By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Peru as It Is, Volume I (of 2) - A Residence in Lima, and Other Parts of the Peruvian Republic, Comprising an Account of the Social and Physical Features of That Country
Author: Smith, Archibald
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "Peru as It Is, Volume I (of 2) - A Residence in Lima, and Other Parts of the Peruvian Republic, Comprising an Account of the Social and Physical Features of That Country" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

available by HathiTrust Digital Library (https://www.hathitrust.org/)

Note: Images of the original pages are available through
      HathiTrust Digital Library. See

                             PERU AS IT IS:

                          A RESIDENCE IN LIMA,
                            OF THAT COUNTRY.

                        BY ARCHIBALD SMITH, M.D.

                             IN TWO VOLUMES.

                                 VOL. I.

                  Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty.

                       PRINTED BY SAMUEL BENTLEY,
                      Dorset Street, Fleet Street.




the following account of Peru, a country which, it is probable, the
Author never would have visited but for his very kind and disinterested
patronage, is most gratefully dedicated by

                                                         ARCHIBALD SMITH.


In this refined age and country, to make a graceful appearance as an
author requires endowments to which the writer of the following pages
has no pretension: neither would he have intruded himself on the public
notice, had he not thought it a duty incumbent on every one who travels,
to give his own country the benefit of his observation and experience.
He will venture to assert, that he has had ample means of making himself
acquainted with his subject, and that he has treated it with candour and

For upwards of ten years he lived in Peru: sometimes residing
among miners; at other times associating with agriculturists; and
professionally brought into contact with persons of all classes and ranks
in society, from the palace to the humblest hut.

In the interior of Peru, but more especially in Lima, the writer has met
with great courtesy and kindness in private life, and been distinguished
by very flattering marks of public favour. He therefore, it may be well
believed, has not “set down aught in malice;” and he trusts that in
the following pages there will not be found any thing injurious to the
Peruvian people, or at variance with that lasting gratitude and honest
pride with which he remembers and acknowledges their hospitality.

With respect to the manner of executing his task, he feels that he
requires the indulgence of his reader; but, with regard to the matter,
he persuades himself that, however unskilfully treated it may be, and
however deficient in that exquisite minuteness of detail which delights
the curious, it will nevertheless be found to convey to the intelligent
reader a fair general idea of the physical and moral condition of Peru;
which, as it is all that the writer has aimed at, so to have attained it
is all that he desires.


                               CHAPTER I.

    Boundaries of the Peruvian Republic.—General appearance
    and climate of the coast.—Seasons divided into Wet and
    Dry.—Vegetation.—Lunar influence.—Enervating effects of the
    climate of Lima.                                              Page 1

                               CHAPTER II.

    Chances of life in Lima diminished by neglect of medical
    police.—Statements showing the proportion of deaths to the
    population of Lima.—Proportion between the different sexes
    and castes of the inhabitants.                                     18

                              CHAPTER III.

    Food, fruit, and water used in Lima.                               32

                               CHAPTER IV.

    Remarks explanatory of certain Dietetic maxims, and established
    notions or prejudices, illustrative of the physical
    constitution and domestic habits of the Limenians.                 46

                               CHAPTER V.

    Condition of Slave population, and its influence on the family
    economy and moral sentiments of the European race.                106

                               CHAPTER VI.

    Social state of the Limenians under the Spaniards
    and Patriots.—Spanish colonists.—Style of
    conversation.—Improvements in female education.—Zamba
    attendants.—Omnipotence of the ladies at fifteen.—Esprit
    de corps of the fair sex.—Forgiving temper of public
    opinion.—Defective administration of justice.—Prerogative
    called Empeño.—God-fathers and god-mothers.—Saint-day
    parties.—Flowers and perfumes.—Limenian women excel in
    attention to the sick.—General character of the white women
    and dark races.—Boys of European race.—Few men of intellectual
    habits.—Promenade of Amencaes, as illustrative of national
    feeling and character.—Pillo and Pillo-fino.—Money a substitute
    for morality.—Relaxation of morals general, but not universal.    121

                              CHAPTER VII.

    Religious prejudices.—No faith with heretics.—Corpse of an
    Englishman cast into the street by the pious mob.—English
    supposed to have been buried with money in the island of San
    Lorenzo.—New cemetery, and Latin inscription for the English
    burial-ground.—Religious disadvantages of the British in Peru.    160

                              CHAPTER VIII.

    Clergy and lawyers more honoured than physicians
    or surgeons.—University of St. Mark.—Anatomical
    amphitheatre.—College of San Fernando.—State of the medical
    schools and profession on the coast and in the Sierra.—General
    remarks on Limenian education.                                    177

                               CHAPTER IX.

    General features of the Sierra.—Roads.—Wilds of San
    Mateo.—Indian’s eyrie.—Mountain curate.—Enterprise of a priest
    engaged in inland traffic.—Pastoral life of Indians.—Ancient
    ruins.—Royal road of the Incas.—Tarma, a pretty Sierra
    town, or pueblo.—Various sorts of bridges.—Balsa, or canoe
    of rushes.—Ancient aqueducts and terraced gardens of the
    aborigines.—Pagan edifices among the rocks near the coast.—Vale
    of Rimac.—Temples of the ancient Sun-worshippers of the land.     199

                               CHAPTER X.

    Journey from Lima to Pasco by Obrajillo.—Diversity of air
    and climate.—Canta, a locality favourable to consumptive
    individuals.—Obrajillo, residence of muleteers.—Relay of mules,
    and payment in advance.—Cultivation and crops.—Ascent to and
    pass of the Cordillera.—Veta, or Cordillera sickness.—Indian
    hut.—Muleteers’ lodgings on the Puna.—Huallay.—Diezmo.—Pasco.     252

                               CHAPTER XI.

    Account of another route between Pasco and Lima, by Junin,
    Huaypacha, Pucara, Tucto.—Mines of Antacona, Casapalca,
    Pomacancha, San Mateo, San Juan de Matucana, Surco, Cocachacra,
    Santa Ana, and lastly, Chaclacayo.—Numeration of a series
    of rocks, as they appear in succession from the pass of the
    Cordillera to the entrance into the Vale of Rimac.                286


    Page  11, line 22, and in all other instances, _for_ L_o_rin
                         _read_ L_u_rin.
          22,   ”   7, _for_ Pelli_si_er _read_ Pelli_c_er.
          25,   ”  15, _for_ Ma_n_ano _read_ Ma_ri_ano.
          42,   ”  18, _for_ pa_t_illas _read_ pa_l_illas.
          72,   ”   2, _for_ co_j_ollo _read_ co_g_ollo.
          84,   ”   9, _for_ en cima _read_ e_nc_ima.
         111,   ”  12, _for_ ta_rr_ea read ta_r_ea.
         135,   ”   4, _for_ hon_or_ada _read_ hon_r_ada.
         150,   ”   5, _for_ 23rd of June _read_ 24th of June.
         201,   ”  20, _for_ Quich_o_a _read_ Quich_u_a.
         204,   ”  11, and in all other instances, _for_ la_ss_os
                         _read_ la_z_os.
         212,   ”   5, &c. _for_ pr_e_micia _read_ pr_i_micia.
         257,   ”  12, _for_ Ve_r_ugas, _read_ Ve_rr_ugas.
         298,   ”   3, &c. _for_ Cocacha_cer_a _read_ Cocacha_cr_a.

Transcriber’s Note: The errata have been corrected but otherwise the
original spelling (in both English and Spanish) has been preserved.



    Boundaries of the Peruvian Republic.—General appearance
    and climate of the coast.—Seasons divided into Wet and
    Dry.—Vegetation.—Lunar influence.—Enervating effects of the
    climate of Lima.

Modern Peru is bounded on the north by the Republic of the Equator; on
the south by the Republic of Bolivia; on the east by the Portuguese
territories, or Brazil; and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The coast
of the Republic of Peru extends along the shores of the Pacific from the
river Loa, which is the southern boundary that divides it from Bolivia,
to the river Tumbez, which divides it on the north from Guayaquil, or the
Republic of the Equator. All this extent of coast, from 3° 30´ to 21° 30´
south latitude, is naturally a desert, intersected by several rivers, of
greater or less magnitude, that descend along narrow mountain-glens of
the Andes to the Pacific Ocean.

Many of these rivers are dried up for several months in the year; while
others, of larger size, carry a perennial stream, swelling during the
rainy season in the inland country, and are never seen to shrink so much
in time of drought in the elevated regions from whence they spring, as
not to supply the means of irrigating and beautifying the maritime vales
through which they flow as they approach the ocean.

It is remarkable that, while along the coast of Peru the eye wearies in
looking at sandy plains and hills, we no sooner pass the river Tumbez
than the face of nature changes: in the former range all looks arid and
scorched; in the latter country all is verdant and sappy. The coast of
the Equatorial Republic presents to the eye well-wooded plains; while
on the coast and in the valleys of the western side of the Peruvian
territory, trees, when not reared by man, are only to be met growing in
favoured places in the vicinity of springs and rivers. Piura, the most
northern province of Peru along the shores of the Pacific, is celebrated
for its remarkably dry atmosphere; but in a rainy year, which seldom
happens in this province, the pastures that suddenly spring up are
surpassingly luxuriant,—the very sand-fields, “arenales,” after one or
two days’ rain, unfold an exuberance of life and vegetation.

The temperature of the low valleys on the coast of Peru may be said in
general not to exceed 82° of Fahrenheit in summer, nor to descend much
under 60° in winter.[1] Where, however, high hills closely overhang
the sandy plains or dry “pampas,” it is difficult to say to what degree
the thermometer may fall during night, when the rush of cold air from
the upper regions is in proportion to the degree of radiation from the
plains, and the force with which the sun’s rays during the day had
struck on the scorched ground. So intensely on such occasions does the
traveller feel the transition, that, when benighted on desert places,
he is sometimes compelled by the keenness of the cold to dismount, and
bury himself up to the neck in the warm sand, until a returning sun again
befriend him on the morrow, and encourage him to pursue his trackless way.

In Lima, the capital of Peru, neither the extremes of heat nor of cold
are ever experienced;[2] an advantage which it partly owes to its very
splendid back-ground of mountains, rising one above another to the skies.

In winter, the thermometer of Fahrenheit never, in the centre of the
town, falls under 60° in the shade; and, during summer, we have never
seen it rise above 82°,—its usual station being about 80° in well-aired
apartments. The ordinary difference between the fall of the night and
day thermometer is only from three to four degrees when the thermometer
is placed inside a common barred window without glass, and opening into
a veranda or corridor, such as is usual in Lima houses, for the sake of
free ventilation.

In the sultry month of February, the thermometer, if placed on the open
and flat-roofed house-top of mud plaster, rarely ascends above 112°; and
at this season, when the hot noon-day air may be said to be fanned by the
countless “gallinazas,” or vultures, that wheel and sweep in mid-sky, the
canopy overhead is curtained with white light clouds that happily protect
the city and its inhabitants from the too scorching beams of a tropical

The hygrometer—Leslie’s—seldom indicates fewer than 12° or 15° in the wet
season, and rarely exceeds 50° in the summer months.

The range of the barometer may be considered exceedingly limited; for,
during the period of six months that we had the opportunity of observing
barometrical variations, the mercury was commonly stationary at 29⁹⁄₁₀,
and was not seen to fall below 29½ inches. Our means of observation began
in September, and ended in March, and therefore included the transition
from wet to dry weather,—from the cool of winter to the highest heat of

On one occasion when we observed the barometer fall from 29⁹⁄₁₀ to 29½
inches, there had been a smart earthquake, which, though it happened in
the usually dry month of January, was preceded by a gentle shower of
rain, at the appearance of which the people in the streets rejoiced,
and called it “agua bendita,” holy water!—On another occasion, when
we noticed a similar sinking of the mercury, the river Rimac showed
by its turbid and swollen stream that it rained heavily in the higher
mountains.[3] As for thunder and lightning, they have been so rarely
witnessed in Lima, that there they may be said to be unknown. The above
statements regarding the state of the atmosphere in Lima, it may be
proper to mention, are founded on observations made by the writer at
his residence in Archbishop’s Street, close to the cathedral and great
square; but about a mile higher up, in a part of the city called the
“Cercado,” the influence of the adjacent hills is more sensibly felt
in the cooler evenings and mornings;—the night thermometer sometimes
sinks down to 54° at the orchards of the Cercado, when in the centre
of the city it falls within an open window or veranda not under 60° of

In Lima the four seasons are by no means distinctly marked: the dry
summer weather frequently encroaches on the autumnal season, supposed to
be humid; and again, the sort of weather and ailments most prevalent in
winter are sometimes continued through a part of spring.

Hence, though the seasons are usually distinguished into spring, summer,
autumn, and winter, it would be more truly characteristic to adhere to
the usual division of the aborigines, into wet and dry.

In May the mornings become damp and hazy; and, from the beginning to the
latter end of June, more or less drizzly. In October, again, the rains,
which even in the months of July and August are seldom heavier than a
Scotch mist, cannot be said to be altogether over, as the days are still
more or less wet, or occasionally there may be seen to fall a light and
passing shower; the evenings and mornings being damp and foggy.

In November and December, when the dry season may be reckoned to have
set in, the weather, except for an interval at noon, is for the most
part cool, bracing, and delightful: and April, too, is in this respect
an agreeable month; at the latter end of which, the natives of the
capital, being so exceedingly sensitive as to feel a difference of only
two or three degrees betwixt the temperature of two succeeding days like
an entire change of climate, are admonished, by a disagreeable change
in their sensations, to protect themselves by warm apparel against the
chills arising from an occasional north-west, or from the influence of
the common south-west wind.

Throughout summer the wind blows almost uniformly, and in gentle breezes,
from the south; but the prevailing wind for nine months in the year is
the south-west, which, as it mingles with the warmer air along the arid
coasts of Peru, tends to moderate the temperature of the atmosphere,
and to produce the fog and “garua,” or thick Scotch mists, of which we
have taken notice. During the dry season on the coast, the rains are
experienced in the interior of the country and lofty range of the high
table-lands,—especially in the months of January, February, and March,
when the rain that falls inland is often very heavy, and, on the most
elevated regions, it is not unfrequently alternated with snow and hail.
Thus, the dry season of the coast is the wet in the sierra, or mountain
land, and _vice versâ_; and by merely ascending nigher to the sierra,
or descending close to the sea, without any appreciable shifting of
latitude, the favoured Peruvians may enjoy, by the short migration of a
few leagues, a perpetual summer or an endless winter,—if that, indeed,
should be called winter, which is the season of natural growth and

Whoever, late in August, or early in September, has had the good fortune
to visit _Buena Vista_ in the enchanting vale of Lurin, six or seven
leagues south of Lima, and for many years the hospitable mansion of that
enlightened philanthropist, John Thomas, Esquire, must have observed
that at this season, when the sandy downs of Lurin are yet moistened by
slight rains and vapours, and garnished with flowers, such of the trees
in the vale as are not evergreen, and depend not, like the vegetation of
the neighbouring heights, on the periodical rain of the coast, impart a
certain melancholy hue to the landscape, as they have already commenced
to shed abroad their sear foliage; and here the music of the thicket, and
booth on the height, are both in unison with feelings inspired by the
yellow-leaved willows, when the “lomero,” or herdsman of the downs, tunes
the “yaravi,” a mournful Indian strain, on his homely lute, and when the
_cuculi_, in a plaintive note, responds from the guarango grove.

By the end of September, or beginning of spring, we find the trees in
the great avenues around Lima beginning to bud; and the new leaves expand
on them, as the grass dies on the adjacent hills, or is only seen to
preserve its verdant appearance in the deep clefts and tops of the hilly
recesses of Amencaes.[4] But no sooner dies the natural vegetation on the
neighbouring heights, and nearer ridges and declivities in view of the
city, than the fertile irrigated fields and enclosures throw forth the
waving verdure of a hopeful harvest.

Barley, peas, and maize, sown during the wet or misty season, come to
maturity through the joint operation of sun and artificial moisture
after all natural or spontaneous vegetation has withered and disappeared
from the now arid hills and sandy downs. The maize crops the farmers
always harvest in the “_menguante_,” decrease of the moon; for it is a
fact known to every husbandman, that if they collect the crop in the
“creciente,” or increase of the moon, it will not keep free of moths for
three months, even though allowed the advantage of being left in husk, in
which state it is found to be least liable to damage.

In the valleys around Lima the agriculturist is very careful not to sow
in the creciente, lest the seed should become so diseased and injured as
never to yield a healthy crop. The same attention to lunar influence is
bestowed by the wood-cutter, who knows that timber cut in the creciente
soon decays, and on this account is not of use for constructing houses,
or for any other permanent purpose; this is particularly the case
with the willow and alder, as the writer had once occasion to know
experimentally. Being disinclined to believe what he considered to be
the prejudices of the natives respecting lunar influence, he insisted
upon roofing in part of a house with alder and willow cut in the
creciente; and after a couple of years he was convinced of his own error,
when he saw the timber employed become quite brittle and useless, so as
to need to be replaced or supported to prevent the roof from falling.

The “arriero,” or muleteer, scrupulously attends to the influence of
the moon on his cattle; for if he travels in the creciente, and in a
warm or even temperate climate, he takes strict care not to unsaddle
his riding-horses, nor to unpad his cargo-mules, until they have
rested awhile and cooled sufficiently: and, if he should neglect these
precautions, he would be sure to have his cattle disabled by large
inflammatory swellings, rapidly running on to suppuration, forming on
their shoulders or loins.

In short, the very “chalan,” or horse-jobber, will not be prevailed upon
to cut the lampas from a beast’s gums, nor will a Limenian at any time,
except in the “menguante,” offer to pare his own corns, (and few are
free of such tormentors,) for fear of inducing severe irritation as the
reward of his indiscretion; and we may reasonably infer from all these
common-place and familiar facts, that, in Peru, lunar influence is very
remarkable, since both in the animal and vegetable kingdom it forces
itself upon the attention and experience of every one.

If it be asked what general influence such a climate as we have now
described may have on the animal frame, we would answer that there
appears to be something peculiarly enervating and degenerating,
aggravated by the total neglect of sanitary police, in the state of
the atmosphere and locality of Lima. This effect is observable in the
dog species, which becomes sluggish and spiritless, and more disposed
to bark than to bite; but it shows itself more especially in the male
descendants of unmixed European parentage.

We commonly see the son of the brave and stately Spaniard dwindle away
from the strength of frame and manly character of his progenitor. His
mind, like his person, becomes _petit-maître_; and, though vivacious in
youth, it continues through life to be more distinguished for readiness
than power, for mobility than vigour.


    Chances of life in Lima diminished by neglect of medical
    police.—Statements showing the proportion of deaths to the
    population of Lima.—Proportion between the different sexes and
    castes of the inhabitants.

If the mildness of contagious epidemic diseases were to afford a fair
test by which to judge of the climate of any particular locality, or the
medical police of its community, that of Lima would surely rank as one of
the most favourable. But, however open and spacious be the construction
of the houses and site of this capital, and whatever may be said for or
against the personal and domestic cleanliness of its inhabitants, and
other circumstances affecting the health of individuals, it must be
admitted that the salubrity of Lima, and the chances of life it affords,
are materially diminished from the want of due attention to public

The aqueducts or canals, which run along all the principal streets in
a direction from east to west, and give off branches for gardens and
convents, &c. are, after they have passed the city, to some extent
usefully distributed on fields between it and the sea-port. But, in
general, agriculture, like every other branch of industry, is neglected
since the revolution. The drains intended to convey the surplus water
from the city over a gentle slope, to impart that moisture to the good
soil which could not otherwise part with its nutritive properties, or
support vegetation, are frequently in a ruinous condition. Thus, the
water is suffered to stagnate in some parts, and run waste in others,
without being applied to those beneficial purposes of tillage which
should be the means of augmenting the health, population, and general
resources of Lima and its environs. By the street-canals, are to be seen
all day long the industrious vultures, (by far the most efficient agents
of police,) gulping up the refuse cast into these receptacles of every
sort of nuisance. When the water runs in small quantity, or is altogether
stopped from neglect, the quantity of vegetable and animal deposit
carelessly allowed to accumulate in these channels emits a profusion
of gaseous volatile poison, more or less penetrating and pernicious,
according to the season of the year and heat of the weather.

The manure conveyed from the pens and stables, (which might be applied
so as richly to repay the farmer’s toil, and be made to beautify at
the same time that it enriched to an incalculable extent the adjacent
plains,)—this manure, when not thrown into the canals, is conveyed to the
broad walls of the picturesque city, and there heaped up day after day;
or, if not thus disposed of, it is carried to the river’s brink, where
it is suffered to accumulate into fermenting mounds of daily increasing
size. Here it absorbs moisture, and generates miasmata that taint the
air breathed by the inhabitants; and so their sloth is chastised. We
are persuaded that their own culpable inattention to the cleanliness
and salubrity of their capital contributes largely to entail upon them
a greater proportion of disease and mortality than could at first sight
be expected from the features of the climate. Those natives, indeed,
who have passed a life of well-regulated habits, are said to attain a
cheerful old age in Lima; and there are instances of a few individuals
exceeding a hundred years of age, who preserve considerable bodily
activity and mental vivacity. There was living, when we left Lima in
1836, an active little Franciscan friar, said to be considerably above
a hundred. A Spanish gentleman of the name of Pellicer, very remarkable
for the acuteness and vigour of his mental powers and general health,
died in our own day, at the age of a hundred and two or three; and some
other instances of this sort might be mentioned. These, however, are
exceptions. For it is worthy of particular remark, that, whatever be the
causes that tend to produce the melancholy result, the truth is, that the
general mortality in Lima is very great; a fact which the records of its
Pantheon fully confirm, as may be seen from the annexed documents.


Showing the number of Deaths in Lima and its Suburbs from the year 1826
to the year 1835, both inclusive.

    |      |        ||Total number of |
    |      |        || Deaths in the  |
    |Year. |Deaths. || preceding Ten  |
    |      |        ||    Years.      |
    | 1826 |  2075  ||                |
    | 1827 |  2162  ||                |
    | 1828 |  2106  ||                |
    | 1829 |  1948  ||                |
    | 1830 |  2118  ||                |
    | 1831 |  1871  ||                |
    | 1832 |  2576  ||                |
    | 1833 |  3305  ||                |
    | 1834 |  2744  ||                |
    | 1835 |  2603  ||    23,508      |

Before we offer any remarks on the above table taken from a careful
examination of the register-books belonging to the Pantheon, or public
cemetery of Lima, it may not be amiss to premise what was the population
of Lima when the last census was taken, just before the revolution
broke out, and when that city is supposed to have been full of people
and at its acme of prosperity. This census, taken by John Baso, one of
the “oidores,” or judges of that period, and dated at Lima, September
30, 1818, concludes by the following summary:—“As is demonstrated by
the preceding statement, the capital of Lima comprehends within its
walls, huts and cottages contiguous to the city gates, and suburbs of
San Lazaro, 54,098 persons of all sexes, castes, states, and conditions,
which are distinguished minutely in the same statement, of which the
total amount consists of 27,545 males, and 26,553 females.”

During the ten years embraced by the above table of mortality, the
population of Lima is always estimated, by the best informed natives,
as much under, as at the time of the census of Baso it was found to be
above, 50,000; but no data, or census of later date, by which to verify
this matter in a precise manner, exist in the hands of the patriots;
therefore it is in some degree subject of conjecture, although from the
number of houses that are now abandoned, and the great falling away of
the agricultural and horticultural labourers, we are probably not far
from the truth in calling the average population of the capital and
suburbs during the last ten years 45,000; in which case the deaths in
twenty years will, according to the above rate, as seen from 1826 to
1835, amount to 47,000,—a number greater than the whole population given.

It may not be irrelevant to notice that, in the year 1828, (twenty
years after the Pantheon had been opened for interment,) the much
lamented General La Mar, at that time president of Peru, visited the
burying-ground, and desired, at the suggestion, we are told, of Don
Mariano Castilla, a gentleman who had the honour to accompany his
excellency on the occasion, one of the chaplains of the cemetery, to
inform him, after referring to the proper archives, the total number of
bodies interred for the twenty years it had then been open to the public;
and we are assured that the result corresponded closely with the rate
expressed in our present statement. The archives of Beneficencia, to
which the chaplain had recourse, are now lost or mislaid; but the account
he furnished General La Mar, after these documents, then extant, were
consulted, was published in some one of the periodicals of that day,
which, however, we ourselves have not seen. It appears from our table
of mortality, from 1826 to 1835, both years inclusive, that during the
last four years the number of deaths has augmented in proportion to
those that took place during the preceding six. The most obvious reason
for which, that we can assign, is, that the late administrator of the
cemetery and keeper of its register, to whose charge the books were left
during the first six years, was not attentive (as his books yet testify)
to enter the number of _espuestos_,—in other words, corpses left secretly
in exposed situations, as, for example, at the Pantheon, hospital,
or convent gates; but his successor (Pasos) has, throughout the last
four years specified, been very careful to insert a correct enumeration
of these cast-away bodies, as the writer has had an opportunity of
ascertaining in looking over the books of this obliging person, who lent
his willing aid to procure the details whence are drawn the general
results expressed in the table.

The number of the _espuestos_ is almost incredible, and shows the
prevalency of great poverty; for it is but charitable to think that no
one would thus cast away a child’s remains who was not deprived of the
ordinary means of covering the expense of an humble interment: but it is
said that, in this business, much fraud is committed by the parents of
the deceased, who, to avoid paying the regular funeral dues, give the
hearse-men a few reals for picking up the exposed bodies, and carrying
them to the cemetery to be buried. For these considerations, it will not
be unwarrantable to infer that the increase of deaths during the last
four years on the table has not been so much in reality as in appearance,
from the omission of duly registering the _espuestos_. Nor does it appear
from a document now before us, titled, “Guia politica, eclesiastica, y
militar del Peru,” by the celebrated and praiseworthy Dr. D. H. Unanue,
published in the year 1793, that the gross amount of deaths has altered,
in proportion to the existing population, to that extent which many
persons would incline to believe, in consequence of the great increase
of poverty and demoralization which have been experienced since that
period. In 1793 the population was quoted in the “Guia” at 52,627, and
the number of deaths at 2795, not including such as occurred among nuns
or ecclesiastics; all of whom, conjointly, formed a large item in the
population of Lima, and must have had a good many deaths among their
number to increase the real bill of mortality.[5]

It cannot be supposed either, that war had much share in swelling the
Pantheon list of dead in these latter years, because, though civil
broils were frequent since the year 1826, yet Lima itself was not the
usual seat of conflict. Some troops there were always stationed in this
city; but, should these be excluded from the estimate of the regular
population of the place, still, however, any difference in the sum of
mortality thus produced from soldiers dying in hospitals and registered
at the cemetery would be, most likely, more than equalled by the default
in the account of the _espuestos_, especially young children, whose
remains were irregularly interred, and so not at all entered upon the
books. And as for the Montonera troops, or others who met with violent
death in or about town during the late noisy skirmishes, they were, upon
the whole, too inconsiderable to merit much notice in this place, as
appears very clearly from the various entries made in the register by
Pasos, the present administrator and book-keeper of the cemetery.


    Food, fruit, and water used in Lima.

As the degree of health, and vigour of constitution, enjoyed by
individuals, depend in a great measure upon the diet, as well as on
the air they breathe, climate, and caste, we shall offer a few general
observations on the dietetic habits of the Limenians.

Besides maize, which is more generally cultivated than wheat, the latter
being to a considerable extent an article of importation from Chili
and other foreign parts, the staple food of the poor on the coast is
derived from the camote and yuca, both of which roots are exceedingly
nutritive and wholesome; but, in Lima, animal food is consumed in very
large quantity. The quantity of poultry used here is incalculable; and a
good reason for this is, that the sick, infirm, and convalescent,—always
exceedingly numerous in this capital, as well in public hospitals as in
private houses,—think themselves neglected in their diet if they have
not, at least once a day, chicken or chicken soup. Geese and ducks are
in low reputation as articles of aliment; but of pigeons and turkeys
there is always a large supply in the daily market, held under sheds in
convenient parts of the town. Fish is usually good and plentiful,—the
fishermen, by the way, furnishing the best specimen we have seen of a
robust form in the Indian family.

The number of fat pigs killed in the town has been, in the year 1835,—on
occasion of imposing, for the support of the colleges, a duty of four
reals, or about two shillings a-head, on each pig,—estimated considerably
above twenty thousand yearly; and there is always so large a consumption
of lard and fried pork, (“chicharones,”) that the trade of the
“mantequero,” or lard and swine-dealer, is, after that of the baker and
lottery-man, “suertero,” one of the most lucrative in the capital.

