The females wear their hair long, and
platted behind their heads: it is afterwards wrapped round with a tape
about an inch and a half broad, to one edge of which are attached a
number of small hawks' bells: the plait is allowed to hang down the
back, and not unfrequently reaches below their knees.

The dress or costume of the indians at first appeared very singular to
me. In the men it consisted of a flannel shirt, and a pair of loose
drawers of the same material, generally white, reaching below the calves
of the legs; a coarse species of rug about two yards wide and two and a
half long, with a slit in the middle through which the head was passed:
this garment, if so I may style it, hanging over the shoulders and
reaching below the knees, is called a _poncho_. The common ones seemed
to be made from a brownish sort of wool, but some were very fancifully
woven in stripes of different colours and devices, such as animals,
birds, flowers, &c. Of the poncho I shall have occasion to speak again,
as it is universally worn in all the provinces of South America which I
visited; but I must say here, that I considered it as an excellent
riding dress; for hanging loosely and covering the whole body, it leaves
the arms quite at liberty to manage the whip and reins. The hat commonly
worn is in the form of a cone, without any skirts; for shoes they
substitute a piece of raw bull's hide cut to the shape of the sole of
the foot, and tied on with slender thongs of leather. The females wear a
long white flannel tunic, without sleeves, and an upper garment of black
flannel, extending below their knees, the sides closed up to the waist,
and the corners from the back brought over the shoulders and fastened to
the corners of the piece in front with two large thorns, procured from a
species of cactus, or with large silver brooches: it is afterwards
closed round the waist with a girdle about three inches broad, generally
woven in devices of different colours; very often, however, nothing but
the white tunic is worn, with the girdle, and a small mantle or cloak
called _ichella_. The favourite colour among the indians appeared to be
a bluish green, though I saw few of their garments of this colour at
Tucapel, but remarked afterwards, at the town of Arauco, that all those
who came to sell or barter their fruit, &c. wore it. The females
generally have nothing on their heads or feet, but have a profusion of
silver rings on their fingers, and on their arms and necks an abundance
of glass bead bracelets and necklaces.

The occupation of the men, as in most unenlightened countries, appeared
to be confined to riding out to see their cattle, their small portions
of land, cultivated by the women, and to hunting. The females were
employed spinning wool with a spindle about ten inches long, having a
circular piece of burnt clay at the bottom, to assist and regulate the
rotary motion given by twirling it with the finger and thumb at the
upper end. They generally sit on the ground to spin, and draw a thread
about a yard long, which they wind on the spindle, tie a knot on the
upper end, and draw another thread: though this work is very tedious,
compared to what may be done by our common spinning-wheels, yet their
dexterity and constancy enable them to manufacture all their wearing
apparel. Weaving is conducted on a plan fully as simple as spinning. The
frame-work for the loom is composed of eight slender poles, cut in the
woods when wanted, and afterwards burnt; four of these are stuck in the
ground at right angles, the other four are lashed with thongs at the
top, forming a square, and the frame is complete. The treadles are then
placed about a foot from the front, having a roller at the back of the
frame for the yarn and another in front for the cloth, both tied fast
with thongs; the sleys, made of worsted, doubled, have two knots tied in
the middle of each pair of threads, leaving a small space between the
knots through which to pass the warp. After all the yarns are passed
through the sleys the ends are tied in small bunches to the roller,
which is turned round by two females, one at each end, whilst another
attends to the balls in front; the other ends of the yarn are then tied
to the roller in front. The thongs connected with the treadle are
fastened one to each of the sleys, and a thong being made fast to the
upper part of one of them is thrown over a loose slender pole, placed on
the top of the frame and then made fast to the other sley, so that when
one treadle is pressed by the foot it draws down one of the sleys,
holding every alternate thread, and the other rises, carrying with it
the other half of the warp. Instead of a shuttle the yarn is wound round
a slender stick, of the necessary length, and passed through the opening
formed by the rising of one of the sleys and the falling of the other;
the contrary treadle is then pressed down, and a slender piece of hard
heavy wood, longer than the breadth of the cloth, is passed across, and
the weaver taking hold of both ends drags it towards her and compresses
the thread. This piece of wood, shaped somewhat like a long sword, is
called the _macana_, and has often been resorted to as a weapon in time
of war. The same rude mode of weaving is common, though not universal,
in South America. The manner of weaving ponchos I shall describe when
treating of the town of Arauco, for what I saw here did not deserve

Besides the laborious occupation of spinning and weaving, and the usual
household labour, each wife (for polygamy is allowed, every man marrying
as many wives as he choose, or rather, as many as he can maintain) has
to present to her husband daily a dish of her own cooking, and annually
a _poncho_ of her own spinning and weaving, besides flannel for shirts
and drawers. Thus an indian's house generally contains as many fire
places and looms as he has wives, and Abbé Molina says, that instead of
asking a man how many wives he has, it is more polite to ask him how
many fires he keeps.

The females are cleanly in their houses and persons; dirt is never seen
on their clothes, and they frequently bathe, or wash themselves three or
four times a day. The men also pay great attention to the cleanliness of
their persons. The females attend to the cultivation of their gardens,
in which the men work but little, considering themselves absolute
masters--the lords of the creation, born only to command, and the
women, being the weaker, to obey: sentiments which polygamy supports;
plurality of wives tending to destroy those tender feelings of
attachment which we find in countries where the law allows only one
wife. The principal part of the labour of their farms is performed by
the women, who often plough, sow, reap and carry to the thrashing floor
the wheat or barley, which, when trodden out by horses, is thrown into
the air, that the wind may blow away the chaff. I saw no other grain at
Tucapel or its vicinity but wheat and barley, in small patches; but I
was told that they produced a hundred fold.

The care of the offspring is entirely committed to the women. A mother
immediately on her delivery takes her child, and going down to the
nearest stream of water, washes herself and it, and returns to the usual
labours of her station. The children are never swaddled, nor their
bodies confined by any tight clothing; they are wrapped in a piece of
flannel, laid on a sheep skin, and put into a basket suspended from the
roof, which occasionally receives a push from any one passing, and
continues swinging for some minutes. They are allowed to crawl about
nearly naked until they can walk; and afterwards, to the age of ten or
twelve years, the boys wear a small poncho, and the girls a piece of
flannel, wrapped round their waist, reaching down to the knees. The
mother, after that age, abandons the boys to the care of the father, on
whom they attend and wait as servants; and the daughters are instructed
in the several works which it will ere long become their duty to fulfil.
To the loose clothing which the children wear from their infancy may
doubtless be attributed the total absence of deformity among the
indians. Perhaps some travellers might suggest, that confinement in any
shape would be considered disgraceful to the haughty Araucanians, who
are pleased to call themselves, "the never vanquished, always victors."

The house to which I was conveyed by the indians was about five leagues
from the coast, situated in a ravine, towards the farther extremity of
which the range of hills on each side appeared to unite. A stream of
excellent water ran at the bottom of the small valley, winding its way
to the sea, and fordable at this time of the year, but visibly much
deeper at other times, from the marks of the surface water on the banks
and on several large pieces of rock lying in the stream.

The low part of the ravine (at first more than three miles wide, and
gradually closing as we rode up towards the house) was cultivated in
small patches; and among the brushwood were to be seen clusters of
apple, pear and peach trees, some of them so laden with fruit that their
branches were bent to the ground. The sides of the mountains displayed
in gorgeous profusion the gifts of nature; the same kind of fruit trees,
laden with their ripe produce, enlivened the view, and relieved the eye
from the deep green of the woods which covered the landscape, save here
and there the naked spire of a rock washed by the rains and whitened by
the sunbeams. The situation of the house appeared to have been chosen
not so much for its picturesque beauty, as for the facility of defending
it: the only approach was the road which we took, it being impossible to
descend the mountains on either side--an impossibility which appeared to
increase as we drew nearer to the house.

Four or five of the young indians, or _mosotones_, rode forward to the
house, and when it first opened to our view a crowd of women and
children had ranged themselves in front, gaping in wild astonishment at
my very unexpected appearance. We rode up to the house, which stood on a
small plain, about thirty yards above the level of the stream, and
alighted amid the din of questions and answers equally unintelligible to
me. The wild stare of curiosity, sweetened with a compassionate
expression of countenance, precluded all fear, and I could not avoid
saying to myself, Great Author of Nature, I now for the first time
behold thy animated works, unadorned with the luxuries, and free, may I
hope, from the concomitant vices, of civilization!

The house was a thatched building, about sixty feet long, and twenty
broad, with mud walls seven feet high, two doors in the front, opposite
to two others at the back, and without windows. The back part on the
inside was divided into births, the divisions being formed of canes
thinly covered with clay, projecting about six feet from the wall, with
a bed place three feet wide, raised two from the floor; the whole
appearing somewhat like a range of stalls in a stable. Opposite to these
births, and running from one end to the other, excepting the spaces at
the two doors, the floor was elevated about ten inches, and was six feet
wide: this elevation was partly covered with small carpets and rugs,
which with five or six low tables composed the whole of the household
furniture. The two doors on the back side led to the kitchen, a range of
building as long as the house, but entirely detached from it: here were
several hearths, or fire-places, surrounded with small earthen pots,
pans and some baskets made of split cane; and over each fire-place was
suspended a flat kind of basket holding meat and fish, and answering the
purpose of a safe: it is called by the indians a _chigua_. The horses
were unsaddled, and the saddles placed on the floor at one end of the

The family, or what I conceived to be the family, was composed of
upwards of forty individuals. The father was between forty and fifty
years old, and apparently enjoyed all the privileges of a patriarch.
There were eight women, whom I considered to be his wives, though during
my stay he appeared to associate with only one of them, if allowing her
to wait upon him whilst eating and receiving from the others their
respective dishes (which she placed successively on the small low table)
can be called association. The young men eat the food brought to them at
different tables, or in different parts of the house. The women and
children adjourned to the kitchen, and there partook of what was left by
the male part of the family. From the first day of my arrival to the
last of my stay I always ate out of the same dish with the Cacique, or
Ulmen, for his rank I did not exactly know. Our fingers supplied the
place of forks, and large muscle shells that of spoons: knives I never
saw used at table.

Our food chiefly consisted of fresh mutton, jirked beef, fish, or
poultry, cut into small pieces and stewed with potatoes or pompions,
seasoned with onions, garlic and cayenne pepper, or capsicum. Our
breakfast, at about sunrise, was composed of some flour or toasted
wheat, coarsely ground, or crushed, and mixed with water, either hot or
cold, as it suited the palate of the eater. This flour is produced or
manufactured by first roasting the wheat or barley in an earthen pan
placed over a slow fire, until the grain takes a pale brown hue. When
cold it is ground on a flat stone, about eight inches or a foot wide,
and two feet or more in length, as they can best procure it. This is put
on the ground, with the end next the female raised about four inches.
She then takes another stone, which reaches nearly across the first, and
weighs from six to ten pounds; this she presses with her hands, and
bruises the grain, which is crushed to a state somewhat like coarsely
ground coffee. At the lower end of the stone is generally placed a clean
lamb skin, with the wool downwards, which receives the flour, called by
the indians _machica_. Our dinner (made up of the stews or messes which
I have mentioned) was generally served at noon in calabashes, or gourds
cut in two, being three inches deep, and some of them from twelve to
twenty inches in diameter. Our supper, which we took at eight o'clock,
was milk, with _machica_, or potatoes.

I cannot refrain from describing a favourite preparation of milk, called
by the natives _milcow_. Potatoes and a species of pompion, _zapallo_,
were roasted, the insides of both taken out, and kneaded together with a
small quantity of salt, and sometimes with eggs. This paste was made
into little cakes, each about the size of a dollar, and a large quantity
was put into a pot of milk, and allowed to boil for a quarter of an
hour. I joined the Indians in considering it an excellent dish. Their
poultry, fed on barley and potatoes, was fat and good; their fish, both
from the sea and the river, capital; and their beef and mutton in
fatness and flavour were far above mediocrity.

The beverage at this time of the year, there being abundance of apples,
was principally new cider, but it was sufficiently fermented to produce
intoxication, which I had several opportunities of observing among the
men: to the credit of the women, however, I must say, that I never saw
one of them in a state of ebriety. I was informed that at other times of
the year they fermented liquors from the maize, the process of which I
shall afterwards describe. Their cider is made in the following rude
manner:--a quantity of apples is procured from the woods by the women;
they are put into a species of trough, from eight to ten feet long,
being the trunk of a large tree scooped into a shape somewhat similar to
a canoe. A woman then takes a stick, or cane, nearly the length of the
trough, and standing at one extremity, beats the apples to pieces. They
are afterwards collected at one end, pressed with the hands, and the
juice is received either in large calabashes (dried gourds) or in
prepared goats' hides. It is now carried to the house, poured into an
earthen jar, and left to ferment. The jars are made by the Indians of
baked clay:--some will hold upwards of a hundred gallons, which shews
that these people have some skill in pottery.

The only in-door diversion which I witnessed among the Indians at
Tucapel was what they certainly considered a dance. About sixteen men
and women intermixed stood up in a row, and following each other,
trotted about the room to the sound of a small drum, which was made by
drawing a piece of the fresh skin of a kid or lamb over an earthen pot
used for cooking. This diversion I saw but twice, and in both instances
after supper. Indeed the indians are not calculated for this kind of
amusement. They associate with each other but little. The females are
considered inferior to the men, and consequently no harmony or
conviviality appears to result from their company. The principal
out-door diversion among the young men is the _palican_: this game is
called by the Spaniards _chueca_, and is similar to one I have seen in
England called bandy. Molina says it is like the _calcio_ of the
Florentines and the _orpasto_ of the Greeks.

The company divides into two sets. Each person has a stick about four
feet long, curved at the lower end. A small hard ball, sometimes of
wood, is thrown on the ground: the parties separate; some advance
towards the ball, and others stand aloof to prevent it when struck from
going beyond the limits assigned, which would occasion the loss of the
game. I was told that the most important matters have been adjusted in
the different provinces of Araucania by crooked sticks and a ball: the
decision of the dispute is that of the game--the winner of the game
being the winner of the dispute.

At Arauco I heard that the present bishop of Conception, Roa, having
passed the territory belonging to the indians with their permission, (a
formality never to be dispensed with) on his visitation to Valdivia, was
apprehended in returning for not having solicited and obtained a pass,
or safe-conduct from the _Uthalmapu_, or principal political chief of
the country which he had to traverse, called by the indians, the
_Lauguen Mapu_, or marine district. His lordship was not only made
prisoner but despoiled of all his equipage; and it became a matter of
dispute, which nothing but the _palican_ could decide, whether he should
be put to death or allowed to proceed to Conception. The game was played
in the presence of the bishop: he had the satisfaction of seeing his
party win, and his life was saved. The propriety, however, of keeping
the booty taken from him was not questioned by any one.

That part of the country which I had an opportunity of visiting with
some of these kind indians was not extensive, but extremely beautiful.
The soil was rich, every kind of vegetation luxuriant, and some of the
trees were very large: the principal ones were the _espino_, the _luma_,
the _maque_, and the _pehuen_.

I was informed that the indians have both gold and silver mines, and
that they are acquainted with the art of extracting the metal from the
ores. One might presume that there was some foundation for this report
from the ornaments made of the precious metals seen in their possession:
they are of Spanish manufacture, and perhaps either the spoils of war or
the result of barter.

A trade of no great importance might be established here. The wool,
which is good, and timber, with some gold and silver, would be given in
return for knives, axes, hatchets, white and greenish coarse flannel,
ponchos, bridle bits, spurs, &c.


     Leave Tucapel Viejo, and arrive at Tubul....Description of our
     Breakfast on the road....Stay at the house of the Cacique of
     Tubul....Some Appearances of Civilization....Game of Pencs,
     Wrestling, &c....Anchorage, Trade, &c....Face of the
     Country....Arrival at Arauco....Taken to the Commandant, Interview
     described....Town of Arauco....Indians who came to barter....
     Weaving of fine _Ponchos_....Excursion to the Water-mills on the
     Carampangue River....Entertainments, _Mate_, &c....Visit Nacimiento,
     Santa Juana, and return to Arauco....Ordered to Conception.

At about three o'clock, on a moonlight morning, in the month of April, I
left the house of my kind Toqui, with five indians. We were all on
horseback, and travelled till after sunrise, when arriving at what
appeared to me to be a common resting place, we alighted, and I
witnessed a most romantic scene.

The indians were habited in their rude costume, the poncho, the
sugar-loaf hat, the hide sandals, and spurs with rowels at least three
inches in diameter. Their horses were as uncouthly caparisoned: a deep
saddle was covered with three or four sheep skins, over which was spread
a bluish rug of long shaggy wool, the crupper with a broad piece of
leather hanging across the horse's rump, and a broader strap attached to
each side of the saddle passing round the horse behind, about midway
down the thighs, and fastened to the cross piece to prevent its slipping
to the ground. These straps were fancifully stamped, and cut into
various shapes and devices. The huge wooden box stirrups were large
enough to hold the feet of the rider; and the heavy-bitted bridle had
beautifully platted reins, terminating in a lash or whip of the same
workmanship, divided at the end into eight or ten minor plaits, forming
a tuft resembling a tassel.

The spot at which we arrived was enchanting. The branches of a large
carob tree extended themselves above our heads, while the beautifully
green sward was spread under our feet. A small stream of water worked
its way among the pebbles on one side, and in the distance on the other
the Pacific Ocean, silvered with the rays of the newly risen sun,
heightened in brilliancy by the intervening deep green of the woods,
presented itself to our view. What an awfully grand collection of the
works of nature! He who could behold them without feeling his bosom
swell with such sensations of delight as tongue cannot utter nor pen
describe, cannot be made by this faint description to partake of what I
felt at that moment.

After the indians had alighted, part of them ran to the brook and
brought some water, in bullocks' horns, which they always carry with
them for this purpose. They divided it among their comrades, each
receiving about a pint. Every one now took from his girdle a small
leather bag, the skin of an animal of the size of a cat, and putting a
handful of roasted flour into the horn with the water, stirred it about
with a small stick and eat it. I followed their example, and this
mixture constituted our breakfast. We then pursued our journey. About
noon we arrived at Tubul, and went to a large house belonging, as I
supposed, to the Toqui, or Cacique. Here are several other houses,
forming a small hamlet, all of whose inhabitants are indians.

We were regaled with the usual fare at dinner, with the addition of a
lamb, which was killed after our arrival, cut into halves, and roasted
over the embers. What may be considered as a certain portion of
civilization made its appearance at Tubul: the roasted lamb was laid on
a large ill-fashioned silver dish, some silver spoons and forks were
placed on the Toqui's table: not a knife was to be seen, but the
drinking horns had bottoms. Besides the cider some strong ill tasted
brandy and thick sweet wine crowned the board.

My indian comrades or conductors occasioned much sport after dinner, by
playing what they call the _peuca_, which Molina says serves them as an
image of war. Fifteen _mosotones_, young Indians, took hold of each
other by the hands and formed a circle, in the centre of which a boy
about ten years old was placed. An equal number of young men were then
engaged in attempting to take the boy out of the ring, in which the
victory consists. The indians forming the ring at first extended their
arms as wide as they could, and paced gently round. The others rushed
altogether on the ring, and tried to break it, but their opponents
closed and the invaders were forced to desist. They then threw
themselves into several groups of two or three in each, advanced and
attacked at different points, but were again baffled in their efforts,
and after many unsuccessful trials to break the ring, and take the boy,
they were obliged through fatigue to abandon their enterprise. When the
game, which lasted at least three hours, was finished, abundance of
cider was brought, and the effects of drinking it were soon visible.
Wrestling parties commenced, in which great strength and agility were
shown: the first throw decided each contest, and the horns of cider
were freely circulated to cheer the drooping spirits of the youths. The
females and children stood in groups to witness these sports, and
interest and enthusiasm were strongly marked in their countenances.

After a supper of _milcow_, roasted potatoes, milk, &c. we retired to
our beds, which were formed of five or six clean white sheep skins, and
some white flannel. We rose at an early hour the next morning; five more
young indians were attached to my escort, and we proceeded on our way to

There is a roadstead and good anchorage at Tubul, and in any emergency
ships may procure an abundance of bullocks, sheep, and excellent
vegetables, in exchange for knives, axes, buttons, beads, &c. The water
at the mouth of the river is salt, but good fresh water may be easily
obtained a little way up on the north side, where a rivulet joins the

Having travelled about six miles, we descended to the beach of a very
extensive bay, and saw the island of Santa Maria in the horizon. At the
foot of the promontory which we had crossed was a small stream and three
neat cottages with pretty gardens before them. My guides took me to the
first of these cottages, where we were received by a white woman, the
wife of a sergeant stationed here as at a kind of advanced post. The
sergeant soon made his appearance, and although I had been so very
kindly treated by the good indians, I felt a pleasure at finding myself
once again among people of my own colour, similar to that experienced by
a person who is relieved from an apprehension of danger, by being
satisfied that it does not exist. Some dispute arose respecting the
indians leaving me and returning home; but it was adjusted by the
sergeant sending two soldiers with us, with orders to present me to the
commandant, at Arauco. After breakfasting on roasted jerked beef and
bread, we proceeded towards Arauco, and arrived there at noon.

The country over which we travelled was every where covered with
vegetation, the valleys or bottoms of the ravines with grass and shrubs,
and their hilly sides with wood. After descending to the beach, several
small ravines opened to the right, containing a considerable number of
neat thatched cottages. Quantities of wild vines climbed from tree to
tree, laden with grapes as yet green; and clusters of apple, pear, and
peach trees adorned the sides of the hills, while the low land from
their bases to the sea side was divided and fenced in with branches of
trees--cattle, principally milch cows, feeding in the enclosures.

On our arrival at Arauco I was immediately taken to the house of the
commandant, who ordered me into his presence, and the soldiers and
indians to return. I was not a little surprised at the extravagant
appearance of this military hero, who undoubtedly considered himself, in
his present situation, equal to Alexander or Napoleon, and but for his
figure I should have conceived him to be a second Falstaff. He stood
about five feet six inches high, was remarkably slender, and had a
swarthy complexion, large Roman nose, small black eyes, projecting chin,
and toothless mouth. His hair was combed back from his forehead,
abundantly powdered, and tied in a cue _a la_ Frederick. He wore an old
tarnished gold laced uniform of faded blue, with deepened red lappels,
collar and cuffs, his waistcoat and breeches being of the latter colour;
bluish stockings, brown shoes for lack of blacking, and large square
brass buckles. A real Toledo was fastened to his side with a broad black
leather belt and a brass buckle in front: an equilateral triangular hat
covered his head. Such was the visible part of this soldier. His red
cloak was on a chair near him, while his worship stood, bolt upright, in
his vast importance _personale_! Never did chivalrous knight listen
with more gravity of countenance, measured demeanour or composed
posture, to the cravings of a woe-begotten squire, than did my old
commandant to my ill-digested narrative. But what a contrast presented
itself in his goodly lady, the _comandanta_, whom I could compare to
nothing better than a large lanthorn! She stood about four feet six
inches high, and as nearly as I could conceive measured the same round
the waist, which was encompassed by an enormous hoop, at least four feet
in diameter, having a petticoat of scarlet flannel, sewed into small
folds, the bottom of which was trimmed about a foot deep with something
yellow. She wore a green bodice, and the sleeves of her undermost
garment just covered her shoulders, and were edged with green ribbon and
white fringe. Her hair was all combed back from her forehead, and tied
behind with a broad black ribbon. On the top of her head appeared a
bunch of natural flowers. It might with propriety be said of this goodly
dame, that it would be much easier to pass over than to go round her.
There were also present the curate of the parish, two Franciscan friars,
and some of the inhabitants, one of whom, Don Nicolas del Rio,
compassionating the fate of a boy, (for I was then only seventeen)
asked the commandant to allow me to be his guest. This request being
granted, the chief put on his red cloak, walked with us to the house of
Don Nicolas, and, not forgetting one iota of etiquette, presented me to
the family, composed of the wife of Don Nicolas and three daughters;
their only son being with an uncle, who was governor of Angeles. During
the time I remained at Arauco I was treated in every respect as one of
the family by these kind and hospitable people. Visiting parties to
their gardens, orchards, and vineyards, followed each other daily, and
all possible care was taken to render me happy--and not in vain, for I
was happy.

Arauco is situated at the foot of a rocky hill, accessible only by a
winding path from the inside of the walls by which the town is
surrounded. On the top of the hill were four brass guns of eighteen
pounds calibre, with a breast-work of stone, a large house for the
soldiers, forming their barracks or guard-house, and a small watch
tower. The town is a square of about six hundred yards, and is
surrounded by a wall of eighteen feet high on three of the sides, the
hill forming the fourth; two small breast-works are raised at the
corners. An arched gateway stands in the centre of the north side, with
a massy wooden door, which is closed every night at eight o'clock, and
opened at six in the morning. From the gateway is a street to the
square, or market-place, where the church is erected. There is also a
convent of Franciscan friars, which was formerly a Jesuits' college. The
garrison consisted of thirty privates with the respective subalterns and
officers. The whole population amounts to about four hundred souls.

The town is well supplied by a spring in the rock with most excellent
water, which falls into a large stone basin, and thence runs through the
square, the principal street, and out at the gateway. Fruit, fish,
poultry, and cider called _chicha_, are brought in daily by the indian
women, and sold or bartered principally for salt, which is the article
most in demand, there being none but what is imported. The greater part
used for culinary purposes is from Peru, but a coarser kind is obtained
from the coast of Chile, near to Valparaiso. The general salutation of
the indians is _marry, marry_; and I was told, that when a Cacique or
any other chief sends to a Spaniard his _marry, marry_, it is a sure
sign that he is at peace with the Spaniards, though other tribes may be
at war with them.

I had several opportunities at Arauco of seeing the indians employed in
weaving the fine _ponchos_, some of which, I learnt, were worth from a
hundred to a hundred and fifty dollars. The wool is first washed and
picked or combed, for they have no idea of carding. It is then spun with
the spindle, as already described, and afterwards dyed the necessary
colours, such as blue, green, yellow, red, &c., and if one be wanted
which they have not the materials to produce, they purchase a piece of
Manchester flannel of the colour required, pick it to pieces, reduce it
to wool, and spin it over again, the yarn being required to be much
finer than that of the flannel, and always twisted of two or more
threads. The _poncho_ is woven in stripes of one, two, or three inches
broad, which are subsequently sewed together. Sometimes, and for the
finest _ponchos_, no loom whatever is used. The coloured threads or
yarns are rolled on a round piece of wood; the weaver ties the other
ends of them to her girdle, and lifts and depresses the threads with her
fingers, passing the woof rolled on a cane instead of a shuttle, and
beating it with the _macana_. This may undoubtedly be considered the
lowest pitch of weaving, but the patterns on the stripes are very pretty
and ingenious, and the repetitions of the devices are extremely exact.

After a few days' rest, it was proposed by Don Nicolas that I should
accompany his daughters on an excursion to some of the neighbouring
towns and villages: a proposal highly gratifying to myself, and
apparently not less so to my new acquaintance. A permission or passport
was procured for me from the commandant, and I was ordered to present it
at every military post we might arrive at. Whether there were any
necessity for this document I do not know; but I think it was provided
to give me an idea of the authority of the military chief; for I was
never asked for it, and when I presented it at any post it was never
read; but a curl of the upper lip showed the contempt with which it was
viewed by the subalterns of this great man!

Our cavalcade, on as delightful a morning as ever broke on joyous
travellers, made a very gay appearance. The three daughters of Don
Nicolas were mounted on good horses, with square side-saddles, the upper
part of which had rather the shape of small chairs, having backs and
arms covered with velvet, fastened with a profusion of brass-headed
nails. A board about ten inches long and four broad, covered and nailed
to match, was suspended on the far side of each horse; so that the rider
sat with her left hand to the horse's head, contrary to the custom in
England. The bridles, cruppers and appendages were of exquisite platted
work, ornamented with a number of silver rings, buckles and small
plates. I rode a horse belonging to my good host, with saddle and
trappings decorated in the same manner. The saddle was raised about four
inches before and behind, and some sheep skins were put on the seat,
covered with a red rug of very long wool. Four sumpter mules were laden
with bedding and provender, two _mosotones_, young indians, were
appointed to attend to them, and two females to wait on their young
mistresses. We mounted, and at the gate were joined by the commandant's
two daughters, who had two soldiers for their guard. Never did I feel
more delighted than when, having passed the gateway and advanced a few
yards, I turned round to view this novel scene, to which, in my mind, a
Canterbury pilgrimage was far inferior. Five young ladies in their rigid
costume; their small but beautifully wrought _ponchos_; their black hats
and feathers; their hoops, spreading out their fancifully coloured
coats, ornamented with ribbons, fringes, and spangles; the gay
trappings of their horses; the two soldiers in uniform; the indians; the
servant girls, and the sumpter mules, which closed the procession; the
merry countenances of all; the parents, relations and friends, waving
their hats and handkerchiefs from the walls of the town; the sound of
the church and convent bells, summoning the inhabitants to mass; the
distant view of the sea on one side, and that of the enchanting plain
and mountain scenery on the other--reminded me of fairy regions, and at
times caused me almost to doubt the reality of what I beheld. It was
predetermined that we should breakfast at a farm-house about two leagues
from Arauco. Thither we rode, leaving the indians to follow with their

Our arrival was anticipated, and a splendid breakfast had been prepared:
roasted lamb, fowls, fried eggs and fish smoaked on the table; whilst
chocolate and toasted bread, excellent butter and cheese finished the
repast. We honoured our host by eating heartily, and waited the arrival
of the indians: they were ordered to follow us to the mills. We shortly
reached the bank of the river Carampangue, and after riding about twelve
miles came to the mills called _de Carampangue_. The river is in some
places from eighty to a hundred yards wide, and in others not above
twenty; running slowly towards the sea, into which it empties itself
about four miles from Arauco. Its origin is said to be in the
Cordilleras. Where the mills are situated the river is twenty-two yards
wide, with a considerable fall, and water is drawn from it for their
service by channels. These mills are three in number, with vertical
water-wheels and one pair of stones to each mill. I was informed that
the stones are brought from a considerable distance, and that they cost
about one hundred and fifty dollars the pair. They are black, with small
white stains, resembling in size and shape the wings of flies, and hence
are called _ala de mosca_. When by any accident they are broken, the
only remedy is to procure new ones, the people being ignorant of any
cement with which to unite the pieces; and probably the expense of iron
work would amount to more than that of new stones; nay, I question
whether they have a blacksmith in this part of the country who could
forge hoops to brace them. The only precaution taken to prevent such
accidents is the passing a number of thongs of raw hide, while fresh,
round the stones, and when dry they are not perhaps very inferior to
iron hoops. The wood-work is as rude, the miller being the carpenter,
blacksmith, mason, &c. The flour is not bolted, but sifted by hand.
This however is no part of the business or trade of the miller, who is
only required to grind the corn; for the meal is carried home to its
owner, and separated from the bran with large hair sieves made by the

We dined at one of the houses, partly on the fare presented to us, and
partly on our own, brought by the sumpter mules. The afternoon was spent
in rambling about the neighbouring country and picking myrtle berries,
which are delicious, and called by the people _mutillas_. They are about
the size of a large pea, of a deep red colour and of a peculiarly sweet
and aromatic flavour. They are sometimes prepared by crushing them in
water and allowing them to ferment for a few days, which produces a
pleasant beverage called _chicha de mutilla_. We found abundance of wild
grapes, (which though neither large nor sweet were very palatable) some
few plums, and plenty of apples, pears and peaches. On our return to the
miller's house we were presented with _mate_, which is a substitute for
tea, and is used more or less in every part of South America, but since
the present revolution it has become less prevalent, partly because the
custom of drinking tea _a la Inglesa_ is more fashionable, and partly
because a regular supply of the herb cannot be procured from Paraguay,
where it grows, and from whence it derives its name. The _mate_ is
prepared by putting into a silver or gold cup about a teaspoonful of the
herb of Paraguay, to which are added a bit of sugar, sometimes laid on
the fire until the outside be a little burnt, a few drops of lemon
juice, a piece of lemon peel and of cinnamon, or a clove. Boiling water
is poured in till the cup is full, and a silver tube, about the
thickness of the stalk of a tobacco pipe, six inches long and perforated
at the lower end with small holes, is introduced. Through this the
_mate_ is sucked, with the risk of scalding the mouth. A cup supported
on a salver, most curiously chased, or filigreed, is commonly used:
however a calabash, with a fillet of silver round the top, was used on
this occasion. One tube serves the whole party, and the female who
presides will not unfrequently give a hearty suck when the cup is
returned to her, and take another after replenishing it, before it is
handed to the company. A great deal of etiquette is observed with the
_mate_. It is first offered to the person who is the greatest stranger,
or most welcome visitor, a priest, if there happen to be one present,
which is generally the case. Nothing but the severe indisposition of
Friar Vicente at Arauco freed us from his presence: an event which was
not regretted by the party until dancing was proposed in the evening,
when his ghostly fathership was missed, as no one could play on the
guitar so well as he: however one of the soldiers offered his services;
the instrument was produced and tuned, the dance named, and the
sparkling eyes of the whole company, which had greatly increased since
our arrival, bespoke a wish to "trip it on the light fantastic toe;" but
to my astonishment, a young man and woman stepped into the middle of the
room, and began to jig to the sounds of the guitar, sounds not to be
equalled except by the filing of a saw, or the boisterous singing of the
performer. This I was told was a _bolero_. They danced about five
minutes, and were relieved by two others. In this manner the diversion
was kept up until after midnight, with the assistance of cider, _chicha
de mansana_, _chicha de mutilla_, bad wine, and some brandy made from
the wild grape of the country. A hot supper closed the scene, and we
retired to the beds prepared for us at the different houses.

The following morning after breakfast we mounted our horses, and having
crossed the river at a ford, pursued our route to Nacimiento, which is
a small village surrounded by a wall with four brass guns. The greater
part of the inhabitants are indians, and apparently very poor. We spent
the night at the house of the curate, but not so agreeably as we passed
the preceding one at the mills.

On the next day we went on to Santa Juana, another frontier town,
standing on an island formed by the river dividing itself into two
branches for the space of about half a mile and again uniting. This
river is the Bio-bio, and may with propriety be called the northern
boundary of Chile. The towns on the south side of the Bio-bio are under
great risk of being sacked by the indians, and are merely kept as
advanced posts by the Spaniards. We rested one day at Santa Juana, and
returned by a different road to Nacimiento, from thence to the
Carampangue mills, and the day after to Arauco, having spent seven days
in this most agreeable excursion.

I was exceedingly surprized at being informed that war had been declared
between England and Spain; and in a few days afterwards I received
orders to proceed to Conception. I remained at the house of my friend
Don Nicolas del Rio, until my departure, enjoying every day more and
more the kind hospitality of this worthy South American and his
excellent family, whom I left with the most sincere regret, impressed
with the idea that I should never see any of them again. I was, however,
deceived, for after a lapse of seventeen years we met under
circumstances which enabled me to repay a part of their kindness.


     Account of Cultivation of Farms, &c. in Araucania....Thrashing,
     &c....Produce ....Cattle....Locality....Topographical
     Divisions....Government (Indian)....Laws and Penalties....Military
     System....Arms, Standards, &c....Division of Spoil....Treaty of
     Peace....Religion....Marriages....Funerals....Spanish Cities
     founded in Araucania....Ideas on New Colonies....Commerce.

The plough used by the Creoles and Spaniards and adopted by the indians
is a piece of crooked wood, generally part of the trunk and one of the
principal branches of a tree. The portion which is intended to move the
soil, for it cannot properly be called ploughing, is about five feet
long and six inches broad. One end is pointed and sometimes charred; at
the other a handle rises about three feet high, forming with the bottom
piece an obtuse angle, greater or less according to the will of the
maker, or the chance of finding a piece of wood suitable for the
purpose. One end of the beam is inserted at the angle and is supported
about the middle of the lower part of the plough by a piece of wood
passing through it into a mortise made in the lower part, where it is
secured, as well as in the beam, by small wedges. The removal of those
in the beam serves to raise or depress it for the purpose of making the
furrow deeper or shallower. The beam is from ten to twelve feet long,
the one end fastened as already mentioned, and the other lashed to the
yoke, which is tied with thongs just behind the horns of the bullock.
Instead of harrows they use a bunch of thorns, generally of the
_espino_. One would imagine that this rude implement had been found in
the hands of the indians at the time the country was discovered; but
according to Townsend's description of the plough used in some parts of
Spain, it was one of the improvements carried to America by the earliest
settlers. Indeed, rude as it is, it is seen in every part of South
America which I visited, having in some places the addition of a piece
of flat iron, about a foot long and pointed at one end, attached by
thongs to that of the lower part of the plough, and called _reja_:
probably from the verb _rajar_, to split or divide.

When a farmer selects a piece of ground for cultivation he cuts down the
trees, with which he makes a fence by laying them around the field. He
then ploughs or breaks the ground, sows his wheat or barley, and harrows
it in with a bunch of thorns: here the cares of husbandry cease until
harvest. The corn is now cut, tied into sheaves, and carried to the
thrashing floor, where it is trodden out by a drove of mares, which are
driven round at a full gallop, till the straw becomes hard, when it is
turned over, and the trampling repeated two or three times, so as to
break the straw into pieces of two inches long. At this stage it is
supposed that the grain is freed from the ears. The whole is shaken with
large forks, made of wood or forked branches of trees; the chaff and
grain fall to the ground, and are formed into a heap, which is thrown up
into the air with shovels. The wind blows away the chaff, and the grain
remains on the floor. It is now put into sacks made of bullocks' hides,
placed on the backs of mules, and carried to the owner's house; but not
before the tythe or _diesmo_ has been paid, and one bushel, _primicia_,
to the parson. The straw is occasionally preserved for the horses in the
rainy season; at other times it is burnt or left to rot.

For a thrashing floor a piece of ground is selected, and having been
swept and cleared, is enclosed with a few poles and canes. It is seldom
used twice, and the size is proportioned to the quantity of corn to be
trodden out.

Maize, sometimes called indian corn, is cultivated in great quantities
in this as well as in every other part of South America. Four varieties
are to be found here, all of which are very productive and much
appreciated. It is sown in lines or rows, two, three, or four plants
standing together, at the distance of half a yard from the other
clusters. Each stem produces from two to four cobs, and some of them are
twelve inches long. The indians prepare the maize for winter, whilst in
the green state, by boiling the cobs, from the cores of which are taken
the grain, which is dried in the sun and kept for use. It is called
_chuchoca_, and when mixed with some of their hashes or stews is very
palatable. Another preparation is made by cutting the corn from the core
of the green cobs, and bruising it between two stones until it assumes
the consistency of paste, to which sugar, butter and spices, or only
salt is added. It is then divided into small portions, which are
enclosed separately within the inner leaf of the cob or ear and boiled.
These cakes are called _umitas_. The dry boiled maize, _mote_, and the
toasted, _cancha_, are used by the indians instead of bread. One kind of
maize, _curugua_, is much softer when roasted, and furnishes a flour
lighter, whiter, and in greater quantity than any other kind. This meal
mixed with water and a little sugar is esteemed by all classes of
people. If the water be hot the beverage is called _cherchan_, if cold

M. Bomare considers the maize as indigenous to Asia alone, and C.
Durante to Turkey; but Solis, Zandoval, Herrera and others prove that it
was found at the discovery of the New World in the West Indies, Mexico,
Peru and Chile. Indeed I have opened many of the graves, _huacas_, of
the indians, and observed maize in them, which was beyond all doubt
buried before the conquest or discovery of this country.

There are two kinds of _quinua_, a species of chenopodium. The seed of
the one is reddish, bitter, and used only as a medicine. The other is
white, and is frequently brought to table. When boiled it uncurls and
has the appearance of fine vermicelli. It is sometimes boiled in soup,
and is also made into a kind of pudding, seasoned with onions, garlic,
pepper, &c.

Of the bean, _phaseolus_, they have several kinds, which are grown in
abundance, constituting both in a green and dried state a great part of
the support of the lower classes of Creoles and indians. The bean is
indigenous, and was cultivated before the arrival of the Spaniards.

Seven or eight varieties of potatoe of an excellent quality are raised,
and in some shape or other introduced to every table and almost at
every meal. Indeed Chile is considered by many naturalists to be the
native soil of this vegetable. The small potatoes are often preserved by
boiling them and drying them in the sun, or among the Cordilleras
covering them with ice, until they assume a horny appearance. When used
they are broken into small pieces, soaked in water, and added to many of
their stews. A species called _pogny_ is very bitter, and is considered,
with probability, to be poisonous. For use it is soaked in water till
the bitterness is removed, then dried, and sometimes reduced to powder,
called _chuno_. For food it is prepared like arrow root, which it

They have the white and the yellow flowered gourd. Of the former,
generally called calabashes, there are about twenty varieties, but only
two of them are sweet and eatable. However, the bitter kinds are
remarkably serviceable, for when dried and cleaned their shells are
substitutes for dishes, bowls, platters, bottles, tubs, or trays. The
largest serve the purposes of barrels for water, cider, and other
liquids, as well as baskets for fruit, butter and eggs. They are
sometimes very curiously cut and stained, and for certain uses bound or
tipped with silver. The yellow flowered, known to us by the name of
pumpkin or pompion, and here called _zapallo_, are excellent food,
whether cooked with meat as a vegetable, or made into custard with sugar
and other ingredients. That the gourd is a native of South America seems
to be supported by several striking circumstances. The seeds and shells
are found in the graves, or _huacas_; the plant was universally met with
among the different tribes of indians at the time of their discovery;
Almagro states that on his passage down the Maranon some of the indians
had calabashes to drink with; and lastly, those who bring their produce
from the woods of Maynas to Cusco, Quito and other places, always use
gourd shells.

The pimento, guinea, or cayenne pepper, _capsicum_, is much cultivated
and valued by the natives, who season their food with it. Although at
first very pungent and disagreeable, strangers gradually habituate
themselves to, and become fond of it. There are several varieties.

I have been thus particular in mentioning these indigenous plants,
because from the slender or exaggerated accounts given to the public no
perfect idea can be formed of the native productions of this country.

European vegetables prosper extremely well in Araucania, and abundance
of them are to be seen in every garden.

In some parts of the Araucanian territory there is a great stock of
horned cattle, which is well grown, and often tolerably fat. The beef is
savoury, owing perhaps to the prevalence of aromatic herbs, more
particularly a species of venus' comb, called by the indians _loiqui
lahuen_, by the Spaniards _alfilerilla_; and trefoil, _gualputa_. There
is no scarcity of sheep; but pigs are not much bred, as the indians are
averse from eating their flesh: a prejudice which has supplied some
fanatical priests with a reason for considering the natives of Jewish
extraction! Turkeys, barn door fowls and ducks thrive extremely well. I
never saw any geese here, and though they may be found in other parts,
the indians have a dislike to them for food.

The tract of country which may be properly called Araucania extends from
the river Bio-bio in 36° 44´ south latitude, to Valdivia in 39° 38´, the
province of Conception bounding it on the north, and the _Llanos_ or
plains of Valdivia on the south. The Cordillera forms the eastern limit,
and the Pacific the western. It is divided into four governments, or
tetrachates, called _uthal mapus_:--1. _lauguen mapu_, the maritime
country; 2, _lelbun mapu_, the plain country; 3, _mapire mapu_, the
foot of the Cordilleras; 4, _pire mapu_, the Andes. Each tetrachate is
again divided into nine _allaregues_, or provinces, and these are
subdivided into nine _regues_, or districts. This division existed prior
to the arrival of the Spaniards, but the date of its establishment is
unknown. It evinces, however, more wisdom than civilized countries are
willing to allow to what they term barbarous tribes, who no doubt return
this compliment, by adjudging those nations to be barbarous who observe
any rules or laws different from their own.

Such is the common characteristic of civilization and uncivilization!
But can that country be called barbarous which, although its code of
laws is not written on vellum, or bound in calf, has an established mode
of government for the administration of justice and the protection of
property? The Araucanians have ever been a warlike race, and yet their
government is aristocratical. They are prompt to resent an insult, but
they possess virtues of a private and public nature, which deny to
civilization its exclusive pretensions to patriotism, friendship or

The four _uthalmapus_ are governed by four _Toquis_, or tetrachs, who
are independent of each other in the civil administration of their
respective territories, but confederated for the general good of the
whole country. The Apo-ulmenes are subordinate governors of provinces,
under the respective Toquis; and the Ulmenes, the prefects of the
counties, or districts, are dependent on the Apo-ulmenes. All these
dignities are hereditary in the male line, attending to primogeniture,
but when there is no lineal male descendant of the person reigning, the
vassals enjoy the privilege of electing a new governor from among
themselves, and on reporting their choice to the Toquis, they
immediately order it to be acknowledged.

The badge of a Toqui is a battle-axe; that of an Apo-ulmen a staff, or
baton, with a ball of silver on the top, and a ring of the same metal
round the middle: the Ulmen has the baton without the ring.

To the hypothetical historian this aristocracy in the most southern
limits of the new, so similar to the military aristocracy of the dukes,
the counts, and the marquises in the northern parts of the old world,
would prove that the latter was peopled by migrations from the former,
at a time beyond the reach of record, or even of oral tradition.

The Araucanian code of laws is traditionary, (composed of primordial
usages, or tacit conventions, formed in such general councils as are yet
assembled by the Toquis in cases of emergency) and is called
_aucacoyog_. Molina, Ulloa, and other writers are silent upon the
curious fact of the possession by this people of the _quipus_, or
Peruvian mode of knotting coloured threads as a substitute for writing
or hieroglyphics. That they do possess this art at the present day, the
following narrative will testify. In 1792 a revolution took place near
Valdivia, and on the trial of several of the accomplices, Marican,[1]
one of them, declared, "that the signal sent by Lepitrarn was a piece of
wood, about a quarter of a yard long, and considerably thick; that it
had been split, and was found to contain the finger of a Spaniard; that
it was wrapped round with thread, having a fringe at one end made of
red, blue, black, and white worsted; that on the black were tied by
Lepitrarn, four knots, to intimate that it was the fourth day after the
full moon when the bearer left Paquipulli; that on the white were ten
knots, indicating that ten days after that date the revolution would
take place; that on the red was to be tied by the person who received it
a knot, if he assisted in the revolt, but if he refused, he was to tie
a knot on the blue and red joined together: so that according to the
route determined on by Lepitrarn he would be able to discover on the
return of his _chasqui_, or herald, how many of his friends would join
him; and if any dissented, he would know who it was, by the place where
the knot uniting the two threads was tied."

Thus it is very probable, that the Toquis of Araucania preserve their
records by means of the quipus, instead of relying on oral tradition.
The principal crimes of this people are murder, adultery, robbery and
witchcraft. If a murderer compound the matter with the nearest relations
of the deceased, he escapes punishment. Such is also the case in robbery
and adultery; the composition in robbery being restitution of property
stolen; in adultery, maintenance of the woman. Witchcraft is always
punished with death. In murder, however, retaliation is generally called
in to decide; and in most instances the injured relatives collect their
friends, enter and despoil the territory or premises of the aggressor.
These _malocas_, as they are stiled, are sources of great confusion.

When a general council has resolved to make war, one of the Toquis is
usually appointed by his brethren to take the command in chief; but
should the four agree to nominate any other individual in the state, he
becomes duly elected, and assumes the Toquis' badge, a war axe--the four
Toquis laying down their insignia and authority during the war. The
person thus elected is sole dictator. He appoints his subalterns, and is
implicitly obeyed by all ranks. War being determined on, and the Toqui
chosen, he immediately sends his messengers, _werquenis_, with the
signal; and as all Araucanians are born soldiers of the state, the army
is soon collected at the rendezvous assigned.

The arms of the infantry are muskets, which from the Spaniards they have
learned to use with great dexterity, though bows and arrows, slings,
clubs and pikes are their proper weapons. They have also their cavalry,
in imitation of their conquerors; and, possessed of a good and ample
breed of horses, are very excellent riders. The arms of this branch of
their force are swords and lances, their system being to come to close
quarters with the enemy as soon as possible. Their standards have a fine
pointed star in the centre, generally white, in a field of bluish green,
which is their favourite colour. Military uniforms are not used, but a
species of leather dress is worn under their ordinary clothing, to
defend the body from arrow, pike and sword wounds. This is doubtless of
modern invention, for before the arrival of the Spaniards they had no
animal of sufficient size to afford hides large or thick enough for such
a purpose.

The whole of the provisions of an Araucanian army consist of the
_machica_, or meal of parched grain. Each individual provides himself
with a small bag full, which diluted with water furnishes him with
sustenance until he can quarter on the enemy, an object of the last
importance to the leaders. In the camp or resting-place every soldier
lights a fire: a practice which during the first wars with the Spaniards
(so beautifully recorded by Ercilla in his Araucania) often deceived the
enemy as to their numbers. What Robertson says in praise of the Chileans
must be wholly ascribed to the Araucanians, in order to avoid the
confusion which would be created were we to consider the present
inhabitants of Chile as the persons spoken of by that author.

After a general action or a skirmish the booty taken is equally divided
among the individuals who were at the capture. They judiciously consider
that rank and honours repay the leaders, and that a larger share of the
booty would probably induce them to be more attentive to spoil than to
conquest, to personal good than to national welfare: a policy worthy of
the imitation of all nations.

Abbé Molina, in his History of Chile, speaks of sacrifices after an
action; but although I inquired, when at Arauco in the year 1803, and
more particularly in the province of Valdivia in 1820, I never could
obtain any account from the natives which gave the least countenance to
this assertion. It is possible, however, that during the first wars with
the Spaniards the barbarous proceedings of the latter to the captured
Indians gave rise to a retaliation which was confounded with sacrifice.
Among the religious ceremonies of Araucania human sacrifices are
decidedly not included.

The independent spirit of the Araucanians prevents their ever sueing for
peace. The first overtures have always been made by the Spaniards, who
are the only nation with which they have contended; for although the
Inca Yupanqui invaded Chile about the year 1430, the northern limit of
his acquired territory was, according to Garcilaso, the river Maule.
When the proposals are accepted by the indians, or rather by the
commanding Toqui, he lays down his insignia, which the four Toquis of
the uthalmapus resume, and accompanied by the Apo-ulmenes and principal
officers of the army, they adjourn to some appointed plain, generally
between the rivers Bio-bio and Duqueco. The two contending chiefs, with
their respective interpreters, meet, and the Araucanian claiming the
precedence, speaks first, and is answered by the Spaniard. If the terms
offered to the indians meet their approbation, the baton of the Spanish
chief, and the war axe of the Toqui are tied together, crowned with a
bunch of _canelo_, and placed on the spot where the conference was held.
The articles of the treaty are written, but agreed to rather than
signed, and they generally state the quantity and quality of the
presents which the indians are to receive. The negociation ends in
eating, drinking, riot and confusion. Raynal, treating of the
Araucanians, says--"As these Araucanians are not embarrassed by making
war, they are not apprehensive of its duration, and hold it as a
principle never to sue for peace, the first overtures for which are
always made by the Spaniards."

Their religion is very simple. They have a Supreme Being, whom they call
_Pillian_, and who is at the head of a universal government, which is
the prototype of their own. Pillian is the great invisible Toqui, and
has his Apo-ulmenes and his Ulmenes, to whom he assigns different
situations in the government, and entrusts the administration of certain
affairs in this world. _Meulen_, the genius of good and the friend of
mankind, and Wencuba that of evil, and the enemy of man, are the two
principal subordinate deities. Epunamun is their genius of war; but it
appears that he is seldom invoked as a protector, being only the object
by which they swear to fight, destroy, &c. These three may be considered
their Apo-ulmenes; and their Ulmenes are a race of genii, who assist the
good Meulen in favour of mortals, and defend their interests against the
enormous power of the wicked Wencuba. The Araucanians have no places of
worship, no idols, no religious rites. They believe that as their God
and his genii need not the worship of men, they do not require it; that
they are not desirous of imposing a tribute or exacting a service,
except for the good or interest of their servants; and that they thus
resemble the Toquis and Ulmenes, who can call upon them to fight for
their country and their liberties, but for no personal offices. They,
nevertheless, invoke the aid of the good Meulen, and attribute all their
evils to the influence of the wicked Wencuba.

The Spanish government has taken great pains to establish the Christian
religion among the different tribes of indians in South America, and
for the education of missionaries for the conversion of the Araucanians
a convent of Franciscan friars, called de propaganda fide, is
established at Chillan. These individuals, however, are chiefly natives
of Spain, and being ordained presbyters can easily obtain a mission; and
as pecuniary emoluments are attached to the employment, the order has
always endeavoured to preclude Americans. There are also minor convents
at Arauco, Los Angeles and Valdivia. As the missionaries only require
the young indians to learn a few prayers, attend mass on particular
days, and confess themselves once a year, they make some proselytes; but
in the year 1820, when the Spanish government was overthrown at
Valdivia, the indians immediately accused their missionaries of being
enemies to the newly-established system, and requested their removal.
Another proof of dislike to the priests, if not to the religion, is,
that they are generally massacred when any revolution takes place among
the indians. Such was the case in 1792 at Rio-bueno.[2] According to the
confessions of those who were taken and tried upon that occasion, their
plan was to burn all the missions, and murder the missionaries.

Witchcraft and divination are firmly believed by the Araucanians. Any
accident that occurs to an individual or family is attributed to the
agency of the former, and for a due discovery they consult the latter.
Particular attention is paid to omens, such as the flight of birds, and
dreams. These are either favourable or otherwise according to the bird
seen, or the direction of its flight, &c. An Araucanian who fears not
his foe on the field of battle, nor the more dreadful hand of the
executioner, will tremble at the sight of an owl. They have also their
ghosts and hobgoblins: but is there any nation on earth so far removed
from credulity as not to keep the Araucanians in countenance in these

The belief of a future state and the immortality of the soul is
universal among the indians of South America. The Araucanians agree with
the rest in expecting an eternal residence in a beautiful country, to
which all will be transferred. Pillian is too good to inflict any
punishment after death for crimes committed during life. They believe
that the soul will enjoy the same privileges in a separate state which
it possessed whilst united to the body. Thus the husband will have his
wives, but without any spiritual progeny, for the new country must be
peopled with the spirits of the dead. Like the ancients, they have their
ferryman, or rather ferrywoman, to transport them thither. She is called
_Tempulagy_, being an old woman who takes possession of the soul after
the relations have mourned over the corpse, and who conveys it over the
seas to the westward, where the land of expectation is supposed to

When an indian becomes enamoured of a female, or wishes to marry her, he
informs her father of his intention, and if his proposals be accepted,
the father at a time agreed upon sends his daughter on a pretended
errand. The bridegroom with some of his friends is secreted on the route
she has to take: he seizes the girl, and carries her to his house, where
not unfrequently her father and his friends have already arrived to
partake of the nuptial feast, and receive the stipulated presents, which
consist of horses, horned cattle, maize, ponchos, &c. The ceremony is
concluded by the whole party drinking to excess.

On the death of an individual the relations and friends are summoned to
attend, and weep or mourn. The deceased is laid on a table, and dressed
in the best apparel he possessed when alive. The females walk round the
body, chaunting in a doleful strain a recapitulation of the events of
the life of the person whose death they lament; whilst the men employ
themselves in drinking. On the second or third day the corpse is carried
to the family burying place, which is at some distance from the house,
and generally on an eminence. It is laid in a grave prepared for the
purpose. If the deceased be a man, he is buried with his arms, and
sometimes a horse, killed for the occasion: if a woman, she is interred
with a quantity of household utensils. In both cases a portion of food
is placed in the grave to support them and the _Tempulagy_, or
ferrywoman, on their journey to the other country. Earth is thrown on
the body, and afterwards stones are piled over it in a pyramidal form. A
quantity of cider or other fermented liquor is poured upon the tomb;
when, these solemn rites being terminated, the company return to the
house of the deceased to feast and drink. Black is here as in Europe the
colour used for mourning.

