Sources of information.—General Pacheco.—Inaccuracies of
Sir Woodbine Parish.—Navigability of the Parana by large
vessels.—Decrees of the government of Paraguay on the
treatment of foreigners.—Decrees relative to inventions
and improvements.—Mr. Drabble’s commercial mission, and
its results.—Cultivation of cotton.—Drawbacks to its
extension.—Scarcity of labour.—Provisions of the treaty
between Great Britain and Paraguay.—The commercial resources
of the country little known in this.—Navigability of the
Paraguay and the Uruguay.—Obligation of the Brazilian and
Buenos Ayrean governments to remove impediments.—Population
of Paraguay.—Public works undertaken by the Consular
Government.—Salubrity of the climate.—Fertility of
the soil.—Pasturage illimitable.—Character of the
Paraguayans.—President Lopez.—Diplomatic mission of Sir Charles
Hotham.—General Lopez.—State of the country at the death of
Francia.—First measures of the Consular Government.—Revenue
of Paraguay.—Administration of justice.—Revision of the
tariff.—Release of political prisoners at the termination of
Francia’s Reign of Terror.


As indicated at the conclusion of the last chapter, my ascent of the
Parana ceased at Rosario, whence I descended to the mouth of the Plate,
on the return voyage to Europe; consequently, what I am about to say of
Paraguay is not the result of actual personal experience in that strange
land. Nevertheless, I offer the annexed observations with considerable
confidence, as the fruits of diligent inquiry among several who had been
there, some for many years, some very recently; and as the fruits also
of the perusal of nearly all accredited works on the subject, of one
of which in particular,[104] whose merits and reliability are vouched
for by the distinguished Uruguayan soldier and administrator who has
edited it—General Pacheco—I have availed myself to some extent, having
been also assured by other competent critics that it is most trustworthy
in its data and most dispassionate in its views. The paucity of works
on this country is not surprising, but the inaccuracy of that which,
being the most recent, is naturally accepted as the most authoritative
in England, is indeed marvellous. The obligations of all interested in
Platine affairs are so great to Sir Woodbine Parish, and as regards
Paraguay in particular, members of his family long ago afforded so much
invaluable information then derivable from no other source, that it
is with the utmost reluctance I say a word calculated to diminish the
deference due to the veteran diplomatist and author; nor should I attempt
to impugn his statements if he spoke from his own individual knowledge.
Still, his predilection in favour of Rosas, to which I have adverted in
the introductory chapter (page 30), and his antipathy to everybody and
everything inimical to the regime and the system of the Buenos Ayrean
Dictator, are, or at least in 1852 were, so potent as completely to run
away with his otherwise excellent judgment. On what other grounds can
we account for his lending all the emphasis of italics to such passages
as these, for which he quotes Colonel Graham, the United States Consul,
who proceeded on an official mission to Paraguay, in 1845, and who is
apparently regarded by Sir Woodbine as an indisputable authority, viz.:—

‘_Were its resources developed, and encouragement given to the
industry of its inhabitants, it might become a comparatively
wealthy part of South America, but it could never support
an active trade excepting with the adjoining States. Yerba,
the tea of Paraguay, its chief product, is only consumed in
South America; its fine woods would not bear the expense of
transport to Europe; its sugar, tobacco, cotton, and rice, on
account of the distance which they would have to be conveyed
from the interior, even were the Parana open, could never enter
into competition with those of Brazil and the United States.
If the Parana were declared open to all nations, the United
States could not carry on any direct intercourse with Paraguay
under its own flag. The vessels adapted for crossing the ocean
would not go up the Parana, and merchandise would have to be
re-embarked at the mouth of the river in craft suitable to its
navigation, and owned by parties resident in the country. Mr.
Graham’s observations are equally applicable to the shipping
of European nations, and they cannot too often be repeated for
the information of parties embarking in trade with those remote

The best answer to all this is what I have already said in the preceding
chapter respecting Colonel Graham’s fellow-countryman, Mr. Hopkins; and
as to ‘vessels adapted for crossing the ocean not going up the Parana,’
Sir Woodbine must surely have been well aware, even at the time Graham
wrote, saying nothing of subsequent experience, of the facts borrowed
from Sir W. Gore Ouseley, in the note to the illustration of Corrientes
(see p. 324), respecting the ascent, not merely of the Parana, by British
vessels of war, but of the Paraguay, as far as Assumption, by the French
war steamer Fulton, commanded by Captain Mazeres; also that for upwards
of 300 miles beyond Assumption the navigation of the Paraguay is even
better than it is below the capital, as was lately exemplified, since my
return to England, by the voyage of the American steamer Waterwitch, far
beyond the limits previously understood to be navigable, except to the
small river craft of the country.

It may be said that Colonel Graham could not have known these latter
facts when he wrote what Sir Woodbine has quoted. But Sir Woodbine
himself must have known them, and should not, therefore, have quoted
the Colonel; and he must have known also that public notification had
been given, in the following document, which I also take the liberty of
printing in italics, that there had been an end put to the isolation in
which Paraguay had so long been kept by Francia; and that ‘one Lopez,’
as Sir Woodbine calls the present enlightened President, had made every
advance to the external world years before the world became persuaded
that the system of Francia had been buried with him.


_The Supreme Government of the Republic: Considering that
it behoves us to extend and cultivate relations of amity,
good understanding, and harmony with foreign nations, and
consequently to acquaint the national authorities with the
system which the Government follows and seeks to enforce for
this purpose with reference to foreign subjects, decrees,
in virtue of and in conformity with the fundamental laws of
the State and its political and commercial principles, that
the said authorities shall punctually observe the following
rules:—Art. 1. The Supreme Government of the Republic
will maintain, as a general and unalterable privilege in
its relations with foreign powers, a perfect and absolute
equality; so that wheresoever there may be any identity of
cases or circumstances, no privileges, immunities, or favours
whatsoever shall be granted to any nation which shall not in
like manner be conceded to all others. Art. 2. Consequently,
every foreigner, whosoever he may be, can betake himself to
such ports of the Republic as are open to foreign commerce, and
there carry on his mercantile operations in perfect freedom.
Art. 3. Now, and for the whole time that the Government shall
consider those circumstances to exist which have induced it
to appoint certain ports for the admission of foreigners, the
latter will not be allowed to proceed (s’interner) to other
ports without a special permission from the Government. Art.
4. Every foreigner, during his stay in the territory of the
Republic, shall have full liberty to commence and to exercise
his trade or profession: he shall obtain for his person all
protection and security, provided that on his side he respects
the authorities and the laws of the State. Art. 5. All
foreigners are exempt from forced service by sea or land, from
all military exactions or requisitions, and from extraordinary
contributions, and shall only pay those levied on natives,
with the slight difference consecrated by law between citizens
and foreigners. Art. 6. No foreigner shall be persecuted on
account of his religion, on condition that he does not exercise
his worship publicly, and that he respects the religion of
the State, its ministers, and its public ceremonies. Art. 7.
Foreigners are in no case obliged to trust their business
to agents or brokers; they have in this respect the same
immunities as natives. Art. 8. Money, goods, or property of
any nature whatsoever belonging to foreigners residing within
the territory of the Republic, and confided either to the
State or to private individuals, shall be respected and kept
inviolate, both in time of war and in time of peace. Art.
9. In virtue of the principle recognised in the preceding
article, should a rupture occur between the Republic and a
foreign country, the subjects and citizens of that country
residing within the territory of the Republic shall be allowed
to remain there and continue their trade or profession without
hindrance, provided that they conduct themselves with suitable
fidelity, and in nowise violate the laws and regulations in
force. Art. 10. The exportation of the produce of the country
by foreigners shall be subjected to no other duty than that
paid by natives. Art. 11. The Supreme Government of the
Republic can eject from its territories, either in time of
peace or of war, any foreigner whose bad conduct gives rise
to the adoption of this measure, but he shall be allowed a
reasonable time for the settlement of his affairs. Art. 12.
All foreigners residing within the territory of the Republic
have a right to dispose of their property, either by will or
in whatever form they may consider advisable. Art. 13. In case
of the decease of a foreigner without a will, his property
shall be preserved in the form prescribed in the following
article, for his heirs ab intestato, or for his creditors.
Art. 14. In the case stated in the preceding article, that is
to say, the decease of a foreigner ab intestato, the judge of
the district where the decease takes place, assisted by two
honourable fellow-countrymen of the deceased, and in default of
these by two inhabitants of the locality, shall proceed, with
the least possible delay, to make out a minute inventory of
all the property of the defunct, shall keep them in a place of
safety, and shall render an account of the whole, accompanied
by the inventory, to the Government, so that the property may
be deposited in a proper place, according to its nature. Art.
15. The said decease, _ab intestato_ shall then be announced
in the Gazette, in order that all those concerned may be
made acquainted with it. If any heir or creditor appears he
shall produce legal proof of his claim. Art. 16. If no party
concerned appears, or delays in the proceedings threaten to
occasion a deterioration of the property, the latter shall be
converted into the currency of the country, and which shall be
deposited in the chest of the Treasurer or Receiver-General,
and under their responsibility. Art. 17. In case the parties
concerned cannot legally prove their claims, or shall not
appear after the lapse of two years dated from the commencement
prescribed in art. 15, the property so deposited shall be
adjudged to the national treasury. Art. 18. Property delivered
to foreigners who are the legitimate progenitors or descendants
of foreigners who have died testate or ab intestato, shall
pay at the time they receive it a duty of five per cent. When
it is delivered to any other foreign heir, who is neither a
progenitor nor a descendant in virtue of a will or succession
_ab intestato_, the duty shall be ten per cent._

_In order that all may be made acquainted with the present
decree, it shall be promulgated in the legal form and deposited
in the public archives._

_AUDRES GIL, Sec. to the Supreme Govt._

_Assumption, 20th May, 1845._

At the same time, publicity had been given to another document, which
showed that not only were the persons and property of strangers perfectly
safe in Paraguay, but that protection was afforded to the fruits of their
invention and ingenuity, in a manner that other nations, pretending to a
much higher degree of civilization, would do well to imitate, viz.:—

_The Supreme Government of the Republic, desirous of
encouraging industry and developing the elements of improvement
possessed by the State, and considering that one of the most
efficient means consists in properly defining and guaranteeing
the position and rights of those who conduce to so useful an
end, decrees:—_

Art. 1. Every discovery or new invention in whatever branch of
industry it may be, is the property of the inventor, and its
enjoyment is guaranteed to him in the form and for the time
specified in the following articles. Art. 2. Every means of
giving to a production already in existence a greater degree
of perfection shall be considered as a new discovery. Art.
3. Whosoever shall introduce into the Republic a discovery
of foreign origin shall enjoy the same advantages which he
would have derived from it had he been the inventor. Art. 4.
Whosoever is desirous of obtaining and insuring to himself
the enjoyment of an industrial property of the description
above-mentioned, shall—first, address to the Secretary of
the Supreme Government a declaration in writing specifying
the nature of his claim, whether it is for a discovery, the
perfecting, or the introduction of one; secondly, forward
under seal an exact description of the principles, means,
and procedure which constitute the discovery, as well as the
plans, designs, models, and other documents which relate to
it, and which sealed paper or volume shall be opened at the
moment when the inventor shall receive a title to his property.
Art. 5. The inventor shall be granted a patent which shall
guarantee him the discovery as his property for the space
of five or ten years, reckoned from the date of the patent.
This period, however, may be extended, and other advantages
conceded if the importance of the invention is so great as to
call for extraordinary protection. Art. 6. The period during
which a patent granted for an invention introduced from a
foreign country remains in force cannot exceed by more than six
months that stated in the patent taken out for the invention
in that country. Art. 7. The possessor of a patent shall be
exclusively entitled to the use and proceeds of the discovery,
or the perfecting or introduction of one, for which it shall
have been granted; consequently he can bring an action against
infractors of his patent, and on conviction they shall be
condemned, besides confiscation, to pay to the patentee all
costs and damages; and, moreover, a fine of twenty per cent.
on the total amount of the preceding condemnation, which shall
be applied to public expenses. Art. 8. Should the denunciation
of fraud, followed by the sequestration of the defendant’s
property, be found devoid of proofs, the patentee shall be
condemned to pay to the defendant all losses and damages which
he may have sustained, besides a fine of twenty per cent. on
the total amount of the said losses and damages, to be applied
in like manner to public expenses. Art. 9. Every patentee shall
have the right of forming establishments in different parts of
the Republic, excepting only such reserved places as have been
declared to him beforehand, as well as of authorising other
individuals to use and put his procedure, his discovery, and
his secret in practice—in fine, to dispose of his patent as if
it were personal property. Art. 10. Before the expiration of
the period for which the patent is granted, the descriptions of
the invention can only be communicated to some citizen who may
wish to consult them, unless political or commercial reasons
should require the whole to be kept secret, or the inventor has
solicited and obtained at the time he took out the patent an
assurance that complete reserve shall be maintained with regard
to his invention. Art. 11. At the expiration of the patent
the invention or discovery shall become the property of the
Republic; and the Supreme Government shall cause a description
of it to be published, and shall allow it to be generally used
and engaged, save and except when it shall be necessary to
place some restrictions on it. Art. 12. This publication shall
also take place, and the use of the operations which constitute
the invention declared free, if the possessor of a patent
loses his right to it, which can only happen in the following
cases: First, when the inventor shall be convicted of having
omitted in his description any of the procedure essential to
the preparation of the article invented, or of not having set
it forth with sufficient fidelity or details; secondly, when he
has not communicated the new modifications or improvements of
his discovery known to him at the time when he takes out his
patent or even discovered by him after having obtained it, and
the enjoyment of which is as safely guaranteed to him as that
of the first invention; thirdly, when it shall be demonstrated
that he has obtained his patent by an invention already to be
found and described in works printed and published, so that
in reality it is no new invention; fourthly, when, during the
lapse of two years from the date of the patent, he has not
begun to make use of his discovery, excepting when he can
give good reasons for the delay; fifthly, when, after he has
obtained a patent from the republic, he is convicted for having
obtained another for the same invention in a foreign country
without preliminary authority; sixthly, the patent shall in
like manner be revoked, the invention published, and its use
made free, if the purchaser of the right to use an invention
specified in a patent violates the conditions imposed on the
inventor, conditions which are not the less binding on the
purchaser. Art. 13. If a discovery which is useful to the
public is found to be eminently simple in its execution and
susceptible of being too easily imitated, the inventor, instead
of a patent, may demand an equivalent remuneration. Art. 14.
This may likewise take place when the inventor prefers the
honour of causing the nation to enjoy the advantages of his
discovery at once. This remuneration shall be proportionate
to the respective utility of the inventions, well and duly
certified and appreciated. Art. 15. If any one discovers a
fresh improvement for an invention already guaranteed by a
patent, he shall obtain, at his request, another patent for the
separate use of this new improvement, nevertheless he shall
never be permitted, under any pretext whatsoever, to use or
cause to be used the principal invention, and reciprocally the
inventor cannot use or cause to be used the new improvement,
without prejudice to such arrangements as may be made between
themselves. Art. 16. The priority of invention, in cases of
dispute between two patentees relative to the same article,
shall be awarded to him who has first made the declaration and
deposited the documents, as required in Art. 4.

_In order that every one may be made acquainted with the
present decree, it shall be published in the legal form and
deposited in the public archives._

_AUDRES GIL, Sec. to the Supreme Government._

_Assumption, 20th May, 1845._

In respect to what Sir Woodbine says in reference to the products of
Paraguay not bearing the expense of transport, it will perhaps be
sufficient to cite in a note[105] the opinions of practical men upon
the exceeding desirability and the feasibility of Europeans availing
themselves of one of its staples most essential to English manufactures,
as set forth in the leading journal a few months back.

There was always a strong presentiment among commercial men in this
country that a treaty with Paraguay would be productive of great
advantages; and there is an equally strong conviction still, despite
the apprehended obstacles raised by the Buenos Ayrean Government in
respect to the enforced protectorate of the island of Martin Garcia,
that the treaty ratified on November 2nd, by Lord Clarendon and his
Excellency Don F. Lopez, the accomplished son and representative of
the President of Paraguay at the British Court, and a copy of which
was presented to parliament the opening day of the present Session, by
Lord John Russell,[106] will, in due time, effect most of the benefits
anticipated. But so complete is the ignorance in England of the real
mercantile resources of Paraguay, that even public writers most disposed
to augur well of the treaty in question propagated notions concerning
that territory so far short of the actual fact, that, if they were
true, certain politicians might be almost justified in now pooh-poohing
what has been accomplished, just as they did when it was attempted some
years ago. For instance, one journal, long celebrated for its supposed
peculiarly accurate information on foreign topics, mercantile as well
as political, stated, immediately after the ratification of the treaty,
as a piece of intelligence of great significance, that Paraguay was the
most populous of all the La Plata provinces, ‘except Buenos Ayres’—the
truth being that the Paraguayan population exceeds the Buenos Ayrean
upwards of threefold—exceeds that of all the Argentine States and the
Banda Oriental put together! while, contrary to the general belief even
in South America, its power of consumption is greater than the rest
of the interior provinces of the Confederation.[107] Considering its
extreme isolation hitherto, and that modern writers professing to treat
of it have almost invariably drawn their information from second-hand or
apocryphal sources, it is perhaps but natural that there should be extant
but little reliable knowledge respecting Paraguay. In proceeding to
supply much of the void complained of, the first fact to which we would
draw the attention of mercantile men is, not so much its varied products,
many of them most suitable to British purposes, nor its advantages,
peculiarly fitting it to nourish an important commerce, considering its
fine climate,[108] fruitful soil, and numerous[109] population, but to
the stable and enduring nature of its governmental status.


Unlike all the Platine provinces, Paraguay is blest with a government
which, though Republican in name and in the forms of its administration,
guarantees the preservation of public order; and is not exposed to those
constant revolutionary vicissitudes that have come to be regarded as the
normal condition of the neighbouring powers of Spanish origin. Hence,
to our thinking, the great value of this treaty with a government not
only willing but able to realize its intended share in the arrangement.
We have not only fully entered into relations with a country new, rich
in natural treasures, peopled with a docile race well disposed towards
us,[110] and situate at the head of a vast internal navigation, but we
may rely upon the utmost effect being given by the executive to the
stipulations it has undertaken to observe, and that the open navigation
of the Paraguay and Upper Parana shall be secured to the British flag,
free from all alteration or sudden closing of these rivers;—thus
completing that security so essential to successful enterprise and

Surely we are not too sanguine in believing that a noble territory
geographically so situate, politically so secure under the firm and
sagacious guidance of President Lopez,[111] whose capacity promises to
be hereditary, and affluent in so many of the raw materials of European
manufacture and necessity, will speedily develope itself among nations
in a manner worthy of its natural endowments. The prospective mutual
benefits that are likely to be derived from this treaty are of far
greater magnitude than appear to be generally understood in England,
or perhaps even in Paraguay itself, although they must, in a great
measure, depend on the spirit in which the new reciprocal relations may
be cultivated and extended; but, be the result what it may hereafter,
we have abundant reason to be grateful for the exertions of Sir Charles
Hotham in having done so much to lay the foundation of future commercial
prosperity. Probably opposition will continue to be made by Buenos
Ayres to the execution of the other treaty with Urquiza, although the
active energies of Sir Charles were, in both cases, exerted only for the
obvious mutual advantage of all parties concerned; but as regards the
Paraguay treaty, at all events, no such obstacles are to be apprehended.
The government of Paraguay have constantly shown a laudable desire to
establish European intimacy, which circumstances not depending upon
itself have too long delayed. Had the project so wisely entertained,
and so vigorously promoted, as far as his power extended, by our able
Minister at Monte Video in 1845-6, been prosecuted to the end, and
the independence of Paraguay recognized by the British Government in
conformity with the wishes of Sir W. Gore Ouseley, when, in conjunction
with Baron Defaudis, the French Minister, Captain (now Sir C.) Hotham
was sent to Assumption, to treat with President Lopez, there can be no
question that many of the subsequent troubles and difficulties of the La
Plata question would have been altogether obviated; Rosas would long ago
have been expelled; his vast property (the non-sequestration of which
was the grand error of Urquiza) would not have been employed to promote
the revolutionary intrigues it has since done, but which it will do no
longer, as it is now confiscated; and Paraguay, instead of merely being
about entering on its noviciate, would have had seven years’ experience
of reciprocity with the old world by this time.


By selecting Sir C. Hotham for the mission to Paraguay, Lord Malmesbury
virtually continued, in the person of the very officer chosen for that
purpose, the commercial policy initiated in ’45-6 by Sir W. G. Ouseley.
On that occasion, as more recently, the English were received by the
Paraguayans with the greatest cordiality, though at the same time with
a reserve not unbecoming a people whose _amour propre_ was wounded by
their independence not being recognized in the first instance. Once
that all-essential formality was complied with, negotiations proceeded
as satisfactorily as could be desired. It is understood that when the
Paraguayan Envoys were sent to Monte Video in ’46 to treat with our then
Minister there, Sir William suggested that a number of distinguished
young natives should be sent to England, that they might judge of our
institutions and commercial spirit for themselves, and report to him that
this country had, and could have, no sinister motive to serve by a treaty
with Paraguay. Concurring in that opinion, President Lopez wisely caused
his son, the minister plenipotentiary to this court, General Lopez, to
be accompanied by a numerous suite of military officers and civilians,
together with a younger brother of the General’s, as secretary, full of
intelligence, and by M. Gelli, a veteran diplomatist. The General, though
a young man, has for some years been commander-in-chief of the Paraguayan
forces, and is said to manifest great ability and a large faculty of
observation, evincing a keen desire to obtain information on all subjects
likely to be of benefit to his country. He made a very favourable
impression in England, and still more so in France, where he was received
with the greatest distinction, the Emperor, Napoleon the Third, according
him public and private audiences amidst the most imposing ceremonial
of state. He is now (April, 1854,) engaged in making a tour in Italy,
and through the continent; and in the course of the present summer will
return to Paraguay, his naturally fine mind stored with the fruits of an
observant and diversified experience, and his excellent disposition in no
way deteriorated, it is to be hoped, by his acquaintance with the peoples
of the old world.


