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Many learned men have visited and described Teneriffe. Alexander Von Humboldt, and Bom- pland, were on this island, and ascended the Pic de Tevde. Leopold Von Buch and Christian Schmidt made the whole chain of the Canary islands the scene and subject of their scientific researches, and ascended the Pic several times; the last time, shortly before our arrival, late in the season, to collect the plants growing on it, with their fruit ripe. After the short view which was allowed us, we can only refer the curious to the learned work of Bory de Saint Vincent, and Humboldt's Travels ; and to the fruits of the labours of those celebrated men whom we regretted not to have met here. The learned world now expects an account of these labours from M. Von Buch alone, as Professor

VOL. in. B


Schmidt fell, in his expedition to the river Zaire, a dear victim to the sciences which he served. *

The island of Teneriffe extends from north-east to south-west. The south-western part is occu- pied by the Pic and its base ; the north-eastern, by rugged dreary mountains. They are separated by a broad col or pass ; on the top of which is situ- ated the chief city, Laguna, and below it is Santa Cruz, on the south-eastern coast, leaning on the eastern mountains. The town and harbour of Oratava lie on the opposite coast, at the foot of the Pic, in the midst of beautiful vineyards and palm-gardens, which remind us of the insukefor- tunatce. The way thither, from Santa Cruz, is through Laguna, (a miserable town, with seven convents,) and through the villages of Matanza and Vittoria, names which here, as in other Spanish possessions, indicate the fate of the natives on the conquest : " Victory and Massacre !'*

The country round Saint Cruz is naked and desolate ; only a few palms and plantains, rising above the white walls of the town, announce to the European who lands there a more southern clime. The Flora, like that of all islands, is poor. It is most nearly related, by the similarity of its species, genera, and vegetable forms, to the Flora

* Narrative of an expedition to explore the river Zaire. London, 1818. 4to.

There has aheady appeared, A general View of the Flora of the Canary Islands, an Essay, h\ L.V.Buch, in the Memeirs. of the Academy. Berlin, 1819^^


of the great basin, whose waters are received by the Mediterranean : a few species of plants, of luxuriant growth, give it, however, the character- istic of the torrid zone. The date-tree, the plan- tain, the American aloe, the common torch thistle, and, according to Humboldt, also the dragon-tree, are strangers in this soil, as they are in Spain and Sicily. But the gigantic columnar Euphorbia CanariensiSy with several other juicy plants, the Cacalia Kleinia, Euphorbia balsamiferay &c. belong to the rocks which they occupy, and fairly an- nounce the vegetation of Africa.

You ask now in vain, in the garden of the Mar- quis de Nava, at Laguna, for the bread-fruit tree, (^Artocarpus incisa), planted there by Broussonet himself, and which was still there when Humboldt visited the island.

Dr. Eschscholtz found, among the insects which we collected, only well-known European spe- cies. Destructive swarms of locusts (Gri/Ilus ta- taricus?) sometimes fly from the continent and ravage these islands. We were told that, in 1811, the neighbourhood of Laguna was infested by them, and we ourselves had seen at sea, two or three de- grees north of Teneriffe, and four or five degrees west of the continent, the remains of such a swarm swimming round our ship. In the sequel, one of these animals flew on board our vessel, between Teneriffe and Can aria.

The people in general appeared to us extremely B 2


poor and ugly, but at the same time of a very cheer- ful temper, and very mquisitive. The Spanish gra- vity which they maintain, though in rags, inspired us with a certain respect. At every place we came to, we were obliged to relate our history, and pro- duce our plants and insects. In a miserable hut in Matanza, we heard people of the lowest class con- verse with much sense on the volcanic nature of their mountains.

Besides our domestic animals, they have here the camel, or rather the dromedary. It is used for carrying burthens, but is spared on this rocky soil. There are two inns in TenerifFe ; the one at Santa Cruz is kept by a native, the other, at Oratava, by an Englishman.

During the wars with France, 3000 prisoners of war were kept in Teneriffe. Some have remained on the island, and the children, particularly, have learnt from them a little French.