From forty to fifty head of oxen, and from three to four hundred sheep,
are slaughtered daily for the Lima market: the beef is very good; the
mutton of inferior quality. We were told by one of the principal beef
contractors that, early in the year 1836, the slaughter of oxen in Lima
was reduced to thirty or thirty-five head daily; a decrease from the
usual number which he ascribed to the poverty peculiar to that particular
period of misrule, disabling many families from buying beef, and partly
also to a new military order relating to the soldiers’ rations.

Instead of his former allowance of meat, the soldier was now allowed two
reals daily to provide for himself what food he pleased;—an injudicious
alteration in his circumstances, for he either gave his ration-money
for drink, or indulged his appetite in eating some unwholesome trash
calculated to throw him too often on the sick-list.

Pastry and sweet-meat criers are seen everywhere in the Lima streets;
and a sort of cook-stand, abounding in fried pork and fish, is to be
found at the corner of every square. This practice gives some insight
into the dietetic habits of the vulgar; and such poor families of genteel
pretensions as from necessity hire out their slaves, are seldom at the
trouble or expense of cooking at home when they can more easily call in
from the street what little they may satisfy themselves with.

Masamorerias, or a sort of pap-shops, are very common in Lima. Of the
sweet pap in vulgar use there are as many varieties as there are of
meal and flour,—such as peas, beans, rice, maize flour, arrow-root,
starch,—of which they have many varieties. Any of these boiled in water
to a very soft consistence, with or without the addition of fruit or
some vegetable acid, and sweetened exceedingly with sugar, molasses,
or “chancaca,” (the latter, a coarse sort of brown sugar made up into
cakes,) is what constitutes the great Limenian dish “masamora,” to which
these sweet-mouthed people are as proverbially partial as the English are
to roast-beef.

However salutary in itself may be the quality of the more substantial
food of such Limenians as can afford to live well and generously, yet
most of their dishes are so sodden in lard, that the common fowl, the
pigeon, turkey, and that excellent family dish the “puchero,” consisting
of a variety of fruit and vegetables, with pieces of meat of different
kinds and quality, all boiled and presented in one great piece of
plate,—are among the comparatively few which a simple palate can relish.

Their soups, together with a great variety of vegetable dishes, are
so heated with agi-pepper, that the coats of the stomach would indeed
require to be well greased to protect them against the piquant effects of
this popular condiment. Useful and even necessary as this agi is found
to be by those Indians of the valleys who cultivate it around their
doors, and whose diet is nearly all vegetable, yet in a climate like that
of Lima, and in constitutions so delicate as those of its inhabitants
confessedly are, it must prove injurious to the organization of the
stomach, and to the health in general, when freely and daily taken with
a plentiful allowance of animal food, and a general mode of living sober
but not temperate; for though the better classes deal sparingly in wine,
yet, by partaking more or less of every dish at table, and these not a
few, they usually eat more than the powers of digestion can comfortably
apply to the support of the frame, not usually exposed by so indolent a
people to great waste from athletic exertion.

The native dark races are indeed much more robust in form, and hardier
in constitution, than strangers to their climate; and many of them
drink “aguardiente,” or uncoloured cane spirits, in great quantity, and
with less immediate ill effect than one would expect. Their constant
use of such excitants as ardent spirits and fermented beverages called
“chichas,” with animal food and agi, may possibly be a principal
reason why these persons, whenever they are seized with inflammatory
complaints, stand general bleeding better than others of their own caste
fed upon sango, a name applied to a sort of mash made with maize-meal
and sweet potatoes: but persons of European descent, with skin so much
more delicate than the darker races in Peru, and endowed with a more
susceptible nervous system, suffer much more readily from atmospherical
vicissitudes; and their digestive organs and powers of assimilation being
comparatively weak, those irregularities, borne by the negro and zambo
with comparative impunity, are to the white man, whose organization is
not so suitable as theirs for a warm and relaxing climate, the frequent
cause of various disorders of the bowels, as indigestion, cholera morbus,
or dysentery. The dietetics of the Limenians naturally induce frequent
examples of impaired digestion; and worms, too usually the inmates of
unhealthy bowels, are so remarkably common, and in acute febrile diseases
are so generally expelled either dead or alive, that their appearance
in such disorders is looked upon as a matter of course. What share the
water, as a vehicle for ova, may have in propagating these worms, it
may be difficult to assign; but as the aqueducts are much neglected,
and proper filtering-stones not in general use, it is likely that some
seeds of disease may thus enter the system; and it may be mentioned
that, during the warm weather, a host of animalcules show themselves to
the naked eye in the earthen jars, or “_botijas_,” which are kept in
the culinary apartments as receptacles for water intended for ordinary
domestic purposes; and even water, heated in hot baths to ninety or more
degrees of Fahrenheit, if again allowed to cool, and stand over a few
days, is seen crowded with myriads of playful animalcules.

Of water taken by the writer from the fountain of the great square in
Lima, just as the river began to rise in January from the effects of the
inland rains, he is happy to be able to furnish the following analysis by
Dr. Thomson of Glasgow.

Sp. gr. 1·00028; purer than Clyde water: 1000 grains contained


    Common salt           0·05
    Sulphate of lime      0·19
    Silica                0·06
    Vegetable matter      0·04

Nature has supplied the Peruvians of the coast with fruits most suitable
to their wants; and these, though often injurious when eaten in a state
of immaturity, or when the stomach is not in a fit state to receive them,
are yet, when used in season, most grateful to the taste, and salutary to
the constitution, in the regions where they abound.

We shall, therefore, introduce in this place a list of the fruits
produced in the orchards in and about Lima, with a specification of
the months when they are in season. This we are happily able to do by
presenting our readers with a list, obligingly given to us by Mr.
Mathews, an English botanist, now making rich botanical collections in
the interior of Peru; but whose occupation, as an horticulturist at Lima,
afforded him the best opportunity for exact and practical information on
the subject.

_January._—Grapes begin to ripen; and also apricots, and a few pears.

_February._—Grapes, pears in abundance, apricots; peaches begin to ripen;
lucumas scarce; figs.

_March._—Grapes in abundance; pears scarce; peaches in abundance; apples
begin to ripen; lucumas in abundance; figs in abundance.

_April._—Apples in abundance; quinces, ceruela de frayle (_spondias
dulcis_), and cerasas (_malpighia glandulosa_), palillas (_psidium
lineatum_), and guavas; figs scarce.

_May._—The same as April; a few grapes are seen in the market, brought
from the southward; cherimollas.

_June._—Cherimollas and guanavanas; sweet and sour oranges; a few apples.

_July._—The same as June, with the exception of apples and limes; sweet
lemons and sour lemons begin to ripen.

_August._—The same as July; but slight demand for oranges this month.

_September._—Lucumas, paltas, and the fruits of the previous month.

_October._—Same as September; but a great demand for limes and sweet

_November and December._—During these two months there is a great demand
for sweet and sour lemons, for “_frescos_” or cooling drinks. Sweet
oranges rarely remain good after the middle of November.

Plantains produce all the year, but the greatest abundance is during the
hot months. The pepino is also much eaten during December, January, and
February. In the months of April and May, the pulp surrounding the seeds
in the pod of the pacay are much eaten.

In addition to the above account by Mr. Mathews, we may notice that the
melon and sandia, or musk and water-melon, are much cultivated in the
neighbourhood of Lima; and are to be seen in large heaps by the bridge,
and at the corners of streets, where they are bought up, and consumed
with avidity, in the hot month of February. Olives too, and very good
ones, grow in the Vale of Rimac, and arrive at maturity in February and
March. During the late civil wars, several valuable olive plantations
were wantonly cut down. Strawberries, and likewise “tunas,” or Indian
figs, of inferior quality, grow in Lima; but the market is supplied with
these fruits, and of the best quality, from the neighbouring valley of
Sta. Ulaya. The pine-apple does not ripen spontaneously in Lima, though
attempts are now making near the Callao gate of the city to cultivate
it. The pine-apple eaten in Lima is usually brought from the eastern
side of Peru, from the Montaña of Tarma and Guancayo, &c. Sometimes,
also, a few pine-apples are carried from about Moro on the coast to the
northward; but these often decay before they arrive in Lima.


    Remarks explanatory of certain Dietetic maxims, and established
    notions or prejudices, illustrative of the physical
    constitution and domestic habits of the Limenians.

In Lima there are certain opinions and rules, relating to the nature and
cure of diseases, so very popular and well received among the vulgar,
and at the same time so habitually countenanced by many of the native
practitioners, that, for any one who proposes to practise in that part of
the world, and hopes to be honourably acquitted by the jury of nurses and
attendants who are always numerous about the sick, it may be worth while
to consider the tenor of the following remarks:

I. _No conoce nuestro clima._—It is affirmed by native doctors, but
not always acceded to by the vulgar, that there is something occult
in the climate of Lima, which only a Limenian or Creole physician can
sufficiently comprehend. Hence the prejudiced objection, “No conoce
nuestro clima,”—that is, “he knows not our climate,”—is sanctioned by
high professional authority; and this much hackneyed caveat is usually
laid at the threshold of every European doctor who desires to make
himself professionally useful in Lima.

Every one, we think, will admit that the practice of medicine must be
modified, or considerably altered, according to the topography of any
particular country; for it is observed, that difference of locality
affects not only man, but plants and animals, in a striking degree as we
extend from the Equator towards latitudes far to the north or south of
it. Yet, if there be any who understand either the botany or zoology of
Peru, or who endeavour to illustrate these subjects by their science and
diligence, they are not Peruvians.

The only lover of natural history we have the honour to be acquainted
with in that country is Don Mariano Rivero of Arequipa; and, though their
tranquil sky might be imagined to allure Limenians of a philosophic turn
of mind to the contemplation and study of the heavenly bodies, yet to Dr.
Gregorio Paredes alone belongs, in the present day, the merit and high
distinction of keeping the sublime vigils of the astronomer. Now this
dearth of native science is not confined to these general branches of
natural history and philosophy, but affects very sensibly the practice
of medicine. The very manuals of primary medical instruction put into
the hands of medical students in the capital of Peru are foreign and
European. And thus it is plain that they have no peculiar and national
digest of medical knowledge—no local and partial medical code, such as
charlatans and public impostors would desire to insinuate when they talk
of their _own_ practice of physic, or what they call _Medicina del pais_.

It is indeed to be hoped that no respectable physician in Peru will
hereafter indulge in the folly of maintaining that Europeans are neither
fit to practise in that country, nor able to comprehend the peculiar
influences of the climate of Lima. This climate, like every other on
the known face of the globe, is open to the investigations of the
meteorological observer, whether he be a native of the Old or New World.

The laws of physiology, we may further observe, like those of
gravitation, are the same in Peru as in other parts of the world; and the
aphorisms of Hippocrates, generally founded on accurate observations made
more than two thousand years ago, are at this day equally true as when
first embodied, and applicable to man’s physical constitution all over
the globe. The medical treatment of diseases, whether conducted at home
or abroad, must be conducted in conformity with the common and immutable
laws of the animal economy, and with due attention to the constitution
and temperament of individuals. The locality of the patient’s birth or
residence, the influence of climate, diet, and habits, &c. are mere
accidental circumstances, secondary and subordinate considerations, which
every physician or medical officer of our fleets and armies, to whatever
clime he be transported, should be able to survey and to estimate, like
the skilful commander who, as he reconnoitres his ground, perceives the
local character of a new field of action.

II. _Tomar dulce para bever agua a las horas de la comida._—This is a
standing dietetic rule observed at the close of a meal or repast, which
means that sugar, or some sweet preserve, is to be taken to give relish
to the water that it is customary to drink at this time, whether one feel
thirsty or not: they therefore sweeten the palate to enjoy their simple

Should a Limenian in perfect health, who thus drinks water at stated
periods, feel thirsty shortly after a meal concluded, as usual,
with sugar or some sweet-meat and water, he is taught to endure the
inconvenience rather than bring on himself indisposition by indulging his
thirst. To understand this, it is requisite to know, that, until three
hours have elapsed after the taking of the last meal, no one is supposed
to drink even water, which is the most common beverage of the natives;
for to commit such an irregularity would, it is believed, be to occasion
a fit of indigestion or to hazard health.

This may appear a ridiculous prejudice to those who are accustomed to
quench their thirst, as often as it naturally arises, without regard to
rules; but, on the coast of Peru, the neglect of this prophylactic rule
of only drinking at stated periods, when it violates the established
habits of an individual trained up in the observance of it, may be
allowed to be injurious to the health, as it certainly disturbs the
digestive functions. This strict attention to measured periods of
drinking water is also countenanced in the hill-land of the interior,
where digestion is usually so vigorous as not to require such nice
precaution: but it is patronised by custom; and this, no doubt, the
majority hold as a sufficient reason for the continuance of the practice.

When a person suffers from acute febrile disease, and is only allowed
very spare and tenuous diet, such as chicken soup, panada, tapioca, or
arrow-root, &c.; then, from one meal to another, the regular interval is
five hours; three hours after each meal, water, or some medicated drink,
is given; and, two hours after this drink, the allotted aliment, of
whatever simple sort it may be, is again repeated. Thus food and drink
are regularly alternated till the patient is considered to be in a state
which requires the supply of solid food; and then, as when in ordinary
health, the interval from meal to meal is understood to be seven hours.
The solid food given to the convalescent generally consists of chicken,
which, of all the items in the list of Limenian dietary, is that in
most general requisition. Now, for the proper digestion of the chicken,
five hours are allowed before any medicated drink is ordered after it;
and the principle recognised in this method is, that drink, which too
much dilutes and weakens the gastric juice in the stomach, cannot with
propriety be taken before chymification is complete.

Nurses, and very kind and obliging friends, usually attend so strictly
to the above order in giving food and drink, that, though the poor
patient be burning with thirst, he can only have permission to quench
it at the fixed and assigned hours; and, through a feeling of pure
benevolence towards the sick, they interrupt a salutary sleep rather than
fail in punctually giving either drink, nutriment, or medicine at the
corresponding hours. Under the influence of an amiable sense of duty,
the anxious mother is often heard to assure the doctor that she herself
was attentive to give her child its drink or medicine at exact time, as
announced from the nearest church spire by the striking of the clock;
though it grieved her to interrupt its gentle slumber.

During the exacerbations of intermittent fevers, so prevalent in
Peru, the state of the stomach is usually much disturbed; and in such
circumstances, instead of alternating food and drink without regard to
the condition of the digestive functions, we have taken pains to persuade
the sick to deviate from the order established by custom, and allowed our
patients the inexpressible comfort of drinking as often as thirst urged
them, until there was obtained a solution of the febrile exacerbation.

III. _Prepararse para tomar purga._—Many practitioners of the venerable
Boerhaavian school have died in Lima in course of the last few years,
but several of this stock are yet remaining; and, in their professional
harangues at consultations, they are heard to talk learnedly of the
malignant, adust, crude, and corrosive, &c. state of the humours of the
human frame, without, as it always appeared to us, being able to affix
any precise and practical ideas to these hypothetical expressions. And
though the junior doctors of modernized opinions are generally found to
indulge in some theory of the abstract solidists, yet they are obliged to
respect the prejudices of the vulgar, and talk in a way that is agreeable
to those whom it is their business to persuade. Patients, blinded by
the received notions concerning the scorched blood, and displaced,
corrupt, or perturbed and jumbled humours, reckon the daily visit of the
physician indispensable under ordinary circumstances of indisposition.
They do not expect that, day after day, active drugs are required; but,
according to their own precognition of the case, they think it necessary
for their safety that their medical adviser make his regular visits and
observations, carefully examine the various excretions, and so be able to
judge accurately of the character of the case, and prepare the patient by
delay, diet, and diluents, &c. to take physic in due time, which is the
meaning of the vernacular expression, “Prepararse para tomar purga.”

IV. _Empacho._—This famous Limenian mischief-maker is supposed to lurk
concealed under almost every form of chronic or intractable disease, and
means, in the most usual acceptation of the word, a preternaturally
loaded and torpid condition of the bowels: but, on other occasions, the
same word is used to express the casual lodgement, in any part of the
digestive passages, of some such matter as the fresh rind of a fig,
grape, or date, keeping up local irritation and fever. Thus, at one time,
the term empacho signifies a confined and inactive state of the bowels;
and, at other times, indigestion of some foreign and adherent substance,
frequently giving rise to quite a contrary condition of gastric disorder:
the former is called simply empacho; the latter is called empacho
pegado,—for the removal of which, a table-spoonful, or two, of the liquid
fat of a fowl—the _enjundia de gallina_! is a _popular_ remedy.

In a large proportion of cases where this cause of mischief is supposed
to exist, it has, in fact, no place or existence except in the mind that
conceives the notion of it; and, in itself, the fallacy is harmless so
long as it is speculative: but the practice to which it leads is often
mischievous, and it is with the latter that the practitioner has most to

It would, indeed, be a hopeless task for the regular practitioners in
Peru to reason a Limenian doctress out of her reveries on the subject
of empacho, which, when viewed by her as the exciting cause of disease,
assumes a Protean character, and is visible to her imagination in mostly
every case of ailment, which she, true to her favourite opinion, offers
to cure in her own way.

The evil effects of a farrago of nostrums, or untimely and inappropriate
medicaments applied by the help of the doctress, the educated physician
is often called, but sometimes too late, to correct; and the fatal
abuses thus arising have, on various occasions, called forth the public
and earnest remonstrances of the highest medical tribunal of the
country,—but all to no purpose, the practice being rooted in vulgar
favour and prejudice.

So universal, indeed, is the credit of the Limeña quacks, or curanderas,
of whom La Señora Dorotea is the chief, and so general is the use of the
instrument called jeringa, (through the medium of which the principal
ingredients of this señora’s materia medica are confidently applied,)
that it constitutes an essential and conspicuous article of domestic
utility. And the great consideration in which this auxiliary is held, as
a _sine quâ non_ in the treatment of empacho, and almost every disease,
renders it a topic of never-failing conversation.

As a familiar example of the abuse of the jeringa, may be mentioned the
vulgar practice of resorting to it in disorders attendant on dentition.
Sometimes the increased action of the bowels is indiscreetly stopped by
astringents thus adhibited, and a fatal determination of blood to the
head ensues; but it more frequently happens that the contrary practice
is pursued, and stimulant remedies are administered, which either
increase the existing disease, or transmute it into a dysentery. On such
occasions the skilful practitioner may endeavour in vain to convince
the mother that her child’s gastric ailment does not proceed from the
presence of the dire empacho. When, as often happens during the progress
of teething, children are suffered to eat all sorts of sweets, fruit,
and unwholesome diet, or permitted to partake of strong food used by
adults, and ill-suited to the more delicate organs of the tender child,
then, no doubt, empacho or indigestion may be traced, in many cases, as
a co-existing cause of the irritation and disturbance in the bowels, to
which the offspring of white parents are more particularly subject in
Lima. Complicated cases of this nature demand a prudent modification in
treatment. Yet such instances are not so frequent as others, independent
of indigestion, and in which a moderate bowel complaint is so far from
being injurious that it is most salutary, as a natural protection
against affections of the head during the process of teething. It is
a peculiarity connected with the religious belief and popular customs
of the country, that diseases of infancy and early childhood are too
lightly considered by the native physician. The reason assigned for this
is the devout one, that little innocents are exempted from the pangs of
Purgatory, which must be borne by adults for the purification of their
souls; and that therefore, for the child, it is happiness to die.

We have heard the physician offer this consolation to a weeping mother in
the higher ranks of society. He softly assured her that her pretty babe
would pass through Purgatory to Paradise without as much as scorching a
finger in the transit.

In the lower and middle ranks especially, this religious dogma seems
to stifle the natural emotions of the heart; for, evidently forgetting
that even “Jesus wept,” they celebrate with music and dancing the death
of the dearest object of a fond parent’s affection, who, as her child is
consigned to a niche in the Pantheon, bedecks her person, grown thin by
previous care and watching, and now she smiles in her robes of white, as
if these were indeed no emblems of torn affection!

V. _Sangria sobre el empacho._—To bleed a patient affected with
empacho is, by the common consent of the vulgar, declared to be a most
unpardonable blunder; and this is the meaning of the expression, “Sangria
sobre el empacho!” when ejaculated in the apartments of the sick.

It will be readily imagined that, in numerous instances coming under
the vulgar denomination of empacho, the subtraction of blood will be a
necessary measure before purgatives can be properly or safely resorted
to, with a view to remove from the bowels the irritating cause lodged
there, and affecting the general system.

But to avoid the unjust criticism of uncharitable members of the
profession, who are always ready to turn to their private advantage,
any popular prejudice which can be called in to humble the name of
fellow-practitioners more respectable than themselves, and also as a
mean either to acquire or to preserve the confidence of the sick, the
prudent physician will not overlook the natural effects of any known
prepossession regarding blood-letting. He will so far accommodate his
practice to the ideas of those who are most interested in the issue
of his treatment, as to order at least one enema, when the empacho is
firmly believed to exist, before he proceed to the further discharge of
his professional duty, and fulfilment of the indication of the case, by
ordering the lancet to be applied.

No time or advantage is lost by such a concession to the preconceived and
inflexible opinion, that bleeding is particularly hurtful in those cases
of illness connected with undue accumulations in the bowels: but one very
important end is gained by it; since, by agreeing with the sick and their
friends on an indifferent point of practice, they will more willingly
submit to the application of other remedies necessary for the safety of
the patient.

VI. _Cosas frias y calientes._—All articles of diet, and medicaments, are
by the Peruvians vulgarly divided into cold and hot; or, as the words on
which we are about to comment express it, into “cosas frias y calientes.”

When the physician prescribes any particular diet or physic to a patient
in Lima, he must be ready to answer many inquiries regarding the
qualities of the things prescribed.

Besides professed sick-tenders, zamba housekeepers or head-servants, some
women in the middle and humbler ranks, such as manteras, chocolateras,
tenderas, cigareras, picanteras, pulperas, changaneras,—that is, female
shopkeepers, chocolate and cigar venders, with a subordinate gradation
of publicans, &c.—are always ready to talk, with confounding fluency and
volubility, without knowledge, concerning qualities and temperaments; and
they display a natural acuteness of metaphysical capacity, with a truly
peripatetic nicety of discrimination, when, in a moment of oratorical
excitement, they assign to certain mixtures and drinks ideal measures and
degrees of the elementary qualities. Women skilled in such mysteries, and
omniscient charlatans, run over the various combinations of the cold and
hot, dry and humid, and all their resulting modifications of temperature
and temperament, with apparently unerring precision, and with a graduated
exactness which no chemist in Europe, with every advantage of science and
apparatus, can pretend to equal in his elaborate investigations into the
qualities and elements of bodies either living or inanimate.

The particular temperament of the patient his intimate friends are
supposed to know perfectly; and the doctor’s reply to any question that
may be proposed to him on this subject will be considered, in many
instances, as no bad test of his penetration and professional knowledge
in other matters with which they do not presume to be themselves so well

In conformity with such prevailing impressions, when nurses are to be
selected for the children of delicate mothers, preference is given to the
black women, as their blood and milk are believed to be cooler and more
refreshing than the same fluids are in women of a different race. The
Indian woman, on the other hand, is considered inferior to the negress as
a nurse, because she is believed to be of a comparatively hot temperament
and constitution. The effect of the quality of the nurse’s milk is
conceived to influence the future temperament of the infant that hangs on
her breast; and it is sometimes assigned as a reason why an individual
is of an ardent temperament, that when a child he had been weaned, or
deprived of the breast, by giving him wine,—_se desteto con vino_.

Colour is looked upon as an indication of constitutional temperament
even in the lower animals. Thus, when one in town labours under hectic
fever, or consumption, he is recommended to go to the country, and drink
warm milk from a black cow, because it is allowed to be more cooling and
febrifuge than the milk taken from a cow of any other colour.

In case of a rheumatic swelling of a joint,—the knee, for instance,—or
some tumefaction in any of the glands, it is taken for granted, that,
whatever other remedy be applied, the envelope for the limb or part
affected must be of a medicinal colour, and consist of black wool, or
something of a dark woollen texture. In short, so far has this general
idea concerning the antiphlogistic nature of black been carried, that
few natives dispute its accuracy: nor are we prepared to say that it
may not have some foundation in fact and observation (though often
laughed at by strangers as a puerile prejudice); for it is well known to
scientific men, that the free radiation of heat is much influenced by the
differences of colour in the radiating surfaces of bodies.

With respect to food and drink, the division into cold and hot is never

A “_traguito_,” or little dram of Italia, a colourless brandy made on
the coast, the old men consider as _fresco_, or cooling, when taken
immediately after dinner; and when they take the “_traguito_,” which
they do not every day, it will probably facilitate the digestion of
the greasy food which they are commonly accustomed to eat, and in this
manner deserve the name of a _fresco_. But, again, though at their
entertainments they allow wine to be a safe and good drink after the
“_helados_,” or ices, which they like exceedingly, still they use wine
sparingly on other occasions, as they consider it too heating for general
use. There are fruits after which the natives do not think it safe
to drink either wine or spirits; of this sort is the short plantain,
called “platano de guinea,” after which a mouthful of spirits would be
considered quite poisonous. Foreigners do not seem to attend to this
strict rule observed by the natives; nor is the violation of it, as far
as we know, attended with any serious consequence to them.

Various kinds of fruit and vegetable juices, which are considered cool in
their qualities, are not rarely most heating in their effects, according
to the condition of the system when taken. The melon is in reputation
for its cooling nature; but, though the impression made by it on our
alimentary organs is at first very refreshing, the muleteer who journeys
from the Cordillera to the coast, and has but once in his lifetime been
attacked with a gastric tertian, in consequence of cooling his parched
fauces by eating of the melon, can give a lively account of the internal
heat, agitation, and oppression experienced by him on the occasion. There
is no cooling fruit safer than the granadilla, which is most grateful and
refreshing to the feverish patient, or thirsty traveller in the scorched
and rock-bound ravines and narrow valleys of the interior, where this
fruit is often abundant, as it is also on the coast in its proper season.

Fowls are reckoned to be infinitely _cooler_ in their temperament than
sheep or oxen, and their flesh is also considered as very safe and
cooling; hence the almost universal use of the former, and prohibition
or disuse of the latter, in the dietary of a delicate invalid. This
distinction will appear still more strongly marked, when it is observed,
that to prescribe beef-tea in any acute disease would be deemed an act of
rashness and ignorance; but chicken-tea is held to be the most cooling of
diluents, and very eligible in the most inflammatory diseases and in the
warmest weather.

This chicken-tea, called “agua de pollo,” is commonly prepared in the
proportions of three cupsfull of water to one half of a little unfledged
chicken, with the addition of a mallow leaf or two, and the core of a
lettuce, (cogollo de lechuga,) by which latter in particular its cooling
properties are said to be exalted. After the ingredients are boiled
together for a proper length of time, the clear decoction is poured off
for use. The great efficacy of this drink is accredited by the undisputed
consent of doctors of all colours, and matrons as well as nurses of all
sorts and temperaments.

It is needless to remark that, in general, plain water or toast-water,
or a ptisan of barley decocted with some of the subacid fruits of the
country, would answer very agreeably the purpose of the agua de pollo;
but when the latter is preferred, it should be remembered that in warm
weather it decomposes rapidly, and then acquires irritating properties.
As a purgative, in gastric disorders, the old physicians in Lima extol
almond oil, which is often of inferior quality; and they take some pains
to arm the minds of the credulous against the use of the best castor-oil
of European preparation, by telling them that it is extracted from the
seeds of the “higuerilla,” or castor-oil shrub, everywhere indigenous in
the warm valleys of the interior; and these seeds are generally known to
be excessively drastic when taken as the peasants use them, in the dose
of two or three bruised, and then swallowed in substance. Now from the
seeds the native apothecaries prepare an impure oil, which is sold in the
shops under the name of “oil of higuerilla;” and as it is only used for
burning in lamps, when the vulgar learn that castor-oil is but another
name for the same, they naturally consider it as essentially hot, and
most heating and improper for internal use. The vulgar should be advised
by every ingenuous and intelligent member of the profession, that the
fault is not in the remedy, but in the way of preparing it: and this
remark may be extended to the delicate preparations from the mineral
kingdom, which acquire a bad name when badly prepared, as is necessarily
the case in Lima, where chemistry is so little cultivated or practised as
a science.