Whoever has any knowledge of the history of the American republics,
and of the Spanish language, will not fail to remark in Paraguay a
rare and singular circumstance, which does great honour to its men of
the sword,[112] and must inspire confidence in the future stability of
authority in the country. The military in all the new American states
have always shown, without any exception, a propensity most fatal to
order, that of making and unmaking governments without consulting the
opinions and wishes of their fellow-citizens, only those of the chiefs
of certain factions with whom they may concert their plans. Here, on the
contrary, so soon as the first case, and the most extraordinary one which
it is possible to imagine, occurred, the men of the sword did not usurp
the right of creating and establishing the supreme authority. They set
the example of calling together an assembly of their fellow-countrymen to
take the opinion and votes of the country, and submit themselves to the
authorities which the general wishes might elect. The new administration
had all to create, because everything had been destroyed. The dictator
left neither individuals or materials of any description, of which the
government that succeeded him could avail themselves.[113] Everything
was in disorder as an effect of the monstrous centralization in his
person alone of all the branches of the administration. High and low,
policy, justice, finances, war, ecclesiastical matters, in fine all was
absorbed; nothing was done by any one but him. There was not a single
individual who had been enabled to acquire any practice, any routine for
the dispatch of business, as there were no fixed and general principles
to serve as guides for particular cases which presented themselves,
everything depending on the caprice or will of the dictator, who only
employed people as scribes, little else than the merest copying clerks.
No person had obtained the least instruction, or the least experience,
to enable him to prepare, and facilitate the labour of the government
departments, and the dispatch of business.


With these difficulties to encounter, the new government set to work with
energy, but without noise or ostentation. It did not announce itself by
the proclamation of pompous promises. It would have been imprudent to
arouse hopes which might only be realized in time, and in spite of many
obstacles. It did not set up theories and doctrines of an exaggerated
liberalism, which subsequently, besides their being at first ill
understood, it might have itself been obliged to abandon in practice. It
did not allow the smallest sign of blame or disapprobation of the conduct
of the dictator to transpire. It would have been useless, and even
setting a bad example, to abuse his memory, and awaken the remembrance
of irreparable evils. We may believe that the Consular Government wished
to be judged according to its acts, and not by its proclamations and

Some small capital of which no one had suspected the existence was soon
seen to appear and circulate, and this gave much impulse to industry and
occupation to labourers, who, until then, had been unable to find any.
The apparition of these little capitals, and the activity which ensued,
were sure signs of confidence in public order, and in the government.
Instead of the inaction and apathy which previously reigned, a spirit of
enterprise and animation was every where seen. Assumption was cleared
of the ruins and rubbish which rendered its aspect disgusting. The
spaces left by buildings half demolished were masked by walls, and new
habitations were raised, modest in truth, but which gave an air of life
to the city.

Although there is no saying much with accuracy of the present revenue of
Paraguay,[114] it is certain that it suffices to meet its public ordinary
expenses, which cannot be more moderate. Paraguay has not that numerous
body of _employés_ which has been, and is still, a cancer gnawing into
the heart of the new states which so proudly clothe themselves with the
title of republics. Her functionaries are not numerous. They mostly
receive but very slender emoluments, either because living is very cheap
in Paraguay, or because offices are there considered rather as public
duties to fulfil, than places which, to be well filled, should be well
remunerated. The judges are annually selected amongst the inhabitants of
the different districts, of divers professions, without any necessity
for their engaging in preliminary studies, or for their being previously
destined for the magistracy, and the government allows them only what is
indispensable for their office expenses and the dispatch of business,
without any fees being paid by the parties concerned. When the service
requires more functionaries, and those of special capacity, who will have
to devote themselves exclusively to the duties of their employments, the
public treasury will be better provided, and in a better position to
remunerate those whom the government will have to employ.[115]

Whatever may be the sum, however, at present produced by each branch of
the revenue, it cannot but increase, and rapidly, not only in consequence
of the development of those things on which duties are chargeable, but
also because, with time and experience, the distribution of the taxes,
&c., will be improved.[116] They will be convinced of a truth long
accepted in political economy, but which does not the less pass for
paradoxical, elsewhere than in Paraguay, viz.: that duties, when moderate
and properly collected, are much more productive than high ones.

It was perhaps this principle which gave rise to the reform introduced
by the President’s Government in the Tariff. That of 1841, which was
imprinted with the doctrines of the protectionist school, was reformed
and reduced by M. Lopez in 1846. That of 1841, not content with
establishing very heavy duties on the generality of articles imported,
and on all those exported, was intended to favour, at the expense of all,
some hatters and vine-dressers who made bad hats and still worse wine,
and levied a duty of 40 per cent. on wines and hats imported. The Tariff
of 1846 has remedied these evils, and diminished the duties in general,
but they are still too heavy, especially those on exports, which ought to
be reduced almost to nothing.[117]

Respecting the trade that may be expected to ensue between this country
and Paraguay, I am not fanatical enough to suppose that it will be either
very rapid or very extensive at first. But, at the same time, as little
can I share the apprehensions of a Buenos Ayrean writer quoted in the
leading English journal on the arrival of the mail of the 16th of this
month, (April, 1854,) that because certain mercantile ventures to the
Parana had not proved lucrative, therefore the means of the inhabitants,
and, by inference, of Paraguay also, were at a very low ebb, and that
there was an indisposition to commerce. The same consequences, and from
the same causes, were observable in China on the first partial opening
of intercourse with that empire. The markets were not suited with proper
goods and were glutted with superfluities. As to Paraguay, at all events,
we know that both the taste and the means exist in the indulgence
of what among so comparatively simple a people may be considered
great luxuries.[118] Opportunity alone was wanted; and now that that
opportunity is afforded, and that European wealth will be forthcoming
for the numerous indigenous commodities so much required in this quarter
of the world, there can be no doubt that all reasonable expectations
formed by the parties to the Malmesbury treaty, and by those who long ago
laboured to bring such treaties about, will soon begin to be realized.


This distinguished officer, now Governor of the Australian Colony of
Victoria, comes of an ancient ancestry, many members of whom attained
eminence in that special branch of the public service in which he himself
has acquired such deserved repute. Indeed, there are few families that
have for so long a time, and for such a continuance, given so many
servants to the state. As early as the reign of Edward II., we find that
John de Hotham, great grandson of the first of the name, who settled
at the family seat of Hotham, Yorkshire, was Bishop of Ely, Treasurer
of the Exchequer, and subsequently Lord Chancellor to Edward III. Sir
John Hotham, the first baronet, Governor of Hull, who had five wives,
was beheaded on Tower-hill, together with his son, Sir John Hotham,
Knt., by the Parliamentarians, for corresponding with the Royalists,
in 1643. His grandson and successor married into the noble family of
Beaumont, in Ireland, and hence the Irish peerage, which the present
Lord Hotham, member for the East-Riding of Yorkshire, and uncle of Sir
Charles, retains, his lordship being a major-general in the army, and
having served at Waterloo. Of the many naval officers in the family,
both in direct descent and collaterally, the most celebrated was the
Rt. Hon. William, Baron Hotham, of South Dalton, in the peerage of
Ireland, so created 7th March, 1797, with remainder, in default of direct
descendants, to the heirs male of his deceased father, in consideration
of his gallant achievements, as a naval commander, at the commencement
of hostilities with republican France. Having previously attained the
rank of rear-admiral, he was advanced to that of admiral of the white,
appointed second in command of the fleet ordered to the Mediterranean,
under Lord Hood, of which he obtained the chief command a few months
afterwards, upon Lord Hood’s return to England; and but a short time
subsequently elapsed until Admiral Hotham had the good fortune to bring
the French squadron to action (14th March, 1795), and to obtain a
decisive victory over it, for which he received the thanks of both houses
of parliament, and was made admiral of the blue. He died, unmarried, in
1813, and was succeeded by his brother Beaumont, Lord Hotham, father of
the present Lord Hotham, M.P., and of the late Vice-Admiral Hotham, who
was, consequently, uncle of the subject of the present sketch, of whom
the annexed particulars are taken from the great nautical professional
authority, ‘O’Byrne’s Naval Biography’:—

‘Sir Charles Hotham, born in 1806, is eldest son of the Rev. Fras.
Hotham, Prebendary of Rochester (second son of the second Lord Hotham,
one of the Barons of the Court of Exchequer), by Anne Elizabeth, eldest
daughter of Thos. Hallett Hodges, Esq., of Hemsted Place, Kent; and
first cousin of Capt. Hon. Geo. Fred. Hotham, R.N. Sir Charles, who
is brother-in-law of Lieut.-Col. Grieve, of the 75th Regt., has also
a brother, Augustus Thomas Hotham, in the army. This officer entered
the navy 6 Nov., 1818; and on the night of the 23 May, 1824, when
midshipman of the Naiad, 46, Captain Robert Cavendish Spencer, served
in the boats under Lieut. Michael Quin at the gallant destruction of a
16-gun brig, moored in a position of extraordinary strength alongside
the walls of the fortress of Bona, in which was a garrison of about
400 soldiers, who, from cannon and musket, kept up a tremendous fire,
almost perpendicularly, on the deck. He was made lieutenant, 17 Sept.,
1825, into the Revenge, 76, flag-ship of Sir Harry Burrard Neale in the
Mediterranean; and next appointed—15 May, 1826, to the Medina, 20, Capts.
Timothy Curtis and William Burnaby Greene, on the same station—and, 8
Dec. 1827, and 26 July, 1828, as first, to the Terror and Meteor bombs,
Capts. Wm. Fletcher and David Hope. As a reward for his distinguished
exertions on the occasion of the wreck of the Terror, Mr. Hotham was
promoted by the Lord High Admiral to the rank of commander on the 13th of
August, 1828. After an interval of half-pay he obtained an appointment
on the 17th of March, 1830, to the Cordelia, 10, and returned to the
Mediterranean, whence he ultimately came home and was paid off in
October, 1833—having been raised to post-rank on 28 of the preceding
June, in compliment to the memory of his uncle, the late Vice-Admiral
Hon. Sir Henry Hotham, G.C.B., G.C.M.G. His next appointment was, 25
Nov., 1842, to the Gorgon steam-sloop, stationed on the S.E. coast of
America. In Nov., 1845, having assumed command of a small squadron, he
ascended the river Parana, in conjunction with a French naval force under
Capt. Trèhouart, and on 20 of that month, after a hard day’s fighting,
succeeded in effecting the destruction of four heavy batteries belonging
to General Rosas at Punta Obligado, also of a schooner-of-war carrying 6
guns, and of 24 vessels chained across the river. Towards the close of
the action he landed with 180 seamen and 145 marines, and accomplished
the defeat of the enemy, whose numbers had originally consisted of at
least 3,500 men, in cavalry, infantry, and artillery, and whose batteries
had mounted 22 pieces of ordnance, including 10 brass guns, which
latter were taken off to the ships, the remainder being all destroyed.
The loss of the British in this very brilliant affair amounted to 9
men killed and 24 wounded. In acknowledgment of the gallantry, zeal,
and ability displayed throughout its various details by Capt. Hotham,
he was recommended in the most fervent terms of admiration by his
Commander-in-Chief, Rear-Admiral S. Hood Inglefield, in his despatches
to the Admiralty, and he was in consequence nominated a K.C.B. 9 March,
1846. Since 13 May in that year he has been employed as commodore on
the coast of Africa, with his broad pennant successively flying in the
Devastation and Penelope steamers. While Sir Chas. Hotham was in the
Gorgon, that vessel was blown far on shore in a hurricane at Colonia, and
it was only by the most indomitable and procrastinated exertion on the
part of himself and his crew that she was saved.’

The glorious and almost unequalled, and certainly unique, exploits in
the Parana, here alluded to, are far too important to be passed over
so summarily as in the preceding paragraph, especially as, in a work
of this nature, the history of these transactions, however brief,
serves to furnish some interesting information respecting one of the
most celebrated and remarkable sites in the entire of that navigation
which the diplomatic skill of the same commander has since opened to
the commerce of the world no less effectually than did his gallantry to
the combined fleets of England and France seven years previously. Full
professional details of the operations will be found in Mackinnon’s
‘Steam Warfare in the Parana,’ published in 1848, in which the writer
says:—‘The great secret of the success which crowned almost every
effort, with one miserable exception, was due, firstly, to the excellent
arrangements which, by the powers of steam, were so perfectly and
expeditiously carried out; and, secondly, to the admirable nature of the
ordnance, and the skilful application of its different branches. Where
the leader is of great ability, and possesses the confidence of those
under his command, coupled with such _materiel_ and _personnel_ as Sir
Charles Hotham had in his control, it is not by any means astonishing
that everything succeeded admirably. It is rare, too, for a British
officer to combine the talent for languages which Sir Charles Hotham
possesses in such an eminent degree, with the perseverance and skill
recently evinced in the extraordinary recovery of H. M. ship Gorgon, and
in the after operations in the Parana.’

A still more emphatic and authoritative tribute to the genius of Sir
Charles is supplied by the diplomatist under whose instruction he
acted at the time, and who, as we have already seen [see _ante_],
had previously availed himself of his services in the then attempted
initiation of that European intercourse whose subsequent consummation
has indissolubly associated the name of Hotham with the peaceful as well
as the warlike annals of South America. Appended is Sir W. G. Ouseley’s
graphic account of the passage of the Parana at Obligado, the writer
being lavish of praise on everybody, but silent as regards himself,
who was really responsible in every respect for the conception and
organization, if not for the execution, of the whole design.

The pass of Obligado, on the River Parana, was the position
selected for obstructing the passage of the English and French
vessels employed in completing the blockade of the province
of Buenos Ayres, by cutting off its communication with the
provinces on the opposite bank. A blockade of the capital
only of Buenos Ayres, and of its River Plate shores would,
of course, be nugatory unless enforced along the course of
the Parana as far as the limits of that province extend.
Reinforcements of troops, horses, artillery, and warlike stores
of all sorts, would continue to be sent across the Parana into
the province of Entre Rios, from whence continually to renew
and supply the Buenos Ayrean army invading the Banda Oriental
and besieging Monte Video. To prevent this and ultimately cause
a cessation of these disastrous hostilities it was necessary
to blockade the whole fluvial coast of the province of Buenos
Ayres. In order, therefore, to effect this blockade a small
combined squadron of French and English vessels was detached
from the force in the River Plate to occupy the Parana, as far
as the effectual enforcement of the blockade of the province of
Buenos Ayres might require. The boundary between the province
of Buenos Ayres and that of Santa Fé strikes the Parana at the
‘Arroyo del Medio.’ This division, marked by a brook running
into the river, is about thirty or forty miles above the turn
in the Parana, called the ‘Vuelta de Obligado,’ which it was of
course necessary to pass in order to reach the limits of the
province. It was determined by the Government of Buenos Ayres
to prevent the combined squadron from proceeding beyond the
pass of Obligado if possible. But although the preparations
for defence could not but have been known to hundreds, long
previous to the declaration of the blockade, as well as the
fact of works being in progress for barring the passage, the
construction of batteries, and placing the chain cables,
vessels, &c., all of which must have occupied much time, it
is remarkable that no information whatever as to the plan or
real nature of the intended obstruction could be obtained
either at Buenos Ayres or Monte Video. Vague rumours did
reach the admirals commanding in chief, and other officers, of
preparations in progress, but some reported that vessels were
sunk in the channel, others said that forts or batteries were
in course of construction at every commanding point on the
river; in fact, the true nature of the intended resistance was
entirely unknown, until some boats which preceded the squadron
when proceeding up the river were fired upon a few miles below
Obligado, at a place called San Pedro. And even then it was
not believed that any serious opposition would be attempted
to the advance of the blockading flotilla. However, when once
the fire had been opened by the Buenos Ayreans at Obligado it
became of course necessary to return it, and the result was the
general engagement that ensued. When it is recollected that
the scale on which the defences had been prepared was quite
unexpected, and that the Buenos Ayrean force employed was much
greater than was anticipated (amounting to about 4,000 men),
while the nature of the other obstacles to be encountered was
previously unknown, it will be evident that the skill and
experience of the able officer who commanded the squadron were
put to a severe test, and that it required his well concerted
arrangements in the plan of attack and the gallantry displayed
in carrying them into effect, to obtain the successful result
that added to the high professional reputation of Sir Charles
Hotham, already too well known to need any tribute here. It
must also be borne in mind, in order to form a just estimate
of this successful engagement, that with the exception of the
steamers and a corvette, the major part of the force consisted
of a mere flotilla of small vessels, armed for the purpose
of ascending the river, and that they were for several hours
exposed at no great distance to a heavy and well-directed
fire from formidable and skilfully planned batteries. It is,
however, needless here to give any detailed description of
the action that resulted in the destruction of the batteries
and other defences at this place. The despatches of the
commanders of the English and French squadrons, Sir Charles
Hotham and Admiral Tréhouart, were published at the time, and
give a clear account of the manner in which the affair was
conducted, showing the skill and great gallantry manifested
generally throughout this affair. Across the pass from the
Buenos Ayrean shore and batteries to the wooded island in the
plan and sketch, a number of coasting vessels and river craft,
chiefly Sardinian, as are most of that class of vessels in
those rivers, were moored, supporting four large chain cables,
solidly fastened to the shore on either side, thus presenting
no trifling barrier to the passage up the river. On the right
bank (_i. e._ on the Buenos Ayrean side) were constructed
four batteries, of which two were close to the level of the
water, and all well placed for defending the approach to the
barrier of chains and boats. On the opposite, or Entre Rios
bank, above the chains were anchored a brig of war and some
gun boats, with heavy guns, out of the line of fire from
the opposite batteries, but well placed for the annoyance
of any attacking force. The brig was anchored off the Entre
Rios shore, near an island, between which and the main land
the water was too shallow to admit of the brig and gun-boats
being attacked from that side. The batteries, four in number,
mounted, according to the despatch of Gen. Mancilla, the Buenos
Ayrean Commander-in-Chief, twenty-nine guns; the vessel had six
mounted on one broadside, which, with field-pieces posted in
the woods, made forty-two guns. The guns were well manned and
served, chiefly by Europeans and North Americans, and troops to
the number of about 3 or 4,000 lined the Buenos Ayrean shore.
Some of the smaller vessels were fired upon as they approached
the batteries: this was of course returned, and then commenced
the action, which lasted for several hours, and was kept up
with much spirit by the Buenos Ayrean batteries, until the fire
of some of their guns was silenced, when boats were sent to
break the chains, which service was gallantly effected under
a heavy fire, and ultimately parties of English marines and
seamen, (and subsequently French,) were landed, and, led by
Sir Charles Hotham, succeeded in completely driving the Buenos
Ayreans from their guns and obliging their forces to retire,
and the flotilla passed up the river. This very arduous service
was performed in the coolest and most effectual manner by Capt.
J. Hope, of the ‘Firebrand,’ Mr. Nicholson, with two engineers
of the ‘Gorgon,’ and a few men, who proceeded in small boats,
under a most galling fire, deliberately to break the chains
with cold chisels and sledge-hammers, after an attempt to
saw them had failed. The depth of water at Obligado is about
twenty-five fathoms, in some places (and at certain seasons)
much more. The stream runs at about four knots, which was of
course an additional source of difficulty, especially to the
sailing vessels and boats.

Continuing the biographical notice of Sir C. Hotham from the point at
which Lieut. O’Byrne leaves off, it is only necessary to add, that in
April, 1852, he was appointed plenipotentiary in that mission with
the record and anticipation of whose results so large a portion of
the present volume is occupied. The mode in which he discharged that
delicate and important trust recommended him to Her Majesty’s present
advisers as the most fit and proper person for probably as difficult
and onerous a duty as it is possible for the crown to expect at the
hands of a public servant at the present moment, viz., the Governorship
of Victoria, a colony that presents innumerable phases of social and
political transmutation and anomaly, of which history affords not only
no parallel, but nothing in the least degree approximating to its
similitude. If Sir Charles had been at liberty to follow the bent of
his own inclination, if he did not feel that to decline such a service
would in some measure embarrass the executive, it is considered that
he would have preferred, in these stirring times, seeking the probable
repetition of such incidents as the Pass of Obligado, and with foes more
worthy of his hereditary fame than he then encountered. The crest of the
house of Hotham is, according to the heralds, a demi-seaman issuing out
of the water, holding in his dexter-hand a flaming sword:—supporters,
two seamen, habited, and each holding a sword, the point resting on
the ground, the motto being the significant shibboleth, ‘Lead on.’ Sir
Charles married, in 1853, the Hon. Jane Sarah, (born 1817) relict of
Hugh Holbech, Esq., and daughter of Lord Bridport, a name illustrious in
nautical annals, and allied by marriage to one still more famous, that of
Nelson; the mother of the present Lady Charles Hotham being niece of the
victor of Trafalgar, and now Duchess of Bronté.

Departure from Buenos Ayres.—Arrival at Monte Video.—Guano
deposits of Patagonia.—Bahia Blanca.—Eligibility of the
district for an overland route to Chili.—Chilian grant for
direct steam communication with England.—Accessions to
steam navigation on the Brazilian coast.—Opening of the
Amazon.—Departure from Monte Video.—Rough wind and heavy
sea.—Aspect of Raza under various lights and shades.—Hotel
accommodation of Rio Janeiro.—A wet day at Bahia.—Consular
memoranda on Venezuela, Bolivia, and Equador.—Arrival at
Pernambuco, and meeting with the Olinda.—Arrival at Porto
Grande.—Seven days’ steaming against the wind.—Madeira in the
distance.—Arrival at Belem.—Miseries and absurdities of the
quarantine system.—Towing the Pilot astern.—Passage up St.
George’s Channel.—Arrival in the Mersey.—Loss of the Olinda and
the Argentina.—New ocean and river steamers.