The indians never believe that death is owing to natural causes, but
that it is the effect of sorcery and witchcraft. Thus on the death of an
individual, one or more diviners are consulted, who generally name the
enchanter, and are so implicitly believed, that the unfortunate object
of their caprice or malice is certain to fall a sacrifice. The number of
victims is far from being inconsiderable.

In my description of Araucania I have in some measure followed Molina's
ingenious work; but I have not ventured to state any thing which I did
not see myself, or learn from the indians, or persons residing among

The Spaniards founded seven cities in Araucania. The Imperial, built in
1552 by Don Pedro Valdivia, generally called the conqueror of Chile, is
situated at the confluence of the two rivers Cantin and Las Damas, 12
miles from the sea, in an extremely rich and beautiful country, enjoying
the best soil and climate in Araucania. In 1564 Pius IV. made it a
bishop's see, which was removed to Conception in 1620. In 1599 it was
taken and destroyed by the indians, and has never been rebuilt. The site
at present belongs to the _lauguen mapu_, or tetrachate of the coast.

Villarica was also founded by Valdivia in 1552, on the shore of the
great lake Sauquen, 65 miles from the sea. It was destroyed by the Toqui
Palliamachu, and its site forms part of the tetrachate of the _mapire
mapu_. Report speaks of rich gold mines in the environs of the ground
where Villarica stood and from which it took its name. The climate is
cold, owing to the vicinity of the Cordillera.

Valdivia bears the name of its founder. Of this city I shall have
occasion hereafter to give a circumstantial account.

Angol, or La Frontera, was established by Pedro Valdivia in the year
1553. It was razed by the Indians in 1601, and has since remained in
ruins. It is now in reality the frontier, though Valdivia little
surmised that it would be so when he founded it. The river Bio-bio
bounded it on the south side, and a small rapid stream on the north. The
soil and climate are excellent, and the situation was well chosen for a

Cañete was founded in 1557 by Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendosa, and
destroyed during the first long-contested war with the Araucanians, by
the Toqui Antiguenu. It was built on the site where Valdivia was
defeated and slain, and now forms part of the _lelbum mapu_ tetrachate.

Osorno is the most southern city in South America, being in 40° 20´, at
the distance of 24 miles from the sea, and 212 south of Conception. It
was founded in 1559 by Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendosa, and destroyed by
the indians in 1599. It was again founded on the old site, on the banks
of Rio-bueno, by Don Ambrose Higgins, who was afterwards president and
captain general of Chile, and promoted to the vice-royalty of Peru.
Charles IV. conferred on Higgins the title of Marquis of Osorno, as a
reward for his services in Araucania. The first supreme director of the
Chilean republic, Don Bernardo O'Higgins, was the natural son of Don

Conception is the seventh city founded by the Spaniards, but as it is
not included in the Araucanian territory I shall defer any description
of it for the present.

Cesares is a place about which much has been said and written. I have in
my possession original mss. relating to it, a translation of which will
be published.

In all the treaties between the Spaniards and the indians one of the
principal articles has been, that the latter were to oppose with force
of arms the establishment of any foreign colony in their territory. This
stipulation they obeyed in 1638, at the island of Mocha, where they
murdered the remains of a crew of Dutchmen, who went to take possession
of that island after their ship had been wrecked by bad weather; and
also when the Dutch Admiral Henry Brun attempted in 1643 to form a
settlement at Valdivia, and met with the same fate: a fate, however,
which might have been occasioned by the natural hatred entertained at
that period by the natives against all foreigners who attempted to
obtain possession of any part of their country. This jealousy and hatred
of Europeans has always been promoted by the Spaniards, whom the indians
stile _chiape_, vile soldier; but all other foreigners they call _moro
winca_: winca signifying an assassin, and moro a moor. These epithets
proceed from the same source; for the Spaniards are in the habit of
calling all who are not of their own religion either jews or moors, thus
wishing to impress upon the minds of the indians that all foreigners are
worse than themselves! Notwithstanding the late wars, caused by the
revolution of the colonies, have tended very materially to civilize the
Araucanians, the greater part of them joined the Spaniards against the
creoles, or patriot forces; but the ejection of the last remains of the
Spanish soldiers from Araucania in 1822 has induced the indians to
despise them for what they call their cowardice. The new government of
Chile have not availed themselves of this favourable opportunity to
conciliate the indians, by soliciting their friendship, or, after the
manner of the Spaniards, acquiring it at the price of presents. Thus the
Araucanians, having become accustomed to some species of luxuries, find
themselves deprived of them by the fall of the Spanish system in Chile,
and the nonconformity of the new institutions to the old practices; and
thus a chasm has been formed that might be filled by a colony from some
other nation, which by attention and courtesy to the indians might
conciliate their good will and obtain from them whatever was solicited.
Kindness makes an indelible impression upon the minds of most
uncivilized people, while ill-treatment exasperates and drives them to
revengeful extremities.

The existence of gold mines in Araucania is undoubted, although they are
not regularly wrought. I have seen fine specimens of ore, some of which
were procured from the indians, and others found by accident in the

The soil and climate are very good, and in some parts both are excellent
for grain, pasturage and European fruits. In trade little could be done
at present; but should the indians become acquainted with the use of
those commodities which produce real comforts to society, I have no
doubt that white and greenish blue flannels, salt, sugar, tobacco,
bridle-bits, knives, axes, hatchets, nails, buttons, glass beads and
other trinkets would be exchanged for hides, ponchos, and some gold. The
ponchos, particularly those of good quality called _balandranes_, would
find a ready market in Peru or Chile.

This interesting part of South America is less known than any other
accessible portion. Others are less known, but they are interior
countries, lying between the range of the Andes and Buenos Ayres,
Paraguay, Brazils and Colombia--immense tracts of the earth kept in
reserve for the speculations of coming ages! But Araucania, from its
locality, climate, and productions, appears destined to become one of
the first and fairest portions of the new world; and should the eyes of
philanthropical speculators be directed to its shores, their capitals
would be more secure in the formation of new establishments than in
loans to many of the old.


[1] Original manuscript, in the possession of the author, found among
the archives at Valdivia.

[2] Original MS. from the archives at Valdivia.


     and Resources....Churches....Exiles....Missions in the Province of
     Valdivi....War with the Indians and Possession of Osorno....Extract
     from a Letter in the Araucanian Tongue, and Translation.

The following account of the city and province of Valdivia is partly
extracted from mss. in my possession, found in the archives of that

Valdivia, situated in 39° 50´ south latitude, and in longitude 73° 28´,
is one of the best ports on the western shores of South America: it is
also the strongest, both from its natural position and its
fortifications. The mouth of the harbour is narrow, and the San Carlos
battery on the small promontory on the south, with that of Niebla on the
north side, commands the entrance, their balls crossing the passage.
There are likewise on the south side the batteries Amargos, the high and
low Chorocamayo, and at the bottom of the bay the castle Corral,
commanding the anchorage. In the small island of Mansera is a battery
for the protection of the mouth of the river leading to the city,
besides an advanced post on the south side at Aguada del Ingles, and
two, La Avansada and El Piojo, on the north. At the taking of Valdivia
by Lord Cochrane in 1820, one hundred and eighteen pieces of cannon, of
eighteen and twenty-four pounds calibre, were found mounted. Some of
them were beautiful brass pieces, particularly two eighteens at Mansera,
which measured eleven feet in length, were handsomely carved and
embossed, and bore the date of 1547. His lordship sent them to
Valparaiso, where I had the mortification to see them broken up and
converted into grape shot, by the orders of Governor Crus; who thus
deprived Chile of a noble monument of her naval glory, and Chilean
posterity of the pleasure of viewing, as their property, part of those
engines brought from the old, for the purpose of enslaving the new
world! The anchorage is good, being most completely sheltered, and
capable of holding a great number of ships.

On the north side of the harbour is the river, which leads to the city.
Its banks are covered with trees, suitable for ship-building and many
other purposes. Among them are the white and red cedar, _alerces_; the
_pellinos_, a species of oak, and the _luma_. The river abounds with
fish, particularly the _pege rey_, the _lisa_, and the _bagre_. At its
mouth are caught _robalo_, _corbina_, _choros_, _xaiba_ and _apancoras_.

The city of Valdivia stands on the south side of the river, and is
sixteen miles from the port. On the left, ascending the river, are some
few remains of the Dutch settlements. The natives call them _hornos de
los Olandeses_; supposing that Henry Brun's vessels anchored here, and
that these ruins are the wrecks of the ovens built by the Dutch for the
purpose of baking their bread. The tradition is quite incredible, for
vessels cannot enter the river, there not being above four feet water in
some places, and the channel being so extremely narrow, that a launch
cannot pass. Indeed at low water the large canoes of the inhabitants
have to wait for the tide.

The city was built in 1553, and bears the name of its founder. The
indians took it from the Spaniards in 1599, and destroyed it in 1603,
when the inhabitants fled to the port, from whence some of them passed
to Chile. In 1642 the Marquis of Mansera, Viceroy of Peru, sent the
Colonel Don Alonzo de Villanueva as governor, with orders to capture the
city, which he effected by a singular ruse de guerre. Landing to the
southward of Valdivia, he introduced himself alone among the indians,
with whom he remained two years, and having gained the confidence and
esteem of some of the Caciques, he solicited them to appoint him their
governor in Valdivia; assuring them that such an election would produce
a reconciliation with the Spaniards, and insure the annual presents.
This request was acceded to; and in 1645 the city was rebuilt and
repeopled. Some of the inhabitants are descendants of noble European
families, but the greater part are those of officers and soldiers who
have been sent at different times to garrison the place; some are
indians, and a few slaves. The population amounted to 953 in 1765, and
in 1820 to 741: a decrease attributable to the emigration to Osorno, and
to many being employed in the armies of the contending parties. This
census does not include the garrison, which in 1765 consisted of 249
individuals, and in 1820, when taken by Lord Cochrane, of 829, besides a
remainder of 780 of the royal army.

Under the Spanish regime the government was administered by a military
officer, dependent on the President and Captain-general of Chile; but in
1813 the inhabitants declared themselves independent of all Spanish
authority. They however restored the old government in the year
following, and submitted to it until 1820, when Valdivia was
incorporated with the Republic of Chile. For the support of Valdivia a
_situado_ was annually sent from the royal treasuries of Lima and
Santiago. In the year 1807 this remittance amounted to 159,439 dollars,
and according to the original statement was distributed as follows:--

     Staff expenses                   10210
     Ecclesiastical state             10530
     Military expenses                89846
     Workmen                           1512
     Presents to Caciques               306

     Supernumeraries                   3365
     Building and repairs of        }
       fortifications, hospital, &c.} 18670
     Provisions for exiles, &c.       25000
                     Total           159439

In 1765 the _situado_ was 50992 dollars, and in 1646 it was only 28280.

Whilst the Spaniards held Valdivia the resources of its government were
very limited. Being a close port all foreign commerce was prohibited,
and the few taxes collected in the whole province, including the diesmo,
never exceeded 500 dollars.

In the city there is a parish church, another belonging to the
Franciscan convent of missionaries, formerly of the Jesuits, and a
chapel appertaining to the hospital of San Juan de Dios. The
ecclesiastical department was dependent on the see of Conception, but
the conventual was a branch of the establishment at Chillan, subject to
the provincialate of Santiago de Chile.

Valdivia was a place of exile, _presidio_, to which convicts were sent
from Peru and Chile. Their number was but small, and they were employed
in the public works.

The province of Valdivia extends from the river Tolten in 38° to the
Bueno in 40° 37´ south, and from the Andes to the Pacific, being about
52 leagues long and 45 wide. The three principal rivers in this province
are Tolten, Bueno and Valdivia. Their origin is in three separate lakes
of the Cordillera, from whence they run in a westerly direction,
receiving in their progress several smaller streams and emptying
themselves into the sea. Valdivia river enters the harbour of the same
name, which is the only one in the province. This river, after uniting
its waters to those of San Josef, Cayumapu, Ayenaguem, Putabla, Quaqua
and Angachi, besides a great number of rivulets and estuaries, becomes
navigable for canoes of 200 quintals or 20 tons burthen. Between the
fort Cruces and Valdivia several small but beautiful islands are found:
the principal are Realexo, Del Almuerso, Balensuela, El Islote, De Mota,
San Francisco, De Ramon, De Don Jaime and Del Rey, which is the largest,
being about seven leagues in circumference. There are besides a great
number of smaller ones. In all the streams and ravines in the
neighbourhood of the city and port are to be seen the vestiges of gold
washings, _labaderos_, which are at present totally neglected. After
heavy rains grains of gold as large as peas are often found, but there
are no accounts in the treasury of the working of any mines since the
year 1599, when the first revolution of the indians took place, and the
city fell into their hands. At Valdivia I saw two chalices made of the
gold thus accidentally collected.

"Tolten el Bajo is the northernmost mission. Situated between the rivers
Tolten and Chaqui, it extends about four miles along the sea coast, and
is one of the largest missions, _reducciones_, in the province,
containing about 800 indians. The Tolten rises in the lake Villarica. It
has no port, but is navigable with canoes; being too deep to be
fordable, it has a bridge, which gives the indians the command of the
road between Valdivia and Conception. Horned cattle and sheep are not
scarce here; and maize, peas, beans, potatoes, barley, and a small
quantity of wheat are cultivated; but in general the soil is not very
fertile. Though the indians are more submissive than those of some other
missions, they are equally prone to the common vices of drunkenness and
indolence. Their commerce consists in bartering coarse ponchos for
indigo, glass beads, and other trifles. At the annual visit of the
_comisario_ a kind of market is held for such traffic: at this visit the
indians renew the _parlamento_, or promise of fidelity to the King of
Spain. The comisario assures them, in a set speech, of the spiritual and
temporal advantages which they will derive from remaining faithful to
their King; and the Cacique, having in a formal harangue acknowledged
his conviction of the truth of this assurance, the indians, being on
horseback, make a skirmish with their lances and wooden swords,
_macanas_, and, riding up to the comisario, alight, and point their arms
to the ground, in sign of peace, which is all they ever promise. They
worship Pillian, and their ceremonies are the same as those of the rest
of the Araucanian nation: for although they call themselves Christians,
their religion is reduced to the ceremony of attending at mass, &c.

"Querli extends from Purulacu to the river Meguin, being about 18 miles,
and containing 70 indians. Their commerce is an exchange of coarse
ponchos, sheep and hogs, for indigo, beads, &c.

"Chanchan, which extends about 12 miles, contains 40 indians, produces
maize, peas, beans, barley, and a little wheat. Owing to the vicinity
of the fort de Cruces the indians are more docile and domesticated.

"Mariquina is about 54 miles in circumference, and contains 110 indians.
The soil is good, and there is an abundance of apples, some pears and

"Chergue is 42 miles long and 4 broad. It contains 135 indians. Its
produce and commerce are similar to those of the places above mentioned.

"Huanigue is situated near the Cordillera, on the banks of lake Ranigue,
the source of the river Valdivia. This lake is about 20 miles in
circumference, and is rich in fish, particularly _pege_, _reyes_, and a
species of trout. In 1729 the indians of this mission revolted, and they
have never been sufficiently reconciled to admit of a missionary to
offer peace or fealty. The indians of Huanigue wear nothing on their
heads: for shirts they substitute a species of scapulary, made of raw
bullock's hide, covering it with the poncho. They are expert fishers,
and pay little attention to the cultivation of the soil, which is very

"Villarica. The ruins of this city are yet visible, particularly those
of the walls of orchards and of a church. The town stood on the side of
a lake, bearing the same name, about 25 miles in circumference, and
abounding with fish. The soil is very fertile, and the indians raise
maize, potatoes, _quinua_, peas, beans, barley and wheat. Apple, pear,
peach and cherry-trees are seen growing where they were planted by the
Spaniards before the destruction of the city. The indians neither admit
missionaries nor comisario. They have all kinds of cattle and poultry,
which they exchange with other tribes for ponchos, flannels, &c. being
very averse to trade with the Spaniards.

"Ketate and Chadqui, containing about 280 indians, are at the distance
of 34 leagues from Valdivia. There is plenty of fruit, vegetables and
cattle; the soil is good, and the inhabitants docile; subject to
missionaries and comisario.

"Dongele, or Tolten Alto, is on the banks of a rapid river of the same
name. It is distant from Valdivia 120 miles, and possesses a rich soil,
productive of maize, peas and other pulse, fruit and cattle: there are
80 indians of manageable habits.

"Calle-calle and Chinchilca, 45 miles from Valdivia, contain some small
fertile vallies. The maize grown here is very large; indeed all the
vegetable productions are good, and the meat from their cattle is fat
and well-tasted. They have 70 peaceable Indians, who receive
missionaries and comisario.

"Llanos is the most fruitful part of the province of Valdivia. It is
about 48 miles long, from Tunco to the lake Rames, and on an average 15
broad. It produces wheat of an excellent quality, barley, all kinds of
pulse, and fruit. The beef and mutton are very fat and savoury. The
number of indians residing in the Llanos is 430. They are docile, and
not so drunken and indolent as other tribes. From a place called
Tenguelen to another, Guequenua, there are many vestiges of gold mines,
_labaderos_, where at some remote period a great number of persons must
have been employed in mining, which is at present entirely

As any authentic accounts of this almost unknown but highly interesting
country cannot fail to be acceptable, I shall here introduce some
extracts from the journal kept by Don Tomas de Figueroa y Caravaca,
during the revolution of the indians in the year 1792, Figueroa being
the person who commanded the Spanish forces sent against the Indians by
the government of Valdivia.

     "October 3d I left Valdivia with an armed force of 140 men, and the
     necessary ammunition and stores. We ascended the river
     Pichitengelen, and the following morning landed at an appointed
     place, where horses and mules were in readiness to convey us to
     Dagllipulli; but the number of horses and mules not being
     sufficient, I left part of our baggage and provisions behind, under
     guard, and proceeded with the rest to Tegue, about six leagues
     distant, where we arrived in the afternoon, and owing to the
     badness of the road did not reach Dagllipulli before the 6th. I
     encamped; and being informed in the afternoon, that some of the
     rebels were in the neighbourhood, with a party of picked soldiers
     and horse I scoured the woods, and burned twelve indians' houses,
     filled with grain and pulse. After securing what I considered
     useful for ourselves, I followed the indians in the road they had
     apparently taken towards Rio-bueno, but on my arrival I learnt that
     they had crossed the river in their canoes. I therefore immediately
     returned to Dagllipulli. On the 10th the Caciques Calfunguir,
     Auchanguir, Manquepan, and Pailapan came to our camp, and offered
     to assist me against the rebels Cayumil, Qudpal, Tangol, Trumau,
     and all those on the other side of Rio-bueno.--13th. An indian who
     had been taken declared to me that the Cacique Manquepan was acting
     a double part, he having seen him go to the enemy at night with his
     _mosotones_.--16th. Burnt twenty-four houses belonging to the
     indians, and seized thirty-two bullocks.--19th. I told the Cacique
     Calfunguir that I doubted the fidelity of Manquepan, and that he
     had been playing the _chueca_ (a game already described); at night
     an indian came to my tent and told me that Calfunguir had joined
     Manquepan; that both had gone to the rebels, taking with them their
     mosotones, and that they would probably return immediately, in the
     hopes of surprising me. However this did not occur; and on the
     following morning I advanced with part of my force to Rio-bueno,
     but did not arrive until the two Caciques had taken to a small
     island in the river, leaving in my possession a number of horses
     and cattle. Whilst stationed here two indian women were observed
     to ride full speed towards the river, apparently determined to pass
     over to the enemy, but some of the friendly indians took one of
     them, and brought her to me, having killed the other. I questioned
     her as to her motives for joining the rebels, but received no
     answer; when the indians observing her obstinacy, put her and a
     small child which she had in her arms to death. I retired to my
     camp, taking with me the cattle, &c. left by the enemy on the bank,
     of Rio-bueno.--21st. The traitor Manquepan came again to our camp,
     and having consulted the whole of the friendly Caciques as to the
     punishment which he and his comrades deserved, it was unanimously
     determined, that he and all those who had come with him as spies
     should be put to death. I immediately ordered my soldiers to secure
     them, and having convinced them that I well knew their infamous
     intentions and conduct, I ordered that Manquepan, and the eighteen
     mosotones who had come with him into our camp as spies, should be
     shot. This sentence was put in execution in the afternoon of the
     same day.--29th. We finished a stackade, and mounted four
     pedereroes at the angles, as a place of security in the event of
     any unexpected assault. I sent to Valdivia forty women and
     children, captured at different times in the woods.--Nov. 1st.
     Three large canoes were brought to our camp, having ordered them to
     be made, for the purpose of crossing Rio-bueno, should the rebels
     persist in remaining on the opposite banks, or on the islands in
     the river.--10th. After mass had been celebrated at three A. M. and
     my soldiers exhorted to do their duty in defence of their holy
     religion, their king and country, we marched down to the river
     side, and launched our three canoes, for the purpose of crossing
     over to one of those islands where the greater number of the rebels
     appeared to have been collected. I embarked with part of the
     troops, and arrived on the island without suffering any loss from
     the stones, lances and shot of the enemy.

     "Having landed, I observed a party of about a hundred indians on
     mount Copigue, apparently determined to attack the division I had
     left behind, which being observed, the division advanced and routed
     the rebels.--During the night the indians abandoned their
     entrenchments on the island, and we took possession of them.--On
     the 11th, in the morning, I immediately landed part of my force on
     the opposite shore and pursued the rebels. At eleven A. M. I came
     up with part of them, commanded by the Cacique Cayumil, who was
     killed in the skirmish. I ordered his head to be cut off and
     buried, being determined to take it on my return to Valdivia. We
     continued to pursue the enemy, and in the course of the day killed
     twelve indians, one of whom was the wife of the rebel Cacique
     Quapul. As it was almost impossible for me to follow the enemy any
     further, our horses being tired, and it being insecure to remain
     here, we returned to our camp on the 13th, taking with us 170 head
     of horned cattle, 700 sheep and 27 horses, which had been abandoned
     by the fugitives. A female indian was found in the woods, on our
     return, with a murdered infant in her arms; she declared that her
     child was crying, and that being fearful of falling into our hands
     she had destroyed it.--21st. We marched to the banks of the Ravé,
     where I had a _parlamento_ with the Caciques Catagnala and Ignil,
     who, as a proof of their fidelity, offered to surrender the city
     and territory of Osorno.--22nd. The Caciques Caril and Pallamilla,
     with Ignil and Cataguala and all their mosotones, joined us, and we
     marched towards the ruined city of Osorno, and having arrived at
     the square or _plasa_, I directed the Spanish flag to be placed in
     the centre, and in the presence of all the indians I asked the
     Caciques if they made cession of this city and its territories to
     his Majesty the King: to which they answered they did. I
     immediately ordered the erection of an altar, and having placed the
     troops and indians in front, high mass was chaunted by the
     chaplain; after which I took the Spanish flag in my hand, and
     placing myself between the altar and the troops, called attention,
     attention, attention, and proclaimed three times Osorno, for our
     Lord the King Charles the fourth and his successors: to which the
     priest replied, amen, and the troops and indians gave repeated
     _vivas_. A discharge of our pedereroes and small arms then took
     place, and the Caciques came forward, and pointing their arms to
     the ground in token of peace and fidelity, kissed the flag. The
     remainder of the day was spent in feasting and rejoicing."

The above extract affords a fair specimen of the mode of warfare pursued
by the Spaniards and indians. The following is from a letter written in
the Araucanian tongue, as it is pronounced:--

     "Ey appo tagni Rey Valdivia carapee wilmen Lonco gneguly mappu
     ranco fringen. Carah nichfringen, fenten tepanlew pepe le pally
     cerares fringuey Caky Mappuch hyly eluar Rupo gne suniguam Caaket
     pu winca; engu frula Dios, gnegi toki el meu marry marry piami Jesu
     Cristo gne gi mew piami."


     "The King's Governor of Valdivia, to any person who may be at the
     head of the people or congress of the Spaniards supposed to be
     living at Lonco:--assured that some of my dear countrymen are
     residing in the fear of God among the infidels of the country, I
     send you health in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true health."


[3] Where the number of Indians has been given it is to be understood as
referring to such as are capable of managing a horse and lance and going
to war. Of these the province of Valdivia contains about 2150, and the
total indian population is estimated at 10500 souls.


     City of Conception de Mocha....Foundation....Situation....
     ....Inhabitants and Dress....Provincial Jurisdiction....Produce
     ....Throwing the _Laso_....Fruit....Timber Trees....Shrubs....Mines
     ....Birds....Wild Animals....Lion Hunt....Shepherd Dogs....Breeding
     Capons....Return to Conception.

I left Arauco at seven A. M. with two soldiers as guides and guards, for
the news having arrived of a declaration of war between England and
Spain, I was now considered a prisoner. We crossed the Carampangy, and
about noon reached the small village Colcura. Its situation is very
romantic, being a high promontory, which commands an extensive prospect
of the country and the sea, with a distant view of the island Santa
Maria. We dined at the house of the _cura_, who treated me with the
greatest attention. We afterwards rode about twelve miles to a large
farm house, and became the guests of the family for the night, enjoying
the good things provided by the hospitality of these kind people, who
welcomed us as though we had conferred rather than received a favour by
calling at their dwelling. The following morning, after taking _mate_,
we proceeded to San Pedro, on the banks of the Bio-bio. This is one of
the forts built by the Spaniards on the frontiers of Araucania. It was
taken and destroyed by the indians in 1599, but rebuilt by the Spaniards
in 1622. It is garrisoned by a detachment of troops from Conception.
During the late troubles in Chile it was alternately in the possession
of the Spanish and Patriot forces; but from the year 1819 the latter
have kept it in possession. Commanding the river where it is most
fordable, this fort served as a protection to Conception against the
combined fury of the Spaniards and indians.

In the afternoon we crossed the Bio-bio, and arrived at Conception. The
river Bio-bio, which is two miles in breadth at San Pedro, rises in the
Cordillera, and enters the sea about five miles to the south of
Talcahuano, the port of Conception, having two mountains at the mouth
called _las tetas de Bio-bio_, paps of Bio-bio. It is navigable by
canoes and flats to a considerable distance from the mouth. The finest
timber grows on its banks, which the wars of conquest and emancipation
have repeatedly deluged with blood!

The city of Conception de Mocha, or Penco, the original name of the
country where it stands, was founded in the year 1550 by Don Pedro de
Valdivia; sacked and burnt by the Toqui Lautaro in 1553, and again
destroyed in 1603. The indians were repulsed by Don Garcia Hurtado de
Mendoza, and it was rebuilt; but a dreadful earthquake ruined it in
1730, when the sea was driven up to the city and inundated the
surrounding country. Conception is built on a sandy uneven soil, six
miles east of Talcahuana, its sea-port, and about one mile north of the
Bio-bio A small river called the Andalien runs through the city,
supplying a beautiful fountain in the principal square. According to
Ulloa its latitude is 36° 43´ 15´´ south, and its longitude 72° 54´.

In 1803 the government of this city was in the hands of a Governor,
nominated by the King, and a _Cabildo_, corporation, at the head of
which were two Alcaldes ordinarios or mayors. The Cabildo is formed of
eight Regidors and four other officers, who are called, de officio,
Alferes real, royal ensign; Alcalde de provincia, provincial alcalde;
Alguasil mayor, city sheriff; and Fiel Executor, examiner of weights and
measures. Each member has an elective vote and a Sindico Procurador, who
has consulting powers.[4]

The alcaldes are annually elected by the regidors (without any
interference whatever of the governor) out of the resident citizens,
with the exception of ecclesiastics, soldiers, and debtors to the crown.
If one of the alcaldes die or be absent, the eldest regidor exercises
his functions. A demand of justice may be made to the alcalde, but there
is an appeal to the audience at Santiago, the capital of Chile. This
court was first established at Conception in 1567, but removed to
Santiago in 1574. For the military department an intendente, _maestre de
campo_, and quarter master are provided. Here is also a chamber of
finances, with an accountant and treasurer.

Conception is the see of a bishop, that of Imperial, as before stated,
having been transferred to this city in 1620. It is a suffragan of Lima,
and its chapter consists of a dean, archdeacon, and four prebendaries.

Besides the armed militia of the place and province, a regular military
force has always been kept up ready to repel any attempt of the
Araucanians on Conception, the frontier towns or forts. Since 1819 an
army has been stationed here under the command of General Freire, upon
whom the indians have on one occasion made an attack. They were led by
Benavides, and passed to Talcahuano, where they committed several

A new cathedral has been begun, but owing to the convulsed state of the
country the work is suspended, and will probably never be resumed. The
building is of brick and stone, and possesses some merit. The timber
which had been collected for this edifice was applied to other purposes
by the Spanish General Sanches. There are four conventual churches--the
Franciscan, Dominican, Agustinian, Mercedarian; one nunnery with the
avocation of our Lady of Conception, and the hospital of San Juan de
Dios. The convents are attached to their respective provincialates of
Santiago. When General Sanches retired from Conception in 1819, he
ordered several of the best houses in the city to be burnt, opened the
nunnery, and took the nuns with him, but abandoned them at Tucapel,
where these victims of a barbarous chief yet remain among the indians,
having been persuaded by Sanches and some Spanish priests, that to
return to their home would be treason to their King, the Lord's
anointed, and subject them to all the miseries temporal and eternal of
an excommunication _de ipso facto incurrenda_.

The houses are commonly one story high, but some are two, built of
_tapia_, mud walls; or _adoves_, large sun-dried bricks, and all of
them are tiled. The largest have a court-yard in front, with an entrance
through arched porches, and heavy folding doors, having a postern on one
side. Two small rooms usually complete the front view. The windows have
iron gratings, with many parts of them gilt, and inside shutters, but no
glass. This article has been too dear, and it is consequently only used
in the windows of the principal dwelling apartments of the richer
classes. On each side of the court, or _patio_, there are rooms for
domestics, the younger branches of the family, and other purposes. In
front of the entrance are the principal ones, generally three; a species
of large hall, furnished with antique chairs, with leather backs and
seats, and one or more clumsy couches to correspond in shape and
hardness, a large table made of oak or some similar wood, and very often
a few old full-length portraits of persons belonging to the family,
hanging in gilt frames. The beams of the roof, which are visible, are
not unfrequently ornamented with a profusion of carved work. Two folding
doors open into the parlour: the side next the front patio is raised
about twelve inches above the floor, which is carpetted, and furnished
with a row of low stools, covered with crimson velvet, with cushions to
match at their feet, and a small table about eighteen inches high, as a
work table, or for the convenience of making mate. This portion of the
parlour is allotted to the ladies, who sit upon it cross-legged: a
custom no doubt derived from the moors. If a gentleman be on familiar
terms with the family, he will take a seat on one of the stools on the
_estrado_, or cross his legs and sit among the ladies; more especially
if he can play on the guitar, or sing, which are the favourite
accomplishments. Other male visitors, after bowing to the ladies, seat
themselves on the opposite side, where chairs are placed to match the
stools and cushions. Facing the entrance to the parlour is the principal
dormitory, with an alcove at the end of the estrado, where a state bed
is displayed, ornamented with a profusion of gilt work, and fitted up
with velvet, damask, or brocade curtains, and gold or silver lace and
fringe. The sheets and pillow cases are of the finest linen, and trimmed
with deep lace. Not unfrequently one or more silver utensils peep from
underneath. It appears as if the whole attention of the females were
devoted to this useless pageant, which is only used on the occasion of a
birth, when the lady receives the first visits of congratulation.

Behind this part of the building there is another court, or patio,
where the kitchen and other appropriate apartments are situated, and
behind the whole is the garden. Thus it is not uncommon for a house to
occupy fifty yards in front and eighty yards in depth, including the
garden. The patios have corridors round them, the roofs of which are
supported by wooden pillars. The dwellings of the lower classes are on
the same plan, except that they have no courts or patios, the fronts
being open to the street; but they have usually a garden at the back,
where the kitchen is built separately from the house, as a precaution
against fire.

In the principal square stand the cathedral and bishop's palace on one
side; the barracks with a corridor on another; the governor's palace and
its offices on the third, and some of the larger houses on the fourth.
The extent of the square is about one hundred yards on each side. The
streets cross each other at right angles. The generality of the cities
and large towns in South America are built according to this

Among the inhabitants are to be found some families of ancient nobility.
The present Duke de San Carlos, a grandee of the first class, and late
Spanish Ambassador in England, is of the family of the Caravajales, and
a native of Conception.

The dress of the men is similar to the European, but either a long
Spanish cloak or a poncho is worn over it, the latter being generally
preferred, particularly for riding--an exercise of which both the ladies
and gentlemen are very fond, and in which they excel. The women wear a
bodice fancifully ornamented, and over a large round hoop, a plaited
petticoat of coloured flannel, black velvet or brocade. In the house
they have no head dress, but in the streets, if going to church, the
head is covered with a piece of brown flannel, about a yard broad, and
two long; if on pleasure or a visit, a black hat similar to the men's is
worn, under which a muslin shawl is thrown over the head. Many of the
young women prefer the _basquiña y manton_, a black silk or stuff
petticoat without a hoop, and a black silk or lace veil; but others like
the hoop, as it shews their slender waists to advantage. The hair is
braided, or platted, hanging in loose tresses down their backs. The
ladies are so fond of jewellery that necklaces, ear-rings, bracelets and
finger-rings are never dispensed with; and some of the principal wear
diamonds and other precious stones of great value. The rosary, too, is a
necessary part of the dress of both old and young.

During the summer, and in fine weather, the evening is dedicated to a
promenade, generally on the banks of the Bio-bio, and afterwards to
friendly visits. The luxury of harmony and friendship is enjoyed in all
its extent. The guitar, the song, the dance and refreshments are to be
found in every street. Conviviality takes the reins, whilst affection
and esteem curb the grosser passions.

The climate is similar to that of the southern provinces of France. The
winter season is rainy, but not cold; and the heat of the summer sun is
moderated by the winds from the south, which are cooled by travelling
over the Pacific; or by those from the east, which are refreshed by
passing over the snowy tops of the Cordillera.

The jurisdiction of Conception extends from the river Maule in 34° 50´
to Cape Lavapies in 37° 10´. In it are the _correginientos_ or
prefectures of Puchacay and Rere. Its principal towns and villages are
Gualqui, San Juan, Quilpolemu, Luanco, Villavicencio, Comicó, and
Chillan, which was ruined by the Araucanians in 1599, and has not since
been a place of much note.

The inhabitants of this province consist of a few Spaniards, some white
creoles, mestizos, a few slaves of different colours, and fewer indians,
the aboriginal tribe of Promaucians being now extinct. The whites or
Creoles are a very fine race. The men are well formed, and have regular
features and good complexions. The women are generally handsome and
remarkably polite. The mestizos can scarcely be distinguished from the
whites, and it is perhaps their situation in life, not the
uncontroulable accident of birth which constitutes the difference. The
greatest blessing to a stranger, hospitality, is the constant inmate, or
rather ruler of every house, cottage or cabin; and, contrary to the
rites of other hospitable people, who limit this virtue to a stated
period, the longer a stranger remains the more kindly is he treated.
Those who come to visit are often tempted to establish a residence, and
may positively call themselves strangers at home.

Nature has been extremely bountiful to this country. Its equable and
mild climate, and its rich soil produce every fruit, pulse and vegetable
known in Europe, if we except some exotics, which have been reared in
the more southern latitudes: oranges, lemons, sugar-cane, bananas and
sweet potatoes do not thrive here, owing perhaps more to the cold rains
in the winter than to any other cause. Horned cattle, and horses, of an
excellent quality, are in great plenty. The vineyards are numerous and
fertile. Those near the river Maule yield a grape of a very superior
taste, from which a large supply of wine is produced for home
consumption and for the Lima market, where any quantity is acceptable
and finds a ready sale. For want of proper vessels, however, a large
portion is lost, and the quality of the whole much injured. Light wines
might be made equal to the best French, and generous ones equal to
Sherry and Madeira. A sort of wine called Muscadel far exceeds that of
the same name in Spain, and is quite as good as Frontignac. The simple
utensils used are made of baked clay, in which the juice is fermented
and the wines preserved, having only a wooden cover. Notwithstanding
such disadvantages, some of the wines are of remarkably good strength
and flavour. Their brandy, from a want of proper vessels, is also
greatly deteriorated. The vines mostly grow on espaliers, and are not
detached stems as in the generality of the European vineyards.

Excellent wheat is produced in great abundance, the crops yielding from
eighty to one hundred fold. Very large quantities are annually sent to
Lima, Guayaquil, Panama, and Chiloe. The average price at Conception is
ten reals for 216 pounds weight, about five shillings and sixpence; and
at Lima thirty reals, or sixteen shillings and sixpence. It may be
considered the great staple commodity of the country.--Barley, maize,
_garbansos_, beans, _quinua_, and lentils are also cultivated for
exportation, and yield heavy crops. Potatoes, radishes and other
esculents, as well as all kinds of culinary vegetables and useful herbs
are raised in the gardens. The _zapallo_ is very much and justly
esteemed, being, when green, equal to asparagus, and when ripe, similar
to a good potatoe. It will keep in a dry place for six months. Tobacco
was formerly grown near the river Maule, but the royal monopoly put an
end to its cultivation, which on the emancipation of the country will
probably again be attended to.

The greater portion of these rich lands is appropriated to the breeding
and fattening of horned cattle, goats and sheep, and the necessary
attendance upon them forms the chief occupation of the lower classes.
The generality of the cows are never milked, but are left to rear their
calves in the plains. When the latter are a year old they are separated,
branded, and put on another part of the farm, for enclosed fields or
pastures are a refinement with which the graziers of South America are
unacquainted. Indeed the farms themselves are divided by such landmarks
as a hill, a mountain, a river, the sea, &c. The price of land being
low, disagreements respecting boundaries are very rare.

Land in the interior, of such quality as to produce every sort of grain,
or to feed all kinds of cattle, is often sold for a dollar, or even much
less, the _quadra_, one hundred square yards, being more than two acres.
When the horned cattle are sufficiently fat, or rather at the killing
season, which is about the months of February and March, from five
hundred to a thousand, according to the size of the farm, are
slaughtered. The whole of the fat is separated from the meat and melted,
forming a kind of lard called _grasa_, which is employed in domestic
purposes. The tallow is also kept separate, and the meat is jerked. This
process is performed by cutting the fleshy substance into slices of
about a quarter of an inch thick, leaving out all the bones. The natives
are so dexterous at this work that they will cut the whole of a leg, or
any other large part of a bullock into one uniformly thin piece. The
meat thus cut is either dipped into a very strong solution of salt and
water, or rubbed over with a small quantity of fine salt. Whichever mode
of curing is adopted, the whole of the jerked meat is put on the hide
and rolled up for ten or twelve hours, or until the following morning.
It is then hung on lines or poles, to dry in the sun, which being
accomplished, it is made into bundles, lashed with thongs of fresh hide,
forming a kind of network, and is ready for market. In this operation it
loses about one third of its original weight. The dried meat, _charqui_,
finds immediate sale at Lima, Arica, Guayaquil, Panama and other places.
Besides the large quantity consumed in Chile, it furnishes a great part
of the food of the lower classes, the slaves, and particularly the
seamen, being the general substitute for salt beef and pork. The _grasa_
and tallow are also readily sold at the places above mentioned, and are
of more value than the meat. The hides are generally consumed in making
bags for grain, pulse, &c., thongs for the various purposes to which
rope is applied in Europe, or leather of a very good quality.

The slaughtering season is as much a time of diversion for the
inhabitants of this country as a sheep-shearing is in England. For two
or three days the peasants, _huasos_, are busy collecting the cattle
from the woods and mountains, and driving them into an enclosure made
for the purpose. The fat and lean cattle being mixed together, the
latter are separated from the former, and driven out; after which one
fixed upon for slaughter is allowed to pass the gate, where a peasant
stands armed with a sharp instrument in the shape of a crescent, having
the points about a foot apart, and as the beast passes he first cuts the
hamstring of one leg, and then of the other. Should he miss his aim, a
bystander follows the animal at full gallop, and throws the laso over
its horns, by which it is caught and detained till another comes up, and
either hamstrings or casts a second laso round its hind legs, when the
two men, riding in different directions, throw the beast down, and
immediately kill it. One of them now takes off the skin, collects into
it the tallow and fat, which with the meat he carries to a shed, when
the process of jerking, salting, &c. as already described, is
immediately begun.

The females in the mean time are all busy cutting up the fat, frying it
for grasa, and selecting some of the finer meat for presents and home
consumption. The tongues are the only part of the head that is eaten,
the remainder being left to rot. In the above manner great numbers of
cattle are annually killed, their bones being left to whiten on the
ground where they fed.

It is surprizing to Europeans and other strangers to see with what
dexterity the laso is thrown. Made of platted or twisted raw hide, it is
about one and a half inch in circumference, sometimes less, and being
greased in the process of its manufacture, is extremely pliable,
stronger than any other kind of rope of treble the thickness, and very
durable. The length is from twenty to thirty feet, and at one end is a
noose, through which a part of the thong being passed a running knot is
formed. Instead of the noose there are occasionally a button and loop.
The _huaso_ (or laso thrower) extending the opening formed by passing
the thong through the noose, lays hold of the laso, and begins to whirl
it over his head, taking care that the opening does not close. Having
determined on his object the laso is thrown with unerring precision. A
bullock is caught by the horns, and a horse or a sheep by the neck; and
as this is often done at full speed, the peasant will wind the end of
the laso which he holds round his body, and suddenly stopping his horse,
the entangled animal receives such a check that it is frequently upset.
One end of the laso is often made fast to the sursingle, or girth of the
saddle, particularly when a bull or large bullock is to be caught. On
such occasions the horse, as if aware of the resistance he will have to
make, turns his side towards the object, and inclines his body in the
opposite direction. I have seen him dragged along by the beast, his feet
making furrows in the ground, for more than two yards. The people are so
expert in this art and so attached to it, that it is deemed quite
disgraceful to miss the object. Several of the higher classes exercise
it as an amusement, and not only in Chile, but in almost every part of
South America which I visited; all classes, when residing in the
country, carry the laso behind the saddle. Even the children are often
seen throwing the laso, and catching the poultry, dogs and cats, in the
houses, yards or streets. Thus this necessary accomplishment grows up
with these people. In the late wars it has not been uncommon for the
militia to carry their lasos, with which great numbers of Spanish
soldiers have been caught and strangled. The rider being at full speed,
the moment it was thrown, the unfortunate fellow who happened to be
entangled could not extricate himself, and was dragged at the heels of
his adversary's horse until he was killed.

Goats are fattened for their tallow and skins, which latter besides
their application to the purposes of holding wine, spirits, cider, &c.
are generally tanned with the bark of the _palque_ or the _peumo_,
instead of that of oak, and for shoes and similar articles make an
excellent leather, called _cordovan_. The goats are altogether
productive of great profit.

Some of the horses in the province of Conception are excellent, being
similar in size and shape to the famous Andalusian. They are much valued
in all South America, and fetch very high prices in Peru. I have seen
them at Quito, which, considering the difficulties of transport that are
to be surmounted, is a very great distance; but although every effort
has been used to preserve the breed out of the territory of Chile, it
has as yet been unavailing.

All kinds of provisions are plentiful in this province; poultry is
remarkably cheap, fat and well flavoured; ducks and geese breed twice
every year; turkeys and barn door fowls during the whole year; and from
the mildness of the climate the broods thrive with little loss. The
prices are consequently low: a good fat turkey may be bought for about
one shilling, and fowls for sixpence a couple.

Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries, are produced in
such profusion that they are considered of no value. Figs are abundant
and good; and the strawberry grows wild; I have seen some nearly as
large as a hen's egg. The melons and _sandias_, water melons, are also
very large, and are extremely nice, particularly the latter, to which
the natives are partial. Olives do not thrive here. Near the river Maule
there are cocoa nut trees or palms, differing from the other species of
the same genus in the size of the nut, which is usually about as big as
a walnut. Some of the trees are thirty feet high; the trunk is
cylindrical, and free from leaves except at the top, where, similar to
other palms, they form a circle, presenting a most beautiful appearance.
The flowers are in four large clusters at the top of the tree, from
whence the leaves spring. When in bud they are enclosed in a fibrous
woody sheath, and when the fruit begins to form the spathe divides
itself into two parts, each about three feet long and two broad. A bunch
or cluster, often contains as many as a thousand nuts. Nothing can be
more striking than this tree under the burden of its fruit, over which
the branches form a kind of dome, supported by the column-like stem. The
fruit resembles in every respect the tropical cocoa nut; the kernel is
globular, having a space in the centre, which, when the nut is green, is
filled with an agreeable milky tasted liquor, but when dry is quite
empty. A curious method is employed for divesting the nuts of their
outer rind. They are given to the horned cattle, and being swallowed by
them, the filaceous substance is digested, and the nuts voided quite
clean. All those sent to market have previously undergone this process!
If a bunch of flowers or green nuts be cut from the palm, a large
quantity of thick sweet sap, similar to honey, is yielded, and on the
stem of the tree being tapped the same liquor is produced; this
operation however weakens it so much, that the palm either dies or gives
no more fruit for a number of years. The greatest quantity of this sap
is obtained by cutting down the tree, and lighting a fire at the end
where the branches grow: as the tree burns, the sap is driven out at the
root and collected in calabashes; fuel is gradually supplied, until the
whole of the trunk is consumed, and all the sap extracted, which
sometimes amounts to about forty gallons. This tree seldom bears fruit
till it is one hundred years old. Whether it be indigenous to Chile, or
the produce of the tropical cocoa nut planted here, I could never
ascertain. The natives make baskets of the leaves, and sometimes thatch
their cottages with them. Walnuts are also grown, and together with
cocoa nuts are exported to Lima, Guayaquil, &c. The _gevuin_ is another
species of nut, called by the Spaniards _avellano_, from its taste being
like that of the hazel nut. This tree grows to the height of fifteen
feet; the fruit is round, about three quarters of an inch in diameter,
and covered with a coriaceous shell, which is at first green, afterwards
of an orange colour, and when ripe of a dark brown; the kernel is
divided into two lobes, and is generally toasted before being eaten. The
_molle_ may be classed without impropriety among the fruit trees,
because the indians prepare from its berries (which are black, the size
of peas, and grow in small clusters round the slender branches of the
tree) a kind of red and very palatable wine, called _chicha_ or _molle_.
Frazier says in his voyage, "it is as pleasant and as strong as wine, if
not more so." The taste is really agreeable, and its flavour peculiarly

The _maqui_ is another tree, bearing a fruit like a _guind_, or wild
cherry, from which a pleasant fermented beverage is made, called
_theca_. The people are fond of the fruit, and parties go into the woods
to gather it. A friend told me, that in one of these excursions, when a
boy, he had wandered into a wood to gather maqui, and seeing a woman in
a tree with her face of a purple colour, he supposed that she had been
rubbing it with the fruit for the sake of frightening him; however,
determined to shew his courage, he ascended the tree, when, to his great
surprise and terror, he found that it was an idiot belonging to the
village, who had hanged herself with her handkerchief tied to one of the
uppermost branches! The peumo produces a fruit which is much liked,
though I never could eat it on account of its strong oily and rather
rancid smell. The tree is tall, and its fruit has the appearance of
green olives; to prepare it for eating it is dipped in warm water, but
not boiled, because that operation renders it bitter. The pulp is
whitish and buttery, and I have no doubt that as large a quantity of oil
might be obtained from it as from the olive. Great quantities of
_murtillas_, myrtle berries, are found in this province, and are very
delicate. Pernetty, who saw some in the Falkland Isles, or Malvinas,
says, "the fruit is of a beautiful appearance and very pleasant taste;
by being put into brandy with a little sugar, it forms a delicious
liquor, which has in a slight degree the smell of ambergris and of musk,
by no means disagreeable even to persons who dislike those perfumes."
From these berries the natives also make an agreeable fermented liquor,
_chicha de murtilla_. The _arrayan_, a myrtle, grows to the height of
seventy feet. The fruit, which is about the size of a large pea, is
eaten, and has a pleasant taste. A delicate liquor is made from it, and
the wood is very valuable.

The principal trees found in the province of Conception are the
_canelo_, or _boghi_, which grows to the height of fifty feet, and
produces good timber. It has two barks; the inner one is whitish, but
when dried assumes the colour of cinnamon, and somewhat resembles that
spice in taste. The Araucanians entertain so much veneration for this
tree, that a branch of it is always presented as a token of peace, and
when a treaty is concluded it is tied to the top of the Toqui's axe, and
the President's _baton_. The luma grows from forty to fifty feet high;
its wood is tough, and is used for small spars and oars, but it is too
heavy for masts. Large cargoes are sent to Lima for coach making and
rafters. On rich soils the _espino_ attains the size of an oak. Its wood
is very solid and of a dark brown, veined with black and yellow, and is
capable of receiving an excellent polish. It is used for cart wheels,
being very ponderous and durable, and makes excellent fuel, and the
hardest and best charcoal. The flowers of the espino are flosculous, of
a deep yellow colour, and so very fragrant that they are called
_aromas_. A species cultivated in the gardens bears a larger flower,
which having a long and slender footstalk, is often inserted by the
ladies in the flower of the jessamine and placed in their hair. The
joint scent of the two is delightful. The _pehuen_, or _pino de la
tierra_, grows in the southern parts of this province, but it arrives at
greater perfection in Araucania. It is from seventy to eighty feet high,
and eight in circumference. At the height of thirty feet it has
generally four opposite horizontal branches, which gradually decrease in
extent until they terminate in a point at the top, presenting the form
of a quadrangular pyramid. The cone, or fruit, resembles that of the
pine, and the seeds are considered a great delicacy. These _piñones_, as
they are called, are sometimes boiled, and afterwards, by grinding them
on a stone, converted into a kind of paste, from which very delicate
pastry is made. The pino is cultivated in different parts of this
province on account of its valuable wood and the piñones; it may be
said, indeed, to be the only tree, except those which yield wine, to
which the natives pay any attention. The resin exuding from it is called
_incienso_, and is used by the Chileans as incense.

The banks of the Bio-bio are thickly covered with both red and white
cedar trees, some of which are seventy feet high, and twenty in
circumference. They are split into slender planks, for slight work, but
their exportation from this province is not great, because the deals can
be purchased at a much lower price in Chiloe, where, I have been
informed by persons of veracity, there are cedars which yield from eight
to nine hundred boards, twenty feet long, twelve inches broad and one
thick. It is said that water keeps better at sea in casks made of the
red cedar, than in those of any other wood. The _floripondio_ grows to
the height of six feet, and has a profusion of delightfully fragrant
pendant flowers, which are white, bell-shaped, and from eight to ten
inches long, and three in diameter at the mouth. Their odour partakes of
that of the lily, and one tree, when in bloom, is sufficient to perfume
a whole garden. The floripondio arrives at greater perfection on the
coasts of Peru, where it is seen in the hedgerows. A species of cactus,
_quisco_, is very common in some parts of this province; it bears thorns
from eight to nine inches long, of which the females make knitting

There are a great variety of shrubs in the forests of Conception, and
some of them are very aromatic. Those which are particularly useful for
dyeing are the _diu_, _thila_ and _uthin_, of which the bark and leaves
dye black. The juice of the berries of the _tara_, and of the _mayu_ are
used for writing ink, as well as for dyeing. The leaves of the _culen_,
another shrub, have a taste somewhat similar to tea, for which they are
often substituted. They are considered a vermifuge and a tonic. Frazier
says, that the culen produces a balsam, very efficacious in healing
wounds; but I never witnessed this quality. Senna grows luxuriantly near
the Maule, and is equally as good as that of the Levant; an infusion of
its leaves is often given, and I believe successfully, as a diuretic,
particularly in calculous complaints. A shrub called here the _palqui_,
and in Peru the holy herb, _yerba santa_, is thought to be an antidote
to inflammatory diseases; for this purpose the green leaves are soaked
in water, then rubbed between the hands, and again soaked, until the
water be quite green, in which state a copious draught is taken; and for
external inflammation it is applied as a wash. There are several wild
plants which yield bright and permanent colours for dyeing. Red is
obtained from the _relbun_, a species of madder; _Contra yerba_, a kind
of agrimony, furnishes yellow, as does another plant called _poquel_; a
violet is procured from the _culli_ and the _rosoli_; and the _panqui_
yields a permanent black. This peculiar plant grows in moist swampy
places; its height is from five to six feet, and the principal stem is
sometimes six inches in diameter; the leaves are roundish, rough and
thick, and at full growth are three feet in diameter. When the plant is
in perfection, the natives cut it down, and split the stem, which
contains a large portion of tanin. The black for dyeing is obtained from
the expressed juice of the root.

I scarcely ever met with any person in this province who did not assure
me that gold mines were to be found in numberless places; I certainly
never saw any worked, but the universal assurance of the inhabitants,
and what has been written by Molina, Frazier, and other persons of
veracity, leave me no room to doubt their existence.

Among the feathered tribe I observed a bird about the size of a pullet,
having black and white feathers, a thick neck, rather large head, a
strong bill a little curved, and on the fore part of the wings two
reddish spurs, like those of a young dunghill cock. It is on the alert
the moment it is alarmed, and rising from the ground, hovers over the
object which has disturbed it. The noise which it makes when in this
situation, and which is probably intended as a signal of danger to other
birds; has induced some of the natives to call it _tero-tero_; but
others name it _despertador_, awakener. Finches, _gilgueros_, and the
_thili_, a kind of thrush, are numerous, as are the grey and red
partridge. Both the latter birds are much esteemed, though I preferred
the large wood pigeons, _torcasas_, some of which are the size of a
small pullet. Feeding entirely on herbage, they are particularly fond of
the leaves of turnips, and they make their appearance in such numbers
that they would destroy a whole field in one day. Their flesh is of a
dark colour, but juicy and savoury. Of the larger species of herons I
saw three different kinds, one as large as the European heron, and quite
similar to it; one of a milk white colour, with a neck more than two
feet long, and its red slender legs equally long; and another not quite
so large, with a beautiful tuft of white feathers on its head. In
several places near the coast I observed flamingoes, and was charmed
with their delicate pink plumage; they are not eaten by the natives. I
also remarked several species of wild ducks, and three of wild geese;
one called of the Cordillera is very good eating, the others I was told
are strong and fishy. The wild swan is as large as the European swan,
but is not so handsome. It has a black bill and feet, black and white
plumage, and is in shape much like a goose, but is never eaten. I had in
my possession a tame eagle, which measured ten feet from one tip of its
wings to the other; its breast was white spotted with black, the neck
and back also black, and the tail and wings of a brown tinge with
transverse black stripes. I saw several of the same kind and others of a
smaller species in the woods. Parrots very much abound, but their
plumage is not handsome, being of a dirty dead green. These birds are
very destructive of the fruit and maize.