Ox\ running into the channel of Saint Catharine, you fancy yourself, on the first sight, transported into the empire of still unsubdued nature. The verdant luxuriantly-wooded mountains, which rise in unbroken lines from the shores of the island and of the continent, belong to her alone, and you scarcely observe at their foot the labours of man, who is yet a stranger there. In the interior, higher mountains, some of which take the forms of cupolas or cones, and a ridge of mountains on the continent, which are said to be slightly covered with snow in the winter months, bound the pros- pect towards the south.

The islands of TenerifFe and St. Catharine lie in the same latitude, one in the southern, and the other in the northern hemisphere. Yet how diffe- rent is the appearance of nature in the two. There the rocky soil is only partially and scantily clothed with verdure, and foreign species of plants merely intermixed with those of Europe. Here a new creation surrounds^ the admiring European, in whose crowded luxuriance all is surprising and gigantic,

B 3


The kind of rock which is seen in the clift's that rise above the water in the channel, and on the shore, is every where coarse-grained granite.

The bays are bounded by inaccessible morasses, which are covered with forests of green mangrove and towering pahns. An impenetrable forest, which clothes the mountains, extends, ahnost without interruption, over the country. The siliquose plants, with variously feathered leaves, lofty stems, and branches spread out like a fan, seem to be predominant, accompanied however with all the usual forms of trees in rich variety. The arbor- escent ferns, with elegant palm -like forms, at- tain no greater height than fifteen or twenty feet, and are hidden in the thick w^ood. Parasite plants (Lianes) of every kind (and all classes and families of plants here assume this form,) make, between the ground, the trunks, and the tops, a thickly-interwoven wonderful net. Ferns, grasses, {Cyperacece, Helicojiia,') he. far exceeding the height of a man, luxuriate on the ground amidst fallen trees. Another vegetable world of OrcJiidecPf Bromeliacece, Cactus^ Piper, ferns, &c. wave aloft among the branches ; and the Tillandsia usneoides hangs the crowns of aged trees with silver locks.

The paths cut in this dark wilderness are soon at an end ; and he whowould penetrate it, finds it im- possible to reach even the top of the nearest hills.

The Aroidece flourish on the sloping banks of the streams which are collected in the clefts of the mountains ; gigantic Cactus form in places singular


groups ; Bromei'Kv, Orchidew, pepper, crown the rocks J and ferns and lichens cover tracts of dry sand. The soil, abandoned by agriculture, is soon covered with thick bnshes, among which beautiful species of Melastoma are distinguished.

The habitations of man lie under orange groves, at the foot of the mountains ; and on the shore, sur- rounded with plantations of pisang, coffee, cotton, &c. and by inclosures, where many of our garden plants, which have been parasitically followed by various species of European weeds, are culti- vated in obscurit}'. The melon-tree, (Carica pa- paya^) which here shoots up in a high stem, and the Coquero*^ a kind of cocoa, with fusiform stem, and small fruit, overtop them. The genuine cocoa-palm, which grows between the tropics, does not flourish here. The Brazil or Pernambuco-wood (Ca'salpina echinata) enriches only more northern provinces, and the Pilifera testiculata Bress, should probably be likewise sought for more to the north. This is the interesting, still imperfectly known plant, the spatha of which furnishes the natural caps which are represented in Seba, (1 Tab. 3. fig. d.,) and may be seen in many collections.

The animal kingdom does not offer less riches, less luxuriance, than the vegetable kingdom. In harmony with the character of the vegetation, the

* There is said to be in this part a palm oF tliis kind, the trunk of which is parted, and bears a double crown. Our time did not allow us to visit this tree.

B 4


form of creepers prevails among the birds, and many species of quadrupeds are provided with twisting tails (Cauda prehe7isiliSt L.)

The most common of the monkey species here is the Callitria: Capucina. They are often brought up tame, under the name of Macaco. Their voice resembles that of a singing-bird. Of the quadru- peds, we also saw the aguti, and an armadillo, (^Dasypus gilvipeSj se.v cinctus auct.')

Among the birds, numerous parrots and toucans are the most distinguished and frequent. There is, besides, a rich variety of species and kinds. A large grouse {Crypturus) is very frequent. The vultures (CatharteSy 111.) clear the sea-shore, and humming- birds flutter, with butterflies, around the flowers.

Of amphibia, (the turtle perhaps excepted *,) there is an abundant variety of remarkable kinds.