Buenos Ayres being the extent of my mission, and expecting the Brazileira
so soon at Monte Video, I hastened my departure for Monday, the 27th
September, when we embarked early, with a very heavy surf, caused by the
northerly wind blowing right on shore. Few passengers would venture off,
and it took me nearly an hour to reach the Argentina, in a good boat,
pulled by stalwart rowers, than whom there are few better than the Buenos
Ayreans, thanks to the perpetual practice required in their perilous
roadstead of a harbour. For a place with shallow water, I never saw so
heavy a surf, which renders it most uncomfortable to those who may be
compelled to embark under such circumstances. We had a fresh breeze the
greater part of the way, increasing to a strong one as we approached
the mount of Monte Video, reaching it at dark, so as to get into that
excellent haven. This, however, we did quite safely, and landed our
passengers in buoyant spirits, and full of admiration of our craft’s
performance, in the face of such difficulties. Next morning was wet and
hazy, but on its clearing off at about eleven o’clock we were agreeably
surprised to see our ocean steamer, Brazileira, close to the harbour. She
soon came to an anchor, two days before her time, to the inexpressible
confusion of many unbelieving individuals, who had been very prolific
in their forebodings that she would be considerably in arrear of her
promised undertaking. She was the first steamer that ever came direct to
the River Plate with cargo and passengers, both which were landed, at
Monte Video in thirty-five days, and Buenos Ayres in thirty-six days,
thus completely establishing the practicability of such a communication,
and adding another triumph to the wonders of steam. In such a country it
is a boon that can only be understood and appreciated by degrees, but
every practical writer on the affairs of the River Plate has pointed to
steam as the alpha and omega—the one thing needful towards a successful
development of its resources, and the only element by which these vast
countries can be rendered available to mankind, or perform their part
in the great work of their Creator. With steam and railways would come
hands and emigration, so much required, and where there is a vast
and lucrative field, perhaps the most lucrative in the world, for its

Before quitting the La Plata, and its future destinies, I would say a
few words on subjects connected therewith, although they may have no
immediate bearing on the present narrative. I have before remarked how
comparatively little is known in Europe of the past history of this part
of South America, and of its internal resources. South of Buenos Ayres
the curtain has been somewhat raised by guano researches on the coast of
Patagonia, which have not resulted in any great gain to the adventurers.
The climate is too humid, and the expense of drying the guano too great,
to admit of much extension in that trade, which would scarcely have been
opened but for the enterprize arising out of Ichaboe. Buenos Ayres has,
therefore, lost nothing by this supposed encroachment on her territory,
if it be rightfully hers—a point not altogether undisputed—which is, in
other respects, wide enough, in all conscience, to admit of any multitude
of industrious settlers, if they were disposed to come. Had similar
deposits of guano to those on the coasts of Chili and Peru existed at
Patagonia, then, indeed, there might have been a reasonable chance for
the interest on Buenos Ayres Bonds being paid, considerably sooner than
now seems likely. There is a spot to the southward, called Bahia Blanca,
with a good bay, and a river running from a long distance westward, that
promises well to become of much future importance. Parish makes allusion
to military operations in that locality, and I found that at Buenos Ayres
several parties had their attention directed there, as a place offering
considerable advantages, in the centre of large cattle districts, and
through which the shortest cut could be made to the south-west coast
of this continent. There is little doubt that if a safe and easy route
could be established across the country, it would be much frequented,
and by many be preferred to Panama, with its sickly tendencies; a voyage
of thirty or thirty-five days from England, and then a journey of ten or
twelve days’ might enable the traveller to reach the territory of Chili
through a fine country and healthy climate.

And speaking of Chili and Peru, the present may not be an inopportune
place—at least I can now avail of no other—to state that a further link
in the steam chain, wherein Brazil may be expected to play a prominent
part, is that to the west coast of South America, through the Straits of
Magellan, as already indicated in the introductory chapter in reference
to Chili, whose government have granted a subsidy of £12,000 a year for a
direct steam communication with England; and it is believed this can be
best effected by having branch steamers from Rio to Valparaiso, making
Rio, what it really ought to be, the port of transit for the southern
ocean.[119] The mineral wealth of Chili and Peru is still, as all know,
something almost fabulous, and the consumption of British manufactures in
those countries very considerable; so that steamers would be sure of a
paying freight both ways, with abundance of passengers, who would prefer
such a route to the inconvenience and expense of crossing the isthmus.
All that is required to secure to Brazil these important advantages, is
a relaxation in its fiscal system, by which steamers can discharge and
load in transit, without being subjected to local dues and restrictions,
which are an extinguisher to progress in any country. If they decline to
give these facilities, Monte Video and the Falkland Islands[120] will
be only too glad of the opportunity, and wherever it takes root there
it will remain. The question is important for Brazil, as a large number
of vessels now put into Rio in transitu that would follow in the wake
of steamers. Unfortunately, the facilities for dealing with cases of
distressed vessels are no further advanced than they were fifty years
back: not a graving dock, patent slip, or other convenient apparatus
yet existing in the otherwise noble harbour of Rio Janeiro, although a
floating sectional dock was in course of construction at Ponta d’Area.

It would appear that the formidable difficulties in navigating the
Straits of Magellan exist only in name. Winter and summer the passage
is quite easy and practicable, and settlements are taking place by
which both sailing ships and steamers can be furnished with stores and
provisions, whilst there is coal of the country ready to assist the
movements of steam. But in reality, the dreaded peril of Cape Horn
itself will soon be quite a matter of history,[121] if a halfway house
hereabouts be established, as the proofs already adduced, and now
quoted in a note, render a certainty. The coal is said to be a kind
of bituminous anthracite, which gets up steam very well when mixed
with English coal. Coal has been found on the coast of Chili of this
description, and in places readily accessible for steam purposes. With
the present high freights for coal shipped hence, the certainty of a
supply of even inferior fuel of the kind is most important.

Other lines of steam communication are in process of formation along
the South American, especially the Brazilian, coast, to connect the bye
ports and rivers with the principal cities and towns; and two steamers,
called the ‘Santa Cruz’ and ‘Continguiba,’ are shortly to leave for Bahia
on this most useful errand; so that, in a few years, we may expect to
find coasting steamers in Brazil as numerous almost as on our own coast,
conveying to and fro passengers and produce, to the great advantage of
the country and of our mercantile relations with it.

The Rio Company which has undertaken the contract with the Brazilian
government for opening up the navigation of the Amazon has hardly yet
been long enough in operation to show what can be accomplished. There
are immense difficulties to overcome in pioneering a navigation of this
kind through such wild, uncultivated, and almost unknown districts;
and without a considerable subsidy, no association would undertake the
task. Great credit is due to the Brazilian government for making a heavy
sacrifice in order to insure so desirable an object. They are moreover
negotiating with the Company with the view of correcting the clause of
the contract which insures to the Company the exclusive privilege of
navigating the river with steamers. These arrangements will doubtless
be brought to a successful issue, for a more enlightened and patriotic
citizen than Senhor Irenêo Evangelista de Souza, with whom the government
contract was made, does not exist in any country. He has done more
for the internal advancement of Brazil than any other man; witness the
splendid establishment at Ponta d’Area, for foundry work, engineering,
and ship building; the short railway to the foot of the Organ Mountains;
lighting the city of Rio with gas, the establishment of a new bank which
has lately merged into a national one; and, latterly, opening up the
navigation of the Amazon; besides many other improvements that little is
heard of. Only those personally acquainted with the indefatigable labours
of Senhor Irenêo in such a country can judge of their real beneficial
tendency, or of the gigantic mind required to cope with the difficulties
entailed. Great stir is making by our Yankee friends in this part of
the world; they have contracted with the Peruvian government for two
small wooden steamers, which were sent out piecemeal, and put together
at Pará. Report says very little in favour of the strength or speed of
these steamers, qualities very essential to such a navigation, exposed to
strong currents, and impediments from want of a proper knowledge of the
channel of the river. I believe the Rio Company are building some fine
powerful boats in this country, that will shortly be brought to bear on
this increasing and, I venture to predict, wonderful traffic.

My mission being for the promotion of steam in South America, and
the main aim and object of this volume being to make known here the
desirability of, and the field for, such enterprise in that country, I
trust the foregoing apparent digression in the midst of the return voyage
will not appear irrelevant.

Leaving Monte Video on the morning of the 1st October, we steamed down
the river, with a light breeze and sunny weather; soon passed Flores,
which very much resembles some of our channel lighthouses, on a low
island, a short distance from the land. Before sunset we had left the
island of Lobos behind, and soon came into a nasty head wind and sea,
which lasted for two or three days, causing the vessel to pitch a good
deal, and making every one uncomfortable. At daylight on the fifth
morning the mountains of Rio were in sight, the Corcovado towering over
them. Passing Raza, the scenery is very fine, and will bear oft-repeated
inspection with largely increased advantage, as it varies much with the
particular period of the day when seen, the lights and shadows being so
different, and changing with each succeeding hour. Early morning throws
its sharp silvery touch over everything, tinting the sides and peaks
of the mountains, which seem floating in mist, whilst the forts and
buildings of the city have a sombre hue. At mid-day all this effect has
cleared away; the hills stand out in bold relief—bright green is the
distinguishing character of the landscape—and the glare of white houses
and red tiles meets your eye in every direction. Towards evening the
aspect again changes to a deep brown or purple, steeping all things in
more glowing richness; and presently there is thrown over the whole that
peculiar olive which is quite a reality in the tropics, but the painting
of which looks more or less ideal to the vision accustomed only to the
comparatively frigid atmosphere of our temperate zone. I merely allude to
the general character of the scenery, which, of course, varies materially
with the changes of weather, and needless is it to add that there are
occasional sunsets which no description of language could adequately

We regret to say that the hotel accommodation of Rio Janeiro is very
deficient for the size of the place and the extent of traffic passing
through it. The best hotels are those of Pharoux and De l’Europe, in
the city, and the Hotel des Etrangers and Johnson’s Hotel, on the road
to Botafogo, the latter being peculiarly adapted for English ideas of
comfort, and also long known to English travellers passing through,
as well as a comfortable home to many residents there. The Hotel des
Etrangers is a large, spacious building, now kept by a Frenchman, and is
quite a fashionable resort for deputies visiting Rio for the session, as
also for foreign diplomatists. The accommodation at Johnson’s Hotel is
limited, and quite of a select nature. Comfortable boarding-houses, in
our meaning of the term, are very few and far between. The majority of
new-comers to, or passers-through, Rio, have private friends, to whose
houses they resort during their brief sojourn; but, undoubtedly, there
is ample scope for much greater accommodation being afforded to ‘man and
beast’ in this large city. The Emperor of Brazil is said to be coming to
Europe on a tour of some duration. It is to be hoped that not only will
he be accompanied by a large retinue, but that numbers of the affluent
inhabitants of this capital will also visit the old world at the same
time; for if so, they can carry back with them no experience that may be
turned to more desirable account in Rio than that which they will derive
from an acquaintance with first class British, French, or German hotels.

After four days’ detention at Rio, coaling, taking in cargo, &c., we
left, on the morning of the 20th October, with some eighty passengers on
board, for the northern ports of Brazil, Lisbon, and England. Again we
encountered the head wind and sea which had so perplexed us previously,
between Monte Video and Rio; but arriving, nevertheless, in three and
a half days at Bahia, where we spent a miserably wet day coaling. In
spite of the weather we got away in the afternoon, under a salute from
the forts in honour of the President[122] of Pará, who was a passenger
on board. Forty hours took us to Pernambuco Roads, which we left again
on Sunday afternoon, the 16th, once more in direct route for home. The
Olinda was due at Pernambuco, and strange enough, the next morning
we met her as if a line had been drawn for us to do so. Saluting each
other with two guns, and a reciprocal round of three hearty cheers, time
being too valuable for either to stop to satisfy curiosity, we pursued
our respective routes, not a little elated by reciprocal punctuality
and success thus far in our mutual maiden voyage. She looked remarkably
well, appeared to be steaming fast, and would be in Pernambuco early next
day. Our passenger list comprised fifty, of all denominations, English,
French, Brazilians, Portuguese, Argentine, &c.; but it is surprising
how everything gets into shape and order under such circumstances. We
sighted the Island of St. Paul’s, looking like the white sails of a
vessel, and on Sunday afternoon, the 22nd of October, came to anchor in
Porto Grande, St. Vincent, under seven days from Pernambuco, a distance
of 2,000 miles, very good work it must be confessed, though, perhaps,
nothing to boast of, considering what we had already achieved. Leaving
St. Vincent the same night, we had to steam against the north-east wind
and waves for seven consecutive days, with no aid from our canvass.
Then we passed Porto Santo, and saw both the Desertas and Madeira at a
good distance, basking in fine clear weather. The morning of the 3rd
October broke splendidly on the coast of Portugal, Cape Espectrial and
the distant hills in sight, the lower land being shrouded in mist; we
stood towards Cascaes Bay, got a pilot on board, and once more entered
the Tagus, in the short space of fifteen days from Pernambuco, and
twenty-one from Rio. We were obliged to bring up at Belem, and undergo
quarantine, although we brought clean bills of health, there being no
cases of fever reported at any of the Brazilian ports. A certificate
from four medical men on board attested this fact; as well as our
having no invalids on board of any kind. Between twenty and thirty of
our passengers left us here, having to endure the misery of eight days
in the Lazaretto—a castellated looking building, situated on the south
side of the Tagus—they were all transferred, with their luggage, to a
large lighter. A more lovely day could scarcely be conceived than the
one when we were at anchor at the quarantine station, coaling; most
tantalising to be debarred from availing ourselves of the opportunity
to land and have a run over the city, which many of our passengers had
seen for the first time. As to preventing an importation of yellow fever
by their quarantine regulations, it is a complete farce, as all kind of
communication are kept up with the shore; the officers of the ship are
allowed to go on shore to the health office, which is right on the main
road passing Belem, and the shore is a common thoroughfare; caravans
and people bathing where the boats land. It is difficult to conceive on
what grounds these absurd regulations are introduced, unless it be to
annoy and drive away people wishing to visit the place, and as part and
parcel of a system of intolerant restrictions that are enough to paralyse
the energies of any country. The inconvenience which such restrictions
cause is indescribable, nor can anything justify the infliction in such
cases as ours. If at any time there is really sufficient grounds for
adopting quarantine regulations, they ought to be delighted to remove
them so soon as the grounds were removed. In the present advanced
state of civilization, and with the rapid intercourse between nations,
quarantine is almost a barbarity, calculated to shut out the country
that exercises it from the rest of the world, whilst it is impossible it
can be efficacious in the manner it is carried on at Lisbon; besides,
the yellow fever has never been known to travel out of the tropics,
and surely a voyage of twenty or thirty days across the ocean, without
a case on board, is sufficient security, even supposing the fever to
exist in the country the vessel comes from. On the other hand, reports
of cholera in England cause an enforcement of quarantine outwards, thus
putting the crowning piece to this mass of absurdity and annoyance. The
subject cannot be alluded to with common patience, especially when it is
publicly stated that the medical men who have to determine these sanitary
points have a strong pecuniary interest in the lazarettos, and numbers of
people prey upon the unfortunate vessel and passengers subjected to these
terrible inflictions. Since my return, however, the Lisbon officials
seem to have become a little amenable to reason and decency, and their
preposterous regulations are in a trifling degree relaxed.

At 10 A.M. on the morning of the 1st November we weighed anchor, and
steamed past Belem, towing a pilot in his boat astern. Our late fellow
passengers in the Lazaretto were assembled at the top of the building,
waving flags and handkerchiefs, to bid us farewell, and one could
scarcely help feeling melancholy to see so many worthy people stuck up in
a kind of cage, for no earthly object but to gratify a morbid sensibility
on points sanitary. The pilot would not come on board, as it would
subject him to perform a given number of days’ quarantine afterwards.
There was a fresh breeze from the southward, and the rope soon broke,
leaving Mr. Pilot to find his way back to Lisbon, and the steamer to
find her own way out as best she could. A heavy sea was breaking on the
bar, in which the pilot could not possibly have been towed, so we were
well rid of him; but it only shows the operation of things under such
an iniquitous system, where a man is well paid for doing absolutely
worse than nothing—being in the way; for how is it possible for a pilot
to direct a vessel when he is towed astern of her, and any directions
he might give are impossible to be heard? However, we crossed the bar
safely, and soon passed the Rock of Lisbon, after which our fair wind
vanished; came strong ahead, with a good deal of sea, against which we
steamed until next day 2nd Nov., when it became calm, and the wind
gradually veered to south-east. Saw Cape Finisterre, and from thence
to St. Agnes Light (Scilly Islands); we were only thirty-five hours in
doing 450 miles of distance. From Scilly we posted our way up Channel;
went inside the Smalls; passed close to the Island of Grasholm, a very
wild spot; missed Bardsey, but saw Holyhead Light; had a tug round the
Skerries, blowing hard; at daylight got a pilot on board, and at 11 A.M.
entered the Mersey, exactly twenty-six days from Rio Janeiro, including
stoppages. My trip of 15,000 miles (including the run up the Parana)
occupied me very little over three months, during which time I visited
all the important sea ports of Brazil, Monte Video, Buenos Ayres, &c.,
spending a fortnight in Rio, and about the same time in the La Plata.
The ‘Brazileira’s’ entire voyage occupied seventy-three days, including
eighteen days’ stoppages, clearly proving that it is only a question of
time for these valuable countries to be brought within the scope of a
pleasure trip.

The performances of the Brazileira and of her sister ships of our fleet
had, on the whole, been highly satisfactory, and promised to realize to
the utmost every anticipation that had been entertained at the period
of the formation of the company. But, alas, for bright visions! two of
the flotilla unexpectedly, I may say unaccountably, are numbered with
the departed, and under pretty nearly identical circumstances—both from
shaving too close. The Olinda, wrecked hard by Holyhead, but fortunately
without sacrifice of life, in one of those terrible storms that swept
the British coast the beginning of this year, is a loss to the company
as regards her keeping up the main ocean line. The Argentina had, for a
time, been a shining light to the numerous passengers between the two
great cities on the La Plata, and she is, emphatically, a national loss
to them, as well as to the surrounding district, retarding, in fact,
the work of civilization and improvement. On a fine, clear, and almost
breathless evening, still daylight, she carried her temerity so far as to
approach too closely some sunken rocks near the entrance to Monte Video
harbour, going twelve miles an hour at the time, and in a moment her
career of usefulness was ended! There was almost a general mourning over
her, so great a favourite had she become, by the rapid and satisfactory
manner in which she illustrated the blessings of steam navigation in a
region where, of all others, such agency is most to be desired.[123]

In order to repair as speedily as possible the damages caused by the loss
of the Olinda and Argentina, the company have purchased the paddle-wheel
steamer Menai, well known for her quick passages between Liverpool,
Beaumaris, and Bangor, to replace the Argentina on the station between
Monte Video and Buenos Ayres, until such time as a larger and more
efficient vessel, now in course of construction, and that will be in
every way worthy of the passenger traffic between those two great cities,
can be built. They have also sent out the La Plata, a fine new screw,
built by Mr. John Laird, originally intended for the London and Oporto
trade, and to be called the Bacchante; but now destined to run between
Rio Janeiro, Monte Video, and Buenos Ayres, in connection with the ocean
steamers, which will not proceed beyond Rio Janeiro. In conjunction with
the above-mentioned vessels, the company intend placing on the line the
Imperador and Imperatrice, two steamers also in process of construction,
same size and power as the Bahiana. Our fleet will thus consist of the
Imperador, Imperatrice, and Bahiana, all new ships; the Brazileira and
Lusitania, now running; the La Plata, a branch boat; and the two River
Plate passenger-boats. I doubt not the public, as well as the respective
governments embraced in this line of steam communication, will consider
the enterprise as deserving of their especial support.

A page of my allotted space remains to be filled, and I cannot better
occupy it than with a brief summary of the news brought to the latest
moment before going to press, viz., that by the Mail, which arrived on
the 16th of April, with dates from Buenos Ayres, March 4; Monte Video, 6;
Rio Janeiro, 17; Bahia, 22; Pernambuco, 25; St. Vincent’s, Cape Verde,
April 4; Teneriffe, 8; Madeira, 9; and Lisbon, 12, as quoted in the
leading journal of the 17th.

Tranquillity continued undisturbed on the Plate. Business in imported
goods and manufactures was dull, owing to the total absence of dealers
from the interior. Since the blockade of July last upwards of 2,000
houses had been erected in the city of Buenos Ayres, and buildings were
still being raised with the greatest rapidity. Trade was expected to
improve. Articles of consumption were very dear. The supplies of produce
were very stinted, and at advancing prices. A large portion of the last
clip of wool remained on hand. The following extracts from a letter,
dated Buenos Ayres, March 4, give the latest particulars of political

‘Here everything goes on quite smoothly: at least, there is
nothing within the province to cause any uneasiness. Our
attention at present is wholly directed to Monte Video,
where the Brazilian policy is being carried out with rapid
strides. The only important question for us is how their
proceedings may be viewed by General Urquiza, as President
of the Confederation, whether he may make friends with us to
resist the Imperialists, or join with the Imperialists that he
may attack this province? Mr Buchental, a wealthy Brazilian
capitalist and speculator, has crossed over to Chili to consult
as to the means of forming a railroad from Valparaiso to the
Rosario. The latest news from the west coast represents nearly
all the Republics to the north in a state of excitement, but
we suspect there is a great deal of exaggeration. Mr. Gore,
British Minister at Buenos Ayres, has gone up the Parana for
the purpose, it is supposed, of exchanging the ratifications
of the treaty, and, perhaps, to grace the installation of the
Constitutional Presidency, which is to take place about this
time, some say on this very day. If Urquiza is wise, he will do
the best he can with his own domains, and leave us alone.’

From Rio there is nothing worth noticing, as regards political affairs.
A considerable reaction had taken place in the coffee-market, and prices
were lower. Supplies regular. From Pernambuco we learn that the South
American and General Steam Navigation Company’s steamer Lusitania
reached Pernambuco on the 18th ult. Great tightness exists in the
money-market—more so than had been experienced for a long period.