At Villavicencio I was highly entertained in hunting a _pagi_, or
Chilean lion. On our arrival the people were preparing to destroy this
enemy to their cattle; several dogs were collected from the neighbouring
farms, and some of the young men of the surrounding country were in
great hopes of taking him alive with their lasos, and of afterwards
baiting him in the village for the diversion of the ladies; whilst
others were desirous of signalizing the prowess of their favourite dogs.
All of them were determined to kill this ravenous brute, which had
caused much damage, particularly among their horses. The hunt was the
only subject of conversation on the Sunday, which was the day fixed for
its occurrence. At four o'clock we left the village, more than twenty in
number, each leading a dog, and having a chosen laso on his arm, ready
to throw at a moment's warning. About a mile from the village we
separated, by different bye-roads, into five or six parties, the men
taking the dogs on their horses, to prevent, as they said, the
possibility of the scent being discovered by the pagi. All noise was
avoided--even the smoking of segars was dispensed with, lest the smell
should alarm their prey, and they should lose their sport. The party
which I joined consisted of five individuals. After riding about four
miles we arrived at a small rivulet, where a young colt was tied to a
tree, having been taken for that purpose. We then retired about three
hundred yards, and the colt being alone began to neigh, which had the
desired effect, for before sunset one of our party, placed in advance,
let go his dog and whistled, at which signal three other dogs were
loosed and ran towards the place where the colt had been left. We
immediately followed, and soon found the pagi with his back against a
tree, defending himself against his adversaries. On our appearance he
seemed inclined to make a start and attempt an escape. The lasos were
immediately in motion, when four more dogs came up, and shortly
afterwards their masters, who hearing the noise had ridden to the spot
as fast as the woods would permit them. The poor brute seemed now to
fear the increase of his enemies. However he maintained his post and
killed three of our dogs; at which the owner of one of them became so
enraged, that he threw his laso round the neck of the pagi, when the
dogs, supposing the onset more secure, sprang on him, and he was soon
overpowered, but so dreadfully wounded and torn that it became necessary
to put an end to his life. The length of this animal from the nose to
the root of the tail was five feet four inches, and from the bottom of
the foot to the top of the shoulder thirty-one inches. Its head was
round, and much like that of a cat, the upper lip being entire, and
supplied with whiskers; the nose flat, the eyes large, of a brownish
hue, but very much suffused with blood; the ears short and pointed. It
had no mane. The neck, back and sides were of a dusky ash colour, with
some yellowish spots; the belly of a dirty white; the hair on its
buttocks long and shaggy. Each jaw was armed with four cutting, four
canine, and sixteen grinding teeth; each of its fore paws and hind feet
with five toes, and very strong talons. Four lasos attached to the
girths of the saddles of two horses were fastened to the pagi, which
was thus dragged to the village, where we arrived about nine o'clock,
and were received by the whole of the inhabitants with shouting and
rejoicing. The remainder of the night was spent in dancing and

The people informed me that the favourite food of the pagi is
horse-flesh; that watching a good opportunity it jumps upon the back of
its prey, which it worries, tearing the flesh with one paw whilst it
secures its hold with the other; after sucking the blood it drags the
carcase to some hiding place, covers it with leaves, and returns when
hungry to devour it. If it enter a place where horned cattle are kept,
the bulls and cows immediately form a circle, and place the calves and
young cattle in the centre; they then face their enemy boldly, and not
unfrequently oblige him to retreat, on which happening, the bulls follow
him and often gore him to death. It would therefore appear to be more
from fear than choice that he is attached to the flesh of horses. The
animal was never known to attack a man; so timid is he of the human
race, that he runs away at the appearance of a child, which may perhaps
be accounted for from the abundance of cattle supplying him so easily
with food that he is seldom in want of flesh.

The _vicuña_ and _guanaco_ are known in Chile; I shall however defer a
description of them until I treat of the _llama_ and _alpaca_ of Peru.
The _chilihueque_, spoken of by several travellers, seems to be the same
as the _llama_, but as I never saw it I am unable to determine this
point. The description and properties of the two are very similar. The
_culpen_ is a species of fox, and is very destructive to poultry and
lambs. It is rather more foolish than daring, but not void of the latter
quality. It will advance within eight or ten paces of a man, and after
looking at him for some time, will retire carelessly, unless pursued,
when it betakes itself to the bush. Its colour is a dark reddish brown,
with a long straight tail covered with shaggy hair; its height is about
two feet. For the preservation of the lambs against this enemy the
natives train their dogs to the care of the flock in a curious manner. A
young puppy is taken, before its eyes are open, and an ewe is forced to
suckle it every night and morning until it can follow the flock, when,
either under the direction of a shepherd boy, or in company with an old
trained dog, it is taught to keep the sheep together, to follow them in
the morning to graze, and to drive them to the fold at night. It is
never allowed to follow its master. No shepherd could be more faithful
to his trust than one of these dogs; it leaves the fold with the flock
in the morning, watches it carefully during the day, keeping off the
foxes, eagles and other animals, and returns with it at sunset. It
sleeps in the fold, and the sheep become so habituated to the society of
their guardian that they allow him to wander among them without any
alarm. At night, when the dog arrives with his charge, he first drives
them into the fold; he then runs two or three times round it, as if to
be certain of its safety against any lurking enemy, and afterwards goes
to the house and barks, but immediately returns to the fold, where he
waits for his supper. If it be brought he remains quiet, otherwise he
again visits the house and barks until he is properly attended to, when
he lays himself down among the sheep. Some people have imagined that it
is a peculiar breed of dogs that are so trained, but this is an error
which experience enables me to contradict; for I have seen several
different kinds in charge of different flocks, the whole of their
sagacity being the effect of their training. Whilst on the topic of the
training of animals I cannot refrain from mentioning the ridiculous
appearance of the capons, which are taught to rear broods of chickens.
When one or more hens bring forth their young, these are taken from
them, and a capon being caught, some of the feathers are plucked from
its breast and the inner part of its thighs, and the animal is flogged
with nettles, and is then put under a basket with the young chickens.
This is generally done in the evening, and in the morning, after
brooding the chickens all night, the old capon struts forth with its
adopted family, clucking and searching for food with as much activity as
the most motherly old hen! I was told that capons rear a brood much
better than hens; and I have seen one of them with upwards of thirty
chickens. The hen being thus freed from her brood soon begins to lay
eggs again, which is a very great advantage.

After an excursion of three weeks, I returned to Conception with my
friend, Don Santiago Dias, to whom I brought letters of introduction
from my good host at Arauco, Don Nicolas del Rio, which were most
willingly attended to, and rendered my detention as a prisoner of war a
delightful series of excursions into the country, and of parties of
pleasure in the city.


[4] I have made particular mention of the form of the Cabildos, because
they have been preserved since the revolution just as they existed
before it.


     Sent to Talcahuano....Description of the Bay and Anchorage....Plain
     between Conception and Talcahuano....Prospectus of a Soap
     Manufactory here....Coal Mine....Town, Custom-house, Inhabitants,
     &c....Fish, &c. caught in the Bay....Colonial
     Commerce....Prospectus of a Sawing Mill.

After staying a few days at Conception, I was sent for by the governor
to Talcahuano, a ship being there ready to sail for Lima. I took with me
a note to a resident in the port, and was received by him with the
greatest possible kindness; he requested me to make his house my home
until the ship should be ready to sail; a request with which I very
willingly complied.

The bay of Talcahuano is one of the largest on the western shores of
South America: from north to south its length is about ten miles, that
is from the main land on one side to the main land on the other; from
east to west it is seven miles. In the mouth of the bay lies the island
Quiriquina, forming two entrances; that on the east side is the safer,
being two miles wide with thirty fathoms water, decreasing gradually
towards the usual anchorage at Talcahuano, where, about half a mile
from the shore, there are ten fathoms water. It is well sheltered from
the north wind; but the swell is so great during a norther (as the north
winds are here called) that it is almost impossible to land, though at
any other time the landing is good on any part of the beach.

From Conception to Talcahuano, a distance of six miles, the surface of
the ground is composed of loose sand intermixed with sea shells; about
half a yard deep a continued stratum of marine shells is found, exactly
similar to those shell-fish with which the sea abounds at this place:
they are the _choro_, muscle, _pie de burra_, or ass's foot, the
_bulgados_, a species of snail, and the _picos_, barnacles. This stratum
is generally from twelve to fifteen feet thick; and a similar one is
found in the hills, three hundred feet above the level of the sea;
being, no doubt, the effect of some tremendous earthquake, which took
place before this country was known to the old world; for it is certain,
that what now constitutes the valley of Penco or Conception was at some
remote period a part of the Pacific Ocean. From these shells all the
lime used in building is procured. The land between Talcahuano and
Conception is not fit for cultivation; it presents rather a dreary
appearance; however, some cattle graze on the marshy or low parts, and
their meat is considered very delicate. Abundance of salsola grows in
this neighbourhood, from which kali might be procured in great
quantities for the purpose of manufacturing soap, which, as tallow and
other fat can be bought here at a low rate, would be a very lucrative
speculation. Soap bears a high price in Peru, and in almost every part
of the country, being seldom under forty dollars the quintal or hundred
pounds weight in Lima, and higher in the interior. The facility of
procuring good lime and plenty of fuel would be of importance to such an
establishment, besides which, the cheapness of copper, from the mines of
Coquimbo and Copiapo, for making the necessary utensils, is an advantage
of some consideration.

Of all the Spanish writers Herrera alone makes mention of the existence
of coal in the province of Conception. In Dec. 8, 1. 6, c. 11, he says,
"there is a coal mine upon the beach near to the city of Conception; it
burns like charcoal;" and he was not mistaken, for the stratum does
exist on the north side of the bay of Talcahuano, near the anchorage on
that side, and very near the ruins of Penco Viejo, which was destroyed
by the earthquake in 1730, and not rebuilt, because the present
anchorage was considered preferable. To what extent the coal reaches
has never yet been ascertained; all that has been used has been obtained
by throwing aside the mould which covers the surface. This coal is
similar in appearance to the English cannel, but it is reasonable to
suppose, that if the mine were dug to any considerable depth, the
quality would be found to improve, and that the work might be productive
of immense wealth to its possessor.

There is a custom-house at Talcahuano, and the necessary officers for
collecting the importation and exportation duties; barracks for the
garrison belonging to the small battery, a house for the residence of
the commanding officer, a parish church, also about a hundred houses,
with several large stores, _bodegas_, for corn, wine, and other goods.
The population consists of about five hundred inhabitants, principally
muleteers, porters, and fishermen.

The bay abounds with excellent fish; the most esteemed are the _robalo_;
this fish is from two to three feet long, nearly of a cylindrical form,
having angular scales, which are of a gold colour on the back, declining
to a very beautiful transparent white on the belly: it has a bluish
stripe along the back, bordered on each side with a deep yellow; the
flesh is delicately white, and has a delicious taste. The _corbina_ is
generally about the size of the robalo, though sometimes much larger;
its body is of an oval form, covered with broad semi-transparent white
scales, on which are some opaque white spots; it is encircled obliquely
with a number of brownish lines, the tail is forked, and the head small;
its flesh is white and well tasted. The _lisa_ is a kind of mullet; it
is found both in fresh and in salt water; the latter, however, is much
better than the former: it is about a foot long, its back is of a dirty
greenish colour, its sides and belly white, with large scales; its flesh
is white, very fat, and is excellent. The _peje rey_ is very similar to
a smelt, but when full-grown is of the size of a herring; it has not the
same odour as the smelt, but is equally nice when cooked.

In the vicinity of Talcahuano is the gold fish, about ten inches long,
flat and of an oval form, with small scales; it is of a bright gold
colour, and has five zones or bands surrounding it. One round the neck
is black, two others about the middle of the fish are grey, one near the
tail is black, and the fifth, at the juncture of the tail with the body
is grey; its flesh is very delicate. The _chalgua achagual_, called by
the Spaniards _peje gallo_, cock fish, is about three feet long; its
body is round, rather thicker in the middle than at the neck or near
the tail; it is covered with a whitish skin, but has no scales; on its
head it has a cartilaginous crest about three quarters of an inch
thick--its flesh is not good. The _tollo_, a species of dog-fish, is
about three feet long; it has two triangular dorsal spines, remarkably
hard, but no other bones; it is salted and dried, and sent to the Lima
market, being rarely eaten fresh, although it is then very good. On the
coasts the natives catch a variety of species that are common to other
seas, such as the skate, the dog-fish, saw-fish, old wife, conger eel,
rock cod, whiting, turbot, plaice, bonito, mackerel, roach, mullet,
pilchard, anchovy, &c.

Among the mollusca tribe the muscle is very fine; I have frequently seen
them eight inches long, and their flavour is excellent. They are often
salted and dried; after which they are strung on slender rushes, and in
this manner large quantities are exported. The white urchin is of a
globular form, about three inches in diameter, with a whitish shell and
spines; the interior substance is yellow, but very good to eat. The
_pico_ is a kind of barnacle, adhering to steep rocks at the water's
edge: from ten to twenty of them inhabit as many separate cells of a
pyramidal form, made of a cretaceous substance, with a little aperture
at the top of each cell; they receive their food at this hole, where a
kind of small bill protrudes, similar to that of a bird, and hence the
animal receives its name of pico, a bill. They are very white, tender,
and most delicate eating. The _loco_ is oval, and its shell is covered
with small tuberosities: it is from four to five inches long, and the
interior or edible substance is white, and very excellent. Of the
molluscas the _piuri_ is the most remarkable, in respect both to its
shape and habitation; the latter is formed of a coriaceous matter,
adhering to the rocks, and which is divided into separate cells, by
means of strong membranes. In each of these, in a detached state, is
formed the piuri; it is about the size of a large cherry, which it so
much resembles in colour, that the following anecdote is related: a
native of Chiloe had never seen any cherries until he came to
Conception, and observing an abundance there he exclaimed, "What a
charming country this is, why the piuries grow on the trees!" This
animal, if it deserve to be so called, is eaten either roasted or
boiled, and has a taste similar to that of the lobster: great quantities
are annually dried for exportation.

Of the crustaceous fishes, the _xaiva_, crab, has a shell that is nearly
spherical, about three inches in diameter, and two inches deep,
furnished with spines upon the edges. The _apancora_, another of the
crab species, has an oval shell, denticulated, and generally larger than
the xaiva; both are red when boiled, and their flesh is well tasted.
Crawfish, _camarones_, are sometimes caught of the enormous weight of
eight or nine pounds each, and are very good.

The principal commerce between this port and some of the other Spanish
colonies consists in the exportation of wheat, with which article about
six ships, of not less than four hundred tons burthen each, are annually
laden, making an average of two thousand four hundred tons, which in an
infant country, and for colonial consumption, may be considered very
great. Nearly the whole of this wheat is carried to Lima. Of jerked
beef, charqui, about six thousand quintals, with a proportionate
quantity of tallow and fat, grasa; and of wine, on an average, two
thousand jars, containing eighteen gallons each, are annually exported.
The minor articles are raw hides, wool, dried fruits, salt fish and
pulse. The imports are a small quantity of European manufactured goods,
sugar, salt and tobacco; the taxes on which produce from one hundred and
two to one hundred and five thousand dollars per annum.

I have already mentioned the benefit which would result from a soap
manufactory being established at Talcahuano; another establishment,
however, of still greater importance, might be formed either on the
banks of the Bio-bio, or on those of the Maule: I mean a sawing mill.
Both of these rivers have a sufficient current for the purpose, and an
abundance of good timber in their vicinity. A dock yard on a trifling
scale has been established and small craft have been built at Maule; but
Guayaquil is the great dock yard on the western coast of South America,
and vessels of eight hundred tons burthen have been built there; beside
which the timber markets of Peru have been almost exclusively supplied
with wood from the forest of Guayaquil: this article is becoming scarce
in that district, and recourse must soon be had to some other parts, and
there are none that present the same facilities as the two I have now
mentioned. The forests of the province of Conception are as yet
untouched; the price of labour there does not exceed one-third of that
at Guayaquil; the hire of cattle for bringing the wood from any part of
the forests to the river side bears the same proportion as the price of
labour; the advantage of superiority of climate is also attached to this
province, as well as that of the total absence of ravenous beasts and
poisonous reptiles, which abound in the woods, rivers and estuaries of
Guayaquil. The conducting of timber to the port of Talcahuano for
embarkation, and its shipment in small vessels in the Maule, are
facilities of considerable importance; to which we may add the short
passage from either of these two places to the principal established
market of Lima, the passage from Guayaquil being of a treble duration.
Small vessels only can get out of the Maule, because a bar at the
entrance of the river would prevent the egress of large ships when
deeply laden. Another powerful reason why sawing mills might be
established with greater ease on those rivers than at Guayaquil is, that
they would increase the means of subsistence among the labouring
classes, and consequently would merit their protection; whereas at the
latter place sawing is the occupation of a great portion of the
inhabitants of the city, who make very high wages, in consequence of
which any establishment detrimental to so numerous a body of artizans
would be strenuously resisted, and probably attended with fatal results.
It will no doubt appear surprizing to persons in England acquainted with
this branch of the arts, that three quarters of a dollar, equal to about
three shillings and two pence, should be paid at Guayaquil for sawing a
plank from a log of wood ten or twelve inches square by eighteen feet
long, the timber not being harder than the English fir. The price for
timber brought down to the port of Talcahuano is very low. _Liñe_,
somewhat resembling ash, and applicable to the same uses, may be
delivered in logs twenty feet long and twelve inches square, for about
one dollar each, and all other kinds of wood at similar rates; while a
single inch plank from the same tree would be worth nearly double the
sum at Lima. Attached to an establishment of this kind, the carrying of
fire wood to Lima would be attended with considerable profit--a cargo of
fire wood weighing fourteen quintals is sold here for only one dollar,
while in Lima it often sells for from one to one and a half dollar per

The ship _Dolores de la Tierra_ being ready to sail for Lima, I was
ordered on board, and obliged to leave with regret an enchanting
country, where I had been treated with unbounded hospitality by its
inhabitants. My kind host, Don Manuel Serrano, took care to recommend me
to the captain, beside which he sent on board, for my use, more
provisions than would have served me for three such voyages.

The foregoing is a brief description of Conception as I saw it in the
year 1803. I visited it again in 1820, and in the course of my narrative
I shall have occasion to mention it at my second visit, and to contrast
its appearance at those two periods.

If in my description of this part of South America I have sometimes
touched on the changes that have happened or are likely to happen, it
has been when speaking of places which I did not afterwards visit.


     Leave Talcahuano in the Dolores....Passage to Callao....Arrival
     ....Taken to the Castle....Leave Callao....Road to Lima....Conveyed
     to Prison.

My present situation was very disagreeable. The government of Conception
had placed me on board a Spanish vessel, and had given orders to the
captain to deliver me up, the moment he should arrive at Callao, to the
governor of the fortress. At the same time he had been charged with
letters, containing perhaps an account of my having landed on the
Araucanian coast; of having visited part of that almost unknown
territory, as also part of the province of Conception. Such it was
reasonable to expect would be the information conveyed, if either the
reports prevailing at that time respecting the cruel system of Spanish
jealousy in their colonies were to be credited; or those which have been
more recently circulated, that all foreigners would be incarcerated,
sent to the mines or to places of exile, for having merely dared to
tread the shores of this prohibited country. I should have desponded,
had not practice taught me to regard those reports as exaggerated
tales, the fictions or dreams of the biassed, and not worthy of the
least belief. I was, at the time I landed, ignorant of the existence of
any prohibitory laws; but I now reflected, that no doubt foreigners were
not allowed to settle in a Spanish colony without having obtained those
permissions and passports which are considered equally as indispensable
here as in the British colonies; documents which are as essentially
necessary to Englishmen as to foreigners; but I also recollected the
kind treatment which I had received at Conception, as much a Spanish
colony as the place of my destination; I had learned, too, that
foreigners resided in this part of the country, some of whom were in the
actual employ of the government; it had come to my knowledge that an
Irishman, Don Ambrose Higgins, had filled the offices of Captain-General
of Chile, and of Viceroy of Peru.--These reflections contributed to make
me comparatively happy, and by adhering to a maxim which I had
established, never to allow the shadow of future adversity to cloud the
existence of present comfort, my life was always free from fear and
disquietude. My stay among the pastoral indians of Arauco, for barbarous
I cannot call them, had been one continued scene of enjoyment,
unalloyed with any apprehension of approaching evils, and this conduct
had not contributed a little to make me so welcome a guest. I had
followed the same principles whilst at Conception with equal success.

The ship in which I embarked had on board eight thousand fanegas of
wheat, with some other Chilean produce, and an abundance of poultry, for
the Lima market; she was built at Ferrol in the year 1632, of Spanish
oak, and was the oldest vessel in the Pacific; her high poop and clumsy
shape forming a great contrast with some of the recently-built ships at
Guayaquil, or those from Spain. The conduct of the captain, the officers
and passengers, was marked with every kindness. I had a small cabin to
myself, but I messed with the captain and passengers, and the eleven
days which we were at sea were spent in mirth and gaiety, not a little
heightened by the female part of a family going to settle in Lima. The
father kindly invited me, should an opportunity present itself, to
reside at his house during my stay in that city, an invitation of which
I should certainly have availed myself had not circumstances prevented
it. We were all anxiety to arrive at Callao, the sea-port of Lima, and
although I had fewer reasons to wish it than others, still the idea of
seeing something new is always pleasing, particularly to a traveller in
a foreign country; besides, I had been informed on my passage that war
had not been declared between England and Spain, and that the conduct of
the government was to be attributed to their wish to prevent any English
spies from residing at liberty in the country.

On the eleventh day after our leaving Talcahuano we made the island of
San Lorenzo, which forms one side of the bay of Callao. It exhibits a
dreary spectacle, not a tree, a shrub, nor even a blade of grass
presents itself; it is one continued heap of sand and rock. Having
passed the head land, (where a signal post was erected and a look-out
kept, which communicated with Callao, through other signals stationed on
the island) the vessels in the offing, the town and batteries at once
opened on our view. The principal fortress, called the Royal Philip,
_Real Felipe_, has a majestic appearance, although disadvantageously
situated; it is on a level with the sea, and behind it the different
ranges of hills rise in successive gradations until crowned with the
distant prospect of the Andes, which in some parts tower above the
clouds. These clouds, resting on the tops of the lower ranges seemed to
have yielded their places in the atmosphere to those enormous masses,
and to have prostrated themselves at their feet. As we approached the
anchorage the spires and domes of Lima appeared to the left of the town
of Callao. At the moment of landing, which is the most pleasing to
travellers by sea, the passengers were all in high spirits, expecting to
embrace ere long those objects of tender affection, from whom they had
been separated by chance, interest, or necessity.

Previous to our coming to an anchorage, the custom-house boat with some
others visited our ship, and I was sent ashore in that from the captain
of the port. I was immediately conveyed to the castle, and delivered to
the Governor. On my landing at Callao, I observed a considerable bustle
on what may be called the pier. This pier was made in 1779, during the
Viceroyalty of Don Antonio Amat, by running an old king's ship on shore,
filling her with stones, sand, and rubbish, and afterwards driving round
the parts where the sea washes piles of mangroves, brought from
Guayaquil, and which appear to be almost imperishable in sea water. At
the landing place I saw several boats employed in watering their ships,
for which purpose pipes have been laid down, three feet under ground, to
convey the water from a spring; hoses being attached to the spouts, the
casks are filled either floating on the sea or in the boats.

The houses make a very sorry appearance; they are generally about twenty
feet high, with mud walls, flat roof, and divided into two stories; the
under one forms a row of small shops open in front, and the upper one an
uncouth corridor. About a quarter of a mile from the landing place is
the draw-bridge, over a dry foss, and an entrance under an arched
gateway to the castle, the Real Felipe. I was presented to the Governor,
a Spanish colonel, who immediately ordered me to the _caloboso_, one of
the prisoners' cells: this was a room about one hundred feet long and
twenty wide, formed of stone, with a vaulted roof of the same materials,
having two wooden benches, raised about three feet from the ground, for
the prisoners to sleep on. A long chain ran along the bench for the
purpose of being passed through the shackles of the unhappy occupants,
whose miserable beds, formed of rush mats, were rolled up, and laid near
the walls. I had an opportunity to make a survey of this place before
the prisoners entered; until then I was left quite alone, pondering over
my future lot, for this was the first time I could consider myself a
prisoner; however, I consoled myself with the hope of release, or if
not, a removal to some more comfortable situation. In this hope I was
not mistaken, for before the prisoners, who were malefactors employed at
the public works, arrived, a soldier came and ordered me to follow him.
He took up my bed, while I took care of my trunk, and in this manner I
left the abode of crime and misery in which I had been placed. I was
conducted to the guard-house, where that part of the garrison on duty
are usually stationed. I now found myself among such a curious mixture
of soldiers as eyes never witnessed in any other part of the world; but
I reconciled myself to my lot, especially as it was not the worst place
in the castle. In a short time I was sent for to the officers' room. I
there found several agreeable and some well-informed young men, with two
very obstinate and testy old ones, who, though of superior rank, were
heartily quizzed by their subalterns. Such is the ease and frankness of
the South Americans in general, that before I had been an hour in the
room, one of the officers, a young lieutenant, and his brother, a cadet,
had become as familiar with me as if we had been old acquaintance. They
were natives of Lima, both had been educated at San Carlos, the
principal college, and both lamented that the most useful branches of
science were not taught in the Spanish colleges to that extent, and
with that precision which they are in England. The lieutenant also
observed, that as the rectors and heads of their colleges were
churchmen, the studies were confined principally to theology, divinity
and morality, which circumstance caused them to neglect the useful
sciences; and this he ascribed as a reason why in those studies the
students made little progress. But, continued he, our libraries are not
destitute of good mathematical and philosophical books, which some of
our young men study, and they are at all times willing to instruct their
friends. I spent the time in a very agreeable chit chat with my new
acquaintance till ten o'clock, when the lieutenant rose and requested me
to wait his return, saying he was going to the governor for _el santo_,
the watchword, and for the orders of the night. He returned in about
half an hour, pulled off his uniform coat, put on a jacket, and then
told me, in the most friendly manner, that the governor had given orders
for my removal to Lima on the following morning; on which he
congratulated me, saying, that as that was a large city I should be more
comfortable, although a prisoner, than at Callao; he also informed me
that, it being the first day of the month, September, 1803, part of the
garrison would be relieved by detachments from the capital, and that he
was included in that number, and would be happy in giving me a seat in
the _valancin_, hackney coach, which he should hire. About twelve
o'clock my bed and trunk were carried to his sleeping room, and I
remained in conversation with him till day broke; we slept about an
hour, and then arose to breakfast, which consisted of a cup of very good
chocolate for each of us, some dry toast, and a glass of water. At
eleven o'clock, the detachment having arrived, we left Callao in a
valancin, which is a kind of carriage, having the body of a coach on two
wheels, drawn by two horses, one in the shafts and the postillion
mounted on the other.

The city of Callao, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1746 and
swallowed up by the sea, was at a short distance to the southward of the
present town. On a calm day the ruins may yet be seen under water at
that part of the bay called the _mar braba_, rough sea, and on the beach
a sentry is always placed for the purpose of taking charge of any
treasure that may be washed ashore, which not unfrequently happens. By
this terrible convulsion of nature upwards of three thousand people
perished at Callao alone. I afterwards became acquainted with an old
mulatto, called Eugenio, who was one of the three or four who were
saved; he told me that he was sitting on some timber which had been
landed from a ship in the bay, at the time that the great wave of the
sea rolled in and buried the city, and that he was carried, clinging to
the log, near to the chapel, a distance of three miles.

From Callao to Lima it is six miles, with a good road, for which the
country is indebted to Don Ambrose Higgins; but he unfortunately died,
after being Viceroy three years, leaving this useful work incomplete.
The finished part extends only about two miles from the gateway, at the
entrance to the city, and has a double row of lofty willows on each
side, shading the foot-walk. He also furnished it, at every hundred
yards, with neat stone benches; and at about every mile a large circle
with walls of brick and stone, four feet high, and stone seats are
erected. These circles are formed for carriages to turn in with greater
ease than on the road. On each side of the foot-walk runs a small stream
of water, irrigating the willows in its course, and nourishing
numberless luxuriant weeds and flowers. It was the intention of the
Viceroy to carry the road down to Callao in the same style as it now
exists near the city, but only the carriage road was finished. It has a
parapet of brick raised two feet high on each side, to keep together the
materials of the road. On the right hand side, going from the port, may
be seen the ruins of an indian village, which was built before the
discovery of South America. Some of the old walls are left, formed of
clay, about two feet thick and six feet high, and which perhaps owe
their present existence to the total absence of rain in this country. To
the right is the town of Bellavista, to which parish Callao is attached,
being called its _anexo_. Here is a hospital for seamen and the poorer
class of the inhabitants. Half way between the port and the city stands
a very neatly built chapel, to which is connected a small cloister; it
is dedicated to the Virgin of Mount Carmel, and many visit it to fulfil
some vow or other which they have made at sea to this Madonna, she being
the protectress of seamen. Near the chapel is situated a house at which
are sold good brandy and wine, and it may easily be guessed which
establishment has the most customers! On approaching the city the
quality of the soil appears to be very good; large gardens with
luxuriant vegetables for the market, and fields of lucern and maize are
here cultivated, and close to the city walls there are extensive
orchards of tropical fruit trees, all irrigated with water drawn by
canals from the river Rimac. The gateway is of brick, covered with
stucco, with cornices, mouldings, and pillars of stone: it has three
arches; the centre one for carriages has folding doors, the two lateral
posterns are for foot passengers.

The mind of a traveller is naturally led to expect to find the inside of
a city correspondent with the appearance of its entrance; but at Lima he
will be deceived. The distant views of the steeples and domes, the
beautiful straight road, its shady avenue of lofty willows, and its
handsome gateway, are contrasted, immediately on passing them, with a
long street of low houses with their porches and patios; small shops
with their goods placed on tables at the doors; no glass windows; no
display of articles of commerce; numbers of people of all colours, from
the black African to the white and rosy coloured Biscayan, with all
their intermediate shades, combined with the mixture of colour and
features of the aborigines of America:--the mere observation of this
variety of colours and features produces a "confusion beyond all

As a prisoner of war, although the two nations were at peace, I was
conducted by my kind friend to the city gaol, _carcel de la ciudad_,
where I remained shut up for eight months with about a hundred criminals
of the worst description. Owing, however, to a recommendation and the
promise of a remuneration from my good friend the lieutenant, the
alcalde lodged me in a room at the entrance of the prison, allotted to
persons of decent families, or to such as had the means of paying for
this convenience.

I was fortunate enough to find here a native of Lima, an officer in the
army, who was confined on suspicion of forgery. He was a very excellent
man, and conducted himself towards me in a manner which contributed, not
only to my comfort whilst I was a prisoner, but finally to my
liberation. My first object in my confinement was to make myself
perfectly master of the Spanish tongue, and to obtain some knowledge of
_Quichua_, the court language of the Incas, and used wherever their
authority had been established. I was the more desirous of becoming
acquainted with this language, because it is spoken in the interior of
Peru by all classes of people: the respectable inhabitants, however,
also speak Spanish.


     Lima, Origin of its Name....Pachacamac....Foundation of
     Lima....Pizarro's Palace....Situation of the City....Form of the
     Valley Rimac....River....Climate....Temperature....Moists and

Lima is the capital of Peru, and derives its name from _Rimac_, which
original name its river still retains; but the valley was called by the
indians _Rimac Malca_, or the place of witches; it being the custom
among the aborigines, even before the establishment of the theocrasia of
the Incas, as well as during their domination, to banish to this valley
those persons who were accused of witchcraft. Its climate is very
different from that of the interior, and having a great deal of marshy
ground in its vicinity, intermittent fevers generally destroyed in a
short time such individuals as were the objects of this superstitious
persecution. It is recorded, that when Manco Capac and his sister Mama
Ocollo were presented by their grandfather to the indians living at
Couzcou, and were informed by him that they were the children of the
sun, their God, the fair complexion of these strangers, and their light
coloured hair, induced the indians to consider them as rimacs, and they
were in consequence exiled to Rimac Malca, the place of witches, now the
valley of Lima.

In September, 1533, Don Francisco Pizarro arrived at Pachacamac, a large
town belonging to the indians, where a magnificent temple had been built
by Pachacutec, the tenth Inca of Peru, for the worship of Pachacamac,
the creator and preserver of the world. This rich place of worship was
plundered by Pizarro, and the virgins destined to the service of the
Deity, though in every respect as sacred as the nuns of Pizarro's
religion, were violated by his soldiers; the altars were pillaged and
destroyed, and the building was demolished. However, when I visited it
in 1817, some of the walls still remained, as if to reproach the
descendants of an inhuman monster with his wanton barbarity. I wandered
among the remains of this temple, dedicated by a race of men in
gratitude to their omnipotent creator and preserver: a house unstained
with what bigots curse with the name of idolatry; unpolluted with the
blood of sacrifice; uncontaminated with the chaunt of anthems, impiously
sung to the Deity after the destruction of a great number of his
creatures; of prayers for success, or thanksgivings for victory; but
hallowed with the innocent offerings of fruits and flowers, and
sanctified with the incense breath of praise, and hymns of joyous
gratitude. It is difficult to describe the feelings by which we are
affected when we witness the ruins of an edifice destined by its founder
to be a monument of national glory, or even of personal honor; but when
we contemplate with unprejudiced eyes the remains of a building once
sacred to a large portion of our fellow creatures, and raised by them in
honour of the great Father of the universe, wantonly destroyed by a
being, in whose hands chance had placed more power than his vitiated
mind knew how to apply to virtuous purposes--we cannot avoid cursing
him, in the bitterness of our anguish. Cold indeed must be the heart of
that man who could view the ruins of Pachacamac with less regret than
those of Babylon or Jerusalem!

Pizarro having arrived at Pachacamac, and being desirous of building a
city near the sea coast, he sent some of his officers to search for a
convenient harbour either to the north or to the south. They first
visited the harbour of Chilca, which, though a good one, and near
Pachacamac, was still defective; the coast was a sandy desert, and the
poor indians who lived upon it for the purpose of fishing were often
forced to abandon their houses, because their wells of brackish water
became dry. The commissioners were obliged to look out for another
situation, and having arrived at Callao they found that its bay was very
capacious, with the river Rimac entering it on the north. They
afterwards explored the delightful surrounding valley, and reported
their success to Pizarro, who immediately came from Pachacamac, and
approving of the situation, laid the foundation of Lima, on the south
side of the river, about two leagues from the sea. On the 8th day of
January, 1534, he removed to it those Spaniards whom he had left for the
purpose of building a town at Jauja. Lima is called by the Spaniards La
Ciudad de los Reyes, from being founded on the day on which the Roman
Church celebrates the epiphany, or the feast of the worshipping of the
kings or magi of the east. Its arms are a shield with three crowns, Or,
on an azure field, and the star of the east; for supporters the letters
J. C. Jane and Charles, with the motto--_Hoc signum vere Regum est_.
These arms and the title of royal city were granted to Lima by the
Emperor Charles V. in 1537. Pizarro built a palace for himself, about
two hundred yards from the river, on the contrary side of the great
square, or _plasa mayor_, to that where the palace of the Viceroy now
stands; and the remains of it may yet be found in the _Callejon de
Petateros_, mat maker's alley. He was murdered here on the 26th of June,

According to several Spanish authorities Lima is situated in 12° 2´ 51´´
south latitude, and in 70° 50´ 51´´ longitude west of Cadiz. To the
northward and eastward of the city hills begin to rise, which ultimately
compose a part of the great chain of the Andes; or rather they are parts
of the high mountains which run north and south about twenty leagues to
the eastward of Lima. These mountains gradually descend to the sea
coast, producing between each row beautiful and fertile valleys, of
which the Rimac is one. The chain opening at the back of Lima forms the
valley Lurigancho, which closes on its suburbs. That of the greatest
height, bordering on the city, is called _San Cristobal_, and the other
_Amancaes_; the former is 1302 feet above the level of the sea, and the
latter 2652. The mountains slope towards the west, and when seen from
the bridge appear to have reached the level about three miles from that
station, which extremity, viewed from the same place, is the point where
the sun disappears at the time of the winter solstice. To the south
west is the island called _San Lorenzo_; more to the south lies _Morro
Solar_, about eight miles distant, where large hills of sand are
observed, which, stretching to the eastward and gently rising, form with
the Amancaes a crescent, enclosing the picturesque valley Rimac, through
which the river of that name majestically flows, producing in its course
or wherever its influence can be obtained all the beauties of Flora and
the gifts of Ceres.

The site of Lima gradually inclines to the westward, the great square,
plasa mayor, being 480 feet above the level of the sea. Thus all the
streets in this direction, with many of those intersecting them at right
angles, have small streams of water running along them, which contribute
very much to the cleanliness and salubrity of the city and its
inhabitants. The water which runs through the streets, as well as that
which feeds the fountains and the canals for the irrigation of gardens,
orchards and plantations, which fill the whole valley, is drawn from the
river Rimac. This river has its origin in the province of Huarochiri,
and receives in its course several small streams, which descend the
mountains, and are produced by the melting of the snow on the tops of
the Andes, as well as by the rains which fall in the interior, at which
time the river swells very much, and covers the whole of its bed, which
at other times is in many places almost dry. The water in Lima is said
to be crude, holding in solution a considerable quantity of selenite,
besides being impregnated with abundance of fixed air; hence,
indigestions and other affections of the stomach are attributed to it;
but Dr. Unanue very justly asks, "may not these diseases be derived from
Cupid and Ceres?" The water is certainly far from being pure; for the
_artaxea_, which supplies the city fountains, and the _pugios_, which
supply the suburbs, called San Lazaro, are stagnant pools; both are
often full of aquatic plants, which decay and rot in them; they moreover
contain water that has been employed in the irrigation of the
plantations and farms at the back of the city, and not unfrequently
animals have been drowned in them.

The climate of Lima is extremely agreeable; the heat which would
naturally be expected in so low a latitude is seldom felt, and those who
have been accustomed to the scorching sun and suffocating heat of Bahia,
on the opposite side of the Continent, or to those of Carthagena, in the
same latitude, are astonished at the mild and almost equable climate of
Lima. The following thermometrical observations, made in the years 1805
and 1810, will evince the truth of what has been asserted:--



                                 1805.               1810.
                              ____/\____          ____/\____
                             /          \        /          \
                             Max.    Min.        Max.    Min.
     January                 77      74¾         76      73¾
     February                79½     76          77      74¾
     March                   78½     74¾         77      74¾
     April                   74¾     72          74¾     71¼
     May                     73¾     67          71¼     67
     June                    65¾     65          66      64
     July                    65      63          64¾     61
     August                  63½     62¾         63¾     61
     September               65      63½         64¾     64
     October                 65¾     63½         65¾     63½
     November                69½     65¾         69½     65½
     December                73¾     69½         71½     70
                             ------  ------      ------  ------
     Mean height during}     79½     62¾         77      61
     the Year.         }     ======  ======      ======  ======

The coolness of the climate is occasioned by
the wind and a peculiar state of the atmosphere.
The wind generally blows from different
points of the compass between the south
west and the south east. When from the
former direction, it crosses in its course a
great portion of the Pacific Ocean, and when
it comes from the eastward it has not to
pass over sandy deserts or scorching plains,
but to traverse first the immense tract of
woodland countries lying between the Brazils
and Peru, and afterwards the frozen tops
of the Cordillera, at a distance of twenty
leagues from Lima; so that, in both cases, it is
equally cool and refreshing. A northerly wind
is very seldom felt in Lima; but when it blows,
as if by accident, from that quarter, the heat
is rather oppressive. On the 6th of March,
1811, the wind being from the north, I made the
following observations with a Farenheit's thermometer,
at one o'clock, p. m.

     In the shade in an open room                   80°
     In the air, five yards from the sun's rays     87°
     In the sun                                    106°
     Water in the shade from sunrise                74°
     Water in a well 20 yards below the}            70°
         surface of the earth          }
     Sea water at Callao at 4 p. m.                 64°
     Heat of the body, perspiring                   96°
     ------------------after cooling in the shade   94°

The heat of the sun in summer is mitigated by a canopy of clouds, which
constantly hang over Lima, and although not perceptible from the city,
yet when seen from an elevated situation in the mountains, they appear
somewhat like the smoke floating in the atmosphere of large towns where
coal is burnt; but as this material is not used in Lima, the cause and
effect must be different.

If I may be allowed to give an opinion different from that of several
eminent persons who have written on the climate of Lima, it is, that the
vapours which rise on the coast or from the sea are lifted to a
sufficient height by the action of the sun's rays to be caught by the
current of wind from the southward and westward, and carried by them
into the interior; whilst the exhalations from the city and its suburbs
only rise to a lower region, and are not acted upon by the wind, but
remain in a quiescent state of perfect equilibrium, hanging over the
city during the day, and becoming condensed by the coolness of the
night, when they are precipitated in the form of dew, which is always
observable in the morning on the herbage.

Lima may be justly said to enjoy one of the most delightful climates in
the world; it is a succession of spring and summer, as free from the
chills of winter as from the sultry heats of autumn.

Notwithstanding this almost constant equability, some writers have
imagined that four seasons are distinguishable. Such persons, however,
must undoubtedly have either been endowed with peculiar sensibility, or
have been gifted with an amazing philosophy. Not content with the
beauties of this climate, some have attached to it the properties which
belong to the ultra-tropical countries--jealous perhaps of the
theoretical comforts from which they are practically free, and in the
full enjoyment of a climate the maximum heat of which seldom exceeds 78°
of Farenheit's thermometer, and the minimum of which is seldom below
62°, wishing to perfect it by having the maximum at 100°, and the
minimum below zero! Peralta, in his 8th canto, has very quaintly
described the beautiful climate of this city:--

     "En su orisonte el sol todo es aurora
     Eterna, el tiempo todo es primavera
     Solo es risa del cielo cada hora
     Cada mes solo es cuenta del esfera.
     Son cada aliento, un halito de Flora
     Cada arroyo una Musa lisongera;
     Y los vergeles, que el confin le debé
     Nubes fragantes con que el ciclo llueve."

One of the peculiarities of this climate, as well as that of the coast
of Peru from Arica to Cape Blanco, being a distance of about 16 degrees
of latitude, is, that it can scarcely ever be said to rain. Several
theories have been advanced to account for this anomaly of nature. The
following facts and explanations will, perhaps, tend to unravel the

In April or May the mists, called _garuas_, begin, and continue with
little interruption till November, which period is usually termed the
winter solstice. The gentle winds that blow in the morning from the
westward, and in the afternoon from the southward, are those which fill
the atmosphere with aqueous vapours, forming a very dense cloud or mist;
and owing to the obliquity of the rays of the sun during this season the
evaporation is not sufficiently rarified or attenuated to enable it to
rise above the summits of the adjacent mountains; so that it is limited
to the range of flat country lying between the mountains and the sea,
which inclines towards the north west. Thus the vapours brought by the
general winds are collected over this range of coast, and from the cause
above-mentioned cannot pass the tops of the mountains, but remain
stationary until the sun returns to the south, when they are elevated by
his vertical heat, and pass over the mountains into the interior, where
they become condensed, and fall in copious rains. That rain is not
formed on the coast from these mists is attributable, first, to a want
of contrary winds to agitate and unite the particles, and, secondly, to
their proximity to the earth, which they reach in their descent, before
a sufficient number of them can coalesce, and form themselves into

The figure of the coast also contributes to the free access of the water
that has been cooled at the south pole, on its return to the equatorial
regions. From Cape Pilares to latitude 18° the direction of the coast is
nearly N. and S.; and from 18° to 5° it runs out to the westward: thus
the cold water dashes on the shores, and produces in the atmosphere a
coolness that is not experienced in other parts, where the coasts are
filled with projecting capes and deep bays; because the current,
striking against those, sweeps from the coast, and the water in these
becomes heated by the sun, and is deprived by the capes of the current
of cold water, excepting what is necessary to maintain the equilibrium,
which is diminished by absorption in the bays. The heat increases with
astonishing rapidity from latitude 1° south to 10° north; the Gulph of
Choco being deprived of the ingress of cooled water from the south by
the Cape San Francisco, and from the north by Cape Blanco. The eastern
shores of the south Continent of America are much warmer than the
western, owing to the great number of capes and bays. The atmosphere
does not enjoy the cooling breezes from the pole, which are diverted
from a direct course in the same manner as the currents of water, nor
the refrigerated winds from the Cordillera.

The southern hemisphere is altogether much cooler than the northern:
perhaps in the same ratio that the surface land of the northern
hemisphere exceeds that of the southern.

During the months of February and March it sometimes happens that large
straggling drops of rain fall about five o'clock in the afternoon. This
admits of an easy elucidation. The exhalations from the sea being
elevated by the heat of a vertical sun, and impelled by the gentle winds
during the day towards the interior and mountainous parts of the
country, are sometimes arrested in their progress by a current of air
from the eastward, which, having been cooled on its passage over the
snow-topped Andes, is colder than the air from the westward; and
wherever these currents meet the aqueous particles are condensed, and
uniting become too heavy to continue in the upper region of the
atmosphere, when they begin to fall, and in their descent combine with
those that fill the lower regions, and hence some large drops are

The following table of the weather will perhaps furnish a better idea of
the climate of Lima than any verbal description:--

                        1805.                          1810.
   ---------------------------------------    --------------------------
                  Sun.   Cloudy.  Variable.    Sun.   Cloudy.  Variable.
   Jan.           5 days  10 days  16 days     6 days  11 days  13 days.
   Feb.           8        5       15          7        4       17
   March         12        2       17         13        2       16
   April          7        9       14          6       10       14
   May           ..       17       14          1       15       15
   June          ..       21        9         ..       24        6
   July          ..       28        3         ..       31       ..
   August        ..       27        4         ..       30        1
   Sept.          3       20        7          2       21        7
   October        2       21        8          2       19       10
   Nov.           4       16       10          5       15       10
   Dec.           4       18       19          4        7       20
               ----     ----     ----       ----     ----     ----
   During the }  45      184      136         46      189      129
   year....   }
               ====     ====     ====       ====     ====     ====

     _Sun_ indicates those days in which the sun was never clouded;
     _Cloudy_, those in which the sun was not visible; and _Variable_,
     those in which the sun was generally clouded in the morning but
     afterwards became visible.

From the foregoing explanations it must naturally be inferred, that the
dry season in the interior occurs at the time that the mists or fogs
predominate on the coast, and vice versa: this is what really takes
place. The rivers on the coast are nearly dry during the misty weather,
but during the summer heat they often become impassable, owing to their
increase of water from the melting of the snow on the mountains and the
fall of rain in the interior. The _chimbadores_, or _badeadores_, men
who ford the larger rivers with goods and travellers, know from
experience and minute observation, according to the hour at which the
increase begins, at what place the rain has fallen.

It may be well here to advert to a phenomenon which has as yet remained
unnoticed. The heavy rains which fall on the Cordillera of the Andes are
the effect of evaporation from the Pacific Ocean, and these rains feed
the enormous streams which supply those rivers that empty themselves
into the Atlantic. It therefore follows, that the Atlantic is furnished
with water from the Pacific; and if, as some have believed, the
Atlantida existed between the coasts of Africa and America, its western
shores being opposite to the mouth of the river Amazon, its inundation
may have been occasioned by the heavy rains in the Andes.

The vegetable mould in the valley of Lima is about two feet deep, and
is extremely rich, amply repaying the labour of cultivation. Below the
mould is a stratum of sand and pebbles, extending about three leagues
from the sea-coast; and under this a stratum of indurated clay,
apparently of alluvial depositions. The latter seems to have been once
the bottom of the sea, and may have been raised above the level of the
surface by some great convulsion; for I cannot suppose with Moreno,
Unanue and others, that the water has retired from this coast so much as
to occasion a fall of more than four hundred feet in perpendicular
height, which the stratum of sand and pebbles holds above the level of
the sea at its extreme distance from the coast.

May not the same principles account for the general belief, that the
surface of the Atlantic on the eastern shores of the New World is above
the level of the Pacific on the western shores, notwithstanding the
apparent contradiction of the currents running round Cape Horn into the
Atlantic? Perhaps the asserted elevation, particularly in the Gulph of
Mexico, is owing to the prevailing winds that drive the surface water
into the gulf, its free egress by a sub-current being impeded by the
range of the Antilles, whose bases may occupy a greater space than
their surfaces, and also to the existence of rocks under water.

Although Lima is free from the terrifying effects of thunder and
lightning, it is subject to dreadful convulsions which are far more
frightful and destructive. Earthquakes are felt every year, particularly
after the mists disperse and the summer sun begins to heat the earth.
They are more commonly felt at night, two or three hours after sunset,
or in the morning about sunrise. The direction which they have been
observed to keep has generally been from south to north, and experience
has shewn, that from the equator to the Tropic of Capricorn the most
violent concussions have taken place about once in every fifty years.
Since the conquest the following, which occurred at Arequipa, Lima and
Quito, have been the most violent:--

     AREQUIPA.     LIMA.      QUITO.

       1582        1586        1587
       1604        1630        1645
       1687        1687        1698
       1715        1746        1757
       1784        1806        1797

It has been remarked, that the vegetable world suffers very much by a
great shock, the country about Lima, and all the range of coast were
particularly affected by that which happened in 1678. The crops of
wheat, maize, and other grain were entirely destroyed, and for several
years afterwards the ground was totally unproductive. At that period
wheat was first brought from Chile, which country has ever since been
considered the granary of Lima, Guayaquil, and Panama. Feijo, in his
description of the province of Truxillo, says, "that some of the valleys
which produced two hundred fold of wheat before the earthquake in 1687
did not reproduce the seed after it for more than twenty years;" and
according to the latest information from Chile the crops have failed
since the earthquake in 1822. The following shocks were felt in Lima in
the years 1805 and 1810:--

                    1805.                      1810.
               ______/\______          _________/\__________
              /              \        /                     \
     January   9,  at 7½ P. M.        January 7,  at 9  A. M.
       ...    10, ... 5  A. M.          ...  11, ... 5  P. M.
       ...    27, ... 9  P. M.        May     3, ... 7½ A. M.
     February 17, ... 6  P. M.          ...  15, ... 5  A. M.
       ...    21, ... 4½ P. M.          ...  16, ... 7  P. M.
     March     1, ... 5  A. M.        June   15, ... 5½ A. M.
     June      4, ... 4½ P. M.        Nov.   17, ... 5  A. M.
     July      1, ... 5  A. M.          ...  21, ... 7½ A. M.
     Nov.      7, ... 8  P. M.          ...  24, ... 5  P. M.
       ...     9, ... 8½ P. M.          ...  26, ... 5½ P. M.
     Dec.      5, ... 7½ P. M.
       ...    14, ... 4½ P. M.

When one or two faint shocks are felt in the moist weather, they are
supposed to indicate a change, and the same is expected in the dry or
hot weather.

The principal produce of the valley of Lima is sugar cane, lucern,
_alfalfa_, maize, wheat, beans, with tropical and European fruit, as
well as culinary vegetables.

The sugar cane is almost exclusively of the creole kind: fine sugar is
seldom made from it here, but a coarse sort, called _chancaca_, is
extracted, the method of manufacturing which will hereafter be
described. The principal part of the cane is employed in making
_guarapo_; this is the expressed juice of the cane fermented, and
constitutes the chief drink of the coloured people; it is intoxicating,
and from its cheapness its effects are often visible, particularly among
the indians who come from the interior, and can purchase this disgusting
vice at a low rate. The liquor is believed to produce cutaneous
eruptions if used by the white people, on which account, or more
probably from the vulgarity implied in drinking it, they seldom taste
it. I found it very agreeable, and when thirsty or over-heated preferred
it to any other beverage.

The manufacture of rum was expressly forbidden in Peru both by the
Monarch and the Pope; the former ordained very heavy penalties to be
inflicted, the latter fulminated his anathemas on those who should
violate the royal will. The whole of this strange colonial restriction
had for its object the protection and exclusive privilege of the owners
of vineyards in the making of spirits--a protection which cost the
proprietors upwards of sixty thousand dollars.

Great quantities of lucern, alfalfa, are cultivated, for the purpose of
supplying with provender the horses and mules of Lima; and not less than
twelve hundred asses are kept for the purpose of bringing it from the
_chacras_, small farms in the valley. It generally grows to the height
of three feet, and is cut down five times in the year; it prospers
extremely well during the moist weather, but there is a great scarcity
in the summer or hot season, because it cannot then be irrigated, for it
has been observed, that if, after cutting, the roots are watered they
rot; on this account fodder is not plentiful in summer, so that if a
substitute for the lucern could be introduced it would prove a source of
great wealth to its cultivator. I never saw dried lucern, and on
inquiring why they did not dry and preserve it, was told, that the
experiment had been tried, but that the green lucern when dried became
so parched and tasteless that the horses would not eat it, and that the
principal stems of the full-grown or ripe lucern very often contain a
snuff-like powder, which is very injurious to the animals, producing a
kind of madness, and frequently killing them. Fat cattle brought to Lima
are generally kept a few days on lucern before they are slaughtered; the
farmers are therefore very attentive to the cultivation of this useful
and productive plant. Guinea grass was planted near the city by Don
Pedro Abadia, but it did not prosper; whether the failure were
occasioned by the climate, or by ignorance of management, I cannot say,
but I am inclined to believe that the latter was the case.

Wheat is sown, but no reliance can be placed on a produce adequate to
repay the farmer, although the quality in favourable seasons is very
good. It often happens, that the vertical sun has great power before the
grain is formed, at which time the small dew drops having arranged
themselves on different parts of the ear into minute globules, these are
forcibly acted on by the sun's rays before evaporation takes place, and
operating as so many convex lenses, the grain is burnt, and the
disappointed farmer finds nothing but a deep brown powder in its place.
I have sometimes seen a field of wheat or other grain most luxuriantly
green in the evening, and the day following it has been parched and dry;
this transition the farmer says is the effect of frost; which will
perhaps be admitted to be a correct explanation, if we consider that
during the night the wind has come from the eastward, and has passed
over a range of the Andes at a short distance. It sometimes also happens
that the moist season continues for a long period, or that after clear
weather the mists return; now should the farmer irrigate his fields
during this intermission, or should the mists continue, the plants shoot
up to such a great height that straw alone is harvested; but in this
case, aware of the result, he often cuts the green corn for fodder, or
turns his cattle on it to feed.

The growth of maize is much attended to, and very large quantities are
annually consumed in Lima by the lower classes, and as food for hogs,
some of which animals become extremely fat with this grain, and in less
time than if fed on any other kind. Three sorts of maize are cultivated
here, each of which has its peculiar properties and uses. It appears to
have been in very extensive use among the indians before the arrival of
the Spaniards; for, on digging the _huacas_, or burying grounds, at the
distance of forty leagues from Lima, I have often found great quantities
of it. A large deposit was discovered in square pits or cisterns, made
of sun-dried bricks, on a farm called Vinto, where no doubt there had
either been a public granary, or, as some people imagine, a depôt formed
by Huaina Capac, on leading his troops against the Chimu, a king of the
coasts, about the year 1420. The grain was quite entire when it was
taken up, although, according to the above hypothesis, it had been under
ground about four hundred years; owing its preservation perhaps to the
dry sand in which it was buried. Its depth beneath the surface was about
four feet, on the ridge of a range of sand hills, where no moisture
could reach it by absorption from below, its elevation being about 700
feet above the level of the sea, and 600 above that of the nearest
river. I planted some of it, but it did not grow: however its fattening
qualities were not destroyed, and the neighbouring farmers and
inhabitants of the adjacent villages profited by the discovery.