VII. _Los acidos son malos para el pecho._—No class of remedies is in
more general use in Lima than vegetable acids in the bilious disorders
of daily occurrence; but in affections of the chest, whether simply
catarrhal, or of the more serious forms of pneumonia or phthisis, it is
a generally received and settled opinion that acids of all sorts are
injurious, which they make known by such expressions as these: “Los
acidos son malos para el pecho,”—acids are bad for the breast; “Los
acidos cierran el pecho,”—acids shut up the breast.

This opinion seems to have partly originated from a notion, once
entertained by the doctors, that acids coagulate the animal fluids, and
so produce obstructions and disease. It is made evident to our senses,
that milk secreted from the blood is readily coagulated by acids; and
thus they seem to conceive that something of the same process takes place
in the circulating fluids of the body when acids are taken into the

Not only the vulgar, but some of the professional characters, appear to
be impressed with the notion that the blood is thickened or curdled by
acids, whether mineral or vegetable; and that the delicate circulation
of the lungs is consequently impeded, and the respiratory pores clogged.
This opinion appears to be expressed in the very common remark, “El
enfermo tomo fresco de lemon, y con el acido se le ha tupido el pecho,”
which means that the patient drank cold lemonade, and with the acid the
breast was stopped up.

We are well persuaded that there are instances, especially among delicate
females, where the respiratory organs are so susceptible of impressions,
that the immediate refrigerating effects of cool acidulated drinks on the
stomach of such persons extend rapidly, by sympathy, from the stomach to
the surface of the body and lungs; and there produce a certain degree of
constriction on the exhaling vessels, which disturbs their healthy action.

It is only in this manner we can account for the fact, as frequently
stated to us by patients, that, as certainly as they did take anything
cool and acidulated, they were speedily affected with a tightness
about the chest, and felt as if they had actually caught cold. On such
occasions their usual observation was, “El acido me ha cerrado el
pecho,”—the acid has locked or closely shut the breast.

A complicated ailment which is vulgarly conceived to be seated in the
chest, is often met with in Lima during the sultry months of January,
February, and March. It is attended with a short and dry cough, a foul
tongue, and evening fever, or restlessness, that chases away sleep. The
patient becomes low-spirited and anxious; and dreads an approaching
attack of consumption, or spitting of blood.

In such disorders, the gastric and hepatic functions may be suspected
of some irregularity; and, when in any case this is explained to the
patient, the disease may be treated as one seated in the organs of
digestion, and _frescos_ or cooling acidulated drinks often do wonders.
Not only diluted in cold water, but with the addition of ice, the various
vegetable acids of the season are given with the best results. They break
up the whole chain of morbid symptoms; and the patient, thus encouraged
and refreshed, completes convalescence by cold sea-bathing, and a few
weeks’ residence at the neat village of Mira-flores, a few miles from the

Throughout the entire year, but more particularly during the warmer
months, great use, and no small abuse, is made of all sorts of _frescos_,
or cooling and acidulated drinks, with or without the addition of ice,
and other ingredients of a very opposite nature, as pimento and spices,
which latter render the same drink heating to the stomach, that, by ice,
is rendered cool on the lip.

There are no beverages which the vulgar misapply more than their
_frescos_. The most approved of these, as tamarinds and whey, or the
juice of the apple and quince, &c. diffused in water and sweetened
with sugar, are sometimes so long continued with a view of cooling and
purifying the blood, that they finally relax and weaken the stomach;
of which there are heard many complaints. Again, iced water, or iced
acidulated _frescos_, are frequently misapplied in the common acute
diseases of the country when the patients are in a free sweat; for, by
suddenly checking a salutary perspiration, very bad consequences may
follow: but this, though a well-known fact, is too often overlooked.

VIII. _Acido sobre la leche es malo._—It is particularly worthy of notice
that, shortly before or after milk happens to be taken pure as a drink,
or mixed up in some culinary form as an article of diet, it is believed
that no acid can be safely received into the stomach; it being thought
necessary that the interval between these incompatible ingredients should
be seven hours at least.

In illustration of the fact here stated, it may be mentioned that we
were once called to see a lady in Lima who had been ailing for about a
twelvemonth; and, on inquiring why she had delayed her cure so long, her
reply was,—

“A year ago, on my arrival from Valparaiso, I called in Dr. ——, a French
physician, who ordered me to confine myself to a rice and milk diet
alternated with lemonade. I felt so greatly shocked at this gentleman’s
extraordinary error in prescribing such treatment, which every one knows
to be most hurtful, not only to the infirm, but to the sound and healthy,
that I resolved at the time to leave my complaints to nature, rather than
expose my life to the greater indiscretion of some other doctor of less

In this instance the error, for which the French physician was blamed,
consisted in his having overlooked the popular rule universal in Peru,
and probably not unknown in Chile, that “acido sobre la leche es malo,”
viz. that acid after milk is hurtful.

According to this rule in Peruvian dietetics, it would be considered
little short of poisonous to use milk or cream with any sort of fruit,
jam, or preserve containing the least quantity of acid. And here it may
be noticed, that in their own preserves, they completely destroy the rich
and distinguishing flavour of the fruit by an excess of sugar, just as
they annihilate, in very bad taste, the peculiar and natural fragrance
of their finest flowers by sprinkling upon them foreign and artificial

IX. _Los olores son malos para las recien paridas._—It is one of the
social customs of Peru, sometimes attended with great inconvenience,
that friends and visitors, moved by feelings of kindness, crowd into the
rooms of the sick, when not perhaps in a fit state to enjoy company or

During their confinement ladies are not sufficiently exempted from this
friendly intrusion, or neighbourly attention. The only restraint imposed
upon those who visit a lady on such an occasion is, that they do not
enter her apartment with flowers or perfumes; nor are the attendants
permitted to introduce censers with the fumes of burning incense, as
is customary at other times. Thus, it is acknowledged that “Los olores
son malos para las recien paridas,” viz. that perfumes are injurious to
women during their confinement; and they certainly are so, for they are
frequently observed to give rise to fainting, convulsions, or other bad
consequences. These precautions all who visit or wait upon the sick are
strict in observing; and so much the more, as it is customary for females
in every rank to use perfumes on their dress, and to decorate their heads
with flowers for evening visits: a practice in which the woolly-haired
negress and mulatta greatly excel, as they love to adorn their stunted
curls with flowers of aroma and jessamine.

Parturient women are very subject to a sensation of languor and
exhaustion at stomach, attended with a feeling of faintness, which they
call “_fatiga_.” On ordinary occasions, when this feeling or sensation is
experienced by females not similarly situated, it is usual to resort to
cordials and odoriferous draughts containing lavender, hartshorn, &c. and
also to stimulating embrocations applied over the seat of the stomach,
which usually consist of a camphorated mixture, or perhaps Cologne water,
and other such remedies applied in common cases of weakness and faintness
referred to the stomach; but, under the circumstances to which our rule
refers, all applications of this sort are inadmissible.

When there is a feeling of sickness and faintness, with a disconsolate
sensation (called “un desconsuelo”) at the epigastrium or scrobiculus
cordis, they are allowed on all occasions to apply to the stomach, as a
popular remedy with the matrons, a bit of warm toast, or the breast of
a fowl sprinkled over with powdered cinnamon and moistened with wine,
or, as it is vernacularly expressed, “la pechuga de gallina con vino y
canela;” and they agree that this application, which possesses a great
deal of their confidence, commonly produces the best effects.

X. _Tomar agua fria encima de colera._—To drink cold water immediately
after a fit of anger, which is the meaning of the words in our text, is a
frequent cause of ailment, and one which the practitioner every day hears
of as the origin of the worst cases of visceral obstructions or hepatic
disease. Unfortunately, the occasions of such attacks are of ordinary
occurrence; for the temper of those who suffer from them is rarely under
proper control, and, as a necessary consequence of the existing state of
society, provocations to anger are common in every situation.

We were once consulted by a curate of an irritable disposition, and an
epicure in his taste, on account of an induration and very prominent
enlargement of the liver, which some time after ended in a fatal abscess.
This gentleman assigned, as the exciting cause of his malady, his having
drunk cold water when angry, or on occasion of a quarrel he had with his
cook, a Zamba girl, who we may suppose must have spoiled some favourite

This was the first time we were consulted on an ailment said to arise
from drinking cold water when angry. But afterwards, as we had engaged
in more general practice, we were called upon to listen to very many
statements of the same sort; and, on such multiplied and independent
evidence, we are compelled to believe that this is indeed one of the
usual causes of hepatic derangement very prevalent in Peru.

During these fits of anger the brain appears to be greatly excited,
and the flow of blood to it increased; and the liver, which readily
sympathises with the brain in our mental states of angry emotion, seems
to be at the same time gorged with blood. Under these circumstances, we
think a draught of cold water operates injuriously, by creating a sudden
chill within, and inducing, through the channel of sympathy between the
stomach and liver, contraction of the biliary excretories, which lays
the foundation of more permanent congestion and consequent inflammation,
by preventing the natural relief which should arise from a free flow
of bile. That the ready flow or free outlet of bile is the natural and
proper medium of relief in such cases, every one has an opportunity to
judge; for fits of anger are so common in Lima, that a day never passes
without witnessing or hearing of their ill consequences; and the most
familiar and immediate effect is a bilious disorder of the bowels, or
indigestion and subsequent vomiting,—just as the stomach happens to be
occupied, or otherwise, during the period of mental perturbation.

We may remark, that ice and iced water are only considered safe (even
by the vulgar, who use them daily with a view to restrain the excessive
flow of bile consequent on an angry or choleric fit,) when they are given
after the violence of the commotion is over, and after the stomach, if it
happen to be loaded, has, by drinking warm water or otherwise, been freed
of its contents; but in hot weather, when the skin is more relaxed, and
the bilious secretion more plentiful and redundant than common, ices are
much used, and iced water forms the usual drink at the hour of meals.

We meet with persons who never experience the smallest annoyance or
approach to anger, without being affected by some corresponding movement
in the bowels; and others are never known to get warm in earnest
discussion without feeling some derangement at the stomach, or showing on
the following day a white or furred tongue. In truth, the delicacy of the
digestive organs, or that mobility by which their functions are so easily
affected by mental emotions, is quite extraordinary; and, as the daily
repair and due sustenance of the whole frame depends on the regular and
healthy discharge of the digestive functions, it is not to be wondered
at that, among a people by no means intellectual in their habits, the
sword should often be observed to wear out its scabbard,—in other words,
that the frequent agitations of passion should induce serious diseases,
and easily wear out the frame in a country where the sympathy between
the mind and chylopoetic organs is so very marked and influential. Hence
the anxiety which experienced natives feel at the hour of awakening
repentance, or the return of sober reflection, after a culpable
indulgence of anger; and hence, too, the rigid abstinence or tenuous diet
attended to after one has been fretful or out of temper, till the pulse
is again observed to be natural, and the organs of digestion sufficiently
composed: and to show how far these painful states of mind may affect the
secretion of milk, we have only to recollect that the Limeña will hear
her babe cry a whole day, rather than harm it by giving the breast till
her own agitation, which she knows vitiates her milk, is quieted after
one of those choleric movements which it has been either her fault or
misfortune to suffer.

XI. _Si se puede lavarse con agua fria._—In almost every case of
lingering illness in either sex, it is vexatious to witness the
reluctance to ablution that prevails in the capital; and this prejudice,
with the dread of shaving connected with it, is particularly cherished
among those who have been delicately nurtured; the male part of whom are
often heard to ask “si se puede lavarse con agua fria o afeytarse?”—if it
be safe to wash with cold water or to shave.

The Limenians are fond of seasonal bathing and the pleasures of a
watering-place, which they know how to enjoy for three months in the year.

Chorrillos, three leagues to the south of Lima, is the favourite
watering-place, much frequented during the sultry summer months by
gambling parties, and persons of rank and fashion from town. It is only
a small village of fishermen, and constructed of cane and mud. The
Indian owners of the shades, and neatly constructed houses or _ranchos_,
let them to the bathers at a high rate during the bathing season; and
some persons either take these for a term of years, or construct other
light summer houses for themselves, which they fit up very tastefully,
and pass the summer months in them in the midst of gaiety and mirth.
Chorrillos is sheltered from the south-western blast by an elevated
promontory, called the Moro-Solar, which rises like a gigantic guaca
overlooking the numerous monuments, or pagan temples, of this name, which
are scattered over the naturally rich, but now in a great measure waste
and desolate plain, that extends from Lima to Chorrillos.

During the raw, damp, and foggy months of July and August in Lima,
Chorrillos enjoys a clear sky and a genial air. The south-westers laden
with heavy clouds spend their strength on the friendly Moro-Solar, (on
which burst the only thunder-storm witnessed by the Limenians in the
memory of any one now living,) and divide into two currents: the one
pursues the direction of the village of Mira-flores, and the other the
hacienda of San Juan, leaving Chorrillos clear and serene between.
Thus protected, the village of Chorrillos feels not the chilly mists
of winter; and it is the great hospital of convalescence for agueish,
asthmatic, dysenteric, rheumatic, and various other sorts of invalids
from the capital during the misty season, when the clinking of dollars
and noise of the die no longer disturb the repose of the sickly.

The salutary practice of bathing in the sea was in former times confined
chiefly to those affected with cutaneous diseases; but within the last
forty or fifty years, as we are told, sea-bathing has been preferred to
river-bathing, or to the cold baths by the old Alameda, and fountain of
Piedra-lisa. The women are usually cleanly in their persons; but, however
congenial cleanliness may be to their sex, they, like the sick and
bearded men, seem to be greatly afraid of ablution in hectic fever, and
some thoracic diseases with which they are often visited.

Of the Indian in the interior we need not speak in the same breath
with his brother in the capital, or with the maritime Indian, whose
ordinary occupation in fishing, or more delicate engagement of safely
conducting the ladies over the surf during the bathing season, especially
at Chorrillos, necessarily leads to cleanliness. But the indigenous
mountaineers never perhaps in the whole course of life wash their bodies
thoroughly; and their skin (at least in the warm valleys) is habitually
covered with a thick coating of perspirable matter and extraneous dirt,
which it is not easy to wipe off.

In very many cases of acute disease, the warm bath is, with the natives
of the coast, a favourite and most valuable remedy, rarely neglected; but
its application is usually forbidden in affections of the chest.

It will be readily imagined that the frames of those who fly from
impressions of cool air and hazy weather, which, with all their care
to shun, they cannot entirely escape, easily become so sensitive as to
render them more susceptible in proportion to their self-indulgence, and
more liable to catarrhal affections, than those who, by free exposure of
their persons, train their constitutions to greater hardihood.

As evidence of the evil results arising from the vain endeavour to avoid
the impression of the common physical causes to which, through life,
every one must be occasionally exposed, we would particularly notice
the peculiar delicacy of the delicately reared Limenian. When somewhat
weakened by bad health, or a slight indisposition which confines him to
his apartments for a few days, should he happen to shave and wash the
face with cold water, he is thereby put in danger of being visited by a
spasmodic affection of one side of the mouth, or affected, as is more
likely to take place, with a cold in the head; so that the inflammation
thus induced in the nostrils and fauces may soon be observed to extend
itself along the continuous mucous membrane, and through the windpipe
into the cavity of the chest; and there it is hard to foretel what
ravages it may commit.

We need not therefore be surprised to hear the often reiterated query of
the convalescent in the words, “No me hara daño lavar y afeytarme?”—will
it not do me harm to shave and wash? Nor should we indulge in a smile
at his expense, as we see him gradually venture on the first degrees of
ablution, by rubbing over the hands and face with a cloth dipped in tepid
water sharpened with aguardiente, or the common spirits of the country.

XII.—_Morir en regla._ This expression, which means to die according to
rule, is one which all good Catholics are most solicitous to realize
for themselves and friends; and the custom it refers to is deemed of the
utmost importance in a religious and professional point of view.

When a physician visits a patient, and finds him in a doubtful or
critical state, he must never omit to warn the patient or his friends
of his real situation, with a view to enable them to call a medical
consultation, and allow time for testamentary preparations and spiritual
confession. The neglect of this precautionary measure would, in the event
of the disease terminating fatally, bring great blame on the physician;
but, after he has notified what he considers to be the patient’s real
condition, then, whether the parties interested in such communication
choose to act upon his advice or not, he has acquitted himself properly;
and when the patient, previously confessed and sacramented, dies with
the benefit of a consultation, or duly assisted by a medical junta, he is
said to die according to rule, that is, _morir en regla_.

The great medical juntas in Lima, by which we understand consultations
where more than four or five doctors are met together, are remarkable
occasions of oratorical display. The warmest discussion frequently turns
on the dose, composition, or medicinal operation of some common drug;
and all the learning, method, and criticism, sometimes discovered at
these solemn debates, terminate not unfrequently in the most simple
practice, by which the nurse is enjoined to have recourse to the jeringa,
and the patient told he must drink “agua de pollo,” or chicken-tea,
until the return of the junta. In former times such consultations were
called oftener than necessary, because a great junta became a sort of
ostentatious exhibition, in which all who could afford to cite a group
of doctors desired to imitate the great and the wealthy.

A sample, on a little scale, of such fashionable follies, is familiar
to the Limenian in the well-known local story of the two doctors,
who, for a month or more, daily met in consultation at the house of a
family in town, where, as they retired to the supposed privacy of a
consulting-room, the one would clear his throat, and ask the other,
“_Come el enfermo hoy?_”—May the patient eat to-day?—to which the second
doctor would reply, “_Como no? si, comera._”—Why not? yes, he shall eat.
Thus, day after day, began and ended the consultation, as far at least
as its topics of discussion concerned the patient; while the good old
doctors spun out a regular allowance of time before they rejoined the
patient, or his attendants, serenely to announce the well-matured result
of their conference. A man of _nous_, accustomed to listen behind the
scenes, at length broke in upon their consultation; and dismissed them
one day by paying to each his usual fee, and telling them both how happy
he was to find that he now knew as much as themselves, for that he could
repeat as well as anybody, “Come el enfermo hoy?—Como no? si, comera.”

A medical junta in Lima is commonly continued morning and evening, and
from day to day, till the patient is pronounced to be out of danger. As
the junta breaks up after each separate meeting, it is customary for
the president of the meeting, or one of the physicians, to say, as he
leaves his seat, “Vamos a consolar al enfermo,”—Let us go to console
the patient; and then all the doctors present re-enter the patient’s
apartment to soothe and to console him; and after this one of the number
steps forward to lay down the regimen—“a dar el regimen”—agreed upon in
consultation, and which one or more nurses and attendants are now ready
to receive from the mouth of the physician. After the formality of a
junta is thought no longer necessary, it often happens that, by wish of
the patient or his relatives, two or more of the medical advisers return
at separate hours, but by mutual agreement, for several days, by way
of further security to the sick, or as a source of satisfaction to his

After all the care possible bestowed on the part of doctors, it often
happens that, when the patient recovers, San Antonio, or any other saint
after whom the individual is named, has all the credit of the cure; but,
when the case is unprosperous, then all the evil is ascribed to human

In Lima, as elsewhere, it will readily enough be admitted in general
terms that all must die; but regarding this proposition, when death
strikes any one in particular, difficulties at once suggest themselves;
for the surviving friends are ever ready to assign many reasons why they
are quite sure the deceased might have escaped, had it not been for this
or that physician that misunderstood his malady. Hence it may be said
that it is only in well-regulated juntas, and in public hospitals, that
the people of Lima are supposed to glide to their latter end by fair and
natural means. Upon this subject we heard it remarked by a sagacious
native, “Should a gambler lose at a cock-fight, he does not attribute the
loss to any fault in the cock, but to some trick done to him; if a horse
lose in a race, his owner never acknowledges the cause of the failure to
be in the animal, but assigns it to some accident thrown in his way: and
surely, when we know that on such comparatively trivial occasions men
thus talk and think, it is but natural for them, in an affair of such
moment and interest as life itself, never to believe that a friend or
relative loses his existence from any fault of his own, or any defect in
his organization, but rather that his demise should be charged, as we see
it is, though often unjustly, on the blind and stumbling ignorance, or
unpardonable carelessness and indifference of the physicians.”

One common consequence of this mode of thinking is, that, by a single
fatal case in practice, all the former success of the practitioner is
overlooked, at least for a time; from which it follows that various
medical advisers are sure to replace one another often in those families
where death is a frequent visitor.

We seldom meet in families that shyness or reserve in divulging bodily
ailments which can render them reluctant to change their family
physician; and no physician, though specially entrusted with a patient,
can be sure that others of the profession do not, at secret interviews,
tamper with his peculiar treatment. This baneful custom leads to
professional jealousies and mutual distrust. We believe many families
countenance it from motives of consideration for the doctor _ostensibly_
in trust, whose self-love they propose to spare by this clandestine
practice, when they think a more open manner of proceeding would be
repulsive to his feelings. There is, however, another very obvious reason
which lends its influence to this furtive system of visiting the sick;
and it is, that by this means the opinion of several advisers may be had
at comparatively little expense. Should only two individuals be called
to meet at the bedside of the patient at an appointed hour to consult
on his case, the meeting is a _bonâ fide_ junta, and each member of it
is entitled to his four or four and a half dollars; whereas the single
visits are only valued at one dollar each, and such detached visits
are in many instances not paid by the sick, but by the friends at whose
request the professional calls are made. Here then is great economy;
eight opinions (and if the patient be poor, so that he is only expected
to pay a half dollar fee for a detached visit, _sixteen opinions_) may be
procured for the standard price of two when given in consultation; and
custom, as well as reason and prudence, require that several opinions
should be taken in cases of hazard and difficulty.

Owing in a considerable degree to the comparative poverty of the present
times, medical juntas are by no means so frequent as they used to be;
but yet it is a common saying on serious occasions, where the assistance
of more than one medical adviser is thought necessary, that more is seen
by four eyes than by two.—“_Mas se ve con cuatro ojos que con dos._”
By multiplying skill according to this rule, a score of eyes may be
assembled in one junta to search into the patient’s obscure malady, so as
to point out the cause and the remedy; or, if there should be no other
alternative, let him die according to rule.


    Condition of Slave population, and its influence on the family
    economy and moral sentiments of the European race.

Such is the influence which slave domestics exercise over the feelings
and comfort of private families, and, we would even add, over the moral
and physical features of the community, that it would be impossible to
give a correct picture of the state of society in Lima without first
cursorily viewing the condition of the slave population in Peru.

In article 152 of the Political Constitution of the Republic of Peru, it
is declared that no one is born a slave in the republic, neither does
any one enter from other countries who is not left free when he treads
on Peruvian soil. Should any Peruvian be found guilty of importing
slaves into the republic for the purposes of traffic, the constitution
declares that he shall be deprived of his rights of citizenship. But the
internal traffic of slaves still continues, though it is confined to
buying and selling such slaves as existed in the country before the war
of independence began, or to such of their offspring as were born before
the year 1820, when Peru was no longer the acknowledged patrimony of
Spaniards. With respect to the mere exterior appearance of negroes born
in Peru of African parents, it is observed that they are influenced by
the bleaching effects which the climate of the Peruvian coast is known
to produce on the ruddy sons of our northern climes who reside for any
length of time in Lima. The native negro therefore is lighter in colour,
and possessed of finer, more expressive, and much more regular features
than the jet-black and lacerated “Bozals” or African-born blacks, on
whose countenance and breast are commonly seen deep and hideous scars
that bespeak at once their more barbarous origin and their foreign

The orderly discipline of the “Galpon,” or slave-barracks, appears,
from the acknowledgments of the natives themselves, to have been very
creditable to the humanity of the slave-holders in the days of Spanish
sway over them,—a time when slaves are said to have shared in the
felicity of their masters. Leniently dealt with, and in the abundant
fruition of animal gratifications, they felt themselves happy, and forgot
that they were not free.

The patriot legislators have enacted that it is illegal for any master to
apply the whip or scourge, “azote,” in chastising his slave. The ordinary
mode of punishment in the capital is to send the offender for correction
to a “panaderia” or bakehouse, where his labour is increased or mitigated
according to his conduct while there. In most ancient families, who have
yet preserved sufficient fortune to allow them to keep up some retinue,
we find a number of slave attendants whose progenitors served in the
same family of distinction for a long series of years; and thus a mutual
attachment has grown up between the parties, that makes them view each
other with that sort of interest which we observe between masters and
old servants at home. It is not unusual for a master on his death-bed
to reward the fidelity of a faithful slave by granting him his liberty;
and we have witnessed some very touching instances of gratitude shown by
well-educated white women towards those female slaves, or, we might say,
devoted friends, on whose willing services and attention they themselves
often placed their confidence in the hour of sickness or adversity.
These recollections are in our mind associated with those amiable traits
of human nature which unite the great family of mankind; but it must
be observed that from such instances, particularly creditable to the
character of individuals, nothing can be argued in favour of slavery as
such, which never can be otherwise than unjust and unchristian.

Since the triumphs of patriotism first cheered the hopes of the people,
since the very slaves, intoxicated with aguardiente or momentary
enthusiasm, joined aloud in the chants in praise of liberty, numberless
families in the capital have gradually sunk into increasing poverty, of
which a common consequence is, that individuals who can boast of the
purity of their origin, or who, in native phrase, count it no plebeian
privilege to say that their _four quarters_ are Biscayan, now find
themselves reduced to lend out their old domestic slaves on hire as a
means of support; the slaves being obliged to pay a certain moderate
proportion of their daily wages or earnings to their proper owners. A
male slave, when thus hired out in Lima, is understood to pay his owner
one real, or a sixpence, out of his day’s wages or earnings; and women,
when hired out as nurses, are usually paid fifteen dollars a month; of
which they pay four dollars to their proper owners, and the rest they may
do what they please with: others again go out as cooks, or are employed
as laundry-maids, &c.

The few agricultural slaves yet left in the country have usually allotted
to them a _tarea_, or daily task, so light and easy, as far at least as
we have had any opportunity of knowing, that it is soon executed; and
whatever work any one of them does over and above this daily task, he is
paid for as if he were a freeman. Were he indeed to value his personal
freedom, he could thus secure it to himself by fair means, and at the
cost of moderate industry. A few of the more ambitious of this class
have really availed themselves of so good an opportunity to effect
their own emancipation; but in general the slave population in Peru do
not appear solicitous to change their circumstances, nor are they very
conscious of anything abject in their condition. They well know that
they enjoy a degree of liberty which they consider sufficient, and which
they sometimes are pleased to exercise to suit their own convenience:
for example, if you are assisted by a slave, it is not unlikely that,
when least expected, he will tell you it is his desire, and he demands it
as his right, that he be sold or transferred to a purchaser of his own
choice and finding; and, should he once become restive, he is best got
rid of quickly, as until that is the case no more good comes of him. If
the servant should be not a slave, but a dusky freeman of slave descent,
he is so accustomed to self-indulgence, that he must daily have his own
hours of pleasure, whether his master will or not; and, if found fault
with, he replies in the usual ejaculation, “Quien quiere matarse con
trabajar?”—Who would kill himself with toil?

Those again who rely on the assistance of an Indian, (nominally free,
though virtually a slave, working for a mere maintenance and some
trifling gratuity,) reared up from childhood in their own houses and for
their own particular service,—a very customary thing to do,—are commonly,
in the long run, left in the lurch; for, when a good opportunity offers,
away starts the _cerrano_ or mountaineer, whether male or female, for
Guamanga, Guamantanga, or some such mountain home. The Indian girl thus
reared in some private family is commonly very useful until she attains
the age of twelve or fifteen, when she looks out for a mate, with whom
she can fly to the hills, to be happy in a smoky hut, and on a llama-skin
couch; and the shrewd and quick-eyed Indian boy, with head and hands to
conceive and execute, no sooner gets a little insight into good service
or some handicraft, than he meditates upon and watches the opportunity
for escaping to his native home, “mi tierra!” and, sooner or later, he
is sure to effect his object. Yet, notwithstanding this disposition
to desertion, where an Indian does become personally attached to his
employer, which is not often, his fidelity and constancy are allowed to
be unbounded.

The vexations so often caused by the Indians among the class of their
Spanish employers, or white superiors, (who usually expect more from this
oppressed order of citizens than they care to pay for,) gave rise to the
proverbial complaint against the indigenous tribes:

    “Mal con ellos; pejor sin ellos,”

    Bad with them; worse without them.