On the 13th, the South American and General Steam Navigation Company’s
steam vessel for the Plate, Menai, was off Cape Finisterre. Our Lisbon
accounts are to the 12th instant. The passengers by the Mail had been
placed in quarantine for eight days, in consequence of the reported
appearance of yellow fever at Pernambuco. The little rain which had
fallen in Portugal was not sufficient materially to improve the prospects
of the grain harvest, while the cattle in some parts were suffering much
from want of food.

ERRATUM.—In the hurry of passing the foregoing pages through
the press, many errors have occurred, which unavoidable absence
from London, and the nature of my duties in Liverpool, did not
permit of being corrected in time. For these I must crave the
reader’s indulgence, promising that they shall not be repeated,
and that many short comings shall be supplied, in the event of
another edition being called for, which I am in hopes, from
the nature of the subject itself, though not from its present
treatment, will soon be the case. One oversight, however, is of
too conspicuous a nature not to require notice, namely, that in
which the printers have confounded the sugar and cotton growing
province of Paraiba do Norte with the coffee plantations on the
River Parayba, in the province of Rio Janeiro, there being no
coffee grown in the former province, and consequently it is to
the latter the remarks in the text are intended to apply.


The Falklands recommended by the Colonial Land Emigration
Commissioners, as a place of Re-fit, Naval Station, and
Convict Settlement.—The Corporation of the Falkland Islands
Company.—How it could assist Her Majesty’s Government in
forming a Convict Settlement.—Proposal to demonstrate
the superior eligibility of this Colony for a Convict
Settlement.—Climate healthy.—Fresh Water abundant.—Cost of
Transport less than that to other Colonies.—Safe Custody and
Classification.—Geographical position and extent.—Distance from
the Main.—Little Naval Force required.—Causes of insecurity
at other Settlements not found at the Falklands.—Detached
Islands provide against escape.—Guard required less than
elsewhere.—Provisions cheap.—How supplied.—Cereals may be
raised.—Employment.—Supply of Convicts need not be gradual.—How
first comers are to be disposed of.—Preliminary outlay very
small, and may be recovered.—Opinions of various Servants of
the Crown.—Two Propositions.—1. What the Falkland Islands
Corporation should undertake.—2. What national advantages
would result from a Convict Settlement at this Colony.—Get rid
of Convicts.—Relieve the Mother Country.—Redeem the pledge
made to all Convicts.—Facilities for reformation.—Restoration
of the penitent to society, without injury to the
innocent.—Agricultural School for Juvenile Convicts.—Complete
Depot for Naval Re-fit near Cape Horn.—Saving of Port Charges
and of Freight.—All Ship’s Repairs could be done if Patent Slip
laid down.—Secure Coaling Station for Steamers.—First-rate
Naval Station.—In time of War ‘Key of the Pacific.’—Testimony
of Governor Rennie, and of Capt. Matthews, Commander of the
Great Britain Steamer.

[Illustration: FALKLAND ISLES

Engraved by George Philip & Son]

Some years ago, the British Government was disposed to entertain the
idea of placing a Convict Establishment on the Falkland Islands (a
purpose to which they had been applied by their former occupants),
and it appears that this idea was suggested by the representations of
various persons employed in the service of the Crown, in and about the
islands, and on the neighbouring continent, to the effect that the
locality was highly eligible for the purpose; in fact, the Colonial Land
and Emigration Commissioners have strongly recommended these islands
as a place of re-fit for merchantmen, as a naval station, and as a
convict settlement—and advised that the first operations to promote the
settlement should be undertaken by a public company. It is because the
attention of Government has been thus directed to the eligibility of
these islands, that it is thought well to present, in this brief form,
a statement of the advantages they naturally present, as well as of
those that may be secured, should Her Majesty’s Government be disposed
to resume the consideration of forming a convict settlement there, which
was probably postponed at the date referred to because convenient means
of carrying the project into execution did not then present themselves.
There is no reason to suppose that any objection was raised to the
locality itself, nor does it appear that any objection does actually
exist; on the contrary, it may be satisfactorily demonstrated that no
spot in Her Majesty’s dominions is better suited for a convict station.

A public company now exists, under the style of the ‘Falkland Islands
Company,’ the primary object of which is to trade in the produce of
the colony, and which has obtained from the Crown a royal charter,
incorporating it for that purpose. This fact is premised, to render it
apparent that, if her Majesty’s Government thinks well to avail itself of
the company’s services in making arrangements for a convict settlement
at the Falklands, the means needful to carry out the project are not
wanting. The existing establishments in the colony, recently assigned
to the corporation, are already in that state of forwardness, and the
capital they have at call in this country is sufficient to enable them
to assure Her Majesty’s Government of their capability to undertake
the immediate supply of all necessaries for a large number of convicts
as soon as they can arrive in the colony; moreover, they are prepared
to provide every description of stores on terms as reasonable as those
paid in any other colony, and in respect to the important items of beef,
mutton, and fuel, at a cheaper rate than they can be supplied elsewhere.
If, therefore, it be considered desirable to find a new locality for
convicts (which it appears from public report Her Majesty’s Government
have it in contemplation to select), this company can assist in carrying
out the object, and it only remains to point out why the Falklands
should be deemed most eligible in every point of view for the purpose in
question. The proposition would seem to be sustained by the following

1. The climate is remarkably healthy. In proof of this assertion may be
adduced the concurrent testimony of numerous respectable and honourable
men:—amongst others, Captains Fitzroy, Sulivan, and Robertson, who
conducted the nautical survey—of Dr. Darwin, who accompanied Captain
Fitzroy’s expedition—of Weddell, and Captain Sir James C. Ross—of Captain
Mackinnon, and Captain Eden, who, together with the late Governor,
Captain Moody, and Mr. Hamblin, the colonial surgeon (now in England),
all unite in attributing extraordinary salubrity to the climate of
these islands. That it is considered agreeable may be inferred from
the existence of the present settlers, some of them men of capital and
station, who have formed establishments, and resided there for many
years. The temperature is declared to be remarkably equable, the extremes
of heat and cold, usual in England, being unknown there; then there is a
prevalence of south-westerly gales, which render the air of a peculiarly
bracing character, whilst it is considered far more enjoyable than
that of European countries situate north of the 52nd or 53rd degree of
latitude. Fresh water is everywhere found of excellent quality. From
these authorized statements, it may be taken for granted, that such a
temperature for active and healthy labour is far better suited to the
constitutions of men born in the climate of Great Britain, than the
hot and relaxing atmosphere of the equatorial latitudes, whereby the
power and inclination to labour is diminished, whilst residence in such
climates has the effect of fomenting the evil passions of men under
little or no moral or religious constraint.

2. The cost of transport would be one half of that to any of the existing
penal settlements. This fact being self-evident, requires no testimony
for its support. The islands lie less than half way between Great Britain
and Australia, California, and China, on the direct route to the Pacific.

3. This colony is peculiarly well adapted for the safe custody and
classification of convicts. The Falkland group, situated in the same
latitude, south, as the English midland counties are, north, consists
of two large islands, comprising an area of 6,400 square miles, and
several hundred smaller islands, from 20,000 acres each to islets of one
acre, and the total extent of territory is equal to rather more than
half that of the kingdom of Belgium. The numerous detached islands offer
remarkably well-adapted positions for permanent stations, say for a penal
settlement, whilst the western island combines those advantages that
are requisite to insure the practical working of the forced labour, and
subsequent reformed settlement, system, which might eventually render the
East Falkland a flourishing free colony, entirely unconnected with the
convict establishment. The situation of the islands is wholly isolated;
the nearest land is Staten Island, distant 250 miles by chart—they are
350 miles from Terra del Fuego, and 400 from the coast of Patagonia
in direct lines, countries either uninhabited, or peopled by savages,
without port or shipping—and there is no small shipping trade in or
about the Falklands. By means of the semaphore, a communication can be
kept up every ten minutes between the extreme western point of the West
Island and Port Stanley on the extreme east of the group—consequently
the naval force stationed there need be very trifling. Then the vessels
calling are all bound round the Horn, or returning from the Pacific, or
whalers—none of these, wanting men, would take convicts, and there is
none of that class of shipping on this track that are likely to take
them off. There are no woods to conceal fugitives, and no means of
constructing boats or rafts, should any contemplate so wild an adventure
as to try to gain the main, where certain death by starvation, or at the
hands of ruthless savages, would await them. These advantages cannot
fail to be appreciated when the position of this settlement is compared
with that of Van Dieman’s Land, Norfolk Island, or any of the islands of
the northern groups in that hemisphere. Here are no native population or
settlers to be corrupted by contact with convicts—no coasting traffic,
affording constant opportunity for escape, and both of which render safe
custody costly in other colonies. Norfolk Island, and more particularly
New Caledonia and the Fidgee group, lie in the track of a host of
independent traders, men who own and command their ships, and whose
occupation is trading between these islands, Sydney, the Society Islands,
the Marquesas and the Paumotu Islands, as well as with Valparaiso—whose
expeditions frequently last two or three years, and who notoriously take
part in the quarrels between the various petty Polynesian kingdoms;
in which cases they not unfrequently undertake to provide the party,
who is able to pay them for the service, with English soldiers, and in
performance of such engagements, kidnap convicts as a matter of traffic.
The existence of this trade, carried on to a considerable extent by men
who have some of them been convicts themselves, must always render the
custody of criminals at the islands named both hazardous and expensive.
The numerous detached islands which form the Falkland group afford every
facility for classification, and are most of them only approachable
on the north-eastern side, the rest of the coast being fringed with
sunken rocks, naturally buoyed by kelp, which render landing or getting
off impossible. The peculiarities of form and position herein noticed
would render the presence of a large military or civil guard quite
unnecessary—and it will probably appear, that such part of the duty of
an establishment there as appertains to their safe custody and to the
maintenance of proper order amongst the prisoners, could be carried out
more economically than at any other station.

4. Provisions of all kinds would be plentiful at cheaper rates than in
any other colony. Beef, mutton, and pork are in abundance, and could be
supplied of the best quality at 2_d._ to 3_d._ per lb. Flour, biscuit,
and clothing would have to be imported, probably from England and the
Canadas (until they could be raised in sufficient quantity on the
islands), and as vessels bound round the Horn can obtain fresh supplies
of provisions and water at Stanley, these articles could be landed in the
Falklands at a cheaper rate than elsewhere. Vegetables may be raised in
any quantity required, and white celery and other antiscorbutic plants
are indigenous. Labour is only needed to insure the raising of cereal
crops, and therefore the supply of such produce would follow the location
of convicts.

5. Employment would not be wanting. Good building stone and slate exists.
Coal and limestone are reported to have been discovered, but this
requires confirmation. Timber would have to be imported from our North
American colonies for some purposes, though the quantity of drift from
Staten Island and the neighbouring coasts is very great; and some of it
large enough for ship’s repairs. Roads, buildings, public works, the
collection and preparation of fuel, preparation of stores, &c., would
afford ample occupation for a large number of unskilled labourers, whilst
tradesmen and artizans could be occupied in providing for the other wants
of the community. Convicts of the lowest class could be advantageously
employed in the construction of slips, quays, a careening dock, barracks,
enclosures for cattle, dwellings for government officers, stone portage,
military works, levelling town allotments, road-laying, brick-making,
drainage, well sinking, and cutting channels for the supply of water
to the town and shipping. Whilst those of a superior class might have
ample occupation found for them in the construction of dwellings for
themselves, churches, working of salt-works, raising embankments and
planting, horse-breaking and keeping, tending flocks of sheep and herds
of cattle, curing beef and fish, opening streams for drainage, baking,
butchering, cutting, washing, and consolidating turf, collecting guano,
growing vegetable supplies, making shoes, clothing, cheese, butter, &c.,
for the consumption of the establishment and exportation; and procuring
fodder for the Government troop of horses; with many other occupations
which experience would suggest.

6. It is less necessary that the supply of convicts should be gradual in
these islands than in any other of our colonies. The labour of the first
comers would be mainly directed to providing for their own immediate
wants. These, in the first instance, might be lodged on board of hulks,
the same that conveyed them out, and their employment would be in the
erection of a large stone barrack, church, gaol, and storehouses, with
suitable dwellings for the overseers; all as regards the external walls
sound and strong, and on a scale to receive at least double their number,
with the needful attendants on the establishment. An old line-of-battle
ship, jury rigged, could be prepared to receive on board 1,500 to 2,000
convicts; and such a vessel, after her arrival, would not be required
for more than a year or two, but would last four or five years without
needing repairs as a convict hulk. They might afterwards be broken up,
and used as stores in finishing some of the buildings, and for other
suitable purposes. Wooden barracks constructed in this country might
of course be taken out with the convicts; but a hulk is suggested as a
temporary dwelling that could more probably be readily found, and would
not swell the preliminary estimate which it appears always desirable to
avoid in the formation of a new establishment. It should not be lost
sight of, that the stiff clay of the islands works up with the stone of
the ‘streams’ into very sound and durable walls, as witness those of the
old Spanish fort at Port Louis, built, it is said, in 1771, and now in a
good state of preservation.

It results, then, that a convict establishment may be planted at the
Falklands with a very small amount of preliminary outlay on the part
of the Home Government, and that such outlay may speedily be returned.
Such has been the expressed opinion of nearly all the men, who, being
qualified to form an opinion on such a subject, have had an opportunity
of examining the locality. Amongst these gentlemen, there appear the
names of Captains Fitzroy, Ross, Mackinnon, and Sulivan, as well as of
Mr., now Sir, Wm. Gore Ouseley, who, in his official correspondence some
years ago, expressed a very decided opinion on this subject. In fine,
these islands have been recommended by the Colonial Land and Emigration
Commissioners, ‘as a place of transportation, perhaps more eligible than
any other British possession,’ and these gentlemen have already forcibly
suggested a notice to Parliament on the subject.

Having thus demonstrated that no more eligible spot could be found for
convicts, it only remains to point out specifically what the Falkland
Islands Company should undertake, provided Her Majesty’s Government
decide to send such persons to the Falklands, and to avail themselves
of the company’s services in so doing:—and then to set forth the highly
important results _in a national point of view_ that would follow the
adoption of this measure.

The company should contract to furnish all such supplies as the
Government might require of them. They should also undertake to employ
convict labour in the drainage and general improvement of their own
territory, paying to government a fair rate of wages for such labour; and
this would provide a considerable source of revenue, as doubtless the
company would be only too glad to avail themselves of such a means of
rendering their very extensive possessions really productive, in a far
greater space of time than they could hope to accomplish it by importing
free labour, and probably even at less cost.

Thus this colony, hitherto almost overlooked, notwithstanding its very
remarkable geographical position, may become one of the most valuable
possessions of the Crown: and, in times to come, or rather in the time
that has come, rank in importance not second to Gibraltar, Malta, Aden,
Hong Kong, and such other places as are valuable in proportion to the
power they confer on their possessors of maintaining friendly relations
with the other nations of the earth, or protecting their own interests in
the present rupture with Russia. The following national advantages would
thus be secured.

First:—We should get rid of the vexed question of ‘What are we to do
with our convicts?’ and that in a manner not obnoxious to any one of the
objections raised against other localities.

Secondly:—Her Majesty’s Government would be relieved from the
embarrassment that must always attend the attempt to retain convicts in
this country. For the time must come when their terms expire, and then
the real difficulty of disposing of them must be grappled with. It can
hardly be supposed that the mother country will consent to receive among
her highly moral people those whom the colonies have _una voce_ agreed
to reject. And it would be an injustice and impolicy, that could not be
contemplated, to condemn such men to constant isolation. In the East
Falkland they may settle, and thence they may insensibly migrate whither
they list, without the blazonry of their former guilt preceding them,
and thus have really a fair chance of resuming an honest and respectable
position; which it is, to say the least, extremely difficult for men to
accomplish at the spot whereon they have undergone their punishment, and
consequently amongst a people where they are branded with disgrace.

Thirdly:—The philanthropist will hail with infinite satisfaction the
establishment of a settlement which, whilst it provides for the proper
punishment of offenders against the laws, affords the best possible
opportunity of promoting and encouraging genuine reform—a reform that
would eventually restore the penitent to society, and moreover without
the outward symbol of past crime that would cause it, by rejecting him,
to drive him back on his evil habits. The process would be accomplished
without the risk of any moral stain upon the innocent, and the locality
proposed is physically adapted, by a very remarkable combination of
circumstances, to the promotion of morality. A _juvenile_ Convict
Agricultural School, on principles already tried elsewhere, might
advantageously form part of the general system adopted in the Falklands;
and, being entirely separate from the adult establishment, would prove a
valuable aid in the progress of reformation.

Fourthly:—The most convenient place for re-fit for our merchantmen and
foreigners, as well as for steamers, trading between Europe and the
Pacific, would speedily be rendered perfectly available. The enormous
port charges of the east and west coast ports of South America would
be avoided. Freight would be saved to shipowners, and the comforts of
passing emigrants promoted, by the facility of re-provisioning and
watering half way. And all this at a port wholly unconnected with
the convict settlement, where a small dockyard could be economically
constructed, and would amply and speedily repay the expense incurred.

Fifthly:—Her Majesty’s ships, and those of the merchant navy also, could
undergo repair here cheaper than at any port in those seas—and, if a
patent slip were laid down, more speedily; for at present there is not,
strange to say, one patent slip south of the line, on all the coast round
to Callao. This important advantage would effect an immense saving in
the cost of Her Majesty’s squadron constantly kept afloat on the east
coast, and that also on the west coast of South America, one item of
which would be a fortnight to three weeks’ saving of wear and tear on
every voyage home from the Pacific. This consideration becomes of double
importance now that Russian men-of-war are known to be in the Pacific on
the look-out for our merchantmen.

Sixthly:—As lines of steamers are established round the Horn, the
Falklands are the point of all others most suitable for a coaling
station, (as the documents in this work from the most competent
authorities have abundantly proved,) and one that in time of war could be
easily rendered impregnable.

And, lastly, now that war is in reality upon us, with the certainty of
being a tolerably long one, it is difficult to exaggerate the advantage
which the possession of these islands would afford to Great Britain
in respect to their position, provided proper works were constructed,
for which there are great local advantages. In this point of view, any
protracted delay in rendering the Falklands thoroughly available as a
first-rate naval station, on the footing of Gibraltar and other places,
would appear to be an oversight.

The whole of the above objects may be speedily accomplished with the
accession of convict labour; without it, the prospect of these advantages
is very remote, and their realization might, at any moment, be frustrated
by the colony passing (as heretofore) into the hands of some more
enterprising nation, whose rulers may entertain a shrewd notion of the
vast importance attaching to a naval station that may truly be called
‘the key to the Pacific.’ One position may be advanced as indisputable;
namely, that now war has involved us with at least one of the great
maritime powers, the entire Pacific fishery, and the whole trade on and
about the Western Coasts of America, may come under the absolute control
of the possessors of the Falkland Islands, should a _coup de main_ of our
unscrupulous foe bring about the temporary transfer of the station to him.

P.S. Since the above was in type, Mr. Bentley has published a work
from the pen of Earl Grey, entitled ‘The Colonial Policy of Lord John
Russell’s Administration,’ containing much valuable matter relative to
the system of transportation, and a brief notice of the Falkland Islands.
Respecting the Falklands, the noble Earl observes, that the object of the
Government was—

‘To create a small settlement, where passing ships might re-fit
and obtain supplies for which these islands, notwithstanding
the inclemency of their climate, were considered to be
peculiarly well adapted, from their possessing admirable
harbours, and lying directly in the track of vessels returning
to this country from Australia, or the Pacific, by Cape Horn.
They also afforded considerable resources in the herds of wild
cattle which are to be found upon them.’ His lordship goes
on to remark, that ‘An arrangement was concluded by which a
regular communication will be established between this country
and the Falkland Islands, by means of a small vessel plying
between these islands and Monte Video, where it will meet the
mail steamer from England every alternate month.’ And that,
‘Hitherto this settlement has not advanced rapidly; probably
it would hardly have been expected to do so, unless a larger
expenditure had been incurred than was considered advisable in
carrying out and establishing emigrants there; but it seems
now to have taken root, and will, I trust, do well hereafter.
Already, from the growing up of some little trade, and from
land having been brought into cultivation, it has been found
possible, in the last four years, to discontinue the issue of
rations from the Government stores to the inhabitants, who
can now purchase for themselves what they require. Those of
the working-class can find ample employment at good wages,
and ships which call there can depend upon obtaining the most
necessary supplies. The advantages offered by this place of
call on the long voyage home are beginning to be known, so
that each year more vessels are stopping there on their way;
and, from the great increase of the trade with Australia and
California, it is probable that the port of Stanley (the name
of the settlement) will be more and more resorted to. I am
informed that a ship wanting, water or provisions, in the run
home from Cape Horn, may save not less than from ten days to
a fortnight by calling at Stanley, instead of Buenos Ayres,
or Rio de Janeiro besides having no port charges to pay. In
proportion as more vessels call for supplies, these will be
furnished more abundantly and better, since private enterprise
will be sure to meet the demand which the greater resort of
shipping to the port will create. It is to be hoped, also, that
the means of re-fitting ships that have suffered in the stormy
passage round Cape Horn, which already exist to some extent,
will be increased there in the same manner, and that the plan
of establishing there a patent slip, which was at one time
under consideration with a view of its being undertaken by the
Government, will be taken up as a private speculation.’