Large quantities of beans are harvested in this valley for the support
of the slaves on the estates and plantations, but the market of Lima is
principally supplied from _valles_, the valleys on the coast to the

Although abundance of tropical and ultra-tropical fruit trees are
cultivated in the gardens and orchards belonging to the farm houses, and
_quintas_, seats, in the valley, I shall defer an account of them until
I describe the gardens in and about the city.

Culinary vegetables are grown here in abundance, including a great part
of those known in Europe, as well as those peculiar to warm climates.
The _yuca_, casava, merits particular attention, on account of its
prolific produce, delicate taste, and nutritious qualities; it grows to
about five feet high; its leaves are divided into seven finger-like
lobes of a beautiful green, and each plant will generally yield about
eight roots of the size of large carrots, of a white colour, under a
kind of rough barky husk. In a raw state its taste is somewhat similar
to that of the chesnut, and of a very agreeable flavour when roasted or
boiled; the young buds and leaves are also cooked, and are as good as
spinage. It is propagated by planting the stalks or stems of the old
crop, cutting them close to the ground after about four inches are
buried in the mould, which must be light and rather sandy. Two species
are known; the crop of the one arrives at full growth in three months,
but this is not considered of so good a quality, nor is it so productive
as the other, which is six months before it arrives at a state of
perfection. They are distinguished by the yellowish colour of the
latter, and the perfectly white colour of the former. The disadvantage
attending these roots, is, that they cannot be kept above four or five
days before they become very black, when they are considered unfit for
use. Starch is made from them in considerable quantities, by the usual
method of bruising, and subjecting them to fermentation, in order to
separate the farina. The mandioc, a variety of this genus, is unknown on
the western side of the Continent: thus all danger of injury from its
poisonous qualities is precluded.

Several varieties of the potatoe are cultivated and yield very abundant
crops. They appear to have been known in this part of the New World
before it was visited by the Spaniards, and not to have been confined to
Chile, their native country. I found this probability on their having a
proper name in the Quichua language, whilst those plants that have been
brought into the country retain among the Indians their Spanish names

_Camotes_, commonly called sweet potatoes, and by the Spaniards
_batatas_, are produced in great abundance, of both the yellow and
purple kinds. I have seen them weighing ten pounds each; when roasted or
boiled their taste is sweeter than that of the chesnut, and all classes
of people eat them. They become much more farinaceous if exposed for
some time to the sun after they are taken out of the ground; and if kept
dry they will remain good for six months. They are propagated by setting
pieces of the branches of old plants, to procure which the camote itself
is sometimes planted.

Although the _arracacha_ which is grown in this valley is neither so
large nor so well tasted as that which is produced in a cooler climate,
it is nevertheless an exceedingly good esculent. It is cultivated in a
rich, loose soil, and has generally five or six roots, something like
parsnips, but of a different flavour; they are not very mealy, and
require but little cooking; they are, however, very easy of digestion,
on which account they are given to the sick and convalescent; the leaves
bear a great resemblance to those of celery. The plantation is either
from cuttings of the root, like potatoes, or from the seed; in the first
case the roots are full grown in three months, but in the latter in not
less than five. If allowed to remain in the ground double the time
mentioned the roots continue to increase in size, without any detriment
to their taste. Starch is sometimes made from the roots, and used in the
same manner as the arrow root is in other countries. Only the white
arracacha is here cultivated. The arracacha deserves the attention of
Europeans; it would, I am pretty certain, prosper in England, because
its natural temperature, where it thrives best, is in about 60° of

The _tomate_, love apple, is very much cultivated, and is in frequent
use both in the kitchen and for confectionary, and produces a very
agreeable acid.

Capsicum, cayenne pepper, _aji_, is abundant; I have counted nine
different sorts, the largest, _rocotos_, about the size of a turkey's
egg, and the smallest, which is the most pungent, not thicker than the
quill of a pigeon's feather; the quantity of this spice used in America
is enormous; I have frequently seen a person, particularly among the
indians, eat as a relish, twenty or thirty pods, with a little salt and
a piece of bread. One kind called _pimiento dulce_ is made into a very
delicate salad, by roasting the pods over hot embers, taking away the
outer skin, and the seeds from the inside, and seasoning with salt, oil,
and vinegar.

It is rather a surprising fact, that manure is never used on the farms
or plantations. The astonishing fertility of the soil, which has been
under cultivation for upwards of three hundred years, and produced
luxuriant annual crops, appears to be supported by the turbid water from
the mountains, during the rainy season, with which it is irrigated. This
water, like that of the Nile, leaves on the ground a slimy film, which
is said to contain a considerable quantity of animal matter.


     Viceroys and Archbishops of Lima....Viceroyalty,
     Extent....Viceroy's Titles and Privileges....Royal
     Audience....Cabildo....Forms of Law....Military....
     Religion....Inquisition....Sessions and Processes....Archbishop....
     Royal Patronage....Ecclesiastical Tribunals....Chapter, _Cabildo
     Ecclesiastico_....Curates....Asylum of Immunity....Minor
     Accompts...._Temporalidades_, _Protomedicato_.

Lima is the metropolitan, and the richest city of South America. Under
the Spanish regime it has been the residence of forty-three Viceroys,
counting from Don Francisco Pizarro to the present Don Jose de la Serna,
who abandoned the capital in 1821, when the patriot army entered. It
also enumerates nineteen archbishops, from Don Fray Geronimo de Loaisa,
who arrived in 1540, to Don Bartolome Maria de las Heras, who was
compelled by General San Martin to retire in 1821.

In the list of Viceroys we find four grandees of Spain, two titled
princes, one archbishop, one bishop, and three licentiates; the rest
were military officers, but none of them Americans. Among the
archbishops is Saint Thoribio de Mogroviejo, who was presented in 1578,
and in the exercise of his ecclesiastical duties was so unremitting,
that he visited his extensive diocese three times, and confirmed upwards
of a million of persons, one of whom was Saint Rose of Lima. He died in
1606, and was canonized by Benedict XIII. in 1727.

The Viceroyalty of Peru formerly extended from the south confines of
Mexico to those of Chile, including all the Spanish possessions in South
America, and what the Spaniards call meridional America. The Viceroyalty
of Santa Fe de Bogotá was separated from Peru, and established in 1718;
that of Buenos Ayres in 1777.

The titles of the Viceroy of Peru were His Excellency Don ----, Viceroy
and Captain-general of Peru, President of the Royal Audience,
Superintendent Subdelegate of the Royal Finances, Posts and
Temporalities, Director-general of the Mining Tribunal, Governor of
Callao, Royal Vice-patron, &c.

As Viceroy he was the immediate representative of the King, and
answerable to him alone as President of the Council of Indies, _Consejo
de Indias_: to which tribunal all complaints and appeals were directed,
as well as the residential reports. Petitions of every description were
presented directed or addressed to him, for the despatch of which he was
assisted by a legal adviser, called _asesor general_, whose written
report was generally confirmed by the sub-signature of the Viceroy, but
from these there was an appeal to the Royal Audience. It has been the
custom of the Viceroys to appoint an hour in the morning, and another in
the afternoon, for receiving personally from the hands of the
petitioners papers addressed to them; but the secretary's office was
always open for such documents.

In his quality of Captain-general he was charged with all political
affairs, those relating to fortification, and the defence of the country
by land and sea, for which purpose the whole of the military and naval
departments were subject to his immediate orders; but in cases of
emergency he usually called a _junta de guerra_, council of war. All
courts martial were held by his orders, and their sentences required his
confirmation before they were put in execution, but if he chose he could
refer the whole to the revision of the _consejo de guerra permanente_,
in Spain.

In the capacity of President of the Royal Audience the Viceroy assisted
at the sittings whenever he pleased, and entered at any hour which he
thought proper during a session. When he proposed to assist in state, he
announced his intention, and a deputation of the judges attended him
from his palace to the hall; on his arrival at the door the porter
called aloud, the president! when all the attorneys, advocates and
others met and conducted him to his chair; the judges continued standing
until he was seated and nodded permission for them to resume their
seats. The session being finished, all the members of the audience,
regent, judges, _oidores_, and fiscal, accompanied him to the door of
his apartment in the palace, the regent walking on his left, and the
other members preceding him two and two. The presidency of the audience
was merely honorary, as the president had neither a deliberative nor a
consulting voice, but all sentences of the tribunal must have had his
signature, which may be called the _veto_, before they could be put in
execution. On the arrival of any new laws, royal ordinances, or
schedules, the Viceroy was summoned by the tribunal to the hall of
accords, _sala de acuerda_, where they were presented to him, and the
ceremony of obedience to them performed by his kissing the King's
signature and then laying the paper on his head, which act was recorded
by the _escribano de camara_.

The Viceroy, as President of the Royal Audience made a private report
annually to the King, through the Council of Indies, of the public and
even of the private characters of the members of the tribunal. He could
also direct secret inquiries respecting any member whose conduct might
have excited suspicion.

All presidents of audiences, as well as the members, were forbidden to
marry within the boundaries of their jurisdiction without the express
permission of the King; they were likewise prohibited all commercial
concerns, possession of personal property, becoming godfathers to
infants, and even visiting any private family. The Marquis of Aviles,
Viceroy of Lima, was, before his appointment, married to a native of
Lima, but he was never known to visit any of her relatives; however,
Abascal, Marquis de la Concordia, judging it to be a prudent and
conciliatory measure to break through this restriction during the
unquiet times of his government, visited different families, and
attended at several public feasts, giving others in return.

At the expiration of five years, the term for which viceroys, governors,
&c. were appointed, and on the arrival of a successor, a commissioner,
generally a judge, was nominated by the King, to take what was termed
_la residencia_. Six months were allowed for all persons who considered
themselves aggrieved to lay before this commissioner a full statement of
their case, and at the termination of the six months the whole of the
papers which had been presented were forwarded to the Council of Indies
for the inspection of that tribunal.

As Superintendent Subdelegate merely placed the Viceroy above all the
tribunals, he had no other authority over them, except, indeed, the
nomination of the higher officers, who had afterwards to obtain a
confirmation from the King; or of confirming the lower officers
nominated by their superior ones. It may be considered an honorary
distinction, except that of royal financier, as such he presided
quarterly at the general passing of accounts and inspection of

As Royal Vice-patron all collated benefices required his confirmation.
The Archbishop proposed to him three individuals, and it generally
happened that the first on the list received the confirmation; but this
was optional in the Vice-patron, who could confirm any one of those whom
he chose. This prerogative was often the cause of serious disputes
between the Viceroy and the Archbishop. As Governor-general of Callao,
he visited its fortifications twice a year, for which he had an
additional sum of five hundred dollars for each visit. His whole salary
amounted to sixty-one thousand dollars.

The Royal Audience of Lima was established in 1541, and composed of a
President, Regent, eight Oidores or Members, two Fiscals, (one civil,
the other criminal) _Relatores_, Reporters, _Escribanos_, Scriveners or
Recorders, Porters, and an _Alguacil Mayor_, also two _Alcaldes de
Corte_. The official costume of the regent and members was a black under
dress with white laced cuffs over those of the coat, a black robe or
cloak with a cape about three quarters of a yard square, generally of
velvet, called the toga; and a collar or ruff having two corners in
front; this was black and covered with white lace or cambric: a small
trencher cap, carried in their hands, completed their costume. When
divested of their robes they bore a gold-headed cane or walking-stick
with large black silk tassels and cord, which was the insignia of a
magistrate, or of any one in command, and called the _baton_.

The sessions of the audience were held every day, excepting holidays,
from nine o'clock in the morning till twelve; and here all cases both
civil and criminal were tried, either by the whole of the members or by
committees, and there was no appeal, except in some few cases, to the
Consejo de Indias. The audience was a court of appeal from any other
authority, even from the ecclesiastical courts, by a _recurso de
fuersa_; but all its sentences required the signature of the Viceroy or
President; for the obtaining of which, an escribano de camara waited on
his excellency every day with all those papers that had received the
signatures of the audience and required to be signed by him. Papers
addressed to the audience were headed with _mui poderoso señor_, most
potent lord; and the title of the members in session was highness,
_altesa_, individually that of lordship, _senoria_.

The Cabildo of Lima had two _Alcaldes Ordinarios_, twelve _Regidores_, a
_Sindico Procurador_, a Secretary, an _Alguacil Mayor_ and a legal
Advisor called the _Asesor_. The Cabildo appointed out of its own
members a Justice of Police, _Jues de Policia_; a _Jues de Aguas_, who
decided in all questions respecting the water-works belonging to the
city and suburbs; also a _Fiel Egecutor_, for examining weights and
measures. The Royal Ensign, _Alferes Real_ was another member _de
oficio_, appointed by the King, who held in his possession the royal
standard, (the same that was brought by Pizarro) which was carried by
the alferes real, accompanied by the Viceroy, a deputation from the
audience, another from the Cabildo, including the two alcaldes, and
others from the different corporate bodies, in solemn procession
through some of the principal streets of the city, on the 8th of
January, being the anniversary of the foundation of Lima. The title of
alferes real was hereditary in the family of the Count of Monte Mar, y
Monte Blanco.

The Viceroy was President of the Cabildo. The alcaldes had cognizance in
all causes cognizable by governors; their sentences had the same force,
and were carried by appeal to the audience.

The forms of law in the Spanish tribunals were very complicated, tedious
and expensive. The escribano wrote down all declarations, accusations,
and confessions, and the courts decided on the merits of the case
according to what was read to them by the _relator_ from the writings
presented; the client, if in prison, not being admitted to hear his own
cause. The tribunals, or judges very reluctantly deprived a man of his
life, but they had no regard to his personal liberty; even a supposition
of criminality was sufficient to incarcerate an individual, perhaps for
years, during which he had not the power to prove himself innocent. From
the facility of imprisonment it was not considered a disgrace, and a
prisoner often received visits from his friends in a jail, which he
returned as a matter of politeness when liberated. I saw prisoners here
who had been incarcerated for twenty years, some for murder; their
causes were not then and probably never would be finished till death
stepped in.

The Viceroy visited all the prisons on the Friday before Easter, and two
days before Christmas, when he discharged some persons who were confined
for petty crimes. A surgeon and one of the _alcaldes_ visited the
prisons every day, which visits produced much good; the alcalde _de
corte_ examined their food two or three times a week, and attended to
any complaints respecting the internal arrangements made by the
_alcaide_, jailor.

Of the military, not only those who were in actual service, but the
militia, and persons who had held military rank, and had retired, were
tried by their particular laws, or court martials. This exemption was
called _fuero_, but its enjoyment was not equally extended. The private,
the corporal, and the serjeant might be tried, condemned and executed,
but the sentence of an officer required the confirmation of the
Captain-general, and in some cases the approbation of the King.

The Roman Catholic religion was established here in the same manner as
in all the Spanish dominions, all sectaries being excluded. The
inexorable tribunal for the protection of the former, and for the
persecution of the latter, held its sessions in Lima, and was one of the
three instituted in South America, the other two being at Mexico and

Much has been written at different times respecting this _Tribunal de la
Fe_, tribunal of faith, and much more has been said about it, in
opposition to the old Spanish adage, _de Rey e Inquisicion--chiton_, of
the King and the Inquisition--not a word. The primitive institution was
entirely confined to adjudge matters strictly heretical, but it soon
assumed cognizance of civil and political affairs, becoming at the same
time the stay of the altar, and the prop of the throne.

All the sessions of the Inquisition being inaccessible, and the persons
tried, consulted, or called in as evidence having been sworn to keep
secret every thing which they should hear, see, or say, has, in a great
measure, deprived the public of any knowledge respecting what transpired
in its mysterious proceedings.

This tribunal could condemn to fine, confiscation, banishment, or the
flames. Since its erection in 1570, not fewer than forty individuals
have been sentenced to the latter punishment, from which one hundred and
twenty have escaped by recantation. The last who suffered was a female
of the name of Castro, a native of Toledo, in Spain. She was burnt in
the year 1761. Formerly the portraits of those unfortunate individuals
who had been burnt were hung up, with the names annexed, in the passage
leading from the cathedral to the Sagrario, where also the names of
those who had recanted were exposed, having a large red cross on the
pannel, but no portrait. In the year 1812, as one of the results of the
promulgation of the constitution, this revolting exhibition was removed.

The tribunal was composed of three Inquisitors and two secretaries,
called of despatch and of secret, _del despacho y del secreto_;
_alguasiles_, or bailiffs, porters, brothers of punishment, being lay
brothers of the order of Dominicans, whose duty it was to attend when
requested, and to inflict corporal punishment on the unhappy victims of
persecution. There were also brothers of charity, of the Hospitallery
order of Saint Juan de Dios, to whom the care of the sick was confided;
and both were sworn not to divulge what they had done or seen. Besides
these, a great number of commissaries were appointed by the inquisitors,
in the principal towns within their jurisdiction, for the purpose of
furnishing them with information on every matter denounced; also of
forwarding accusations, processes, and persons accused, to the
tribunal. Qualifiers were elected, whose duty it was to spy out whatever
might appear to them offensive to religion, in books, prints or images;
they likewise reported to the tribunal their opinion of new
publications. These were wretches worse than slander, for not even the
secrets of the grave could escape them!

All books, before they were offered for sale, must have had a permit
from the Inquisition; and if they were contained in the published list
of prohibited works, the possessor was obliged to go to a _calificador_,
qualifier, and deliver them to him; and should a person have known that
another had such books in his possession, it was his duty to denounce
the individual, whose house, through this circumstance, was subject to a
visit from those holy men. When such books were found, the owner became
amenable to any punishment which these arbitrary priests might think
proper to inflict. The punishment was generally a fine, which was of the
greatest utility to the judges, because all the salaries were paid out
of fines and confiscations, and a stipend arising from a canonry in each
cathedral within their jurisdiction. It was often said by the people,
that some books were prohibited because they were bad; others were bad,
because they were prohibited.

The inquisitors were secular priests, and distinguished from the others
by wearing a pale blue silk cuff, buttoned over that of the coat. They
were addressed as lords spiritual, and when speaking, although
individually, used the plural pronoun _we_.

The inquisitorial power was never exercised over the Indians or negroes,
who were considered in the class of neophytes; but every other
individual, including the viceroy, archbishop, judges, prebends, &c. was
subject to its almost omnipotent authority.

Lima was the see of a bishop from 1539 to 1541, when it was created an
archbishopric by Paul IV., being a suffragan to the mitre of Seville
till the year 1571. It was afterwards erected into a metropolitan, and
has for suffragans the bishops of

     Panamá              erected in 1533
     Cuzco                  "       1534
     Quito                  "       1545
     Santiago de Chile      "       1561
     Conception de Chile    "       1564
     Truxillo               "       1577
     Guamanga               "       1611
     Arequipa               "       1611
     Cuenca                 "       1786
     Maynas                 "       1806

The two bulls of Alexander VI. of 1493 and 1501 gave to Ferdinand and
Isabella the entire possession of those countries discovered, and that
might from time to time be discovered by them and their successors, in
America; and the pope, being _infallible_ in his decrees, these bulls
deprived the see of Rome of all direct influence in the Spanish
colonies, and gave to the Kings of Spain the right of repulsing any
jurisdiction which the popes might attempt to exercise there. Thus any
decree, mandate, bull, or commission from the pope required the sanction
of royal approbation before it was valid in this country; and even for
the prevention of what were termed reserved cases, the Kings took care
to obtain extensive privileges for the archbishops and bishops. All
briefs, bulls, dispensations, indulgences, and other pontifical acts
were sent from Rome to the King; and the Council of Indies had the
exclusive examination, admission or rejection of them, as they might
consider them advantageous or injurious to the royal prerogative in the

The right of patronage belonged exclusively to the King; he had the
presentation to all archbishoprics and bishoprics, and every other
office even to the lowest was filled by the royal will. The presentation
to vicarages, curacies, chaplainries, &c. was delegated to the Viceroy,
as Vice-patron; and if any dispute should arise respecting the due
exercise of this delegated authority, it was carried before the Council
of Indies, which was authorized to regulate any such controversies. This
entirely deprived the pope of all interfering power; indeed he enjoyed
no other right than that of granting bulls, briefs, &c. when they were
requested, and of deciding in cases of conscience, when they were
submitted to him by the Council of Indies.

All bishops and other beneficed priests rendered to the King, as patron,
the entire rent of their benefice for one year; it was called the
_annata_, and was paid in six annual instalments. The revenue of the
mitres was derived from the tithes; two ninths of which belonged to the
King, one fourth to the mitre and the remainder was applied to the other
ministers of the gospel, both of the choir and collated benefices. For
the security of the royal privileges, every bishop made oath, before he
took possession of his see, that he would respect the royal patronage,
and never oppose the exercise of its rights.

The archbishop had his ecclesiastical tribunal, and so had all bishops
in the Spanish colonies. It was composed of himself, as president, the
fiscal, and provisor vicar general. All ordinary sentences were given by
the provisor, the president's signature being subjoined; but all
important cases were judged by the archbishop.

The jurisdiction of this tribunal embraced all causes spiritual, such
as orders, marriages, divorces, legitimations, pious legacies,
monastical portions or dowries, with the defence and preservation of the
immunities of the church, and contentious disputes between the members
of the church, as well as those preferred by laymen against priests. All
who had received holy orders enjoyed the _fuero ecclesiastico_, and all
criminal complaints against the clergy must be laid before the
ecclesiastical tribunal, but there was an appeal to the royal audience,
as has been mentioned, by a _recurso de fuersa_.

Suits instituted in an ecclesiastical court were equally as tedious and
expensive as those of a secular one.

Five provincial councils have been held here for the regulation of
church discipline. The two first were held in 1551 and 1567 by Don Fray
Geronimo de Loaisa, and the other three in 1582, 1591, and 1601, by
Saint Thoribio de Mogroviejo.

The provincial of each monastic order was the prelate, or head of the
order; he judged, in the first instance, of any misdemeanour committed
by the individuals wearing the habit; he also inflicted corporal as well
as spiritual punishments; besides ordering temporal privations, on
which account monasteries were not subject to the ordinary.

The chapter, or _cabildo ecclesiastico_, of Lima had a dean, a subdean,
a magisterial canon, a doctoral, a penitentiary and a treasurer; six
prebendaries, four canons, six demi-proporcionaries, _medio racioneros_,
and for the service of the choir four royal chaplains, two choral
chaplains, a master of ceremonies, besides chaunters, musicians,
_monacillos_, who served at the altar; porters, beadles, &c. The
prebendaries and canons were distinguished from other clergymen by
wearing white lace or cambric cuffs.

In the Spanish colonies the care of souls was confided to rectoral
curates, who officiated in parishes where the population was principally
Spanish or white creoles; they received a stipend out of the tithes, and
from their parishioners they were entitled to the firstlings,
_primicias_, which consisted of one bushel of grain of each description,
harvested by each separate individual, if the quantity harvested
exceeded seven bushels; but no more than one was exacted, however great
the quantity of grain might be. For animals and fruits they generally
compounded with their parishioners. They were also paid for baptisms,
marriages and funerals; besides which they had perquisites arising from
church feasts, masses, &c.

The doctrinal curates were those destined to towns or parishes the
population of which was composed chiefly of indians; they had fewer
perquisites, and received nothing for baptisms, marriages, or funerals,
but a sum established by the synod, which was very small. They had
however a stipend assigned them by the King, which they got from the
treasury: it seldom exceeded 500 dollars.

The missionaries enjoyed curial and apostolical privileges in their
villages, or reductions; they were of the order of Franciscans, who at
the extinction of the Jesuits filled all the missions vacated by this
death-blow to the advancement of Christianity among the unchristianized
tribes of indians in South America.

The election of curates took place about every four years, and was
called the _concurso_, at which time all those possessed of benefices,
and who wished to be removed, presented themselves; having first
obtained permission from the archbishop, and left another clergyman in
charge of their parish. The archbishop and four _examinadores_ examined
them in Latin and theological points, and either approved or reproved
them. If the former, an allegation of merits and services was presented,
without any expression of inclination to any particular parish, and
after all the examinations were ended the archbishop nominated three
individuals to each of the third class or richest livings. These
nominations were forwarded to the Vice-patron, who confirmed one of each
three, and presented him with the benefice, returning immediately the
two remaining ones. Out of these, other nominations were made for the
second class, and then sent for confirmation. The returns furnished
names for the first or lowest class. The archbishop could appoint, on
the death of a curate, any priest to fill the vacancy pro tempore
without the confirmation of the Vice-patron.

All persons who received holy orders must possess a sufficient _congrua_
to support them decently, if not, they were ordained by a title of
adscription, by which the archbishop could attach them to any curacy as
assistants or coadjutors.

No curate or priest could enjoy two livings or benefices, nor absent
himself under any pretence from the one he held without an express
permission from the vicar-general; none could appear as evidence in
cases where there was a possibility of the culprits being sentenced to
death, and they were expressly prohibited from interfering, either
directly or indirectly, as magistrates. It is certainly to be regretted,
that in all parts of the world, I mean the Christian world, the same
laws are not established; for what ought to be more dear to a shepherd
than his flock; but alas! many take charge of it for the sake of the
fleece, and for that only.

Some of the popes, imagining in their ardour of usurpation, that they
should increase the sanctity of the Church by elevating it above the
reach of the law, barred its doors against the civil magistracy, and
made it the refuge of outlaws; thus mistaking pity for piety, Christian
forgiveness for religious protection: hence the temple was opened to the
murderer, his hands still reeking with the blood of his fellow citizen,
and closed against the minister of justice, whose duty it was to avenge
the crime; as if God had established his church for the protection of
vices in this world, which he has threatened with eternal punishment in
the next.

Spain, either through fear or as the bigot of ancient customs, maintains
her asylums on the plan to which Charlemagne reduced them in France in
the eighth century. By the request of the King a bull was issued, dated
12th Sept. 1772, limiting the place of immunity throughout the Spanish
dominions to one church in each smaller town, and to two in large
cities; the Sagrario and San Larazo enjoyed this privilege in Lima.

The immunity of the church protected a man who had killed another by
chance or in his own defence; but if he had been guilty of murder, or
had maliciously wounded a person so as to cause his death, it delivered
him over to the civil authorities at their request. The commission of a
crime in the church or its dependencies precluded immunity, which was
also withheld from persons convicted of high treason, although they
might take refuge in a privileged church; from those suspected of
heresy; heretics; jews; forgers of royal or apostolic letters or
patents; the defrauders of any bank or public treasury; false coiners of
coin current in the country; violaters of churches, or destroyers of
church property; persons who escaped from prison, from the officers of
justice, from exile, public labours or the galleys; blasphemers;
sorcerers; the excommunicated; debtors and thieves.

Thus it appears, that immunity was available only in cases of
manslaughter; but if the person accused had been guilty of murder,
before it could be proved against him, he generally took care to make
his escape and elude the punishment. The same may be said of the greater
number of the instances to which immunity was denied; for few suffered,
like Joab, after having taken hold of the horns of the altar.

The other tribunals in Lima were _el Consulado_, or the Board of
Commerce, founded in 1613. It had a prior and two consuls, who decided
in all mercantile affairs; they had an _asesor_ or legal adviser,
secretary, notary and porters; the Tribunal of the Holy Crusade, founded
in 1574, for the promulgation of the pope's bulls, and collection of
this part of the royal revenue; the Royal Treasury, established in 1607,
for the receipt of all treasure appertaining to the crown, and the
payment of all persons in the employ of the government; the Tribunal of
General Accompts; that of Temporalities, for recovering the value or
rents of the possessions and property of the ex Jesuits; and, lastly,
the Tribunal of the _Protomedicato_, for the examination of students in
medicine and surgery: it was composed of a president, a fiscal and two


     Taxes, Alcavala....Indian Tribute....Fifths of the Mines....Lances
     ....Stamped Paper....Tobacco...._Media Anata_...._Aprovechamientos_
     ...._Composicion and Confirmacion_ of Lands....Royal Ninths....
     Venal Offices....Estrays....Confiscations....Fines....Vacant
     ...._Cirquito_....Vacant Benefices...._Mesada Ecclesiastica_....
     _Media Anata Ecclesiastica_....Restitutions....Bulls.

The system of taxation in the Spanish colonies was as complicated as
their law suits in the courts of justice, and the ingenuity of the
theory practised in the exchequer can only be equalled by the
resignation of the people to the practice. The _alcavala_ was the most
ancient and most productive tax in the colonies; it was granted by the
Cortes to the King of Spain, in 1342, to defray the expenses of the war
against the Moors. At that time it was rated at five per cent., but in
the year 1366 it was increased to ten per cent. The order for the
collection of this tax in Peru was issued in 1591; it was first fixed
here at two per cent., and afterwards increased, according to the
exigences of the state, and the submission of the people, to six and a
half per cent.

This tax was levied on every sale and resale of moveable and immoveable
property; all merchandize, manufactured produce, animals, buildings, in
fine, all kinds of property were liable to this impost the moment they
were brought into the market, and all contracts specified its payment.
Retail dealers generally compounded according to their stock and
presumed sale, and were compelled to abide by the composition.

Those indians who became subject to the law of conquest, that is, all
whose forefathers did not voluntarily resign themselves to the Spanish
authorities, and solicit a curate, without causing any expense to be
incurred in their discovery or subjection, paid an annual tribute from
the age of eighteen to fifty. This tribute varied very much in different
provinces; some paying seven dollars and a half a year, others only two
and a half. An indian might redeem his tribute by advancing a certain
sum, proportionate to his age and the annual tribute. The tax was
collected by the _subdelegados_, governors of districts, who were
allowed six per cent. on the sum gathered, according to the tribute
roll, which was renewed every five years by a commissioner called the
_visitador_. This direct tax was more irksome to the people than any
other, and caused much general discontent, although those who paid it
enjoyed privileges more than equal to the impost.

All metals paid to the King a fifth, for the collection of which proper
officers and offices were established. Gold in its native state was
carried to the royal foundry, _casa real de fundicion_, where it was
reduced to ingots, each of which was assayed and marked, its quality and
weight being specified; after which the fifth was paid, and then it was
offered for sale. Silver was also taken in its pure state, called
_piña_, and it was contraband to sell it until it had been melted, and
each bar marked in the same manner as the gold. Base metals were subject
to a similar impost, but reduced to bars by the miners, who afterwards
paid the fifth.

Titles paid an annual fine of five hundred dollars each to the King,
unless the person in possession redeemed it by paying ten thousand
dollars. This tax, although unproductive in some parts, was worthy of
attention in Lima, where there were sixty-three titled personages,
marquises, counts and viscounts.

All judicial proceedings in the different courts of justice, civil,
criminal, military and ecclesiastical; all agreements, testimonies, and
public acts, were required to be on stamped paper, according to a royal
order dated in 1638. It was stamped in Spain, bearing the date of the
two years for which it was to serve, or was considered to be in force;
after which term it was of no use. The surplus, if any, was cut through
the stamp, and sold as waste paper, and the court took care to supply
another stock for the two succeeding years. If the court neglected to do
this, the old paper was restamped by order of the Viceroy, bearing a fac
simile of his signature. There were four sorts of this paper, or rather
paper of four prices. That on which deeds and titles were written, or
permissions and pardons granted, cost six dollars the sheet; that used
for contracts, wills, conveyances and other deeds drawn up before a
notary, one dollar and a half; that on which every thing concerning a
course of law before the Viceroy or Audience was conducted, half a
dollar; and for writings presented by soldiers, slaves, paupers and
indians, the fourth class was used, and cost the sixteenth of a dollar
each sheet. The first sheet of the class required in any memorial or
document, according to the foregoing rules, was of that price, but the
remainder, if more were wanted, might be of the fourth class or lowest
price, or even of common writing paper.

Tobacco was a royal monopoly, a price being fixed by the government on
the different qualities of this article, according to the province in
which it was grown; at such price the whole was paid for; after which it
was brought to Lima, where it was sold at an established rate at the
_estanco_, or general depôt. If any person either bought or sold tobacco
without a license, confiscation of the article and a heavy fine were the
result, and frequently the whole property of the offender became a
forfeit. On an average, the King purchased it at three reals, three
eighths of a dollar, per pound, and sold it again at two dollars; but
such was the number of officers employed to prevent smuggling, collect
the tobacco, and attend the estanco, that, on the whole, the revenue
suffered very considerably, although the profit was so great. Snuff was
not allowed to be manufactured in Peru; one kind called _polvillo_ was
brought from Seville, and rappee from the Havanna; but both were
included in the royal monopoly. To secure the tax imposed on tobacco, no
one could cultivate it without express permission from the Director;
and, on delivery, the planter was obliged to make oath as to the number
of plants which he had harvested; also that he had not reserved one leaf
for his own use, nor for any other purpose. This tyrannical monopoly
produced more hatred to the Spanish government than all the other
taxes. Not only every tobacco planter, but every consumer joined in
execrating so disagreeable an impost.

The _media anata_, or moiety of the yearly product of all places or
employments under government, was paid into the treasury, or rather
reserved out of the stipend when the payment was made by the treasury.
This moiety was deducted for the first year only, and if the individual
were promoted to a more lucrative situation, he again paid the surplus
of his appointment for one year.

_Aprovechamientos_, or profits, were, in seized goods, the excess of
their valuation over their sale, which excess was paid into the treasury
so that the King took the goods as they were appraised by _his
officers_, and appropriated to himself the profit of the public sale.

Composition and confirmation of lands were the produce arising from the
sale of lands belonging to the crown, and the duty paid by the purchaser
for the original title deeds.

The royal ninths, _novenos reales_, were the one ninth of all the tithes
collected: the amount was paid into the treasury. Tithes were
established in America by an edict of Charles V. dated the 5th of
October, 1501. They were at first applied wholly to the support of the
church; but in 1541 it was ordained that they should be divided into
four parts; one to be given to the bishop of the diocese, one to the
chapter, and out of the remainder two ninths should belong to the crown,
three for the foundation of churches and hospitals, and four ninths for
the support of curates and other officiating ecclesiastics. This
distribution was afterwards altered, and the seven ninths of the moiety
were applied to the latter purpose. The tithe on sugar, cocoa, coffee
and other agricultural productions which required an expensive process
before they were considered as articles of commerce paid only five per
cent.; but ten per cent. was rigorously exacted on all produce and
fruits which did not require such a process. Tobacco, being a royal
monopoly, paid no tithes.

All offices in the _cabildos_, excepting those of the two _alcaldes_;
those of notaries, _escribanos_, receivers and recorders of the
audience, paid a fine to the King on his appointment, in proportion to
the value of the office, but the incumbent was allowed to sell his
appointment, on certain conditions established by law, which conditions,
however, almost debarred any person from being a purchaser.

All property found was to be delivered to the solicitor of the treasury;
and if it remained one year unclaimed it was declared to belong to the
crown. All contraband or confiscated property paid to the King the
duties which would have been paid had the commodity been regularly
imported or exported; after which the value produced by sale, the
_aprovechamiento_ being deducted, was divided among the informer, the
captors, the intendant, the Council of Indies and the King. Fines
imposed as penalties in the different courts of justice belonged to the
crown, and were paid into the treasury. The property of any person dying
intestate appertained to the King. The revenue arising from commerce was
exacted under a great many heads, and was as complicated a system as the
rest of the Spanish proceedings, which appeared to be directed to the
employment of a number of officers and the diminution of finance.

The _almoxarifasgo_ was paid on whatever was either shipped or landed;
on entering any Spanish port five per cent. was paid, on going out, two
per cent.

The _corso_ was levied on entry as well as departure, being in both
cases two per cent. The duty called _armada_ was a tax established for
defraying the expenses incurred in the protection of vessels against
pirates; that of _corso_ against enemies in time of war; but although
the former might not exist, and the latter have ceased, the tax was
still levied, in contradiction to the old rule, that the effect ceases
with the cause. The armada was four per cent. on entry, and two on
departure. The duty of the consulate was received at the maritime custom
houses, and the product accounted for to the tribunal; it was one per
cent. on entry, and one on departure.

Besides the foregoing taxes, the tariff taxes were paid, the list of
which would be too long for insertion. In 1810 the Viceroy Abascal
issued a decree, by which British manufactured goods were permitted to
be brought across the Isthmus of Panama, and thence to Callao, on
condition of their paying a duty of thirty-seven and a half per cent.,
called _el derecho de cirquito_, circuit duty, in addition to all the
other taxes. A merchant in Lima assured me, that having remitted thirty
thousand dollars to Jamaica, to be employed in the purchase of cotton
goods, the expenses of freight, the porterage, and the duties together
amounted to forty-two thousand three hundred and seventy-five dollars by
the time the goods were warehoused in Lima.

Among the ecclesiastical contributions to the state were major and minor
vacancies, which were the rents of vacant bishoprics, prebendaries and
canonries; these rents were paid into the treasury until the new
dignitary was appointed, and took possession of his benefice.

The _mesada ecclesiastica_ was the amount of the first month, or the
twelfth part of the annual income of each rector after his presentation
to a new benefice. This was estimated by the solicitor of the treasury,
and religiously exacted.

The _media anata ecclesiastica_ was the proceeds of the first six months
which the dignitaries and canons of the chapters paid out of the income
of their benefices. Restitution was the money which penitents delivered
to their confessors, being the amount of what they believed they had
defrauded the crown, by smuggling, or other unlawful practices. The name
of the restitutionist was kept a profound secret; all that the confessor
had to do was, to deliver the money he might receive to the collector at
the treasury. This was giving to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's.

The greatest amount of revenue which the King received from the church
arose from the sale of bulls; and of these there was a great variety.
Jovellanos says, in his description of the pope's bulls, "that they are
a periodical publication of the highest price, least value, meanest
type, and worst paper; all buy them, few read them, and none understand

The bulls were first granted by the popes as a kind of passport to
heaven to all those who died in the wars against infidels; they
contained most extraordinary dispensations, both with respect to
Christian duties in this world and to the punishment due to crimes in
the next; and although the crusades, and other wars that drove men to
heaven, or to some other place, at the point of the lance, or sword, had
ceased, yet the influence of the bulls in increasing the revenue was of
too great importance to the king for him to allow them to die with the
cause that gave them birth: their effects were too useful to be

According to the original terms of the bulls, no person could reap the
benefit unless he were actually serving in the war; afterwards he might
procure a substitute and remain secure at home; but now he can enjoy the
blessings of peace at a much cheaper rate. The bulls sold in South
America were, the general bull for the living, or of the holy crusade;
the bull of _lacticinios_, milk food; of _composicion_, accommodation;
and the bull for the dead.

The general bull for the living retained its virtue in the hands of its
possessor for two years, at which period it expired, but the benefit
might be renewed by purchasing another. The advantages derived from the
possession of this bull included generally all those of the other three
though not in so direct a manner; having this, no cases were reserved
for papal absolution; all kinds of vows might be released, excepting
those which would contribute more to the church by their fulfilment;
blasphemy was forgiven; any thing except flesh meat might be eaten on
fast days; and one day of fasting, one prayer repeated, or one good deed
done, was equal to fifteen times fifteen forties of fast days, prayers,
or good deeds done by the unlucky being who had not purchased this bull.
Nay more--the buying of two bulls conveyed to the purchaser a double
portion of privileges. The price of this precious paper varied according
to the rank of the sinful purchaser: a viceroy, captain-general of a
province, lieutenant-general of the army and their wives paid fifteen
dollars for each bull; archbishops, bishops, inquisitors, canons, dukes,
marquises, and all noblemen, also magistrates and many others, five
dollars each; every individual who was in possession of property to the
amount of 6000 dollars, paid one dollar and a half for his bull; and all
persons under this class enjoyed all the privileges conceded to the rich
and powerful, for two and a half reals, or five sixteenths, of a dollar

The bull of _lacticinios_, or milk food, was issued for the benefit of
the clergy, they not being allowed by the general bull to eat such
dainties on fast days; but as the result did not answer the expectations
of the crown the commissary-general recommended the laity to purchase it
for the prevention of conscientious scruples. Archbishops, bishops, and
conventual prelates paid six; canons, dignitaries and inquisitors, paid
three; rectors and curates one and a half, and all other secular priests
one dollar for each bull. A celebrated Spanish writer, speaking of this
bull, says, "the holy father has only allowed them these dainties when
they can be procured, another bull is wanting to eat them at all events,
but for this purpose the bull of _composicion_ may be made to answer."

This bull of composition, or accommodation, is monstrous; for it gives
to the possessor of stolen property a quiet conscience and absolute
possession, on condition that he has stolen it evading the punishment
applicable by law; that he knows not the person whom he has robbed or
defrauded, and that the knowledge of this accommodating bull did not
induce him to commit the theft. Thus this papal pardon by accommodation
or agreement insures to a lawless villain a quiet possession of
property, the means of acquiring which ought to have been rewarded by
the hangman! The possessor of the unlawfully acquired property fixed a
value on it, and purchased bulls to the amount of six per cent. on the
principal. Only fifty bulls could be purchased in one year by one
individual, but if he required more, he applied to the
commissary-general, whose indulgence might be purchased.

The bull for the dead was a kind of safe conduct to paradise--the
masonic sign to Saint Peter for admission there, or a discharge from
purgatory, if the soul of the deceased had reached this place before the
bull was purchased, or if by some mishap the name of the individual had
not been written on it, or had been wrongly spelled. How unfortunate
must those pious Christians have been who lived, or rather who died at a
great distance from the bull vender, or who had not the means of
purchasing this pontifical passport; for every person must have one, the
article not being transferable, because this would injure the market;
but any person was allowed to purchase more than one and at any period
after the death of the person he wished to befriend, as its powerful
influence might be extended to the general benefit and alleviation of
souls in purgatory. Thus it is that piety when accompanied with money
has wonderful powers! All persons included among the first class of
purchasers of the general bull paid six eighths of a dollar, six reals,
for one for the dead, if he belonged to this class, but if he were of
the fourth it only cost two reals, two eighths of a dollar.

I shall not pretend to give an estimate of the sum produced by the
taxes, the jealousy of the Spaniards towards a foreigner being so great
that it would have been dangerous for me even to have inquired. The two
following items I obtained by chance:


     The Custom House of Lima received      in 1805    1592837-2½
          Ditto                             in 1810    1640324-4
     Produce of bulls in the Commissary's }
       office for the Viceroyalty of Peru } in 1805      91021
          Ditto                             in 1810      97340-2


     City of Lima....Figure and Division....Walls....Bridge....Houses
     ....Churches....Manner of Building....Parishes....Convents....
     Nunneries....Hospitals....Colleges...._Plasa Mayor_....Market....
     Interior of the Viceroy's Palace....Ditto Archbishop's Ditto....
     Ditto Sagrario....Ditto Cathedral....Ditto Cavildo.

The figure of the city of Lima approaches to that of a semicircle,
having the river Rima for its diameter; it is two miles long from east
to west, and one and a quarter broad from the bridge to the wall; it is
chiefly divided into squares, the length of each side being 130 yards;
but in some parts approaching to the wall this regularity is not
preserved; all the streets are straight, and they are generally about 25
feet wide; the place contains 157 _quadras_, being either squares or
parallelograms, with a few diagonal intersections towards the
extremities of the city.

The wall which encloses Lima, except on the side bordering on the river,
is built of _adobes_, sun-dried bricks, each brick being twenty inches
long, fourteen broad and four thick; they are made of clay, and contain
a very large quantity of chopped straw: these bricks are considered as
better calculated than stone to resist the shocks of earthquakes, and
from their elasticity they would probably be found pretty tough in
resisting a cannonading; however, of this there is little risk. The
walls are on an average twelve feet high, with a parapet three feet on
the outer edge: they are about ten feet thick at the bottom, and eight
at the top, forming a beautiful promenade round two-thirds of the city.
The wall is flanked with thirty-four bastions, but without embrasures;
it has seven gates and three posterns, which are closed every night at
eleven o'clock, and opened again every morning at four. This wall of
enclosure more than of defence was built by the Viceroy Duke de la
Palata, and finished in the year 1685; it was completely repaired by the
Viceroy Marquis de la Concordia, in the year 1808. All the gateways are
of stone, and of different kinds of architecture; that called _de
maravillas_, leading towards the pantheon, is very much ornamented with
stucco work.

At the south east extremity of the city is a small citadel called Santa
Catalina; in it are the artillery barracks, the military depôt, and the
armoury. It is walled round and defended by two bastions, having small
pieces of artillery. The Viceroy Pezuela being an officer of artillery,
and formerly commandant of the body guard at Lima, paid great attention
to the citadel, and expended considerable sums of money in altering and
repairing it during the time of his viceroyalty.

The bridge leading from the city to the suburb called San Lazaro is of
stone; it has five circular arches, and piers projecting on each side;
those to the east are triangular next the stream, and those on the
opposite side are circular; on the tops are stone seats, to which a
number of fashionable people resort and chat away the summer evenings.
From eight to eleven o'clock, or even later, it is remarkably pleasant,
both on account of the quantity of people passing to and fro, and from
the river being at this season full of water. On the east side the water
falls from an elevated stone base about five feet high, and forms a
species of cascade, the sound of the falling water adding much to the
pleasure enjoyed during the cool evenings of a tropical climate. At the
south end of the bridge is a stone arch, crowned with small turrets and
stucco, having a clock and dial in the centre; the whole was built and
finished by the order of the Viceroy Marquis of Montes Claros, in the
year 1613.

The general aspect of the houses in Lima is novel to an Englishman on
his first arrival; those of the inferior classes have but one floor, and
none exceed two; the low houses have a mean appearance, too, from their
having no windows in front. If the front be on a line with the street
they have only a door, and if they have a small court-yard, patio, a
large heavy door opens into the street. Some of the houses of the richer
classes have simply the ground floor, but there is a patio before the
house, and the entrance from the street is through a heavy-arched
doorway, with a coach house on one side; over this is a small room with
a balcony and trellis windows opening to the street. Part of these
houses have neat green balconies in front, but very few of the windows
are glazed. Having capacious patios, large doors and ornamented trellis
windows, beside painted porticos and walls, with neat corridors, their
appearance from the street is exceedingly handsome. In some there is a
prospect of a garden through the small glazed folding doors of two or
three apartments; this garden is either real or painted, and contributes
very much to enliven the scenery. The patios, in summer, have large
awnings drawn over them, which produce an agreeable shade; but the flat
roofs, without any ornaments in front, present an appearance not at all
pleasing; if to this we add the sameness of the many dead walls of the
convents and nunneries, some of the streets must naturally look very

Of the principal churches the fronts are elegant and the steeples more
numerous and more elevated than might be expected in a country so
subject to earthquakes as Peru. The architecture displayed in the
façades of these churches is more worthy of being called a peculiar
composite than any regular order; but in a great many instances this
peculiarity is pleasing: a particular description of them will be given
in the course of this work.

The outer walls of the houses are generally built of adobes as far as
the first floor, and the division walls are always formed of canes,
plastered over on each side; this is called _quincha_: the upper story
is made first of a frame-work of wood; canes are afterwards nailed or
lashed with leather thongs on each side the frame-work; they are then
plastered over, and the walls are called _bajareque_. These additions so
considerably increase their bulk, that they seem to be composed of very
solid materials, both with respect to the thickness which they exhibit,
and the cornices and other ornaments which adorn them. Porticos, arches,
mouldings, &c. at the doorways are generally formed of the same
materials. Canes bound together and covered with clay are substituted
also for pillars, as well as other architectural ornaments, some of
which being well executed, and coloured like stone, a stranger at first
sight easily supposes them to be built of the materials they are
intended to imitate. The roofs being flat are constructed of rafters
laid across, and covered with cane, or cane mats, with a layer of clay
sufficient to intercept the rays of the sun, and to guard against the
fogs. Many of the better sort of houses have the roofs covered with
large thin baked bricks, on which the inhabitants can walk; these
asoteas, as they are called, are very useful, and are often overspread
with flowers and plants in pots; they also serve for drying clothes and
other similar purposes. Among the higher classes the ceilings are
generally of pannel work, ornamented with a profusion of carving; but
among the lower they are often of a coarse cotton cloth, nailed to the
rafters and whitewashed, or painted in imitation of pannel work. In
several of the meaner, however, the canes or cane mats are visible.

Some of the churches have their principal walls and pillars of stone;
others of adobes and bajareque; the towers are generally of the latter
work, bound together with large beams of Guayaquil wood; the spires are
commonly of wood work, cased over with planks, and painted in imitation
of stone; with mouldings, cornices and other ornaments, either of wood
or stucco.

In large buildings of every description there is generally a great
proportion of timber, keeping up a connection from the foundation to the
roof; thus there is less danger from the shocks of earthquakes than if
they were built of brick or more solid materials; for the whole building
yields to the motion, and the foundation being combined with the roof
and other parts, the whole moves at the same time, and is not so easily
thrown down. I suggested to a friend in Lima the idea of placing between
every tenth layer of adobes one of long canes; this he put in practice,
and afterwards informed me, that it was considered a great improvement,
so much so, that he thought the plan would be generally adopted,
especially as it produced a saving of timber, which is a dear article;
had also the effect of preventing the walls from cracking by the shocks
of earthquakes, and was equal to that of rafters of wood or frame-work
and bajareque.

The city is divided into four parishes, the Sagrario, with three
rectors; Saint Ann, two; Saint Sebastian, two; Saint Marcelo, one. Here
are two chapels of ease, that of Saint Salvador in the parish of Saint
Ann, and that of the Orphans in the parish of the Sagrario. Over the
bridge are the suburbs of Saint Lazaro, with one rector, a curate at the
Cabesas and another at Carabaillo, five leagues from the city, beside
several chapels on the different plantations. In the Cercado there is a
parish of indians, founded by the Jesuits, and formerly under their

The convents are numerous. I shall first give a list of them, and
afterwards mention those that are individually worthy of notice.

                    { La casa grande.
San Francisco    3  { Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe } in the suburbs.
                    { Recoleto de San Diego       }

                    { La casa grande.
                    { Recoleta de la Magdalena.
Santo Domingo    4  { Santo Tomas, college for studies.
                    { Santa Rosa, hermitage.

                    { Casa grande.
                    { San Ildefonso, college for studies.
San Augustin     4  { Nuestra Señora de guia, for novices.
                    { Cercado, college, formerly of the Jesuits.

                    { Casa grande.
La Merced        3  { San Pedro Nolasco, college for studies.
                    { Recoleta de Belen.

                    { San Pedro, formerly colegio maximo of the
San Pedro        1  {   Jesuits, now Oratorio de San Felipe Neri.

                    { Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados, formerly
Desamparados     1  {   belonging to the Jesuits, now to the Oratorio
                    {   de San Felipe Neri.

                    { Angonizantes, buena muerte.
San Camilo       2  { Recoleta, in the suburbs of San Lazaro.

San Francisco    2  { San Francisco de Paula, minims, new.
  de Paula          { Do. old, both in the suburbs of San Lazaro.

                    { Nuestra Señora de Montserrat, hospicio of the
San Benedicto    1  {   Benedictine Monks.

                    { Convalecencia of San Rafael.
San Juan de Dios 2  { Nuestra Señora del Carmen, on the road to Callao.

                    { Casa grande, outside the walls, for convalescents.
Bethlemitas      2  { Incurables, inside the walls.

The nunneries in Lima are La Encarnacion, La Concepcion, Santa Catalina,
Santa Clara, Las Trinitarias, El Carmen Alto, Santa Teresa, or Carmen
Baxo, Descalsos de San Jose, Capuchinas de Jesus Maria, Nasarenas,
Mercedarias, Santa Rosa, Trinitarias descalsas. El Praso, and Nuestra
Señora de Copacavana for indian ladies.

The following are _beaterios_, houses of seclusians, which do not take
the monastic vows: Santa Rosa de Viterbo, Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio,
San Jose for women divorced from their husbands, and the Recogidas for
poor women, somewhat similar to the Magdalen Hospital in London.

Each of these religious houses has a church or chapel, making in the
whole as follows:--

     Parish Churches                   6
     Semi-parochias, chapels of ease   2
     Conventual Churches and Chapels  44

Besides these each hospital has a chapel; many of the convents also
have chapels attached to them: San Francisco has that of Los Dolores and
El Milagro, and several of the principal inhabitants have private
oratories, there being altogether upwards of one hundred places of
worship, supporting more than eight hundred secular and regular priests,
and about three hundred nuns, with a great number of lay brothers and

Lima has the following hospitals, each appropriated to some peculiar

San Andres, for Spaniards and maniacs--Santa Ana, for indians--San
Bartolome, for negroes and African castes--San Pedro, for poor
ecclesiastics--El Espiritu Santo, for seamen--San Pedro Alcantara, for
females--La Caridad, for females--Bethlemitas, for females, opposite the
convent--San Lazaro, for lepers; in addition to the three already

The Colleges in Lima are:--Santo Toribio, an ecclesiastical
seminary--San Martin, afterwards San Carlos, now San Martin again, for
secular studies--Colegio del Principe, for Latin grammar and the sons of
indian caciques, besides the conventual colleges, where many of the
lower classes are taught Latin, and some branches of science, gratis, by
the friars.

The _plasa mayor_, principal square, stands nearly in the centre of the
city (the suburbs of San Lazaro being included) about 150 yards from the
bridge; on the north side stands the Viceroy's palace, having an
ornamented gateway in the centre, where the horse guards are stationed;
this front is 480 feet long: the lower part is divided into petty
pedlars' shops, filled with all kinds of wares, open in front, the doors
which enclose them being thrown back; so that those of one shop meet
those of two neighbouring ones, and all of them are generally adorned
with part of the stock in trade, hung on them for sale. Over these runs
a long gallery, with seats rising one above another, for the
accommodation of the inhabitants when there is any féte in the square;
on the top there is a railing, carved in imitation of balustrades. At
the north-west corner is a gallery for the family of the Viceroy, which
on days of ceremony was fitted up with green velvet hangings, ornamented
with gold lace and fringe; a state chair to correspond being placed for
his Excellency in the centre. It was here that the Viceroy Marquis de
Castel-forte presented himself to witness the death of the innocent
Fiscal Antequera, in 1726; here LORD COCHRANE stood, when the
independence of Lima was declared in 1821; and from hence the medals
commemorative of that glorious day were distributed.

On the east side is the cathedral, having a light ornamented façade,
with large folding doors in the centre and smaller ones on each side,
surmounted by a handsome balustrade and two steeples, each of which
contains a peal of fine-toned bells, a clock and dials. The entrance to
this rich building is by a flight of steps, the area being ten feet
above the level of the plasa. On the north side of the cathedral is the
Sagrario, with a very beautiful façade; and adjoining stands the
Archbishop's palace, which surpasses in appearance every other building
in the square. Green balconies, glazed, run along the front, on each
side of an arched gateway, which leads into the patio; but the lower
part is disgraced with small shops, the nearest one to the Sagrario
being a _pulperia_, grog shop! Under the area of the cathedral there is
also a range of small shops, one of which formerly belonged to Don
Ambrosio Higgins, who was a pedlar and failed. He afterwards went to
Chile, entered the army, obtained promotion, discovered the city of
Osorno, and was honoured with the title of Marquis of Osorno. In 1786 he
returned to Lima in the high capacity of Viceroy, and found his old
friend and brother pedlar, La Reguera, enjoying the archiepiscopal
mitre: a coincidence of good fortune not often equalled. La Reguera had
some time before left Lima for Spain, his native country, and having
been more fortunate in trade than Higgins, had prosecuted his studies,
and returned archbishop in 1781.

On the south side is a row of private houses, having a balcony and
trellis windows: over the piazza, which is ten feet broad, the pillars
are of stone; a row of mercers' and drapers' shops occupies the piazza,
and between the pillars are stationed a number of men, principally
indians, employed in making fringe, silk buttons, epauletts, &c.; hence
it is called, _el portal de botoneros_. In the middle of this piazza is
_el callejon de petateros_, remarkable as being the site of Pizarro's
palace, and where he was murdered.