Among the fish, we observed a small electric ray (^Torpedo') without spots, and whose electric power must have been very inconsiderable, as our fishermen did not perceive it ; and, among the mol- luscse of the sea, a large Aplysia, the ink of which is used for dying red.

The greatest variety, and the greatest beauty, however, prevail among the insects. Of those which we collected, several kinds are new, and not to be found among those received from Rio Janeiro.

* The Prince Maximilian of Neuwied, who had the oppor- tunity of a long stay in Brazil, met with sea-turtles of enormous size. Note of T'ranslator.


Among others, we lound the bird-spider, {Aranea aviadaria,) the bite of which is here considered mortal. Nature does not teach man what he really has to fear.

As soon as the sun has sunk below the horizon, luminous creatures of all kinds enlighten the air * sea ,t and earth, t Their glittering light, the barking and cries of the amphibia, of the frog kind, and the shrill notes of the grasshoppers, give to this verdant world the animation of a scene in fairy- land.

We are indebted for our first knowledge of the na- tural history of Brazil to Prince Maurice of Nassau, Marcgraff and Piso, whose manuscripts and original drawings are preserved in the library of Berlin. In later times. Count Hoffmannsegg, by means of

* Elater nocticulus and E. phosphorcics, with two points of constant light on the breast-plate, and several kinds of 1am- pyris, with light on the belly, returning at equal intervals. Their numbers, however, according to the observations of Dr. Eschscholtz, seem to be magnified in Fabricius' System, where several varieties are enumerated as species. The shining or swarming of these beetles seems to depend upon circumstances, that require further examination. Sometimes the air is filled with them, and sometimes they entirely vanish. \ Larvae and small species of Scolojjendra. J Particularly Medtisce, of which we took some up on the beach, but which had suffered too much to be more accurately determined. The light was particularly visible in a wreath of points round the edge of the body, and increased by being touched, or any other excitement. The hands rubbed with the mucus of the animal, retained the phosphorescence for some time.


lumters and learned correspondence * which lie kej)t up there, has done much for the cultivation of this branch of science; and his collections, which have been, for the most part, presented to the Berlin museum, were the chief sources for the study of it. The travels of Prince Maximilian of Neuvvied, and of many zealous Germans, both men of learning, and collectors, at length finish the work; and thus, by German activity and indus- try, this Portuguese part of the world will be con- quered for the sciences, which already owe to the Germans, Count Hoifmannsegg and Professor Link, the knowledge of the Flora and Fauna of Portugal.

The government of the island of St. Catharine, contains, as we were informed, about 30,000 in- habitants ; among whom, two blacks may be rec- koned to one white. We found the slave-trade still carried on here ; and this government alone requires, yearly, from five to seven ships full of negroes, reckoning each at a hundred, to supply the place of those who die on the plantations. The Portuguese, themselves, import them from their African possessions in Congo and Mosam- bique. t The price of a man in the prime of life

* We mention here with gratitude Father Francisco Agos- tinho Gomez in Bahia.

f The slaves from Mosambique are the smallest number. The Guinea negroes are distinguished by the smaller angle of their profile, more projecting jaw-bones, by the deeper black of


is from two to three hundred piasters. A woman is of much less value j and speedily to exhaust the whole strength of a man, and then to supply his place by a new purchase, seems to be more proiit- able than to bring up slaves in the planter's house. We purposely quote the plain words of a planter in the New World, which must sound strange to the ears of an European. The sight of these slaves in the mill, where they separate the rice from its husk, in wooden mortars, with heavy clubs, keeping time in their work by a par- ticular kind of groaning, is distressing and hu- miliating. These services are performed in Eu- rope, by wind, water, and steam. We saw, also, in the village of St. Michael, a water-mill, already mentioned by Krusenstern. The number of slaves is, in proportion, smaller on the more populous islands than on the continent. Their food is meat and cassava. Those living in the houses of their masters, and such as are kept in poorer families, grow up more like human beings, than those who are compelled to work like mere machines. We were, however, never witnesses of any cruel treat- ment of them.

The town of Nostra Senhora de Destero, the

their skin, and many, besides, by peculiar figures, which were imprinted in their childhood, in the skin of the face and body, by a sharp instrument; marks by which the different tribes are distinguished.


residence of! the Governor, lies on tlie island itself, on the narrowest part of the channel. The anchor- age for larger ships is in its northern entrance, at a distance of several miles from the town. It con- tains a convent for men ; and of the monks not one dedicates his idle hours to any science. Dealers in butterflies are here called naturalists.