The annexed official document has been presented to Parliament during
the present session; and although its date is anterior to that of the
valuable communication from Capt. Matthews, of the Great Britain, as
already quoted, it so materially confirms the value of the settlement
as to suggest that Government should lose no time in increasing the
two-monthly mail service now existing between the islands and Monte
Video, and in erecting a patent slip, as they have lately done a
lighthouse; for it is obvious that the Falklands must now assume, in the
consideration of England, the status to which their political, as well as
their geographical, position entitles them:

_Copy of a despatch from Governor Bennie to the Right Honourable Sir
John S. Pakington, Bart.—Government House, Stanley, Falkland Islands,
January 8, 1853.—(Received March 17, 1853.)—Sir,—In transmitting the
Blue Book of this colony for the year ending 31st December 1852, I have
the honour to report a continuance of the same steady, though not very
rapid progress, which has prevailed in this small community during the
last four years. The resort of shipping to these islands for supplies and
repairs, forming one of the chief sources of prosperity, it is gratifying
for me to observe the progressive increase shown by the returns of the
year just ended over that of the previous year. In the year ending
December 1851, 17,538 tons of shipping from England and foreign parts
entered this harbour; in the year ending December 1852, there were 22,024
tons, being an increase of 4,486 tons. This augmentation necessarily
produces a demand for produce, labour, and stores of every description,
affording remunerative profits to the storekeepers, and employment at
good wages to the labouring classes, unskilled 3s. to 5s. per diem, and
skilled 6s. to 10s. Provisions are abundant, and at reasonable prices.
The transference to the Falkland Islands Company of the large interests
held by Mr. Lafone, and the commencement by that corporation of a more
comprehensive system of operation, supported by a large capital, gives
me very favourable hopes of benefit to the colony, and I trust to the
shareholders. It is, however, worthy of remark, that whilst a powerful
company, invested with great privileges by Her Majesty’s Government (as
regards its property in land and cattle) has likewise established a
considerable mercantile warehouse in the town of Stanley, the general
business is going on so satisfactorily that all the original storekeepers
are now adding to their premises and extending their dealings. The master
of a barque, the Record, lately in the harbour, publicly notified that
he would take passengers to the gold diggings in Australia at 10l. per
head, and it gives me much pleasure to add, that not a person could be
found in the colony to accept his proposition. In the year 1849, I put
up for sale 12 allotments of one acre each, of suburban land near the
town, suitable for the working classes to build on or to cultivate as
gardens, and the amount idealized averaged 6l. per acre, being three
times the usual government price. A few weeks since, having been given to
understand that other parties wished to have an opportunity of purchasing
similar allotments, I selected 11 of the same extent, but not quite equal
to the former in situation. The prices on this occasion reached 12l. per
acre on the average, or six times the usual fixed sum, and twice that
of 1849. The grumbling and discontent manifested by a portion of the
enrolled pensioners settled here has subsided since the notification
to them by the Secretary-at-War that they were at liberty to return to
England if they preferred to do so, nor has even one of them up to the
present time availed himself of the permission. Small, comparatively, as
the instances are which I have the honour to communicate, I trust they
may lead to a more just appreciation of the capabilities and utility of
this colony, and of the favourable prospects which it affords to steady
and industrious emigrants.—I have, &c. (Signed) GEORGE RENNIE.—The Right
Hon. Sir John S. Pakington, Bart. &c., &c._



[1] In reference to the preponderating interest of Liverpool in this
trade, an influential metropolitan journalist, commenting on the treaty
with Paraguay soon after its ratification in London, observes:—

Liverpool is the very centre and focus of our foreign trade.
There almost every man you meet is either engaged in commerce,
or is in the service of those so engaged. Liverpool, like the
seat of the Pope of Rome—but in a widely different sense—has
its agents and its commercial missionaries in every climate
and in every latitude, and there is not one among them who is
not as intent and energetic in his work as those ‘soldiers
of the faith,’ whom Rome sent out on the South American
missions in the two centuries from 1535 to 1735. The fiery
enthusiasm of Don Pedro de Mendoza himself, who offered
Charles V. to complete the conquest of Paraguay and the Rio
de la Plata at his own expense, is equalled by some of those
indomitable agents of the counting-house, who are as zealous
for commercial conquests as the Andalusian Hidalgo was for
the aggrandisement of his Sovereign and master. We doubt that
even Father Charlevoix himself, so often cited and praised
by his brother Breton, Chateaubriand, and who has given
us six volumes of a charming history of Paraguay—which he
explored in person—exhibited more zeal for the interests of
his order in the countries watered by the Rio de la Plata,
the Rio Salado, the Rio Negro, the Catapuliche, and the Rio
de la Encarnacion, than do those Liverpool junior partners,
clerks, and supercargoes, who are charged with the interests
of considerable commercial houses in such distant latitudes.…
Through the rivers opened to us by the efforts of Lord
Malmesbury, one-fourth, at least, of the produce of South
America, must be brought to the market of the world, and of
this commerce Liverpool will certainly have the largest, and
Bristol, Glasgow, and London, a considerable share.

[2] In the original prospectus of the company, whose calculations,
apart from two wrecks, as to the performances of their vessels have
since been so well verified by experience, it was stated that, ‘The
importance and extent of our trade with Brazil and the River Plate, and
the necessity which exists for a more perfect postal communication with
these countries, mainly suggested this enterprise; and, accordingly, the
first efforts of this company will be devoted, not only to supply the
desideratum of a bi-monthly mail, but to afford to shippers of goods a
cheap and speedy conveyance, which the acceleration of the mails over
the old system of sailing packets renders most desirable; the tonnage
at present employed in the Rio and River Plate trades, from the Port
of Liverpool alone amounts to 30,000 tons annually, while the value of
exports, principally consisting of Manchester and other similar fabrics,
is upwards of three millions sterling per annum. The number of first
class passengers was, until the establishment of the mail steamers, very
circumscribed; but since that period it has materially increased, not
less than one hundred per month, each way, being now the average. Of the
second class of passengers and the lower description of emigrants the
numbers who have gone from Great Britain and the continent, by sailing
vessels, has been very great, more than is generally supposed, not fewer
than 4,000 persons having emigrated to Rio Grande and the southern ports
of Brazil during the last year, while to the River Plate the numbers
for years past has been still more considerable; and the inducements
held out to emigrants in both countries are so great, that, with the
additional facilities afforded by a regular steam communication, a
largely progressive increase may be fairly calculated on. Thus it will
be seen that a large field is open for this company’s operations, and,
as the rates of passage proposed to be charged are extremely moderate,
being within what has hitherto been obtained by sailing ships, it is not
unreasonable to suppose that the estimate of the number of passengers,
upon which the requisite calculations are based, is under what may
fairly be expected from this country, the continent, and Portugal. Three
steam-ships, of from 1,500 to 1,700 tons, and about 300 horse-power,
will, in the first instance, be built for the Rio line. The vessels will
be modelled after the most approved principles, and, with the ample
power proposed, it is confidently anticipated that an average speed of
at least 10 knots per hour will be attained. The branch boat will be of
smaller dimensions, suitable for the navigation of the River Plate. It
is calculated that the passage to Rio will not exceed twenty-five days,
and that the whole distance to the River Plate will be accomplished in
thirty-five days, including the needful detention in Rio to transfer the
cargo and passengers to the branch boat. The average passages of the best
ships at present employed is not less than fifty days to Rio, and sixty
to the River Plate.’ The branch boat, it will be seen hereafter, was
lost, as likewise the Olinda, the second ship of the Ocean line, both,
however, having been replaced.

[3] Though the great Genoese came in sight of St. Salvador, Bahama
Islands, on the 11th of October, 1492, it was not until 1497 that he
found the continent, the same year that Cabot, the son of a Venetian
pilot residing at Bristol, discovered Newfoundland, and named it Prima
Vista; the year also (or, as some say, the year before), that Amerigo
Vespucci, a Florentine in the service of Spain, and subsequently of
Portugal, and again of Spain, reached the east coast, and was fortunate
in giving his name to the entire of the continent, north and south.
The Bahamas were not known to the English for nearly 200 years (1667)
after the discovery by Columbus, when Captain Seyle was nearly wrecked
there while proceeding to Carolina, also discovered by Cabot in 1500.
The Bahamas were long infested by pirates; but in 1718 Captain Rogers
expelled them, and the islands became and have since remained the
property of the Crown of England, with the consent of Spain, though the
British had had a settlement there long previously.


He turned; but what strange thoughts perplexed his soul,
When, lo! no more attracted to the Pole,
The Compass, faithless to the circling Vane,
Fluttered and fixed, fluttered and fixed again!
At length, as by some unseen Hand imprest,
It sought, with trembling energy, the West!
‘Ah, no!’ he cried, and calmed his anxious brow;
‘Ill, nor the signs of ill, ’tis Thine to show;
Thine but to lead me where I wished to go!’


[5] Though his scope embraces no part of the West Coast, nor any portion
of the East Coast beyond the line, the author hopes, by the introduction
of a few of the more prominent facts connected with each republic, to
render this volume somewhat useful to those of his readers who may be
desirous of a slight _precis_ of the history and position of the various
states of South America, but who would, nevertheless, be deterred from
entering upon details of feuds and complications more unintelligibly
perplexing than the records of the dynastic chaos of the Saxon heptarchy,
or the septic entanglements of the earliest Celtic kings. To this
end, therefore, there will be appended a note on each of the outlying
districts, if we may so call them, as they occur in the text; and first
in the foregoing order comes

MEXICO.—After the usual experience of viceregal misrule, common to all
the Spanish transmarine dependencies, this noble province threw off
the yoke and asserted its independence in 1820, and virtually achieved
it about a year afterwards, principally through Iturbide, a Spanish
soldier of great valour and military skill, and who might probably have
done for the land of his adoption what Washington had effected for the
United States. Unlike that great character, however, he abused for his
own selfishness the power he acquired; and, not content with being head
of the state as regent on behalf of the people, he perfidiously caused
himself to be proclaimed emperor, in 1822, and imperial revenues and
honours to be decreed to himself and to his family. These measures,
with many others of a like kind, produced such general defection, that
he assembled the dispersed members of Congress in the capital, in 1823,
and abdicated, agreeing to reside for the remainder of his life in
Italy, on which condition a large allowance was made him. But, faithless
to his word in this instance, as before, he returned from Leghorn,
through England, attempted a revolution, miserably failed in raising
any followers, and was ignominiously shot, at Padilla, in Santander, by
La Garza, commander of that province, pursuant to instructions from the
provincial legislature, in 1824. Vittoria, one of the ablest lieutenants
of Iturbide in the war of independence, had been proclaimed president the
year before; and the year after (’25) a treaty of commerce was ratified
with Great Britain. Such proceedings, with the recognition that was soon
to follow of the independence of the revolted country, had formed a topic
of urgent interest at the Congress of Verona, in 1822, when, seeing what
was looming in the future of South America, the Duke of Wellington,
plenipotentiary from England, instructed by Mr. Canning, in continuation
of the policy of Lord Castlereagh, to whom the Duke had just succeeded,
presented a note, stating, that ‘The connection subsisting between the
subjects of his Britannic Majesty and the other parts of the globe has
for long rendered it necessary for him to recognise the existence,
_de facto_, of governments formed in different places, so far as was
necessary to conclude treaties with them. The relaxation of the authority
of Spain in her colonies of South America has given rise to a host of
pirates and adventurers,—an insupportable evil, which it is impossible
for England to extirpate without the aid of the local authorities
occupying the adjacent coasts and harbours; and the necessity of this
coöperation cannot but lead to the recognition, _de facto_, of a number
of governments of their own creation.’

Austria, Russia, Prussia, and France (represented by M. de
Chateaubriand), diplomatically ignored this overture to humiliate their
royal brother of Spain by admitting that which they were soon afterwards
compelled, for their own sakes, to acquiesce in. All the efforts of the
successor of Ferdinand and Isabella ignominiously failed to win back
or retain any portion of the glorious inheritance of the throne of the
Indies. A vast expedition, sent against Mexico, surrendered to the now
successful revolutionists in 1829, a few months after the expulsion
of the Spaniards had been decreed. Unfortunately, however, democratic
anarchy soon supervened upon monarchic despotism; for hardly was the old
tyranny got rid of, than Guerrero, the president, was deposed; and Mexico
has since been but another word for whatever is most unwise in foreign
policy or most pernicious in domestic administration. In 1838 war was
declared against France, and of course, ended in disaster to Mexico,
after five months’ duration, the most memorable incidents being the
capture of the strong fortress of St. Jean d’Ulloa, by Prince Joinville,
who greatly distinguished himself; and the brave defence of Vera Cruz,
by Santa Anna, who there lost a leg. This soldier of fortune, something
of the stamp of Rosas, having been repeatedly elected to supreme power,
deposed, exiled, imprisoned, and restored, is once more president,
with what prospect of continuance it is impossible to tell. Neither
misfortune, nor experience of the impolicy of excessive severity, seems
to have mitigated the innate ferocity of the man’s character. With a
defiance of opinion more in consonance with the era of the Borgias than
of constitutional government, or even of a civilized government in the
middle of the 19th century, only as late as November last the Dictator
caused death to be inflicted, by shooting, without the pretext of a
trial, and as though they were the veriest wild beasts, on Senhor Tornel,
formerly President Arista’s Minister of War, and Senhor de la Rosa, who
was minister for foreign affairs immediately after the capitulation of
the city of Mexico, and was the immediate instigator of Santa Anna’s
expulsion from the country on that occasion, being also the writer of
the letter officially informing him of his disgrace. Their offence
was, simply, being obnoxious to the dictator—nothing more. Like Rosas,
however, he has evinced more consideration for the foreign creditor than
might have been expected; and about the period of the barbarity just
named, devoted a considerable sum in liquidation of the more pressing of
these demands, his ability to do so arising, it was said, (though the
authority is as apocryphal as the circumstance itself) from a donation
by the pope, as an equivalent for the restoration of the order of the
Jesuits in Mexico. Others say that his funds have accrued from a sale
to the United States of territory adjoining the present Californian
possessions of the Union; and that, with the proceeds, he means to repeat
Iturbide’s experiment in imperial power and title. Be this as it may,
the area of Santa Anna’s sway, is much less now than it was formerly;
for, owing to a succession of decisive repulses sustained from the United
States, with which war was declared in 1846, and carried on till the
beginning of 1848, Mexico has lost California; Texas having been annexed
to the States in 1846; Yucatan, &c., having also seceded; and now, of
the once prodigious territory of the Montezumas, and known in Spanish
colonial history as the vice-royalty of Mexico, there remains, according
to the treaty of 1848, but the comparatively narrow strip of land between
the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific.

This, though only a fragment of what it once belonged to, is still most
rich in minerals, and most fruitful in valuable products, and highly
important from its position; but nearly all its natural advantages
are destroyed by the insecurity and deficiencies of its political
institutions, and the incapacity and selfishness of those administering
them among a very numerous population, equal, at least, to that of
Scotland, after all the curtailments we have spoken of. It is needless to
acquaint any reader of the public journals, to whom the words ‘Mexican
Bondholders’ must be a ‘horrid, hideous sound of woe, sadder than
owl-songs on the midnight blast,’ that the finances of the state are in
a condition the reverse of consolatory to creditors. For the precise
nature of those obligations, in whose fulfilment England is so much
interested, we must refer to the very numerous pamphlets published by
the various committees appointed in London to advise upon this intricate
and unsatisfactory subject. That there is every desire on Santa Anna’s
part to meet English liabilities, there can be no doubt; one motive
for his anxiety being, it is said, the achievement of a stock-jobbing
_coup_ on his own account, or, rather, on account of the adventurers
he is surrounded by. If internal peace could only be secured, the vast
resources of the country, and its unparagoned geographical position,
midway, as it were, in the very path of the commerce of both hemispheres,
would soon permit of its financial difficulties being adjusted. The
question is, whether Santa Anna, in putting down anarchy—if he can
keep it down—will not commit excesses as bad as the revolutionists in
an opposite direction? The latter is the tendency of his acts at the
present; but it is impossible to predicate of such a country what may or
may not turn up from one hour to another. The representative of Mexico,
hitherto charged, until lately, with the difficult task of negociating
in this country with the English creditors, has been Colonel Facio. The
Mexican diplomatic staff in London consists of Senhor de Castillo y
Lanzas, 10, Park-place, Regent’s-park, envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary; Don Augustin A. Franco, first secretary; Don José
Hidalgo, 2nd secretary; Don Ignacio Luijano, attaché; Don B. G. Farias,
32, Great Winchester-street, vice-consul.

Though Consuls were sent, for commercial purposes, to nearly all the
important ports of the new South American states, as early as October,
1823, it was not for several years afterwards that political or
diplomatic representatives were despatched. The first was Mr. Alexander
Cockburn, as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to
Columbia, February, 1820; second, Sir R. Ker Porter, chargé d’affaires
to Venezuela, July, 1835; third, Mr. Turner, envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary to New Granada, June, 1837; and fourth, Mr.
W. Wilson, chargé d’affaires to Bolivia, 1837. These states will be
severally noticed as they occur in the text. It was in March, 1835, that
Sir Richard Pakenham, now British Minister in Portugal [see Lisbon] was
accredited as plenipotentiary to Mexico. At present the same post is
filled by Mr. Percy William Doyle (many years chargé d’affaires there)
whose salary is £3,600, with £400 a-year house rent; secretary of
legation, William Edward Thornton, salary, £600; paid attaché, Mr. A.
H. Hastings Berkeley, salary, £200; and an unpaid attaché. The annexed
list exhibits the names and salaries of the British consular corps in
Mexico:—Mexico, F. Glennie, consul, £400; Vera Cruz, F. Giffard, consul,
£500; Tampico, consul, Cleland Cumberlege, £500; San Bias, Eustace W.
Barron, consul, £300; Mazatlan, S. Thomson, vice-consul, £150; Acapulco,
Charles Wilthew, consul, £400.

[6] In the month of February, 1554, he addressed a long letter to the
emperor,—it was the last he ever wrote him,—soliciting his attention
to his suit. He begins, by proudly alluding to his past services to
the Crown: ‘He had hoped, that the toils of youth would have secured
him repose in his old age. For forty years he had passed his life with
little sleep, bad food, and with his arms constantly by his side. He had
freely exposed his person to peril, and spent his substance in exploring
distant and unknown regions, that he might spread abroad the name of
his sovereign, and bring under his sceptre many great and powerful
nations. All this he had done, not only without assistance from home,
but in the face of obstacles thrown in his way by rivals and by enemies,
who thirsted like leeches for his blood. He was now old, infirm, and
embarrassed with debt. Better had it been for him not to have known the
liberal intentions of the emperor, as intimated by his grants; since he
should then have devoted himself to the care of his estates, and not have
been compelled, as he now was, to contend with the officers of the Crown,
against whom it was more difficult to defend himself than to win the land
from the enemy.’ He concludes with beseeching his sovereign to ‘order the
Council of the Indies, with the other tribunals which had cognisance of
his suits, to come to a decision; since he was too old to wander about
like a vagrant, but ought, rather, during the brief remainder of his
life, to stay at home and settle his account with Heaven, occupied with
the concerns of his soul, rather than with his substance.’ This appeal
to his sovereign, which has something in it touching from a man of the
haughty spirit of Cortez, had not the effect to quicken the determination
of his suit. He still lingered at the court, from week to week, and from
month to month, beguiled by the deceitful hopes of the litigant, tasting
all that bitterness of the soul which arises from hope deferred. After
three years more, passed in this unprofitable and humiliating occupation,
he resolved to leave his ungrateful country and return to Mexico. He had
proceeded as far as Seville, accompanied by his son, when he fell ill
of an indigestion, caused, probably, by irritation and trouble of mind.
This terminated in dysentery, and his strength sank so rapidly under the
disease, that it was apparent his mortal career was drawing towards its

[7] PERU.—Referring to what has been already said as regards Mexico for
a general notion of the relationship between Spain and her colonies,
when the spirit of revolt began to develope itself in the latter, it
is only necessary to add here that, since its emancipation, Peru has,
like all the congeries of republics of which it forms one, been a prey
to civil dissension and military turmoil. Of late years its increasing
commerce, the vast pecuniary means it has discovered, in its guano
islands, of meeting its engagements with the European creditor, and
the comparatively pacific spirit that prevails in its councils and in
those of the neighbouring states, are producing their natural results;
and, despite occasional exceptions, there is every reason to look for
a prosperous future. The conquest of Peru having been effected with
infinitely more ease than that of Mexico, as far as the mere military
resistance of the natives was concerned, it continued for nearly 300
years subject to Spain, and formed its last stronghold in that quarter
of the world. The history of the struggles for independence, from the
time that the first Protector, San Martin, [see Chili, page 18] entered
the country with the combined Chilian and Buenos Ayrean army, and
proclaimed its freedom at Lima, the capital, in 1821, till the Spaniards
were finally expelled, would embrace the biography of the commander
just named, and the still more celebrated one, Bolivar, who, with his
victorious troops from Columbia, to which he had given liberty in 1821,
mainly contributed to the liberation of Peru, whereof he became President
in 1825, San Martin retiring in 1822, with these memorable words:—‘I
have proclaimed the independence of Chili and Peru; I have taken the
standard with which Pizarro came to enslave the empire of the Incas;
and I have ceased to be a public man.’ Bolivar ran through pretty much
the same vicissitudes of popular caprice as we have recounted in the
case of Santa Anna, though an incomparably superior character in every
respect; and, after numberless feuds, and escaping plots against his
life by those he had raised to power, was on the point of returning from
voluntary seclusion, on his patrimonial estate, to assume once more the
direction of affairs, in obedience to the voice of the public, who,
too late, found out that he was the only man for the occasion, when he
died in 1830, in his 47th year, leaving behind the highest reputation
which South American history has afforded, not only as a commander
and an administrator, but as a constitutional legislator. Repeated
revolutions have since ensued, partly caused by rivalries of internal
factions, and partly by the hostilities of neighbouring states, which,
being themselves torn with dissension, and constantly changing their
territorial status, have rendered war upon Peru, or on the part of Peru,
almost unavoidable. This is the case at present; Bolivia, under its
President, Belzu, having invaded Peru, and protracted hostilities being
certain. Under such circumstances it is hardly necessary to add, that
the finances of the country have been inadequate to its expenditure,
and that, consequently, the foreign creditors have fared exceedingly
ill. Of late, however, the prospects have greatly improved, owing to the
immense demand for that peculiar manure which is found in the condition
most approved by agriculturists on the Peruvian coast, and in the next
greatest perfection on the neighbouring coast of Chili, whence, indeed,
the first cargo, which created so much interest, was brought a few years
back into Liverpool, causing small observation, however, for a long time.
But, unluckily for the foreign creditor and the true interests of the
Peruvian government, the latter fixed so high a price on the commodity,
as to create a complete monopoly, attended with most of the mischiefs
of which all monopolies are the parents. Until the close of the last
year, it was imagined that the supply of this most essential ingredient
in farming economy was literally inexhaustible, and that the cost to
the consumer might be kept up at the original excessive rate. About
that period, however, it was ascertained, through a survey instituted
by Admiral Moresby, commanding the British squadron on the West Coast,
that at the then rate of demand (and it has gone on increasing since) the
whole stock (many millions of tons though it was) would be exhausted in
the course of about twenty years. Moreover, as the discovery, first, of
the unique virtues of guano, and, secondly, of its deposit in the finest
known quality and greatest quantity here, were purely accidental, it is
not improbable, indeed is regarded as certain, that there will also be
discoveries of other excellent fertilizers of a like kind, and of other
vast deposits of guano, if not quite so excellent, yet sufficiently so
to deprive Peru of its principal customers at existing rates. Should
either of these occurrences take place—should it be found, as Lord
Clarendon anticipated, in answer to a deputation on the subject, that
nitrate of soda is extractable from the immense heaps of fish refuse
on the Newfoundland coast, and will supply, as chemists believe, the
fructifying element of guano; or should it be found that those deposits
of guano in more damp latitudes,—the Falklands, for instance—will admit
of being profitably freed from the effects of moisture, of course the
value of the Peruvian commodity will decline accordingly, and so will the
prospects of the bondholders, who have probably been amongst the greatest
of all the sufferers from the _mala fides_ and impoverishment of South
American debtors. A species of new bonds have recently been created, to
the great detriment of the interest of the holders of the old ones, and
the dissatisfaction is extreme, especially as the government, instead of
being warned by the facts we have recounted in respect to guano, and by
the discovery of valuable guano islands by North American citizens in
the Caribbean Sea, have actually advanced the price of the commodity to
the extent of the recently enhanced freights, as compared with the usual
rates of shipping charges.