The west side is similar to the south, and at the north end of it is the
_casa consistorial_, corporation house; under it is the city gaol, in
front of which is the council hall, which has on one side the door a
canopy over the royal arms. Under this the alcaldes formerly stood to
administer justice. Here it was that, some years ago, the young Viscount
de San Donas sentenced the coachman of Judge Nuñes to receive a hundred
lashes for carrying prohibited arms: the man was tied to an ass, and the
hangman, having inflicted twenty-five stripes, was marching him to the
next corner to administer the same number, when the judge, informed of
the affair, left the audience chamber, and proceeded in his robes to the
rescue of his servant; but in this he was prevented by the alcalde; the
judge became boisterous,--the punishment was continued; at length his
lordship insulted the alcalde, who immediately ordered his alguazils to
seize him and conduct him to the court gaol, where San Donas confined
him in a dungeon, took the keys, went home, ordered his horse, and left
the city. When he returned in the evening he waited on the Viceroy,
Castel-forte, who urgently interceded for the judge; but the alcalde
kept him in prison until he apologised for his improper attempt to
prevent a magistrate from enforcing the execution of a lawful sentence.

In the centre of the square is a beautiful brass fountain, erected by
the Viceroy Count de Salvatierra in 1653. The basin is very capacious:
in the middle rises a brass column twenty two feet high, on the top of
which is a small cupola supported by four pillars; the whole is
surmounted by a figure of Fame. Through the trumpet water is ejected;
but the greater portion rises within the dome, after which it falls into
a large basin, from thence into another of greater dimensions, and from
thence through four orifices into a basin which has an ornamented brass
enclosure, surmounted by four treble lions, ejecting water from their
mouths into the basin. There are also four smaller fountains at the
angles of the central one, having each a brass pillar five feet high,
with four orifices, whence water issues. The water is the best in Lima,
and at all hours of the day the carriers are busy in conveying it to
different parts of the city. For this purpose they have a mule, with a
pack-saddle and two hoops affixed to it, into which they put two
barrels, each containing about ten gallons, behind which a man generally
jumps up and rides. The carrier has a thick stick with an inverted iron
hook near the top, with which he props one barrel when he takes out the
other. If the water be for sale a small bell is attached to one of the
hoops, which continues tinkling as the mule trots along. The price is
one real for the two barrels.

In this square the principal market is held, and one of the greatest
luxuries which the eye can witness is enjoyed by visiting it about five
or six o'clock in the morning, when the articles for sale are just
brought in. It is divided into several compartments by rows of large
pebbles, which are placed merely to limit the venders, and prevent
their encroaching on the public walks. The butchers' market is generally
well supplied with excellent beef and mutton; but calves and lambs are
never killed, this being prohibited by an old law for the promotion of
the breed of cattle. Pork is sold in one part; in another all kinds of
salted and dried meats, principally brought from the interior; these are
_charque_, jerked beef; _sesina_, beef salted and smoked or dried in the
sun: hams, bacon, and frozen kid from the mountains, which last is most
delicate eating: there are likewise many kinds of sausages; salt fish,
principally _bacalao_, from Europe; _tollo_, _congrio_, and corbina. The
fish market is in some seasons abundantly supplied from the neighbouring
coasts with corbina, _jureles_, mackerel, _chita_, plaice, turbot, peje
rey, lisa, anchovies, &c., and most excellent crayfish, _camarones_,
from the rivers, some of which are six or seven inches long. Fish is
generally cheap; but during Lent, and particularly in Passion Week, it
is excessively dear; which arises from the indians enjoying the
exclusive privilege of fishing, and being at that time of the year too
much occupied with their religious duties to attend to their regular
business. Indeed no indian will fish on the Thursday, Friday, or
Saturday in Passion Week; and I have seen a fish sold on those days for
twenty or twenty-five dollars, which at other times might have been
bought for one, or even less.

The poultry market is divided, one place being set apart for the live,
and another for the dead. Poultry is almost always dear; a turkey costs
from three to five dollars; a fowl from one to two dollars; ducks,
Muscovy, the same price; pigeons half a dollar each; geese are seldom
seen in the market, for as the natives never eat them, very few are
bred. Here is also a market for all kinds of pulse--beans of several
descriptions, peas, lentils, maize of five or six kinds, _gurbansos_,
quinua, &c. The vegetable market contains every description of
horticultural produce known in England, as well as the _arracacha_,
_yuca_, casava root, _camote_, sweet potatoe, yam, _oca_, &c. The
vegetables are remarkably fine, in great abundance, and generally cheap.
The fruit market is splendid, furnishing the most delicious fruits of
Europe--the grape of several varieties, the peach, apricot and
nectarine, the apple, the pear, the pomegranate, the quince, the tomate,
and the strawberry; and an abundance of luscious tropical fruits--the
pine, the melon, badeas, granadillas, sapote, lucuma, nisperos, guavas,
paltas, guanabanas, custard apples, the sweet and sour orange, lime,
and lemon, the shaddock, the citron, the plantane, the banana, and above
all the chirimoya, the queen of tropical fruits. The portion allotted to
the flower sellers is appropriately called the _calle del peligro_,
street of danger; for here the gentle fair resort, and their gallant
swains watch the favourable opportunity of presenting to them the
choicest gifts of Flora. This corner of the market, at an early hour in
the morning, is truly enchanting; the fragrance of the flowers, their
beauty and quantity, and the concourse of lovely females--altogether
would persuade a stranger that he had found the Muses wandering in
gardens of delight! In the vicinity stands a _fresquera_, vender of iced
lemonade, pine-apple water, _orchata_, almond milk, pomegranate water,
&c. which offer another opportunity for gallantry. It is no exaggeration
in the citizens of Lima when they assert, that they have one of the
finest markets in the world, for every thing in art and nature
contributes to its support: the beautiful climate near the coast, the
vicinity of the mountains, where all climates may be found, from the
ever-during snow to perpetual sunshine--send their abundant and rich
produce to this cornucopia of Ceres and Pomona.

The interior of the Viceroy's palace is very mean; but it is said to
have been a magnificent building before it was destroyed by an
earthquake on the 20th October, 1687. Its principal entrance is on the
west side, in a narrow street leading to the bridge from the plasa; to
the right of the entrance is the guard-room, where a company of
infantry, a captain, lieutenant, and ensign are stationed: to the left
there are four flights of steps leading to the _sala de los Vireys_, at
the door of which is a guard of halberdiers, dressed in blue coats with
full trimming of broad gold lace, crimson waistcoat and breeches with
gold lace, silk stockings, velvet shoes, a laced hat, and a halberd.
These soldiers are generally of good families: they are twenty-five in
number, and the captain, their only officer, was always a young
nobleman, because the situation was considered as highly honourable.
Each Viceroy nominated a captain on his arrival. Don Diego Aliaga, son
to the Marquis de Lurigancho, was captain to Abascal and Pezuela. The
_sala de los Vireys_, so called on account of its containing full-length
portraits of all the Viceroys from Pizarro to Pezuela,[5] was used only
on days of ceremony, when the Viceroy stood under a canopy of crimson
velvet, trimmed with gold, and received in the name of the King the
compliments addressed to him, which however were generally set speeches,
studied for the occasion. The Regent pronounced the first harangue, then
followed the controller of the tribunal of accompts, the dean in the
name of his chapter, the alcalde of the first vote, the prior of the
consulate, the inquisitor mayor, the commissary of the crusade, the
rector of the university, a senior collegian from each college, and a
master friar from each community. These levees were called _dias de besa
manos_, which ceremony was performed _de facto_ in Madrid, the whole
court kissing the King's hand, and this was almost the only ceremony
which the royal representative in Lima dispensed with.

To the right of this hall there is a narrow corridor, looking into a
small garden on the right, having a suite of rooms on the left, which on
days of ceremony were used as assembly rooms; there are also some
closets, which may serve as sleeping rooms or studies, each having a
small glazed balcony next the street. Two young British officers,
belonging to the Briton, were one night detected by the sentry
attempting to pay a visit, at one of those commodious _ventanas_, to
Miss Ramona Abascal, the Viceroy's daughter, and her female companion.
The young ladies made fast the end of the sash belonging to Mr. B., but
an unfortunate laugh alarmed the intruding sentry. From the north-west
corner another range of rooms extends along the north side, which leads
to those of the pages and other domestics; on the east side of the
garden there is a terrace forming a passage to a range of apartments,
where the chaplain, surgeon and secretary usually resided. A private
passage under the terrace leads to one of those rooms constructed by the
Viceroy Amat, for the purpose of receiving the midnight visits of the
famous Perricholi. This name was given to the lady by her husband, an
Italian, who wishing to call her a _perra chola_, indian b----h, gave an
Italian termination to the words, and a name to his wife, by which she
was ever afterwards known in Lima. In 1810 she was living at the new
mills, at the corner of the _alameda vieja_. This circumstance I take
the liberty to mention, because persons going to Lima will often hear on
their arrival the name of this once handsome and generous woman, whose
beauty had so far influenced her admirer, the Viceroy, that she at one
time persuaded him to feed her mules at midnight, _en camisa_; and at
another obtained from him the reprieve of a criminal on the morning he
was to have suffered. In her youth she was on the stage; but she spent
her last days in seclusion, and her last dollars in works of charity.
The dining room is on the east side of the garden, and has a staircase
leading from the kitchen; it is low and dark, and has a dirty
appearance. The rooms used on public occasions have each a crimson
velvet canopy, under which were hung portraits of the reigning King and
Queen; beside some antique furniture which belonged to the palace, glass
chandeliers, &c.; but the whole was a very mean display for a Viceroy of

The palace also contained the royal treasury, the courts of the royal
audience, the Viceroy's chapel, the county gaol, the secretary's
offices, and some others belonging to the attendants. Each front of the
palace was disgraced with mean pedlars' and shoemakers' shops, and close
to the principal entrance was a pulperia, common grog shop, for the
accommodation, I suppose, of the coachmen, footmen and soldiers on duty.
The north and south sides of this building are four hundred and eighty
feet long; the others four hundred and ten.

The interior of the archbishop's palace is but small; a flight of steps
opposite the entrance leads to a corridor that runs round the
court-yard; on the north side are the dining and drawing rooms; on the
west, fronting the plasa, are the principal levee rooms; on the south
the secretary's offices; and on the east the apartments belonging to the
domestics. The principal rooms are neatly fitted up; in some of them the
walls are covered with crimson damask, having gilt cornices and

The interior of the Sagrario, which may be called the principal parish
church, or matrix, is more splendid than rich; the roof is beautifully
pannelled, having a cupola in the centre, resting on the four corners
formed by the intersection of the cross aisle; it is lofty, and the
several altars are splendidly carved, varnished and gilt. Great part of
the high altar is cased with silver; the sacrarium is highly finished,
and the custodium of gold, richly ornamented with diamonds and other
precious stones. The whole service is costly, both in plate and robes.
The baptismal font is in a small chapel on one side; it is large, and
covered with a thick casing of pure silver.

The cathedral, like all others, is spoiled by having the choir in the
centre, blocking up the view of the high altar, which otherwise would
present a most majestic appearance from the centre porch. The walls and
floor are of good freestone, and the roof, which is divided into
compartments, is most beautifully pannelled and carved; it is upheld by
a double row of neat square pillars of stone work, supporting the
arches, and corresponding with the buttresses in the walls; all these,
on festivals, are covered with Italian crimson velvet hangings, except
in Passion Week, when they are clothed with purple ones of the same
quality. Both sets are edged with broad gold lace, with a deep gold
fringe at the bottom, and festoons with lace and fringe at the top.

The lateral altars are placed in niches between the buttresses, having
ornamented gates before them, which, when opened inwards, form the
presbytery. Some of these altars are rich, but none of them handsome. At
the back of the high altar is a chapel dedicated to Saint Francisco
Xavier, in which there are effigies of two archbishops, in white marble,
kneeling before reclinatories. In this chapel was the archbishops'
burying vault, which is now closed, and they, in common with all other
people, are carried to the pantheon, where the first corpse interred was
that of Archbishop La Reguera, being exhumed for the purpose.

The throne, or high altar, has a most magnificent appearance; it is of
the Corinthian order, the columns, cornices, mouldings, pedestals, &c.
being cased with pure silver; it is also surmounted with a celestial
crown of gilt silver; in the centre is the sacrarium, richly ornamented
with chased silver work. The custodium is of gold, delicately wrought,
and enriched with a profusion of diamonds and other precious stones:
from the pedestal to the points of the rays it measures seven feet, and
is more than any moderate sized person can lift. The front of the altar
table is of embossed silver, very beautiful. On each side of the altar
is an ornamented reading desk, where the gospel and epistle are
chaunted. From the foot of the presbytery runs on either side to the
choir a railing, and the front of the choir is closed by tastefully
wrought gilt iron palisades, having two large gates in the centre. The
stalls are of carved cedar, and the state chair of curious workmanship;
it is considered as a relic, because it was used by Saint Toribio de
Mogroviejo, archbishop of Lima, from 1578 to 1606. The choral music is
very select, and the two organs finely toned. The pulpit is in the
modern taste, highly varnished and gilt.

On grand festivals this church presents an imposing coup d'oeil; the
high altar is illuminated with more than a thousand wax tapers; the
large silver candelabra, each weighing upwards of a hundred pounds; the
superb silver branches and lamps, and the splendid service of plate on
the left of the altar, are indescribably striking. The archbishop in his
costly pontifical robes is seen kneeling under a canopy of crimson
velvet, with a reclinatory and cushions of the same material; a number
of assisting priests in their robes of ceremony fill the presbytery;
from which, leading towards the choir, are seats covered with velvet, on
the left for the officers of state and the corporation, on the right for
the judges, who attend in full costume. In the centre, in front of the
altar, is a state chair covered with crimson velvet, with cushions, and
a reclinatory to match, for the Viceroy, when he attended in state,
having on each side three halberdiers of his body guard; behind him
stood his chaplain, chamberlain, groom, captain of the body guard, and
four pages in waiting. If any ceremony can flatter the vanity of man, it
must be that of offering incense to him in such a situation:--three
times during mass one of the acolites came down from the presbytery with
an incensary, and bowed to the Viceroy, who stood up amid a cloud of
smoke; the acolite bowed and retired, and the Viceroy again knelt down.

The gold and silver brocades, tissues and other stuffs, the laces and
embroidery for robes, vestments and decorations, are of the most costly
kind that can be procured. The sacred vessels, chalices, patenas,
hostiarias, &c. are often of gold, enriched with a profusion of the
rarest gems, so that nothing can display more grandeur than is beheld
here on great festivals, when divine service is performed with a pomp
scarcely to be imagined.

At the east end are two doors, corresponding with the two lateral doors
in the front, and producing a fine effect. The area is spacious, and
paved with freestone on the west, south, and east sides of this
building, and the surrounding wall is surmounted by an ornamental

The corporation hall, sala consistorial, on the north-west side of the
plasa, or square, offers nothing worthy of notice; it is a large room,
containing benches for the members of the cavildo, a state chair and
canopy for the president, some plans of the city hanging on the walls,
and a closet for the archives.


[5] It is a curious circumstance, that the hall was exactly filled with
portraits when the liberating forces entered Lima, there not being one
spare pannel, nor room to place another painting, without removing some
of the old ones.


     Particular Description of Parish Churches....Of Santo
     Domingo....Altar of the Rosary, St. Rosa and other
     Altars....Cloisters....Sanctuary of Saint Rosa....Church of San
     Francisco....Chapels _Del Milagro_, _De Dolores_, De los
     Terceros....Pantheon....Cloisters....San Diego....San Agustin
     ...._La Merced_....Profession of a Nun, or taking the
     Veil....Hospitals of San Andres, of San Bartolome and
     others....Colleges of Santo Toribio, San Carlos, _Del
     Principe_....University....Inquisition....Taken to it in
     1806....Visit to it in 1812, after the Abolition....Inquisitorial
     Punishments....Foundling Hospital....Lottery....Mint....Pantheon.

The parish churches of Lima have nothing to recommend them particularly
to the notice of a stranger. St. Lazaro has an elegant façade, and
presents a good appearance from the bridge; the interior is tastefully
ornamented; the ceiling is of pannel work, and the several altars highly
varnished and gilt. The living is said to produce about thirty thousand
dollars annually, and is often called the little bishopric.

Of the conventual churches, only those belonging to the principal houses
are remarkably rich. St. Dominic, Santo Domingo, about a hundred yards
from the plasa mayor, is truly magnificent; the tower is the loftiest in
the city, being sixty-one yards high, built chiefly of bajareque; the
bells are good, especially the great one, which was cast in 1807: none
of the large bells are rung as in England; having no swing wheels, the
clappers are merely dragged backwards and forwards till they strike the
sides of the bells. The roof of the church is supported by a double row
of light pillars, painted and gilt; the ceiling is divided into pannels
by gilt mouldings, and the large central pannels exhibit some good
scriptural paintings in fresco. The high altar, as usual, is on an
elevated presbytery: it is of modern architecture, of the Ionic order;
the columns are varnished in imitation of marble, with gilt mouldings,
cornices and capitals. At the foot of the presbytery, on the right,
stands the beautifully rich chased and embossed silver cased altar of
our Lady of the Rosary. This altar exceeds any other in Lima both in
richness and effect; it is entirely covered with pure silver; its
elegant fluted columns, highly finished embossed pedestals, capitals,
cornices, &c., some of which are doubly gilt, are magnificently superb.
In the centre of the altar is the niche of the Madonna, of exquisite
workmanship; the interior contains a transparent painting of a temple,
the light being admitted to it by a window at the back of the altar. The
effigy is gorgeously dressed--the crown is a cluster of diamonds and
other precious gems; and the drapery of the richest brocades, laces and
embroidery; the rosary is a string of large pearls of the finest orient.
Such is the abundance, or rather profusion, of drapery, that the same
dress is never continued two days together, throughout the year. Before
the niche fifteen large wax tapers are continually burning in silver
sockets; and in a semicircle before the altar are suspended, by massy
silver chains, curiously wrought, fourteen large heavy silver lamps,
kept constantly lighted with olive oil. Besides these are, similarly
suspended, eight fancifully wrought silver bird cages, whose inmates, in
thrilling notes, join the pealing tones of the organ and the sacred
chaunt of divine worship. Four splendid silver chandeliers hang opposite
the altar, each containing fifteen wax tapers; below are ranged six
heavy silver candelabra, six feet high, and six tables cased in silver,
each supporting a large silver branch with seven tapers; also four urns
of the same precious metal, filled with perfumed spirits, which are
always burning on festivals, and emit scents from the most costly drugs
and spices; the whole being surrounded by fuming pastillas, held by
silver cherubim. On those days when the festivals of the Virgin Mary
are celebrated, and particularly at the feast of the rosary and octavo,
the sumptuous appearance of this altar exceeds all description: at that
time, during nine days, more than a thousand tapers blaze, and the
chaunting and music of the choir are uninterrupted.

At the celebration of these feasts many miracles are pretended to be
wrought by this Madonna; and many absurd legends are related from the
pulpit, tending more to inculcate superstition than religion--more to
increase pious frauds, than to enforce sound morality. It was for
speaking thus irreverently of these ceremonies, to one of the
double-hooded brethren, that I was brought before the holy inquisition,
of which I shall say more when I conduct my readers to that now-deserted
mansion. On the left of the high altar stands one dedicated to Saint
Rose; it is richly ornamented, and has a large urn, containing an effigy
of the saint, in a reclining posture, of white marble, and good
sculpture. On each side of the church are six altars, coloured and
varnished in imitation of different marbles, lapis lazuli, &c. with gilt
mouldings, cornices, and other embellishments. The choir is over the
entrance at the principal porch; it is capacious, and has two good
organs. The music belonging to this church is all painted on vellum by
a lay brother of the order, and some of the books are ably done.

Three of the cloisters are very good; the principal one is elegant; it
has two ranges of cells, and the pillars and arches are of stone, of
fine workmanship. The lower part of the walls is covered with Dutch
tiles, exhibiting sketches from the life of St. Dominick, &c. Above are
large indifferently executed paintings of the life and miracles of the
tutelary saints: they are generally concealed by panelled shutters,
which are opened on holidays and festivals. At the angles of this
cloister are small altars, with busts and effigies, most of them in bad
style. The lower cloisters are paved with freestone flags--the upper
ones with bricks. Some of the cells are richly furnished, and display
more delicate attention to luxury than rigid observance of monastic
austerity. The library contains a great number of books on theology and
morality. On the wall of the stairs leading from the cloister to the
choir is a fine painting of Christ in the sepulchre.

The rents of this convent amount to about eighty thousand dollars
annually, and the number of friars belonging to the order is one hundred
and forty. The provincial prelates are elected by the chapter every
year, being a Spaniard and a Creole alternately, and the contests run so
high, that a military force has sometimes been found necessary to
prevent bloodshed.

Belonging to this order is the sanctuary of Saint Rose, she having been
a _beata_, a devotee of the order, wearing the Dominican habit. In the
small chapel are several relics or remains of the saint, as bones, hair,
&c., but more particularly a pair of dice, with which, it is pretended,
when Rose was exhausted by prayers and penance, Christ often entertained
her with a game. Shame having become paramount to deceit, the pious
brethren have lately been loath to expose these dice, which, however,
were shewn to me in 1805, and I kissed them with as much pious devotion
as I would have done any other pair.

The church, chapels and convents of San Francisco, belonging to the casa
grande, about 200 yards from the great square, plasa mayor, are the
largest and most elegant in Lima. The church does not possess the riches
of St. Dominick's, but its appearance is more solemn; the porch is
filled with statues and other ornaments, and the two steeples are lofty
and somewhat elegant. The roof is supported by two rows of stone
pillars, and is of panel work of the Gothic order: some of the altars
are curiously carved and gilt, and the pillars, moulding, &c. of the
sacrariums are cased with silver: the service of plate is rich, and the
robes of the priests are splendid. Like the cathedral, this church has a
complete set of crimson velvet hangings, laced and fringed with gold.

The chapel called _del Milagro_ is most tastefully ornamented; some of
the paintings executed by Don Matias Maestre are good: the high altar is
cased with silver, and the niche of the Madonna is beautifully wrought
of the same material. Mass is celebrated here every half-hour, from five
in the morning till noon. In the vestry of this chapel are paintings of
the heads of the apostles, by Reubens, or, as some assert, by Morillo;
however this may be, they are undoubtedly very fine. The following story
is related of this Madonna. On the 27th of November, 1630, a very severe
shock of an earthquake was felt; the effigy was then standing over the
porch of the church, fronting the street; but at the time of the shock
she turned round, they say, and facing the high altar, lifted up her
hands in a supplicating posture, and thus, according to many pious
believers, preserved the city from destruction! From this act she is
called _del milagro_, of the miracle.

[Illustration: FEMALES OF LIMA.

_Engraved for Stevenson's Narrative of South America._]

Another chapel, elegantly ornamented, is of Nuestra Señora de los
Dolores; and one in the interior of the convent is dedicated to the
fraternity of Terceros of the order, and the religious exercises of St.
Ignacio de Loyola, with a cloister of small cells for _exercitantes_.
The chapel contains five beautiful paintings from the passion of Christ,
by Titian; they belong to the Count of Lurigancho, and are only lent to
the chapel. Inside the convent is a pantheon or mausoleum for the order
and some of the principal benefactors; but it is at present closed, all
the dead being now interred at the pantheon on the outside the city
walls. The principal cloister is very handsome: the lower part of the
walls is covered with blue and white Dutch tiles, above which is a range
of paintings, neatly executed, taken from the life of St. Francis. The
pillars are of stone; the mouldings, cornices, &c. of stucco. The roof
is of panel work, which with the beams is most laboriously carved: at
the angles are small altars of carved wood. In the middle of this
cloister there is a garden and an arbour of jessamine on trellis work,
crossing it at right angles: in the centre is a beautiful brass
fountain; and in the middle of each square, formed by the intersection
of the arbour, is a smaller one, throwing the water twenty feet high.
The minor squares are filled with pots of choice flowers, and a number
of birds in cages hang among the jessamines. Two large folding gates
lead from the church to the cloister, and whether the garden be viewed
from the former, or the music of the choir be heard from the latter, the
effect is equally fascinating. The stairs from the lower cloister to the
upper, as well as the church choir, are beautifully finished. There are
two flights of steps to the first landing place, and one from thence to
the top; the centre flight is supported by a light groined arch; over
the whole is a dome of wood-work, elegantly carved, and producing a most
noble effect. This convent has nine cloisters, including the noviciate,
and belonging to it there are about three hundred friars. The provincial
prelate is elected by the chapter, a Spaniard and a Creole alternately;
the order is of mendicants, and consequently possesses no property; it
is supported by charity, and having the exclusive privilege of selling
shrouds, it acquires a very large income, as no one wishes that a
corpse should be buried without the sacred habit of St. Francis. The
shroud is in fact exactly the same as the habit of the friar, which gave
rise to the curious remark of a foreigner, "that he had observed none
but friars died in this place." The library is rich in theological

Belonging to St. Francis is the recluse of St. Diego. The friars in this
small convent wear the coarse grey habit, and are barefooted. They lead
a most exemplary life, seldom leave their cloisters except on the duty
of their profession, and even then one never goes alone; if a young
friar be sent for, an old friar accompanies him, and vice versa: to the
intent that the young friar may profit by the sage deportment of the
old. At this convent, as well as at every other of the order of St.
Francis, food is daily distributed to the poor at twelve o'clock, at the
postern, and many demi-paupers dine with the community in the refectory.
The gardens of St. Diego are extensive, and contain a large stock of
good fruit trees, as well as medicinal plants. The solemn silence which
reigns in the small but particularly clean cloisters of this convent
seem to invite a visitor to religious seclusion; for, as it is often
said, the very walls breathe sanctity. Here is also a cloister of small
cells, and a chapel for religious exercises, where any man may retire
for a week from the hurry and bustle of the town, and dedicate a portion
of his life to religious meditation. During Lent the number of those who
thus retire is very great; their principal object is to prepare
themselves to receive the communion; and they have every assistance with
which either precept or example can furnish them.

The church of San Agustin is small, light, and ornamented with sculpture
and gilding. The convent is of the second class, but the order is rich,
and their college of San Ildefonso is considered the best conventual
college in Lima.

The church of Nuestra Señora de la Merced is large, but not rich. This
order, as well as that of San Agustin, elect their provincial prelates
every year; they are always natives, no Spaniard being allowed to become
a prelate; even the habit is denied them, so that few Spaniards of
either of the two orders are to be found in Lima, and these few belong
to other convents. The duty of the order, which is denominated a
military one, is to collect alms for the redemption of captive

In the churches belonging to the nunneries there is a great quantity of
tasteful ornaments, but nothing very costly, although the income of one,
the Concepcion, exceeds a hundred thousand dollars annually. It is said,
that the four best situations in Lima are the Mother Abbess of
Concepcion, the Provincialate of Santo Domingo, the Archbishopric, and
the Viceroyalty.

The enormous sums of money which the nunneries have received at
different times almost exceed belief; for independently of gifts and
other pious donations, the dowry of each nun, when she takes the veil,
amounts to three thousand dollars; and many females who have been
possessed of large sums have declared their whole property to have been
their dowry--thus preventing the possibility of a law-suit, and often
depriving, by this subterfuge, poor relatives from enjoying what they
had long hoped for at the death of the possessor.

Nuns, as well as friars, have one year of probation, as novices, before
they can profess or take the veil, which seals their doom for life. When
a female chooses to become a nun she is usually dressed in her best
attire, and attended by a chosen company of friends, whom she regales at
her own house, or at that of some acquaintance; in the evening she goes
to the church of the nunnery, and is admitted into the lower choir by a
postern in the double gratings; she retires, but soon re-appears
dispossessed of her gay attire, and clothed in the religious habit of
the order, without either scapulary or veil, and then bids adieu to her
friends, who immediately return to their houses, whilst the nuns are
chaunting a welcome to their new sister. At the expiration of a year,
the novice is questioned as to the purity of her intentions, by the
Mother Abbess, or Prioress; and if she express a desire to profess, a
report is made to the Prelate of the order, who is the bishop, or his
delegate, or the provincial prelate of the monastic order; for some
nunneries are under the jurisdiction of the ordinary, or bishop, and
others under that of the regulars of their own order. The evening before
the day appointed for the solemn ceremony of taking the veil, the
prelate, accompanied by the chaplain of the nunnery, and the parents and
friends of the nun, goes to the gate or locutory of the nunnery, and the
novice is delivered to him by the Mother Abbess and community, in their
full habits of ceremony; she is then led to the church, when the prelate
seating himself, the chaplain reads to her the institute or laws and
regulations of the order; he questions her as to her own will, explains
to her the duty of the profession she is going to embrace, and warns her
not to be intimidated by threats, nor hallucinated by promises, but to
say whether by her own consent, free will, and choice she have
determined to become a sister of the order, and a professed spouse of
Christ, according to the spirit of the Church. If she answer in the
affirmative, she is re-conducted to the locutory, where she spends the
evening with her friends, or, if she desire it, she can go to the house
of her parents, or visit other religious houses. Early the next morning
the novice makes her private vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and
monastic seclusion, in the hands of the Mother Abbess, the whole
sisterhood being present. At a later hour the prelate and the
officiating priests attend the church, and high mass is celebrated; the
novice is now presented at the communion grating, where she receives the
sacrament from the prelate; she then retires, and the rules of the order
are again read to her, and if she still give her assent to them, she
kisses the rules and the missal. A funeral pall is spread on the floor
of the choir, on which the novice lies down, and is covered with
another; the knell for the dead is tolled by the nunnery bells, the
nuns holding funeral tapers in their hands, with their veils down,
chaunting a mournful dirge, after which a solemn requiem is performed by
the priests and the choir. The novice rises, assisted by the nuns, and
the prelate, going to the communion table, takes a small veil in his
hands, and chaunts the anthem, "Veni sponsa Christi." The novice
approaches the table, the veil is laid on her head, and a lighted taper
put into her hand, ornamented as a palm, after which she is crowned with
flowers. The Mother Abbess next presents her to each nun, whom she
salutes, and lastly the Abbess. She then bows to the prelate, priests,
and her friends, and retires in solemn procession, the whole community
chaunting the psalm, "Laudate Domini."

Much has been said and written respecting nuns and nunneries, and most
unfeeling assertions have been made both with regard to the cause and
effect of taking the veil; but, from what I have heard and seen, these
assertions are generally as false as they are uncharitable; they are too
often the effusions of bigots, who endeavour to load with the vilest
epithets as well the cloistered nun, the devout catholic, and the pious
protestant, as the immoral libertine. They apply to themselves the
text, "he that is not for me, is against me," and every thing that
militates against their own peculiar doctrines must be wrong. I never
knew a nun who repented of her vows, and I have conversed with hundreds:
many have said that they doubted not but that happiness was to be found
without the walls, and discontent within, but that neither could be
attributed exclusively to their being found in or out of a nunnery. Let
those who would revile the conduct of their fellow creatures look to
their own; let those who pity, search at home for objects: they who
would amend others, should set the example. If we suppose that some of
the inmates of cloisters are the victims of tyranny, we should recollect
how many others are sacrificed at the shrine of avarice to the bond of
matrimony! for the vows at the altar are alike indissoluble, and their
effects are often far more distressing.

The vows of a friar are similar to those of the nuns; but owing perhaps
to the door of the convent being as open as that of the choir, they are
not so religiously fulfilled. The friars may indeed be considered as a
nuisance, for they are generally formed of the dregs of society. When a
father knows not what to do with a profligate son, he will send him to a
convent, where having passed his year in the noviciate, he professes,
and relying on his convent as a home, he becomes a drone to society, a
burden to his order, and a disgrace to his own character. It was well
said, by Jovellanos, that "friars enter their convent without knowing
each other, live without loving one another, and die without bewailing
one another." I have nevertheless known many virtuous and learned men
among the hooded brethren, but rarely have I heard any one state, that
he did not regret having taken the solemn oath that bound him to the
cloister, and made him one of a fraternity which he could not avoid
disliking. It generally happens, that the respectable individuals who
assume a religious habit apply themselves to study, and by becoming
lecturers, or getting a degree of D. D. in the University, they escape
the drudgery of a hebdomadary, and take a seat in the chapter of the

The hospital of San Andres is appropriated to white people; it has
several large neat wards, with clean beds; these are placed in small
alcoves on each side the ward, and are so constructed, that in case of
necessity, another row of beds can be formed along the top of the
alcoves; it contains about six hundred beds, a number which can be
doubled. The wards are well ventilated from the roof, and are kept
wholesome. When a patient enters, he has a bed assigned him; his clothes
are taken away, deposited in a general wardrobe, and not returned to him
until orders are given by the physician or surgeon. The sick are not
allowed to have any money in their possession, nor are visitors
permitted to give them any thing, without the consent of one of the
major domos, or overseers. A good garden, called a botanic garden,
belongs to the hospital; also an amphitheatre, or dissecting room. The
college of San Fernando, built by the Viceroy Abascal, for the study of
medicine and surgery, adjoins this hospital, and here the students
practise. It has also a department for drugs, where all the
prescriptions are attended to by regular professors. The druggists, as
well as the physicians and surgeons, are subject to examination in the
university, and cannot practise without permission from the college of
physicians, to whose annual visits they are liable, for the purpose of
examining their drugs. No physician or surgeon is allowed to have drugs
at his own house, or to make up his own prescriptions: even the barbers,
who are phlebotomists, are examined by the board of surgeons.

The hospital of San Bartolome is for negroes and other people of
colour; if they are free, they are received gratis, but if slaves, their
owners pay half a dollar a day for the time they remain. St. Ana is for
indians, and was founded by an indian lady, called Catalina Huanca. This
casica was very rich, and besides this pious establishment she left
large sums of money for other charitable uses; but her most
extraordinary bequest was a sum for forming and paying the body guard of
the Viceroy, both the halberdiers and the cavalry, consisting of a
hundred men. The hospital del Espiritu Santo is for sailors, and a
portion of the wages is deducted, called hospital money, from the pay of
every sailor who enters the port of Callao. San Pedro is part of the
convent bearing the same name, formerly belonging to the Jesuits, and
now occupied by the congregation of San Felipe Neri. This hospital is
for poor clergymen. San Pedro de Alcantara, and la Caridad, are both for
females, and San Lazaro for lepers. Particular care is taken in the
different hospitals, as well to the administration of medicine and
surgical operations, as to the diet, cleanliness, ventilation, and
comfort of the sick.

Besides these hospitals, there are the convalescencies of Belen and San
Juan de Dios, under the management of the friars of the two orders.
More particular attention is paid here to the sick than in the
hospitals; any individual is received on paying half a dollar a day, or
through the recommendation of one of the benefactors. I was twice in San
Juan de Dios, and received every assistance and indulgence that I had a
right to expect.

The college of Santo Toribio is a tridentine seminary, where young
gentlemen are educated principally for the church; four collegians
attend mass at the cathedral every morning, for the purpose of being
initiated into the ceremonies of their future professions. Their habit
is an almond coloured gown, very wide at the bottom, and buttoned round
the neck; when spread open its form is completely circular, having a
hole with a collar in the centre; this is called the _opa_. A piece of
pale blue cloth, about eight inches broad, is passed over one shoulder,
then folded on the breast, and the end thrown across the opposite
shoulder, the two ends hanging down behind the bottom of the opa. On the
left side of this cloth, called the beca, the royal arms are
embroidered. A square clerical cap or bonnet of black cloth is worn on
the head. This college bears the name of its founder, and is supported
by rents appertaining to it; there is also a subsidy paid annually by
each beneficed curate in the archbishopric, and a certain sum by each

The college of San Carlos is called the royal college; it was founded by
the Jesuits, under the title of San Martin, but after the extinction of
that order it was changed to San Carlos. The principal studies in this
college are a course of arts and law; but theology is also taught. The
dress is a full suit of black, a cocked hat, dress sword of gold or
gilt, and formerly the royal arms suspended at a button-hole on the left
side by a light blue ribbon. The college is capacious, having a chapel,
refectory, garden, baths, different disputing rooms, and a good library,
containing many prohibited French and other authors. San Carlos is
supported by a yearly stipend from the treasury, assisted by what the
collegians pay for their education. Lectures are delivered by
_pasantes_, or the head collegians, to the lower classes; for which they
receive a pecuniary reward, and wear as a distinguishing badge, a light
blue ribbon or scarf, crossing from the left shoulder to the right side,
to which the arms are suspended instead of the button-hole.

In the college del Principe, young noble indian caciques are educated
for the church; their dress is a full suit of green, a crimson shoulder
ribbon and cocked hat. That of San Fernando, for medicine, has for dress
a full suit of blue, yellow buttons, the collar trimmed with gold lace,
and a cocked hat.

All the secular colleges have a rector and vice-rector, who are secular
clergymen; some of the lecturers are also clergymen, but more commonly
collegians pasantes. There is a proviso in the synodal laws for
collegians from Santo Toribio and San Carlos; among those who receive
holy orders benefices are insured to a certain number. In what was the
palace of the Viceroy, is a nautical academy, where several young men
study astronomy, navigation, &c.: it has a good stock of instruments,
maps, and charts. Many of the maps are original, from surveys made at
different times, and which have not been published.

The university stands in the _plasa de la inquisicion_. It is a handsome
building, containing several good halls, beside the public disputing
room, which is fitted up with desks and benches, tribunes, galleries,
&c.; a neat chapel, a small cloister, and an extensive library. The
rector enjoys a good salary, and has many perquisites; one is elected by
the professors every three years, and the one chosen is alternately a
secular priest and a layman. The professors' chairs are sinecures, for
the professors never lecture, and only attend on days of public
disputation, or when degrees are conferred. Degrees of bachelor and
master are granted by the rector, on paying the fees. That of doctor in
any faculty requires a public examination, and plurality of votes of the
examiners and professors in the faculty of the degree solicited.
Previous to the examination the rector holds a table of the points of
controversy; the candidate pricks into one of them, and is obliged to
defend this point on the following day, at the same hour. The discussion
is opened by the candidate with an harangue in Latin, which lasts an
hour, after which the point is discussed in forma scholastica by the
candidate and the examiners; this lasts another hour, when the rector
and professors retire, and vote the degree. On the following day the
candidate presents a thesis to the rector, who reads it, and challenges
the students who are present to dispute it. This act is generally opened
by the candidate with an elegant speech in Latin; after which he
supports his argument against the wranglers who may present themselves.
If the degree be voted him, he goes up to the rector, who places on his
head the bonnet, which bears in deep silk fringe from the centre the
distinguishing colour of the faculty, blue and white for divinity, red
for canons, green for jurisprudence or law, and yellow for medicine. The
young doctor takes his place on his proper bench, and is complimented by
the senior professors of the faculty; when the whole company adjourns to
a splendid collation prepared by the new brother of the bonnet and

This university, now under the title of San Marcos, was founded in 1549
by a bull of Pius V. with the same privileges as those enjoyed by that
of Salamanca in Spain; it was, till 1576, in the hands of the Dominican
friars; but by an edict of Felipe III. it was placed under the royal
patronage, and built where it at present stands. It has produced many
great scientific characters, the portraits of several of whom adorn the
walls of the principal hall. Among the faculty, those whose talents are
most conspicuous are, in theology, Rodrigues, rector of San Carlos; in
law, Vivar, rector of the college of advocates; Unanue, president of the
college of physicians, _protomedico_, and director of San Fernando;
Valdes, president of the board of surgeons: (he is a man of colour, the
first who has taken the degree of doctor in the university); Parades,
professor of mathematics; and many others, who are famous in the pulpit,
the forum or the hospitals.

In the same square are the holy tribunal, whence the plasa derives its
name, and the hospital of la Caridad: it is often called the plasa of
the three cardinal virtues--Faith, the inquisition; Hope, the
university; and Charity, the hospital.

I shall now describe the inquisition as it was, "_bearing its blushing
honours thick upon it_," or rather, what I saw of it when summoned to
appear before that dread tribunal; and also what I saw of it after its
abolition by the Cortes.

Having one day engaged in a dispute with Father Bustamante, a Dominican
friar, respecting the image of the Madonna of the Rosary, he finished
abruptly, by assuring me that I should hear of it again. On the same
evening I went to a billiard-room, where the Count de Montes de Oro was
playing. I observed him look at me, and then speak to some friends on
the opposite side of the table. I immediately recollected the threat of
Father Bustamante--I knew, too, that the count was alguazil mayor of the
inquisition. I passed him and nodded, when he immediately followed me
into the street. I told him that I supposed he had some message for me;
he asked my name, and then said that he had. I said I was aware of it,
and ready to attend at any moment. Considering for a short time, he
observed, "this is a matter of too serious a nature to be spoken of in
the street," and he went with me to my rooms. After some hesitation, his
lordship informed me that I must accompany him on the next morning to
the holy tribunal of the Faith; I answered that I was ready at any
moment; and I would have told him the whole affair, but, clapping his
hands to his ears, he exclaimed "no! for the love of God, not a word; I
am not an inquisitor; it does not become me to know the secrets of the
holy house," adding the old adage, "_del Rey y la inquisicion,
chiton_,--of the King and the inquisition, hush. I can only hope and
pray that you be as rancid a Christian as myself." He most solemnly
advised me to remain in my room, and neither see nor speak to any
one--to betake myself to prayer, and on no account whatever to let any
one know that he had anticipated the summons, because, said he, "that is
certainly contrary to the laws of the holy house." I relieved him from
his fears on this point, and assured him, that I should return with him
to the coffee-house, and that I would remain at home for him on the
following morning at nine o'clock. At the appointed hour, an under
alguazil came to my room, and told me that the alguazil mayor waited for
me at the corner of the next street. On meeting him there, he ordered
me not to speak to him, but to accompany him to the inquisition. I did
so, and saw the messenger and another person following us at a distance.
I appeared unconcerned until I had entered the porch after the count,
and the two followers had passed. The count now spoke to me, and asked
me if I were prepared; I told him I was: he then knocked at the inner
door, which was opened by the porter. Not a word was uttered. We sat
down on a bench for a few minutes, till the domiciliary returned with
the answer, that I must wait. The old count now retired, and looked, as
he thought, a long adieu; but said nothing. In a few minutes a beadle
beckoned me to follow him. I passed the first and second folding doors,
and arrived at the tribunal: it was small, but lofty, a scanty light
forcing its way through the grated windows near the roof. As I entered,
five Franciscan friars left the hall by the same door--their hoods were
hung over their faces--their arms folded--their hands hid in their
sleeves--and their cords round their necks. They appeared by their gait
to be young, and marched solemnly after their conductor, a grave old
friar, who had his hood over his face, but his cord round his waist,
indicating that he was not doing penance. I felt I know not how--I
looked upon them with pity, but could not help smiling, as the idea
rushed across my mind, that such a procession at midnight would have
disturbed a whole town in England, and raised the posse comitatus to lay
them. I turned my eyes to the dire triumvirate, seated on an elevated
part of the hall, under a canopy of green velvet edged with pale blue, a
crucifix of a natural size hanging behind them; a large table was placed
before them, covered and trimmed to match the canopy, and bearing two
green burning tapers, an inkstand, some books, and papers. Jovellanos
described the inquisition by saying it was composed of _un Santo Cristo,
dos candileros, y tres majderos_--one crucifix, two candlesticks, and
three blockheads. I knew the inquisitors--but how changed from what at
other times I had seen them! The puny, swarthy Abarca, in the centre,
scarcely half filling his chair of state--the fat monster Zalduegui on
his left, his corpulent paunch being oppressed by the arms of his chair,
and blowing through his nostrils like an over-fed porpoise--the fiscal,
Sobrino, on his right, knitting his black eyebrows, and striving to
produce in his unmeaning face a semblance of wisdom. A secretary stood
at each end of the table; one of them bad me to approach, which I did,
by ascending three steps, which brought me on a level with the
above-described trinity of harpies. A small wooden stool was placed for
me, and they nodded to me to sit down; I nodded in return, and complied.

The fiscal now asked me, in a solemn tone, if I knew why I had been
summoned to attend at this holy tribunal? I answered that I did, and was
going to proceed, when he hissed for me to be silent. He informed me,
that I must swear to the truth of what I should relate. I told him that
I would _not_ swear; for, as I was a foreigner, he was not sure that I
was a catholic; it was therefore unnecessary for me to take that oath
which, perhaps, would not bind me to speak the truth. At this time a few
mysterious nods passed between the fiscal and the chief inquisitor, and
I was again asked, whether I would speak the truth: I answered, yes. The
matter at last was broached; I was asked if I knew the reverend father
Bustamante? I replied, "I know _friar_ Bustamante, I have often met him
in coffee houses; but I suppose the reverend father you mean is some
grave personage, who would not enter such places." "Had you any
conversation with father Bustamante, touching matters of religion?" "No,
but touching matters of superstition, I had." "Such things are not to
be spoken of in coffee houses," said Zalduegui. "No," I rejoined, "I
told father Bustamante the same thing." "But you ought to have been
silent," replied he. "Yes," said I, "and be barked at by a _friar_."
Zalduegui coloured, and asked me what I meant by laying such a stress on
the word friar. "Any thing," said I, "just as you choose to take it."
After questions and answers of this kind, for more than an hour, Abarca
rang a small bell; the beadle entered, and I was ordered to retire. In a
short time I was again called in, and directed to wait on Sobrino the
following morning at eight o'clock, at his house: I did so, and
breakfasted with him.[6] He advised me in future to avoid all religious
disputes, and particularly with persons I did not know, adding, "I
requested an interview, because on the seat of judgment I could not
speak in this manner. You must know," said he, "that you are here
subject to the tribunal of the Faith, you, as well as all men who live
in the dominions of his Catholic Majesty; you must, therefore, shape
your course accordingly." Saying this he retired, and left me alone to
find my way out of the house, which I immediately did. In the evening I
went to a coffee house, where I saw my friend, friar Bustamante; he
blushed, but with double civility nodded, and pointed to a seat at the
table at which he was sitting. I shrugged my shoulders, and nodded
significantly, perhaps sneeringly; he took the hint, and left the room.
Soon afterwards I met the old Count de Montes de Oro, who looked,
hesitated, and in a short time passed me, caught my hand, which he
squeezed, but spoke not a word.

The act of the Cortes of Spain which abolished the inquisition, and
which, during its discussion, produced many excellent though over-heated
speeches, was published in Lima just after the above occurrence. The
Señora Doña Gregoria Gainsa, lady of Colonel Gainsa, informed me that
she and some friends had obtained permission of the Viceroy Abascal to
visit the ex-tribunal; and she invited me to accompany them on the
following day, after dinner. I attended, and we went to visit the
monster, as they now dared to call it. The doors of the hall being
opened, many entered who were not invited, and seeing nothing in a
posture of defence, the first victims to our fury were the table and
chairs: these were soon demolished; after which some persons laid hold
of the velvet curtains of the canopy, and dragged them so forcibly, that
canopy and crucifix came down with a horrid crash. The crucifix was
rescued from the ruins of inquisitorial state, and its head discovered
to be moveable. A ladder was found to have been secreted behind the
canopy, and thus the whole mystery of this miraculous image became
explainable and explained:--a man was concealed on the ladder, by the
curtains of the canopy, and by introducing his hand through a hole, he
moved the head, so as to make it nod consent, or shake dissent. In how
many instances may appeal to this imposture have caused an innocent man
to own himself guilty of crimes he never dreamt of! Overawed by fear,
and condemned, as was believed, by a miracle, falsehood would supply the
place of truth, and innocence, if timid, confess itself sinful. Every
one was now exasperated with rage, and "there are yet victims in the
cells," was universally murmured. "A search! a search!" was the cry, and
the door leading to the interior was quickly broken through. The next we
found was called _del secreto_; the word secret stimulated curiosity,
and the door was instantly burst open. It led to the archives. Here were
heaped, upon shelves, papers, containing the written cases of those who
had been accused or tried; and here I read the name of many a friend,
who little imagined that his conduct had been scrutinized by the holy
tribunal, or that his name had been recorded in so awful a place. Some
who were present discovered their own names on the rack, and pocketed
the papers. I put aside fifteen cases, and took them home with me; but
they were not of great importance. Four for blasphemy bore a sentence,
which was three months' seclusion in a convent, a general confession,
and different penances--all secret. The others were accusations of
friars, _solicitantes in confesione_, two of whom I knew, and though
some danger attended the disclosure, I told them afterwards what I had
seen. Prohibited books in abundance were in the room, and many found
future owners. To our great surprise we here met with a quantity of
printed cotton handkerchiefs. These alas! had incurred the displeasure
of the inquisition, because a figure of religion, holding a chalice in
one hand and a cross in the other was stamped in the centre: placed
there perhaps by some unwary manufacturer, who thought such devout
insignia would insure purchasers, but who forgot the heinousness of
blowing the nose or spitting upon the cross. To prevent such a crime
this religious tribunal had taken the wares by wholesale, omitting to
pay their value to the owner, who might consider himself fortunate in
not having his shop removed to the sacred house. Leaving this room we
forced our way into another, which to our astonishment and indignation
was that of torture! In the centre stood a strong table, about eight
feet long and seven feet broad; at one end of which was an iron collar,
opening in the middle horizontally, for the reception of the neck of the
victim; on each side of the collar were also thick straps with buckles,
for enclosing the arms near to the body; and on the sides of the table
were leather straps with buckles for the wrists, connected with cords
under the table, made fast to the axle of an horizontal wheel; at the
other end were two more straps for the ancles with ropes similarly fixed
to the wheel. Thus it was obvious, that a human being might be extended
on the table, and, by turning the wheel, might be stretched in both
directions at the same time, without any risk of hanging, for that
effect was prevented by the two straps under his arms, close to the
body; but almost every joint might be dislocated. After we had
discovered the diabolical use of this piece of machinery, every one
shuddered, and involuntarily looked towards the door, as if
apprehensive that it would close upon him. At first curses were
muttered, but they were soon changed into loud imprecations against the
inventors and practisers of such torments; and blessings were showered
on the Cortes for having abolished this tribunal of arch tyranny. We
next examined a vertical pillory, placed against the wall; it had one
large and two smaller holes; on opening it, by lifting up the one half,
we perceived apertures in the wall, and the purpose of the machine was
soon ascertained. An offender having his neck and wrists secured in the
holes of the pillory, and his head and hands hidden in the wall, could
be flogged by the lay brothers of St. Dominick without being known by
them; and thus any accidental discovery was avoided. Scourges of
different materials were hanging on the wall; some of knotted cord, not
a few of which were hardened with blood; others were of wire chain, with
points and rowels, like those of spurs; these too were clotted with
blood. We also found tormentors, made of netted wire, the points of
every mesh projecting about one-eighth of an inch inward, the outside
being covered with leather, and having strings to tie them on. Some of
these tormentors were of a sufficient size for the waist, others for
the thighs, the legs and arms. The walls were likewise adorned with
shirts of horse hair, which could not be considered as a very
comfortable habit after a severe flagellation; with human bones, having
a string at each end, to gag those who made too free a use of their
tongues; and with nippers, made of cane, for the same purpose. These
nippers consisted of two slips of cane, tied at the ends; by opening in
the middle when they were put into the mouth, and fastened behind the
head, in the same manner as the bones, they pressed forcibly upon the
tongue. In a drawer were a great many finger screws; they were small
semicircular pieces of iron, in the form of crescents, having a screw at
one end, so that they could be fixed on the fingers, and screwed to any
degree, even till the nails were crushed and the bones broken. On
viewing these implements of torture, who could find an excuse for the
monsters who would use them to establish the faith which was taught, by
precept and example, by the mild, the meek, the holy Jesus! May he who
would not curse them in the bitterness of wrath fall into their
merciless hands! The rack and the pillory were soon demolished; for such
was the fury of more than a hundred persons who had gained admittance,
that had they been constructed of iron they could not have resisted the
violence and determination of their assailants. In one corner stood a
wooden horse, painted white: it was conceived to be another instrument
of torture, and instantly broken to pieces; but I was afterwards
informed, that a victim of the inquisition, who had been burnt at the
stake, was subsequently declared innocent of the charges preferred
against him, and as an atonement for his death, his innocence was
publicly announced, and his effigy, dressed in white, and mounted on
this horse, was paraded about the streets of Lima. Some said that the
individual suffered in Lima, others, that he suffered in Spain, and that
by a decree of the inquisitor-general this farce was performed in every
part of the Spanish dominions where a tribunal existed. We proceeded to
the cells, but found them all open and empty: they were small, but not
uncomfortable as places of confinement. Some had a small yard attached;
others, more solitary, had none. The last person known to have been
confined was a naval officer, an Andalusian, who was exiled in 1812 to
Boca Chica.

Having examined every corner of this mysterious prison-house, we retired
in the evening, taking with us books, papers, scourges, tormentors,
&c., many of which were distributed at the door, particularly several
pieces of the irreligious handkerchiefs. The following morning the
archbishop went to the cathedral, and declared all those persons
excommunicated, _vel participantes_, who had taken and should retain in
their possession any thing that had belonged to, or had been found in
the ex-tribunal of the inquisition. In consequence of this declaration,
many delivered up what they had taken; but with me the case was
different--I kept what I had got, in defiance of _flamines infernorum_
denounced by his grace against the _renitentes_ and _retinentes_.

It is said, that when Castel-forte was Viceroy in Lima, he was summoned
by the inquisition, and attended accordingly. Taking with him to the
door his body-guard, a company of infantry, and two pieces of artillery,
he entered, and laying his watch on the table, told the inquisitors,
that if their business were not despatched in one hour, the house would
be battered down about their ears, for such were the orders he had left
with the commanding officer at the gate. This was quite sufficient; the
inquisitors rose, and accompanied him to the door, too happy when they
beheld the backs of his excellency and his escort.

During my residence in Lima, I saw two men publicly disgraced by the
inquisition; the one for having celebrated mass without having been
ordained, and the other for soothsaying and witchcraft. They were placed
in the chapel of the tribunal at an early hour in the morning, each
dressed in a _sambenito_, a short loose tunic, covered with ridiculous
paintings of snakes, bats, toads, flames, &c. The pseudo priest had a
mitre of feathers placed on his head, the other a crown of the same.
They stood in the centre of the chapel, each holding a green taper in
his hand. At nine o'clock one of the secretaries ascended the pulpit,
and read the cause for which they were punished. The poor mass-sayer
appeared very penitent, but the old fortune-teller, when some of his
tricks were related, burst into a loud laugh, in which he was joined by
most of the people present. Two mules were brought to the door, and the
two culprits were tied on their backs, having their faces towards the
tails. The procession then began to move: first several alguazils, with
the Count de Montes de Oro at their head; next the mules, led by the
common hangman; while the inquisitors, in their state coaches, brought
up the rear. Two friars of the order of St. Dominick carried on each
side the coaches large branches of palm. In this order they marched to
St. Dominick's church, and were received at the door by the provincial
prelate and community: the culprits were placed in the centre of the
church, and the same papers read from the pulpit, after which the men
were sentenced to serve in the hospitals during the will of the

To those who visit Lima, it may perhaps be interesting to know, that the
stake at which the unfortunate victims of inquisitorial tyranny were
burnt was near the ground on which the _plasa de toros_, bull circus,
now stands; and that at the foot of the bridge, at the door of the
church, _de los desamparados_, of the abandoned, they were delivered to
the ordinary ministers of justice for execution.