The ladies, or females of Spanish blood in Lima, usually become mothers
at too tender an age, and we think it is chiefly on this account that
they are commonly found to be incapable of nursing with impunity; and, if
they persist in attempts at nursing beyond what their constitution can
bear, they are peremptorily warned to desist by the presence of symptoms
that menace a decline or consumption.

Hence most ladies in Lima are under the necessity of employing black and
brown nurses, who are usually slaves either purchased for milk-nurses or
hired out for this purpose.

The skin of the negro appears to be cooler than that of the Indian or
white race, and this may possibly have been the origin of the prevailing
idea already alluded to, that the milk of the negress is more cooling
and refreshing than that of the Indian woman,[6] who, though in other
respects a healthy and proper person, is never considered eligible as a
milk-nurse, when in this character a negress can be procured.

It unfortunately happens, however, that the predilection thus shown
for negresses and those dark women who are nearest allied to the negro
race, frequently exposes the white mother’s child to a series of evils,
such as imperfect nutrition, contamination of blood, and permanent
constitutional injury, all originating in the peculiar circumstances and
individual character of milk-nurses; of whom a single child may have
been so unfortunate as to have had as many as half a dozen, and to have
suffered successively from the blemishes of each. When the young Don,
thus nurtured in the very lap of bondage, comes to be fit for school, he
goes to, and comes from it, in the company of a slave; and the young
Miss, or Niña, who goes out to be educated, is, on her way to and from
her parents’ house, attended by a sort of dueña, or experienced zamba. On
the customary plea, that the evils of life come early enough, children of
gentle blood, especially such as are “rubios,” or fair-complexioned, are
allowed all manner of _gusto_, or indulgence; and in the morning, before
they set out for school, they usually receive a real or medio,—sixpence
or threepence,—either as pocket-money, or as a bribe to be obedient and
to submit to be taught. In this way expensive habits are early acquired,
and mere children made to do what is right and proper from pecuniary
motives, rather than a laudable sense of duty.

Reviewing the effects of a close social union, from infancy upwards,
between white children and their slave companions, who are seldom endowed
with shame or modesty, we are led to remark that, without desiring
to make any insinuations against the natural capacity for moral and
intellectual improvement observable among all the races of mankind, or
wishing in any degree to depreciate the merit of individuals of pure or
mixed African and slave descent, we think it may be truly affirmed, that
even minds of a naturally amiable and delicate bias, when led habitually
to accommodate themselves to the grovelling feelings and propensities of
the more degraded portion of our kind, undergo deterioration by degrees,
and slide into a participation of the qualities of a baser nature, with
which they inevitably amalgamate their own. The proper medium of domestic
intimacy allowable between masters and slaves, may be a nice matter
to determine with precision; but it may be said in general, that in
proportion as this immediate intercourse may meliorate the condition,
and quicken the intelligence, of the slave, it tends to lower the tone
of morality in that society where slavery is tolerated. Thus, we doubt
not, the standard of morals is lowered, and we conceive it may be owing
to this very alloy of character that, until very lately, the sheer
ruffian was seldom met with, even among the lowest of the dark septs in
the voluptuous capital of Peru. Assassinations, it must be owned, have
been rather frequent of late years, and these have been almost always
perpetrated with impunity; but there is reason to believe that the agents
concerned in such atrocious crimes were in many instances not sons of the
soil, but outcasts and fugitives from neighbouring states. Money, not
blood, is what the worst of the dark native vagabonds of the coast are
generally in quest of; and he who does not offer resistance when accosted
by the robber, but, instead of armour, carries a few dollars or a couple
of doubloons for his ransom, may nine times in ten be suffered to escape
with entire personal safety from the midst of the most lawless marauders
and dreaded highwaymen, who are usually no other than renegade slaves.


    Social state of the Limenians under the Spaniards
    and Patriots.—Spanish colonists.—Style of
    conversation.—Improvements in female education.—Zamba
    attendants.—Omnipotence of the ladies at fifteen.—Esprit
    de corps of the fair sex.—Forgiving temper of public
    opinion.—Defective administration of justice.—Prerogative
    called Empeño.—God-fathers and god-mothers.—Saint-day
    parties.—Flowers and perfumes.—Limenian women excel in
    attention to the sick.—General character of the white women
    and dark races.—Boys of European race.—Few men of intellectual
    habits.—Promenade of Amencaes, as illustrative of national
    feeling and character.—Pillo and Pillo-fino.—Money a substitute
    for morality.—Relaxation of morals general, but not universal.

Persons of sufficiently mature age in Lima never fail to acknowledge,
and often delight to tell us, that before the great revolution, and
during the tranquil period of their own early recollections, their
fellow-citizens and countrymen were in general fair and upright in
their ordinary dealings; and that good humour, happiness, and gaiety of
heart were inseparable from their frequent public meetings and social

But this sound and amicable spirit, which indeed appears to have diffused
itself pretty generally in the time of the Spanish dynasty, we may trace
as emanating from the many estimable and courteous qualities of those
more enlightened Europeans, by whose superior capacity and direction
the then existing order of society was so long and quietly upheld in
this and in other sections of the New World. The past state of things
was nevertheless faulty in many respects. It involved an uncontrolled
indulgence in sensual gratification, though the memory of many a
disappointed patriot likes to dwell on it as on the flowery retrospect
of his happiest days. But Lima is no longer a garden of roses, or a
bower of delight. One day, in speaking of the change to the worse that
the revolution had brought about in the social system of his country, a
venerable old man remarked, “Formerly there was a heart to feel, and a
hand to give; but now they have left us neither friendship nor pity: you
find not whom to trust; and men, without regard to right or justice, keep
all to themselves with the close unyielding grasp of the ape when she
clasps her young to her bosom.”

An unbounded love of superficial display engages the minds of the people
so fully as to have superseded, to a great extent, active benevolence,
and sterling, honourable dealing between man and man; and we must confess
that the yet inexperienced creoles, left to themselves, show, in the
management of their own affairs, slender political discretion and no
shining public virtue.

But yet, as a whole, the Peruvians, for whose manifold faults very great
allowances should be made, have, in an eminent degree, the redeeming
qualities of soft, attractive manners, and a mild, prepossessing address.
These agreeable characteristics, not so frequently as could be wished
associated with a manly openness and frankness of mind, sometimes serve,
in the present evil times, as a ready cloak to exclude the ken of those
whom they are willing to deceive.

If these secluded people, too long accustomed to servitude and ease
during the luxurious dynasty of their European masters, were once
induced—which, under good moral management, they easily might be,—to make
honesty and industry more prevalent virtues than they are at present
among the bulk of the population, then they might realize, more largely
than they have yet done, the advantages of that unsettled freedom,
which, with feelings of pardonable exultation, they pride themselves
in possessing; and, with such an amendment on their moral features,
their richly varied country, with all its natural superiorities and
improvable resources, might soon be transformed into an earthly elysium.
But the germ of true political liberty must be better cultivated than it
has yet been among them, and protected by a steady, disinterested, and
patriotic government, before the soil can be made to throw out its latent
luxuriance, or generous and noble virtues freely unfold themselves in the
heads and hearts of a newly independent, uninstructed, and heterogeneous

The common race of Spaniards from old Spain, who established themselves
and reared families in Peru, appear to have been, as we formerly
signified, men of strict commercial integrity, scarcely requiring written
obligations or acknowledgements in their pecuniary transactions one
with the other; they are reported to have been friendly and charitable,
always ready to assist a poor adventurer from the old country, or a needy
friend, whenever he presented himself.

The houses of the affluent teemed with idle domestics and laughing
loiterers, whose coarse merriment bespoke contentment and plenty; and the
beggar, who sat in the back-court and corridor (the walls of which are
still beautified with painted flowers and landscapes) to enjoy the cool
of the artificial fountain, or who rested himself on the benches of the
tesselated porchway, laughing with the merry fellows that were about him,
felt not the miseries of pauperism; for, wherever the Limenian mendicant
seated himself, there he was happy, and partook cheerfully of the
abundant surplus from the rich man’s table, which was liberally bestowed
on the poor.

But, generally speaking, delicacy of sentiment or refinement of
education did not belong to the Spanish colonists; and though they
acquired wealth by their moderate industry, reared costly edifices and
churches, endowed convents and monasteries, and paid for numberless
masses; though they befriended the poor, and filled their welcome guest’s
cup to overflowing in a land of milk and honey; yet, be it spoken with
candour, their _summum bonum_ seems to have been something like a good
Mussulman’s paradise.

The natives of the country still avow, that though the Spaniard, who used
to come to their shores as an adventurer soon to be incorporated into
their domestic circle, was seldom a polished or intellectual character,
nevertheless he was usually a man of integrity and some industry, or,
to use their own words, “brusco, pero recto y trabajador.” Besides, the
women, whom we in general allow to be good judges in every rank of life,
continue to bear witness that the Spaniard makes a good husband and
a kind father of a family,—“el Espanol es buen marido y buen padre de
familia.” But, to merit this encomium from the fair sex on the shores
of the Pacific, let it be borne in mind that austere virtue and severe
self-denial are not always expected or required in the husband.

Those educated foreigners who frequent the rounds and “tertulias” of
Limenian good company,—which we take as the best criterion of refinement
in that country,—have had occasion to regret, that women of the most
elegant manners, ladylike mien, and unimpeached character, are despoiled
of no small share of the outward illusion of their charms, and appear to
lose much of the moral loveliness of their sex, by an unconscious licence
of speech, that cannot fail to appear faulty in the opinion of those to
whom long habit has not yet rendered the style familiar.

We have pleasure in bearing our humble evidence in favour of the great
pains, and cost, to which mothers now put themselves in educating their
daughters; and it is incontrovertible, that the rising generation are
about to come on the stage of active life, with many advantages of
instruction which were not enjoyed by their parents. But, granting it
to be true, that these interesting young ladies may have considerable
advantages over their predecessors in the knowledge of French, geography,
music, a little drawing, and a chaster fashion of dancing, still, we are
apprehensive, that in more humble and useful domestic education not a
little is wanting: and this important defect, we conceive, is not to be
remedied by expensive teachers, or by the routine of boarding-schools;
but, if we mistake not, by good example at home. To improve the domestic
education in the female part of the community, it would be necessary to
detach young ladies as much as possible from the customary attendance
of old favourite “zambas;” who, there is much reason to believe, teach
them at an early age to pry into the private weaknesses of their seniors,
and excite in their quick, comprehensive minds a degree of attention
and curiosity which, when indiscreetly called forth, seldom fail to
bias their inclination to vices that may on some occasions be deemed
hereditary; and thus open a door to a series of indulgences which, in the
long-run, prove the bane of their own ill-sought happiness, as well as
the wreck of many a fond parent’s hopes, too blindly placed on a daughter
left to the daily tutorship of intriguing domestics.

The ladies when young, and long before they become marriageable, are
taught to anticipate their own omnipotence at fifteen, which little girls
of seven or eight years of age already reckon to be the approaching
era of their perfect felicity; for the Spaniards say “No hay fea de
quince,”—All are fair at fifteen. There is also among these gifted
women, whose superiority, as a body, over their own countrymen is
always admitted, a great “esprit de corps,” so that the greatest sinner
among them is never left without a gentle voice to plead her cause, and
palliate, when she cannot exculpate, a sister’s errors.

This forgiving system runs through every class and rank, from the highest
to the lowest; but it is in the lofty circles that its influence is most
worthy of particular notice. No one ventures to throw the first stone at
the unfortunate; and there insensibly arises a gradation of vices and
virtues, dove-tailing into each other so as to constitute a social whole,
wherein the different degrees of moral deviation are all shaded by an
overflowing charity. Pleasure and vice are nearly allied, and unhappily
he who assumes the clerical habit and tonsure is not, in his own person,
always a stranger to the voluptuous enjoyments of those around him;
and the example of the man who rules the conscience of the people,—who
grants them absolution, and allows them indulgences,[7]—will naturally be
imitated: hence the indulgence of public opinion as regards individual
and private character in Peru.

The slow and partial administration of justice is loudly complained
of by those whose affairs require them to frequent courts of law
in the Peruvian capital. The turbulent independence of the bad and
disorderly, uncontrolled by any active and faithful police, is every
day increasing, and already puts justice at defiance. The impudence,
ill-acquired pecuniary influence, and intrigue of the false-hearted and
boasting patriot, are daily seen to assume the embroidered insignia of
“un benemerito de la patria!”—an honour which only in equity belongs
to that rare character—the genuine patriot, who knows how to sacrifice
his private convenience to the public good. The judges are often left
without pecuniary means consistent with their honourable calling,
because their salaries are not duly paid by the government; and if,
under these circumstances, the balance of justice be disturbed in its
equilibrium, the blame must not be all laid to the charge of those
public functionaries who are the appointed ministers of the laws. The
truth is, that, for a considerable time back, the sums that entered the
national treasury were too scanty to support the pageantry of military
array, together with the accumulated expences of a destructive and
demoralizing warfare; and the pecuniary embarrassments arising from these
circumstances, involved in their consequences some drawbacks in the
civil administration of justice. But another popular cause, and that
to which we would desire to draw the attention of the reader, for the
unequal distribution of justice, is by common consent allowed to be, that
in the best, as even now in the worst of times, the fair sex in Lima have
enjoyed, from date immemorial, a more than regal prerogative, which the
convulsions that effected what is called their political freedom, have in
no essential particular obliterated or changed. It is called Empeño.

This tacitly constitutional instrument of clemency, although in the
hands of women naturally inclined to mercy, may, when misguided, operate
against the vital interests of the community; and by it the true ends
of legislative enactments may, from time to time, be frustrated. This
prerogative is put in practice especially by certain genteel-looking
young women, who are neither married nor single, but who, in the language
of the indulgent matrons of the country, are allowed to be, though not
married, highly honourable and gifted,—“No es casada, pero muy honrada,
muy prendada:” and a lady of this quality seldom loses favour, or a good
place in society, so long as she has a _calesa_ or carriage in Lima,
and a _rancho_ or bathing-lodge in Chorrillos. Let us now suppose that
this lady, attired in her national, or rather Limenian, dress of saya
and manto,[8] desires either to plead some advantage or indulgence for
another, or a favour more particularly for herself,—and that for this
purpose she employs the blandishments and flow of persuasive language
at her command. The gentleman, thus softly assailed by so eloquent
and attractive a being, unwisely listens until he is entirely at his
magician’s bidding. This spell is what is vulgarly meant by the gigantic
and overgrown prerogative termed in Peru empeño. But we must not forget
to mention, that this ascendant power is very commonly promoted
by a certain spiritual influence, in which both married and single
partake,—namely, the sacred relation between god-fathers and god-mothers,
the well-known “compadres y comadres” of that sunny land; and it will
be at once perceived that an influence so remarkable in the ladies as
this, which enables them, during their good pleasure, to deprive men of
free-will, must have wide practical application, and be productive of
great good or evil in that country, where it confessedly extends its
sway to bench and altar, senate, palace, and camp. No old stager in Lima
hears of a political or domestic altercation, or of any serious movement
that causes a stir and sensation in the city, but he immediately inquires
what woman can be at the bottom of this _bullanga_ or hubbub; and if the
affair should happen to concern himself, his friends, or political party,
he does not long sit at ease until he finds out who that woman is, or
discovers where the spiritual alliance rests, where dwells the comadre
that rules the order of the day.[9]

The Peruvian highland girls have an ingenious way of contriving for
themselves compadres, without the necessary interference of the priest,
merely by sending the gentleman, whom any one of them in particular
may desire to honour, a sweet cake made into the form of a doll,
which they call “guawa,” the Indian name for baby. This offspring of
a good-humoured regard which they desire should become mutual, they
nicely dress, and accommodate on a couch made from a selection of the
fresh flowers of the season, and forward it with their kindest wishes
(con muchisimas expresiones), under their now adopted name of comadre,
to the person on whom by this gracious act of partiality they confer
the confidential title, expecting by his acceptance a return of the
attentions and courtesy of the real compadre. On the coast, again, (in
the capital,) on the anniversary of a lady’s birth-day, or saint’s
day, celebrated in merry parties encouraged to assemble by the joint
allurements of music, dancing, cooling repasts, and all that can render
such meetings attractive, the drawing-room may be said to be converted
into a flower-garden by the attention of compadres, comadres, and
friends, who vie with each other in sending presents of fine flowers,
sweet preserves, and other gifts; and, at the annual return of these
joyful meetings, the friends of the family, and of the individual who is
the object of the compliments of the day, have the best opportunity of
expressing their friendship, by adding to the ornaments of a young lady’s
toilet, or presenting her with any delicate mark of personal regard.

These meetings, not overlooked in the humblest dwellings, are seen to
best advantage in the handsome “_quadra_,” or tertulia-room of the
wealthy, where the large chandeliers are well reflected by spacious
mirrors, in which are seen multiplied the groups of happy faces, to the
delight of the party, all pleased with one another. Here and there are
Guamanga baskets of filigree texture laden with spiced and perfumed
fruits, sometimes ornamented with delicate threads of gold and silver,
fancifully twined from peg to peg of the spice fixed in the fruit.
Among them, too, are usually golden apples,—viz. apples coated with
gold leaf,—many sweet fruits imbedded in aroma, and the sweetly-scented
cheremolla or cheremoya, and orange blossoms, which are peculiarly
welcome to the guests when distributed from the hands of the hostess, or
her engaging daughters.

We may here observe, in passing, that handing a flower to a forenoon
visitor, who, if a polished gentleman, accompanies his verbal salutation
by raising his hand softly to his heart, is only a customary mark of
polite attention, quite in character with the complacent manners and
natural taste of the Limenian ladies, in this respect favoured by their
balmy climate, in which odoriferous fruits and flowers are always within
reach: and on leaving their house they almost invariably besprinkle
their visitors with perfumes, and thus send them away _redolent_ of
hospitality. And while their corridors, in which they frequently swing in
their hammocks, or enjoy the _siesta_, are scented with flower-gardens,
and their “patios,” or courts, with roses and jessamine, sweet perfumes,
and fragrant herbs are frequently used in their principal bed-chamber,
when it is found convenient, for the sake of cheering the sick, to
receive friends into this apartment, which is usually very gorgeously
furnished, and communicates with the drawing-room or _quadra_. Our
professional avocations have afforded us an intimate opportunity to
know, and we feel a peculiar pleasure in proclaiming it, that it is by
the bedside of sickness (where men are exceedingly helpless without the
aid of the softer sex, at once more patient and serene, more dexterous
and endearing in their assistance,) that the Limeña, be her rank, birth,
or pretensions what they may, is seen to greatest advantage. Here the
humblest and most faulty of these comforters shows the native goodness
of her disposition, and is seen to rise superior to the drawbacks of her
education, manifesting the angelic power of her sex to soothe pain and
cheer the broken-hearted, by the exercise of that blessed charity which
covereth a multitude of sins.

It is curious to notice that among the white women of Lima there are
no menials, though they are subject to many of the privations and
humiliations of poverty; but, a poor girl of unmixed Spanish blood,
though of lowly birth, feels, however destitute in her circumstances,
the impulse of what she deems nobility within her; and at nothing do her
prejudices more strongly recoil, than at the idea of becoming the wife of
a man of African or slave descent.

Comely countenances,—above all, a bright and beautiful eye,—and pretty
figures, with an inimitably graceful walk, constitute the common
inheritance of the European race, who, in their own forms, partake of
the softness and fineness of the climate in which they were brought into
being. These are, in common with their tawny and darker countrywomen,
extremely attentive to the public and outward ordinances of their showy
religion, which must strike every one with a feeling of solemnity as,
at the stroke of a bell at twilight, every human being engages in
one common act of public devotion. They retain the common Catholic
spirit of pious display, fasting, and penance; the same faith in the
efficacy of saintly images and influences; the same reliance on priestly
absolution and indulgences; but they do not cherish the cruelty or stern
religion of their ancestors, whose ardent zeal planted the cross on
the now mouldering ruins of Pachacamac.[10] Though little versed in
book-information, they are usually gifted with natural acuteness and
intelligence; are seldom quite ignorant of the ways of the world, even
when educated in convents; are hardly ever so overcome by their tender
feelings, or so blind to their worldly interests, as to fall into the
folly of a genuine love-marriage; and they are never at a loss for a
sagacious observation or pertinent reply. They are indulgent to human
passion and weakness; are agreeable, sometimes fascinating companions;
and never fail to leave the _buen mozo_, (the good-looking young man,)
if not delighted with them, at least highly pleased with himself. Their
conversation is sprightly and unembarrassed; and though particularly
indulged and caressed from childhood, accustomed to flattery and fond
of admiration, they are as free from obtrusive levity and affectation of
manner, as from blushing timidity or cold reserve; their filial love is
the admiration of foreigners; and, when blessed with good husbands, they
are faithful and affectionate wives.

Nothing in Lima can strike the attention of a stranger, who understands
their language, more than the propriety and fluency with which
serving-people express their thoughts, and this they commonly do with
an agreeable seasoning of the ease and manner of the higher classes; a
fact, no doubt, attributable to much native ability on their own part,
and to their having been brought up on a footing of great familiarity
with their superiors. This recommendatory trait in the humblest ranks of
the community is, we regret, fast giving way to the intrusive manners of
the unrestrained and rising aristocracy of a mongrel brood,—a dusky and
bronzed brotherhood, whose very complexion indicates an incapacity to
blush as apparent, at first sight, as among the white race used to be the
long-honoured badge of the proud Spanish lineage,—the “sangre azul!” blue
blood!—so called, by the inferior races, in consideration of the hue of
the veins rising to view under the delicate tissue of a pure white skin.

Wit, not unknown among the white women, is a general attribute of the
mestizo and zambo septs, as well male as female. These people of colour
are too much addicted to sarcasm, and too fond of the ludicrous and
fantastical. When in a bilious or choleric mood, they are outrageously
passionate; but then, with _chicha-piña_ (fermented juice of the
pine-apple), and _nieve_ (ice or iced-water), they soon drown or freeze
their fury, and restore to themselves equanimity and mirth. Instances of
death from impetuous gusts of passion are, we believe, rare among them;
though we have had occasion to hear of some such, and we have witnessed
severe nervous ailments that arose from the turbulent emotion of their
savage anger. Such mixed castes are remarkable for a great deal of
what is by themselves called “_broma_,”—a facetious kind of bantering,
with noisy fun and sensual dalliance, which is most displayed at their
“_jarranas_,” or merry meetings: they like the theatre, and they are
passionately fond of bull-fights, cock-fights, religious processions,
and that sort of song and music which inflame the passions and deprave
the heart,—their feasts too often degenerate into debauchery, and their
merriment into obscenity.

Boys of pure Spanish parentage or descent, in Lima, are usually animated
and intelligent, like their sisters; but, as their bodily powers approach
to maturity, their attention is engrossed with frivolous pleasures,
which seem to enervate the mental faculties, and stint and vitiate their
future expansion. It is, therefore, not unusual for hopeful boys to
become childish and fickle, silly and fatuous men. The latter imbecility
of mind we observe with striking frequency in the families of the
suppressed nobility.

Those very few well-tempered spirits that have outgrown every obstacle to
their full mental developement, have that inborn thirst after knowledge
which even knowledge itself cannot quench; for, the more they learn, the
more they aspire to know; and these men, with little external incitement
to forward or nurture their literary tastes and pursuits, are like those
plants on arid land, which only require a few fleeting showers to quicken
their energies, develope their form, and unfold their beauty. Such choice
persons are the delight of their friends, and worthy of that better state
of society for which they daily sigh, as they see the best laws and
institutions of their country trampled upon by military despots, whose
nod they must obey, while they say in their hearts, “Vetitum est sceleri

On the 24th of June, (Dia de San Juan,) all Lima annually assemble along
the windings of the “Great Alamada,” and between orangeries now prettily
laden with fruit, to the romantic mountain recess of “Amencaes,” only
about one mile from town, and beautifully adapted for pleasure-grounds,
if only supplied with water, which it might have at some expense. This
spot commands a fine view of the capital, with its towering spires; of
wide fields, innumerable orchards, the Rimac, and the fine lagoon at its
mouth; the island of San Lorenzo, and the shipping at Callao; and it has,
in its back-ground, a set-off in the acclivities newly clothed with vivid
vegetation, among numerous crags and many a ridge and chasm. Here, on the
day of San Juan,—a day of festivity and joy,—men, women, and children,
of all ranks, all ages, and all colours and occupations, meet. Mirth is
the object of one and all. Their horses, their asses, and even their own
persons, are adorned in their best manner; and the rational as well as
the irrational members of the ever-moving crowd are bedecked with the
flower of Amencaes taken from the favourite clefts and nooks of these
hills. In this place there are tents and sheds, that supply seats and
refreshment for those who love the thoughtless and bawling mirth of the
“jarrana.” There is at this exhibition a dunning confusion of musical
discord kept up by drumming, piping, shouting, harping, and guitaring,
singing, laughing, and dancing; but no fighting. Here too we may see the
popular “paseo,” or promenade, of the “_chuchumecas_,” (women of immoral
character,) who mingle freely and good-humouredly with the crowd, to the
infinite amusement of the multitude. The national taste is on this, as
on other occasions of festivity, eminently displayed by the loud and
simultaneous laugh, or “_carcajada_,” of cheering voluptuaries when the
samaqueca—a favourite dance—is exhibited in a free and masterly style.

The periodical rides and picnics of the Limenians to Las Huacas, Surco,
and Lurin, are now dwindling away into neglect, as there is neither
money nor public tranquillity for such happy scenes of customary
gaiety. Carnival, with them, has lost its spirit; the _Noche Buena_, or
Christmas-eve, is deprived of much of its revelry; and all that in their
customs was most alluring and glittering is rapidly withering and dying

We may now, not unfrequently, observe more disposition to indulge in the
gloomy and silent stillness of the “_duelo_,” or formal condolence for
the dead, than in the hilarity of the golden times of these merry-making
people, who were for generations most happy in the unconsciousness of
defects, and in the conviction that no people on earth were superior to
themselves in knowledge and civilization.

In all parts of the world there are criminally selfish and unprincipled
men; and in Peru there may be found a set of rogues, called “_Pillos_,”
rendered more numerous and troublesome from the circumstances of the
times. Of these the capital presents two kinds, which has led to the
distinction of “pillo” and “pillo-fino.” The first is a very common
and plausible sort of rogue; but the latter is, as the name implies, a
more refined cheat, not unfrequently enticed from distant parts by the
fame of the numerous attractions of Lima, the paralysis of the laws,
and consequent facility of escaping chastisement. The clink of hard
dollars and doubloons, shoveled into “_talegas_,” or money-bags, and
again thrown open at the gambling-table, are such sounds as are sure to
allure the pillo-fine to that promiscuous society of Limenian gamblers,
where the precious coin usually finds its way into the hands of the
crafty. Whatever be the land of this animal’s nativity, he is but a
vampire,—a human blood-sucker; but the simple pillo is a very different
character, always plausible and pliable, an every-day and common-place
member of society, who sponges on his neighbour, and whom all Englishmen
courted for their generosity are sure to encounter. The ultimatum of this
person’s milky adulation and very smiling policy is to procure a loan of
money; and when he asks “plata prestada,” or money on loan, of any one,
he assures that person, that applying to him is the greatest proof he can
offer of his own friendly confidence and regard for the individual; but,
while he is lavish of compliment, he takes care not to express his secret
purpose, namely, never to reimburse whatever in this way he may hope to

It is a trite saying with the Spaniard,—“Es bueno conocer el amigo sin
perderlo,” that is, It is well to know a professed friend, but not to
lose him; and this will be found, like most Spanish adages, to convey
in actual life a lesson of practical wisdom. The common pillo, of whom
we take notice, never thinks the less of you for giving him a polite
refusal; and, by so doing, you act in the spirit of the above saying,
and preserve both your friend and your money; for, when civilly refused,
he in good nature leaves you, and proceeds forthwith in search of some
less wary dupe, and thinks to himself as he departs from you, “Ya este
sabe,”—This one is up to our tricks.

Though Peru be a land of gold and silver, yet nowhere are the precious
metals in greater requisition than in Lima, where the scarcity of
circulating capital is shown by the revolting dealings of the common
usurer, who extorts from the victims of his cupidity two or three per
cent. a month on the advances he makes; and the current and regular rate
of interest in that country is one per cent. a month, or twelve per cent.
a year.