The commerce of this colony is inconsiderable. Its harbour is only visited by American ships, to take in provisions when on their way to double Cape Horn, or go on the southern whale-fishery. Its productions are sugar, rum, rice, and coffee. To- bacco, mace, cassava (Jatropha manihof) fruit, &c. only for home consumption: they also grow corn, but with little success. The vine does not thrive. Both the leaves and the grapes are infected with black spots, which, with us, are ascribed to the hail. The most considerable plantations are situated on the continent, at a distance of a few miles behind the mountains.

There is no trade with the Indians; wherever any of the two nations meet, they take up their arms. Every one receives land to cultivate, and settle upon gratis, without respect to his religious opinions. Several Englishmen are said to have settled in this island, where a village is called after them.

The whale-fishery belongs to the crown. The name Arma9ao, distinguishes. the royal fisheries, which carry it on, and of which there are four in


this government. They fish in the whiter months at the entrance of the harbour. Sometimes only open bpats go out, manned with six rowers, a mate, and a harpooner, and the fisli caught is dragged on shore, where it is cut in pieces. Each Arma9ao brings in every winter about a hundred ; and we have been assured, that the number might be mucli greater if the payment of the wages (which are now three years in arrear) were more punctual. The whale-fishery in Brazil does not belong exclusively to this government ; some lying more northward have a share in it. In this ocean, the whales of the south appear to penetrate further towards the equator than those of the north. They are said to have been met with, under the twelfth degree of south latitude.

The only vehicles which are used in the colony, and by which the produce is brought here from distant provinces, are extremely inconvenient. Two solid pieces of wood, which turn with the axle, to which they are fastened, carry a piece of wood, which serves at the same time, both for shafts and carriage, and is drawn by oxen. Horses are used only for riding. The canoes, with which the chan- nel, the main road in the colony, is navigated, are not superior. They are long and narrow, and con- sist only of the trunk of a tree, hollowed out with- out any out-rigger. Every species of tree is used for them.

On our excursions along the coast, we found


cheerfulness, cleanliness, and hospitality prevail among a people, whose means are but scanty. We were invited into the poorest huts, where the people entertained us with fruits, and offered us meat and cassava, but refused to accept any payment in return.



The coast of Chili afforded us the sight of a low land, as we approached it to enter the Bay de la Conception. The peninsula, which forms the ex- terior edge of this beautiful basin, and the mountain-chain of the coast behind it, offer to the eye an almost horizontal line, which is not inter- rupted by any remarkable summit, and only the two pretty hills of the Biobio rise_ between the mouth of the river, after which they are called, and Port San Vincent. Whales, dolphins, seals, animated the sea around us, upon which floated the Fucus pyriferiis^ and other gigantic species, which we first met with at Cape Horn. Herds of seals basked themselves in the sun on the island of Quiquirina, at the entrance of the bay j and, in the bay itself, they swam around us as in the open sea ; but no sail, no vessel of any kind, indicated that man had taken possession of these seas. We observed, only on the banks, some fields and inclosures, among forests and bushes ; and low, inconsiderable huts lay scattered along the beach and on the hills.

The low mountains of the coast, from wliich issues the Biobio, near the town of Mocha or Con-


ception, a broad but not deep river, conceal the view of the Cordilleras de los Andes, which rise with their snows and volcanoes at a distance of at least forty leagues from the sea, behind a broad and fruitful plain, and offer to scientific research a yet unexplored field. Molina, who has seen the Cordilleras in Peru and in this kingdom, is of opinion that these summits are superior in height to those of Quito.

The mountain, at whose foot lies the town, and on its summit the fortress, is mouldered granite, which contains undecompounded masses of the same species of rock. The hills which form the pe- ninsula, are of schistus, over which lies red and dark-coloured clay; and the low hills, against which Talcaguano reclines towards the Port of San Vin- cent, consist only of strata of such clay, of which several, and particularly the upper ones, are filled with the conchylia, still living in these seas {Co7i- cholepas Peruviana^ a large Mytilus, &c.) in an unaltered state. The sand of the beach and ol" the plain is tinged grey by fragments of slate.