It is well known, that many exaggerated accounts have been given of the
inquisition, tending more to create doubts, than to establish the truth
of the inhuman proceedings of that tribunal. I have stated this fact
elsewhere, not with the view of palliating the proceedings, but to put
readers on their guard, neither to believe nor disbelieve all that is
written. That enough may be said to make humanity shudder, and still
more remain untold, is proved by what I saw in the Pandemonium of Lima.
But the inquisitors knew too well, that those who had undergone the
pains and torments which they inflicted would be apt to divulge them, so
that it was their interest either to be sparing of torture, or to
prevent a discovery by sacrificing the victim.

When the beloved Ferdinand abolished the Cortes and the constitution in
1812 he restored the inquisition, and often in Madrid personally
presided at its sessions. This was not however sufficient to encourage
its ministers to proceed with that rigour they had been wont to
exercise; they had been once dethroned, and were not certain of their
own stability. In Lima the monsters were tame, nay harmless; but this
proceeded from fear. No doubt Ferdinand, like his predecessor, Pedro,
and the inquisitors, like their founder, St. Dominick, wished for the
arrival of a time when they could repeat, "nothing rejoices my soul so
much as to hear the bones of heretics crackling at the stake." To the
credit of the new governments in South America, the inquisition has been
every where abolished, and all spiritual jurisdiction re-invested in the

The _casa de los huerfanos_, foundling hospital, is an establishment
that does honour to its founder, who was an apothecary. All white
children are received by tapping at a small revolving window, and
placing the child on it when it turns. They are brought up and educated,
the males to the age of fourteen, when they are apprenticed to some
trade, and according to the rules of the college of medicine, two are
received there every two years. The females have a dowry of one thousand
dollars each on their marriage, and if they become nuns, there is
another charitable institution, founded by the same individual, to which
they apply, and the annual dowries, being five of one thousand dollars
each, are decided by chance, the names of the solicitors being put into
a vase, and drawn in a manner similar to a lottery. Charles IV. declared
all foundlings to be noble, for the purpose of their being eligible to
any situation. Before the establishment of the foundling hospital, many
children were laid at the doors of the wealthy inhabitants, and they
were always taken care of. In small towns this practice still occurs,
but they are more frequently exposed near the huts of the indians, or
slaves; and as the exposed are generally, or I may say always white,
they are received, and their foster-parents often treat them with
greater kindness than their own children, shewing a kind of predilection
for the foundlings. Civilized whites may vaunt of their pious
establishments, but let them turn their eyes to the rude hut of an
indian, robbed of his country and of his native privileges; or to that
of a negro, deprived of the blessings of liberty by the overwhelming
power of white men, and behold a female mingling her tears with those of
a white child, because she is unable to provide for it what by whites
she herself has lost--food, clothing and education! But human nature,
not civilized humanity, is the temple of piety.

The weekly lottery in Lima is an excellent establishment; the tickets
cost one real one-eighth of a dollar each; the prizes are, one of a
thousand dollars, two of five hundred, and the remainder is divided into
smaller sums. There are but few individuals, however poor they may be,
who cannot purchase one or two tickets weekly, and many slaves have
procured their manumission by means of this lottery. I was passing the
fountain belonging to the convent of San Juan de Dios, when two negroes
were disagreeing about the water; an old friar persuaded them to be
quiet and friendly; a seller of lottery tickets happened to pass at the
time, and the two negroes joined in buying a ticket, which an hour
afterwards was drawn a prize of a thousand dollars. In the afternoon the
negroes were free, having purchased their liberty; for which piece of
good fortune the old friar put in his claim, as being the principal

According to the Spanish laws, a master is obliged to sign the deed of
manumission, if the slave can emancipate himself at a fair valuation;
and if the master refuse, the slave may deposit the sum in the public
treasury, and the receipt is a sufficient voucher for his liberty.

The Mint was established in Lima in 1565; in 1570 it was removed to
Potosi, but re-established in Lima in 1603. It is a large building,
containing all the necessary offices. The machinery was formerly worked
by mules, eighty being daily employed, till the year 1817, when Don
Pedro Abadia being the contractor for the coinage, Mr. Trevethick
directed the erection of a water wheel, which caused a great saving of
expense. The assaying, melting, rolling, cutting, weighing, stamping and
milling, are all carried on in different apartments by black men,
principally slaves; but the different offices of superintendance are
filled by white men. The whole is under the direction of an intendant,
and subaltern officers. The coinage is contracted for, and sold to the
highest bidder, who is allowed a per centage on all the gold and silver
that is coined, which in the year 1805 was as follows:--

     Gold       501,287     value in dollars.
     Silver   8,047,623       do.     do.

Lima owes to the Viceroy Abascal, Marquis de la Concordia, the erection
of a place for the interment of all those who die in the city and
suburbs; it is called the pantheon. Situated on the outside of the
walls, it is sufficiently large to contain all the dead bodies for six
years, without removal; when this becomes necessary, the bones are taken
out of the niches, and placed in the osariums. Many of the rich families
have purchased allotments for family vaults, having their names
inscribed above. The building is a square enclosure, divided into
several sections; in the wall are niches, each sufficient to hold a
corpse, and the divisions are also formed by double rows of niches built
one above another, some of them eight stories high, the fronts being
open. The walks are planted with many aromatics and evergreens. In the
centre is a small chapel, or rather altar, with a roof: its form is
octagonal, so that eight priests can celebrate mass at the same time.
The corpse is put into the niche with the feet foremost, if in a coffin,
which seldom happens, except among the richer classes, the lid is
removed, and a quantity of unslaked lime being thrown on each body, its
decay is very rapid. For the conveyance of the dead several hearses of
different descriptions are provided, belonging to the pantheon, and
they are not permitted to traverse the streets after twelve o'clock in
the day.

Before the establishment of this cemetery, all the dead were buried in
the churches, or rather, placed in vaults, many of which had wooden
trap-doors, opening in the floors; and notwithstanding the plentiful use
of lime, the stench and other disgusting effects were sometimes almost
insufferable. When the first nun was to be carried to the pantheon,
great opposition was made by the sisterhood; but the Viceroy sent a file
of soldiers, and enforced the interment of the corpse in the general


[6] The lenity shown in this case, by the inquisition, might probably be
owing to the expectation that the tribunal would shortly be abolished by
the Cortes.


     The Population of Lima....Remarks....Table of Castes....The
     Qualifications of Creoles....Population and Division....Spaniards
     ....Creoles, White....Costume....Indians....African Negroes....
     Their Cofradias, and royal Personages....Queen Rosa....Creole
     and Quinterones_....Theatre....Bull Circus....Royal Cockpit....
     Alamedas....Bathing Places....Piazzas _Amancaes_....Elevation and
     Oration Bells....Processions of Corpus Christi, Santa Rosa, San
     Francisco, and Santo Domingo....Publication of Bulls....Ceremonies
     on the Arrival of a Viceroy.

There are few cities in the world whose population exhibits a greater
variety of shade or tint of countenance than Lima, or, perhaps, a
greater contrast of intellectual faculty, if the rules established by
physiognomists may be relied on. But these arbiters of physiognomy have
been white men, and there appears to be a considerable portion of
egotism attached to their opinions. They have not only erected their own
tribunal, and instituted their own code of laws, but they have presided,
judged, and sentenced in favour of themselves. By giving to the facial
line or indicator of talent and genius a particular direction, the
European white has been able to place himself at the head, and to
degrade the black, or negro of Africa, by placing him at the bottom of
the list. Probably the success of the Europeans in their wars and
conquests, and in their advancement in the arts and sciences, may give
considerable support to this classification. By drawing an horizontal
line that shall touch the base of the cranium, and intersecting it by
another drawn from the forehead and touching the extremity of the upper
lip, the statuaries have found the supposed angle of human perfection.
The Greeks fixed this angle at 100°; the Romans at 95°; and according to
this rule, the European face varies between 80° and 90°; the Asiatic
between 75° and 80°; the American, having the forehead more flattened,
between 70° and 75°; and, lastly, the Negro between 60° and 70°. By this
mode of judging, we find the European at the head, and the rude
semi-brutal negro at the bottom. But how disconcerted the lovers of this
criterion must feel, if any credit can be given to what has been
asserted of the Egyptians, the founders and promoters of the arts and
sciences. Colonies from Egypt and the east, led by Pelasgus, Cecrops,
Cadmus, &c., were the tutors of the Greeks, whom they found on their
arrival more ignorant than Columbus, Cortes and Pizarro found the
Americans, at the discovery and conquest of their country. Yet
Herodotus, l. 11, p. 150, says, that the Egyptians were black, with
woolly, curled black hair; and Blumenbach asserts, that having dissected
several Egyptian mummies, he observed that they belonged to the negro
race, from their elevated pomulos, thick lips, and large flat noses. The
Copts also, who are descendants of the Egyptians, have the aspect of
mulattos, and appear to belong to the negro race.

I have repeatedly observed, that a negro born in Peru of African parents
shews a greater development of the human faculties than is exhibited by
either of his parents; nay, even his corporeal agility appears to have
increased, and certainly his share of civilized vices is augmented; yet
I cannot suppose that these proceed from any other source than an
imitation of examples placed before him, without any change in the
facial angle!

For an examination of the influence of the configuration of the human
face, or of its colour, on the intellectual faculties, no place is more
_à propos_ than Lima; and perhaps a few remarks upon this subject will
be acceptable to those who feel themselves interested in such

The annexed table shews the mixture of the different castes, under their
common or distinguishing names.

European |  European |  Creole     |  White.
Creole   |  Creole   |  Creole     |  White.
White    |  Indian   |  Mestiso    |  6/8 White, 2/8 Indian--Fair.
Indian   |  White    |  Mestiso    |  4/8 White, 4/8 Indian.
White    |  Mestiso  |  Creole     |  White--often very Fair.
Mestiso  |  White    |  Creole     |  White--but rather Sallow.
Mestiso  |  Mestiso  |  Creole     |  Sallow--often light Hair.
White    |  Negro    |  Mulatto    |  7/8 White, 1/8 Negro--often Fair.
Negro    |  White    |  Zambo      |  4/8 White, 4/8 Negro--dark copper.
White    |  Mulatto  |  Quarteron  |  6/8 White, 2/8 Negro--Fair.
Mulatto  |  White    |  Mulatto    |  5/8 White, 3/8 Negro--Tawny.
White    |  Quarteron|  Quinteron  |  7/8 White, 1/8 Negro--very Fair.
Quarteron|  White    |  Quarteron  |  6/8 White, 2/8 Negro--Tawny.
White    |  Quinteron|  Creole     |  White--light Eyes, fair Hair.
Negro    |  Indian   |  Chino      |  4/8 Negro, 4/8 Indian.
Indian   |  Negro    |  Chino      |  2/8 Negro, 6/8 Indian.
Negro    |  Mulatto  |  Zambo      |  5/8 Negro, 3/8 White.
Mulatto  |  Negro    |  Zambo      |  4/8 Negro, 4/8 White.
Negro    |  Zambo    |  Zambo      |  15/16 Negro, 1/16 White--Dark.
Zambo    |  Negro    |  Zambo      |  7/8 Negro, 1/8 White.
Negro    |  Chino    |  Zambo-chino|  15/16 Negro, 1/16 Indian.
Chino    |  Negro    |  Zambo-chino|  7/8 Negro, 1/8 Indian.
Negro    |  Negro    |  Negro      |

This table, which I have endeavoured to make as correct as possible,
from personal observation, must be considered as general, and not
including particular cases. I have classed the colours according to
their appearance, not according to the mixture of the castes, because I
have always remarked, that a child receives more of the colour of the
father than of the mother.

It may be correct to state, that the creoles from either European or
creole parents, are endowed with more open generosity than the
Spaniards, and that they are of a more active and penetrating genius,
but not so constant in their pursuits. Much has been said against the
creoles, or natives of the colonies by those of the parent states; their
descriptions, however, are rather accordant with their wishes than the
real character of the people whom they undertake to pourtray. Writers
ought not to sully their pages either by affirming untruths or uttering
biassed opinions. De Pauw says, "that all the American races are of a
degenerated and inferior order;" this is undoubtedly false, for I have
known several individuals who have borne down the restrictions of
colonial law, and become eminent both in the arts and sciences: Mexia
eclipsed many of the most famous Spanish orators in the late Cortes; and
Morales was elected president of the Regency. It is well known also,
that the contest in the colonies, where the natives have fought for and
gained their independence, brought to light the talent and genius of
many both in the cabinet and in the field, whose names would have
remained unknown, had not their abilities been thus called into action.
The coarse and foul caricature of De Pauw, may be contrasted with the
over-coloured picture of M. de Bercey, and a medium I think would form
a correct outline. "Those whom we are accustomed to call barbarians and
savages are infinitely less entitled to these epithets than ourselves,
notwithstanding the refinement and civilization we boast. Equally, if
not more exempted from prejudice, the Americans neither create
factitious wants, nor seek imaginary sources of happiness." I have
observed the young men in the colleges of Lima, as well as in other
cities of South America, and I must affirm, that their minds are stored
with both just and clear ideas; and surely these are the principal
indications of good taste, and the characteristics of true genius. But
several causes have contributed to damp the career of literature; among
others we may reckon a scanty supply of books, a total want of
philosophical instruments, the restrictions of the inquisition, and the
prohibitory laws. Learning has indeed hitherto been discountenanced, for
when some of the collegians of San Carlos harangued the Viceroy Gil de
Lemos, he inquired of the rector, what sciences were taught in the
college, and being briefly informed, he returned "tu, tu, tu, let them
learn to read, write, and say their prayers, for this is as much as any
American ought to know!" The college _del Principe_ has produced many
indians who have shone both in the pulpit and at the bar; and among the
negroes and the mixed castes, several individuals of merit, both in
medicine and surgery, have been distinguished. Many also exist who, if
they have not been conspicuous in any department of the sciences,
undoubtedly owe their failure to the Spanish colonial laws, which have
shut all preferments against them. Yet who can read the harangues of
Colocolo to the Araucanian senate, without declaring them to be as
worthy of the poetical pen of Ercilla, as those of Nestor were of the
pen of Homer?

Robertson states the population of Lima in 1764 at 54,000; but in 1810
it was estimated at 87,000, at which time the deputies of the Cortes
were elected. Of this number about 20,000 are whites, the remainder
negroes, indians, and mixed breeds, or castes. I shall briefly
particularize the most striking features in the population, according to
my own observations.

Among the inhabitants of this city, there are sixty-three noblemen, who
enjoy titles either of count or marquis, the greater part of whom are
natives of America, and about forty noblemen, or _mayorasgos_, without
titles; a number of knights of the different Spanish orders of
Catalrava, Alcantara, Santiago, Malta, and Charles III. Many of the
nobility are descendants of the conquerors. The most ancient families
are those of Villafuerte (marquis), Lurigancho (count), and Montemira
(marquis). One of the families in Lima traces its descent with
undeniable certainty from the Incas. Ampuero the founder married at the
time of the conquest a _coya_, or princess, sister to Atabalipa, and the
Kings of Spain granted at different times many distinguishing
prerogatives and honours to this family, from which the marquis of
Montemira is now the lineal descendant. The manners of the nobility are
courteous in the extreme, and their complaisance and affability to
strangers know no limits; their general conduct also seems to be as free
from haughtiness as from flattery, and their politeness, candour and
magnificence must charm every stranger who visits them. These qualities
were particularly shewn to the officers of several of H. B. M. ships of
war who were at Lima during the time I resided there.

Lima is the birth-place of the only person in the Spanish colonies who
has been canonized by the Roman church: Santa Rosa de Santa Maria; she
is the patroness of Peru, and her festival is celebrated with great
solemnity. It is said by some that she foretold the independence of her
country, asserting, that after the domination of the Kings of Spain had
lasted as long as that of the Incas, the sceptre would drop from their
hands. This prophecy was printed in the first edition of her life in
1662, but was expunged from all the succeeding ones.

Saint Thoribius de Mogroviejo, archbishop, and St. Francis Solano, of
the order of Franciscans, flourished here, but both were natives of

This city has also produced many other persons of virtuous and literary
fame: the most conspicuous among whom are--

     The venerable father Francisco del Castillo
     The venerable Fray Martin de Porras }
     The venerable Fray Juan Masias      } Dominicans
     The venerable Fray Vicente Vernedo  }
     The venerable Fray Pedro Urraca     }
     The venerable Fray Gonsalo Dias     } Mercedarias
     The venerable Fray Juan de Zalasar  }
     The venerable Fray Juan de Vargas   } Martyred in Paraguay
     The venerable Fray Juan de Albarran }
     Don Pedro de la Reyna Maldonado, a celebrated author
     Don Martin del Barco Zentenera, historian
     Don Pedro Peralta Bernueva, mathematician
     Don Jose, marquis of Vallumbrosa, a very learned man
     Don Diego Baños y Sotomayor, chaplain of honour to the King
     Don Alonzo, count of San Donas, ambassador of Spain to the French
     court, in the reign of Felipe IV.
     Don Fernando, marquis of Surco, lieutenant-general, chamberlain and
     tutor to Don Felipe, duke of Parma
     Don Miguel Nuñes de Roxas, of the council of orders, private judge
     of confiscations, in the war of succession
     Don Jose Baquijano, of the council of Indies, in the reign of
     Charles IV. and Fernando VII.
     Don Tomas de Salasar, author of "Interpretaciones de las Leyes de
     Don Lope de Armendaris, marquis of Cadreita, Viceroy of Nueva

Besides these and several other eminent persons, Lima has given birth to
six archbishops, three of whom were conventual priests; and to fifty-two
bishops, twenty-five of whom were regulars of the different conventual

The Spaniard who arrived at Lima brought with him either some commission
from the government of Spain, or an intention of residing in the country
for the purpose of gain. Of the first class, however low the appointment
might be, the individual conducted himself towards the natives with a
haughty superiority, which to an impartial spectator was truly
disgusting; he assumed the Don if he excused the Señor, and was never
addressed without one or both of these appendages to his name; indeed
_el Señor Don_ was more common in the streets of Lima, than at the court
of Madrid. The second class often consisted of sailors, who ran away
from their ships at Callao, and got places as servants in a _pulperia_
(a shop where spirits, wines, spices, sugar, and all common place
articles are sold), a bakehouse, or a farm. If industrious, they soon
obtained as much as was necessary to establish themselves, and many
amassed considerable fortunes, married advantageously, and remained in
the country; knowing full well, that in their own they would neither be
admitted into such society as they enjoyed here, nor be treated with
that deference to which they had become habituated. All this would be
excusable enough, if the beauty, riches, and comforts of Spain--its
learned societies, noble families, and enlightened population, were not
the universal topic of their conversation and their universal song of
praise. I have seen many of this class who, having been taught to read
and write in America, and acquired riches, have purchased an order of
knighthood! for although it was pretended, that nobility of descent must
be proved before any of the military orders could be obtained, yet a
_Spaniard_ has purchased dispensation, and thus laid the foundation of a
_noble_ family.

All Spaniards in America fancied themselves to belong to a race of
beings far superior to those among whom they resided. I have frequently
heard them say, that they should love their children with greater ardour
if they had been born in Europe; and during the struggle in different
parts of the colonies between the royalists and the patriots, I have
known more than one Spaniard assert, that if he thought his children
would be insurgents he would murder them in their beds. A Spaniard would
solicit countrymen of his own to marry his daughters, preferring these
without any trade or fortune, to a creole possessed of both; indeed they
had one powerful inducement to make this election; the Spaniard would be
more likely to procure riches; and, generally speaking, they considered
nothing else worthy their attention, thus in cases of matrimony, the
inclinations of the daughters were not often consulted. The Spaniards
appeared to form a separate society, not only in their own houses and in
the public walks, but even in the coffee houses, where the creoles were
seldom seen at the same table. This visible antipathy was carried to
such an extent, after the beginning of the dissensions, that several
Spaniards, although some of them had children born in Lima of creole
mothers, formed an agreement, and bound themselves by an oath and fine,
not to take any native of the country into their employ. This
determination became public in the city, and, after the patriot troops
entered, was the cause of the most severe insults to its authors. It is
well known, however, that in a reverse of fortune, no man is more
docile or more servile than a Spaniard, who will, according to his own
adage, _besar la mano que quisiera ver cortada_--kiss the hand he would
wish to see cut off.

A creole of Lima in many respects partakes of the character of an
Andalusian; he is lively, generous, and careless of to-morrow; fond of
dress and variety, slow to revenge injuries, and willing to forget them.
Of all his vices, dissipation is certainly the greatest: his
conversation is quick and pointed--that of the fair sex is extremely gay
and witty, giving them an open frankness, which some foreigners have
been pleased to term levity, or something a little more dishonourable,
attaching the epithet immoral to their general character--an imputation
they may deserve, if prudery and hypocrisy be the necessary companions
of virtue; but they certainly deserve it not, if benevolence,
confidence, unsuspecting conviviality, and honest intention, be the true
characteristics of morality. The creoles are generally kind and good
parents, very affectionate and indulgent to their families; and this
conduct, with few exceptions, insures the love, respect, and gratitude
of their children. I have often heard a creole ask his son, "Who am I?"
and receive the endearing answer, "my _Father_ and my _Friend_." It
frequently happens, through vanity or weakness, that a creole mother
teaches her daughters to call her sister, which may be construed into
the desire of not wishing to be considered old; but if this really be a
crime, in what part of the world are females innocent? I have no
hesitation in asserting, that any impartial person who shall reside long
enough among South Americans to become acquainted with their domestic
manners, will declare, that conjugal and paternal affection, filial
piety, beneficence, generosity, good nature and hospitality, are the
inmates of almost every house. I have no doubt, too, that these virtues
will continue here, until civilization and refinement shall drive them
from their abode in the new world, to make room for etiquette,
formality, becoming pride, prudery and hypocrisy from the old. Then, the
children of the first families in Lima (whom I have often seen rise from
the table, and carry a plateful of food to a poor protegée beggar,
seated in the patio or under the corridor, wait and chat with the little
miserable till it had finished, and return to the table) will look on
such objects with disdain, because mamma has subscribed a competent sum
to a charitable institution, and made that sum known to the world
through the medium of the newspapers!--I cannot avoid fearing that this
modern improvement will supersede their own pure, but almost antiquated

This picture may appear to some highly coloured; but I speak from
experience, and could relate innumerable instances of the practice of
all the social virtues which I have mentioned: sufficient, I am sure, to
convince the most hardened sceptic. I arrived at Lima a prisoner,
pennyless, and, as I thought, friendless; but in this I was deceived; I
owe to persons whom I had never seen, and of whose existence I was then
ignorant, such friendship, kindness, and pecuniary relief while in
prison, and generous and kind protection afterwards, as I hope will
never be eradicated from my bosom; and yet I trust, that I neither do,
nor ever can, attribute to the creoles virtues which they do not
possess: it is my duty, as an author, to speak the truth, however my
gratitude and affection might incline me to conceal their failings.

Gambling is carried on to a great extent in Lima, but much more in the
higher circles than in the lower. No public gaming houses are permitted
by the government, and the police officers are on the alert wherever a
house is suspected; but private parties are very common, particularly
at the country houses of the nobility, and at the bathing places of
Miraflores, Chorrillos and Lurin. The tables, although in the houses of
noblemen, are free to all--the master and the slave, the marquis, the
count, the mechanic, and the pedlar, mix indiscriminately. This vice is
generally confined to the men; but some females now and then join in
these fashionable amusements.

Having observed, that the female creoles are kind mothers, it is
scarcely necessary to say, that adultery is rare. One would think that
the exclamation of the elder Cato to some young Romans was here
observed: "courage, my friends, go and see the girls, but do not corrupt
the married women." Concubinage is common, or perhaps only more public
than in Europe, where civilization appears to have established the law,
that to sin in secret is not to sin at all. It is true, that scandal
often aggravates the crime, which is certainly mollified by the sincere
regard which the father generally entertains for his natural children;
making their happiness a principal object of his attention, and
frequently at last legitimating them either by marriage or by will.

The creoles are careful of the education of their children, and will
strain every nerve to support them at college until they have finished
their studies, and are thus able to enter the church, to follow the
profession of the law, or to practise in medicine. The education of the
daughters generally devolves on the mother: proper schools for their
instruction are very rare; so that, excepting a little drawing, dancing,
and music, for which purposes good masters are scarce, the needle claims
the greater portion of their time; and from the highest to the lowest
ranks they are continually employed in embroidery or other kinds of
needlework, at which they are very dexterous. The necessary
accomplishments of reading and writing are, however, never dispensed
with among the higher and middle orders.

The white inhabitants of Lima have sallow complexions, having very
little colour on their cheeks; but, to the credit of the ladies, they
are not in the habit of using an artificial substitute; their hair and
eyes are black, the latter full and penetrating, which, with good teeth,
form very interesting countenances. The profusion of beautiful black
ringlets over their foreheads appears as if formed to prevent a stranger
from being over-dazzled by those sparkling eyes they are intended, but
in vain, to hide. Their figures are extremely genteel, though rather
small and slender. Their feet are remarkably diminutive, and the ease
and elegance of their gait is not to be surpassed.

When I arrived in Lima, in 1804, the long Spanish cloak was worn by all
classes of men; but in 1810 it was so little used as a dress, that it
was rarely seen. When used, it was put on merely to supply the place of
a great coat, or confined to a few of the old Spaniards, who are as
great enemies to innovation as the Chinese. The English costume is now
quite prevalent, and as many dandies crowd the streets of Lima as those
of London. The walking dress of the females of all descriptions is the
_saya y manto_, which is a petticoat of velvet, satin, or stuff,
generally black or of a cinnamon colour, plaited in very small folds,
and rather elastic; it sits close to the body, and shews its shape to
the utmost possible advantage. At the bottom it is too narrow to allow
the wearer to step forward freely, but the short step rather adds to
than deprives her of a graceful air. This part of the dress is often
tastefully ornamented round the bottom with lace, fringe, spangles,
pearls, artificial flowers, or whatever may be considered fashionable.
Among ladies of the higher order the saya is of different
colours--purple, pale blue, lead colour, or striped. The manto is a hood
of thin black silk, drawn round the waist, and then carried over the
head: by closing it before, they can hide the whole of the face, one eye
alone being visible; sometimes they show half the face, but this depends
on the choice of the wearer. A fine shawl or handkerchief hanging down
before, a rosary in the hand, silk stockings and satin shoes, complete
the costume.

The hood is undoubtedly derived from the Moors, and to a stranger it has
a very curious appearance; however, I confess that I became so
reconciled to the sight, that I thought and still think it both handsome
and genteel. This dress is peculiar to Lima; indeed I never saw it worn
any where else in South America. It is certainly very convenient, for at
a moment's notice a lady can, without the necessity of changing her
under dress, put on her _saya y manto_, and go out; and no female will
walk in the street in any other in the day time. For the evening
promenade an English dress is often adopted, but in general a large
shawl is thrown over the head, and a hat is worn over all; between the
folds of the shawl it is not uncommon to perceive a lighted cegar; for
although several of the fair sex are addicted to smoking, none of them
choose to practise it openly.

When the ladies appear on public occasions, at the theatre, bull
circus, and _pascos_, promenades, they are dressed in the English or
French costume, but they are always very anxious to exhibit a profusion
of jewellery, to which they are particularly partial. A lady in Lima
would much rather possess an extensive collection of precious gems than
a gay equipage. They are immoderately fond of perfumes, and spare no
expense in procuring them: it is a well known fact, that many poor
females attend at the archbishop's gate, and after receiving a pittance,
immediately purchase with the money _agua rica_, or some other scented
water. Even the ladies, not content with the natural fragrance of
flowers, add to it, and spoil it by sprinkling them with lavender water,
spirit of musk, or ambergris, and often by fumigating them with gum
benzoin, musk and amber, particularly the _mistura_, which is a compound
of jessamine, wall flowers, orange flowers and others, picked from the
stalks. Small apples and green limes are also filled with slices of
cinnamon and cloves. The mixture is generally to be found on a salver at
a lady's toilette; they will distribute it among their friends by asking
for a pocket handkerchief, tying up a small quantity in the corner, and
sprinkling it with some perfume, expecting the compliment, "that it is
most delicately seasoned."

The indians who reside in Lima have become such exact imitators of the
creoles, in dress and manners, that were it not for their
copper-coloured faces it would be difficult to distinguish them. I shall
at present, however, defer any particular description of this part of
the inhabitants of South America. The principal occupation of the
indians who reside in Lima is the making of fringes, gold and silver
lace, epaulettes, and embroidery; some are tailors, others attend the
business of the market, but very few are servants or mechanics.

The African negroes, owing to the kind treatment they receive, appear to
be completely happy. On their arrival they used to be exposed for sale
in some large house, and the first attention of their purchasers was to
have them taught the necessary prayers and rudiments of the Christian
religion, a task which generally fell to the lot of the younger branches
of the family. I have often seen the children of noblemen, as well as
those of the wealthy inhabitants, instructing their African slaves in
the Christian duties; for it is here considered quite disgraceful to
have a negro in the house for any length of time without being baptized;
and this ceremony cannot be performed until they are first prepared for
it by being taught their prayers and the catechism. They are then taken
to the parish church, and examined by the priest, and if he find that
they are sufficiently instructed, he christens them, some of the oldest
and most steady of the slaves belonging to the family standing as
sponsors, on whom the duty of teaching them afterwards devolves. It very
seldom happens that, after a year's residence in a Christian family, an
African is not fully prepared to receive the communion.

In the suburbs of San Lazaro are _cofradias_ or clubs belonging to the
different castes or nations of the Africans, where they hold their
meetings in a very orderly manner, generally on a Sunday afternoon; and
if any one of the royal family belonging to the respective nations is to
be found in the city, he or she is called the King or Queen of the
cofradia, and treated with every mark of respect. I was well acquainted
with a family in Lima, in which there was an old female slave, who had
lived with them for upwards of fifty years, and who was the acknowledged
Queen of the Mandingos, she being, according to their statement, a
princess. On particular days she was conducted from the house of her
master, by a number of black people, to the cofradia, dressed as gaudily
as possible; for this purpose her young mistresses would lend her
jewels to a considerable amount, besides which the poor old woman was
bedizened with a profusion of artificial flowers, feathers, and other
ornaments. Her master had presented her with a silver sceptre, and this
necessary appendage of royalty was on such occasions always carried by
her. It has often gratified my best feelings, when _Mama Rosa_ was
seated in the porch of her master's house, to see her subjects come and
kneel before her, ask her blessing, and kiss her hand. I have followed
them to the cofradia, and seen her majesty seated on her throne, and go
through the ceremony of royalty without a _blush_. On her arrival, and
at her departure, the poor creatures would sing to their music, which
consisted of a large drum, formed of a piece of hollow wood, one end
being covered with the skin of a kid, put on while fresh, and braced by
placing it near some lighted charcoal; and a string of catgut, fastened
to a bow, which was struck with a small cane; to these they added a
rattle, made of the jaw-bone of an ass or a mule, having the teeth
loose, so that by striking it with one hand they would rattle in their
sockets. For a full chorus, they sometimes hold a short bone in their
hand, and draw it briskly backward and forward over the teeth: it does
not produce much harmony, it is true; but if David found harmony in his
harp, Pan in his pipes, and Apollo in his lyre; if a shepherd find music
in his reed, and a mandarin in the gong, why should not the Queen of
Mandingo find it in the jaw-bone of an ass or a mule!

The walls of the cofradias are ornamented with likenesses in fresco of
the different royal personages who have belonged to them. The purpose of
the institution is to help those to good masters, who have been so
unfortunate as to meet with bad ones; but as a master can object to
selling his slave, unless he prove by law that he has been cruelly
treated, which is very difficult, or next to impossible, the cofradias
raise a fund by contributions, and free the slave, to which the master
cannot object; but this slave now becomes tacitly the slave of the
cofradia, and must return by instalments the money paid for his

I shall not attempt to defend all the actions of the Africans in a state
of slavery; but I must say, that when they are treated with
compassionate kindness, they are generally faithful and honest;
frequently become personally attached to their master, and though they
may be sometimes loath to exert themselves in laborious tasks to serve
him, yet in an emergency of danger they would often die for him. On the
contrary, when harshly and unjustly treated they become stubborn in the
greatest degree, and the master is only secure from personal violence
through the irresolute temper of the slave and his fear of punishment.
But place a white man in the same situation, and what, let me ask, would
be the line of conduct he would pursue?

The negro creole is generally more athletic and robust than his African
parents; he has no more virtues than they have, but he has commonly more
vices; he seems to be more awake to revenge, and less timid of the
consequences; he considers himself as better than the _bozales_, the
name given to African slaves, and will rarely intermarry with them.

The mestiso is generally very strong, of a swarthy complexion, and but
little beard; he is kind, affable and generous, and particularly
inclined to mix in the society of white people; very serviceable, and
something like the gallegos in Spain. In some parts of the interior of
the country there are great numbers of mestisos; here their colour is
whiter, and they have blue eyes and fair hair during childhood, but both
become darker as they advance in years.

The mulatto is seldom so robust as his parents; he appears of a delicate
constitution, and in his mental capacities is far superior to the
negro; indeed when assisted by education he is not inferior to a white
man. Fond of dress and parade, of a fiery imagination and inclined to
talk, he is often eloquent, and very partial to poetry. Many mulattos in
Lima obtain a good education by accompanying their young masters to
school while children, and afterwards attending on them at college. It
is very common at a public disputation in the university, to hear a
mulatto in the gallery help a wrangler out with a syllogism: they are
generally called _palanganos_, which is a local term, signifying a
chatterer. Many of the surgeons here are mulattos, and frequently do
great honour to themselves, and credit to their profession. Some of the
females have agreeable countenances, and fine figures; they are witty
and generous, and remarkably faithful in their connexions; they are very
fond of dress, dancing, and public amusements, where they generally
appear with their curly hair scarcely reaching to their shoulders,
adorned with jessamine and other flowers. In the evening they will
sometimes fill their hair with jessamine buds, which in the course of an
hour will open, and present the appearance of a bushy powdered wig. They
are often the confidential servants in rich families, and have the
direction of all domestic concerns. Occasionally they are the duennas
of the young ladies, and not unfrequently sisters to them; but a very
just law decrees manumission to a female slave, if she can only prove
that she has had a criminal connexion with her master.

The zambos are more robust than the mulattos, they are morose and
stubborn, partaking very much of the character of the African negro, but
prone to more vices. A greater number of robberies and murders are
committed by this caste than by all the rest, except the chino, the
worst mixed breed in existence:--he is cruel, revengeful, and
unforgiving; very ugly, as if his soul were expressed in his features;
lazy, stupid, and provoking. He is low in stature, and like the indian
has little or no beard, but very harsh black hair, which is inclined to

The quarteron and quinteron are often handsome, have good figures, a
fair complexion, with blue eyes and light coloured hair; they are mild
and obliging, but have not the intrepidity nor lively imagination of the

I have not attributed drunkenness to any of the castes, for excepting
that of the African negro it is not common: perhaps the example of the
abstemious Spaniards is the cause of this sobriety.

The principal place of public amusement in Lima is the theatre, which
is a small but commodious building; its figure is nearly a semicircle,
having the stage for its diameter. The boxes, of which there are two
rows, are all private, being separated from one another by slight
partitions: they will each hold eight persons very comfortably. The pit
is filled with benches, which have backs, and are most conveniently
divided into seats by low arms. This part of the theatre exclusively
belongs to the men; but no soldiers, sailors, or people of colour,
without they be genteelly dressed, are admitted. Behind the pit and
under the lower tier of boxes is an area for the lower classes of men;
the gallery is the part appropriated to women of the lowest order. The
Viceroy's box was on the left side of the stage, and the nearest to it:
thus his Excellency gave his right side to no one; it was neatly fitted
up, with a crimson velvet canopy over it, and hangings of the same
colour on the outside, with a state chair, and others for his family,
gentlemen in waiting, and pages. The box for the cabildo is in the
centre, in the front of the stage. A guard of soldiers always attends on
the nights of performance, which are Thursdays and Sundays, and every
great festival, except during Lent, when the theatre is closed. The
scenery is not despicable, and I have seen some good performers, both
comic and tragic; but these are principally Spaniards.

The bull circus is a capacious building; with rooms in the lower parts,
having a sufficient open space to witness the fight; over these are
eight rows of seats, rising one above another; and behind them are the
boxes, or rather galleries, where the principal spectators take their
stations, and to which all the youth and beauty of Lima, in their
richest attire, resort. The gallery for the Viceroy is opposite to the
door where the bulls enter: it is large and handsome. The area is eighty
yards in diameter, and in the centre is a safety station, formed by
driving poles into the ground, at a sufficient distance from each other
to allow a man to pass when he is closely pursued by a bull.

Scarcely any person speaks of the Spanish diversion of bull-fighting
without pretending to be shocked; but the same person will dilate on a
boxing-match with every symptom of delight. I have seen Englishmen
shudder and sympathize with a horse wounded by a bull, who would have
been delighted to have seen Spring "darken one of Langan's peepers."
When we have nothing to correct at home let us find fault with our
neighbours; for my own part, I am a friend to bull-fights, but an enemy
to pugilistic homicide. If the amateurs of this "manly exercise" assert,
that it teaches a man how to defend himself against another, I reply,
that bull-fighting teaches him how to defend himself against a furious

I shall not give a precise detail of this spectacle; but merely notice a
few circumstances connected with it. At three o'clock, the circus, which
holds nearly twenty thousand persons, is generally full. The spectators
are of every colour--we have the European white, the American Indian,
and the African negro, with all the shades produced by their mixture,
and all are dressed in as fine attire as they can afford. One or two
companies of soldiers attend, and after performing some fanciful
evolutions in the arena, they take their stations, the band of military
music being placed in front of the Viceroy's gallery. On the arrival of
his excellency the trumpets sounded, the fighters, on foot and on
horseback, handsomely dressed in pink and pale blue satin, with cloaks
of the same stuff, began to parade the area; the first bull immediately
entered, often very gaily caparisoned--his horns sheathed in silver, the
body covered with a loose cloth of tissue, brocade, or satin, having on
his back a silver filigree basket filled with artificial flowers or
fireworks. He is at first baited by holding a cloak to him, at which he
butts, when the baiter, drawing himself on one side, shakes it over his
head as he passes: at a signal from one of the regidores, who presides
as umpire, the man appointed kills the bull, either by running him
through with a sword, receiving him on the point of a strong lance, or,
crossing him when at full speed at a cloak presented to him, he stabs
him behind the horns, and the ferocious animal experiences so sudden a
check, that he frequently falls dead at the feet of the matador. Six
horses drawing a small car immediately enter, and the horns of the dead
bull being secured by hooks and a chain, he is dragged out, and another
brought in. The annual fightings are on the eight Mondays next after
Christmas, and the number of bulls killed each afternoon, from three to
six o'clock, is generally sixteen or eighteen.

The royal cockpit is a daily resort, excepting Sundays. Many good mains
of cocks are fought, and an afternoon seldom passes without four or five
pair being matched. The pit is surrounded with ranges of seats, above
and behind which is a range of galleries. Every cock has one large
lancet-shaped spur fastened to his leg, his own spur being first cut
off: for this operation, as well as for placing the game within the
ring, several fancy men attend, and one of the regidores always acts as
umpire, and is paid for performing this judicial duty. The cockpit, as
well as the theatre, belongs to the hospital of San Andres.

There are several places in the suburbs for skittles and bowls; but they
are more frequented by Spaniards, particularly Biscayans, than by

The public walks, _paseos_, are part of the Callao road, as far as the
willows extend. The new _alameda_, which has a double row of high
willows, a coachway between them, and foot walks on each side, with two
ranges of seats built of brick, is about a mile in length along the
river side, having a very commodious cold bath at the farther end,
formed by a spring of beautiful limpid water. One large bath is walled
round, with a covering of vines over a trellis roof. There are also
twenty small private baths, to which a great number of people resort
during the summer. The water after supplying the baths is employed in
turning a corn-mill, and then in the irrigation of several gardens. The
old alameda is also in the suburbs of San Lazaro: it is about half a
mile long, has a double row of willows and orange trees on each side,
enclosing shady foot walks with stone benches, and a carriage-way in
the middle. There are three old fountains in the carriage-way, and a
beautiful view of the convent and church of San Diego at the northern
extremity, having the _beaterio_, house of female seclusion, called the
Patrocinio, with a neat chapel, on one side, and the small chapel and
convent of the _recoleta de los Agonizantes_, on the other. On one side
of this alameda the Viceroy Amat had built a large shallow reservoir or
basin, with some beautiful lofty arches, like a portico, in the Grecian
order, at one end; also the necessary pipes were laid for conveying
water to the top of the central arch, from whence it was to have fallen
into the basin, forming a most beautiful cascade; but he was superseded
before the work was finished; and, as one Viceroy has seldom attended to
any thing left unfinished by his predecessor, this work, like the road
to Callao begun by the Viceroy Higgins, remains unfinished.

To these public paseos such numbers of the fashionable inhabitants
resort on Sundays and other holidays, particularly in the afternoons,
that as many as three hundred carriages may sometimes be counted: the
richer tradesman in his calesa, drawn by one mule; the nobleman in his
coach and two; the titled of Castile in a coach and four; and formerly,
the Viceroy in his coach and six; he being the only person in Lima,
excepting the archbishop, who enjoyed this distinction. Gentlemen seldom
go in the coaches, so that the beauty of Lima have the temporary
privilege of riding alone, and nodding without reserve to their amorous
_galanes_, who parade the side walks. The _paseo de los alcaldes_, the
procession of new mayors, is in the old alameda, and is always an
occasion of great bustle, being on new year's day. The Viceroy never
attended, because his dignity would have been eclipsed by the brilliant
liveries and gay appearance of the alcaldes.

The principal bathing places are Miraflores, one league from the city:
it is a pretty village, with several handsome _ranchos_, or cottages.
Chorrillos, two leagues from Lima; a large village, with a very neat
church, being a parish of indians. Here the descent to the sea is very
commodious, and those who prefer bathing to gaming generally visit this
place; but there is nevertheless a considerable portion of the latter
fashionable amusement here. Lurin is about seven leagues from the
capital, it is also a parish of indians, and a place of great resort for
the higher classes of gamesters:--the distance precludes a too numerous
concourse of the lower orders of society.

The piazzas of the plasa mayor are crowded every night from seven
o'clock till ten with the frail part of the female sex. A range of
tables with ices, lemonade, and other refreshments stand on the outside
of the piazzas, with benches for the weary and thirsty to rest upon. At
eight o'clock the _retreta_, the different bands of military music,
leave the palace door: this is a great attraction, and forms an excuse
for many a fair visitor to attend the piazza. The bridge, as has been
already mentioned, is another place for evening chit chat. The piazzas
are the genteel lounge on a Sunday and the morning of a holiday, when
they are generally much crowded.

The _paseo de las lomas_, or _de los amancaes_, as it is called, is a
visit to the hills on the north side of Lima on the days of St. John and
St. Peter. The _amancaes_, yellow daffodils, being then in flower, the
hills are covered with them. At this time of the year the cattle are
driven from the farms to the mountains to feed; for as soon as the
_garuas_, fogs, begin, they are covered with verdure, so that the
principal incitement is to drink milk, eat custards, rice-milk, &c. In
the evening it is very amusing to see thousands of people in coaches, on
horseback, and on foot, returning to the city, almost covered with
daffodils, of which each endeavours to collect the largest quantity.

One of the peculiarities which excites the attention of a stranger in
Lima is the tolling of the great bell of the cathedral at about
half-past nine in the morning: at this time the host at high mass is
elevated; the oracion bell is rung at sunset. In the morning the bustle
and noise in the market may be loud enough to astound an unaccustomed
observer, but the bell tolls, and instantaneously all is silent as the
tomb--not a whisper, not a footstep is heard; as if by enchantment all
in a moment becomes motionless; every one takes off his hat, many kneel
till the third knell is heard, when the bustle, noise, and confusion
again commence. In the evening the scene is repeated, the oracion bell
tolls, and motion ceases in every direction; the buyer and the seller
stand like statues, and the half spoken word hangs on the lips until the
third knell is heard, when crossing themselves devoutly, they bow to
each other, and a general "good night," _buena noche_, sets them at
liberty again to follow their avocations. I never could help admiring
this method of reminding every individual to thank his Creator for
blessings received during the day, and to crave his kind protection
during the night. I have often been pleased with the solemnity produced,
for, without entering any particular place of worship, a place perhaps
where the tenets are contrary to the religious creeds of many
individuals, all

     "TO THEE whose temple is all space,
     Whose altar, earth, sea, skies,"

may pray and praise in the manner their inclination or fancy may direct
them. If the curfew of England were tolled for the same purpose it would
perhaps be more consonant to the use of bells placed in a building
dedicated to God, than to the now obsolete order for extinguishing
fires, of which not one in a hundred knows the origin.

Respecting the feasts of the church, that of Corpus Christi is very
splendid. The procession leaves the cathedral attended by all the civil
and military authorities holding large wax tapers, the different orders
of friars, the dean and chapter, and the archbishop, under a splendid
canopy, supported by twelve priests in their robes of ceremony, his
grace bearing the host or consecrated wafer, which is deposited in a
superbly rich hostiarium. The military force is drawn up in the square,
or plasa mayor, and after kneeling and pointing their bayonets to the
ground, the banners and flags being prostrated as the sacrament passes,
they all join in the procession, falling in at its rear; and when the
archbishop turns round at the principal porch and blesses the people,
the artillery and musquetry fire a salute. The most particular feature
in this procession is the assistance of all the clubs or cofradias of
the Africans: each separate company has its appropriate national music
and songs, some of them carrying wooden idols on their heads, and
dancing about with them among those who belong to their confraternity.

Santa Rosa, being a native of Lima, and patroness of America, has a
solemn feast and procession from the church of Santo Domingo to the
cathedral on the last day of August. It is generally attended by a great
number of ladies, wearing wreaths of red and white artificial roses
round their waists and the bottom of their _sayas_. The Viceroy and the
tribunals also attended in this procession.

There are many other processions which it would be useless and
unentertaining to mention. Those of San Francisco and Santo Domingo
present the peculiarity of having the two effigies carried from their
respective churches, so as to meet in the plasa mayor, where they salute
each other by bows, &c., and are then carried to the church where the
feast is celebrated. The host gives his right side to the guest, and
after the feast is concluded he accompanies him home to his own church.
On the day of San Francisco the friars of the order regale all the
prisoners in the different gaols with a good dinner; and those of Santo
Domingo do the same on the day of their patriarch.

The publication of the bulls, once in two years, happened on the day of
St. Thomas the Apostle. The commissary-general was received at the door
of the cathedral under a pall or canopy: he carried a bull of the
crusade hung round his neck, and proceeded to the high altar, where he
delivered it to the notary-public of the crusade, who, although a
civilian, ascended the pulpit, and read the address of the
commissary-general to the congregation. After this high mass was
celebrated, and an appropriate sermon preached, setting forth the virtue
of the bulls, and the great benefit derived from their purchase. This
discourse in the year 1804 was rather ridiculous, because the King had
raised the price of the bull of the crusade, and the good priest had not
only to exhort the faithful to continue the holy practice of purchasing
the bull, but to reconcile them to the additional tax imposed. This, he
said, was to supply his Catholic Majesty with money for the purpose of
carrying on the war against the English and other heretics. Such is the
belief in the efficacy of these bulls, and so great is the revenue
derived from the sale of them, that the new governments of Chile, Buenos
Ayres, and, I was told, of Mexico and Colombia, re-printed them, and for
some time continued the hoax. A priest in Chile, of whom I inquired
whether the new government had a right to profit by a papal dispensation
granted to the King of Spain, their enemy, answered me very archly, that
a bull of the patria was as good as a bull of the pope; and that if the
Viceroy Pesuela had a right to take the money from the treasury of the
crusade at Lima, for the purpose of paying the expedition sent against
Chile, the government of Chile had only followed the Christian-like
example of their forefathers, who came to America for the purpose of
preaching the gospel, and thus saving from the power of satan the souls
of millions of infidels; but, continued he, laughing most heartily, if
they try it again, I dare say they will find themselves like the man who
went for wool and returned shorn: _que fue por lana, y volvio

I was at Lima when the Viceroy Abascal made his public entrance, and
also when the Viceroy Pesuela entered, who was probably the last that
ever will enter, (La Serna, the nominal Viceroy, being no better than a
traitor to Spain, having assumed the authority after he deposed Pesuela)
I shall therefore give a short description of this formal ceremony.

On the arrival of the new Viceroy at Mansanilla, about four miles from
Lima, he sent an officer, with the title of Ambassador, to inform his
predecessor, that it being the will and pleasure of his Majesty that he
should take upon himself the government of the kingdom of Peru, he
should enter the capital the day following; a circumstance of which he
begged leave to apprize his Excellency, that he might be prepared to
resign the command, because his authority would cease: such being the
orders of the Sovereign. The Viceroy immediately sent a messenger to his
successor, to compliment him on his safe arrival. The two persons chosen
by the chiefs for this ceremony were rewarded by them respectively with
minor governments in Peru, this being the general custom; so that the
first and the last act of a Viceroy was to confer a favour on some
protegée. On the following morning the Viceroy Marquis de Aviles had an
interview with his successor Abascal, but he returned to dinner at the
palace, while his successor partook of a splendid dinner at Mansanilla,
to which the principal nobility were invited. In the afternoon the
Viceroy Aviles went in state to meet Abascal; they met on the road, and
each alighted from his carriage: Aviles here presented Abascal with a
gold headed cane or bâton, the insignia of the government of the
kingdom; they then stepped into each other's coach, and entered the
city, which on this occasion was splendidly adorned, all the streets
through which the cavalcade passed being hung with tapestry, silk
curtains, and other gay hangings. The steeples of the churches were
ornamented with flags, and every bell was ringing. When the Viceroy
Marquis de la Palata entered Lima in 1682, the streets through which the
procession passed were all paved with bars of silver. The new Viceroy
proceeded to his palace, where one of the alcaldes, deputed for the
purpose, waited his arrival, and received and acknowledged him on the
part of the city. On the following day all the courts, civil and
ecclesiastical, bodies corporate, and communities waited on him, and at
ten o'clock accompanied him to the cathedral, where Te Deum was
chaunted. On his return to the palace the archbishop called on the
Viceroy, who immediately afterwards returned the compliment; this is
the only visit which a Viceroy paid. At twelve o'clock the new Viceroy
went in state to the chamber of the audience, and took the oath of
administration. The Viceroy Abascal dispensed with many ceremonies which
Pesuela did not; I shall therefore subjoin them.

A few days after the arrival of Pesuela in Lima, a day was fixed for his
entrance in state; the streets and steeples were ornamented as on the
public entrance, with the addition of several triumphal arches, one with
a gate was placed close to the church of Montserrat, near to the city
wall. The Viceroy left the city early in the morning for Callao, and
visited the fortifications; at nine o'clock he returned, and having
arrived at the gate, which was shut, the captain of the escort alighted
and knocked; the captain of the guard at the gate opened the postern,
and asked who was there? Being answered, the Viceroy and captain-general
of the kingdom, he closed the postern. The principal alcalde now
advanced and passed the postern, and the Viceroy alighted from his
horse, and the gate was thrown open: the alcalde then presented a golden
key to the Viceroy, who, and his retinue of chamberlain, groom,
chaplain, physician and pages, mounted their gaily caparisoned horses,
prepared by the city, and the procession began in the following order:--

The cavalry then in the city; four pieces of artillery and the necessary
artillery-men; the city militia; the troops of the line; the colleges,
the university, the professors being dressed in the habits of their
respective professions; the chamber of accompts; all the members of the
audience, with their togas and golas, mounted on horses covered with
black velvet embroidered trappings; the magistracy in crimson velvet
robes, lined with crimson brocade, and small black caps on their heads.
Eight members of the corporation, regidores, walked supporting an
elegant crimson and gold canopy over the head of the Viceroy on
horseback, and the two alcaldes in their magisterial robes, acted as
equerries to his Excellency, holding the reins of his horse. The whole
cavalcade was closed by the body guard of halberdiers and that of
cavalry. It passed through several of the principal streets, and halted
in the plasa mayor, in front of the cathedral, where the archbishop and
chapter received the Viceroy as Vice-patron, and one of the minor canons
offered incense to him at the door. Being seated, Te Deum was chaunted,
after which the Viceroy mounted his horse and proceeded to his palace,
where a splendid dinner was provided for him by the city. On the
evening of this and the two following days grand balls and routs were
given at the palace to the nobility, and free admittance to the
_tapadas_ was granted to the galleries, corridors, and gardens. The
tapadas are females who are either not invited, or their rank does not
allow them to attend in public, but who come to the fête covered, so as
to prevent their being known; a great deal of vivacity and spirited wit
is often heard among them. This manner of being present at any public
entertainment is general in South America, and it is almost impossible
to prevent it.

Three days of bull fighting followed in honour of the Viceroy, and two
in honour of the ambassador who brought the news of his arrival; all at
the expence of the cabildo. These were held in the plasa mayor, which
was converted into a temporary circus on the occasion; there were also
performances at the theatre on the evenings of the same days.

The university prepared for Pesuela a poetical wrangle, adapted to
display the ingenuity and learning of the professors and members. The
rector published the themes, and an account of the different prizes,
which consisted of pieces of plate. On the day appointed, the cloister
and courts of the university were adorned with splendid magnificence;
the pillars and walls were hung with emblematical devices, and with
shields containing poetical inscriptions in Latin and Spanish. On the
entrance of the Viceroy, he was conducted to the rectoral chair,
ornamented for the occasion, which with the canopy, cushions, and table
cover, had a most magnificent appearance. The rector took his seat
opposite to his Excellency, and in a formal manner expressed the
happiness which the university enjoyed in the presence of its
Vice-patron, with more flattery and more adulation than ever were
uttered by any other man. Several of the professors next addressed him,
in speeches as fulsome as need be; after which the rector rose, and
presented to Pesuela, on a silver salver of great value, four
nominations to the degree of doctor, which he had the privilege to give
to any of his protegées, certain that in their examination they would
not only pass for the nominations, but be excused the payment of the
honorarium, which is about a thousand dollars for each diploma. The
Viceroy was then conducted to the library, where a grand collation was
set out for himself and suite, after partaking of which he retired to
his palace. In the evening there was a splendid assembly, and
_refresco_, a cold collation, prepared for those who had the honour of
an invitation, as well as the tapadas, who attend uninvited. On the
following day the salver, which cost two thousand dollars, was presented
to the Viceroy, with the nominations, by two deputies from the
university. A few days afterward the rector waited on the Viceroy and
presented him with a printed copy of the speeches, poetry, &c. elegantly
bound, and covered with crimson velvet, with gold clasps and other

The colleges and convents had similar days of poetical contest, and each
of them presented his Excellency with an ornamented copy of their

Flattery in these cases knows no limits. All the prize productions were
signed with the names of the different individuals belonging to the
family of the Viceroy; so that all the prizes, being as I have said
pieces of plate, valuable both for the metal and workmanship, go to the


     Fruits in the Gardens of Lima....Flowers....Particular Dishes, or
     Cookery...._Chuno_, dried Potatoes...._Chochoca_, dried
     Observations....On the Commerce of Lima....Profitable Speculations.