The “plata,” or money, covers more delinquencies than charity itself;
hence we hear such expressions as these: “Nada es mala que gana la
plata,” viz. Nothing is bad that wins the money. “Bien, le costo su
plata!”—Very well, (what is it to us?) it cost him his money! “Porque no
tener su gusto cuando le cuesta la plata?”—Why not have his pleasure when
it costs him the money?—as if money, forsooth, could annihilate the moral
turpitude of sinful enjoyment.

We cannot give the reader a better idea of the popular ethics of Peru
in the present day, than in the words of a friend long resident in the
country, who said that Peru had the advantage over every other country
he had seen,—that in it “no one need ever be put out of countenance for
anything he can say or do.” By so broad a statement as that conveyed in
the expression now cited, we would only desire to represent the bad state
of moral feeling prevalent among the bulk of a people not long since let
loose to follow their own unrestrained wishes; without thereby meaning to
deny the fact, that, in Lima more particularly, we often find that good
natural dispositions and obliging manners do in no small degree supply,
in the ordinary intercourse of life, the place of higher principle. And
yet more: we would honourably except from this general description many
individual examples of eminent virtue to be met in Peruvian society;
striking instances of disinterested friendship and kindness (of which
the writer himself has more than once been the favoured object); and the
most generous, amiable, and praiseworthy bearing, which we have seen
displayed by them in their domestic and social relations.

If we consider all things in the circumstances of the Peruvians, their
story from first to last must awaken an interest in the mind of every
inquirer into their past and present state, rather than dispose him to
censure them indiscriminately for their errors. We may indeed wonder not
to find fewer good qualities among them; and, on the other hand, not
to see the fiercer passions that utterly brutalize human nature, and
agitate every corner of society, more called into action among a medley
of ignorant and discordant castes, passing without adequate preparation
from one extreme of government to another, and from one civil broil into
another of greater confusion and misrule.

But, as we have already had occasion to mention, there is among the
entire mass of the people a natural aptness to please by a happy address;
and no one can witness the external graces of the more enlightened
and better classes, who are daily engaged in their customary rounds of
social and courteous attentions, without desiring that these qualities,
at least, should survive the overthrow of whatever is pernicious to a
healthy state of society.


    Religious prejudices.—No faith with heretics.—Corpse of an
    Englishman cast into the street by the pious mob.—English
    supposed to have been buried with money in the island of San
    Lorenzo.—New cemetery, and Latin inscription for the English
    burial-ground.—Religious disadvantages of the British in Peru.

Among a people who suffer so large a privation of moral discipline as
the Peruvians, we naturally look for a corresponding prevalence of
religious prejudices. Some years ago, when we lived in one of the most
delightful climates in the interior of Peru, we were greatly annoyed by
our neighbours of the two beautiful villages Ambo and Tomay-quichoa. The
inhabitants of the former would insist that we drove from the estate
of Andaguaylla, upon which we resided, the worshipful saints, (little
painted images dressed in gaudy rags,) and withdrew the workmen, or
“yanacones,”[11] from their little gods and religion. It was not till
after we were accused by the alcalde of Ambo of being a kind of demon
or goblin, that the people of the estate were scared into horror and
desertion; or that we found out, through the kindness of our Spanish
major-domo, that the alarmed men, women, and children on the estate had
over-night rescued the saints from supposed danger, by piously carrying
them away to a town about four leagues distant. Next morning we were left
with only one workman; and he, being an old and maimed soldier, had but
one hand.

This wanton and unjust attack took a legal form, and was parried off by
legal measures with the timely interposition of that enlightened and
benevolent citizen of the world, Doctor Don Antonio de Valdizan, himself
a counsellor of state, a patron of learning, and one of the enterprising
miners, and illustrious men of Peru. After this fray was finally settled
in our behalf, the alcalde persecutor became our avowed and steady
friend. But, on the other hand, the mestizos of Tomay-quichoa, nettled
at the failure of the Ambinos, allowed us, with their usual malicious
forethought, to go to great expense in fencing, building, and cultivating
sugar-cane and other productions, before they showed their determination,
without any provocation given by us, to baffle our labours, and ruin our
fortune, by appropriating to their own use the water for irrigating the
fields under crop, thus annihilating the young plantations.

We remonstrated against their unfair proceedings, but to no purpose. They
fabricated false accusations, and involved us reluctantly in a law-suit
of two years’ continuance, which, to the honour of the judge of the
district, the learned and respected Dr. Mata, was ultimately terminated
by an equitable sentence.

These good people believed we were but Jews, whom the Spaniards
greatly abominate; and they conceived that, if they did not get rid of
our neighbourhood in time, other Englishmen, and therefore, as they
ignorantly supposed, other Jews, would settle there after us; and by
proceeding to disgust us with the place, and scare us away in due
season, they acted in the spirit of the proverb, “El prevenido nunca es
vencido,”—The wary is never foiled. But it is a subject of deep interest
to reflect on the practical example thus afforded of the working of that
sovereign maxim, “No faith with heretics.” We here see, that although
a perverted sense of religion did not extinguish the perception of an
obvious right, yet it overcame the sense of wrong towards the imagined
Jew, and in this respect suppressed the moral feeling of equity.

Such banefully erroneous views must gradually give way before the
spreading light of civilization, and a more extended international
intercourse. The bad moral effect of seeing men, influential and
respected while living, consigned to the indignity of a canine grave
when dead, cannot but be perceived and felt by the surviving friends and
countrymen of the deceased, whose religious persuasions are distinct from
those of the people of the land in which they are sojourners.

We may mention, that the first English gentleman’s remains we were called
upon to accompany to an unhallowed burying-place, were those of one who
died in an inland city remarkable for the hospitality and kindness of its
inhabitants; and, after answering a few questions regarding the religious
creed of the deceased, the price of the interment was settled, we think,
at fifty dollars, and then the good-natured bishop, with a degree of
liberality seldom exercised towards dissenters from the Romish ritual in
Catholic countries, yielded his sanction to let the corpse have Christian
burial. But, subsequently to this permission, a mob was collected in the
night, and the body was cast out from the church to the middle of the
street, where our obliging friend Don Mariano Sanches told us it lay. On
the following morning, in a city where humanity was subdued by the ugly
suggestions of superstition, there were only two good Samaritans. These
gave their attendance at the stranger’s funeral, when the only two or
three Britons at that time in the place accompanied the body outside
the city, to find it a grave under the shelter of an orangery, where its
mouldering bones could not by any chance come into contact with those of
the pious agitators, who would fain persuade themselves that, while they
live in harmony with the living heretic, the mere sight of the worm that
nibbles at his interred remains is quite sufficient to endanger their own
eternal condition.

In the capital of the republic a better example is at length given.
Through the meritorious exertions of the British Consul-general, B. H.
Wilson, Esq. the Peruvian government have ceded to the English a proper
piece of cemetery-ground[12] at Bella Vista, an agreeable and convenient
situation between Lima and the port of Callao. Formerly all the English,
not Roman Catholics, who died in the capital or port, were interred in
the barren island of San Lorenzo, where the bodies were exposed to the
insults of the most vile of mankind,—miscreant convicts confined to the
island for crimes that expel them from the society of honest men, and who
believe that the English heretic, like the ancient Peruvian pagan, must
needs have laid with him in the grave instruments or utensils of his
avocation while living; and, therefore, they are led to expect that, our
English merchant’s grave must be a place of deposit for a full share of
those dollars he was seen always to handle, and to ship away in boxes to
his native land. These outcasts were made to feel their own superiority,
if not while in chains or in the galley, at least prospectively in their
own cypress-shaded Pantheon, over the wealthiest, worthiest, and most
respectable foreigners in their land, who, at the close of life, they
might believe, exchanged situations with themselves,—that is, were sent
in perpetuity to the arid and leafless San Lorenzo, while they themselves
would be conveyed and suffered to rest in honoured ground until the
last day. Let the worst befal them,—should they come to die on the
“banquillo,” (a rude stool on which the criminal is placed at the hour of
military execution,) yet they are not at the last discouraged like the
stranger and Protestant. They have the aid of the priest when going to
execution; and, when gone, their carnal remains may rest in sanctified
earth. There will not probably be wanting on such occasions some
godmother _mas fea que la noche_,—more ugly than night,—or some friend,
who will remember the necessities of the departed highwayman whose days
were closed in the Plaza, and will charitably pay the needy friar’s mass
(value one dollar) to extricate his soul from perdition.

Our Consul-general, ever zealous in the discharge of his public duties,
not only saw the inconvenience to his own countrymen, but the evil result
of the former mode of interment in the island of San Lorenzo, and the
great disadvantage that British subjects laboured under in having no
place of public worship according to the forms of their own national
church. These evils he endeavoured to counteract by procuring the grant
of a cemetery as mentioned; and by having church-service read at the
Consulate-general every Sunday, as is done by captains and commanders in
such of Her Majesty’s vessels of war as have no chaplains on board them.

By this arrangement the most incredulous or prejudiced Peruvians have
an opportunity of knowing that our Consul-general, and such of his
countrymen as do not neglect the public homage offered at the Consulate
to the Creator, do really feel an interest beyond the grave, and have a
hope in Heaven as well as the deluded vulgar, who long believed (and the
absurdity seems to have been inculcated as a political engine of some
power by those who must have known better,) that the English were but
a species of the ourang-outang, with tails like the lower animals; and
consequently it was quite plain, on the alleged evidence of comparative
anatomy, that their ultimate destination could not be higher than that
of the beasts that perish.

The name of Drake, and the famous treasure-ship Caca-fuego, are now
forgotten; but we are assured that in Payta the name of Anson is
associated with sacrilegious recollections, and is mentioned by the
lower class of natives with details that awaken feelings very hostile to
our countrymen. At this sea-port, on the northern shores of Peru, on a
certain festival and anniversary-day, when the image of the Virgin Mary
is taken out in procession, we are told that it is shown with a patch of
red wax on the neck, marking the wound once inflicted in this part by a
sabre-blow from some disorderly sailor of Anson.

An amiable and well-informed Limeña, in whose house many of the
_literati_ daily meet, has laughed heartily at the good old times,
when she related that, when a young girl, (and she is not yet more
than middle-aged,) neither she herself, nor her playmates, ventured to
approach a certain English sailor-boy without holding up their hands
and making the sign of the cross with the fore-finger and thumb. This
lady’s mother took a great interest in the sailor-boy, seeing that he was
fair and handsome; and greatly regretted his not being a Christian, an
expression by which she meant, of course, a Roman Catholic.

Some recollections of ancient feuds may still co-operate, in a greater or
less degree, with religious prejudices to keep up no very warm feeling
towards the English as a people; but it is gratifying to think that even
on the distant shores of the Pacific, and among the glens of the Andes,
there is a growing intelligence that tends rapidly to dissipate such
unfriendly feelings. A nearer acquaintance with the English character,
the insensible but gradual progress of knowledge, the general extension
and assimilating tendency of commerce, the softening effects of time,
and, in a word, the revolution itself, which opened up a channel for
general improvement, are so many circumstances that conspire together to
render the already widely extended connexion of Great Britain with Peru,
every day more cordial in the minds of the natives of this important
republic; and when the country becomes more settled under the direction
of a wise government, such as its friends are now in expectation of
enjoying under the protection of his excellency General Santa Cruz, it
is to be hoped that, this international friendship may be rendered still
more intimate, and mutually beneficial, than it is at present.

Should the projected plan of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company[13]
be happily carried into execution, from which a high moral influence
may be reasonably expected, and our commercial dealings with Peru be
further extended, then will the religious wants of British residents
become proportionably more deserving of public attention. The individual
labour and exertions of these enterprising Britons, in a distant part of
the globe, contribute to encourage manufactures and industry in their
native land; and, though separated from their kindred and country by a
wide-spreading ocean, they are rarely so happy as when they think of
that home to which it is their daily wish to return, and never cease to
feel that once their hearts and warmest sympathies were English. But,
unhappily, to keep the heart pure in the midst of the greatest national
relaxation of morals,—the strongest allurements to vice,—with few
incitements to virtue, and no effective encouragement to religion,—is an
achievement far too great for the average of mankind.

When young men destined for foreign countries leave home at an early
age, they are naturally more defenceless against the insidious inroads
of corruption, and more open to new impressions flowing in upon them
from surrounding objects. Having arrived in Spanish America, they soon
forsake the Protestant respect for the Sunday, and yet scorn the Catholic
sacrifice of the mass; and then they insensibly enter upon the formation
of new habits grafted on the manners and customs of the country, in which
they are as yet but strangers.

The elder and more considerate British residents in Peru, we have
reason to know, feel and regret the want of an established clergyman
regularly and duly trained to discharge the duties of his vocation, and
who should command a becoming degree of personal influence, arising
from his professional character, learning, and piety. No individual of
the commercial body—we would even venture to affirm, that no consular
exertions in this spiritual department of duty—can provide for a
regular attendance on church-service; because, on such topics, every
counting-house clerk considers himself quite as knowing as the Consul, or
any other secular reader of church-service, to whom as a divine they will
not voluntarily accord much deference or attention, however distinguished
that officiating individual may be for his high character, general
intelligence, religious sincerity, and private virtue.


    Clergy and lawyers more honoured than physicians
    or surgeons.—University of St. Mark.—Anatomical
    amphitheatre.—College of San Fernando.—State of the medical
    schools and profession on the coast and in the Sierra.—General
    remarks on Limenian education.

During the continuance of the royal authority in Peru, when military
titles were only conferred on men of Spanish blood, the honour of the
church and civil courts of judicature was pre-eminently fostered by the
government, and the duties of those high vocations devolved on select
individuals of white or Spanish race. If there were exceptions to so
partial a distribution of favour, these appear to have been made in
behalf of a few of the aborigines, or Indian people, whose blood to this
day runs in the veins of some of the first families of that country.

The Peruvian clergy have ever been jealous of the dignity of their
office, and consulted purity of blood in their august order with the
same earnestness that they watched over the orthodoxy of their faith.
They appear to have considered all mixture of African blood as a sort
of test of spiritual contamination, and never suffered those tarnished
with it to approach the altar, except as hearers or penitents,—never as
ministers of the sanctuary. We may reasonably suppose that much of this
partiality on the one hand, and rigorous exclusion on the other, was
originally founded on considerations of political jealousy and distrust;
but, be that as it may, the effects of this line of policy are still
observable notwithstanding the liberalism that is afloat, for we do not
meet with a single curate of negro or zambo progenitors, while in the
law the majority of professors are of Spanish origin. The practice of
medicine was looked upon as the proper occupation of those who, though
possessed of some classical attainments, were deemed unworthy a place
in the more distinguished departments of law and theology. But this
order of things admitted of a few exceptions; for, as in the dregs of
the legal profession there were certain tawny interlopers, so also in
the higher walks of the medical department there was a proto-medico, and
a few more physicians of European birth or descent. The great body of
the profession, however, were raised from among the genuine black, or
other more or less crossed Ethiopian castes, to whom, as is affirmed by
Ayanque at page 43 of his celebrated satire, titled “Lima por dentro y
fuera,” the healing art in all its branches, and especially surgery, was
almost entirely intrusted. This arrangement, which involved consequences
of vital interest to society, probably arose from inadequate ideas
entertained by the Spaniards respecting the medical profession; viewing
it less as a noble science than as a superior sort of handicraft.
Certainly it did not arise from indifference about their own lives or
personal safety; for no men are more careful of themselves when sick,
or more ready to call in professional assistance, than the Spaniards of
South America. An idea still prevalent is, that individuals selected from
“la gente prieta,” or the sable people, are, on account of their more
vigorous character and constitution, the best suited for the exercise
of a laborious and active profession in the debilitating climate of
Lima, where, in former days, young men of European parentage not in
some government employment, or members of legal and ecclesiastical
establishments, had an insuperable aversion, which they have not yet
overcome, to work for their bread.

But, leaving these matters as we find them, we shall here give an
extract from the well-known work, titled “Mercurio Peruano,” by which it
will be seen what was the ancient state of medicine in Peru.

“In the sixteenth century, the taste of our nation leaned in favour of
scholastic theology, the philosophy of Aristotle, and the civil law of
the Romans; so that at the period of founding the university of Saint
Mark, as well as for some time after, there were established for teaching
each of the above branches of learning a competent number of well-endowed
professorships; and, moreover, colleges were erected not only in Lima,
but in all the principal cities within the viceroyalty of Peru, for
teaching the same.

“For medicine two chairs were appointed or intended,—one (de prima) on
the theory of medicine, and the other (de visperas) on pathology; but,
no salaries being fixed, these fell to the ground. It is not therefore
to be wondered at, that when, in the year 1637, they deliberated upon
restoring the medical professorships, it was stated by Dr. Huerta, that
in arts, laws, and theology, there had flourished a large number of
doctors, enumerating about one hundred in Lima that very year, (seventy
years from the foundation of the university,) but that in this lapse of
time only three or four physicians were known among them, who, having
studied in other parts, had incorporated themselves with the university.”

It was at the same time urged by Dr. Huerta (who was professor of the
Quichua language) that the appointment of medical professors was quite
useless, “as it was notorious that the Indians performed better cures
than the physicians, recovering those whom the doctors had given up for
lost; and, moreover, that many who were for some time in hospitals had
from their own experience found out how to cure very successfully,
without being professed doctors, like Martin Sanches and Juan Ximenes.”

Let no one suppose, from the date of the fact here stated, that the age
of empiricism is passed away; for now, in the nineteenth century, we have
hospital-dressers who take upon themselves the character of instructed
practitioners, and are employed as such; while the famous curandera,
or doctress, La Señora Dorotea, wants not among the opulent and
best-informed persons of Lima warm defenders of her skill and superiority
over the doctors of the university.

Before an anatomical amphitheatre was opened in Lima in the year 1792,
the study of the healing art continued to be much neglected, as we are
informed by the founder of this school, who, after some statements on
this important subject,[14] observes, that the public instruction of
medicine being wanting in the royal seminary, and having no colleges
that might supply this deficiency, it followed as a consequence that in
the medical profession those improvements had not been made that the
importance of the art demanded,—a great detriment to the public health.
Some years after the anatomical amphitheatre, or practical school of
anatomy, was formed, its founder was raised to the head of the medical
profession in Peru; and, desirous to advance medical science among his
countrymen, he had further prevailed with the viceregal government to
establish a college of medicine and surgery in Lima as an independent
medical seminary, dedicated to San Fernando, in honour of their august
sovereign Ferdinand VII. of Spain.[15] This college, as we are informed
by one of its earliest inmates, was established in the year 1809, and
in it different professorships were properly assigned. Here there was
a professor of chemistry, but, for want of suitable apparatus, he had
not yet opened an experimental course; a professor of botany, who really
gave some practical lessons when walking out with his pupils in the
neighbouring “_potreros_” or grazing parks. There were also professors of
the practice of medicine and surgery, &c. all on a goodly plan, after the
manner of European colleges. But, while these improvements were going on,
the revolution came, to do evil that good might come; and then all the
fair hopes from the college of San Fernando were nipped in the bud.

This seminary, which, at present, metaphorically represents the tree
of knowledge, stripped of its green leaves and fair promise, under the
shade of the wide-spreading tree of liberty, on which it is to be hoped
that science ere long may be grafted, is, in its now blighted condition,
under the nominal rectorship of Doctor Don Caietano Heredia, one of the
earliest and most illustrious of the disciples educated in this school,—a
gentleman who, to his infinite praise, caught no small portion of that
love of knowledge, and desire to disseminate it, which so eminently
distinguished the eloquent founder, Don Hipolito Unanue.

We may briefly remark that, at the period when the revolution broke out
in Lima, there were in the medical profession some men of excellent
classical knowledge, well versed in medical literature; and the valuable
libraries which some of them have left behind them would, if only spared
by the most destructive moth of that country, long stand as monuments
of their professional scholarship. Among the junior physicians of the
capital there is less ancient learning, but a better acquaintance
with modern authors, especially French works, which are imported very
freely; and the revolution, which so lately subverted the ancient form
of government, may likewise be said to have opened up new sources of
professional knowledge and improvement in medical practice.

At present, however, young men hardly acquire the rudiments of medical
knowledge when they are hurried away to the army; and having never
enjoyed the advantages of an early systematic education, and being thus
hurried into practice, it is to be feared that many of them will be
satisfied with the perusal of a few manuals or formularies, and never
attain enlarged views of their profession. But the military surgeon has
ample opportunities of using the knife; and surgery is now very much
improved in Peru, where, till lately, the first principles of this branch
of the profession were ill understood. The pharmacy of Lima consisted
chiefly of herbs and simples, till English and French apothecaries’
stores were opened, and furnished the public with the best remedies,
which were soon approved, and recommended by those native physicians
who adopted a more active practice than their predecessors. In the
present day nearly all the native physicians of any note order their
prescriptions from the French apothecaries.

This leads us to remark, that in the well-known Memoirs of General Miller
there is a lively account of the wandering practisers of physic of the
aboriginal tribe of Callavayas or Yungeños, who, laden with barks,
balsams, and herbs, are said to migrate periodically from the vicinity
of La Paz, and “traverse the mountains of Peru, Quito, and Chile, and
the Pampas of Buenos Ayres, exercising their vocation wherever their
assistance is required, to the distance of five or six hundred leagues.”
Some medicinal herbs collected on the mountains and in the valleys are
always in requisition, and constitute the chief ingredients of the
domestic medicine of those who inhabit the villages of the interior of
Peru; but as French and English assortments of medicine have become so
common of late, the Callavayas have ceased to visit such parts of that
country as we are acquainted with. But there are still a set of quacks,
generally men of swarthy and mixed race, in every town and village of
general traffic or importance, who subsist on the credulity of mankind,
and are appropriately distinguished by the name of Mata-sanos, or killers
of the healthy.

No active measures have yet been adopted to suppress the flagrant
abuses of the Mata-sanos, who infest the interior villages of Peru;
where, we regret to say, even the regular practitioner is a kind of
public extortioner, who, persuaded that the price of his services is
never to be paid after pain and the sense of danger are removed from
the sick, is accustomed to make his bargain, and withhold his remedy
till he secures beforehand his fee: and the bargain is usually screwed
up to the utmost when the patient is known to be rich, and believes
his own life in danger. In consideration of the medical destitution of
the interior of the republic, and the crying evil thus entailed on the
community, it was suggested to the legitimate government in the year
1835, that, from every prefectorate of the republic, a certain number of
disciples should be sent to be educated at the common expense, in the
medical college at Lima; and that after these young men had completed
their studies, and were found duly qualified to exercise the medical
profession, they should be made to return as practitioners to their
respective provinces. This proposal would probably have been carried
into effect, had the country been left to enjoy public tranquillity;
and it is obvious how easily, under such an arrangement, villages and
districts of several thousand inhabitants could, by contributing an
average annual sum of only a few reals from each individual, procure
for themselves a salaried medical adviser, from the midst of their own
Indian or mixed population, in every way the most fitted to pass his time
usefully and agreeably among his native hills. But, as things are at
present, it is almost impossible, even at great expense to individuals,
to procure proper medical attendance in the time of need; for the
variable climate and temperature of the interior changing from hill to
dingle, and frequently from league to league, is peculiarly unfavourable
and disagreeable to the constitution and habits of the medical gentlemen
of the coast, (among whom there are some highly respectable and able
men,) who are commonly of various gradations of caste, from the black
through all the tints between this colour and white or European; so
that we need not be surprised at the reluctance of these individuals to
undertake the practice, or expose themselves to the privations of the
frigid regions of the interior. But the people of the Sierra, or upland
of Peru, being unprovided with medical teachers of their own, can only
rely on the capital and coast (where there is no scarcity of doctors,
both native and foreign,) for the supply of such regularly educated
physicians or surgeons as are here and there found in the interior; and
even these are not always stationary in one town or province, but often
ambulate backwards and forwards as their interest or inclination happen
to dictate. But, whether settled permanently in one locality or not,
it usually happens that when the Sierra doctor is called upon to visit
a patient, he rises from the card or diceing table; and the sort of
prescription given for the cure of the sick will naturally depend on the
state of mind in which the gambler happens to be at the time.

Having said so much on the state of the medical schools and practice of
medicine, it may be expected that we should advert to the interesting
subject of schools and education in general.

Small schools for reading, on the Lancasterian plan, are very common in
the capital, and not unknown in the provincial and inland towns; and
all—we think all—the white children are taught to read and write. The
Bible too, as translated by Scio, is openly sold by book-dealers, and it
is read by individuals in the Spanish language; but no _Mr. Wood_[16] is
found among them, to carry forward the instruction of the pupils on the
basis of the sacred writings.

Close to the public library at St. Pedro’s church, which contains a large
and valuable collection of books, there is a Latin academy, which was
intended to be a great national school after the declaration of Peruvian
independence; but it is not, we believe, now in a flourishing state:
and the colleges of San Carlos and San Toribio have dwindled away under
the baneful influence of a succession of revolutions, and governments
misnamed patriotic, which are as hostile to science, though on a
different principle, as was the dark reign of the inquisition under the
sway of old Spain.

Early in the nineteenth, as we have already shown to have been the case
in the sixteenth century, the taste of the natives leaned to scholastic
theology, the philosophy of Aristotle, and the civil law of the Romans.

Heineccius still preserves his authority within the cloisters of the
Lima colleges, which are too often deserted for want of funds for
their support,—one of the many evils consequent on frequent political

It has been long a subject of remark and regret, that, in these principal
seminaries of learning, scarcely any of the scholars attended to their
studies, except those who were sent from remote provinces, and who were
not yet wedded to the idle and luxurious habits of the Limenian youth.
Indeed, the expression “buen colegial” is proverbial in all Peru as
peculiarly characteristic of young gentlemen devoted to gallantry, or who
are observed to care more for their loves than their lessons.

A new school for law and philosophy was commenced in Lima, a few years
ago, by Don Jose Joaquin de Mora, who for some time delivered lectures,
and also published a text-book on the Scotch philosophy, which he taught
with credit.

Mr. Mora, himself a native of Spain, has thus opened, in Peru and
Bolivia, new sources of investigation in the departments of metaphysical
and ethical science. As a civilian more especially, this indefatigable
individual has acquired transcendent celebrity in those countries. Still,
however, the blessing of well-directed instruction is confined to a very
few; and the lower classes of dark race, as well as the Indian orders
of the Peruvian people, have seldom any education except that which is
necessarily acquired in the ordinary intercourse between man and man,
without the medium of letters, and in the usual discharge of the common
duties of life; for the exercise of which it should be the main object of
education to prepare the individual, so as to fit him to act his part in
society with dignity and usefulness, becoming a being of immortal nature.

But we need hardly remark, that in Lima the ornamental takes precedence
of the useful; because there the chief aim of education is to train the
young to please in company, by such accomplishments as music, dancing,
and play, with only a very superficial acquaintance with more solid
attainments. From what has been already stated in the course of the
preceding pages, it may be inferred that female education, especially, is
very much of the kind now alluded to; though among the fair sex there is
a great abundance of excellent talent, which, if properly directed, could
not fail to be productive of the best social results.

But it is not our purpose to speculate on plans of public instruction,
or to point out what may be called the philosophy of education; into
the secret of which, we think, an English friend, the father of four
well-brought-up boys, has pretty well penetrated, when he enjoins, as a
_sine quâ non_ of good tuition, absolute obedience, under good example,
in early life. How very little philosophy has to do with the present
style of training youth in Peru, and Lima in particular, we think the
general moral details of this book are well calculated to show; for early
indulgence takes the place of obedience, and the influence of example is
not always the best: yet upon the whole, when free from civil discord,
they are pleased with themselves,

    And eat, and sing, and dance away their time,
    Fresh as their groves, and happy as their clime.[17]


    General features of the Sierra.—Roads.—Wilds of San
    Mateo.—Indian’s eyrie.—Mountain curate.—Enterprise of a priest
    engaged in inland traffic.—Pastoral life of Indians.—Ancient
    ruins.—Royal road of the Incas.—Tarma, a pretty Sierra
    town, or pueblo.—Various sorts of bridges.—Balsa, or canoe
    of rushes.—Ancient aqueducts and terraced gardens of the
    aborigines.—Pagan edifices among the rocks near the coast.—Vale
    of Rimac.—Temples of the ancient Sun-worshippers of the land.

The space enclosed between the gigantic ridges of the eastern and
western Cordillera, or great and frigid mountain-chains of the Andes, is
occupied by numerous table-lands yielding short fine grass, and extensive
hilly pasture-ground, very like in general outline to the Highlands of
Scotland, though destitute of heath: and over this very uneven surface
are interspersed lagoons and rivers, and deep, warm, agricultural
valleys, in the bottom of which grow the richest fruits and produce of
the coast; while the summits of the hills, that rise from and enclose
these fertile dales, are exposed to the violence of the tempest in the
elevated regions of cold and barrenness.