The celebrated stones of the Rio de las Cruzes, near Aranco, are congeries of chiastolite. Na- ture on this southern frontier of Chili, the Italy of the New World, has not the unlimited productive power which filled us with astonishment at Saint Catharine's ; and the mere difference of latitude does not necessarily seem to produce the difference in the two Floras. The mountains separate the



countries ; romantic grov^cs of myrtle and bushes overspread the hills ; and a mixture of other bacci- ferous trees, of congenial forms, agreeably har- monize with this predominant species. Tiie beauti- ful Guevina aveUana, of the family of the Proteacece, unites with the myrtles, and species of Lorantus sowed by the birds, adorn the trees and bushes with their red and white bunches of flowers. The Fiidisia CQCcinca generally fills the watered moun- tain clefts ; a few parasite plants climb in the thicker parts of the forest ; a Bromeliaccay the re- markable Pitrairinia coarctatay with rampant twist- ing stems and stiff leav^es, covers the otherwise naked and dry hills. The beautiful Laj)ageria rosea twines round the thickets, the lighter parts of which are adorned with other liliaceous plants, amaryllis, Alotramcriay Sisyrynchiumy &:c.

Many European species, the Oenotherecu Calceo- lariciy Acaenea\ are intermingled with new kinds j and the moist pastures of the valley are adorned, as with us, by yellow ranunculus. *

* Tlie family of the Proteacece, and the species Aruncaria, of the family of the Strobilacea:, belong to the southern hemi- sphere. The species which are met with in Chili, and might remind us oi' Austra/ia, arc natives. We collected the Goadenia rppens, which, according to Brown's observations, grows in New Holland, and Chili ; it may be considered as a strand plant, like those 0^ the Mesembrianihem urn species which we found here, and in California; which resemble those growing in New Holland, and New Zealand, and approach very nearly the Mesemhriaiithcmum edidc of the Cape. We must reserve our observation an the geographical difl'usion of plants, till we have arranged our botanical collections. VOL. III. C


The winter here is not without frost, and there are instances of snow having fallen in the valley. The palm of San Jago (Cocos chilensiSy Mol.) is not met with now so fai' to the south. The orange and lemon ripen indeed in the inclosed gardens of Mocha, but we do not see here the beautiful high orange groves which delighted us in Brazil. We were shown, in one of these gardens, a young date- tree, which throve admirably; and near this palm grew the At^ancaria-imln'icatay the beautiful fir- tree of the Andes, which is only met with, growing wild, in the Cordilleras, where it forms entire forests, and nourishes the inhabitants with its kernels. The Chilian strawberry, during the time of our stay, had neither blossom nor fruit.

The name of the Huemul or Guemul, (^Equus bisulcus, Mol.,) after which we eagerly inquired, was not known to any body ; and even the worthy missionary, whose conversation was so instructive to us, knew nothing of this animal. We must, therefore, leave the important zoological question, which Molina has put respecting it, to be answered by more fortunate naturalists. This author, how- ever, appears to us to deserve little authority in natural history. We did not see, in Conception, any of the camel species of the New World j they are only to be met with in the mountains, in a wild state ; and they neglect, in the total stagnation of industry, to bring them up as useful animals. We saw, in fact, no wild quadrupeds.


Screaming parrots, in numerous flocks, traverse the air: humming-birds, of various kinds, flut- ter round the flowers : a spur-winged water-hen (^Parra ChilensiSy Mol.) fills, with loud cries, the ])lain which separates the bay from Port Saint Vincent: some vultures {Chartartes^ 111.) seek their food on the shore ; and numerous ducks, and other sea-fowl cover the sea, and settle on the banks which rise above the waves near Talca- guano.

Of ampliibious animals we saw only a small frog, and a little lizard, and I believe we also perceived a snake, though Molina does not mention any.

Among the Conchyliai we found the Conchole- pas Peruviana and Picus jmttacus remarkable.