Apart from the monetary, the diplomatic credit of Peru has always
been respectably sustained at the Court of St. James’s. The corps at
present consists of Don Manuel de Mendiburu, minister plenipotentiary;
Don Francisco de Rivero, consul-general, 78, Grosvenor-street,
Grosvenor-square; Don Emilio Altheus, D. M. Espantosa, and Major D. S.
Osma, attachés. Consul’s-office, 6, Copthall-court. Consuls—J. E. Naylor,
Liverpool; R. J. Todd, Cardiff; John G. Dodd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Edward
Wright, Dublin.

England is represented in Peru by Mr. S. H. Sullivan, chargé d’affaires
at Lima; salary as such £1,700 a-year, besides the usual £1 per diem
allowed to all functionaries of that class discharging consular duties.
Until last year (1853) the diplomatic salary was £2,000. At Callao, the
port of Lima, the salary of the consul (Mr. J. Barton) has also been
reduced from £500 to £200, but the fees of office still make the post
very lucrative. At Islay, the vice-consul, Mr. T. Crompton, receives
£500; and at Arica and Payta, Mr. G. H. Nugent and Mr. Alexander Blacker,
vice-consuls, £300 and £100 respectively.

[8] CHILI.—Though probably none of the Spanish conquests in South
America were effected with greater ease than that of Chili—a sort of
dependency on the Incas of Peru, and faithful to their cause long after
it was lost at head-quarters—nowhere were the natives impressed so
much at first with the superiority of the invincible stranger, a sum
equivalent to half a million of ducats being presented to Almagro, in
recognition of his ‘divinity’ when he crossed the Cordilleras; yet none
of their acquisitions, subsequently, cost the conquerors more trouble.
Notwithstanding the scandalous cruelties of the invaders, it was not
till 1546, ten years after Valdivia (a second lieutenant of Pizarro’s)
had entered their country, that resistance was wholly put down. The
Chilians, the last in being subdued, were also among the first to take
advantage of the troubles of the mother country in her decrepitude and
decline. On the invasion of Spain by the French, and the rout of the
Spanish Bourbons in 1809, Chili, affecting to be solicitous for the
sovereignty of Ferdinand VII., and to be desirous of administering the
government of itself in his name, established a junta in the capital,
St. Jago, in 1810, and ultimately avowed itself a decided separatist.
Spain, however, was still able to make head against the revolutionists;
and after a series of encounters, in which fortune alternated rapidly,
she vindicated her authority by a very decisive victory at Rancagua, in
1817. This, however, did not prevent the popular party triumphing at
Chacabuco, in the same year, and seizing on the capital. Again the king’s
troops succeeded at Chancarayada; but, once more, and conclusively, the
republicans carried all before them in the eventful battle of Maypu, in
1818, though it was not till the beginning of 1826 that the province
was finally freed from the presence of the peninsular cohorts, and
declared independent, the old country itself, however, refusing any such
recognition till 1842, when a treaty of peace and friendship was signed
at Madrid, and ratifications exchanged in 1845. Throughout these wars
the most conspicuous revolutionary leader was General San Martin, a
soldier of Irish origin, as his name imports,[9] being one of the many
of his countrymen whom the struggles for independence brought forward in
the Spanish colonies, in none more so than in Chili, the first Supreme
Director, as the officer elected by the juntas was originally called,
being Barnardo O’Higgins, with whom were associated Col. O’Leary, General
Miller, and numerous others ‘racy of the soil’ of saints and shillelaghs.
Of all the European celebrities, however, who figured on the stage
of South American strife, none are to be compared to the heroic Lord
Cochrane, now the venerable Admiral Earl Dundonald, who, having fitted
out a ship of his own in England in the cause of the patriots, and being
appointed to the command of the Chilian fleet, coöperating with the land
forces of Bolivar, displayed that characteristic skill and enterprise
which have so preëminently distinguished him throughout his chivalrous
and romantic career, some few incidents of which will be found mentioned
in our notice of a congenial and no less heroic spirit, Admiral Grenfell,
of the Brazilian service, in which Dundonald played a conspicuous part.

From what we have said already, both of Mexico and also of Peru, it will
naturally be inferred that Chili has suffered greatly from internal
disorders; but, unlike those countries, she has contrived to avoid
a very onerous national debt; and consequently her credit abroad is
comparatively very good; indeed, better probably than that of any South
American state, save Brazil, whose securities rank next to those of Great
Britain itself. The recent gold discoveries in California and Australia
have immensely increased her export trade, and will continue to do so
for an indefinite period; while a large source of domestic revenue
has been opened up by the possession of guano islands (of which more
hereafter), second only in extent, and scarcely second in richness, to
those treasures of a like kind whereof we have spoken under the head of
Peru, the example of which country is followed as to the maintenance of
the price of the article at an exorbitant rate.

The Chilian diplomatic and consular corps in England consists of
Spencer N. Dickson, consul, 8, Great Winchester-street, London; W. W.
Alexander, consul, Bristol, Cardiff, and Newport; William Jackson,
consul, Liverpool; Thomas W. Fox, jun., consul, Plymouth; James H.
Wolff, consul, Southampton; John W. Leach, consul, Swansea. The British
diplomatic and consular corps in Chili consists of the Hon. E. J. Harris,
chargé d’affaires at the capital, St. Jago, salary £1,600, and the usual
consular allowance of £1 per diem; consul at Valparaiso, Mr. Henry Rouse,
salary £300, reduced from £700; consul at Coquimbo, Mr. David Ross,
salary £300; and vice-consul at Conception, Mr. Robert Cunningham, salary
£250—all exclusive of fees.

[9] His aid-de-camp was General John O’Brien, afterwards accredited by
the Banda Oriental, or State of the Uruguay, as diplomatic representative
to England, where he contributed greatly to familiarise the British
public with the bearings of the Plate Question, and to popularise the
cause of Monte Videan resistance to the aggression of Rosas. In this
object he was essentially assisted by his learned and accomplished
countryman, Mr. W. Bernard Macabe, a distinguished London journalist,
and well-known author in historical and miscellaneous literature, who
discharged the duties of acting consul-general for the Uruguay in London
for some years, till the end of 1852, when he proceeded to Dublin, where
he has since prosecuted his intellectual avocations with his customary
assiduity and success. The General, we believe, is now residing in
honoured retirement, in his old age, in the neighbourhood of Valparaiso,
on a property allowed him by the Government of Chili, to whose original
independence his exertions materially contributed.

[10] The subject of this poem is the establishment of the Portuguese
empire in India; but whatever of chivalrous, great, beautiful, or
noble, could be gathered from the traditions of his country, has been
interwoven into the story. Among all the heroic poets, says Schlegel,
either of ancient or modern times, there has never, since Homer, been any
one so intensely national, or so loved or honoured by his countrymen,
as Camoens. It seems as if the national feelings of the Portuguese had
centred and reposed themselves in the person of this poet, whom they
consider as worthy to supply the place of a whole host of poets, and as
being in himself a complete literature to his country. Of Camoens they

Vertere fas; æquare nefas; æquabilis uni
Est sibi; par nemo; nemo secundus erit.

Few modern poems in any language, have been so frequently translated as
the ‘Lusiad.’ Mr. Adamson, whose ‘Memoirs of the Life and Writings of
Camoens’ must be familiar to the reader, notices one Hebrew translation
of it, five Latin, six Spanish, four Italian, three French, four German,
and two English. Of the two English versions one is that of Sir R.
Fanshawe, written during Cromwell’s usurpation, and distinguished for
its fidelity to the original; the other is that of Mickle, who, unlike
the former, took great liberties with the original, but whose additions
and alterations have met with great approbation from all critics—except,
as indeed was to be expected, from the Portuguese themselves.—_Dr.
Cauvin._—In the course of the present year (1854) another English
version, from the pen of Sir Thomas Mitchell, Surveyor-General of New
South Wales, and formerly on the staff in the Peninsula, has been issued
by Messrs. Boone, of Bond-street, in one volume, with an engraving, said
to be an excellent likeness, of the poet.


‘Eu sou aquelle occulto, e grande Cabo,
A quem chamais vos outros Tormentario;
Que nunca a Ptolemeo, Pomponio, Estrabo,
Plinio, e quantos passaram, foi notorio:
Aqui toda a Africana Costa acabo
Neste meu nunca visto promentorio,
Que para o polo Antartico se estende,
A quem vossa ousadia tanto offende.’

CAMOENS, canto 5, verse 50.

‘In me the spirit of the Cape behold,
That Rock by you the Cape of Torments named,
By Neptune’s rage in horrid Earthquake framed,
Where Jove’s red bolts o’er Titan’s offspring flamed.
With wide-stretch’d piles I guard the pathless strand,
And Afric’s southern mound unmoved I stand;
Nor Roman prow, nor daring Tyrian oar,
Ere dashed the white wave foaming to my shore;
Nor Greece, nor Carthage, ever spread the sail
On these my seas to catch the trading gale.
You, you alone, have dared to plough my main,
And with the human voice disturb my lonesome reign.’

Mickle’s Translation of this verse, the ‘Lusiad,’ p. 205.

this, almost specially devoted to an exemplification of the achievements
and the prospects of steam enterprise in South America, we take the
earliest opportunity of placing on record the efforts of a gentleman,
who, in those distant waters first explored by Magellan, and through the
very straits named after that daring navigator, conducted a steamer to
the West Coast long before the Royal Mail Company, as mentioned in our
prefatory remarks, sent any of their paddle-wheels to the East Coast.
The first steamers that ever navigated these straits were the Peru and
Chili, belonging to the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, under the
orders of Captain George Peacock, a gentleman well known in connection
with naval steam tactics, now superintendent of the Southampton docks,
and vice-consul for the Uruguay at that port. Leaving England in command
of the Peru, in July, 1840, and touching only at Rio de Janeiro for a
supply of fuel, he anchored in Port Famine, Patagonia, on the 13th of
September, after a passage at sea of only 43 days. These vessels, built
by Messrs. Curling and Young, of Limehouse, were contracted and fitted
out with great care, under the superintendence of Captain Peacock, being
also rigged on a new plan proposed by him, whereby they were enabled to
proceed under sail alone during a great part of the voyage, the steam
only having been used for 21 out of the 43 days occupied between Plymouth
and Port Famine. This was an unprecedented feat in the annals of steam
navigation up to that period, and has scarcely been surpassed since, as
these vessels carried out a large amount of general cargo to Valparaiso,
besides their spare machinery, and a great quantity of stores, proving
the importance of all steamships for long voyages, whether screw or
paddle-wheel, being fully and properly rigged. The Pacific Steam
Navigation Company was projected in 1833 by William Wheelwright, Esq., an
enterprising American gentleman, who had passed many years on the West
Coast of South America, and who obtained exclusive privileges, from the
Chilian and Peruvian governments, for establishing steam in the Pacific,
provided steamers were placed on the coast within a given period. On Mr.
Wheelwright’s arrival in England he found great difficulty in forming a
company, although no one doubted but that the navigation and requirements
of the West Coast were, perhaps, better adapted for steam navigation than
any other spot on the face of the globe. Unfortunately for the projector,
the extreme pressure of the money-market at that time, coupled with the
distance of the intended scene of operations, the want of confidence
in the grants of South American states, and the political changes to
which they were exposed, all conduced to impede the enterprise; and,
after passing upwards of three years of untiring patience and suffering,
numberless anxieties, heart-sickening vexations, and even personal
privations (the fate of too many enterprising men in the prosecution of
new and useful projects), and when his capital was nigh wrecked, and
his favourite scheme about to be abandoned as hopeless, he had the good
fortune to meet with the late Lord Abinger, who, together with the noble
members of the Scarlett family, warmly espoused the undertaking, and
with the aid of other kind friends, the company was at length formed,
and, towards the close of the year 1839, two vessels, of 750 tons and
180 horse power each, were contracted for. The keels were laid Jan.,
1840, and the ships built, launched, fitted out, and sent to sea in
July, within a period of seven months, no expense being spared to effect
this object, with a view of saving the privileges to be conceded by the
Chilian government.

This proved to be impracticable, notwithstanding the extraordinary
exertions that had been made, owing to the vexatious annoyances of
the port authorities at Rio de Janeiro, who exacted such stringent
regulations and created such difficulties, that the steamers were delayed
fourteen days, where 48 hours would have sufficed. The fine harbour of
Port Stanley, at the Falkland Islands, was not then known to possess the
facilities it now does for such repairs, nor were there at the time the
necessary means of effecting them; otherwise Captain Peacock, who has the
highest opinion of that harbour, and has urged it as a port of call and
for coaling on the captains of all sailing or steam-vessels coming home
from Australia by Cape Horn, would have at once resorted to it, and so
saved the almost ruinous delay and vast expense occasioned him at Rio.
The consequence of this detention was, that the vessels did not arrive at
Port Famine, the southern-most harbour claimed by the republic of Chili,
until the 13th of September, whilst the privileges, already alluded to,
expired on the first of that month.

By the 18th of September both ships were completed with wood and water,
every man, from the captain downwards, assisting in sawing and splitting
up drift-wood, found in abundance along the shores of the harbour, an
American axe having been provided for each person on board, together with
cross-cut saws and iron wedges, for such object, before leaving England.
This day, being the ‘diesiocho,’ or great anniversary of the Chilian
Independence, Captain Peacock caused a beacon, 30 feet high, with a large
diamond-shaped head, to be erected on the heights of Santa Anna, the
western point of the entrance; and, hoisting the Chilian flag upon it at
noon, saluted the same from the guns of both ships, accompanied by three
hearty British cheers; and having buried a parchment manuscript at the
foot of the beacon, in a sealed jar, descriptive of this event and the
particulars of the voyage, &c., together with a few new coins of the year
1840, the steamers proceeded into the Pacific, accomplishing the passage
from ocean to ocean, a distance of 300 miles, in 30 hours’ steaming. Four
years subsequently, the Chilian government sent a vessel of war, and took
formal possession of this harbour, for a convict establishment, naming
it Port Bulnes, after the President at that time in power, when a fort
was built round the before mentioned beacon, the jar was dug up, and the
manuscript, &c., taken to St. Jago, the capital, and there lodged in the
government archives. Upon the arrival of the steamers at Valparaiso, by
a representation to the government, the privileges of the company were
immediately renewed for a period of ten years; and probably nothing has
contributed so much to the advancement, welfare, and prosperity of the
Chilian and Peruvian republics, as the successful establishment of steam
navigation upon this coast, where the names of Don Guilliermo Wheelwright
and Don Jorje Peacock, will perhaps never be forgotten, as they certainly
ought not to be. The Chilian government, in the course of last year,
(1853) renewed its relations with the Pacific Company for continuing
steam communication with England, through the Straits, and also for
extending steam intercourse to other parts of Europe, in connection with
the vessels now rounding the Horn, granting liberal subsidies for that
purpose. See end of chapter on Amazon.

[13] Captain Denham, R.N., who has been sent on an exploratory cruise in
the various Archipelagoes of the Southern Pacific, in hope of meeting
with an eligible depôt for convicts, whom the cessation of transportation
to Australia (or at least to all except the Western portion) has thrown
on the hands of the home government, very much to the embarrassment of
the executive, and to the consternation of the community; for, as was
foreseen when the project was first mooted, not only do the British
public dread the introduction among them of the class known in France as
_libres forçats_, but the former honest associates of these domesticated
‘emancipatists,’ to use an antipodean phrase, will not consort with them;
hasten to denounce them to their employers as ‘black sheep;’ forcibly
drive them from amongst them; and, in fact, surround them with such
annoyances that their existence becomes intolerable in the society of
any but those who are qualifying for, or have already graduated at, the
hulks. The consideration of this subject will be found pursued at some
length in treating of the Falklands. These islands are in every way
admirably adapted, both to meet the difficulties just mooted, as to the
disposal of our felonrie, and to supersede the labour of Capt. Denham,
should he even be successful in discovering a spot in the southern
hemisphere that is not open to innumerable objections on the score—1st,
of propinquity to other islands; 2nd, being at double the distance of the
Falklands from the mother country; and 3rd, the cost of conveyance being
proportionably great; saying nothing of the expensiveness of founding a
new settlement in a place that is already deserted, or from which the
aborigines, if any, must be removed.

[14] The History of Brazil—his _opus majus_, a work on which he hoped
to base the remembrance of his name—now appeared, the most conspicuous
and elaborate of his works, and written _con amore_. It forms a branch
of the more extensive History of Portugal, which he had no leisure
to complete. The materials from which this work was constructed had
been collected by his uncle, the Rev. Herbert Hill, were unrivalled in
value, and accessible to him alone. No political bias interrupted the
straightforwardness and breadth of his judgment; and his poetic fervour
found scope in the character of the clime, the productions of the soil,
and the features of savage life, which he describes in the most glowing
colours.—Life of Southey, by Charles T. Brown.—London: Chapman and Hall.

[15] Travels in the Interior of Brazil; principally through the Northern
Provinces and the Gold and Diamond Districts, during the years 1836-41.
By the late GEORGE GARDNER, M.D., F.L.S., Superintendent of the Royal
Botanic Gardens, Ceylon.—London: Reeve and Co. 1853.

[16] Sketches of Brazil; including New Views on Tropical and European
Fever. With Remarks on a Premature Decay of the System, incident to
Europeans, on their return from Hot Climates. By ROBERT DUNDAS, M.D.,
Physician to the Northern Hospital, Liverpool; formerly Acting Surgeon
to H.M. 60th Regiment; and for twenty-three years Medical Superintendent
of the British Hospital, Bahia. 8vo., price 9s.—London: John Churchill,
Prince’s-street, Soho. Liverpool: Deighton and Laughton, and Rockliff and

[17] Buenos Ayres and the Provinces of the Rio de la Plata: from their
Discovery and Conquest by the Spaniards to the Establishment of their
Political Independence. With some Account of their Present State, Trade,
Debt, etc.; an Appendix of Historical and Statistical Documents; and a
Description of the Geology and Fossil Monsters of the Pampas. By Sir
WOODBINE PARISH, K.C.H., F.R.S., G.S., Vice-President of the Royal
Geographical Society of London, and many years Chargé-d’affaires of
H.B.M. at Buenos Ayres. Second Edition, enlarged, with a New Map and
Illustrations.—London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1852.

[18] Two Thousand Miles’ Ride through the Argentine Provinces: being
an Account of the Natural Products of the Country, and Habits of the
People; with a Historical Retrospect of the Rio de la Plata, Monte Video,
and Corrientes. By WILLIAM MAC CANN, Author of the Present Position of
Affairs on the River Plate. With Illustrations. In Two Volumes.—London:
Smith, Elder, and Co., 65, Cornhill. Smith, Taylor, and Co., Bombay. 1853.

[19] 1. A Narrative of Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro, with an
Account of the Native Tribes, and Observations on the Climate, Geology,
and Natural History of the Amazon Valley. By ALFRED R. WALLACE. With
a Map and Illustrations.—London: Reeve and Co., Henrietta Street,
Covent Garden. 1853. 2. The Amazon, and the Atlantic Slopes of South
America. A Series of Letters under the Signature of ‘Inca.’ By M. F.
MAURY, LL.D., Lieut. U. S. Navy; who, under date, Washington City,
January, 1853, says: ‘These Letters were originally published by the
National Intelligencer and the Union, of this City. They treat of one
of the most important commercial questions of the age: they are eagerly
sought after in all parts of the country; and though they have been
extensively read, the demand for them in a more permanent shape than
that of a newspaper is such that the Publisher has obtained leave of
their Author to re-issue them in their present form.’ On the recent
visit of Professor Silliman to Humboldt, at Berlin, the veteran explorer
expressed his great gratification at the progress which enterprise was
making throughout South America, especially in the region of the Amazon;
and made particular mention of the Professor’s countryman, Lieutenant
Maury, of whose work we are now speaking, and from which we shall draw
copiously hereafter. In giving the gallant Lieutenant all praise,
however, we should not omit to acknowledge how much the reading public
of this quarter of the globe are indebted for their previous knowledge
of the same region to another countryman of his, whose excellent little
volume has lately been re-issued in England in a cheap form, by Murray,
viz., A Voyage up the River Amazon, including a Residence at Pará, by W.
H. EDWARDS; of which it was justly said that it was a work valuable for
the information it gave on this very little known part of the world, and
likely to excite many adventurous young men to explore the Amazon, so
that going back on the traces of Orellana, and crossing to the Pacific,
may probably become, ere long, as familiar to our countrymen as a voyage
up the Rhine or the Nile. Mr. Edwards’ charming little volume has led
to such exploration; and the interesting results will be found in our
chapter upon the Amazon, which we are particularly desirous of drawing
attention to.