The south and east sides of Lima are covered with gardens and orchards
of the most delicious fruits, both tropical and equinoctial; towards the
east there are several gardens within the walls; but the greater number
are on the outside. Among the fruits known in European gardens, and
produced in great perfection at Lima, are several varieties of the
grape; for the colonial laws of Spain have not prohibited the
cultivation of the vine in Peru and Chile, as they have done in Mexico
and New Grenada. Olives grow in great abundance and of an excellent
quality; they are not preserved here, as in France, while small and
green, but are left on the trees till they are ripe, and are then
pickled in salt and water; others are pressed and dried, when they take
the appearance of prunes. Oil is made in considerable quantities, but
it is not so fine nor so good as the French or Italian oils. The first
olive was brought to Peru in 1560 by Don Antonio de Ribera, a native of
Lima. Apples and pears prosper extremely well, though but few varieties
are cultivated. Peaches and apricots do well; of the former here are
many varieties; some called _aurimelos_ and _priscos_ are very delicate.
Nectarines, plums and cherries are scarce, and only to be found in a few
places; I have seen them in the gardens of Don Pedro de la Presa, who
laid out a most magnificent garden and orchard in the suburbs of San
Lazaro; besides which he built a stately house, and expended on both
more than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. One of the gardens is
called de Don Jaime, the other is at Miraflores. Gooseberries or
currants I never saw in any part of South America, excepting some small
plants brought to Chile for Lord Cochrane, which, owing to inattention,
died. A wild species of currant, however, is common in some parts both
of Peru and Chile, but the fruit is small and bitter, perhaps through
want of cultivation. Several kinds of melons are produced in great
abundance and of fine flavour; the _sandias_, water melons, are large
and good. Figs are most plentiful, and well flavoured. The pomegranates
are fine and full of juice; the quinces also grow very large.

Among the tropical and equinoctial fruits, the plantain and banana
ornament the orchards with their large green leaves, being the emblem of
luxuriant fertility: this luscious and wholesome fruit ministers to the
appetite of the rich, and satisfies the hunger of the poor. No native
will drink water immediately after eating the plantain, nor any thing
but water after the banana.

Much has been said respecting the banana by several writers. Forster and
other naturalists pretend that it did not exist in America before the
conquest; but I consider the existence of it in the river Ucayale, where
it was found cultivated by the first missionaries, as well as in some of
the more internal parts of Maynas, and by Count Ruis in the valley of
St. Ana, to the eastward of Cusco, when first explored, and by myself in
Archidona and Napo, to the eastward of Quito, at Cocaniguas and Pite to
the westward--I look upon these facts as sufficient proofs to the
contrary; but what will place beyond a doubt, that the banana and
plantain are indigenous, is, that I have found beds of leaves of both
these plants in the huacas at Paramongo. Four varieties of the musa are
known in Lima, the _platano arton_ (musa paradisiaca), the _camburi_ or
_largo_ (musa sapientum), the _dominico_ or _guinea_ (musa regia), and
the _maiga_ of the sea, called _de la isla_, the first plants being
brought from Otaheite, in the frigate Aguila, in 1769. Garcilaso de la
Vega, and Father Acosta, also assert, that the banana was cultivated
before the conquest. The former says, that in the warm and temperate
regions it constituted one of the principal sources of nourishment of
the natives; and the latter speaks of its being grown in the mountains
of las Emeraldas, where I have seen it myself, and particularly in some
old plantations, now uncultivated, called by the natives _Incas vicuri_,
bananas of the Incas. The sour and the sweet oranges, lemons, limes,
citrons, and shaddocks, grow in all the gardens, and contribute greatly
to their beauty. The trees at the same time are loaded with delicious
and beautiful fruit, both ripe and green; their delicate white flowers,
in clusters, shedding their perfume around: indeed, nothing can exceed
the beauty and fragrance of these trees during the greater part of the
year. I have seen orange trees, from forty to fifty feet high, covered
with large bunches of ripe oranges; but the gardeners generally keep
them at from ten to twenty feet high, because they then bear more fruit,
and also of a better quality. The Lucuma is a large tree: the fruit is
round, and about the size of an orange; it has a green skin or rind, and
contains three large kidney shaped kernels covered with a very hard
shell: the eatable part is of a deep yellow colour, in substance and
appearance not unlike the yolk of a hard boiled egg: it is dry, and to
my taste not very palatable; but it is esteemed by many.

The _Palta_, alligator pear or vegetable marrow, is sometimes round, and
sometimes pear shaped: the tree is large and handsome, the fruit is
contained in a coriaceous rind, having in the centre a large kernel, of
a brown colour and very harsh taste. It is often used as a dye, when it
gives a nankeen colour. It is also used for marking linen; this is
effected by spreading the linen over the kernel, and with a pin pricking
through it into the kernel an indelible mark is obtained. The eatable
part of the fruit is delicious; it is seasoned with salt, pepper, &c.
according to the palate, and its taste is similar to marrow: few persons
approve of this fruit at first, but almost all become passionately fond
of it afterwards. The _pacay_ is a moderately sized tree; its fruit is
contained in a large green pod--there are several varieties--the pod of
one is sometimes more than a yard long and three inches broad. The
eatable part is a soft, cotton-like substance, which is sweet and juicy.
It envelops a black bean, and these frequently germinate in the pods,
and have a very curious appearance. The _guayaba_, guaba, grows in great
abundance, and here there are several varieties, some of which are very
good. The _granadilla_ is a creeping plant, one of the varieties of the
passion flower; the fruit is of the shape and size of a duck's egg; the
shell is rather hard, of a brown hue, and contains a very delicate
substance full of small black seeds, in taste not unlike that of a ripe
gooseberry. Another variety of this fruit has a thick rind, the interior
being much like the common granadilla: it is called _de quixos_,
because, very probably, the first seed was brought from the woods in the
province of Quixos. The _tumbo_ or _badea_ is another variety, but the
fruit is as large as a moderate sized melon, which it nearly resembles
when cut, except that the seeds are of a brownish colour. It is commonly
prepared for the table by cutting the fleshy substance or outside into
small slices, and mixing them with the juicy inside and seeds, adding to
it sugar, wine, and spices; and in this state it is really delicious.
The _palillo_ is the delicate custard-apple, which is very sweet and
fragrant. The females of Lima often dry the rind or skin, and burn it
with other perfumes. The _capuli_ is the cape gooseberry; it grows on a
small bush, and when ripe has an agreeable acid taste. The _chirimoya_
is often called the queen of fruits, and it undoubtedly deserves that
name. The tree is low and bushy; the flower is composed of three
triangular fleshy leaves; the appearance is mean, but its fragrance
surpasses that of any other flower which could be mentioned; however, it
only continues in perfection for one evening--indeed the fragrance is so
great, that one flower will scent a large room, and particularly if it
be warmed by enclosing it in the hand. The fruit has somewhat the shape
of a heart--the exterior is green, with a reticulated appearance,
occasioned more by brownish lines on the fruit than by any indented
marks, like the pine-apple: it contains several blackish seeds, about
the size of horse beans; but the larger the fruit the fewer are the
seeds. The eatable part is extremely delicate; it resembles a custard in
substance, and is generally eaten with a spoon. On the arrival of the
first Spaniards in Peru, the description they sent of this fruit to
Spain was, that it was a net filled with honey; for they knew of nothing
else to which they could compare it. Their weight in Lima is from one
to three pounds each; but in the woods of Huanuco and Loxa they are
often found to weigh from fifteen to twenty pounds each and even more.
The _guanabana_, or sour sop, has greatly the appearance of the
chirimoya; but the fruit is generally larger as well as the flower,
which is also quite different. The fruit of the guanabana often grows on
the main trunk of the tree and on the largest branches, whilst the other
grows on the branches when they are two years old. The guanabana has a
grateful acid taste, and is often dissolved in water, which is
afterwards strained and sugar added to it, forming an agreeable
beverage: a very good jelly is also made from it as a preserve, which is
most delicately transparent. The _pepino_ is an egg-shaped fruit, and
smells like a cucumber. Here are several varieties, and when ripe they
have a sweet but peculiar taste, between the raw vegetable and fruit:
they are considered unwholesome, and often called _mata serranos_,
mountaineer killers; because these people when they come down to the
coast eat large quantities of them, on account, perhaps, of their
cheapness: they bring on intermittent fevers, dysentery, &c. The _piña_,
pine-apple, is not cultivated in Lima, but brought from the neighbouring
valleys, where the climate is hotter. It does not thrive well, but it
certainly would if a little care were taken of the plants during the
season when the easterly winds blow; for these winds are often very
sharp after passing over the Cordilleras. The date does not flourish in
Lima, owing to the same cause.

The orchards here, unlike those of Europe, are always beautiful;
excepting the foreign fruit trees, which give a wintry appearance when
their branches become naked by the falling of the leaves, all the others
are evergreens, and appear in the pompous garb of spring during the
whole year. The new leaves take possession of their inheritance before
the death of their predecessors; and the inflorescence and
fructification in many trees follow the example of the leaf. The highly
rich green of the banana and plantain, their enormous leaves rustling
with every breeze, and discovering their pendent bunches of fruit; the
orange tree enamelled with green and white and gold; the pomegranate
with its crimson bell; the shady chirimoya breathing aromas to the
evening breeze; the tripping granadilla stretching from tree to tree,
and begging support for its laden slender branches; the luxuriant vine
creeping over trellises, and hiding under its cooling leaves the
luscious grape--are beauties certainly not to be surpassed; but these,
and all these, are found in every garden in the valley through which the
Rimac meanders.

The flower gardens here contain most of the varieties seen in our
gardens in England, excepting the family of ranunculuses and tulips,
neither of which did I ever see in South America; indeed, the climate is
so favourable to all kinds of vegetation, where water can be procured
for irrigation, that little care is required; but less than what is
necessary is usually bestowed. The ladies are passionately fond of
flowers, and will give very high prices for them. I have known a white
lily, a little out of season, sold for eight dollars; and good hyacinths
for two or three dollars each; and I am certain that a clever gardener
and florist, who would take to Lima a stock of seeds and roots, would
very soon amass a considerable fortune. I have observed that the
generality of the flowers of indigenous plants are yellow; and it is a
common saying, _oro en la costa, plata en la sierra_, gold on the coast,
silver in the mountains, where the general colour of wild flowers is
white. The _floripondio_ is very much admired by many for its fragrance:
it partakes of that of the lily; the tree is bushy, and grows about ten
feet high. The flowers are white, each about eight inches long, bell
shaped, and hang in clusters: one tree will scent a large garden; but if
there are more the smell is overpowering, and produces headache. The
_suche_ is a great spreading tree, and is filled with clusters of
flowers, each about two inches in diameter, which are the largest kind,
and others about an inch: they are bell-shaped, and of a fleshy
substance; some are white, others yellow, and others of a pink colour;
all are very fragrant. The _aroma_ bears a number of round yellow
flosculous flowers, deserving their name, for they are most delicately

The inhabitants of Lima have many dishes peculiar to the place. The
Spanish _olla podrida_, called _puchero_, is found almost on every
table: it is composed of beef, mutton, fowl, ham, sausage, and smoked
meats, mixed with casava root, sweet potatoe, cabbage, turnips and
almost any vegetables, a few peas, and a little rice--these are all well
boiled together, and form the standing family dish: bread or vermicelli
soup is made from the broth. _Lahua_ is a thick porridge from the flour
of maize boiled with meat, particularly fresh pork or turkey, and highly
seasoned with the husks of the ripe capsicum. _Carapulca_ consists of
dried potatoes, nuts, or garbansas, parched and bruised, and afterwards
boiled to a thick consistency with meat, like the lahua. _Pepian_ is
made from rice flour, and partakes of the ingredients of the lahua and
the pepian; it is a very favourite dish, and the natives say, that on
being presented to the pope by an American cook, he exclaimed, _felice
indiani, qui manducat pepiani_! _Chupi_, which is made by cooking
potatoes, cheese and eggs together, and afterwards adding fried fish, is
a favourite dish, not only on days of abstinence, but during the whole
year. Guinea pigs, _cuis_, make a very delicate dish; they are roasted,
and afterwards stewed with a great quantity of capsicum pods, pounded to
the consistency of paste: sometimes potatoes, bruised nuts, and other
ingredients are added. This is the favourite _picante_, and to my taste
is extremely delicate. Many more dishes, peculiar to the country, are
seen on the tables, all of which are seasoned with a profusion of lard,
and not a small quantity of garlic and capsicum.

I have mentioned dried potatoes--they are thus prepared: small potatoes
are boiled, peeled, and then dried in the sun, but the best are those
dried by the severe frosts on the mountains; they will keep for any
length of time, and when used require to be bruised and soaked. If
introduced as a vegetable substance in long sea voyages, I think the
potatoe thus prepared would be found wholesome and nourishing. The dried
potatoe is sometimes ground into flour; this is called chuno, and is
used to make a kind of porridge, either with or without meat.

The maize, whilst green, is prepared in the same manner, by boiling the
cobs, cutting off the grains and drying them; this is called chochoca,
and is cooked like the chuno.

Great quantities of pumpkins and gourds are eaten, and form the
principal part of the vegetable food of the poor classes; they are
large, plentiful and cheap, and will keep nearly the whole year if
placed in a dry room. Maize and beans, _frijoles_, are in general use
among the lower classes, indeed I may say among all classes, but they
are the common food of the slaves: the bean is considered very
nutritious, and those who have been accustomed to eat it prefer it to
any other vegetable, and use it as an equivalent for animal food.

An abundance of sweetmeats is eaten in South America, more, I believe,
than in any other country, and particularly in Lima, where there is such
a variety of fruit, and such plenty of sugar; but there is a great
defect in the preserves, which are always too sweet, either from a
superabundance of sugar, or by destroying the flavour of the fruit
before it is preserved; the citron and shaddock, which have a taste so
agreeable and even powerful, always lose it when preserved. A paste is
made by pounding together equal weights of blanched almonds and sugar;
it is then packed in chip boxes, and will keep for a long time; by
dissolving a small quantity in water, an excellent substitute for milk
is formed, which is very palatable with tea, and would be found useful
in long voyages.

The usual breakfast hour at Lima is eight o'clock; they seldom take more
than a cup of thick chocolate with toast, and a glass of cold water
afterwards; or sometimes a little boiled mutton, fried eggs, ham, or
sausage. The dinner hour is one o'clock. It is a very plentiful meal,
and may indeed be considered the only one during the day; soup and
_puchero_ are generally the first dishes, the rest come to table
indiscriminately, and fish is not unfrequently the last, excepting
sweetmeats, after which a glass of cold water is always drunk. Coffee is
often brought in immediately after dinner; but in the higher classes the
company rise from table and adjourn to another room, where coffee and
liquors are placed. Fruit is commonly introduced between the services,
as it is considered more wholesome to eat it then than afterwards. In
the evening a cup of coffee or chocolate is taken, or a glass of
lemonade, pine-apple water, almond milk, or some other refreshing drink,
and among the higher circles chocolate and ices are served up.

The following account of the diseases prevalent in Lima is from Dr.

"Heat and humidity are the two great causes of disease in this climate;
the first predisposes and the second excites it. The suavity of the
climate promotes the pleasures of Venus, and produces those of Ceres,
and both contribute to enervate and relax the tone of the human frame.
The first symptoms of debility present themselves in the digestive
organs, and many infants, constitutionally weak, die of convulsions
produced by indigestion: epileptic affections are very common when
children begin to eat ordinary food. Young people suffer much from
cholics, particularly in autumn, owing to the debility of the stomach,
caused by excessive transpiration; indeed the inhabitants of Lima are so
well aware of the weakness of their digestive organs, that they
attribute every indisposition to _empacho_, indigestion. Owing to the
same constitutional weakness of the stomach, youth are very apt to
become afflicted with phthisis and asthma, and many who escape from
these affections, if they indulge their passions, are afterwards borne
down by obstructions of the abdominal viscera and dropsies, which, owing
to the dampness of the climate, are incurable. The functions of the
internal and external vessels becoming inverted, those being surrounded
by a body of water, these augment it incessantly by absorbing an
abundance from the humid atmosphere. Lima is often called _el pais de
los viejos_, the country of old people, because they generally live
abstemiously, and instances of extreme longevity are not uncommon."

An extract from medical observations made by Dr. Unanue, in the year
1799, may serve to convey an idea of the particular diseases prevalent
during the different seasons, beginning with the month of January, at
which time the summer solstice commences.

"In January the small pox made its appearance, hemorrhages and bilious
diarrhoeas were common; these were followed by eruptive fevers in
February. During this and the succeeding month violent catarrhs and
coughs were prevalent, particularly among children, and those adults who
were affected with asthma suffered very much. In some years, when the
summers have been oppressively warm, copious perspirations and
_lipirias_ (cholera morbus) have been known to afflict many persons, but
they were not observed in 1799.

"During March, April, and the beginning of Autumn, intermittent fevers
were very common, particularly the tertian, often accompanied with
dysentery; in May and the beginning of June dry and violent coughs were
observed, that produced an irritation of the throat and sometimes small

"During July quinsies afflicted several people, and cutaneous eruptions
(exanthemata milliaria) were frequent, intestinal inflammations and
dysentery were also prevalent; and during the months of August and
September pulmonic inflammations and pleurisies were frequent.

"Inflammations of the lungs were common during the month of October, as
also bilious diarrhoea; during this month the autumnal tertian began to
disappear; in November many died of the dysentery, and cutaneous
eruptions were very common. Out of 4229 patients received into the
hospital of San Andres this year 317 died."

I have observed that syphilis is never very virulent in Lima and on the
coasts of Peru, but in the interior, particularly in cold situations,
it is more prevalent and more severe.

_Berrugas_, warts of a peculiar kind, are common in some of the valleys
of the coast. They are supposed to be caused either by drinking or being
washed by the waters of certain rivers. The first symptoms are most
excruciating pains in the legs, thighs and arms (the parts where the
warts generally make their appearance), which frequently last for one or
even several months. When the warts begin to appear the pain is
relieved, and when they burst a large quantity of blood is discharged,
the pain ceases, and the patient recovers. No medicines are ever
administered for this disease, the natives believing that patience is
the only remedy. They carefully keep themselves warm, and avoid wetting
themselves, because it often produces spasms, and sometimes death.

In 1803 a new disease made its appearance during the summer in the
valley of Huaura, and proved mortal to many individuals, particularly
indians and negroes, to whom it seemed to be almost confined; for few or
no white people were infected by it. The first appearance was a small
pustule, the centre depressed, bearing a small purple spot; as it
extended, several other small pustules arose on the edges of the
original one, filled with a limpid fluid; these pustules increased to a
large size, having the resemblance of blisters raised by burning. If an
incision were made in the part affected, no blood flowed, nor did the
patient feel the operation; the flesh had a spongy appearance, and a
very pale red colour. If not relieved, the patient usually died between
the fifth and tenth day, and sometimes earlier. The method of cure
adopted was the total extraction of the diseased part, and the
application of a poultice. This disease was called by the natives _grano
de la peste_, pest pimple.

The _uta_ is another disease known in some of the valleys of Peru. It is
supposed to proceed from the sting of a small insect; however the fact
has never been ascertained. The first appearance is a small, hard, red
tumour; this bursts, and the fluid it contains produces an incurable
sore, which gradually extends, and at last occasions the most aggravated
sufferings, till death brings relief to the afflicted patient.

I shall conclude my account of Lima with some observations on its
commerce, particularly that part which is interesting to British

Callao being the principal port of Peru, and the only one denominated
_abilitado general_, or free for the ingress and egress of vessels to
and from every part of the Spanish dominions, Lima was consequently the
general market for all foreign as well as home commerce, and here the
traders from the provinces repaired with such productions as were
destined for exportation, as well as to purchase a stock of manufactured
goods, either foreign or from other parts of the country, besides such
raw materials as were necessary for mining tools and those of husbandry.

Owing to the diversity of the climates in the Vice-royalty of Peru, all
kinds of European manufactured goods find a ready sale; those from
England are mostly preferred to any other: indeed many can only be
procured from that country; and the supplying of those by Great Britain
to a population of a million and a half of people must be considered as
a means of extending her commerce, and the decided preference given to
them must be highly flattering as well as beneficial to the British

On entering a house in Lima, or in any other part of Peru that I
visited, almost every object reminded me of England; the windows were
glazed with English glass--the brass furniture and ornaments on the
commodes, tables, chairs, &c. were English--the chintz or dimity
hangings, the linen and cotton dresses of the females, and the cloth
coats, cloaks, &c. of the men were all English:--the tables were covered
either with plate or English earthenware, and English glass, knives,
forks, &c.; and even the kitchen utensils, if of iron, were English; in
fine, with very few exceptions, all was either of English or South
American manufacture. Coarse cottons, nankeens, and a few other articles
were supplied by the Philippine company. Spain sent some iron, broad
cloth, Barcelona prints, linen, writing paper, silks, and ordinary
earthenware. From the Italians they had silks and velvets; from the
French, linens, lace, silks and broad cloth; from Germany, linens
(platillas), common cutlery and glass; every thing else was either
English or of home manufacture.

I do not hesitate to assert, that goods of a superior quality always
meet with early purchasers, because those who can afford to buy foreign
goods always inquire for the best; and the more modern and fashionable
the goods are, the better and the quicker is the sale. Thick broad
cloths, in imitation of the Spanish San Fernando cloth, are best for the
interior; and thin fine cloth, in imitation of the French sedan cloth,
is most suitable for Lima. The Manchester broad flannels, either twilled
or plain, with a long nap, dark and light blue, crimson and pink,
bright green, pale yellow, brown, white, and any shades or half colours,
are very saleable commodities, either on the coast or in the interior.
Kerseymeres, cords, and velveteens; Irish linens and common lawns cut
into pieces of eight yards each, in imitation of the French bretagnes
and estopillas; coarse linen in pieces of about thirty yards, imitating
the German platillas; and fine Scotch cambrics, as well as table linen,
sheeting, &c., meet a great demand. All kinds of cotton goods,
particularly stockings, muslins, and fashionable prints of delicate
colours; also dark blue prints with small white sprigs, &c., which are
used for mourning by every class, are in common use among the poor;
besides dimities, jeans, and white quilts (Marseilles), which are all
very saleable articles. Silks, damask (crimson), ribbons, particularly
narrow, and good velvets (black), are in great demand. Glass and
earthenware, all kinds of hardware and cutlery (few forks), mechanics'
tools, large hammers and wedges for the miners, spades, shovels,
pickaxes, &c.; quicksilver, in the mining districts, also iron and
steel, are saleable articles. Trinkets are not in much estimation,
because the inhabitants seldom wear any that are not of gold and
precious gems. Hats are well made in Lima, and the materials are of the
best quality. Shoes and boots are another manufacture in which the
natives excel, and their materials are tolerably good. The cordovans
from Lambayeque are excellent. Drugs are extremely dear, for even those
produced in different parts of the Spanish colonies are generally first
sent to Europe, and thence back again, except, in Lima, the chinchona
bark, sarsaparilla, copaiva balsam, guaiacum, and some others, the
produce of Peru.

I shall have occasion to mention, at different places, the utility that
would result from the introduction of machinery, not only as it was
evinced at the date of my narrative, but as rendered more apparent by
the subsequent political changes of the country.

In Lima, an intelligent Spaniard, Don Matias de la Reta, established
looms and other machinery for weaving cotton sail-cloth, and some coarse
articles of the same material. At his death the manufactory was
abandoned; but there is no doubt that the plan would have answered well
had the projector lived. At present (1824) a pottery or manufactory of
common earthenware would be a very lucrative establishment; as also, a
work for ordinary glass ware; because the materials for both may be had
conveniently, and of good qualities: the consumption of both is very
great, and their prices comparatively high. Indeed, if the introduction
of either will pay the freight and other indispensable charges, it is
evident that a speculation of this kind could not fail. All the
earthenware for ordinary purposes is manufactured here; but it is heavy,
and very clumsy: however, as it is, large quantities are sent to
different parts of the country.

Good steady mechanics--carpenters, cabinet makers, millwrights,
blacksmiths, whitesmiths, silversmiths, watchmakers or repairers,
shoemakers, and tailors, would meet with constant work and good wages;
but it would be advisable for each artificer to take a supply of tools
with him. I mention this on account of the changes that have occurred in
the governments; because during the colonial system, a foreigner was
liable to be ordered to leave the country at a very short notice; but,
notwithstanding that risk, several were established in Lima in 1808 and
the succeeding years, and were never interrupted.

The subjoined is an account of the prices of some articles, which will
convey an idea of the profits derived by the merchants, principally old
Spaniards, before the revolutions in America affected this market.

     Good broad cloth, per yard, from 18 to 20 dollars.--Kerseymeres
     from 7 to 10--Broad coloured flannels from 3 to 4--Fine Irish Linen
     from 3 to 4--Fine German platillas from 1½ to 3--Ordinary German
     platillas from 1 to 2--Fine French lawn from 3 to 4--Fine French
     cambric from 10 to 12--Printed calicoes 2 to 3½--Fine printed
     calicoes from 3 to 4½--Fine muslins from 3 to 5--Fine cambric
     muslins from 3 to 5--Silk velvet from 10 to 12--Fine velveteens 2½
     to 4. Blue and white earthenware plates, per dozen, from 12 to 18
     dollars--Common German half-pint glasses from 8 to 12--Common
     knives with bone handles from 10 to 12--Common knives with wood
     handles from 6 to 8.

Much has been said by every writer on South America respecting the
Spanish colonial restrictions. They certainly were, like all others,
most severe, until experience proved to the government of the parent
state, that it was not the welfare of the individuals or of particular
companies or corporations employed in commerce, that could enrich the
government. The Conde de Aranda, when prime minister in Spain, was well
apprized of this truth, and what was really sound policy in him was
called liberality. However, as Peru was at so great a distance from
Europe, she never was so much oppressed as those colonies on the
opposite side of the new world.

The returns from this market have been gold, silver, and tin; bark,
cocoa, cotton, vicuña wool, sheep wool, and some drugs.


     Visit to Pisco....Town of Pisco....Bay of Pisco....Curious
     Production of Salt...._Huano_...._Huanaes_....Vineyards,
     Brandy....Vineyards _de las Hoyas_....Fruits....Chilca, Village of
     Indians....Leave Lima, Road to Chancay....Pasamayo House...._Nina
     de la Huaca_....Maize, Cultivation Use of _Huano_....Hogs....On the
     produce of Maize....Different kinds of....Time of Harvesting....
     Uses of....Chicha of....Sugar of....Town of Chancay...._Colcas_
     ....Town of Huacho...._Chacras_ of the Indians....On the Character
     of the Native Indians....Refutation of what some Authors have said
     of....Manners and Customs of....Tradition of Manco Capac....Ditto
     Camaruru....Ditto Bochica....Ditto Quitzalcoatl....These Traditions
     favourable to the Spaniards....Government of Manco Capac....
     Representation of the Death of the Inca....Feast of Corpus Christi
     at Huacho....Indian Dances....Salinas.

During my residence in Lima, I availed myself of an invitation to visit
the city of Pisco, about fifty leagues to the southward. This place,
although it bears the name of a city, is only a miserable village. The
present town is situated about two leagues to the northward of the old
one. It was sacked in 1624 by the Dutch pirate, James Hermit Clark--in
1686 by Edward David--and in 1687 it was entirely demolished by an
earthquake; after which, the new town was begun to be built, about a
league from the shore.

The bay is very large, and the anchorage good, but the landing is
difficult near the small battery, erected for the purpose of protecting
the landing place; it is better however at _las Palmas_, about two
leagues higher up the bay, called _la Paraca_, and fresh water, which is
very difficult to procure near the fort, may be had here. At the
southern extremity of the bay, beneath a bed of broken indurated clay
and sand stones, a stratum of salt is found, extending from fifty to one
hundred yards from the sea, and sometimes more. On removing the upper
covering of sand, the broken stones and the clay, the salt is
discovered, forming a kind of small white columns, about three or four
inches long, the upper part curling, as it were, and hanging downwards
again, the whole appearing somewhat like a cauliflower. It is extremely
white, and composed of transparent filaments not so large as a human
hair. I examined these slender bodies with a good lens; they all
appeared perfectly cylindrical and hollow, closely placed together, but
not attached to each other, for by a slight pressure they separated,
assuming the appearance of asbestos. The salt is as palatable as the
common culinary salt, dissolves slowly in a large quantity of cold
water, and is not at all deliquescent from absorption. It is seldom used
by the inhabitants, except when there is a scarcity of salt from Huacho.

Some small islands at the entrance to the bay of Pisco are famous for
the manure which they produce, and which is embarked and carried to
different parts of the coast, and often into the interior on the backs
of mules and llamas. The quantity of this manure is enormous, and its
qualities are truly astonishing; of this I shall have occasion to speak
when treating of the cultivation of maize at Chancay. Several small
vessels are constantly employed to carry it off; some of the cuts, where
embarkation is convenient, are from forty to fifty feet deep, and their
bottom is yet considerably above the level of the sea.

This valuable production appears to be the excrement of sea birds,
immense numbers of which frequent and breed on the islands; and the
accumulation is doubtless owing to the total absence of rain. It is of a
pale brown colour when dry, and easily reducible to powder; when fresh
it has rather a reddish appearance; the surface stratum for a foot deep
is whitish, and contains feathers, bones of birds, and shells of eggs.
It is asserted, that the _huano_, the name by which this production is
known, is certainly fossil earth; but the quality of the upper stratum,
which although at first white, gradually inclines to yellow, being
incontestibly the excrement of birds, and equal to the other, the
subject seems to demand a stricter scrutiny.

A species of birds frequenting these islands in great abundance is
called _huanay_: hence the original name of the matter now used as
manure. The bird is of black plumage, is as large as the seagull, and
breeds during the whole year, with this peculiarity, that each nest,
being only a hole in the huano, contains a fledged bird, an unfledged
one, and one egg; whence it appears, that there is a constant
succession, without the old birds undergoing the confinement of brooding
their eggs. The indians take many of the young birds, salt them, and
consider them a great delicacy; however they have a strong fishy taste.

The principal produce of the neighbourhood of Pisco, including the
valleys of Chincha and Cañete, is vines, from which about one hundred
and fifty thousand gallons of brandy are annually made. The brandy is
kept in earthen jars, each holding about eighteen gallons. The vessels
are made in the neighbourhood; their shape is that of an inverted cone,
and the inside is coated with a species of naptha. The brandy,
generally called pisco, from the name of the place where it is made, is
of a good flavour, and is not coloured, like the French brandy. One
kind, made from the muscadine grape, and called _aguardiente de Italia_,
is very delicate, possessing the flavour of Frontignac wine, and is much
esteemed. Little wine is made, and that little is of a very inferior
quality; it is generally thick and sweet, owing perhaps to the juice of
the grape being boiled for a considerable time before it is fermented.

Near to Pisco is a vineyard called _de las hoyas_, of the pits, or
holes; these are excavations made originally by the indians, or
aborigines, who being well versed in agriculture, cleared away the sand,
and opened a species of pits, in search of humidity. This immense labour
was occasioned by the difficulty or impossibility of procuring water
from the river Cañete for irrigation. The original use of the hoyas was
perhaps the growth of maize or camotes; but vines are now planted in
them, which produce most abundantly, requiring no other cultivation or
care than merely pruning, for the branches are allowed to stretch along
the sands.

The vine planters monopolized the making of spirituous liquors in Peru.
They procured from the King of Spain, Carlos III., a royal order,
prohibiting the manufacture of any ardent spirit in Peru, except from
the grape; and the importation of spirits subjected the importers to
very severe penalties; for having also represented to the pope, Clement
XIV., the destructive qualities of any other spirituous liquors in Peru,
the royal order was backed by a papal excommunication, fulminated
against all contrafactors and contraventors.

Dates abound, and when properly dried are superior to those of the
coasts of Barbary. Here are many prolific plantations of olives; the
figs are also very good, and pine-apples prosper well.

In the valley of Chincha are several large sugar plantations; two belong
to the Count de Montemar y Monteblanco, and one near the coast, called
Caucato, to Don Fernando Maso, where there is an extensive manufactory
of soap. The number of slaves on the plantations of Chincha, Pisco, and
Cañete is estimated at about eight thousand.

Between Pisco and Lima there is an indian village, called Chilca; it is
on a sandy plain, devoid of water as well as vegetation; the natives
often procure water by digging pits in the sand, but these sometimes
fail them, and they are then obliged to fetch this indispensably
necessary article from the Cañete river, a distance of five leagues.
The principal occupation of the inhabitants is fishing; they are very
averse to the society of the whites, so much so that they allow none to
reside in their village; even their parish priest is an indian cacique,
a native of the village, whose education, and the expences of his
ordination were paid by a subscription raised by them for the purpose.

Five leagues to the northward of Lima is the small port of Ancon, the
residence of a few indian fishermen; the anchorage is good, and the
landing is excellent. A few large fig trees grow on the sand, near the
beach, the fruit of which is extremely delicate.

The road leading from Ancon to Chancay is over very deep sand; some
parts of the road are level, while others lead over hills of sand, quite
bare in summer or during the dry season: but scarcely do the _garuas_,
fogs, make their appearance, when the whole is covered with the most
luxuriant vegetation; at which time the cattle is driven on them from
the neighbouring farms.

Near to Chancay, before crossing the small river, stands the old family
residence of the Marquis of Villafuerte, almost in ruins; this is the
case with many of the country seats belonging to the nobility of Lima,
who have no idea of country pleasures, nor of rural beauties. Many of
the principal country houses are built on the ruins of some ancient
building of the indians: these people never encroached on cultivated
lands, but fixed their residence either on the declivities where they
could not procure water for irrigation, or on the tops of the hills;
which is a convincing proof of their great economy, and leads us to
surmise that the population of this country was very extensive before
the conquest. This estate, called Pasamayo, is principally destined to
the breeding of hogs for the Lima market.

Pasamayo house, standing on the top of a hill, commands a noble prospect
of the sea, as well as of the valley of Chancay, in which there is a
small parish of indians, called Aucayama, most delightfully situated: in
1690 the tribute roll contained three thousand seven hundred indians,
but it is at present (1805) composed of only one hundred and seventy. Of
this decrease in the indian population I shall have occasion to speak
afterwards, when at Huacho. The valley of Chancay contains some fine
plantations of cane, and sugar manufactories; as also extensive pastures
of lucern for cattle; and very large quantities of maize and beans are
grown in the neighbourhood.

This valley is the birth place of the celebrated _Niña de la huaca_,
young lady of the huaca, taking her name from the huaca, the farm where
she was born. She stood six feet high, which was a very extraordinary
stature, as the Peruvian females are generally low. Extremely fond of
masculine exercises, nothing was more agreeable to her than to assist in
apprehending runaway slaves, or in taking the robbers who sometimes
haunt the road between this place and Lima. She would mount a spirited
horse, _al uso del pais_, astride, arm herself with a brace of pistols,
and a _hasta de rejon_, a lance, and with three or four men she would
scour the environs of the valley and the road to Lima, where she became
more dreaded than a company of _encapados_, or mounted police officers.
I visited her at her residence, and found her better instructed in
literature than the generality of the native females; she was frank,
obliging, and courteous, managing her own estate, a sugar plantation, to
the best advantage, superintending the whole of the business herself.

The quantity of maize cultivated in the ravine, _quebrada_, and on the
plains of Chancay, is very great; but the cultivators are indebted to
the huano from the islands of Pisco and Chincha for their abundant
harvest. I have seen the fields quite yellow, from the parched state of
the plants, when they were about a foot high, having four or five
leaves each, at which time they are manured, by opening a hole at the
root of every three or four plants, for they grow in clusters of this
number, and putting into it, with the fingers, about half an ounce of
huano, which is covered with a little earth, thrown on by the foot. The
field is then irrigated as soon as possible; and in the course of ten or
twelve days the plants will be more than a yard high, of a most
luxuriant green colour, and the stalks pregnant with the cobs of corn. A
second quantity of huano is now applied in the same manner, and the
ground again irrigated; and thus the most abundant crops are produced,
yielding from one thousand to twelve hundred fold. The cobs are
frequently fourteen and even sixteen inches long, well set with grain,
and the grain very large. Beans are often planted with the maize, by
which means a double crop is produced; but in this case the maize is not
so prolific, nor are the beans so good, because the best quality of the
bean is grown without irrigation, being sown long before the _garuas_
disappear, and being ripe earlier than the maize.

Chancay is famous for the breeding and feeding of hogs for the Lima
Market: the hogs are all black, with little or almost no hair, short
snouts, small pointed ears, and of a low stature; but they become so
amazingly fat, that they can scarcely walk; and as their value depends
on the quantity of fat which they yield, it is the principal object of
the feeder to bring them to this state as soon as possible. When killed,
the whole of the body is fried, and the fat is sold as lard for culinary
purposes. The consumption of lard in every part of Peru is enormous, and
it is principally owing to the abundance of maize that the _hacendados_,
farmers, enjoy this lucrative trade.

Maize grows on the ridges of the Cordilleras where the mean temperature
is about 48° of Fahrenheit, and on the plains or in the valleys where it
is 80°,--where the climate is adverse to rye and barley, and where wheat
cannot be produced, either owing to the heat or the cold, this grain,
whose farinaceous property has the greatest volume, produces its seed
from 150 to 1200 fold. Thus it may be said to be the most useful grain
to man; and it is peculiarly adapted to the country in which it was
planted by the provident hand of nature. On this account, the maize
occupies in the scale of the various kinds of cultivation a much greater
extent on the new continent than that of wheat does on the old.

It has been erroneously stated, that maize was the only species of
grain known to the Americans before the conquest. In Chile, according to
Molina, the _mager_, a species of rye, and the _tuca_, a species of
barley, were both common before the fifteenth century; and as there was
neither rye nor barley, it is evident that if they were common even
after the conquest, and not European grain, that they were indigenous.
In Peru the bean and quinua were common before the conquest, for I have
frequently found them in the huacas, preserved in vases of red
earthenware. Some writers have pretended that the maize, which is also a
native of Asia, was brought over by the Spaniards to their colonies in
the new world. This is so evidently false, that it does not deserve
contradiction: indeed, if the aborigines were destitute of maize, beans,
plantains, and all those articles of food which have been said to be
introduced by the Europeans, a new query would arise--on what did the
numerous population of indians feed? For what purpose did they cultivate
such large tracts of land, and why procure water for irrigation on the
coasts of Peru with such immense labour, and such extraordinary
ingenuity? Why did the Peruvians always build their houses in such
sterile situations as labour could never have made fertile?

I have enumerated five varieties of maize in Peru; one is known by the
name of _chancayano_, which has a large semi-transparent yellow grain;
another is called _morocho_, and has a small yellow grain of a horny
appearance; _amarillo_, or the yellow, has a large yellow opaque grain,
and is more farinaceous than the two former varieties: _blanco_, white;
this is the colour of the grain, which is large, and contains more
farina than the former; and _cancha_, or sweet maize. The last is only
cultivated in the colder climates of the _sierra_, mountains; it grows
about two feet high, the cob is short, and the grains large and white:
when green it is very bitter; but when ripe and roasted it is
particularly sweet, and so tender, that it may be reduced to flour
between the fingers. In this roasted state it constitutes the principal
food of the _serranos_, mountaineers, of several provinces. It is
considered a delicacy at Lima and all along the coast, and without a bag
full of this roasted maize a serrano never undertakes a journey. It is
sometimes roasted, and reduced to coarse flour, like the ulpa in Chile,
and is then called _machica_.

According to the climate, and the kind of maize, its state of
perfection or ripeness varies very much--from fifty days to five months.
The morocho is ripe within sixty days in climates that are very hot and
humid, as for instance at Guayaquil, and on the coast of Choco: the
blanco within three months, in the vicinity of Lima and on the Peruvian
coast, _valles_: and the chancayano in about five months. The last is
the most productive, and the best food for cattle, poultry, &c.

Although wheat and barley are cultivated in different parts of Peru,
maize is generally considered the principal harvest; and where barley is
even commoner than maize, (as in some of the more elevated provinces of
the interior, and where it constitutes the principal article of food for
the indians) they all greatly prefer the maize, if attainable, and will
always exert themselves to cultivate a small patch of ground for this
grain. Thus, where it is not used for daily food, or calculated upon as
an article of trade, it is considered as a species of luxury. Among the
indians and poor people on the coast it supplies the place of bread; for
which purpose it is merely boiled in water, and is then called _mote_.
Puddings are also made of it, by first taking off the husk. This
operation is performed by putting a quantity of wood ashes into water
with the maize, exposing it to a boiling heat, and washing the grain in
running water, when the husks immediately separate themselves from the
grain, which is afterwards boiled in water, and reduced to a paste by
bruising it on a large stone, somewhat hollowed in the middle, called a
_batan_. The bruiser, or _mano_, handle, is curved on one side, and is
moved by pressing the ends alternately. I have been the more particular
in describing this rude mill, because it was undoubtedly used by the
ancient Peruvians, having been found buried with them in their huacas;
and because it may serve some curious investigator in comparing the
manners of these people with those of other nations. By the same
implements they pulverized their ores for the extraction of gold and
silver; and to this day many of their batanes of obsidian and porphyry
remain near to the mountain in the neighbourhood of Cochas; but the
bruisers have never been discovered. That these stones were used for the
purpose just mentioned is obvious, from the relics of a gold mine being
here visible; besides, I have several times found fragments of gold ore
in this place.

After the paste is made from the boiled maize it is seasoned with salt
and an abundance of capsicum, and a portion of lard is added: a
quantity of this paste is then laid on a piece of plantain leaf, and
some meat is put among it, after which it is rolled up in the leaf, and
boiled for several hours. This kind of pudding is called _tamal_, a
_Quichua_ word, which inclines me to believe, that it is a dish known to
the ancient inhabitants of the country.

Sweet puddings are made from the green corn, by cutting the grains from
the cob, bruising them, and adding sugar and spices, after which they
are boiled or baked. _Choclo_, being the Quichua name for the green
cobs, these puddings, if boiled in the leaves that envelop the cob, are
called _choclo tandas_, bread of green maize, and also _umitas_.

This useful grain is prepared for the table in many different ways, and
excellent cakes and rusks are made from the flour, procured from the
grain by various means. A thick kind of porridge, called _sango_, is
made by boiling the flour in water, which constitutes the principal food
of the slaves on the farms and plantations. Another sort, similar to
hasty-pudding, is common in many places, but particularly in Lima; it is
called _masamorra_, and the people of Lima are often ironically
denominated _masamorerros_, eaters of masamorra. The grain is bruised
and mixed with water; it is thus allowed to ferment until it become
acid, when it is boiled, and sweetened with sugar. It resembles Scotch

A great quantity of maize is also made into a fermented beverage, called
_chicha_. The grain is allowed to germinate, and is completely malted;
it is then boiled with water, and the liquor ferments like ale or
porter; but no other ingredients are added to it.

Chicha is the favourite drink of all the indians, and when well made it
is very intoxicating. In some parts of Peru the natives believe that
fermentation will not take place if the malted grain be not previously
subjected to mastication; from this circumstance many old men and women
assemble at the house where chicha is to be made, and are employed in
chewing the _jora_, or malt. Having masticated a sufficient quantity
they lay the chewed substance in small balls, mouthfuls, on a calabash;
these are suffered to dry a little, after which they are mixed with some
newly made chicha while it is warm. When travelling I always inquired if
the chicha was _mascada_, chewed, and if it were I declined taking
any;--however, as the question seemed to express a dislike, I was often
assured it was not mascada when it probably was. No spirituous liquor is
extracted from it, on account of the prohibition. Two kinds of chicha
are usually made from the same grain--the first, called claro, is the
water in which the malt has been infused; this is drawn off, and
afterwards boiled. In taste it has some resemblance to cider. The second
kind is made by boiling the grain with the water for several hours, it
is then strained and fermented, and is called neto; the residue or
sediment found in the bottom of the jars is used in fermenting the dough
for bread, which when made of maize is called _arepa_; and that of
wheat, in the Quichua language, _tanda_.

This beverage was well known to the ancient inhabitants before the
conquest; for I have drunk, at Patavilca and Cajamarca, chicha that had
been found interred in jars in the huacas, or burying places, where it
must have remained upwards of three centuries. Garcilaso de la Vega
relates, that the manufacture of intoxicating liquors, particularly the
_vinapu_ and _sora_, was prohibited by the Incas; and this part of Peru
was annexed to their government in the time of Pachacutec, the tenth
Inca of Peru.

The Peruvians, as well as the Mexicans, made sugar from the green stalks
of the maize plant, and sold it in their markets--Cortes, in one of his
letters to the Emperor Charles V., speaks of it. At Quito, I have seen
the green canes brought to market, and have frequently observed the
indians sucking them as the negroes do the sugar cane.

The town Villa de Chancay stands about a league and a half from the
Pasamayo river, and fifteen leagues from Lima. It was founded in 1563 by
the Viceroy Conde de Nieva, who intended to form a college and a
university here, but this intention was never fulfilled. It has a large
parish church, a convent of Franciscans, dedicated to San Diego, and a
hospital, managed by friars of San Juan de Dios. The town contains about
three hundred families, some of which are descendants of noblemen,
although perhaps by African favourites.

Chancay is pleasantly situated, about a league from the sea; its port is
small, the anchorage bad, and the landing difficult. Its market is
abundant in fish, flesh-meat, vegetables, and fruit: of the latter
considerable quantities are carried to Lima; it is also famous for
delicate sweet cakes, called _biscochos_. This is the capital of a
district, which contains thirty-seven settlements, of different
climates, because part of it is mountainous. The subdelegado, or
political governor of the district, generally resides at Chancay,
besides whom there are two alcaldes or mayors annually elected in the

At a short distance is Torre blanca, the seat of the Conde de Torre
blanca, Marquis of Lara; and an excellent farm-house at Chancaillo; not
far from which, and near the sea, are the _colcas_, deep pits dug in the
sand. These pits have been surrounded with adobes, sun-dried bricks; and
they are reported to have been granaries belonging to the army of
Pachacutec, when this Inca was engaged in the conquest of the Chimu of

Fourteen leagues from Chancay stands the indian village Huacho; it is
situated in a delightful valley, watered by the Huaura, which rises in
the province of Cajatambo, and in its course to the sea irrigates more
than thirty thousand acres of land. The village contains about four
thousand inhabitants, all indians; it has a large parish church and
three small chapels, besides a chapel of ease at Lauriama, where mass is
celebrated on Sundays and festivals. The principal employment of the
natives is the cultivation of their _chacras_, small farms, cutting salt
at the salinas, fishing, and making straw hats, at which they are very
dexterous. The hats are not made of plat: they begin at the centre of
the crown, and continue the work by alternately raising one straw and
depressing another, inserting or taking out straws, as the shape
requires it, till the hat is finished. These hats are generally made
either of fine rushes which grow on swampy ground, or of _mocora_, the
produce of a palm tree, in the province of Lambayeque.

The _chacras_, plots of ground distributed to the indians by the
government, and held during life, are supposed to be an equivalent for
the tribute; and indeed they are an excellent compensation, for the
produce is usually worth six times more than the sum paid, leaving at
least five-sixths for the expences or trouble of cultivation. To the
great credit of the indians no land is any where kept in better
condition, nor more attention paid to the crops, which generally consist
of wheat, maize, beans, camotes, yucas, pumpkins, potatoes, and many
kinds of vegetables. There is an abundance of fruit trees, the produce
of which is often carried to Lima. The hedges are almost entirely
composed of those trees, such as the orange, lime, guava, pacay, palta,
&c. In some places the vine and the granadilla are seen creeping about,
craving support for their slender branches, as if unable to sustain the
burthen of fruit they are destined to bear. The maguey is much
cultivated in the hedges; besides this destination it produces cordage
for general uses, and the flower stems growing twenty feet high serve
as beams for the houses, and other similar purposes; being, if kept dry,
of almost everlasting duration.

I had an excellent opportunity here of observing the character, manners,
and customs of the indians, with whom I was very much pleased. They are
kind and hospitable, but timidity and diffidence make them appear
reserved and somewhat sullen. Their maxims are founded on their own
adage--convince me that you are really my friend, and rest secure: _has
ver que eres mi amigo, y hechate a dormir_. Whether this distrust be a
natural characteristic trait, or whether it be the result of the
privations they have suffered since the Spaniards became their masters,
it is difficult to decide; but at all events it surely cannot be called
a crime.

The indians on the coast of Peru are of a copper colour, with a small
forehead, the hair growing on each side from the extremities of the
eyebrows; they have small black eyes; small nose, the nostrils not
protruding like those of the African; a moderately sized mouth, with
beautiful teeth; beardless chin (except in old age) and a round face.
Their hair is black, coarse, and sleek, without any inclination to curl;
the body is well proportioned, and the limbs well turned, and they have
small feet. Their stature is rather diminutive, but they are inclined to
corpulency, when they become inactive, and it is a common saying, that a
jolly person is _tan gordo como un cacique_, as fat as a cacique. The
perspiration from their bodies is acetous, which some have supposed to
be caused by a vegetable diet. In the colder climates, although in the
same latitude, the complexion of the indians is lighter, owing perhaps
to the cold; however, the Araucanians, who enjoy a much colder climate,
are of a dark copper colour.

I shall here endeavour to refute some of the aspersions thrown by
several writers upon the character of the Peruvian indians, whom I hope
to place, in the estimation of unbiassed men, in a situation more
honourable to human nature than they have yet enjoyed; and thus one of
my principal objects for publishing this narrative will be obtained.

M. Bouguer says, that "they are all extremely indolent, they are stupid,
they pass whole days sitting in the same place, without moving, or
speaking a single word." I believe I may state, that in all hot climates
an inclination to indolence is common, nay even natural; a hot climate
precludes bodily exertion, unless the cravings of nature are satisfied
with difficulty, and as this is not the case in Peru, half the vice, if
it be a vice, disappears at once; add to this, that they have no motive
to exertion above supplying the wants of nature--no stimulus--no market
for an excess of produce, or the supplying of artificial wants--and the
cause for indolence exists as necessarily as a cause for industry is
found where the contrary happens. If a climate demand only a shade from
the sun or a shelter from the rain, why should men build themselves
stately or close habitations? Where nature spontaneously produces the
requisite articles of food, competent to the consumption of the
inhabitants, why should they exert themselves to procure a superfluous
stock? and particularly where an introduction of new articles in
succession is entirely unknown. What to M. Bouguer and others has
appeared stupidity, perhaps deserves the name of indifference, the
natural result of possessing all the means for satisfying real wants,
and an ignorance of artificial ones. But if real stupidity be meant, I
must aver that I never observed it either among the wild tribes of
Arauco on the river Napo, or in those of the coasts of Choco. I
recollect very well an indian, called _Bravo_, who was accused at
Pomasqui of having stolen the mule which he had brought from the
valleys to the eastward of Quito, laden with fruit. At the moment the
accusation was laid before the alcalde, the indian threw his poncho or
mantle over the head of the mule, and then desired the challenger to say
of which eye his mule was blind? He answered, of the left. Then, said
the indian, taking off the poncho, this mule cannot be yours, because it
is blind of neither. That any beings endowed with speech should "sit
whole days without speaking a word," is indeed the acme of taciturnity;
but as M. Bouguer was perhaps ignorant of the language of the people he
describes, he may probably deserve the same compliment from them. I
found the Araucanians prone to talk; indeed eloquence is considered an
accomplishment among them, and extremely necessary among the _mapus_, or
chiefs. The Peruvians are neither silent in their meetings nor when
travelling; however, they have little inquisitiveness, nor do they break
out into soliloquys on the beauties of the surrounding scenery; but they
converse freely on common place topics, particularly with a white man,
if they find that he deigns to enter into conversation with them.
Several of the tribes in Archidona and Napo, who are in their free
state, certainly did not merit the accusation of dumb stupidity; for
although unacquainted with their languages, I tried to converse with
them in Quichua, aided by signs, and I really discovered more
intelligence among them than I had a right to expect. What is often
considered a step towards civilization or to social life, is a pastoral
one; but if we search for it in a country where animals capable of
domestication do not exist, we have no right to consider the inhabitants
as barbarous, because they are not possessed of flocks and herds; nor do
human beings deserve that epithet, who will share what they are
possessed of with a stranger; and such hospitality I have frequently
experienced. The kindness which these men show to the dog is no small
proof of their sensibility; they will take long journeys to procure one,
and value it as much as a lady esteems her lap dog. The utility of the
animal may perhaps be said to be the chief motive of the indian's
attachment; and what other motive has the shepherd or the herdsman?

M. Bouguer continues, "they are totally indifferent to wealth and all
its advantages. One does not know what to offer them to procure their
services; it is in vain to offer money, they answer, that they are not
hungry." Wealth, in the general acceptation of the word, can procure no
advantages to men who have no means of disposing of it. Where there is
no market, money can purchase nothing; and where the natural wants are
abundantly supplied, and men's desires have not created artificial ones,
a market is superfluous and useless; but wherever the indians can
exchange the produce of the country they inhabit for whatever pleases
them, they are always anxious to do it. The Logroño indians trade with
the city of Cuenca; the Yumbos, Colorados, and Malabas with Quito; the
Chunchos, Pehuenches, Huilliches, and other tribes with Conception; the
Orejones with Huanuco; and numerous other tribes frequent the
settlements nearest to them, for the purpose of bartering their
commodities for others which are either useful or ornamental. Had M.
Bouguer offered them beads, hawks' bells, _machetes_, large knives,
bows, arrows, or poison for their darts, he would have obtained their

Dr. Robertson considers the indians to have been, at the time of the
conquest by the Spaniards, less improved and more savage than the
inhabitants of any part of the globe; but he afterwards limits this
charge to the rudest tribes; a limitation which was very necessary, for
the purpose of palliating what I cannot help believing to be a false
accusation. He could not mean the tribe of the Muysca indians, who have
left the fewest remains of their ingenuity, much less the Peruvians; and
in Mexico, some of their cities were equal to the finest in Spain,
according to the accounts given by Cortes, in his reports to the Emperor
Charles V. These reports, and the yet existing monuments of labour and
ingenuity, speak strongly in opposition to Robertson's statement.

Ulloa says, "one can hardly form an idea of them different from what one
has of the brutes." Paul III. thought differently, when, by his
celebrated bull, he declared them worthy of being considered as human
beings. Ulloa might have said, with more truth, one can hardly form an
idea of treatment more brutal than that which many of them receive. In
the interior of Peru, as Ulloa speaks of the Peruvians, they were
degraded by the _mita_, a scion of the law of _repartirnientos_,
distribution of indians at the time of the conquest. By this law, the
men were forced from their homes and their families to serve for a
limited time an imperious master, who, if he approved of their labour,
took care to advance them a little money or some equivalent above what
their wages amounted to, and then obliged them to serve him until the
debt was liquidated. By this time another debt was contracted; and thus
it was that they became worse than slaves, except in the name. I have
been on several estates in different parts of Peru and Quito where the
annual stipend of an indian was no more than eighteen or twenty dollars;
with which pittance he had probably to maintain a wife and family,
besides paying his annual tribute of five or seven dollars and a half to
the King. The result was generally this:--the father died indebted to
his master, and his children were attached to the estate for the
payment. I would now ask Don Antonio Ulloa, who are the brutes? The hut
of one of these miserable indians consists of a few stones laid one upon
another, without any cement or mortar, thatched over with some long
grass or straw, which neither defends the unhappy inmates from the wind
nor the rain; and such is the case on the _paramos_, or bleak mountains.
One small room contains the whole family; their bed, a sheep skin or
two, their covering, the few clothes which they wear during the day, for
they have no others; their furniture, one or two earthen pots; and their
food, a scanty provision of barley. Who that is possessed of Christian
charity could witness this, and, instead of pitying their miserable
condition, call them brutes? If of these Ulloa says, "nothing disturbs
the tranquillity of their souls--equally insensible to disasters and to
prosperity," his observation is just. Born under the lash of an
imperious master, subject to the cruelty of an unfeeling mayordomo, they
had no disasters to fear, because their condition could not possibly be
rendered worse: with prosperity they had been totally unacquainted, it
was a blessing which had fled the land they were born to tread, or
rather it had been transferred to usurpers.