We collected, among other insects, the small Scorpio ChilensiSf which makes an exception to Molina*s rule, that Chili does not contain a poison- ous reptile within its frontiers. *

After the preliminary labours of Feuillee and Molina, after Ruitz andPavon, after Cavanille, who has described many Chilian jjlants, but sometimes confounded them, there is still much to be done

* Scorpions are, in general, less dangerous than dreaded. At the Cape of Good Hope, two very large kinds are quite com- mon, each of which is found principally in different parts. In every place the more rare, passes for the most poisonous ; and the truth is, that the sting has no more dangerous consequences than that of a wasp. Our informants spoke after their own ex- perience. Scorpions are a favourite food of monkeys.

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for the natural history of this country j and many doubts have still to be cleared up. *

With respect to the manners of the inhabitants, the obliging, incomparable hospitality of the supe- rior classes, and the state of the colony, we can only refer to the accounts of La Peyrouse and Vancouver. We found only a change in the dress of the women, as described by the former, and of which a picture is found in his atlas. Since within these eight or ten years, it has given place to our European fashions, after the newest of which tlie ladies eagerly inquired j and the dress of the men is only distinguished by the Araucanian poncho, and the broad-brimmed straw hat. t

But, amidst the cheerful and easy society which

* Louis Feuillee, Journal des Observations Physiques, Ma- thematiqucs, et Botaniques, faites dans rAmeriqueMeridionale. Paris, 1714 25, 4to,

Molina, Saggio suUa Storia Naturale del Chili. Bologna, 1782. 8vo. Secunda Edizion Bologna, 1810. 4to. does not clear up what was left obscure in the first edition.

Ruitz et Pavon, Florae Peruvianae et Chilensis prodromus. Madriti, 1794. Roniae, 1799. Systema Vegetabilium Fl. Per. et Chili. Madriti, 1798.

Flora Peruviana et Chilensis. Mad. 1798 et 99. The Eryn- gium rostratum, Cav. is not the Eryngium growing near Talcaguano.

-j- The poncho, is a longish four-cornered covering, striped, length-wise, with riband, like ornaments, of a particular kind of woollen cloth, in the middle of which is a slit to put the head through ; the two ends hang down before and behind. Chili formerly received the fashions from Lima ; but the Chilian poncho is worn even in Peru.



we enjoyed in Conception, we could not refrain from nieliuicholy reflections on the political crisis in which this country is engaged.

He who enters neutral between two parties in a civil war, sees only, in the crowds on both sides, wild intoxication and hatred. We saw only the royal party, which the liberals, remembering the history of the mother-country, call Moors. Com- pared with the numerous splendid female circles, we saw only a few men, officers and functionaries of the king, and a ragged, miserable, wretched, and motley soldiery.

Many individuals of the patriot party, which was then oppressed, were in the state prisons, which had been enlarged, by adding a church to them ; and were employed in building the fort, which was erecting to keep the city in awe. Some were sent to the island of Juan Fernandez; others among them, and many of the clergy, had assembled in Buenos Ayres, under the flag of their native country, which, after the fall of Carthagena, which we saw celebrated with enthusiastic joy, was represented to us as entirely vanquished.

And Chili, which Molina describes as a terres- trial paradise, where a fruitfid soil is adapted to every species of cultivation, whose riches in gold and silver, corn, delicious wine, fruits, productions of all kinds, timber, oxen, sheep, aiul horses, are immense, languishes in fetters, without navigation, commerce, or industry. The smuggling trade of

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the Americans, \vliose agents are the monks, siip- phes it with all necessaries, but only for ready money, without its turning its own productions to advantage 5 and these same Americans, exclusively, carry on the whale-fishery on its coasts.

History has decided on the revolution to which the United States of America ow^e their existence, their prosperity, their rapidly increasing population and power; and all the nations of Europe regard with undissembled favour the struggle of the Spanish colonies. The separation from the mother-country is to be foreseen ; but it is doubtful when a wise, tranquil development will seal the transition from oppression to independence.

The town of Mocha is regular, and of great extent, but the houses low% and large, and pro- vided with w^indows only towards the interior court-yard. They are indeed built in a man- ner well-adapted to frequent and violent earth- quakes, but not for the cold of winter. They are not acquainted with either chimnies, or stoves. The poorer class have not even got a kitchen hearth, and dress their victuals in the open air, or under the entrance-hall. In the evening many fires burn in the streets of Talcaguano, at which the people warm themselves ; and we were ourselves witnesses of a fire caused by this custom, which reduced a house to ashes. The vineyards, which produce the deHcious Conception wine, lie at a considerable distance Irom the town. The wine is brought, like the corn, in leathern sacks, and it is


preserved in large earthen vessels: there are no barrels. Beasts of burthen, asses of a very line race, and mules, supply the place of carriages, of which there are but very few, and of the same kind as those in St. Catharine's. The Governor-Intend- ant alone has a chaise, made in Lima, which he seldom or never uses. The horses are very fine, and good, and riding is quite general; the women also ride in their journies, or make use of carts resembling our shepherds* huts, which are drawn by oxen.