From one of these glens, where we once resided for some time, we left
a house at the door of which the lemon-tree was in perpetual fruit and
blossom, and, in two or three hours thereafter, arrived at the rugged
crags and peaks of the eastern Cordillera.

The lines of road from the western coast to the central Andes of Peru
wind along narrow glens, sometimes contracting into mere ravines, edged
by lofty hills or prodigious rocks that close in abruptly. The traveller
thus journeys for days, leaving one hill behind, and meeting another
rising before; but never arrives at that ideal spot, whence he may
command a view from sea to sea,

    “Where Andes, giant of the western star,
    Looks from his throne of clouds o’er half the world.”

The highest mountains in Britain, such as Ben-Nevis or Cruachan,[18] must
appear very diminutive, when compared to the Andes, whose very vastness
and extent preclude from the inland regions any view of the sun dipping
under the waves of the Pacific, and whose magnitude limits the quickest
sight to the groups of mountains, with their included dales, that go to
form one stupendous pile of varied shape, production, and climate.

Many of the mountain roads, as they leave the bottom of the glens, and
ascend, in more or less of a caracole, along the face of formidable
steeps, seem to bear date of origin from the Quichua era, when the
llama was the only beast of burden in the country. These animals, like
their Indian owners, delight most in the cool of the hills; but, when
laden and on the road, their slow and stately gait must not be hurried
or interfered with, nor their burden increased beyond their liking,
which seldom exceeds 70 or 80 lbs. weight on a long journey: the Indian
understands their way, and rules them by gentleness. As the llamas are
not for forced marches, and only make short stages of three or four
leagues daily, the paths that lead through pasture-grounds are the best
suited for them, and may have been considered by the ancient inhabitants
of the land as a sufficient reason for striking off from a barren though
less elevated or precipitous path, and climbing to eminences that yield
an agreeable temperature and some herbage to the indigenous companions of
their toil.

When a person has occasion to traverse these narrow and fatiguing
roads, it is necessary for him to keep a good look-out, lest he should
clash with some rider or cargo-beast coming in the opposite direction;
for there are places where it would be utterly impossible to pass two
a-breast; and there would be no small danger, on meeting an impatient
animal or careless horseman, that either party would be hurled over the
brink, and consigned to the condors and eaglets that nestle on the cliffs
and in the dark chasms of the crags.

Such dangerous passes are at some places so contracted that the stirrup
of the muleteer is seen to overhang the foaming stream, or project beyond
the verge of the boldest precipice; and every now and then they are
made more formidable by abrupt angles and insecure breast-work without
parapets, hastily constructed when the rush of a sudden torrent from the
hollow of a hill, or large stones rolling from the heights, have cleft
the way so as to render it for a time impassable.

There are also many cuestas or rapid steeps, with here and there
flights of steps, roughly cut in the hard rock. By the way-side, in
tedious cuestas of several leagues in extent, recesses are, in numerous
instances, worked out on the higher side of the road, which serve for the
passengers to draw up while those from an opposite direction are allowed
to pass on, or where muleteers stop their cattle to adjust their cargoes
and tighten their lazos. But when a rock or shoulder of a cliff juts out
from the road towards the lower or precipice side, leaving more or less
room for a resting-place, then the little flat space is coarsely walled
in with large fragments of rock and such smaller stones as may be at
hand, giving the idea of a rude but commanding fortress.

The famous Cuesta of San Mateo, on the Tarma road from Lima, we passed
in the year 1834, and could not but wonder how, without any very serious
accident, an army of cavalry, destined to celebrate the “fraternal
embrace of Maquenguaio,”[19] had been able to pass the same route a few
months before, when the path and staircases were yet wet and slippery
from occasional showers; and when the lower or proper post-road was
unfortunately impassable, from the destruction of one of the ordinary
rustic bridges on the river or torrent, that runs at the bottom of the
rock-locked ravine through which the regular mule-way has been opened,
and by which the waters rush foaming and raging in time of heavy inland
rains. This stream, like all such impetuous torrents, during the force
of the rainy season on the high mountains and table-lands, carries in
its course a vast number of rolling stones, the thundering noise of
which rises far above the roar of the white waters as these are thrown
back, and resisted incessantly, by large blocks of rocky fragments that
half-choke the narrow channel, which at this remarkable place is bordered
by immense rocks looking as if they had been separated by violence, or
rent to give descent to the concentrated and united body of rivulets that
come from many a snowy peak, mountain lake, and marsh.

The hill along which runs the Cuesta road, rising on the face of the
steep that overhangs this part of the stream, is of itself a grand
object; but that which is seen opposite to it has the greatest elevation
of any single mountain in these narrow glens: and nothing of the kind
can be more strikingly magnificent than to behold it, girdled in verdure
and capped in snow, from the summit of the Cuesta, where the traveller,
tired with climbing, is invited to draw breath, and look around him
from the cross planted here, as in almost every similar situation, by
the pious among the natives, who love to decorate this emblem of their
faith with wreaths of fresh and fragrant flowers. But from the better
route, which winds by the river underneath, nothing of this sort is to
be seen; for here the hills on each side shelve in towards their rugged
foundations, until they come so close as completely to overshadow the
stream. Here, too, the rider may strain his neck in looking overhead;
but his eye only meets, besides a strip of the sky, pendulous succulents
and tangling plants on the face of the incumbent ledge, with now and
then a flower-enamoured “pica-flor,” (humming-bird,) as he fans, with a
gracefully tremulous wing, the expanding blossoms that yield him delicate
food and pastime.

These wilds of San Mateo reminded us forcibly of the miniature wilds of
Glencoe, remarkable in Scottish history; and we thought, as we passed
them, of the bard of Cona (Ossian), who, in honour of the orb which the
Peruvians once adored, sung with sublimity and touching pathos,

“O thou that rollest above, round as the shield of my fathers, whence are
thy beams, O Sun! thy everlasting light? Thou comest forth in thy awful
beauty; the stars hide themselves in the sky; the moon, cold and pale,
sinks in the western wave; but thou thyself movest alone. Who can be a
companion of thy course?”

The Indian’s eyrie on the summit of some steep and lofty mountain,
(seldom visited by a white man, save the curate,) may be easily passed
many times unnoticed by a stranger, who has occasion to go over the usual
routes in any of the principal ravines and valleys of the Sierra, and
who may never be led to suspect its existence till he one day meets a
swift-footed Indian, closely followed by a person on a well-accoutred
and elegant mule, whose gear is all laden with silver ornaments; and
the rider, who sits at his ease in a saddle of the country with a rich
pellon, wears a large-brimmed hat, with a black silk cap emerging to
view at the ears and temples. He has on at least a couple of ponchos
(mantles) well-decorated and fringed; his black or brown stockings are
of warm Vicuña wool; and the heel of a small shoe, half-concealed in a
clumsy and costly, though wooden stirrup, is armed with a prodigiously
disproportioned silver spur, with a large tinkling roller, used to keep
his noble animal in mind that she is but the harbinger of death, and
carries on her back the keeper of the sinner’s conscience.

This minister of peace to the miserable, hurries to save the soul of a
dying Christian, whose abode, like the falcon’s, overlooks the ordinary
path of wayfaring men; and which, when descried, seems, to the sight of
an observer underneath, to be indeed the loftiest earthly point between
the ground he himself stands upon and that heaven for which, it is
believed, the anxious and fluttering spirit of the gasping Indian, only
waits the curate’s absolution and blessing to wing its immortal flight.
It occurs to us here to remark, that in the remote curacies of the hills
no friars are to be seen, as on the coast or more genial climates; an
important part of whose duty it is, wherever they locate themselves, to
aid the Christian to die well, and to watch by his pillow, and exhort
and comfort him, while the crucifix and taper are ever before his eyes,
and the breath of life about to leave his animal frame. But, destitute
of these helps, the curate or curate-substitute, whose calling renders
him the most influential person and only spiritual comforter in an
Indian village, makes, in the appearance we have offered to describe,
his rapid way over hill and cliff, broken ravine and dangerous path, on
a chosen traveller, whose movements are so gentle that she never wearies
the rider. This mule seems not to make any trying exertion, while she
leaves all ordinary beasts of her kind behind her on a day’s journey, and
ascends a cuesta of three or four leagues without stopping once to draw
breath, and again descends the same without missing a foot or slackening
the “paso llano,” the best of all travelling paces; while, to her no
small recommendation, where horse-shoers are not to be found, whether
on hard ground or soft, in summer or in winter, she needs not a shoe on
her massy and well-rounded hoof. The Sierra curates of a dreary pastoral
district, or secluded Indian residence in the wheat-land temperatures,
are men, at the age of forty, commonly much worn out in constitution.
One of these gentlemen, to whom his home is irksome, is seen to read for
weeks together on a stretch, merely to kill time; or he longs for the
more refined “tertulia,” to which at one period he was no stranger; or
he starts off, swayed by some sudden impulse, to the nearest town of
white inhabitants, where he enjoys a finer climate and more gratifying
company. He not unfrequently resorts to a mineral “pueblo” (village),
under pretext perhaps of selling his “primicia” or first-fruits in grain,
&c. which, to be sure, he does to some purpose; for ten to one he will
gamble with the extravagant miners, day and night, till the product of
the primicia is all swallowed up; and the poor residentiary returns to
his cheerless manse involved in a debt which he cannot pay for the next
six months, even should his curacy be worth four or five thousand dollars
a year, though it oftener happens that the income is much less. In his
mountain curacy, wherein he endures sad periods of ennui and long and
frequent fasts,[20] that debilitate and break down the best constitution,
(for before he can reach a distant church, and say mass, the day is often
far advanced,) the curate complains of feeling himself an exile; and is
easily led to seek refuge from his self-weariness in various indulgences
that far overstep the barriers of self-denial, and plunge him into the
outskirts of that moral darkness which he is sent to enlighten.

Here, if anywhere on earth, the drawbacks of involuntary celibacy are
felt by the priest. For such canonical privations he usually searches
compensation in the less amiable society of a favourite “sobrina,” or
reputed niece, whose kindness hinges on a precarious friendship, and
whose artful complacency

        “hardens a’ within,
    And petrifies the feeling!”

But while we regret the evils thus entailed on the curate by the
established usage and Romish policy[21] of the sacred orders, we do
with pleasure and grateful remembrance assure our readers that,
from the individual curates spread over the hill-land of this thinly
inhabited country, the foreigner and traveller is always sure to meet
with the greatest kindness and hospitality. Further to illustrate the
moral and physical aspect of the Sierra, we would mention that once,
when on a journey in the interior, we had the good fortune to fall in
with a clerical gentleman, whose vigour of mind was not to be overcome
by the dreariness of his residence at Cauri, a puna village of cold
and shivering aspect. This active and spirited person came up to us
as we crossed the celebrated road-way of the Incas, on the heights of
Huamalies, and we descended together towards the village of Jesus, only a
few leagues distant; but before we could reach this place his fine mule
began to trip, then tottered, and soon failed entirely in her hind-legs,
as if struck by palsy. She was unsaddled, she immediately stretched
herself on the ground, swelled out rapidly, struggled and groaned, and
in less than half an hour died.

The priest, who on this occasion showed himself to be not at all
unacquainted with practical farriery, felt like one who had lost a
tried and valued companion. He soon, however, reconciled himself to a
misfortune beyond his power to remedy; and ordering his Indian page to
walk down hill, (after he had secured the saddle and trappings of the
favourite animal here left to the hungry condors, on the back of the
cargo-mule, or bed-mule, driven before us,) the jovial priest mounted the
Indian’s little rough poney, and we all arrived safely at our destination
early in the evening. The cattle—every hoof—were in distant pastures,
and the priest could not be provided with another mule before next
morning. We therefore passed the evening agreeably under the same roof,
where a pretty-looking white mouse was caged, and kept as a precious
remedy and charm against all diseases; and some such wizard power as
this timid creature was supposed to possess, these poor mountaineers
stood much in need of, as no surgeon or physician ever resides among
them. At the village of Jesus we arrived in the dry season, when its
nearest plains wore a stunted and withered aspect, and when there was
no crop in the ground—not their ordinary potato crop, which indeed is
their only one; and which in some years succeeds, while in other years it
fails on account of the frost. But, during the rainy season, when frost
is unknown in the deep ravines and lofty arable heights and acclivities
of the inland country,—where the highest-perched houses are seen, on
arriving at them, to have still higher back-grounds,—the Indians, each of
whom cultivates his own patch of ground, drive all their cattle to the
remotest pastures of their extensive common; because they cannot consent
to have them feeding near their doors, and crops, which have no proper

The Indians and curates have, for the most part, very opposite interests
to support in worldly matters; and they are often seen contending with
one another in hard bargains when arranging the business of first-fruits,
(for tithes are collected by the state,) marriages, burials, and
religious festivals, which latter are closely interwoven with the entire
social system of the country. These contentions tend to lower the
respectability and sacredness of the proper priestly character; and there
are not wanting examples of the Indian carrying his ill-will so far as to
desire to be revenged of his ghostly father in a sly way.

On one celebrated occasion the Indians of Huamantanga, situated on the
western slope of the Andes, and not far inland from the capital, advised
their curate that in a hamlet on a distant hill-top a man was dying;
so that, if the curate did not use much haste to assist him, he would
necessarily die without confession. The curate replied, “But how am I to
reach him?—There is no mule at hand; they are all in the remote common.”
An Indian promptly answered, “I will fetch one.” But the curate knew
that at that time, on account of the numerous crops, no mule was or
could be near. He therefore became suspicious respecting the good faith
of those about him, for he was old, and had experience of the perverse
and cunning disposition of Indians; but, when the man came to him with a
very good-looking mule, he suppressed his sentiments, and asked if the
animal was accustomed to be ridden by a curate. “Sabe la mula de cura?”
The Indian replied, “La mula es buena,”—the mule is a good one. “Yes,”
says the curate; “but let us see if she have acquaintance with a curate.”
He now cast off his clerical habit, and, having dressed the Indian as a
curate, he made the wily rogue mount the beast; when she reared, kicked,
and flung violently, until she dashed him to the ground. To the crafty
villager, now caught in his own snare, the churchman good-naturedly
observed, “You _feel_, my man, that the mule, though a good one, yet
knows nothing of a curate; and, as there is no other alternative, your
friend must survive his present illness, or go down to the grave without
confession.” But to the grave he went not on this occasion, for the whole
was intended as a trick by which the curate might be deceived to his
personal hurt or destruction; but, as far as we could judge, our jolly
acquaintance at Jesus was quite a favoured individual, who had nothing to
fear from the mule next morning brought for his service.

This gentleman had a great many occupations besides the ordinary
professional duties of saying mass, hearing confessions, and absolving
sins. He supplied his people with whisky, of which he was the only
distiller, and they the principal consumers. He considered it a proud
discovery, (of which few of his neighbours were in the secret,) that
ardent spirits could be made from barley, reared on the hills at
comparatively little expense for the grain-grower; while the usual
sugar-cane spirit, or “agua ardiente,” extracted by the help of the
inferior copper, or the still worse earthen stills of the interior,
had no superiority over it. On the other hand, the “pisco,” or finer
flavoured _Italia_, both of which are procured from the fermented juice
of the grape, could only be got, and at great expense of land-carriage,
from the coast. He therefore hoped to supersede by his whisky the use of
the cane-spirit or pale rum, called “agua ardiente,” or “agua ardiente
de caña,” because it was sometimes very expensive, and frequently bad;
not from any pernicious quality in the saccharine juice, as some natives
have imagined, but on account of the defective mode of distillation by
poor people, who buy up from the sugar-growers molasses, and a coarse
brown sugar, made into little cakes, called “chancaca,” for the purpose
of being converted into “agua ardiente,” for which there is always great
demand in the colder and mineral districts.

Our speculative priest had a farm in the temperate neighbourhood of a
place and curacy called Caina, which lay convenient to his own spiritual
flock. Here he cultivated abundance of grain, and possessed extensive
pasture grounds. He purchased the “primicia” (first-fruits) of his
brethren in Conchucos, and other mountain ranges and elevated districts,
wherein church-rates are paid in cattle, as the staple commodity of lands
chiefly fitted for pasturage. These cattle he placed on grass, when young
and cheap; and when they became in high condition, drove them carefully
along the least frequented paths on the verdant heights, to the clover
or alfalfa fields in the headland vales of the coast, where they were
in demand by the grazier and butcher. He also contracted for so many
thousand arobes of sugar yearly, with the planters in Huailas; and by the
aid of his Cauri friends and customers, had his sugar conducted to Cerro
Pasco at a lower rate of land-carriage than any one else in this line of
trade; and, dealing on a large scale, he believed that he could easily
undersell the smaller trader.

The Cauri muleteers employed by the priest are staunch hearty fellows who
swig off a bottle of whisky, or “agua ardiente,” as if it were less than
a mouthful; for they call a bottle a “gota,” or a drop, which shows they
hold it as too small a dose for their well-seasoned stomachs.

Our priest also engaged to supply mines, in the adjacent country, with
salt for benefiting or preparing metals, which the Caurimen, with their
little broad-backed and hardy nags, are used to convey from Huacho on the
coasts of the Pacific, by the vale of Sayan, across the Cordillera. He
was withal a watch-maker to the neighbouring villages within many leagues
of his residence, and knew, if we forget not, how to put the church organ
to rights when out of repair.

His people were apparently fond of so stirring and general a speculator;
and as they can only grow for themselves, and that in the most sheltered
corners, very bad potatoes, with frequent failures in the harvest,
(though their common yields good pasture,) their pastor supplied them
with maize, (as the miner in isolated localities supplies, at large
profits, maize and clothing, &c. to his workmen,) on which, with
potatoes, cheese, eggs, and guinea-pigs, they principally support
themselves. Butter they rarely know how to churn; and, as the milk is
chiefly used for making cheese, it is not often drunk as an article of
nutriment, save by those who live in small round booths, that are ever
and anon guarded by a host of noisy curs, with hair as shaggy and matted
as that which covers the heads of the urchins that feed them. These
pastoral huts are scattered over the distant plains and ranges of the
mountains throughout the “estancias,” or tracts of hilly pasture-land
allotted for rearing and feeding cattle and sheep. At such estancias and
huts, the traveller in the interior of Peru has frequently to rest for
the night.

The poor Indian owner of a few horned cattle, will rather languish with
hunger than slaughter one head of his fold for his private consumption;
but he who owns a small flock of sheep can more conveniently sustain
himself on meat and “caldo,”—mutton tea, (for vegetables are commonly
wanting to make that kind of broth which is to be found at the
grain-grower’s,) especially when any traveller passes that way, who
buys one of his small sheep—much smaller on the hills than in the warm
valleys—for use on the road, and employs the Indian himself to butcher
it. These inhabitants of the snowy range, or lofty dales of the Andes,
we frequently met,—and they are easily known by their warm clothing,
capacious chests, and ruddy complexions,—descending from the frigid
regions to the temperate and grain valleys, to barter for the vegetable
productions of the agriculturist fresh mutton, which, already skinned and
free from offal, they carry on donkeys (animals which in the hands of
the Indian escape the cruel stripes and goads inflicted on them by the
merciless negro or zambo); and this meat, like beef, being previously
dried in the sun, is laid up for use by the dweller of the warm and
narrow glen overhung by scorched and rocky acclivities, who places it
before the traveller, under the usual name of “charque,” of which we have
often eaten with a good appetite.

But to return to our priest: it is to be hoped that, in contributing
as much as he did to supply the temporal wants of the hardy attendants
at his confessional, he did not irretrievably overlook their Christian
and spiritual necessities. From the combined results of his various
undertakings, he cherished a glowing expectation of realizing a fortune;
but, as we never heard of his success, we think it allowable to suppose
that, like other speculators, he must have experienced some severe
reverse or serious disappointment, as is quite usual in that country.

When morning arrived, we had our good _chupe_,—a common and standard dish
of the Sierra, consisting of potatoes sliced down and boiled in water
or milk, with an addition of eggs, cheese, and, when very nice, butter;
but, on many occasions, especially in Huamalies, the traveller only
gets _yaco_-chupe, or water chupe, consisting merely of potatoes sliced
and boiled in water, with the addition of a little salt, and a leaflet
of wild mint, if at hand, as a useful antidote against flatulency and
uneasiness at stomach.

After we had finished breakfast, and found our cattle in readiness, we
were sorry to part with our agreeable acquaintance, whose presence and
influence furnished us with better fare and accommodation than we usually
experienced on our Sierra journeys. This remarkable person was a native
of Quito; and whatever may be thought of his enterprise and commercial
spirit, like all Quiteños we were acquainted with in Peru, he was
distinguished for his native talent and ingenuity.

Our way now lay among the ruins of ancient buildings and small towns,
with here and there, along the higher ridges, some detached and more
stately-looking architectural remains. These relics of the olden times
offer far finer samples of masonry than the dry stone and thatched houses
of any modern Indian village. The old line of communication between Quito
and Cuzco, where we met our Quitenian friend on the preceding day, is a
wonderful monument of rude art and industry. This imperial road of the
Incas is still perfect in many parts, where the stones appear well fitted
and laid in good order, the pavement rising above the level of the plain,
and being of a spacious breadth.[22]

We entered one of the houses in “Pueblo Viejo,” or ruins of an old
town so called, by the way-side, not far from the celebrated ruins of
the ancient city Leon de Huanuco, deemed by the natives as only second
to Cuzco—the capital of the empire of the Incas—in the wonders of its
masonry. We found the walls of this house, except where defaced by the
mischievous hands of man, quite entire, and one angle of the building
had yet retained the roof. The windows were small, but the outer door
of good size. The walls were as perpendicular as plumb and line in our
days could make them, though two stories high. These walls were built
with small stones, mostly flags; and between them a thin layer of mud
or clay cement. There were, within, stone partitions rising to the level
of the outward walls, making the compartments of the house so confined
that the roof was easily laid on by long and broad flags projecting from
the sides, on which they were steadied by a top-weight, and, meeting
at the centre, were so adjusted as to render the closing of the roof
perfect. The same appeared to have been the manner in which the floor of
the second story had been laid. At the roof, the flags were observed to
shoot forwards to some extent outside the wall, doubtless with a view to
preserve a perfect equilibrium,—as we have frequently seen on the smaller
houses of ancient Indian architecture, which abound near the village of
Ambo on the heights of Andaguaylla. The lofty and weather-worn peaks of
this estate go to form the ridge of the eastern Cordillera, where the
path from these summits descends towards the pueblo of Yuramarca on the
verge of the Montaña, known in regal times as the asylum of the fugitive

This hacienda, partaking of the climate of the torrid and frigid zones,
and consisting of successive table-lands and steep hills, has frigid
summits and ever-blooming dales. Its lakes of _Rumichaca_, so named
because their waters escape under a natural bridge of rock; its Indian
moats and fortifications on the heights of Rucrun, and the ruins of
which we have just made mention; its woods of alder and perejil; its
bamboo thickets, numerous dingles, and silvery waterfalls; its rapacious
puma; its herds of deer; its narrow pathways and slippery pastures, from
whence the grazing ox so often rolls to the fathomless ravine,—are still
present to our mind in one group, with the lovely conjunction of the
cultivated vales of Huacar and Huaylas, and the watery cross formed by
the confluence of their respective streams, where the river of Huanuco
commences its gently winding course. All these crowd into our retrospect,
as they are viewed by the imagination in one splendid landscape from
the commanding eminences of this fine estate, in contrast with all the
boundless mountain-scenery stretching to the west.

Of the houses of the Gentiles, as the natives usually call the antiquated
buildings we would wish to describe, (and in the hiding-nooks of which
treasure is sometimes found,) the roof is rounded or finished off by
stones and clay or earth, so as to throw over the heavy rains that
at certain seasons of the year fall in these places. This species of
building, as it needed no timber, was naturally recommended in frigid
woodless plains and almost inaccessible hill-tops, such as abound in the
Sierra or mountain-land of Peru; but in situations like Andaguaylla,
where wood surrounds the old Indian houses, they could only adhere to
this form of building, on account of their higher perfection in masonry
than carpentry, which required the use of tools and art that they
evidently did not possess.

In the temperate climate of Tarma, situated in the centre of the Andes in
an east-north-east direction from Lima, where the houses are generally
tiled, and the better sorts of them neatly floored with gypsum or
stucco-plaster, the older houses are still seen covered in with mud or
red brick-clay, underlaid and supported with strong timbers and a coat
of cane or wattling. The most antiquated of these roofs are made with a
very slight declivity, with outlets like a ship’s scuttle-holes at the
most pending angles, so as to give free exit to the rain when it falls
heavily. The wall of this description of house they raise a foot or
two higher than the roof, so as to give the latter the appearance of a
little inclined plane and enclosure; and they leave triangular holes,
like those of a dove-house, in this little parapet; within which, when
the rains have passed away, and the crops are housed, the peasants stow
peas, beans, and maize, until, by direct exposure to a bright sun, these
articles are so dried up as to be unhusked without trouble or loss.[23]
Tarma is the favourite place of resort of sickly persons from different
parts, especially Lima, and the rigorous climate at the mineral works
of Yauli, whence the rheumatic miners, after their own hot springs fail
to cure them, flock to the Estrada, or to the ball and tertulia of the
blooming Tarmenians. All its peaceful inhabitants are agriculturists; and
mostly all the resident families emigrate during harvest-time to little
farms in the vicinity of this pretty Cerrano town, which is considered
one of the most agreeable and civilized in all the Sierra, and wherein
the better classes, even as in the provincial towns on the coast, desire
to adopt the manners of the capital as their standard. Near Tarma is a
beautiful cascade, and many peach and apple orchards, with lanes lined
with poplars, and perfumed with wild mint and many sweet and fragrant
flowers in the wet season, when its hills are verdant, its air pure, and
its people joyful. The population of the town and suburbs is estimated
at eight thousand; yet with all the sickness to which, notwithstanding
the general salubrity of its climate, so large a population as that of
Tarma must be subjected, this retreat of convalescents from the coast
and mineral districts is without a medical adviser of any consideration,
except when chance throws among them one of the faculty of Lima, himself
a confirmed invalid, or only in a state of recovery from consumption or
spitting of blood.

When the people of Tarma have put the seed into the ground, they usually
occupy an entire month in mutual visiting and festivity: and they say of
their neighbours of Jauja (eight leagues to the south of them), whose
rejoicing is at harvest-home, that they distrust Providence, while
they themselves piously rejoice and rest their hope in the Giver of
their harvest; hence, they infer the wheat crops of the Jaujinos (whose
granaries are in favourable years the most plentifully stored in all
Peru) are often blighted and frosted, while the Tarmenian barley always
flourishes. We would not quarrel with these contented people for the
moral of this anecdote to the prejudice of their neighbours; but we wish
they would themselves make better use of their advantages, and prepare
good barley-bread, of which they know not the use, instead of depending
upon others for their flour and wheat,—for never did we eat such bad
bread, made of putrid flour, as we did in Tarma. Perhaps the immediately
preceding visitation of an armed force might have been the occasion of so
bad a bread-market. But we can recommend their quails, too soon fatigued
to escape by flight, and therefore taken by dogs and unarmed Indians;
and their pine apples, and coffee from the near Montaña and hacienda of
Vitoc, are both very good, the latter excellent.

The centre land of Peru abounds in streams and mountain torrents, subject
at certain periods to sudden and tumultuous swells from the bursting of
heavy thunder-clouds and continued pouring rain, or pelting hail and
thick nocturnal snow-falls, which quickly melt before the shining sun,
and fill the rivers to inundation. The consequence of this is, that
though the weather may soon after become so fair and showerless as to
invite the traveller to proceed on his journey, yet every now and then
he may have deep rivers or foaming ravines to cross, where bridges of
some sort become indispensable.

When the indigenous race in former times had to pass any river on their
route, their engineers supplied, as best they could, the wants of science
by that natural sagacity which belongs to their living posterity. When
their particular course allowed, they placed their simple bridge near
the origin of the stream, or outlet of the lake whence it happened to
flow; as we see at the lakes of Lauricocha and Pomacocha. As the waters
of the lake can never rise many feet above the usual level, the purpose
of a more scientific bridge is served by the Indian method of laying
down large stones at short intervals from bank to bank; and, as these
stones rise high above the surface of the water, they serve as pillars
or supporters, over which are laid transversely large flags, that form
an even and safe path for the passage of men and cattle. At the places
mentioned, the single stones, too wide apart for stepping-stones, are
still to be seen firm in their places; though the transverse flags,
probably removed by human hands, are no longer found; at least, at
Pomacocha not a vestige of them remains.