Ulloa continues, "though half naked, they are as contented as a monarch
in his most splendid array." And does the Spaniard imagine, that these
miserable men are destitute of corporal feeling as well as of
intellectual sensibility? Does neither the bleak wind nor the cold rain
make any impression on them? Can content be the companion of the
half-naked, half-starved slave? It may be the gloom of despair that
hangs on their countenances; but it is certainly not the smile of
content. "Fear makes no impression on them, and respect as little." This
rhapsody is taken from the mouth of some Spanish master, as a palliative
of his own cruel conduct. "Their disposition is so singular, that there
are no means of influencing them, nor of rousing them from that
indifference, which is proof against all the endeavours of the wisest
persons. No expedient which can induce them to abandon that gross
ignorance, or lay aside that careless negligence which disconcert the
prudent, and disappoint the care of such as are attentive to their
welfare." If a man be so oppressed by a tyrannical and proud master,
that he finds himself lower in his estimation than the cattle which he
tends--so worn down with hunger, cold, and fatigue that he is only
anxious for the approach of night or of the grave,--what can rouse him
from that indifference or despondency which Señor Ulloa describes? Now
this has been the state of the South American indian on the large farms,
and in the _obrages_, manufactories. He dreads to finish his task early,
fearful of an increase of labour; he dares not appear cheerful, because
it might be called impudence by his overseer; he dares not be cleanly or
well clothed, because the first condition would be considered a
negligence of his duty to his master, or an attention to his own
comforts, and the second the result of theft. Then, what, let me ask, is
left, but misery in appearance, and wretchedness in reality? I well
remember what the pious Dr. Rodrigues said to me at Quito:--"Not half
the saints of the Romish Church, whose penitent lives placed them in the
calendar and on our altars, suffered greater privations, in the hopes
of enjoying everlasting glory, than one of these indians does through
fear of offending a cruel master, or for the purpose of increasing his
wealth." "How dear," added he, "has the religion of Christ cost these
once happy innocent creatures, and at what an usurious price it has been
sold to them by the proud pedlars who imported it. Oh! heaven,"
exclaimed he, "till when! till when! hasta quando! hasta quando!" Well
too do I remember, when passing, with the Conde Ruis de Castilla, by the
cloth manufactory of San Juan, near Riobamba, an old indian woman, who
was tending a flock of sheep, and spinning with her distaff and spindle,
her head uncovered, her grey locks waving wildly in the wind, and her
nakedness not half concealed by an old coarse _anaco_, running to his
excellency, and on her knees exclaiming, with sobs and tears, "bless
your worship, I have seen seven viracochas who came to govern us, but my
poor children are still as naked and as hungry as I was when I saw the
first; but you will tell the King of this, and he will make me happy
before I die; he will let us leave San Juan; oh! taita ya, taita ya--oh!
my father, my father."

"No expedient can induce them to lay aside their gross ignorance," says
el Señor Ulloa. What expedients have been tried? No schools have been
established for them; no persons employed to teach them, except an old
man or a friar, who once a week teaches them their prayers; and I can
safely aver, that thousands of indians employed by white people live and
die in their service without ever seeing any other book than the missal
on the altar, or their master's account book on his table.

But let us turn from this loathing sight, and look to indians where they
are blessed with a greater portion of rational liberty, where they are
considered more on a level with their white neighbours, and have more
opportunities of evincing that they are not a disgrace to human nature,
nor beneath the merited name of men.

The towns of Huacho and Eten, inhabited almost exclusively by indians,
may serve to pourtray the character of these people when in society. I
have already mentioned their employment at Huacho; to which may be added
the manufacture of many articles of cotton at Eten, such as napkins,
tablecloths, and counterpanes, some of which are remarkably fine, and
ornamented with curious figures interwoven, somewhat like damask. I have
seen their felt or frieze counterpanes sell for twenty or twenty five
dollars each. They also make large floor mats of _junco_, a species of
fine rush, and they manufacture hats. These are sufficient proofs, that
when an indian reaps the benefit of his labour he is not averse from

Ulloa has also mistated the character of the American indian, in
asserting, "that he will receive with the same indifference the office
of an alcalde or judge, as that of a hangman." An indian alcalde is as
proud of his _vara_, insignia of office, as any mayor of England is of
his gown, and always takes care to carry it along with him, and to exact
that respect which he considers due to him in his official capacity.
When the Oidor Abendaño passed through the indian town of Sechura, in
1807, he had neglected to take the necessary passport from the
Governador of Paita; the indian alcalde requested to see it; the Oidor
informed him that he had not one; adding, that he was one of the
ministers of the royal audience of Lima; and I, said the indian, am the
minister of justice of Sechura, and here my vara is of more importance
than your lordship's. I shall therefore insist on your returning to
Paita for your passport, or else of sending some one for it: two of my
bailiffs will wait on you, my lord, till it is procured, as well as for
the purpose of preventing you from pursuing your journey without it.

The number of indians who receive holy orders, natives of the coast as
well as the interior, is a convincing proof that they are not destitute
of understanding, nor incapable of at least becoming literary
characters, if not learned men. Some have also shone at the bar, in the
audiences of Lima, Cusco, Chuquisaca, and Quito; among these was Manco
Yupanqui, of Lima, protector-general of indians, whom I knew. He was a
good Latin scholar, was well versed in the English and French languages,
and considered the only good Greek scholar in the city. I knew also Don
Jose Huapayo, Vice-rector of the college del Principe, a pasante of San
Carlos, a young man of natural talents, which were well cultivated.

Extreme cowardice has also been attributed to the indians; but this
imputation very indifferently accords with the tribes of Araucania,
Darien, &c. During the present contest in South America the indians have
sustained more than their share of fighting; and had the unfortunate
Pumacagua of Cusco, or Pucatoro of Huamanga, been supplied with arms and
ammunition, they would not have been subdued by Ramires and Maroto.

The indians who reside among the creoles and Spaniards on the coasts of
Peru and in the province of Guayaquil are docile, obliging, and rather
timid. Their timidity has been the cause of their being supposed totally
indifferent to what passes; indeed, as I have before said, there does
not appear to be any eager curiosity about them, they have little to
satisfy; but at its lowest ebb, this disposition surely can only be
termed apathy. They are industrious in the cultivation of their farms
and gardens; attentive to their other occupations, and faithful in their
engagements; they know the value of riches, strive to obtain them, and
are fond of being considered rich, although they never boast of being
so. Infidelity between man and wife is very rare; they are kind parents,
which generally makes their children grateful as well as dutiful.
Robertson says, that "chastity is an idea too refined for a savage." I
must beg leave to state, that his compilation, founded on Spanish
writings, is not always deserving of credit. Had Dr. Robertson travelled
over half the countries he describes, or observed the native character
of the people which he has depicted, he would have expressed himself in
very different terms. Chastity is more common, and infidelity more
uncommon, among the Peruvians than in most countries of the old world.
The same author remarks, "in America, even among the rudest tribes, a
regular union between husband and wife was universal, and the rights of
marriage were understood and recognized." This surely is a proof that
chastity was known among these _savages_; and I cannot conceive that
polygamy, when sanctioned by law or custom, is any objection to

They are cleanly in their persons, and particularly so in their food;
abstemious in general, but at their feasts inclined to gluttony and
drunkenness; although disposed to the latter vice in a considerable
degree, they are not habitual drunkards, and the females are so averse
from it, that I never saw one of them intoxicated. I often observed,
when living among the indians, that they slept very little; they will
converse till late at night, and always rise early in the morning,
especially if they have any work that requires their attention; such as
irrigating their fields, when water can only be obtained at night, or
tending their mules on a journey. In such cases they will abstain from
sleep for three or four nights successively, without any apparent
inconvenience, and they seldom or never sleep during the day. Both males
and females adhere to one kind of dress, which varies little either in
towns or villages. The men of Huacho wear long blue woollen trowsers,
waistcoat, and sometimes a jacket; a light poncho, and a straw hat, but
they are without either shoes or stockings, except some of the old men
who have been alcaldes, and who afterwards wear shoes adorned with large
square silver buckles when they go to church or to Lima. The alcaldes
also usually wear a long blue Spanish cloak. The dress of the females is
a blue flannel petticoat, plaited in folds about half an inch broad, a
white shirt, and a piece of flannel, red, green, or yellow, about two
yards long and three quarters of a yard broad; this they put over their
shoulders like a shawl, and then throw the right end over the left
shoulder, crossing the breast. They wear ear-rings formed like a rose or
a button, the shank being passed through the aperture made in the ear,
and secured by a small peg passed through the eye of the shank; they
have also one or more rosaries, which like the ear-rings are of gold,
and hang round their necks with large crosses, medals, &c. They seldom
wear shoes, except when they go to church, and then often only put them
on at the door; stockings they never wear. The hair both of the men and
women is generally long; the former have one plat formed with the hair
of the forehead, at the top of the head, and another with the rest
behind, and both are fastened together at the ends; the women plat
their hair in a number of very small tresses, but comb the whole from
the forehead backwards. There is a considerable portion of superstition
among them; old women are always afraid of being considered witches, and
when a person dies his death is generally attributed to witchcraft. A
widow will often, while lamenting the death of her husband, throw out a
volume of abuse against some female who, as she imagines, had cast an
evil eye on him. When a person praises a child or even a young animal, a
by-stander will exclaim, God protect it! _Dios lo guarda!_ to avert its
being withered by an evil eye. They are considered as neophytes, and the
inquisition has no power over them, nor are they included among the bull
buyers. As to their religion, they are particularly attentive to all the
outward forms, and strict in their attendance at church; but an instance
of cunning in evading a reprimand from the rector happened at this town.
An indian being questioned by the _cura_, rector, why he did not attend
mass on a day of precept, to hear _mass_ and _work_, replied, "that he
had fulfilled the commandment of the church, for as he did not intend to
work, mass was undoubtedly excused by the precept."

I observed at Huacho one of the ancient rites of the Peruvians; it was
the ñaca feast. A child never has its hair cut till it is a year old, or
thereabouts; the friends then assemble, and one by one take a small lock
and cut it off, at the same time presenting something to the child. This
ceremony among the ancient Peruvians was practised at the naming of the
child, and the name was generally appropriate to some particular
circumstance which occurred to the child on that day. The seventh Inca
was called Yahuar Huacar, weeper of blood, because on that day drops of
blood were observed falling from his eyes; and Huascar, the fourteenth
Inca, was so named because the nobles on this day presented him with a
golden chain called a _huasca_, after the ceremony of cutting the ñacas.

At this village I heard for the first time the oral tradition of the
first Inca, Manco Capac; it was afterwards repeated to me by indians in
various parts of the country, and they assured me that it was true, and
that they believed it. A white man, they say, was found on the coast, by
a certain Cacique, or head of a tribe, whose name was Cocapac; by signs
he asked the white man who he was, and received for answer, an
Englishman. He took him to his home, where he had a daughter; the
stranger lived with him till the daughter of the Cacique bore him a son
and a daughter, and then died. The old man called the boy Ingasman
Cocapac, and the girl Mama Oclle; they were of a fair complexion and had
light hair, and were dressed in a different manner from the indians.
From accounts given by this stranger of the manner in which other people
lived, and how they were governed, Cocapac determined on exalting his
family; and having instructed the boy and girl in what he proposed to
do, he took them first to the plain of Cusco, where one of the largest
tribes of indians then resided, and informed them that their God, the
sun, had sent them two of his children to make them happy, and to govern
them; he requested them to go to a certain mountain on the following
morning at sunrise, and search for them; he moreover told them that the
_viracochas_, children of the sun, had hair like the rays of the sun,
and that their faces were of the colour of the sun. In the morning the
indians went to the mountain, _condor urco_, and found the young man and
woman, but surprised at their colour and features, they declared that
the couple were a wizard and a witch. They now sent them to Rimac Malca,
the plain on which Lima stands, but the old man followed them, and next
took them to the neighbourhood of the lake of Titicaca, where another
powerful tribe resided; Cocapac told these indians the same tale, but
requested them to search for the viracochas on the edge of the lake at
sunrise; they did so, and found them there, and immediately declared
them to be the children of their God, and their supreme governors.
Elated with his success, Cocapac was determined to be revenged on the
indians of Cusco; for this purpose he privately instructed his
grandchildren in what he intended to do, and then informed the tribe
that the _viracocha_, Ingasman Cocapac, had determined to search for the
place where he was to reside; he requested they would take their arms
and follow him, saying, that wherever he struck his golden rod or
sceptre into the ground, that was the spot where he chose to remain. The
young man and woman directed their course to the plain of Cusco, where
having arrived, the signal was given, and the indians here, surprised by
the re-appearance of the viracochas, and overawed by the number of
indians that accompanied them, acknowledged them as their lord, and the
children of their God. Thus, say the indians, was the power of the Incas
established, and many of them have said, that as I was an Englishman, I
was of their family. When H. B. M. ship Breton was at Callao, some of
the officers accompanied me one Sunday afternoon to the Alameda at
Lima; on our way we were saluted by several indians from the mountains,
calling us their countrymen, and their relations, begging at the same
time that we would drink some chicha with them.

There is a curious analogy between this tradition and one that I had
from the mouth of Don Santos Pires, at Rio de Janeiro, in 1823. He told
me, that before the discovery of the Brazils, an Englishman had been
shipwrecked, and fell into the hands of the Coboculo indians; he had
preserved or obtained from the wreck a musket and some ammunition, with
which he both terrified and pleased the indians, who called him
_Camaruru_, the man of fire, and elected him their king. He taught them
several things of which they were before ignorant (as did Manco Capac
and Mama Oclle the Peruvians); he was alive at the conquest of the
country, and was carried to Portugal, when Emanuel granted him a valley
near to Bahia, independent of the crown. Don Santos is the brother of
the Baron da Torre, both lineal descendants of Camaruru, of which he
boasted not a little, adding, that to the present time none of the
lineal descendants had ever married a Portuguese.

The Muysca indians of the plains of Cundinamarca have a white man with a
beard, called Bochica, Nemquetheba, or Suhé, for under these different
names he is spoken of, as their legislator. This old man, like Manco
Capac, taught them to build huts and live in communities, to till the
ground, and to harvest the produce; as also to clothe themselves, with
other comforts; but his wife, Chia, Yubecayguaya, or Huythaca, for she
is also known by three different names, was not like Mama Oclle, who
taught the females to spin, to weave, and to dye the cloths. Chia, on
the contrary, opposed and thwarted every enterprize for the public good
adopted by Bochica, who, like Manco Capac, was the child of the sun,
dried the soil, promoted agriculture, and established wise laws. The
Inca did not separate the ecclesiastical authority from the political,
as Bochica did, but established a theocracia. The first opened an outlet
to the lake Titicaca, for the benefit of his subjects, at a place now
called _Desaguadero_, the outlet; while the latter, for the same
purpose, opened the lake of Bogotá, at Tequendama. The Inca bequeathed
his sovereign authority to his son, while Bochica named two chiefs for
the government, and retired to _Tunja_, holy valley, where he lived two
thousand years, or, as other traditions state, where his descendants
governed the Muysca tribe for two thousand years. The first of these
successors was called Huncahua, and the rest Huncas, which was the name
of the holy city; but the Spaniards have changed the name to Tunja.

The Mexicans have likewise a bearded white man as a legislator, called
Quatzalcoatl; he was the high priest of Cholula, chief of a religious
sect, and a legislator; he preached peace to men, and prohibited all
sacrifices to the Deity, excepting the first fruits.

We have here the tradition of four white men distinguished by the people
of the new world, as having beards, a circumstance as remarkable to
them, as it was visible, for they being beardless, would consequently be
surprised at seeing men whose faces bore what they would be led to
consider a feature so distinguishing. Two of these are said to have been
Englishmen. Of the laws established by Camaruru I have no information,
but those established by Manco Capac I know have no analogy, nor do they
bear any resemblance to those of any of the northern governments,
except, setting aside lineal descent, the papal, where the spiritual
authority is exercised by the King of Rome. This coincidence of four
men, bearing the same mark of a beard, three of whom were priests and
legislators, occurred at places the most distant from each other, the
one at Rio de Janeiro, in latitude 22° 54´ 10´´ S., longitude 42° 43´
45´´ W.; one at Cusco in lat. 13° S., long. 81° W.; one at Cundinamarca
in latitude 4° 35´ N., long. 74° 8´; and the other at Cholula in
latitude 19° 4´ N., longitude 98° 14´ W.

The traditions of Manco Capac, Bochica, and Quatzalcoatl agree in
predicting the arrival of bearded men at some future period, and the
conquest of the different countries by them; which predictions operated
strongly in favour of Pizarro, Benalcazar, and Cortes, and produced that
submission of the Peruvians, Muyscas, and Mexicans, which finally laid
the foundation of the degraded state of their descendants.

From some accounts of the government of the Incas of Peru, it is easy to
observe how well acquainted they were with the natural character of the
people whom they had to govern. The whole empire was modelled like a
large monastic establishment, in which each individual had his place and
his duty assigned to him, without being permitted to inquire into the
conduct of his superiors, much less to question the authority of the
high priest, or to doubt the justness of his mandates. Passive obedience
to the decrees of their master could not but crush the germ of
enterprize and ambition. Thus it is that the Peruvian indians are
destitute of an active love for their country, and incapable of any
exertion, unless roused by the orders of a Superior. Patient in
adversity, and not elated with prosperity, their most indifferent
actions are regulated by almost superstitious precision. Their
veneration for the memory of their Incas is beyond description,
particularly in some of the interior districts, where his decollation by
Pizarro is annually represented. In this performance their grief is so
natural, though excessive, their songs so plaintive, and the whole is
such a scene of distress, that I never witnessed it without mingling my
tears with theirs. The Spanish authorities have endeavoured to prevent
this exhibition, but without effect, although several royal orders have
been issued for the purpose. The indians in the territory of Quito wear
black clothes, and affirm that it is mourning for their Incas, of whom
they never speak but in a doleful tone. I cannot quit this subject
without again saying, that from the unconquered tribes to the east and
the west of Quito, both from those who were subject to the laws of the
conquerors, as well as the warlike tribes of Arauco, I received the
kindest treatment, and a degree of respect to which I was in no way
entitled; and I hope I shall never permit ingratitude to guide either my
pen or my tongue when their character is discussed.

Among the feasts which the indians of Huacho celebrate, that of Corpus
Christi deserves to be spoken of. Besides the splendid decorations of
the church, at the gratuitous expence of the indians, there are at the
houses of the Mayordomos, Alfereces, and Mayorales sumptuous dinners,
from the feast to the octave, provided for all persons who choose to
partake of them. They consume an enormous quantity of their favourite
beverage, chicha, of which I have been assured, that a thousand jars,
each containing eighteen gallons, have been drunk at one feast; and I do
not doubt it, for besides the natives, numbers of people flock to the
feast from the surrounding villages, and many come from Lima. At these
dinners there are always several dishes of guinea pigs, stewed, and
seasoned with an abundance of capsicum. Indeed, an indian of the coast
of Peru never dispenses with this picante at a feast; and I must
acknowledge that I became almost as partial to it as any indian.

During the week the village is enlivened with different companies of
dancers: one called huancos is composed of eight or ten men; they have
large crowns of ostrich feathers (from the plains of Buenos Ayres) on
their heads; the quills are fastened in a roll of red cloth, which
contains not less than five hundred long feathers dyed of various
colours, but particularly red. They have small ponchos of brocade,
tissue, or satin; on their legs they wear leather buskins, loaded with
hawks' bells; their faces are partly covered by a handkerchief tied high
above their mouths; and they carry as arms a cudgel, and bear on the
left arm a small wooden buckler. They dance along the streets to the
sound of a pipe and tabor, keeping pace to the tune, that the bells on
their legs may beat time to the pipe and tabor.

When two companies of these dancers meet, neither will give way for the
other to pass, and the result is, the cudgels are applied to open it.
Some of their skirmishes produce broken heads and arms, although they
are very dexterous in guarding off the blows with their small bucklers;
but no intreaties nor threats from magistrates, who have sometimes
interfered, can appease or separate them, until the criollaos appear,
when, as if by magic, each party dances along quite unconcerned.

The criollaos go by pairs, accompanied by a pipe and tabor. They have
small helmets on their heads, a poncho like the huancos, and a short
petticoat; they carry in their right hands a small wooden sword, in
their left a bunch of flowers, and they dance to a melancholy tune,
while that of the huancos is very lively. They are the peace makers, and
such respect is paid to their interference, that not a blow is struck
after their arrival; but neither threats nor intreaties will hurry them
on to the place of action.

The chimbos are very gaily dressed: they have crowns ornamented with all
the jewellery which they can borrow; necklaces, ear-rings, bracelets,
and rosaries are fastened on them in abundance, and when these cannot be
procured, they have holes drilled in doubloons and new dollars, with
which they load them. I have seen fifty of each on one crown. Their
dress is a gay poncho, with wide Moorish trowsers; and their music
consists of one or more harps or guitars. For the purpose of dancing
along the streets, two boys support the bottom of the harp, whilst the
top is fastened with a handkerchief tied round the neck of the player.

All these dance before the procession, which, considering the smallness
of the town, is very splendid. A double row of indians, the men on one
side and the women on the other, with large lighted wax tapers, often
as many as two thousand, go before; in the centre are indian boys and
girls, burning perfumes in small incense burners, and strewing flowers.
A rich pall with six silver cased poles is carried over the priest
bearing the host, by the Mayordomos, Alfereces, and Mayorales; and the
procession is closed with all the music they can muster. In the course
of the procession, as well as every night during the octave, great
quantities of fireworks are burnt.

Longevity is common among the Peruvian indians. I witnessed the burial
of two, in a small village, one of whom had attained the age of 127, and
the other of 109; yet both enjoyed unimpaired health to a few days
within their decease. On examining the parish books of Barranca, I
found, that in seven years, eleven indians had been buried, whose joint
ages amounted to 1207.

The diseases most incidental to the indians, both along the coast of
Peru and in the interior, are of an inflammatory nature--consumptions in
puberty, and pleuritic affections in old age. With what certainty the
origin of syphilis has been traced to America, I know not; but the wild
tribes of Arauco, Archidona, Napo, in the vicinity of Darien, and
several others, as well as those that live in small settlements among
the Spaniards, are totally unacquainted with it; and although I have
been particularly inquisitive on this head, I never could hear of one
solitary instance of the disease, except in large towns and cities, and
then it was limited to a certain class, where it was likely to be most

The great decrease of indian population in Peru may almost be called
alarming; many theories have been published respecting it, but in my
opinion none have given the true cause. Some have attributed it to the
introduction of the small pox; but the virulence of this disease was
mitigated, as in Europe, by inoculation, and latterly by the
introduction of vaccination, which at a great expence was carried from
Spain in 1805, by the order of Charles IV. Not less than eighty boys
were sent over in a vessel of war, for the purpose of preserving the
fluid by transferring it from one to the other; and a tribunal was
formed in Lima, of which the Viceroy was the president, having
professors with competent salaries, for the preservation of this _magnum
Dei donum_, as it was justly called in the royal order. On examining
some church books, I found that the number of deaths was not uncommonly
augmented when the small pox was prevalent, although undoubtedly for
several years after the conquest many people died of it through
ignorance of the method of treatment. Perhaps, too, superstition and
fear made the healthy abandon the sick, to avoid the contagious effects
of what appeared to them to be a disease brought by the Spaniards for
their destruction. Of this idea they were doubtlessly possessed, for
while Valdivia was at Talcahuano, several indians took up their
residence in the town with the Spaniards, until on the arrival of a
vessel from Peru with provisions, a barrel of lentils fell on the ground
and burst; the grains appeared to the terrified indians to be a new
importation of the small pox, on which account they all immediately
fled, and carried the appalling news to their countrymen.

Others have attributed this decrease to the number of indians who died
in the mines, being driven there by the laws of _repartimiento_,
distribution, and _mita_, temporal labour: these also belong to the
first years after the conquest. Some have fancied that a social life
does not agree with their nature; but this is equally trifling, because
the comforts, conveniency, and regularity of such a life cannot be
detrimental to human nature; besides, those who were latterly subject to
the Spanish domination in Peru, were formerly subject to that of the
Incas, and the decrease was as visible on the coast, where the indians
may be said to be their own masters, as in the interior, where many are
not. Perhaps the introduction of spirituous liquors may have tended to
diminish the population; if so, this is almost an incurable evil; and
certainly the division of the country, or the cultivated lands into
large estates, as they were granted to many of the conquerors and first
settlers, was a pernicious error, the fatal effects of which are often
felt, and are inimical to the increase of population.

About three leagues to the south of Huacho are the salinas, or plains of
salt. This natural production is covered with sand, in some places
thicker than in others; under this is a stratum of solid salt, from
eight to twelve inches thick. For the purpose of taking it up, it is
marked out into square pieces, by chopping it gently with an axe; a bar
of iron is then introduced underneath the salt, and the squares are
turned over to dry; beneath the solid salt the ground is quite soft and
rather watery, which allows the salt to separate from the bed with much
facility. After three years have expired, the salt is again in a state
to be cut; and from this small plain, which is not more than five miles
square, salt enough is extracted for the consumption of the greater
part of Peru and Chile. It is carried into the interior on the backs of
mules, and to different places on the coast by shipping, for which there
is an excellent port called _de las Salinas_, though some go to that of
Huacho, which is not so commodious.


     Villa of Huaura....Description....Village of Supe....Ruins of an
     Indian Town...._Huacas_, Burying Places....Bodies preserved
     entire....Village of Barranca....Earthquake in 1806....Barranca
     River....Bridge of Ropes....Village of Pativilca....Sugar
     Plantation....Produce and Profit....Cane cultivated....Mills....
     Sugar-house....Management of Slaves....Regulations, &c. of Slaves.

Two leagues to the northward of Huacho is the villa or town of Huaura;
it consists of one long street and about two thousand inhabitants, some
of whom are respectable creole families; it has a parish church, a
convent of Franciscan friars, and a hospital. Owing to the situation of
this town, having a range of high hills between it and the sea, and
which keep off the sea breeze, it is very sultry; to this circumstance a
cutaneous disease is attributed, which leaves a bluish mark on the skin.
It is most prevalent among the mulattos; and on those negroes who are
affected by it a stain is left which is almost white, and is called by
the natives _carati_.

Near to Huaura is a plantation, the _ingenio_, formerly belonging to the
Jesuits; here the cane is crushed by cylinders put in motion by a water
wheel, which is said to be the first ever constructed in Peru.

A very handsome brick bridge of one arch, the centre of which was
forty-seven yards above the bed of the river, and the span twenty-six
yards wide, was erected at the entrance of the town; it was thrown down
by an earthquake on the 1st of December, 1806, and the old wooden
bridge, which had formerly a redoubt to guard it, has been repaired.

The English pirate Edward David took Huaura and sacked it in 1685,
putting to death the _alcalde de la hermandad_, Don Bias Carrera, whom
he had made his prisoner; this so terrified the inhabitants that they
immediately abandoned the town, nor could they be persuaded to avail
themselves of the drunken state of the sailors during the night to
revenge the injuries they had suffered; they were fearful of being
captured and treated in the same manner as their alcalde. The charter of
villa was taken from the town by the King, but afterwards restored.

The valley of Huaura extends about twelve leagues to the eastward, and
contains many excellent farms, plantations of sugar cane, and about
three thousand slaves.

Seven leagues from Huaura is the village of Supe, with a parish church
and eight hundred inhabitants, the greater part of whom are indians.
Between these towns there is a large plain, called _pampa de medio
mundo_, which before the conquest was under irrigation; the vestiges of
the old canals, _asequias_, are still visible, and bear witness of the
enormous labour of the ancient Peruvians, as well as of their uncommon
skill in conveying water for the purpose of watering their fields to
immense distances, without the aid of engines; the principal asequia
here took its water from the Huaura river, and winding round the foot of
the mountains conveyed it to the distance of ten leagues, irrigating in
its course some very beautiful plains, which are now only deserts of

Near to Supe are the remains of a large indian town, built on the side
of a rock, galleries being dug out of it, one above another, for the
purpose of making room for their small houses; many remains of these are
still visible, and also of small parapets of stone raised before them,
so that the hill has the appearance of a fortified place. At a short
distance are the ruins of another town, on an elevated plain, where
water doubtless could not be procured for irrigation; for, as I have
already observed, the indians never built on land that could be

I was fully convinced here that the indians buried their dead in the
houses where they had resided, as I dug up many of them. They appear to
have been buried with whatever belonged to them at the time of their
death; I have found women with their pots, pans, and jars of
earthenware, some of which are very curious. One kind is composed of two
hollow spheres, each about three inches in diameter; they are connected
by a small tube placed in the centre, and a hollow arched handle to hold
it by, having a hole on the upper side; if water be poured into this
hole till the jar is about half full, and the jar be then inclined first
to one side and then to the other, a whistling noise is produced.
Sometimes a figure of a man stands on each jar, and the water is poured
down an opening in his head, and by the same means the noise is
occasioned. I saw one of these at the Carmelite nunnery at Quito, having
two indians upon it carrying a corpse on their shoulders, laid on a
hollow bier resembling a butcher's tray; when the jar was inclined
backwards and forwards a plaintive cry was heard, resembling that made
by the indians at a funeral. The jars and other utensils were of good
clay, and well baked, which, with the ingenious construction just
alluded to, prove that the indians were acquainted with the art of
pottery. I have also found in these huacas long pieces of cotton cloth,
similar to that which is made by the indians at the present time, called
tocuyo; many calabashes, quantities of indian corn or maize, quinua,
beans, and the leaves of plantains; feathers of the ostrich from the
plains of Buenos Ayres, and different dresses; some spades of palm wood,
similar to the _chonta_ of Guayaquil, and of which none grow near to
Supe; lances and clubs of the same wood; jars filled with chicha, which
was quite sweet when discovered, but became sour after being exposed to
the air for a short time. I have also found small dolls made of cotton,
their dress similar to that worn at present by the females of Cajatambo
and Huarochiri: it consists of a white petticoat, _anaco_, a piece of
coloured flannel, two corners of which are fastened on the left shoulder
by a cactus thorn, the middle being passed under the right arm, girt
round the waist with a coloured fillet, and open on the left side down
to the bottom; this part of the dress was called the _chaupe anaco_; a
piece of flannel, of another colour, of about two feet square, was
brought over the shoulders and fastened on the breast with two large
pins of silver or gold, called _topas_: this part of the dress is called
the _yiglla_. The hair is divided into two side tresses, and these are
fastened behind, at the extremity, with a coloured fillet. The
principal motive for digging the huacas is to search for treasure; I
have found rings and small cups of gold; they are beat out very thin,
and their size is that of half a hen's egg-shell; it is supposed that
they were worn in the ears, for a small shank is attached to them, like
the buttons worn by the indian females at present. Slips of silver,
about two inches broad and ten long, as thin as paper, are also
frequently dug up. Any small piece of gold which was buried with them is
generally found in their mouths.

Owing to the nitrous quality of the sand, and to its almost perfect
dryness, the bodies are quite entire, and not the least defaced,
although many of them have been buried at least three centuries: the
clothes are also in the same state of preservation, but both soon decay
after being exposed to the sun and air. I dug up one man whose hair grew
from his eyebrows, covering his forehead, or rather he had no visible
forehead; a great quantity of dried herbs had been buried with him, some
small pots, and several dolls: the indians who saw him assured me, that
he had been a _brujo_, a wizard or diviner; but I was inclined to
believe him to have been a physician: however, the two sciences might
be considered by them as somewhat similar.

Many persons are persuaded that these huacas were only burying grounds,
and not places of residence for the living: if so, it shews the respect
which the people had for their dead; but as some of the tribes of wild
indians bury their dead in the house where they lived, and then abandon
it, building for themselves another, this appears to be a sufficient
reason for suspecting that such was the practice with the ancient

I resided several months at the small village of la Barranca, and I here
witnessed the great earthquake that happened on the 1st of December,
1806, supposed to be one of the periodical shocks felt in Lima and its
vicinity; they have occurred in the following years:--1586, 1609, 1655,
1690, 1716, 1746, and 1806. This earthquake, however, did not extend its
desolating effects to the capital; these appear to have been limited by
the rivers of Barranca and Huaura, an extent of about ten leagues; but
the shock was felt at Ica, a hundred leagues to the southward, although
it was not perceived at Huaras, thirty leagues to the eastward.

No hollow sound was observed to precede this shock, a circumstance
particularly remarked by several of the old people, who said, that it
came on so suddenly, that the dogs did not hear it, nor the pigs smell
it, before every one felt the shock. I inquired their reason for thus
expressing themselves, and was informed, that it had always been found
when the shocks were severe, that they were announced by the howling of
the dogs and the squealing of the pigs. This effect, I think, can only
be accounted for by the dogs lying on the ground, and either hearing the
noise or feeling the motion before either become perceptible to the
people; and probably if any gaseous vapour be ejected the olfactory
nerves of the pigs may be affected by it. Immediately after the
earthquake many people saw red flames rising out of the sea, and others
burning over a low piece of ground on the shore called the Totoral. The
cattle which were feeding here at the time, died shortly afterwards from
the effect produced on the grass by this burning vapour.

The motion of the earth during the shock was oscillatory, resembling the
waves of the sea; and the sensation which I experienced was similar to
that which is felt in a boat when approaching the land. The motion was
so great, that some bottles of wine and brandy, placed on a shelf about
two yards high and three from the door, were thrown from a shop into the
street to a distance of more than two feet from the door; if, therefore,
they fell from the shelf without any projecting impulse to impel them
forward, the wall must have inclined so as to form with its natural base
an angle of 25 degrees.

The ground was rent in several places, and quantities of sand and a
species of mud were thrown into the air. Trees were torn up by the
roots; the church and several of the houses, both here and at Supe, were
destroyed; while Pativilca, a town at only two leagues distance, on the
opposite side of the river, suffered very trivially. The undulations of
the earth lasted twenty-one minutes; but there was no repetition of
shocks, nor was any subterraneous noise heard. The perpendicular height
of the land on the sea side is fifty-three yards, notwithstanding which
several canoes and boats were thrown by the waves nearly to the top, and
left among the trees, and for more than two months afterwards enormous
quantities of fish drifted daily on the beach.

Perhaps the effect produced on the grass at the Totoral, and this on the
fish, may throw some light on the problem of the sterility occasioned
by earthquakes, which I have already noticed--in particular, as the
gaseous matter having become condensed was left on the surface to
produce its effect on the ground, where it could not be washed off by
the rains.

An old mulatto, one of the four men who escaped at Callao in 1746, when
that city was submersed in the sea, assured me, that the convulsion
there did not appear to him so terrible as the one I have just

Near to this village is a convenient port and landing place, called de
la Barranca, and about a mile to the northward of the village is the
river de la Barranca. During the rainy months, in the mountainous
districts of the interior, it is so filled with water, that its passage
is attended with considerable danger without the assistance of the
_chimbadoros_, ferrymen. The bottom is very stony, which also occasions
much danger, if the horses are not sure-footed and accustomed to ford
rivers. The rapidity of the current precludes the use of boats or
canoes, and its width would render the construction of a bridge
extremely expensive. I have often crossed it when the water covered the
space of half a mile, and was divided into thirteen or fourteen
branches, through some of which the horse on which I was mounted had to
swim. About six leagues from the main coast road, and the usual fording
place of the river, there is a bridge of ropes, made from the fibres of
the maguey leaves. These are first crushed between two stones, immersed
in water till the vegetable matter easily separates from the fibres,
when they are taken out, beat with a stick, washed, and dried; the ropes
are then twisted by hand, without the assistance of any machinery, the
fibrous parts of the leaves being inserted when the diminished strength
of the rope requires them. This bridge is called _de Cochas_, from the
small village which stands near to it: it is thirty-eight yards across.
On one side, the principal ropes, five in number, each about twelve
inches in circumference, are fastened to a large beam laid on the
ground, secured by two strong posts buried nearly to their tops: on the
opposite side the beam is secured by being placed behind two small
rocks. Across these five ropes a number of the flower stalks of the
maguey are laid, and upon them a quantity of old ropes and the fibrous
parts of leaves are strewed, to preserve the stalks and the principal
ropes. A net-work, instead of railings, is placed on each side, to
prevent the passengers from falling into the river. Although the whole
construction appears so flimsy, the breadth being only five feet, I
have seen droves of laden mules, as well as horned cattle, cross it; and
I have repeatedly done so myself, on horseback, after I had reconciled
myself to its tremulous motion.

These swing bridges, which are common in South America, are called
_puentes de maroma_, or _de amaca_; and by the indians, _cimpachaca_,
bridge of ropes, or rather, of tresses--as cimpa signifies a platted
tress. Some persons, however, call them _huascachaca_, huasca being more
properly a twisted rope; but I apprehend that they were originally made
from platted ropes, in which the insertion of leaves is more easy.

Bridges of this description were general in Peru before the conquest,
and they are unquestionably the best calculated for a mountainous
country, where some of the ravines requiring them are very steep, and
the currents impetuous. Bridges were likewise formed by the indians by
laying large beams across stone piers; but these were not so common nor
so appropriate as the rope bridges. The largest of them was over the
river Apurimac, which runs between Lima and Cusco, and is crossed by
travellers who frequent this road to and from the ancient and modern
capitals of Peru. The bridge was two hundred and forty feet long, and
nine feet broad; the ends of the principal ropes were fastened on one
side the river to rings of stone, cut in the solid rock: one of these
was broken in 1819, when the stream rose so high that it caught the
bridge, and dragged it away.

Two leagues to the northward of Barranca is the neat village of
Pativilca, without any indian population: it was formerly a country
covered with wood, and a place of retreat for malefactors; but the
Viceroy Castel-forte sent people to form a village, and ordered a church
to be built, offering an indult to all persons who should leave the
bush, and build themselves houses in the town. By this wise policy he
accomplished his end--reclaiming many outcasts, and rendering the road
secure to travellers.

While residing at Barranca I had an excellent opportunity of judging of
the condition of the slaves on the plantations; and I shall here give a
brief account of one of the best regulated that I visited, which was
Huaito, the property of Doña Josefa Salasar de Monteblanco.

This plantation is principally dedicated to the cultivation of cane and
the elaboration of sugar; but a part is destined to ordinary
agricultural pursuits, such as the growth of maize, beans, camotes,
pumpkins, &c., beside some pasture land for cattle. The number of slaves
employed on it, including all descriptions, is six hundred and
seventy-two; and the weight of sugar produced annually, according to the
statement given to me by Don Manuel Sotil, who superintended the
manufactory, is as follows:--

     Loaves of clayed Sugar 9555, each weighing }
       on an average 50 lbs. at 10 dollars per  }     47770 dollars.
       quintal                                  }
     Chancaca, or coarse brown Sugar in cakes          6000
     Coarse Sugar made from the refuse                 1500
     Molasses sold on the estate                        600
                      Value of produce of Sugar       55870

     Expences:--Clothing of slaves at 10 dollars each  3720
                Chaplain                                200
                Surgeon                                 300
                Overseer                                500
                Sugar boiler                            800
                Premium to Slaves                       600
                Drugs                                   200

The result of this statement is, that after defraying all the expences
of the cultivation of the cane, and the elaboration of the sugar, the
profit amounted to 49550 dollars.

Besides this profit, another of considerable importance was derived
from the feeding of cattle on extensive fields of lucern, and the
breeding of hogs. There was also generally, a surplus of maize and beans
beyond the consumption of the estate; but without this, according to the
valuation made of the whole estate, including buildings, slaves and
utensils, which amounted to 962000, the clear profit on this capital
exceeded five per cent.; which, with the assistance of the requisite
machinery for cultivating and harvesting the cane, and manufacturing the
sugar, might be doubled.

I have made no deductions for the food of the slaves, because they were
maintained by the produce of the estate, leaving a great surplus for
sale; probably as much in value as would defray the expences of their

The cane usually cultivated in Peru is the creole; but in the year 1802
plants of the Otaheitean cane were first introduced at Guayaquil, by Don
Jose Merino, who procured them from Jamaica, whence in 1806 they were
brought to some of the plantations of Peru, and from the advantageous
result which has been experienced in the growth of this cane, it would
follow that the creole will soon be exploded, notwithstanding the
assertion, that the sugar obtained from the cane of Otaheite abounds
more in mucilage than in essential salt, and that it is susceptible of
but a feeble consistency, which exposes it to decomposition on long
voyages, or if it be warehoused any considerable length of time. But the
Peruvian cultivator has neither of these drawbacks to fear, because
there is always an immediate demand for it at home, or the longest
voyage to which it is subjected is to Chile.

The Otaheitean cane, on the same land, and with equal labour with the
creole, grows to the height of nine or ten feet in eighteen or twenty
months, while the creole only grows six in thirty-five or thirty-six
months, at which times they are respectively in a state of maturity. The
large canes of the former are from seven to eight inches in diameter,
but those of the latter seldom exceed three and a half, and the same
measure of juice produces nearly the same weight of sugar: besides this,
the saving of labour at the mills and manufactory is very great. The
cane of Otaheite is more tenacious, and comes from the cylinders whole,
while the creole is frequently completely crushed, and incapable of
being returned to the operation of the cylinders, on which account a
considerable portion of the juice is lost; the pressed cane of Otaheite
is also conveyed to the furnace with much more facility than the other.

The cane is usually planted in the foggy season, that it may have taken
root before the dry weather commences; the land is prepared by repeated
ploughings, and by breaking the lumps of earth with clubs, harrows and
rollers for this purpose being unknown. The ploughs are similar to those
used in Chile, and which I have already described. If suitable ploughs
and other utensils were introduced, it is easy to conceive what great
relief would be given to manual labour; and if the horse or mule were
substituted for the drowsy, slow-paced bullock, the result would be much
more favourable.

The canes are planted in drills made with hoes, so formed, that when the
water for irrigation enters the upper end of a field it can flow without
any hinderance to the lower; but before this operation of watering takes
place the earth is hilled up to the plants. According to the dryness of
the season, and the quality of the land, irrigation is repeated three or
four times during the summer, and owing to the disposal of the furrows
it is neither laborious nor troublesome. The water is generally allowed
to remain on the ground twenty-four hours.

When the cane is ripe it is cut close to the ground, and all the leaves
are stript off, which with the rubbish are left until the whole field be
cut, when they are burnt; and immediately afterwards the roots are
irrigated. The cane is carried to the mill on the backs of asses; but
for this purpose carts might be used with much saving of labour.

In some parts of the province of Guayaquil and on the coast of Choco the
natives, who cultivate the cane for their household consumption of
molasses, guarapo, and rum, cut all that is ripe, leaving that which is
green; they next bare the roots, mix the soil so obtained with the soil
in the furrow, by digging and turning them over, and then hill up the
cane again. By repeating this operation every time they cut their cane,
they have a constant succession of crops, and the plantation never
fails; while in Peru a plantation only yields two crops, for the third
is often scarcely sufficient to plant the ground for the ensuing

The general method of pressing the cane is by means of three vertical
grooved brass cylinders, which are put in motion by two pairs of oxen,
yoked to two opposite points of a large wooden wheel, placed above the
cylinders, and attached at its centre to the axle of the central
cylinder, the cogs or teeth of which communicate the rotatory motion to
the other two. This tardy method of pressing is used on many
plantations; but on the one I am now speaking of vertical water-wheels
supply the place of the bullocks, one wheel being attached to each mill.
There is however great room for improvement, particularly in the
adoption of iron cog and lantern wheels, or at least of metal cogs to
the large wheels, iron axletrees, &c.; but rude as the present plan is,
the expence of keeping a considerable number of oxen is avoided.

The juice of the cane is received in the boiling house, in a large
bell-metal pan, a small quantity of lime being first thrown into it;
from this receiver it is carried in large calabashes to a pan ten feet
deep, where it is evaporated to a proper consistency, and at intervals
caustic ley is added to it, prepared at a considerable expence from the
ashes of the _espino_, or _huarango_. After throwing into the pan about
half a pint of this ley, a considerable quantity of fecula rises to the
top, which is immediately taken off with a skimmer made of a large
calabash, bored full of holes. When the syrup has become cool it is put
into another pan, and evaporated to a proper consistency for
crystallization; it is then poured into the moulds, made of common baked
clay, in which it is repeatedly stirred, and on the following day it is
transferred to the purging house, where the plug is taken from the
bottom of the mould, and the coarse molasses run from the sugar. It is
next removed to the claying house; each mould, like an inverted cone, is
placed on a jar, and soft clay of the consistency of batter poured on
the sugar. This operation is repeated three or four times, or till the
loaf is purged from the molasses it contained, when it is taken out of
the mould and carried into the store to dry. The whole process requires
a month or five weeks, according to the season, for it is much sooner
ready for the store house in damp weather than in dry. Unlike other
countries, where the cane is only cut during a certain season, on the
plantations on the coast of Peru it is cut and sugar is made from it
during the whole year.

The pans for boiling the juice are of brass, being a mixture of copper
and tin; the lower pan is generally three feet in diameter at the
bottom, five feet at the top, and five feet deep; the rim which is
placed above this is three feet deep, and above that the brick and wood
work commences, making the whole boiler ten feet deep. The pans,
cylinders, and receivers are cast on the estate by the slaves, and by
them also all the carpentery and blacksmith work are performed.

I have been rather more particular on this subject than some persons
may think necessary; but it has been with the view of opening another
outlet to British manufactures, namely, that of iron machinery and
implements of agriculture. If the evaporation of the cane juice were
effected by heat communicated by steam, or by preventing atmospheric
pressure on the surface of the liquid while boiling, a considerable
quantity of sugar which is burnt by the present method, and which
constitutes the molasses, would be saved: it would be an advantage of at
least thirty per cent. At the same time that I advert to iron machinery
for the mills, as an article worthy the attention of mercantile
speculators, I would also recommend some stills on an improved
principle, for the brandy distilleries at Pisco, Ica, Cañete, and other
vine countries, as well as those of rum; because the political change in
South America will annul the prohibitory colonial law, and because the
sugar manufacturer would be glad to convert to his advantage that refuse
from which the rum is distilled; at present it is a nuisance to him, or
if applied to any use, it is thrown to the oxen and asses, and they eat
it with great avidity.

The management of the slaves here is worthy of the imitation of every
planter, both with regard to the comfort of the negroes, and the
profitable result to the owner. I shall describe the laws established,
and mention some other regulations which I suggested to Doña Josefa,
which she approved, and put in practice: she afterwards frequently told
me, that they deserved to be generally adopted, because they would
eventually tend to ameliorate the condition of the slave and benefit the

A slave was never flogged at Huaito without the consent of the mistress,
who, having heard the complaint made by the overseer or other
task-master, adjudged the number of lashes to be inflicted, or else
determined on some other means of punishment, which she thought more
proper. Her motive for this regulation was, to prevent their being
improperly chastised by any one during the heat of passion, or perhaps
under the influence of revenge. The slave was never questioned as to the
imputed delinquency, because, as she observed, it would only induce them
to disregard the overseer, if he were not implicitly believed, or the
slave were allowed to contradict him. When any doubt presented itself,
she would sometimes send for some other slave, who had either been
present or was near at the time, and make the necessary inquiry; but she
would often say, that she trusted very little to what they said about
each other, quoting the old Spanish proverb as a reason, _la peor cuña,
is del mismo palo_, the worst wedge is from the same block.

No slave was punished privately; those at least were present who were
acquainted with the crime which had been committed.

If a slave absented himself, and were afterwards caught, he was
sentenced for the first offence to carry a chain at his leg as many
weeks as he had been absent days; for a repetition, he was sentenced to
the mill, where the most laborious work is to be done; it is also
esteemed the most degrading situation, very few except delinquents being
employed at it. If a recurrence took place, the slave was kept at the
mill during the day with a chain to his leg, and slept in the gaol
during the night. If the fugitive returned home and presented himself to
his mistress, he was pardoned for the first offence; the penalty of the
first was inflicted if it were the second; and that of the second if it
were the third; after which, if the slave persevered in running away he
was sold.

To promote marriages, all children born out of wedlock were sold while
young; and as the slaves, except some few domestic servants, were all
negroes, if a tawny child made its appearance it was also sold: this
mode was adopted to prevent the negresses from having any intercourse
with the people of the neighbouring villages.

The negresses from the age of eleven or twelve years were kept separate
from the men, and slept within the walls of the house, under the care of
a _duenna_, until they were married.

The greatest care was taken of child-bearing women, both with regard to
relief from work and the administration of proper food; a separate
building, called the lying-in hospital, was furnished with beds and
other comforts for them; and if a slave reared six children so that they
could walk, she obtained her liberty, or a release from work for herself
and husband for three days in each week; when, if they worked on the
estate, they were regularly paid for their labour.

As an improvement of this regulation, I proposed the allowing one day of
rest weekly either to the father or the mother for each child; and Doña
Josefa acknowledged the propriety of it, for, said she, the manumission
of a slave is his ruin if young, and the origin of his distress if old.
She assured me that, at different times, she had given freedom to fifty
slaves, out of whom, she was sorry to say, she could not find one
useful member of society; much less one that was grateful to herself,
although all of them were young at the time they were manumitted, and
some had been put to different trades at her expence. I have frequently
observed, that nine-tenths of the convicts for different crimes at Lima
were freed slaves, generally zambos.

I am convinced from experience, that if proper magistrates were
appointed in all districts where there is a number of slaves, each
having a competent salary for his subsistence, but removeable every
year, to prevent private connexions with the planters, that the state of
slavery would be freed from its greatest evil, that of a human creature
being subjected to the whip of an offended, irritable, or unjust master;
for how can justice prevail where the plaintiff is the judge, and the
defendant the criminal? or when _a prima instantia_ the accused is
brought to receive his sentence, or suffer the infliction of an
arbitrary punishment. If proprietors were prohibited from using the
whip, or any other cruel chastisements, without the concurrence of an
order from the magistrate, who should inquire summarily into the
circumstances, under the penalty of a heavy fine, the odious epithet of
slave-driver would lose its stigma, at the same time that the slave
would reverence the law that protected as well as punished him, instead
of hating his arbitrary master, and lurking for an opportunity of
revenge. It is the interest as well as the duty of a master to preserve
the health and life of his slave, and the slave has only to dread the
presence of his master under the influence of passion or misinformation:
let this occasion for the exercise of cruelty be avoided, by
transferring the authority to punish from the interested master to an
unbiassed person, and the hand of justice would fall like the
invigorating dew of heaven, while that of passion often rages like the
destructive tornado.

The principal food of the slaves at Huaito was the flour of maize boiled
with water to the consistency of a hardish paste, to this was added a
quantity of molasses; and beans boiled in the same manner. They had meat
once or twice a week, either fresh or jerked beef. The quantity allowed
was quite sufficient; and I have frequently seen them feeding their
poultry with what they could not eat. Each married man and each widow or
widower was presented annually with a small pig, which they reared with
the refuse of the cane, and some pumpkins which they cultivated: it was
afterwards fattened with maize from their own small plots of ground.
This was an inducement to the slaves to marry, and it kept them from
strolling abroad on Sundays and holidays. Indeed, all the married had
small portions of land allotted to them, and were allowed the use of the
oxen and ploughs belonging to the estate. On an average two hundred fat
pigs were sold annually by the slaves at Huaito, and these generally
produced twelve dollars each; so that two thousand four hundred dollars
were distributed yearly among the slaves for this article alone; but
several of the more industrious fed two, three, or four pigs, by
purchasing maize for them. A convincing proof of their comfortable life
was afforded on a Sunday afternoon; many of the negresses, dressed in
white muslins or gaudily printed calicoes, gold ear-rings, rosaries and
necklaces, stockings and coloured shoes, and a profusion of
handkerchiefs, might be seen dancing with the negro youths to the sound
of their large drums and unharmonious songs: this exhibition certainly
evinced that their minds were uncankered with care.

Each slave had two working dresses given to him yearly; the men a
flannel shirt and woollen trowsers--the women a flannel petticoat and a
cotton shirt with long sleeves; they had also an allowance of blankets
and ponchos, but whatever other clothes they possessed were purchased
by themselves. Weekly premiums and a small quantity of tobacco were
given according to the class of work in which they were individually
employed; they were also permitted to have the skimmings and other
refuse from the sugar-house for their _guarapo_ or fermented drink.

The _galpon_, where the slaves lived, on this as on every other
plantation, was a large square enclosure, walled round about twelve feet
high; it was divided into streets, having an open square in the centre
for dancing and their other amusements; the small houses were uniform,
and whitewashed, which with the clean streets made a very neat
appearance. The slaves slept in the galpon, by which means they were
kept from visiting the neighbouring villages or plantations and from
committing depredations.

Mass was celebrated every morning at six o'clock, and those who chose to
hear it had sufficient time, as the field labourers never went to work
till seven; their tasks were light, they had two hours' rest at noon,
and always returned at six in the evening, and many at four in the
afternoon; after which they attended to their own little farms. I am
certain that a labourer in England does more work in _one_ day than any
slave I ever saw in the Spanish colonies performs in _three_. Those
employed at the mills are more hours at work; but this is considered a
punishment: those employed in the sugar-house have also more hours to
attend; but they have always sufficient rest between the time of
emptying one pan and waiting till it boils again, and this leisure some
occupy in making baskets or in knitting stockings for their own profit.

The slaves are mustered at mass on Sundays and holidays, and are
required to confess, and receive the communion once a year. The chaplain
teaches the boys and girls the necessary prayers and catechisms, and
superintends the moral conduct of the slaves, being allowed to order
them for punishment in cases of misbehaviour, on reporting them to their

I am ignorant of the treatment which the slaves may receive in the
British colonies; but I feel loath to believe that that mercy which I
have observed to guide the actions of a Spaniard or a Spanish creole
should be a stranger in the breast of an Englishman or an English
creole. If the lot of English slaves be not worse than that of Spanish
slaves, they are more fortunate and more happy than the labouring
classes at home. I have no doubt, but that if a slave were brought to
England, and subjected to the half-starved and hard-worked state of a
day-labourer--to experience all his penury and all his privations--he
would lift up his hands, and request that he might return to his master,
who fed him when hungry, clothed him when naked, and attended to his
wants when sick. If any thing be really wanting to ameliorate the
condition of the English slave, let a wise legislature enact such
regulations as will secure it to him; not place in his hand a weapon
wherewith to sacrifice his master in a fit of frantic exasperation; let
English slaves enjoy the blessings of the English poor, the boast of
every Englishman--an impartial distribution of justice--an equality in
the administration of the law. It is as preposterous to suppose that the
same law should not govern the master and the slave, as that a judge
should not be amenable to the law by which he judges others: and I
sincerely hope, for the honour of my country and countrymen, that they
all feel as did my Uncle Toby: "'tis the fortune of war that has put the
whip into our hands now, where it will be afterwards heaven only knows;
but be it where it will, the brave, Trim, will never use it unkindly."


_Printed by Harris and Co.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Historical and Descriptive Narrative of Twenty Years' Residence in South America (Vol 1 of 3) - Containing travels in Arauco, Chile, Peru, and Colombia - with an account of the revolution, its rise, progress, and - results" ***

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