The Creole is always on horseback ; the poorest possesses at least a mule, and even a boy rides behind the asses which he drives. The noose, or lazo, is in general use.

We will mention a custom singularly founded on religious ideas, which was offensive to our feelings. When a child dies, after having received baptism, the evening before the burial, the corpse itself is dressed up as the image of a saint, and placed erect in a lighted room, on a kind of altar, which is adorned with burning tapers, and garlands of flowers. The company then assemble, and they amuse themselves during the night, with wordly songs, and dancing. We twice witnessed such festivals in Talcaguano.

Several Araucanians whom -we saw in Concep- tion, as they belonged to the lowest class of their people, who hire themselves to the S])aniard:3 as day-labourers, could not give us a faithful por-

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trait of that warlike, eloquent, strong, and un- mixetl nation, whose feelings of liberty, and skill in the military art, opposed an insurmountable bul- wark, first to the arms of the Incas, and afterwards to the desolating conqueror of the New World. The Peruvians did not penetrate farther south into Chili than to the river llapel, and the Biobio has remained the proper boundary of the Spaniards, who, more to the south, possess only the places of St. Pedro, Aranco, Yaldivia, the archipelago of Chiloe, and inconsiderable frontier-posts, the road to which leads through the independent country of the Indians.

We will not transcribe from other books on the history of Chili, and its nations, as every person is able to procure them. *Ovalle is faithful, detailed,

Ovalle (P. Alonzo) Breve Relacion del Reyno de Chili, 1646. Molina, Saggio sulla Storia Civile del Chili, 1787-8.

The Ahh6 Giovanni Ignazio Molina, a native of Chili, is rec- koned among the principal authors of the Italian literature. We regret that his historical work has not, as well as his natural historical work, been translated into German. In it, may be found, a Catalogo di Scrittori delle cose del Chih ; an appendix to it in Mithridates, 3d part, 2d division, p. 391. and the follow- ing ; and in Linguarum totius Orbis Index, J. S. Pater, Ber. 1815. p. 18.

Among the means for learning the Araucanian language, we particularise B. Havestadt Chilidugu, Monast. 1777, which, being more accessible than the various editions of Louis de Valdivia, published at Lima, may be obtained by other philolo- gers as well as ourselves. Molina gives, in his Saggio sulla Storia Civile, a very accurate and clear picture of this beautiful

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and dirttisive. Molina writes, with an attacliment to his country, a liistory wliich cannot be read without interest; and truly the history of a people whicli is still in the state where man is appreciated at his just value, and appears in independent greatnesvS and energy, must be more attractive than those civilized states where calculation presides, the character disappears, and man only weighs, or is weighed.

Among the authorities for the history of Chili, are several Spanish epic poems, of which the Araucana, by Don Alonzo de Ercilla, has the first rank. This work is mentioned with honour in Don Quixote ; Voltaire has praised it; and an edition of it has appeared in Germany, (Gotha, 1806-7.) This ele- gantly-versified historical fragment, whose author celebrates wars in which he himself fought, deserves less the attention of the German literati than of the inquirer into history. Historians refer to it with confidence, and in Chih, where it is considered as a national poem, it is more read than any other book.

As a supplement to the historians of Chili, w^e communicate the notices for which we are indebted to Father Alday, a missionary, who spent a part of

language. We have found occasion in another place, to mention and compare the nations and languages of South America, with those of the islands of the (ireat Ocean, and of the eastern part of Asia ; and observe, that our researches Jiavc not led us to rind a community between them.


his life among tliese people, and add only a few more observations.