A more ingenious bridge of ancient invention, and still used in Peru, is
the swing or soga bridge. It is made by ropes twined from the pliable
bejuco, twigs of willow, or any other flexible and vegetable filaments;
and these are well secured at the ends on the opposite banks of the
water: on these, bundles of maguey leaves, broom, or other long-branched
and yielding shrubs, are laid crosswise, and bound very closely and
firmly by tough ligaments or slips of the maguey leaf (“cabuia”), which
answer as well as the best cordage. In this way the bridge is made of
sufficient breadth for foot-passengers; and a hand-rope runs along each
side of it, by which the traveller can steady himself while walking
across. A specimen of this sort is the soga bridge of modern Huanuco. At
Oroya also, over the river Jauja, is a very strong one of this kind for
cargo-mules to cross upon. The ropes, or rather _cables_, extending from
bank to bank, are made of bullock’s hide; and the cross-bars, bound down
with thongs, are of squared pieces of wood, and broad enough to allow the
animals to pass with confidence. As this bridge is kept up at unusual
expense, and situated on the post-road to the interior, we paid toll
at it for passing our saddle-beasts. The rope or swing-bridge is very
convenient where the river is too broad to be spanned by any trees to be
found in the neighbourhood; but where the stream is not much too wide to
be crossed by long trees and beams, of which the temperate altitudes
afford appropriate materials in the wood known by the name of perijil or
roble, the natives manage to form a strong and pretty durable bridge, by
constructing a large and massy stone breast-work on each side the water.
In these bulwarks they fix strong timbers, which are made to project over
the stream as far as may be required, while the larger portion of the
same timbers is covered by a heavy weight of stones and earth: a tree of
ordinary length is found sufficient to overlay the centre of the water;
as, thus placed, it rests its ends on the projecting timbers already
well secured in the midst of the masonry at the opposite banks. These,
the most common of all Peruvian bridges, are constructed and kept in
repair by order of the prefect of each department, who issues the same
to sub-prefects or governors of provinces; and these again send out the
entire community of adjacent villages to work under the direction of
their respective alcaldes and regidores.

There yet remains a very curious and portable bridge to be mentioned, now
falling into disuse, but of which a specimen may be yet seen at Viroy, on
the river Huacar, in the department of Junin: this antique relic is named
“Guaro.” It is constructed by extending a single strong lazo from one
side of the stream to the other, which is well secured to the trunk of a
tree, or any such fixture, on the opposite banks: from this a leathern
bag, not unlike in appearance to a canvass draw-bucket used aboard ship,
is suspended, so as to run easily on the lazo; the passenger sits in
the bag, and slides himself quietly across. Bridges of this description
are said to have been exceedingly useful to the Montonera, or irregular
patriot troops, during the late war that ended in the separation of Peru
from Spain.

Another contrivance for passing lakes and rivers in the Andes is the
“balsa,” a very small canoe made of rushes. Its surface is level; and
when the paddler and only one passenger steady themselves upon it, the
canoe is pressed down into the water to within about an inch or two of
its surface,—so, at least, was the only one we had occasion to enter; as,
upon a journey during the floods of the wet season, we swam our cattle,
and crossed ourselves in a balsa of rushes over the river of San Juan, on
the plains of Bombon, near Pasco.

The water-courses of the ancient Peruvians are traced along the chasms of
rocks and sides of arid eminences in the vicinity of the coast, and in
the dry intermediate glens. These aqueducts sometimes appear marvellously
constructed among the most rugged crags, and in some points are raised to
an astonishing elevation. They are reared from very slender foundations
here and there among the now receding, now approaching, shelves of the
rocks and cliffs. These piles of irregular mason-work are fabricated with
small and thin stones, or light flags, leaning upon every favourable
projection along the steep against the front of which the fabric rises;
and all the works thus constructed are so solidly and closely united,
that after the lapse of ages, and in the land of earthquakes too, they
are still in numberless instances nearly perfect.

One of the most striking of these aqueducts is about eight leagues
from Lima, on the low road to Alcacota by Caballeros, on a high rocky
acclivity, along the base of which runs the road, close by the winding
of the river Chillon or Carabaillo, which descends from the Cordillera,
by Obrajillo. It is also very usual in the temperate valleys, where the
hills are flanked with soil, and clothed in vegetation, to meet here and
there the ruins of small villages with files of successively rising
platforms on the hollow side of a hill. These tiers of artificial flats,
or gardens, are generally only a few yards in breadth; but in length
greater or less, in proportion to the dimensions of the semi-circular
sweep of the recess capable of cultivation.

In rearing up and constructing these gardens the one above the other,
like the pews in the gallery of a church or boxes in a theatre, the
ancient Indian must have begun his work by erecting a stone wall on the
lower part of the slope, or more even ground, that formed the base of the
series; and, as it was in process of rising to the desired height, the
earth must have been scraped down from the side of the acclivity, to fill
up the space thus partitioned off into a level bank or platform: then,
behind this first level was raised another stony partition, and more
earth again scraped down; and so on successively, till the uppermost and
last tier of these little and tasteful gardens was completed.[24]

By such means these industrious natives always preserved deep soil, which
they might dig up and turn over at pleasure, bringing a new surface of
earth to yield a new crop without necessity of manure; and by the same
contrivance they preserved from the washings of the frequent and heavy
rains, the treasure of vegetable loam which they thus so laboriously and
patiently amassed.

As we descend from the inner regions of the country, and get down among
the arid and naked granite mountains near the coast, we see the ruins of
Pagan dwellings showing themselves in the crevices of the rocks, where
no plant is seen on the waste land, save a few scattered cacti, and no
moving creature except the lizard that basks, and the kite that waits
its motions, on the crumbling ruins and circumjacent blocks which have
been rolled from their original seats on the face of the steep. And as
we approach still nearer the capital, where Glen Rimac unfolds its wide
and fertile acres of deep alluvial soil, we see that this goodly land,
when denied water, puts on a look of desert sterility; but that it only
requires irrigation—it needs no manure—to yield productive sugar-cane,
and to throw forth choice lucern and Indian corn, that waves above the
head of the overseer as he passes on horseback through the fields,
superintending labourers.

As we enter these plains, susceptible of indefinite improvement and vast
returns, we are everywhere surrounded with the vestiges of antiquity,
particularly with the ruins of guacas, that at a distance look like
little hills or knolls scattered over the open plains; but we think that
they were once used as so many tombs of the Sun-worshippers of the land.
In some of these mouldering monuments there are yet to be found internal
chambers or sepulchral vaults, entered by very narrow openings; and, from
these labyrinths, mummies, cloths of different colours, various domestic
utensils, and sacred figures and idols, have been not unfrequently
extracted. We have in our possession a neat silver idol in the figure
of an Inca, with a llama of the same material and workmanship, procured
from a guaca, and presented to us by our friend the Rev. Dr. Don Lucas
Pellicer, an eminent and classical Limeño, of whose merits as a scholar
and patriotic statesman his country feels justly proud. Many other
curious relics of an ancient people are dug out from the same edifices,
of which the assiduous Don Mariano Rivero has made the most extensive and
interesting collection which is now extant in Peru; and with correct
drawings and descriptions of these he has, for some time back, proposed
to favour the public, and to enrich the history of his native country.

The tombs from which relics of this kind are usually taken are not,
however, confined to the neighbourhood of Lima, Truxillo, or the coast
in general, where their structure of moulded earth and sun-burnt clay is
best preserved on account of the absence of rain. Such remains are still
seen in some parts of the Sierra; and in speaking of the guacas, (which
he conceives to have been temples) in his “Historia natural y moral
de las Indias,” vol. ii. p. 128, Acosta tells us that “there were in
Cuzco[25] more than four hundred temples of idols, looked upon as sacred
earth, and all places were full of mysteries. As they” (the Incas) “went
on with their conquests, so they introduced their own guacas and rites
into all that state. The Great Being whom they adored was the Viracocha
Pachayachic, who is the Creator of the world; and after him the Sun; and
thus they said that the Sun, like all the other guacas, received virtue
and being from the Creator, and that they were intercessors with him.”


    Journey from Lima to Pasco by Obrajillo.—Diversity of air
    and climate.—Canta, a locality favourable to consumptive
    individuals.—Obrajillo, residence of muleteers.—Relay of mules,
    and payment in advance.—Cultivation and crops.—Ascent to and
    pass of the Cordillera—Veta, or Cordillera sickness.—Indian
    hut.—Muleteers’ lodgings on the Puna.—Wallay.—Diesmo.—Pasco.

We left Lima about noon, and rode along a broad and stony road-way by the
skirts of the hills, now, in the month of January, dry and sterile masses
of soil and rock. To our left extended the fine but neglected valley of
Chillon, once highly cultivated, and susceptible of rich improvement. We
passed several Indian edifices, constructed of mud cast in huge moulds,
which yet in some degree preserve their forms, notwithstanding the
ravages committed upon them by time and earthquakes. These always appear
above the level of irrigated land, as if intended wisely to avoid the
reach of marsh effluvia, so eminently pernicious to the health of the

We arrived in good time at Caballeros, distant six leagues from Lima,
and slept very soundly, in defiance of the ceaseless barking of dogs,
tinkling of mules’ bells, and noisy chattering of negroes. On the morning
following we started at an early hour, with a hope that before the sun
came out in his strength we might get over the parched ground of the
Rio-Seco. From the heights of this hill-bound recess,—so dreary to the
eye, gloomy to the imagination, and everywhere strewed with blanched
bones and skeletons of wearied, foundered, and famished animals, left
here to perish,—there opens suddenly and at once on the traveller’s
delighted vision an unexpected view of the irrigated enclosures of the
village of Yanga, close to the winding river, whose banks are clothed in
vivid verdure, and garnished with trees always shady and evergreen.

From this cheering eminence, in times of the greatest misrule, the
traveller can indulge in the delightful feeling of security, as he casts
a backward glance over the dark furnace of the Rio Seco, so appropriate
for the infernal deeds of banditti for which it is celebrated, and then
descends in good spirits to Alcacota and Yanga, congratulating himself on
having got safely through a desolate and perilous route, where wayfarers
are often plundered and abused, and, when they offer inefficient
resistance, sacrificed and murdered.

Two leagues higher than Yanga are the church and ruins of Santa Rosa de
Quive, overlooking the only habitable house of this stage, (a sort of
_tambo_ or tavern,) by the banks of a mountain torrent which descends
to join the main river of the valley, from the high hills on the right,
through an intersecting ravine. In the arid season on the upland, it is
nearly dried up; but, in the wet, its turbid waters roll with impetuous
course, hurling immense round stones along their channel, and sending
forth sounds that may be heard by the traveller at the tambo,—telling him
he cannot ford the stream till the river lowers, but must cross a bad
bridge of pieces of timber with some earth and sticks, laid over a narrow
part of the ravine, considerably higher up than the usual ford.

On the opposite side of this stream is Santa Rosa; here are several
houses overlooking a small wooded plain between it and the main river,
where men are always employed in cutting and charring wood, which is sent
to Lima, fourteen leagues distant. The disease which the natives call
_Uta_, a species of cancer well known among chimney-sweeps in England,
prevails in this place. We have also seen here the most severe ague,
originating at the season when it rains _in the hills_ of the Cordillera
(for here it never rains), and when the torrent alluded to inundates, and
overspreads with large stones, sand, and slime, the flat ground near its

Four leagues higher up than Santa Rosa is a place called Yaso, once a
flourishing hacienda, with a garden where lucumas, pacays, guayavas, and
sour oranges are still seen; but where, in place of a flourishing estate,
there are now but a few huts of cane and hurdles, partially bedaubed with
mud, and furnished with open corridors, under which the muleteers and
travellers stretch themselves to sleep: but as lucern is scarce, and as
there is no natural pasture, few choose to pass the night here; though
many call for a glass of _chicha_, or country beer made from maize, to
quench their thirst while resting here at noon, when the sun is reflected
powerfully from the towering and naked hills around.

The river water being always turbid in time of inland rains, the
traveller is tempted to drink of a pure and crystalline stream that here
issues from the rock; but the good-natured inmate of some wretched hut
warns him of his danger, and assures him, if he drink that water, he
will be seized with the severe disease called verrugas, or a painful
warty eruption, peculiar to certain quebradas; and Yaso, it may be kept
in mind, is one of the localities subject to this sore visitation.
A couple of leagues still higher up the “quebrada,” or glen, is the
resting-place—Huaramayo; a little green spot, with a few neat huts
surrounded with plots of lucern, and many rugged fragments from the
neighbouring steeps.

We observed that one of these humble dwellings, made of mud, cane, and
wicker, was thatched with a sort of living lichen; a simple style of
architecture, which of itself tells us that here the climate is still dry
and warm, and the place sheltered from rude winds or storms.

We have seen the cottager, who occupied the hut immediately at the foot
of the arduous ascent which here commences, look with indescribable
complacency as we, from his little corridor, gazed up in admiration at
beholding the rain pour in torrents a few hundred yards above us, while
his own snug retreat was hardly reached by a gentle sprinkling, which
a Limenian would call “_agua bendita_,” or holy water, which imparted
softness and salubrity to the air, and gave longevity to the aged inmate
of the cottage.

This now bent and year-worn, but still active and lively octogenarian,
was in his youth a shoemaker in Lima; and being attacked with hæmoptysis,
or spitting of blood, and pronounced incurable by the doctors, he sought
for the benefit to be derived from change of climate, and found, after
repeated trials, that as often as he returned to Lima his disease of
the lungs was renewed, but again removed as often as he arrived at this
elfin abode, twenty leagues from the capital. For these good reasons he
resolved to settle here, a favoured site where even ague is unknown; and
had, when we saw him, already attained a ripe yet energetic old age.

Were this spot a spacious plain like Glen-Rimac, enjoying the climate
which it now does, it would be as calm and bright and beauteous as a
druidical paradise, and we might even conceive how man might live in such
a climate and on such a soil to an antediluvian measure of years.

From Yanga to Huaramayo, the glen through which lies the road to Cerro
Pasco by Canta is extremely narrow and confined, except at Santa Rosa,
where it is somewhat more open. The way often recedes from, though it is
generally in sight of, the bed of the river; and is bound in on each side
by lofty and sterile granite mountains, which, on the left side of the
river as we ascend, are frequently intersected with narrow, perpendicular
veins that arise from the level of the water to the very summit of
the mountain, and, from the road, present a ferruginous appearance,
suggesting the idea of grand conductors of the electric fluid. It is only
by continued irrigation that the few patches and strips of soil, which
at this distance here and there relieve the tedium of a rugged way, are
compelled to throw forth their vegetable luxuriance.

At Huaramayo the temperature is intermediate between that of Sierra
and the coast; and, as in the warm inland valleys in the centre of the
Andes, so here, in a region of corresponding benignancy on the western
acclivity of the same great mountain pile, we have the tree called molle,
or mulli, in abundance along the river’s edge. This tree is much prized
as fuel; and the sugar-refiners of the interior use the ashes from it,
in preference to those from any other wood, on account of their higher
alkaline properties, and consequent efficiency in purifying the cane
juice while being boiled down to a proper consistence to be cast in
moulds. The Inca tribe, as we learn from Garcilaso de la Vega,[26] made
a highly valued and medicinal beer, which some of the Indians of the
interior still occasionally prepare, from the clusters of small-grained
fruit that hang gracefully and abundantly from this pretty tree. We
have said that the climate here corresponds to that of the warm central
valleys of the Andes; but though analogous in several respects, yet
there is this marked difference, that at Huaramayo, and other headlands
like Huaramayo, as, for example, Surco, on the San Mateo route to the
Sierra from Lima, there is neither winter nor summer, but one perpetual
spring. It does not rain here for several months in the year, as in the
more inland vales; but it agrees with them in being out of the sphere of
frosts, and exempted from the raw fogs and sultry heat of the coast. At
Surco, Huaramayo, and other similar localities in narrow glens extending
from the coast to the Cordilleras, the sun appears to rise late and to
set early, for it is only for a few hours in the middle of the day that
it shines strongly between the perpendicular and lofty hills of the
valley; and the mid-day heat arising from the powerful reflection of
the sun’s rays on the bare rocks is succeeded by a cool and agreeable
evening. Here then the atmospherical currents of mountains and coast
meet and neutralize each other,—the extremes of both disappear: and
the result is a delicious climate for the convalescent, whose tender
organs require a gentle uniform temperature, alike removed from the
extremes of heat and cold, dryness and moisture; and he who has the
precaution or prudence to keep in the shade while the sun crosses the
vale in the middle of the day, may, in truth, enjoy undisturbed all the
curative qualities of a delightful and renovating temperature. With this
important fact the delicate inhabitants of Lima are perfectly acquainted,
and they are accustomed to resort to the cabezadas, or headlands of
valleys, where these verge on the joint air of mountains and coast; as,
for example, Matucana, the favourite resting-place of phthisical and
hæmoptic individuals, who find themselves obliged to retire from the
capital, in order to recover health by visiting those celebrated sites
of convalescence—Tarma and Jauja.

Close to Huaramayo, and by the old line of road, begin the steep ascents
called the Paxaron, because of the number of paroquets always seen about
this place. The path along their acclivity is narrow, fatiguing, and
precipitous, to very near the village of Obrajillo, a distance of several
leagues. On the airy hill-tops, that overlook this way and the ravine
below it, are several villages which are only to be approached by a
zigzag and arduous track; and hereabouts, if anywhere on the Canta route,
are to be seen examples of the terrific in scenery, for those whose eyes
are unaccustomed to the native ruggedness of bold and alpine regions.
A young gentleman of our acquaintance, who was familiar with nothing
but downs and lawns, was affected at the steeps of the Paxaron with a
giddiness that, for some time after, disordered his imagination; and we
have seen travellers clash at the worst passes with no small risk in the
encounter, where the moving party on the outer verge of the declivity
was obliged, for want of room, to brush rudely against the other party
standing still on the higher and safer side of the road: and here too,
when a weak or weary beast trips, the rider is in danger of toppling over
the brink; and the want of parapets makes the road all but impracticable
in a dark night.

Canta and Obrajillo are situated in the same opening among the mountains:
the latter is entirely the residence of muleteers, whose strong and
active women share in the labours of the field; while Canta, on an
eminence, is a provincial town, and the seat of a governorship.

The village of Obrajillo is built in a sort of irregular hollow near the
bed of a small river, surrounded by arable hills receding and expanding
as they rise towards the loftier summits, and therefore affording better
ventilation than is to be found in any part of the valley between this
and Yanga.

From Yanga to Huaramayo, the hills, as we formerly stated, are doomed to
perpetual sterility, and are all unacquainted with the genial influence
of dew or rain; but across the summits of the Paxaron we meet with
footsteps of that plentiful herbage, with which, at Canta and Obrajillo,
the straths and steeps are richly covered.

As Canta is considered a sort of hospital for the ailing people from
Lima, it may be proper to remark, that in a medical point of view, it is
invested with a great deal of interest, and that it is built on a hill
whose base skirts the village of Obrajillo; while, from the plaza of the
lower village to the higher town, the ascent is no more than about thirty
minutes’ walk. Canta, however, is considered to enjoy a far purer air
than Obrajillo; and, as it is only twenty-five leagues from the capital,
the hectic, phthisical, and slowly convalescent Limenians, are wont to
prefer this to remoter districts. By the people of Obrajillo and Canta,
alfalfa, or lucern, is everywhere cultivated near the river and in their
little enclosures, and the surrounding hills are covered with pasture:
the lower declivities and gentle slopes produce good crops of wheat,
beans, potatoes, maize, &c.

Here the culen is one of the most common shrubs, and the natives make
a tea of its leaves which is deemed an excellent stomachic. During
the wet season flowers and flowering shrubs are spread abroad with
liberal profusion; but the trees are too few to supply the wants of the
inhabitants, whose houses are therefore constructed at great trouble;
being obliged to convey timber from distant places and deep ravines. The
stone or adobe walls and thatched roofs of the small villages or pueblos
of the Sierra characterize, with only one exception, the buildings of
Obrajillo. The dwelling-houses are employed for stowing potatoes, maize,
and whatever eatables the residents may be blessed with; and, when the
family retire to rest, most of them lie down on sheep-skins wherever they
can find room in their disorderly apartments. We need hardly observe that
every traveller on these roads must carry with him his own blanket or
ponchos to repose on at night.

At Obrajillo there are in all about sixty families; and we saw a
maudlin school-master among them with only six pupils, whom he taught,
_sub Jove_, in an open corral.[27] He was looked upon as a _savant_
by the villagers, some of whom found him useful in drawing up their
accounts; and we observed that he spoke about the zoology of Aristotle
when a friend of ours displayed his more practical zeal and science in
collecting and preserving specimens of ornithology, in search of which
he frequently waded the river, gun in hand; and a pretty sight it was to
see the delicately plumaged diving ducks exhibit wonderful agility, in
passing the most foaming rapids. This village of arrieros, or muleteers,
is about half-way between Lima and that great source of mineral wealth
the Cerro Pasco. From the capital to the Cerro a rider on a good
traveller will arrive in four days without injury to himself or beast,
and this is considered good work; but we have known the journey from
the Cerro to Lima performed in about fifty hours: this again is a work
of over-exertion for the man, who is very likely to incapacitate one or
perhaps two animals in the undertaking. It may be said, in general, that
on a rough and hilly road a league an hour is a fair rate of travelling
for a fresh beast on any ordinary journey in the interior of Peru.

The traveller cannot have any dealing with the muleteers without
discovering that he is entirely in their power; and that they will
furnish him no cattle for his journey, unless he pay them money on
account, or “adelantado,” beforehand. Of course he will have to advance
some part of the mule-hire before he can budge on another man’s beast;
but he should not be ignorant of the Peruvian rule on such occasions,
which is, to suspect every man to be a cheat till very certain of the
contrary,—a rule which is entirely indispensable. Acting upon the
opposite English precept,—to believe every man honest till we find him
a rogue,—we were once cheated by the military commandant of Junin,
who, being paid “adelantado” for two beasts for the next morning’s
journey, furnished one of them with only three legs, the fourth being so
contracted that it could not reach the ground. He maintained—and, as he
was the first authority in the place, he did so successfully—that as he
only agreed to provide two beasts, without respect to quality, he would
neither replace the lame nag, nor return our dollars.

The arrieros with cargoes usually take nine or ten days, and sometimes
more, from Lima to Pasco, as they make short stages, consulting the
ease of their cattle and convenience of lucern or pasture; and at
Obrajillo they commonly rest a day at least, to refresh or perhaps relay
some of their cattle, before they proceed to brave the toils of the
Cordillera. From Obrajillo to Culluai, a small village near the foot
of the Cordillera, there are three leagues; and the road leads through
a rock-bound passage by the course of a river with a rugged bottom and
ruffled stream. There are one or two bad passes to be surmounted in
this part of the journey, from the summit of one of which a panting pony
laden with part of our baggage once fell over, and broke his neck in the
fall. This narrow quebrada or break, is not destitute of interest to the
botanist; as in the rainy season, amongst the interspaces of the stones
and crags, flowering shrubs of considerable beauty and variety present
themselves: indeed, the highest Cordillera entrances are not without
their hardy flowers amid the shelves of the rocks. We may remark that,
between the cliffs in the neighbourhood of Culluai, may be seen samples
of those tiers of gardens, built up one above the other on the face of
the acclivity, to which we alluded in our preceding chapter, “on the
general features of the Sierra,” as surviving proofs of the industry of
the ancient Peruvians.

At this same altitude many susceptible persons begin to feel
inconvenience from the rarefaction of the atmosphere, and from want of
provision for the stomach, if they happen not to have their own alforjas,
or saddle-bags, properly provided with necessaries for the journey. It
is only in the _puna_ and table-lands that meat is sure to be had, with,
perhaps, potatoes and cancha or toasted maize; but, should the traveller
ask for any thing else, he is told “Manam cancha”—there is none.

Between Culluai on one side, and Casacancha, an estancia with a mean
hut or two, on the other side of the Cordillera, the distance is five
leagues; and about a league or more from Culluai we begin to ascend by
the Viuda, or Widow, a towering mountain that stands out as it were
apart from the other great masses that at this point group together to
form a portion of the great Western Cordillera: and it may be sometimes
convenient to know, that on the right-hand side of the Viuda, as we
ascend the road that winds round its flank, there is concealed in a
recess close to the line of snow the Indian hamlet of Yantac.[28] Before
the arriero attempts to ascend the Cordillera, he anoints, as we have
seen him do, his cattle over the eyes and on the forehead with an unguent
made of tallow, garlic, and wild marjoram, as a preventive against what
he calls the veta; attributing the effects of atmospherical rarefaction
to a subterraneous _veta_, or vein of a noxious ore or metal, which,
he believes, diffuses in the air of the cold summits and heights its
mephitic and poisonous particles.

The Cordillera crossed at noon, and in dry weather, is a grand sight.
When we first crossed it the sun was out in full blaze; and, though the
mountains of snow lay on every side of our way, we felt quite warm, but
we observed that in the shade the cold was very chilling.

It was to us peculiarly exhilarating to gaze on so many snowy monuments
reflected in all their sublimity from the green waters of the lakes
beneath, thickly thronged with sportive ducks and cormorants. These
reservoirs of rain and melted snow, which here and there challenge
the traveller’s admiration, are like so many appropriate mirrors,
successively disclosed to the eye among the concavities and basins that
separate the majestic heads of the hoary Andes.

In a neighbouring and far grander part of the Cordillera, to which on
another occasion we clambered by a narrow, rocky, and steep path, we
were caught in a sudden fall of thick mist, which at once unrolled its
folds, and threw over the broad light of a clear and frosty morning the
dark obscurity of night. This transition was accompanied by no thunder
or lightning, or sensible commotion of any kind; and after the darkness
continued a few minutes, on looking upwards towards the firmament a
scantling of rays began to shoot from among the clouds, and a certain
though ill-defined body of light could be distinguished as the centre
whence those rays seemed to emanate, when, in an instant after, the peak
of a mountain—a crystallized pyramid of snow—glistened to view, and shone
in the fullest blaze of brilliancy. With such celerity did the cloudy
curtain drop and vanish on the face of the deep dark lake of Pomacocha,
that the whole scene appeared but as a vision of enchantment.

But to return: we safely crossed the last rib of the Cordillera, and
descended into the plain of Casacancha, where we did not stop, but
pressed forward three leagues beyond this common halting-place to
take up our night’s quarters at Palcomayo, another common stage or
resting-place for travellers on this unprovided though much frequented

But we had not left Casacancha far behind, when one of our
fellow-travellers experienced the most distressing headache: his face
became turgid, the temporal arteries throbbed with violence, the
respiration was difficult, and it seemed to him as if the chest was
too narrow for its contents. The other gentleman complained less; it
was only a vexatious headache that disturbed him, but his eyes were
blood-shot. The writer was still differently affected from either of
his fellow-travellers. His headache was moderate; but his extremities
soon became quite cold as the sun declined; the skin shrank, and then
came on a sense of sickness and oppression about the stomach and heart,
with a short, hurried, and panting respiration. His kind associates on
this occasion forgot their own ailments in attending to his more urgent
wants. They had him carefully wrapped in warm sheep-skins, which formed
the usual bedding of the poor Indian family within, and renovated his
strength by a cordial basin of hot tea. In this manner, and immersed at
the time in the pungent smoke that filled the whole hut, the natural
warmth of the extremities and surface was soon restored, so that he
became comparatively easy, and passed a better night than either of his
two obliging friends.

The servant intrusted with the cargo-mule dropped behind; and not being
acquainted with the route, or able to keep sight of us, he went off the
road, wandered into a neighbouring valley, Caraguacayan, and did not
appear till morning. The gentlemen alluded to had, therefore, to shift
for the night as less provided travellers usually do. Their _alforjas_
(saddle-bags) served them as pillows, their _pellons_ and saddle-cloths
for beds, and their _ponchos_ as their best covering. They thus lay
cooped up on the floor of a dirty little hovel, too small to allow them
to stretch their limbs without risk of burning their toes in the hot
ashes around the fire-place. The sharp wind pierced through a hundred
crevices of the rude wall, and was ill excluded from the low and narrow
door-way by a tattered sheep-skin fitted with thongs into a hurdle-frame.