[20] According to the official returns for the twelvemonth ending March
last, the amount of British tonnage entered inwards from Portugal
consisted of 7 steam and 735 sailing-vessels; the total amount of both
class of vessels being 71,536 tons. The amount of British tonnage cleared
outwards for Portugal consisted of 7 steam and 716 sailing-vessels; the
total amount of tonnage being 76,662. Great Britain receives nearly
a half of all the exports of Portugal, and Portugal only receives
one-fiftieth of all the exports of Great Britain.—It appears from
M’Gregor’s ‘Synthetical View of Legislation,’ that in 1851, the total
amount of the exportations of Great Britain and Ireland was about
£75,000,000, of which only £1,048,356 was to Portugal! being less than
the amount sent by Great Britain and Ireland to Chili and Peru! Whereas,
in the United States the consumption of British goods has doubled since
1841, and now amounts to nearly one-fifth of all the British manufactures

[21] It is so needless to tell any one entering the Tagus, much less any
one who has entered, how topographically accurate is the description in
‘Childe Harold,’ that the stanzas are quoted merely to save the reader
the trouble of referring to the volume itself, in case he do not quite
remember the lines:—

The horrid crags, by toppling convent crown’d,
The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep,
The mountain-moss by scorching skies embrown’d,
The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep,
The tender azure of the unruffled deep,
The orange tints that gild the greenest bough,
The torrents that from cliff to valley leap,
The vine on high, the willow branch below,
Mix’d in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.

Then slowly climb the many-winding way,
And frequent turn to linger as you go,
From loftier rocks new loveliness survey,
And rest ye at ‘Our Lady’s house of woe;’
Where frugal monks their little relics show,
And sundry legends to the stranger tell:
Here impious men have punish’d been, and lo!
Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell,
In hope to merit Heaven by making earth a hell.

[22] Next to Byron, the great modern English literary name associated
with this part of Portugal, and not merely from his residence here, but
from his delightful and extraordinary pourtrayal of the conventual life
of the neighbourhood, in his almost posthumous work, the ‘Monasteries
of Alcobaça and Batalha,’ is he whom the noble bard alludes to in the
well-known lines:—

On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath,
Are domes where whilome kings did make repair;
But now the wild flowers round them only breathe;
Yet ruin’d splendour still is lingering there,
And yonder towers the Prince’s palace fair:
There thou, too, Vathek! England’s wealthiest son,
Once form’d thy Paradise, as not aware
When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath done,
Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun.

Beckford, as is well known, soon after his return to England, built
the fairy-like structure of Fonthill Abbey, gorgeous as his own Caliph
Vathek, and, like it, as unsubstantial; for, on its being sold to Mr.
Farquharson for some £40,000, about one-seventh of what it cost, [the
catalogues describing its contents were in prodigious demand at a guinea
a piece] it fell to the ground. He died in 1844, aged 84; and was father
to the late Duchess of Hamilton, and father-in-law to the present Duke of
Hamilton and Duchess of Newcastle.

[23] At this convent was educated Don John VI., grandfather to the
late ‘Lusian’s luckless Queen,’ who died in 1816 in Brazil, from the
melancholy derangement from which Dr. Willis, who had attended George
III. for a similar malady, was unable to recover her. The young prince
was placed here with the idea of his wearing the cowl as abbot, prior to
attaining the highest ecclesiastical honours; but the unexpected death
of his elder brother made him heir to the throne, which he afterwards
filled. Of the suitability of the structure for so august an inmate,
the late Lord Carnarvon, who visited it in 1827, says:—I rode through a
bleak but not unpleasant country to Mafra. The convent and palace united
constitute an immense pile of building, which excites admiration rather
from its vast extent than from any architectural merits, and forms a
quadrangle, measuring 760 feet from east to west, and 670 feet from north
to south. The church is situate in the centre, and three hundred cells
are placed behind the choir; the palace might perhaps contain without
inconvenience all the courts of Europe. The thermometer had risen to more
than 90°, and it was indeed no common luxury to exchange such intolerable
heat for the refreshing temperature of the convent galleries, which are
built of stone, and are high, wide, dark, and apparently interminable.
Within those massive walls the fluctuations of the external atmosphere
are never felt; and rarely indeed do any external sounds pierce through
those mighty barriers. The monks showed us the refectory, a spacious
apartment, and the library, well stored with books.—Portugal and Galicia,
with a Review of the Social and Political State of the Basque Provinces.
By the Earl of CARNARVON. Third Edition.—London: John Murray, Albemarle
Street. 1848.

[24] The mention of the English burial-ground, in Lisbon, induces us
to correct an error into which the recent religious persecutions in
Italy have betrayed some of our countrymen at home, as to the supposed
existence of such practices in Portugal. Such a mistake is perfectly
natural, but it is wholly unfounded; for, though the religion of the
state is strictly Roman Catholic, of the most unmitigated character,
still, like Brazil, though unlike Spain, there is toleration for all
religions, and no impediment thrown in the way of their being observed.
A Portuguese resident in London, writing to a leading journal on the
point raised in consequence of the iniquitous treatment of the Madiai
and others by the Duke of Tuscany, says:—‘The liberality and toleration
of the Portuguese government towards Protestants, either resident
or travelling, in Portugal, has existed for ages past. That line of
conduct has never been altered, and for the truth of this assertion
I appeal to the British Legation at Lisbon, and to the very numerous
and respectable British commercial body connected with that country. A
British subject has as much civil and religious liberty in Portugal as
he can possibly enjoy in his own country. Christianity and civilization
were first carried to Asia, Africa, and America, by that nation which
his Lordship so much depreciates, and the door of that vast empire which
Great Britain possesses in India was opened by the inhabitants of that
soil.’ The imputation on the religious liberality of Portugal excites
some indignation in that country, and a letter from Lisbon, in one of
the papers, at the beginning of the year, says:—Not only since the
establishment of the constitution, but even during the absolute regime,
a large measure of toleration was always allowed to all other religions.
The English and German Protestants have long had churches and cemeteries
of their own, and, unlike their brethren in Spain, are allowed to bury
their dead with as much ‘pomp and publicity’ as they please. The only
restriction imposed upon people of other persuasions is, that they shall
not, by word of mouth, or in writing, revile and insult the established
religion of the country. This restriction, which was formerly operative,
has now, however, become a dead letter, the real religion of the liberal
party generally being materialism, against which nobody here seems
disposed to declaim. At the beginning of the present year, (1854), a
statement, signed by many of the principal British residents in Oporto,
appeared in the London journals, setting forth that the most unreserved
liberty for the performance of Protestant Service, with any degree of
publicity, was allowed in that city, and had been for a great number of


Lo! Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes
In variegated maze of mount and glen.
Ah, me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen,
To follow half on which the eye dilates,
Though views more dazzling unto mortal ken
Than those whereof such things the bard relates,
Who to the awe-struck world unlock’d Elysium’s gates?

Sir Wm. Napier’s correction, in his History of the Peninsular War, of the
blunder about the supposed site of the convention, is well known, but
deserves to be repeated:—

“The armistice, the negotiations, the convention itself,
and the execution of its provisions, were all commenced,
conducted, and concluded, at the distance of thirty miles
from Cintra, with which place they had not the slightest
connection, political, military, or local; yet Lord Byron has
gravely asserted, in prose and verse, that the convention was
signed at the Marquis of Marialva’s house at Cintra; and the
author of ‘The Diary of an Invalid,’ improving from a poet’s
discovery, detected the stains of the ink spilt by Junot upon
the occasion.”


As when to them who sail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
Mozambic, off at sea, north-east winds blow
Sabean odours from the spicy shore
Of Araby the blest.—Paradise Lost, Book iv.

The voyage from Portugal to India was, in those days, more perilous
than will easily be believed in these. The seas swarmed with pirates,
shipwrecks were dreadfully frequent, and even when these dangers were
escaped, the common mortality was so great, that Vieyra says—‘If the
dead, who had been thrown overboard between the coast of Guinea and the
Cape of Good Hope, and between that cape and Mozambique, could have
monuments placed for them each on the spot where he sunk, the whole way
would appear like one continued cemetery.’ Hyperbolical as this is, it
shows how enormous the expenditure of life must have been, which could
thus be spoken of in the pulpit! The ship in which Camoens sailed was the
only one of the fleet which reached its destination.

[27] The middle classes promenade with their families until the sun
begins to have effect, when they return to breakfast and to business.
Dinner is usually served from noon till 2 p.m., and consists of sopa,
vaca cozida, e arroz, (soup, boiled beef, and rice,) with occasionally
hum prato do meio (a dish of roast for the centre). Potatoes are seldom
or never used, excepting in the kitchen. Fish is only eaten on fast-days,
and the delicious sardine (because common and plentiful) shares the
fate of the potatoes. The common vin ordinaire of the country is drunk
at table out of small tumblers, being supplied from a neighbouring
tenda (wine-store) daily or hourly, as it may be required, at a price
never exceeding 2d. per pint. Fine old bottled wine (such as we are
acquainted with) is altogether unknown in Portugal, and it would be
almost as rare to find in any house a couple of dozen bottles of wine,
as it would be to discover as many books. Fire-places have not yet
become general in dwelling-houses. In cold weather, gentlemen in society
wear capotes (large cloth cloaks), and ladies wrap up in thick shawls.
Dinner-parties are quite uncommon; but social evening meetings, where
tea and simple biscuits are the only refreshments, are of constant
occurrence.—_Forrester’s Essay._

[28] These peculiar latine sails are exquisitely beautiful when seen in
profile and, when beheld in front, resemble a butterfly perched on a dark
ground with expanded wings.—_Carnarvon._ British naval architects will
probably be surprised to hear that the Portuguese craft of every kind are
all prime built and beautiful models, the elegance of their lines being
a source of admiration to every critic. The Oporto fishing-boats, in
particular, are fine specimens of the country’s capacity for this sort of
excellence, and, when under sail, fly through the water at the rate of 12
to 14 knots an hour.

[29] In the days of Pliny, we are told, the provinces of Minho, Galicia,
and Asturias paid not less than a million and a half octaves of gold to
the Roman Empire, as a tribute on the ore extracted from various mines
then in active operation, and yet, in the present day, the revenues
derived by the Portuguese Government from all their mines does not amount
to more than £72 17_s._ The Romans worked mines of gold, silver, iron,
lead, coal, antimony, copper, quicksilver, bismuth, arsenic, and tin,
in Portugal: and Faria e Souza graphically remarks, ‘Hardly is there a
river, or mountain-base that it laves, which does not cover precious
stones and grains of gold.’ This language may be considered poetic,
but there is no doubt that ‘le sol de Portugal est essentiellement
metalifere,’—that metals abound throughout the whole country; but
the mines are not worked; neither can their value be correctly
ascertained, in the absence of every means of transport, and internal

[30] Hints to Travellers in Portugal, in Search of the Beautiful and the
Grand. With an Itinerary of some of the most Interesting Parts of that
Remarkable Country.—London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1852.

[31] The Oliveira Prize-Essay on Portugal: with the Evidence Regarding
that Country taken before a Committee of the House of Commons in
May, 1852; and the Author’s Surveys of the Wine-Districts of the
Alto-Douro, as Adopted and Published by order of the House of Commons.
Together with a Statistical Comparison of the Resources and Commerce
of Great-Britain and Portugal. By JOSH. JAMES FORRESTER, Wine-Grower
in the Alto-Douro.—London: John Weale, 59, High Holborn. John Menzies,
Edinburgh. Coutinho, Oporto. 1852.

[32] There is scarcely any difficulty now in going to Portugal, for a
steamer sails from Southampton for Lisbon on the 7th, 17th, and 27th
of every month, or on the following day, when any of those days should
fall on a Sunday, and generally enters Vigo Bay in three days; and,
weather permitting, calls off Oporto, and arrives in five or six days
at Lisbon, from which city a steamer occasionally sails for Oporto, at
which place the traveller is recommended to commence his excursions,
the province of Minho excelling all others in Portugal in whatever is
fertile and picturesque, and being equal, if not superior, in grandeur to
the district of the Estrella Mountains. The ordinary mode of travelling
is on horses or mules, which can be hired for about 5_s._ 6_d._ per
day, including their food; but the arrieros who accompany them must be
maintained at the cost of him who hires them, and he likewise expects to
receive a gratuity. The money of the country is calculated in reis, and
taking the mil rei, or 1,000 reis, to be equal to 4_s._ 6_d._, the value
of the current coin will be nearly as follows:—_In Silver_: The Cruzado
_novo_, or 480 reis = 2_s._ 2_d._; the 12 Vintem piece, or 240 reis =
1_s._ 1_d._; the 6 Vintem piece, or 120 reis= 6½; the 3 Vintem piece, or
60 reis = 3¼_d._; the testoon, or 100 reis = 5½_d._; the Half Testoon, or
50 reis = 2⅓_d._—_In Gold_: Moidore, or 4,800 reis = £1 1_s._ 8_d._; the
small gold piece, or 5000 reis = £1 2_s._ 6_d._; the gold piece, or 8000
reis = £1 16_s._ The English sovereign circulates in Portugal for 4500
reis. The copper coins in general circulation are the following:—The 5
reis, equal to little more than 0¼_d._; the 10 reis, equal to little more
than 0½_d._; the 20 reis, or Vintem, equal to little more than 1_d._; the
40 reis, or Pataca, equal to little more than 2_d._

Our political relationship with Portugal, from the personal family
alliances between the two countries, and from other causes, has of late
years been kept up at great expense; and, according to some critics,
with very little good to any but the individuals at whose instance and
on whose behalf British interference has taken place, the Portuguese
population being understood to be as little pleased with its effects as
English taxpayers are enamoured of its expense. Ostensibly our diplomatic
and consular corps now in Portugal consists of the following members, and
at the salaries annexed to their names:—Envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Pakenham, K.C.B., salary £4000 per
ann.; and house-rent £500; secretary of legation, W. R. Ward, salary
£500; paid attaché, Jos. Hume Burnley, £250; unpaid attachés, Hon. W. G.
Cornwallis Elliot, and Hon. Francis Pakenham. Consuls:—Lisbon, William
Smith, £600; vice-consul, Jeremiah Meagher, £300; Oporto, Edwin Johnston,
£500; Loanda, Geo. Brand, vice-consul, £50; St. Michael (Azores) T. C.
Hunt, consul, £400; Fayal, J. Minchin, vice-consul, £100; Terciera, J.
Read, vice-consul, £100. Of the officers at Madeira and Cape Verds,
(Portuguese possessions) due mention will be made under those heads. The
Portuguese diplomatic and consular staff in England consists of:—Envoy
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, Count de Lavradrio, 12,
Gloucester Place, Portman Square; secretary of legation, Chevalier Pinto
de Soveral; attachés, E. F. de la Figaniere, J. C. Stone, and Geo.
Manders; consul-general, F. J. Vanzeller, 5, Jeffrey Square, St. Mary
Axe; consuls: Liverpool, Almeida Campos; Bristol, Ant. B. de Mascarenhas;
Cork, Geo. Manders.

[33] A Sketch of Madeira; containing Information for the Traveller, or
Invalid Visitor. By EDWARD VERNON HARCOURT, Esq. With Sketches by Lady
Susan Vernon Harcourt.—London; John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1851.

[34] You must not look for many pretty faces in Madeira after the age of
thirteen: amongst the upper classes inertness, and amongst the lower,
hard work, reduce the standard of beauty. The upper class of women
are hardly ever seen in the streets, save on their road to mass, or
when going to pay a visit; on these occasions all the jewels, plate,
and ribbons, of apparently very ancient families, are to be seen in
full display. The ladies generally live on their balconies, watching
passers-by. The English ladies, going to church draw forth many fair
beholders and critics, and on Sundays the balconies are lined with native
fashion. The glory of the Madeira women is their hair, which is of the
richest growth and blackest hue, and their eyes, which are dark and

[35] One of these traditions is very gracefully and attractively told
by Mr. Charles Knight, in his agreeable volumes, published by Murray, a
couple of months back, and entitled ‘Once upon a Time.’

[36] Lodgings in Madeira are plentiful and good. For a family, the most
comfortable plan is to take a _Quinta_, that is to say, a house with a
garden, standing in the suburbs of the town. The price asked for the
season of six months varies according to their size, from £50 to £200.
In such cases the tenant is supplied with everything but plate and house
linen. For single persons the boarding-houses are least troublesome, as
well as most economical: a bed-room, sitting-room, attendance, and board
are obtained there for fifty dollars, or £10 8_s._ 4_d._ a month. These
houses are conducted on a liberal scale, and every English comfort is
provided. If a _Quinta_ is taken, a supply of servants, board, plate
and linen, may be procured at a given rate. It is inconceivable what
annoyances you are saved by such an arrangement; besides the endless
impositions practised upon the ignorance of foreigners by servants and
tradesmen, it is no small luxury to be able to pay a given sum down
monthly, instead of the interminable daily payments which the ready money
system of Madeira requires. Plate, furniture, pianofortes, saddles, guns,
and, in fact, any things that are brought out as _luggage_, are allowed
to pass through the Custom House free of charge, on the bond of some
resident householder being given that the owner of the property will
export it in eighteen months. Portuguese servants may be hired for house
and kitchen work at the rate of about from four to six dollars per month
for the former, and from six to eight dollars for the latter, service.
Those who are content with a plain table, average honesty, and moderate
attention, have no reason to be dissatisfied. Provisions of all sorts are
cheap. English bread, which is sold at 2½_d._ the pound, is the dearest
article of food; the quality of it, however, is excellent. Mutton, which
is an indifferent meat, fetches from 3½_d._ to 4_d._ a pound; beef, which
is good, from 3½_d._ to 4_d._; and veal, from 4_d._ to 5_d._ Fowls may be
purchased at from 10_d._ to 1_s._ 3_d._ a couple. The markets are held at
daybreak, and all the meat, the best fish, and best fruits are brought at
that time. Tea, soap, and tobacco are contraband, but the Custom House
is not inexorable. A common English wardrobe, with the addition of a few
lighter articles, and a waterproof covering for the mountains, suffice
for clothing.—_Harcourt._

[37] Two distinct species of finch (_Carduelis_) appear to have afforded
the different varieties of singing bird, familiarly known by this name.
The one which is best known in its wild state is the _Carduelis canaria_
of Cuvier, and is very abundant in Madeira, where its characters and
habits have been observed with much attention by Dr. Heineken. ‘It
builds,’ says this naturalist, ‘in thick, bushy, high shrubs and trees,
with roots, moss, feathers, hair, &c.; pairs in February; lays from four
to six pale blue eggs; and hatches five, and often six times in the
season. It is a delightful songster, with, beyond doubt, much of the
nightingale’s and sky-lark’s, but none of the wood-lark’s, song.’—‘A
pure wild song from an island canary, at liberty, in full throat, in a
part of the country so distant from the haunts of men that it is quite
unsophisticated, is unequalled, in its kind, by any thing I have ever
heard in the way of bird-music’ The canary-bird was brought into Europe
as early as the 16th century, and is supposed to have spread from the
coast of Italy, where a vessel, which was bringing to Leghorn a number of
these birds, besides its merchandise, was wrecked. As, however, they were
males chiefly which were thus introduced, they were for some time scarce;
and it is only of late years that their education and the proper mode of
treating them have been known.—_Brande_, 1853.

[38] Brazil, as before stated, was originally so named from its valuable
dye-wood, called Braziletto or ‘Cisaljuna Braziletto,’ or Pernambuco,
Wood of Saint Martha, or Sipan, according to the place which produces
it, and by Linnæus, _Cæsalpinia custa_, which was for many years the
richest dye in Europe, and from which the famous Turkey red colours were
produced, rivalling the ancient Tyrian purple, and, like it, passing into
oblivion, after vast popularity; for other drugs having been substituted,
Brazil wood became comparatively little used. It was a close monopoly
of the government, who derived a large revenue from its sale, from £100
a ton upwards being the current price in London, and only 8 years ago
4,500 tons were imported into Great Britain. Brazil timber also possesses
qualities not generally known, one of which is mentioned by Sir W. G.
Ouseley, and accounts for the infrequency of conflagrations in some
of the cities of South America, as compared with what happens in the
northern portion of the continent, where fire brigades are among the
most prominent institutions of the country, and yet do not by any means
prevent the mischief they are meant to guard against. He says:—‘A proof
of the incombustible nature of Brazil wood was afforded at this house
(the Mangueiras) previous to my arrival at Rio de Janeiro, when it was
occupied by Baron Palencia, at that time Russian Minister to the Imperial
Court. One night an attempt was made to set fire to the outside door-like
shutters of one of the windows, with a view, doubtless, to getting into
and robbing the apartments. In the morning was discovered a heap of
still smoking, combustible materials, partially consumed, applied to the
outside of the shutter, the planks of which were little injured, although
their surface was charred, as the fire had been in actual contact with
the wood probably for some hours.’ Brazil wood (the dye now so called) is
very small sized—sticks, comparatively speaking,—and is not used at all
for building purposes, being much too valuable. The ordinary timber of
the country is of quite another description.