The last convention between the Spaniards and the Indians was concluded anno 1773. The latter have had, since that time, a resident with the Cap- tain General of Chili, at San Jago, and peace has not been interrupted. La Peyrouse seems to have been purposely deceived, to prevent him, or the gentlemen of his expedition, from making an ex- cursion into the interior of the country. They made him believe that a war was carrying on, of which history is ignorant. They told us that, under present circumstances, the Indians were faithfully attached to the King of Spain, and that they defended the defiles against those of Buenos Ayres. The direct communication of the colony with the mother- country which formerly went over the Cordilleras, by way of Mendoza, the Pampas, and Buenos Ayres, was, during our time, renewed by way of Lima and Carthagena. A parliament, a solemn popular as- sembly of the Indians, at which the Captain General appears in person for the Spaniards, where the interests of the two nations are discussed, and the bond of friendship confirmed, was to be held in a few weeks, at the usual place on the frontiers, Los Angeles ; and we regretted extremely that we must miss this opportunity of witnessing the large as- sembly of a free people, whose history, though re- corded by their hereditary enemies, is so distin- guished for gxeat men and noble actions.

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The history of the kingdom of Chih was written from the beginning, by Garcilaso de la Vega, mixed with his history of Peru. The celebrated Ercilla commemorated it in heroic verse, to the end of his own mission. Father Ovalle, at Rome, wrote an excellent account of the deeds and misfortunes of this kingdom, from its foundation up to his time ; and, lastly, the work was finished by Abate Molina, who wrote and executed this history in all its parts. This learned ex-jesuit treats, admirably, of the mineral and vegetable kingdom ; so that no- thinsr can be added to what he has said. The riches which Chili contains in its bosom are inexhaustible ; its soil is the best adapted to all the productions which enrich Europe, as it enjoys an equal degree of temperature on its extreme frontiers; it has neither the storms that are fatal to the silk-worm, nor any hail to injure the fruits of the earth. No beast of prey haunts its mountains which could threaten the inhabitants, and not a single poison- ous reptile is found within its limits.

The Indians who inhabit the country, from the river Biobio to Osorno, are divided into four pro- vinces, which extend like four zones, from north


to south. They are about 80,000 in number. They are generally above the middle size, strong and robust, and very active. They are extremely addicted to liquor *, and this is the principal reason of the decrease which we observe when we compare the present population with that which history records at the time of the conquest. An acute observer says, that Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendosa waged the most terrible war against them when he gave them the apple-tree. These trees now form large groves in their territory. The blood of the Indians is now no where found unmixed. This arises partly from the Spaniards, who fly to them to escape justice; partly from the women whom they made slaves, on the destruction of seven colonies, on different occasions during the war; and partly from the Dutch, who deserted, in such great numbers from the Dutch expedition, which landed at Valdivia, in the reign of Philip IV., that the commander, on his return, was obliged to sink two galleons, not being able to man them. The descendants of these Dutch are now seen in Villarica and Tolten, to the shores of Rio de la Imperial, t

* Their intoxicating drink is cyder ; even the poor Creoles prepare and drink it. Translator.

f The accounts which we liave of the Dutch expedition to ChiH, in IG^S, under Hendrick Brouwcr, are in direct contra- diction to the facts mentioned here. Compare Burney's Chro- nological History, vol.5, p. 113. Molina only slightly mentions this circumstance.

cHiLr. 29

The laiul of the Indians, according to tlie lati- tude, is as fruitful as that of the Spaniards. But, on account of the very diminished population, we see many fields covered with high trees and low bushes, whose level ground convinces us that they once belonged to agriculture, and which show evident marks of having lost their former inhabit- ants.

The numerous species of trees which grow in the country of the Indians, as well on the plain as on the precipices of the Cordilleras, are also met with in the Spanish territory : only the Tayo is an exception. The bark of this tree, which is smooth, and about the thickness of a line, is very efficacious for the cure of the internal aposteme, and every kind of ulcer or wound. They drink water, in which it has been boiled, for these diseases ; and bathe and wash in this water for similar external complaints, and then strew^ themselves with the powder of the same bark, which is dried and rubbed. The rest of the plants and herbs of this district are of the same nature as those produced in the Spanish territory.

In the mountains, lions are met with, which prey on other animals, but do no injury to man, whom they avoid. There are also several moun- tain-goats and deer, of the size of a lamb: their flesh is of a good taste. The rivers abound in fine trout, and