Restless, chirping guinea-pigs—constant inmates of every wretched
hut,—persevered during the early part of the night in a bold attack on
our bread magazines; pulling at our wallets, placed under our heads, and
nibbling at their contents with a degree of boldness and fearlessness
which we believe hunger only could inspire. These assailants had scarcely
left us to repose in the silence of night, when the wakeful cock from a
chink in the wall (originally occupied by an image or household saint)
began his repeated crowing at unmeasured periods till well on towards
grey morning, when all were in motion: the shepherd rounded his flock,
guarded all night against the hostility of the fox and other enemies by
the faithful dogs inseparable from the sheep; the muleteer shook himself
in his poncho, and went to collect his mules; and the housewife left her
sheep and llama-skin bed, and commenced her daily task of boiling the
caldo, or soup, for breakfast, and smoking her guests from their uneasy

With so many incitements to bestir ourselves, we were glad to turn out
and breathe the fresh air, while things were getting ready for our
departure on a fresh day’s journey, with only a headache left for our
common annoyance.

The writer had frequent occasion afterwards to cross this same part of
the Cordillera, and, profiting by his first lesson, he took care always
to start early in the morning on his day’s journey, so as to arrive early
in the evening at his quarters for the night. He got refreshment, and
turned into bed as soon as possible after his arrival; and took care
that he slept warm and dry. By thus avoiding cold and wet, which check
perspiration and overload the deep-seated blood-vessels, he ever after on
this route avoided the Cordillera sickness.

More than once we have witnessed the most affecting scenes of moaning
and suffering, without the additional misery of the veta, when some wet
and cold traveller arrived at Casacancha[29] at a late hour, and threw
down as his couch his already half-soaked pellon on a damp mud floor, or
earthen bench, and covered himself up for the night with his drenched
ponchos. In the morning, a traveller so circumstanced may find his
ponchos half-frozen over him; and when he arises, and looks out, he often
sees the plain covered with snow which has locked up the herbage from the
reach of the shivering cattle that stand fettered on the plain.

On these roads, especially at a season when there is reason to expect
foul weather, it is best that the traveller should make use of a beast
hired of the arriero, who is far more likely to take care of his own
mule than of one belonging to another owner, and men are not always to
be had to watch cattle let loose in these high pastures at night. The
cold is almost sure to scare homeward any animal not seasoned to it; so
that, if the cattle be left to themselves, a traveller in the morning may
be disappointed by their escape, and unable to proceed on his journey.
The arrieros usually encamp for the night wherever it best suits their
cattle in the “_puna_,” near the huts of Casacancha or Palcomayo, and
are so accustomed to it that they lie and slumber sweetly we will not
say, but soundly enough, among bits of sheep-skin and _jerga_, or woollen
sweating-cloths used to protect the backs and shoulders of the cattle,
under whose “_aparejos_,” or pads, placed standing on the ground, they
creep in and find shelter for the night; but in such lodgings no one of
acute olfactory nerves could possibly be induced to remain for a minute.

From Palcomayo to Cerro Pasco is a roughly computed distance of fourteen
or fifteen leagues, over hilly and frigid pasture-grounds, named “puna;”
or over “pampas,” like the plains of Bombon, through part of which the
road passes. This journey can rarely be performed in one day without
inconvenience to man and beast, and therefore it is usually divided; and
the traveller may put up at the village of Hualliay, or the hacienda
of Diezmo,—each of these places being about seven leagues from Cerro
Pasco, and separated from one another by a range of low hills, and some
very remarkable-looking rocks, near the entrance into the table-land of
Bombon, which are usually covered with cattle and fleecy flocks.

The higher, and, it is said, the shorter route from Palcomayo, is that by
Hualliay, but it is fenny, and only practicable in the dry season; the
other route by Diezmo, though somewhat longer, is the safest and best,
and is usually followed by the arriero. By either direction, rivers are
to be passed, deep and dark in times of flood. By the Hualliay way the
ride is rendered interesting on account of the frequently-heard whistle
of the vicuña, keeping watch over his fellows and giving warning of the
traveller’s approach, when the whole herd leave their pasturage and bound
away to more inaccessible heights. Geese, too, are very numerous; and
there is a lake to be passed which is the favourite resort of the elegant
flamingos. To see a flock of them upon wing is a magnificent sight.


    Account of another route between Pasco and Lima, by Junin,
    Huaypacha, Pucara, Tucto.—Mines of Antacona, Casapalca,
    Pomacancha, San Mateo, San Juan de Matucana, Surco, Cocachacra,
    Santa Ana, and lastly, Chaclacayo.—Enumeration of a series
    of rocks, as they appear in succession from the pass of the
    Cordillera to the entrance into the Vale of Rimac.

The most frequented route between Lima and Pasco is that which we have
described in the foregoing chapter; but, before we offer any particular
account of Cerro Pasco, we may hastily run over the road which is
sometimes taken from this place to the capital during the heavy falls of
the periodical rains in the inland mountains, when several of the rivers
on the road by Canta are deep and dangerous rapids. This route across a
pass of the Cordillera at Tucto, near Yauli, is occasionally preferred,
as being shorter than the post-road by Tarma.

The traveller, who starts at an early hour from Cerro Pasco, passes
by the villages of Old Pasco and Carhuamayo, and arrives in good time
at the village of Junin, or Reyes. The ride is mostly by the lake of
Chinchaycocha, and on pampa or nearly level ground. From Junin, he,
on his second day’s journey, which is only counted as seven leagues,
traverses the spacious plain of the same name, so justly memorable in
the annals of South American independence, till he reaches that swampy
ground, and crosses the very defile, where, in the year 1824, the
Patriots were charged by the Spanish cavalry; and now, leaving this
field of glory behind, he crosses to Huaypacha along a hilly pastoral
district, with scarcely any regular footpath,—a circumstance which often
renders a guide necessary. The silver ore of Huaypacha is too poor in
the present day to allow its mines to be worked with spirit. Here the
principal metalliferous works are on the mine estate of Olevegoya and
the well-informed Don Miguel Otero; where also a considerable portion of
alcaser, or green barley, is raised as fodder for the cattle employed
at the works. The entrance into Huaypacha is highly picturesque, from
the striking configuration of the limestone rocks in which the silver is
deposited, and which overhang and everywhere surround this neat mining

From Huaypacha we cross the river Jauja, over a soga-bridge of the same
sort of materials with another at Oroya formerly described.[30] The
next day’s ride, of about the same length with the preceding, is made
over hilly pasture-ground to Tucto by Pucara,—the latter place, now in
ruins, being once a famous mining establishment belonging to Don Pedro
Arriarte, the great miner of Peru. At Tucto several Indian huts, and some
of them of ridiculously small dimensions, are to be seen near the road;
but lower down, and situated near a lake at the base of the Cordillera,
is a mining estate in good order, though its mines in these latter times
have proved ruinous to the miner. The soil around this estate is of a
yellowish tint, and is said to abound in gold (a gold mine being also
close to the house); and the stones by the road-side are, in numerous
instances, covered with crusts of iron pyrites, which impart to them a
beautiful appearance, such as, in the imagination of many unacquainted
with mineralogy, may serve to give a very flattering idea of the golden
treasure of this place.

On the heights of Tucto, to the extent of about half a league along the
Cordillera, the surrounding rocks appear like vast masses of rusty iron,
which, however, when a specimen is taken up and broken, presents the
character of porphyry; but, as we proceed onward towards the summit of
the Cordillera, no rocks are to be seen on the acclivity along which we
travel, except we look high up, where, in form of mouldering projections,
they rise amidst the débris which covers this part of the Cordillera
down to the verge of the lakes beneath. The mule-road is a sort of track
across the flank of this mass of loose and shuffling fragments, which
consist of porphyry, and extend a considerable way towards Antacona, or
the ruins of a mining village so called, on the very highest ridge of
this mountain-pass. From the extent of the vestiges of industry still
remaining, and the ruins of human dwellings seen among the weather-beaten
cliffs, we may infer that these mines, like many others, abandoned for
want of proper hydraulic machinery, at one time yielded useful metals and
rich returns. On the Antacona side of the pass there is no appearance
of permanent snow, for here, as on the plains, though it fall, it soon
melts away; but just opposite, parallel to the line of road, and only
separated by a marshy hollow in which several little lakes are contained,
there are mountains or summits perpetually covered with snow of great
depth, and the marsh and lakes just mentioned are supplied by rills which
descend from the snow. At the mouths of the mines of Antacona, which are
interspersed among rocks of porphyry or porphyritic green-stone, a great
quantity of rubbish, extracted at a remote period from under ground, is
to be seen. Among this rubbish there appears a large quantity of iron
pyrites with quartz, and there is also a considerable quantity of loose
calcareous matter separated from the ore by partial decomposition. We may
mention that the famous mine of Alpamina, wrought in the present day in
this vicinity, is embedded in a matrix of limestone.

Having descended some way from the cross on the highest point of the pass
of Antacona, the surrounding rock (probably a variety of porphyry) has a
reddish appearance, and is continued for a considerable distance to the
village of Casapalca; and the soil also, at this part of the way, is of
the same colour with the rock. We may likewise remark, that about the
road-side, and in the river or mountain-stream, which is derived from
the contribution of the numberless rivulets issuing from the heights,
we see for the distance of about two leagues numerous large and small
pudding-stones of the same reddish appearance.

Casapalca, distant by common reckoning two long leagues from Tucto, is
now considered as a village or pueblo, though it appears to have been
originally merely a mining establishment. Here the attention is arrested
by a pretty cascade, which, making a great perpendicular descent, is
received into the interior of a jutting rock; and, after a subterranean
passage of some extent, the concealed waters reappear, and in a gentle
stream descend to join the river. From the foot of the Cordillera to
Casapalca the llama thrives on the pasture, which it appears to find
sweetest within a short distance of the snow-line.

From Casapalca to the next village below it, called Pomacancha or
Chicle, there are two leagues of good road; and here green barley may
be sometimes had to feed the hungry cattle, that are often nearly
famished by the time they have arrived this far, after having crossed the

From Chicle to San Mateo, a distance of three leagues, there are
two roads,—one by a famous steep or cuesta, and the other through a
picturesque but rugged ravine along the windings of the river,—both
of which we took notice of in describing the general features of the
Sierra. San Mateo is a muleteer village like that of Obrajillo already
described, and very much resembles it in climate and productions, though
the temperature of the air may be a little colder here than at Obrajillo.

In crossing by the high mountain-path from Chicle to San Mateo, we
observed that where the ascent commences on the higher side, or that
nearest the Cordillera, the rock at the base of the mountain consists of
porphyry; but, as we ascend the great cuesta, the precipice assumes the
character of porphyritic green-stone. At the base of the descent on the
lower, or San Mateo side of the mountain, there is by the road-side a
projection of rock which has the appearance of mica-slate, but of which
none of our travellers took up a specimen; as by this time the day was
far gone, and both men and cattle were fatigued, and anxious to reach the
lodgings for the night in time to provide convenient accommodation.

From San Mateo to the next stage, or the village of San Juan de Matucana,
the distance is four very long leagues, mostly through a narrow and
rock-bound ravine.

About a quarter of a league below San Mateo, green-stone rock discovers
itself by the way-side; and, soon after we pass this crag, we cross
the first of three bridges that are thrown over the river within the
distance of little more than half a league between the first and last,
on account of the narrowness of the ravine, that sometimes on the one
side, sometimes on the other, hardly leaves space for a mule-road. Before
crossing, in our descent, the first bridge, the rock is of limestone;
but, on having at this place passed the water to the opposite side, the
rock which presents itself is trap, and it continues nearly all the way
from the first to the third or lowest bridge, where we meet with quartz,
rising in very perpendicular and lofty masses. The rafters of the bridge
rest on a projecting part of this towering cliff on the one side, and on
the other on a corresponding projection of a formidable hill of porphyry
opposed to it.

The next variety of rock is one of trap formation; it appears about
half-way between San Mateo and Matucana, and throws off a great quantity
of fragments of a slaty appearance. On the lower side it is flanked by a
hill of porphyritic green-stone, which continues to within half a league
of Matucana. This mass also throws off an immense quantity of débris.
The porphyritic green-stone is followed by trachyte porphyry, the rock
of which commences a short way above the village of Matucana, or San
Juan de Matucana; but, before the junction of these rocks takes place,
the road-way is intersected by a wedge or angle composed of syenetic
green-stone, or porphyry with actynolite.

Having left Matucana (which is a considerable village enjoying a mild
atmosphere, with some open ground around it,) for Surco, two or three
leagues lower down, porphyry continues all the distance between these two
villages. It throws off large fragments or masses, that nearly block up
the road and bed of the river.

Surco is a small village, which possesses the temperature of Yaso on
the Canta road; and, like it, is notorious for its waters producing the
disease called verrugas, or warty excrescences. From Surco to a league
and a half, or thereabouts, below it, we have trachyte porphyry; and,
as we ride along, it becomes gradually coarser-grained, till each grain
at length appears as large as a hazel-nut. It is succeeded by felspar
porphyry, which extends along the side of the ravine in which we travel
to the extent of about two leagues and a half, or a league below the
village called Cocachacra, situated three leagues lower down the river
or ravine than Surco. Cocachacra, within twelve leagues of the capital,
is surrounded by fruit-trees; and here the traveller may recline at his
ease in the grateful shade, while refreshment may be procured for man and

From one league below Cocachacra we have syenite extending the distance
of half a league by our way. It is followed by syenetic granite, and
continues for some distance with a varying aspect, till it runs gradually
into the coarse granite, which also appears in large loose blocks heaped
on the face of the naked mountains between Saint Ana and Chaclacayo as we
enter the headland of the Vale of Rimac.

The above-named villages of Chaclacayo (six leagues from the city),
Cocachacra, Surco, Matucana, and San Mateo, afford successive stages,
and gradations of changes of air and climate to invalids from Lima,
who are too enfeebled, or otherwise find it not convenient, to proceed
beyond San Mateo, or to cross the Cordillera by Yauli for Tarma, nineteen
leagues to the north-east of San Mateo.


[1] In Piura the temperature of the air, in summer, ranges from 80°
to 96°, and in winter from 70° to 81°, Fahrenheit. The sea-breeze, or
southerly wind, which commences to be felt about ten o’clock in the
forenoon, is here hailed as the messenger of health by the natives, who
are never visited by any sweeping and fatal epidemics.

[2] Lima is situated in lat. 12° 2´ south, and long. 76° 58´ west. It
stands six or seven miles inland from its sea-port of Callao, and the
more elevated part of the city is about five hundred feet above the level
of the sea. It has frequently suffered from earthquakes, which are very
common; and one of the most remarkable occurred in the year 1828. Houses
of one story have their walls usually composed of sun-burnt bricks called
_adobes_; but, that they may be better able to resist the shocks to which
they are so often exposed, they are principally constructed, when of more
than one story high, of wood and cane: the whole work, inside and out,
being plastered over with clay, and white-washed or painted.

[3] The Rimac divides the city of Lima from its suburbs of San Lazaro,
and has over it an excellent bridge close to the palace. This bridge,
accommodated with recesses and seats, is greatly resorted to in fine
evenings. The young ladies of the metropolis, in their imposing evening
party or tertulia attire and decoration, are fond, in times of public
tranquillity, to saunter to the bridge on moonlight nights, and there to
breathe the pure air of mountain and sea blended and eddying as it gives
freshness to the pale cheek, and, in its cool and circling current, wafts
fragrance from the choice flowers at this social hour gracefully wreathed
around the Rimac beauties’ heads.

[4] We shall have, by and by, further occasion to speak of Amencaes,
where there grows a handsome yellow flower of the same name, which on the
first approach of slight showers and vapours, at the commencement of the
wet season on the coast, is the pioneer of vegetation; as the primrose,
in our own glens, presages the returning verdure of spring.

[5] The proportion which the different sexes, castes, and conditions, &c.
of the inhabitants of Lima bore to one another in the year 1818, may be
learned from the subjoined summary taken from the census of Juan Baso,

  | Summary of Men | Summary of  | Gen.  |  Summary of   |     Summary    |
  |    by Castes.  |   Men by    | amt.  |   Women by    |    of Women    |
  |                |   Wards.    | of the|    Wards.     |    by Castes.  |
  |                |             | whole.|               |                |
  |Secular         |1st Ward 6841|       |  7975 Ward 1st|  9455 Secular  |
  |  Spaniards 8406|             |       |               |       Spanish  |
  |                |             |       |               |       women.   |
  |                |             |       |               |                |
  |Priests and     |2nd Id.  5882| 27,545|  6090  —   2nd|   506 Nuns.    |
  |  Friars    1331|             |       |               |                |
  |                |             |       |               |                |
  |Mestizoes   2660|3rd Id.  6389|       |  7420  —   3rd|  3262 Mestiza  |
  |                |             |       |               |       women.   |
  |                |             |       |               |                |
  |Indians     1561|4th Id.  3512| 26,553|  4756  —   4th|  1731 Indian   |
  |                |             |       |               |       women.   |
  |                |             |       |               |                |
  |                |Cercado,     |       |               |                |
  |Free Negroes    | the higher  |       |               |  7715 Black and|
  | and Pardos 4220| part of  259|    —  |   312 Cercado |       swarthy  |
  |                | the city    |       |               |       free     |
  |                | so called   |       |               |       women.   |
  |                |             |       |               |                |
  |Id. slaves  4705|In wards 4662|    —  |   —           |  3884 Id.      |
  |                |             |       |               |       slaves.  |
  |          ------|       ------| ------|------         |------          |
  |          22,883|       27,545| 54,098|26,553         |26,553          |

To convey a more particular idea of the different races of people in
Lima, as these are divided and subdivided, and change in colour by
intermixing with one another, we shall add tables on the subject, given
by Dr. Unanue, in his work titled “Observaciones sobre el clima de Lima.”

    |   Intermarriages.    | Offspring. | Colour. |      Mixture.        |
    |  Men.   |  Women.    |            |         |                      |
    |European | European   |  Creole    |  White  |          —           |
    |Creole   | Creole     |  Creole    |  White  |          —           |
    |White    | Indian     |  Mestizoe  |  White  |          —           |
    |White    | Mestiza    |  Creole    |  White  |          —           |
    |White    | Negress    |  Mulatto   |    —    | 1/2 negro, 1/2 white.|
    |White    | Mulatta    |  Quarteron |    —    | 1/4 negro, 3/4 white.|
    |White    | Quarterona |  Quinteron |    —    | 1/8 negro, 7/8 white.|
    |White    | Quinterona |  White     |    —    |          —           |
    |Negro    | Indian     |  Chino     |    —    |          —           |

The same author gives the following as the retrograde intermarriages, by
which the offspring are of a more dingy appearance, and made to recede
more and more from white, which he takes as the standard primitive colour.

       Marriages.            Offspring.           Colour.

    Negro,   Negress,       Negro.
    Negro,   Mulatta,       Zambo,          3/4 negro, 1/4 white.
    Negro,   Zamba,         Dark Zambo,     7/8 negro, 1/8 white.
    Negro,   Dark Zambo,    Negro,        15/16 negro, 1/16 white.
    Negro,   China,         Zambo.

[6] This idea is not founded on experience; for that the Indian women are
really good nurses is proved by the fact, that the offspring of European
fathers and Indian mothers,—viz. the Mestizo race,—are very robust.

[7] See Appendix, Art. Ecclesiastical Jubilee.

[8] This dress, peculiarly characteristic of Lima, is little known in
other parts of the country, if we except Truxillo. Captain Basil Hall in
his Journal, vol. i. p. 106, describes it very correctly. “This dress,”
says he, “consists of two parts, one called the saya, the other the
manto. The first is a petticoat, made to fit so tightly, that, being at
the same time quite elastic, the form of the limbs is rendered distinctly
visible. The manto, or cloak, is also a petticoat; but, instead of
hanging about the heels, as all honest petticoats ought to do, it is
drawn over the head, breast, and face; and is kept so close by the hands,
which it also conceals, that no part of the body, except one eye, and
sometimes only a small portion of one eye, is perceptible.”

We may observe that, though strange pranks are sometimes indulged in
under this disguise, yet it is considered, by those accustomed to it,
a convenient dress in itself, in a country where it is usual to hear
morning mass before there has been time to braid and adjust the hair,
which is sometimes so long as almost to reach the pretty foot and ancle.
It is therefore considered a convenience by women of every class, and
even of every age, to slip over their ordinary house-dress a saya and
manto when they desire to go to the street “tapada,” or with the head
and face covered with the thin silken petticoat or manto as described,
without being put to the trouble of appearing dressed in a more elegant
and formal manner, or after European fashion, as they do at evening
parties, or when they frequent places of public amusement,—as the theatre
or bull-ring, and promenade in calashes or carriages in their different
alamedas, or public walks. In allusion to the custom of going veiled in
the street, the true Limeña lady is agreeably characterized by their
common saying,

    En la calle, calladita;
    En la casa, señorita.

[9] The following lines, penned by an ancient Spanish poet, are so
exactly descriptive of Lima, as the paradise of women, that one might
imagine they had been written to describe it.

    “Aqui gobierna y siempre goberno
    Aquella reina que en la mar nacio.
    Aqui su cetro y su corona tiene
    Y desde aqui sus dadivas reparte,
    Aqui su ley y su poder mantiene
    Mucho mejor que en otra cualquier parte.”
    “Sobre una fresca y verde y grande vega
    La casa de esta reina esta asentada:
    Un rio al deredor toda la riega,
    De arboles la ribera esta sembrada,
    La sombra de los cuales al sol niega
    En el solsticio la caliente entrada;
    Los arboles estan llenos de flores
    Por do cantando van los ruiseñores.”

             _Rimas Antig. Castellanas._

[10] The ancient Indian temple of Pachacamac is situate about six leagues
from Lima on a sandy height, now deprived of irrigation, which overlooks
the delicious vale of Lurin. From this adoratory the sun is seen as he
sinks in majesty under the face of the ocean—when

    “O’er the hush’d deep the yellow beam he throws,
    Gilds the green wave, that trembles as it glows.”


[11] The yanacones usually possess from their employers a small piece of
land which they cultivate for their own use, and in return give to the
masters one or two days’ labour weekly for this holding of the estate
or farm. On other days they have a right to demand payment in money,
according to the current rate of wages in their district.

[12] The following very scholar-like inscription for the English
burial-ground, his countrymen owe to our accomplished and excellent
friend, Mr. Thomas Lance of Lima:—

    Degentes per hæc loca
    auspice suo Consule
    Belford Hinton Wilson,
    gratissimoque hujus Reipublicæ
    concessu et beneficio,
    è communibus copiis,
    Regiâ, censente Senatu, auctis munificentiâ,
    hoc Cœmeterium
    struxerunt, sacraveruntque,
    A. D. ——:
    ut, posthac,
    suæ gentis
    qui procul à patriâ, longinquâ hâc scilicet,
    sed amicissimâ terrâ,
    supremum obierint diem,
    spe fideque patrum innixi,
    in his sedibus

[13] See Appendix.

[14] See paper in vol. ii. of Mercurio Peruano for July 1791; and the
Inaugural Oration on opening the Anatomical Amphitheatre, inserted, for
February 1793, in vol. vii. of same work.

[15] Unanue, “Sobre el Clima de Lima,” p. 313.

[16] Sheriff John Wood, the gratuitous and philanthropic teacher of the
Sessional School of Edinburgh.

[17] Homer must have visited Lima, either in the body or in the mind,
when he penned those beautiful lines which so precisely describe it, and
are thus translated by Pope:

    Stern winter smiles on that auspicious clime:
    The fields are florid with unfading prime:
    From the bleak pole no winds inclement blow,
    Mould the round hail, or flake the fleecy snow;
    But from the breezy deep the blest inhale
    The fragrant murmurs of the western gale.

                  _Odyssey_, Book iv. l. 767.

[18] “Cruachan,” the loftiest mountain in Argyleshire, well known to
tourists in Scotland.

[19] By this embrace the victorious troops under General Bermudes forsook
his cause, and at once terminated hostilities by changing sides and
declaring themselves soldiers of Orbegoso and the republic, which they
ratified by embracing the troops that fled before them on the day of

[20] On the day a curate performs church service, he does not breakfast
until after mass.

[21] We say “Romish policy,” because on this subject St. Paul’s precept

    Quod si non se continent nubant.

[22] When the Spaniards took possession of Peru, the monarchy of the
Incas, according to the tradition of the Indians, ascended to an epoch of
about four centuries.

“That country had been, time immemorial, inhabited by scattered, rude,
and savage tribes, whose civilization originated from the austral
regions, among the people who inhabited the vicinity of the great lake
of Titicaca, in the district of Callao. These Indians were probably more
warlike, active, and intelligent than their neighbours; and as there is
scarcely any people who do not, either from pride or superstition, trace
themselves to a heavenly origin, so did the Peruvians relate, that there
once suddenly appeared among them a man and woman, whose aspect, dress,
and language inspired them with wonder and veneration. He called himself
Manco Capac, she Mama Oello; and they proclaimed themselves children of
the sun, whose worship and adoration they inculcated.”

“The kingdom remained in the line of their descendants, who were ever
regarded as the pure race of the sun; the princes marrying their sisters,
and the offspring of these unions being alone eligible to the throne.
From Manco to Huayna Capac they counted a succession of twelve princes,
who, partly by persuasion and partly by arms, extended their religion,
dominion, and laws, through the immense region which runs from Chili to
the Equator, gaining or subduing all the people they encountered, either
in the mountains of the Cordilleras, or on the plains of the coast. The
Inca who most extended the empire was Topa Yupanqui, who carried his
conquests southward as far as Chili, and on the north to Quito; although,
according to most authors, it was not he who conquered the latter
province, but his son Huayna Capac, the most powerful, wealthy, and able
of all the Peruvian princes.”

“In his reign were established, or greatly perfected, three grand mediums
of communication, necessary to provinces so distant and various,—the
use of a general dialect, the establishment of posts for the prompt
conveyance of intelligence, and lastly, the two great roads which extend
from Cuzco to Quito, a distance of more than five hundred leagues. Of
these two roads one passes over the Sierras, the other crosses the
plains, and both were provided, at proper and convenient distances, with
lodgings or quarters, which were called tambos, where the monarch, his
court, and army, even though amounting to twenty or thirty thousand men,
might find rest and refreshment, and even renew, if necessary, their arms
and apparel.”—See pages 158-161 of the interesting work entitled, “Lives
of Balboa and Pizarro, from the Spanish of Don Manuel Josef Quintana,” by
Mrs. Hodson.

[23] To separate wheat and barley from the ear, it is customary to tread
the grain by oxen or young cattle.

[24] The Indian gardens on the hills of the Sierra are by the Spaniards
called _Andenes_, whence Andes.

[25] Cuzco, situate in latitude 13° 32´ 20´´ S. in a cool and bracing
climate, in the midst of a valley, between the eastern and western chains
of Cordillera, has in its vicinity warm and fertile ravines or glens.
It is said to have been founded by Manco Capac, the first Inca, in the
middle of the eleventh century; and Francis Pizarro took possession of
it, in the name of Charles I. King of Castile, on the 13th March 1534.
In the year 1590, this celebrated capital of the old Peruvian empire
suffered from a violent earthquake, which ruined a great part of its
ancient monuments. The architecture of the great Temple of the Sun, and
fortress, close to the city, still exhibit a different style of masonry
from that which we have described above, and is most usual in the
Sierra of Peru, where there are numerous ruins of villages and tambos,
constructed with stone of very ordinary size. But, at Cuzco, the ruins
of the temple and fortress yet remaining are formed of stones of vast
magnitude, and of irregular shapes; yet, so exactly are they adjusted,
that no void, or cement, is visible at their points of junction.

[26] Commentarios Reales de los Incas, lib. viii. cap. xii.

[27] Corral means a cattle pen.

[28] Ignorant of this, and believing no roof to be near under which to
take shelter, we have known travellers obliged to pass the night very
miserably, and with no small risk of health, on the plain, or by the
cascade at the base of the Viuda.

[29] The name of this place is very appropriate, as it implies the fare
it affords. _Casa_ is the Spanish word for house, and _cancha_ is the
Quichua name for toasted Indian corn: hence Casa-cancha, or the House of
Toasted Maize.

[30] See p. 241.


    Dorset Street, Fleet Street.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Peru as It Is, Volume I (of 2) - A Residence in Lima, and Other Parts of the Peruvian Republic, Comprising an Account of the Social and Physical Features of That Country" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.