[39] Of the simultaneousness of these discoveries, Humboldt says:—‘The
course of great events, like the results of natural phenomena, is ruled
by eternal laws, with few of which we have any perfect knowledge.
The fleet which Emanuel, King of Portugal, sent to India, under the
command of Pedro Alvarez Cabral, on the course discovered by Gama, was
unexpectedly driven on the coast of Brazil on the 22nd April, 1500. From
the zeal which the Portuguese had manifested since the expedition of
Diaz in 1487, to circumnavigate the Cape of Good Hope, a recurrence of
fortuitous circumstances, similar to those exercised by oceanic currents
on Cabral’s ships, could hardly fail to manifest itself. The African
discoveries would thus probably have brought about that of America south
of the Equator; and thus Robertson was justified in saying that it was
decreed in the destinies of mankind that the new continents should be
made known to European navigators before the close of the fifteenth

[40] It is after this beautiful quarter of the city of Pernambuco that
the second vessel of the ocean line of the South American and General
Steam Navigation Company was called. Olinda is situated on several hills,
clothed with the most luxuriant tropical vegetation, from the midst
of which the convents, churches, snow-white cathedral, and numerous
private residences, mostly of the same colour, are seen to great effect,
though, on a near approach, in a sadly decayed state. Olinda, however,
may be regarded in something of the light of an East End to St. Antonio,
the West End, or official quarter, where are situate the principal
governmental departments and offices; while Recife is the actual place
of business, and where all the foreign merchants are located. The value
of the exports from Pernambuco annually exceeds a million and a half
sterling; and that of the imports from England is about £800,000.

[41] Few spots in the New World are more indebted to nature than the
environs, all possible combinations of scenery being included in one
magnificent perspective. One of the best views is from the Corcovado
Mountain, which although upwards of 3,000 feet in height, can be ascended
on horseback. Like most mountains around, it is rather a rock, or titanic
monolith, than a mountain, and it may be compared with the gnomon of a
gigantic sun-dial; and, in fact, its shadow in particular localities
supplies the place of a parish clock. Its sides are still in great part
covered with forest and ‘matta,’ or jungle, notwithstanding numerous
fires by which it has been devastated, the immediate result of the last
being a deficiency in the supply of water to parts of the capital, for
the destruction of trees here, as elsewhere, causes a scarcity of the
aqueous element, and the springs which rise on and around this mountain
feed the conduits and aqueducts that convey that fluid into Rio. From the
summit may be seen the whole extent of the harbour and city; the Organ
Mountains in the distance, several lakes along the coast, a wide expanse
of ocean, and innumerable ravines and spurs of the mountain clothed with
richest foliage. The most remarkable, however, of all the mountains near
the capital, is the Gavia, with a flattened summit, sometimes called by
the English the Table Mountain, in Portuguese, the ‘square topsail,’ to
which it bears a resemblance. It is reputed to be inaccessible, at least
it has not yet, as far as can be ascertained, been ascended. Opening into
the outer harbour is Botafogo Bay, a short distance from the capital,
where many foreign merchants reside to enjoy the cool sea breezes,
and where the buildings are of a superior description, with beautiful
gardens attached, many being luxuriantly planted with oranges and lemons,
bananas, pomegranates, palm trees, and a vast variety of shrubs and
vegetables peculiar to Brazil, including the universal cabbage plant in
great profusion. The aqueduct, which is passed in several places in the
ascent of the Corcovado, is a well-built and striking object, crossing
several streets of Rio, and conveying excellent water from the heights of
that mountain to the different fountains in the town.

[42] The only publication relative to Brazil that has appeared since I
left England, or at least that I have seen since my return, is one which,
though it touches but lightly on the country, as might be expected in ‘A
Sketcher’s Tour Round the World,’ [by Mr. Robert Elwes], contains some of
the best word-painting of Brazilian city life anywhere to be met with.
The following description, for instance, will be readily recognized as
most just by all who have been long in the capital; and the concluding
passage in particular, I fear, is but too applicable:—

‘The town of Rio Janeiro (its proper name is St. Sebastiano) is the
largest and best in South America, and the population about equals that
of Liverpool. It is laid out in regular squares: the streets are narrow,
which, at first sight, seems objectionable to an Englishman, but he
soon finds that it affords protection from the scorching sun; and the
thoroughfares are tolerably well-paved and lighted, and have _trottoirs_
at the sides. To obviate the inconvenience arising from the narrowness
of the streets, carriages are only allowed to go one way, up one street
and down the next, and a hand is painted up on the corners to show which
way the traffic is to flow. The best street, Rua d’Ouvidor, is nearly
all French, so that one can almost fancy oneself in the Palais Royal;
and nearly everything that is to be found in London or Paris may be
bought in Rio. Many English merchants have houses in the city, but most
of the shopkeepers are French; and this proves a perfect blessing to
visitors, for a Brazilian shopman is so careless and indolent, that he
will hardly look for anything in his stores, and will often say he has
not got the article asked for, to save himself the trouble of looking for
it. The best native shops are those of the silversmiths, who work pretty
well, and get a good deal of custom, for Brazilians and blacks revel in
ornament, often wearing silver spurs and a silver-hafted knife though
perhaps they may not have any shoes to their feet. The Brazilians are
very fond of dress; and though it seems so unsuitable for the climate,
wear black trowsers and an evening suit to walk about the streets in.
Strangers will find no curiosities in Rio Janeiro except the feather
flowers, which are better here than in Madeira, and fetch a higher price.
A Frenchwoman, who employs a number of girls of all complexions in her
business, is the principal manufacturer. They are made (or ought to be)
entirely of undyed feathers, the best being those of a purple, copper,
or crimson colour, from the breasts and heads of humming-birds. One of
these wreaths has a beautiful effect, and reflects different-coloured
light. The wing cases of beetles are also used, and glitter like precious
stones. Madame has her patterns from Paris, so the wreaths are generally
in good style and newest fashion. The worst shops are kept by English,
and this will be found a general rule in these foreign towns. The
merchants are good and honest; but if one wishes to be well taken in, go
to a shop kept by an Englishman.’

[43] The Bank, Exchange, Custom House, and Arsenal, (of late years
greatly extended,) are in the Rua Direita. Besides these, the chief
public edifices are, the Imperial Palace, a plain brick building; the
Old Palace, on the shore, used for public offices; a Public Hospital,
alluded to elsewhere, erected in 1841; a National Library, with 800,000
printed volumes, and many valuable MSS.; and a well supported Opera
House, which has supplied Europe with some very popular performers,
especially in the ballet line, as witness that general favourite, Madame
Celeste, who came from Rio, in 1830, with her sister Constance, another
danseuse, and appeared for the first time in England at Liverpool, in
the divertissement in Masaniello, Sinclair being Auber’s hero. The
educational establishments are, the Imperial College of Don Pedro II.;
the College of St. José; Schools of Medicine and Surgery; Military and
Naval Academy; and many Public Schools. It has also many Scientific
Institutions; a Museum rich in Ornithology, Entomology, and Mineralogy;
and a fine Botanic Garden. Of Churches there are upwards of fifty, not of
much external elegance, but mostly sumptuously decorated in the interior.

[44] The inhabitants of Rio Janeiro are fond of carriages, but the
specimens generally seen would hardly do for Hyde Park, being chiefly
old-fashioned coaches, drawn by four scraggy mules, with a black coachman
on the box, and a postillion in jack-boots on the leaders, sitting
well back, and with his feet stuck out beyond the mule’s shoulders.
The liveries are generally gorgeous enough, and there is no lack of
gold lace on the cocked hats and coats; but a black slave does not
enter into the spirit of the thing, and one footman will have his hat
cocked athwartships, the other fore and aft; one will have shoes and
stockings, with his toes peeping through, the other will dispense with
them altogether. But the old peer rolls on unconscious, and I dare say
the whole thing is pronounced a neat turn-out. The Brazilians are great
snuff-takers, and always offer their box, if the visitor is a welcome
guest. It is etiquette to take the offered pinch with the left hand.
Rapé is the Portuguese for snuff, hence our word rappee. They do not
smoke much. The opera was good, the house very large, tolerably lighted,
but not so thickly attended as it might be. The ladies look better by
candle-light, their great failing being in their complexions, the tint
of which may be exactly described by the midshipman’s simile of snuff
and butter. The orchestra was good, many of the performers being blacks
or mulattos, who are excellent musicians. The African race seem to like
music, and generally have a pretty good ear. Both men and women often
whistle well, and I have heard the washerwomen at their work whistling
polkas with great correctness. I was amused one evening on going out of
the opera when it was half over: offering my ticket to a decent-looking
man standing near the door, he bowed, but refused it, saying that men
with jackets were not allowed in the house.—_Elwes._

[45] The population of Rio, on the arrival of the royal family, did not
amount to 50,000, but afterwards rapidly augmented; so that in 1815,
when declared independent, the number had nearly doubled, and now is
estimated at about 400,000, with the suburbs and the provincial capital
of Nitherohy, on the opposite shore of the Bay. This increase is partly
to be ascribed to the afflux of Portuguese, who have at different times
left their country in consequence of the civil commotions which have
disturbed its peace, as well as of English, French, Dutch, Germans,
and Italians, who, after the opening of the port, settled here, some
as merchants, others as mechanics, and have contributed largely to its
wealth and importance. These accessions of Europeans have effected a
great change in the character of the population, for at the commencement
of the century, and for many years afterwards, the blacks and coloured
persons far exceeded the whites, whereas now they are reduced to less
than half the number of inhabitants. In the aggregate population of the
empire, however, the coloured portion is still supposed to be treble the

[46] Senhor Pereira de Andrade, the Brazilian gentleman referred to in
the next note, in the course of his examination before the committee
on the 19th of July, 1853, is asked by Sir George Pechell:—‘You stated
what must have given very great pleasure to this committee, that you
considered Brazil had done its duty with regard to the fulfilment of
its treaties, and also that the feeling of the country was generally
in favour of employing free labour?’—Andrade answered, there can be no
doubt of it. Question.—Do you think that a candidate for election to the
Parliament of Brazil would have any chance of being elected if he were
in favour of the importation of slaves? Answer.—Certainly not; not a man
in Brazil now would dare utter a single word in Parliament in favour of
the slave trade. Question.—In short the popular cry would be all against
it? Answer.—Yes. All his answers are to the same effect; and upon these
answers, as well as those of the other witnesses, the committee made the
report adverted to in the adjoining page.

[47] Those who would fully understand the bearings of this
most interesting subject, concerning which an infinite deal of
misunderstanding was, I may almost say designedly, propagated in England,
so perverse was the determination, in certain quarters, to disbelieve
everything that redounded to the credit, and to swallow implicitly all
that was supposed to tell to the discredit, of Brazil, will find it
fully set forth in the evidence given before the committee on Slave
Trade Treaties, which sat in the course of last session, under the
chairmanship of Mr. Hume. On that committee were several gentlemen who
had been most strenuous in their resistance to all remonstrance on the
part of Brazil, against the too often wanton, and almost always violent
and irritating, conduct of our cruisers; gentlemen who were incessant in
their appeals for vigorous measures on the part of our squadron on the
coast, and of our ambassadors at the court, of Brazil; yet the committee
so composed reported as follows:—The importation of slaves into Brazil,
in ’47, was 56,172: in ’48, 60,000; in ’49, 54,000; but in ’51, it had
diminished to 3,287, and in ’52, to 700, of which last importation a
considerable portion had been seized by the Brazilian Government. Mr.
Consul Porter reported to Viscount Palmerston in ’48, that 74 slave-trade
vessels had sailed from Bahia in the year ’47, and 93 in ’48;—that the
slave traffic was carried on with great activity; and, as an example, he
stated that one vessel, the ‘Andorinha,’ of 80 tons burden, which cost
£2,000 sterling, had made eight successful voyages with slaves from the
West Coast of Africa, having actually landed at Bahia 3,392 slaves, and
received for freight 120 milreis per head, or £40,704 sterling, giving
a profit of 800 per cent.; also that towards the end of ’50, and in
’51, stringent orders had arrived at Bahia for the suppression of the
trade, and that when he left Bahia in the end of ’51, ‘the slave trade
was perfectly suspended.’ He thinks that the British ships alone cannot
stop the trade, but that if the Brazilian Government be sincere, it will
certainly be put down. Your committee invite the attention of the House
to the evidence of Senhor D’Andrade and others, and to the reports of the
Brazilian Ministers, for an explanation of the manner in which so great a
change has been effected in the Brazils. The speech of the Emperor to the
assembly of this year, on the subject of the slave trade; the stringent
laws that have been passed, and others that are in progress, by the
Brazilian Government against the slave trade; and, above all, the seizure
and banishment of some Portuguese merchants, who, were suspected of an
intention to renew the trade, convince your committee that the Brazilian
Government is sincere, and that the slave trade is actually abolished in
the Brazils. Your committee refer to the correspondence of the Earl of
Aberdeen with the Brazilian Government, in 1845, to explain the state of
the slave question at that time, and the reasons that induced Parliament
to pass the 8 and 9 Vict. c. 122. The favourable change which has taken
place in the councils and conduct of the Brazilian Government respecting
slavery, whether accelerated by the active services of Captain Schomberg
or not, may induce Parliament to repeal that Act, as intimated in his
Lordship’s letter of the 2d July 1845.—It is to be hoped that this
recommendation of the committee will be carried out in the course of the
present session.

[48] We have said that of all public securities those of Brazil rank the
highest, next to those of Great Britain itself. It may not be amiss to
give the following ‘monetary’ evidence of the same fact from a well-known
dispassionate Stock Exchange authority, the last edition of _Fortune’s
Epitome of the Funds_, under the head of Brazilian Five per Cents, 1843.
Capital £732,000. This was a transference of a portion of the claim of
Portugal to Brazil, ‘that land of wonders, whose rivers roll over beds
of gold, where the rocks glow with topazes, and the sands sparkle with
diamonds, where nature assumes her richest dress beneath the blaze of
tropical suns, and birds of the gaudiest plumage vie with the splendid
efflorescence of the forests they inhabit; this gorgeous picture, drawn
in dazzling, but not false colours, leaves unnoticed the greatest riches
of Brazil, which consist in her almost unlimited power of producing the
staple commodities of life and commerce. Possessed of the finest climate,
and of a virgin soil of the richest fertility, cotton, coffee, sugar, in
fact every production of the tropics, as well as of the temperate zone,
may be cultivated to any extent, and at small expense. Numerous sea
ports, with safe harbours, and noble rivers, which, at a comparatively
small cost, might be rendered navigable, afford the means of turning
these natural facilities to the best advantage; and, judging from the
rapid increase of the commerce of late years, the Brazilians are not
altogether negligent in availing themselves of these sources of boundless
and lasting wealth. The progress of Brazil has been remarkable during the
last ten years, the revenue having been nearly doubled. The punctuality
of the payment of the dividends, the disposition evinced to preserve
the credit of the country, and the presumption that it will be well
maintained, gives Brazilian stock a good position in the market, as an
investment; and prices have not latterly experienced much fluctuation.

[49] The following letter, illustrative of some of the scenes on that
occasion, appeared in the ‘Journal do Commercio’:—‘I was expecting
my family in this capital, from Rio Grande do Sul, by the steamer
Pernambucana, when the melancholy and lamentable shipwreck of this
vessel took place; and I must confess my eternal obligation and sincere
gratitude for the heroic and brilliant action performed by the very
distinguished, valiant, and intrepid mariner, Simon, belonging to the
crew of the steamer, who was the only one of them that came forward and
contributed, in a manner without example, to the salvation, besides many
unhappy individuals who were looking on death as certain, of persons
so dear to me as my wife, eight children, and three slaves, who were
more than 24 hours on board the steamer after she had struck, without
any other resource than Divine Providence, who sent them a protector,
the black Simon; so that my loss consisted only of a little daughter, a
female slave, and all the baggage.—Rio de Janeiro, 5th Nov., 1853.—LOUIS

As a frightful contrast to the conduct of the brave Simon, it appears
that even on board the steamer the other sailors broke open the trunks
of the passengers, with knife in hand, to get possession of the money
they contained; and afterwards committed the most shocking atrocities on
shore, such as cutting the fingers off the bodies that had been washed on
land for the sake of the rings.

AT BELEM CASTLE, LISBON.—‘[If not asked for, retain these papers until
the consignee is on board.] Deliver to the Custom-house Officer who
conducts your vessel to the anchorage ground, off the Lisbon Custom house
(quadrangle), your manifest list of stores and every single article on
board; whatever you omit to declare will be seized, and liable you to
imprisonment, and seizure of the vessel. You must declare in writing:
if your cargo, or any part is destined to any other Port. The cause you
put in for, orders, wind bound, or from other casualties. If any part of
cargo has been thrown overboard; or picked up any articles at sea. If
fish laden, or cargo on speculation, or even in ballast, by declaring you
ask franquia for cargo, or vessel, you will avoid part of port charges,
on proceeding to sea. Be particular to give correct account of all
packages, parcels, and other articles not manifested; list of passengers,
with correct note of luggage; list of crew, with a note of their tobacco,
soap, and slops; list of provisions, stores, live stock, slops, nautical
instruments, new clothes, &c.; separate list of all tobacco, segars,
and soap, every particular, with crew and passengers to produce all
they have; if any is found concealed, you are liable to transportation
and seizure of vessel. Deliver up all letters, except letter for the
consignee of vessel; if any are found on board you will pay nine times
the amount of postage; deliver up all your gunpowder. Allow no ballast,
dunnage, sweepings, or any kind of rubbish to be thrown overboard, as
you will pay a penalty of 5 shillings for every ton register. To have
buoys, and buoy ropes on anchors. To house jibboom, and flying jibboom.
Only to have long boat astern, and the painters not to have more scope
than six fathoms. To have spare bower anchor at bows, always ready to
let go in case of necessity. Not to have top-gallant-masts an end during
bad weather. Take care the vessel is never slack moored. Always to keep
watch, and assist other vessels in best way possible, in order to avoid
damage. As soon as you anchor in anchorage ground (quadrangle), land at
the custom house quay; be sure on sending your boat off, or on leaving
the vessel, that you give orders to your boat to go alongside of the
nearest gun boat; if you omit, the boat will be seized. You cannot go on
board of any vessel at anchor in the quadrangle, nor can you leave your
vessel, or return on board after sunset without an order, as your boat
will be seized. On leaving your vessel you are liable to be searched. I
draw your particular attention to these regulations of the port, as the
authorities are very severe, allow nothing to pass, and take advantage of
the least omission; a strict search is made over the vessel’s rigging and
sails.—Belem. J. Philipps.’

[51] Whilst making this general observation, only in a spirit and with a
desire that the Brazilians may see their true interests, in applying a
remedy to these absurdities, and follow out the principles of free-trade
in their regulation of commercial matters, I must not omit to acknowledge
the exemptions made in favour of the steam company which I represented.
In all the ports of the empire we were not only freed from ordinary
restrictions and delays that could possibly be dispensed with, but
everywhere met with the most kind and cordial reception; indeed, I may
say, we were welcomed with open arms.

[52] Since my return these anticipations have been to a considerable
extent realized; for previous to the close of the last session the
chambers passed a law, conferring power on the imperial government to
alter a great variety of duties in the Brazilian tariff, effecting a
reduction on the principal articles of import from England of from 25
to 30 per cent. Though the extremely flourishing state of the imperial
revenue has admitted of this improvement without any serious sacrifice,
even for the moment, it must also be attributed in a great degree to the
progress of a knowledge of sound commercial policy, not only among the
discerning men to whom the administration is committed, but among the
representatives by whose support alone they are able to carry out such
judicious views. It will be seen, also, that other portions of the South
American continent, both on the West and the East coast, have acted in a
like spirit; and now that the vast internal streams are opening to the
tide of European commerce and civilization, there begins to loom in the
not distant future the certainty of those magnificent conceptions of Mr.
Canning being realized, when he spoke of calling into political being
these states of the new world to redress the balance of the old.

[53] That the Brazilian capital should be deemed a pleasant place for the
residence of many Europeans will be inferred from what Mr. Elwes says of
the profusion find varieties of its supplies of food:—

The market of Rio is a fine large building, to the north of the
principal square. It is well supplied with fish; but the price
is always very high, as the fishermen have a sort of monopoly,
and will only bring a certain quantity to market, in order
to keep it up. The best fish is the garoupa; immense prawns
(camaroes) are very plentiful. Strangers are often told, as a
joke, that these are kept in pits, and fed with the dead bodies
of slaves thrown in from time to time; and I have known people
who would never touch them on that account. Parrots, monkeys,
&c., are very common, and a few game birds. Occasionally,
large lizards of two or three feet in length are brought to
market, and they are said to be excellent eating. Deer are
sometimes killed in the woods; but I have never seen them in
the market, though there is a small animal, called the paca,
to be had, the flesh of which is very good. Fruit is supplied
in great abundance. Oranges and bananas are to be had all
the year. The oranges were superior to anything I had before
tasted, and excel the Maltese. They are said to be better in
Bahia, and better still in Pernambuco; so it appears that the
hotter the climate, the more suitable it is to this fruit, as
the Maltese and the Egyptian are certainly far superior to
those of Portugal and Sicily. The banana (_Musa paradisaica_,
called ‘plantano’ by the Spaniards, and ‘plantain’ in the West
Indies,) is a most nutritious fruit; but few people like it at
first, as the taste is rather sickly and insipid. There are
a variety of sorts, which bear fruit of different sizes, but
the short thick one is the best. It is very nutritious and
productive; and it is said that forty square feet, planted
with bananas, will support a man for a year. The plant itself
is very handsome, and the great leaves, ten or twelve feet
in length, and two in breadth, make a splendid feature in
the landscape of the tropics. Each plant bears one bunch of
fruit, after which it should be cut down, when suckers spring
up in all directions from the root, so that it is a vegetable
more suited for idle people than even the potato, as it does
not require planting, and the fruit can be eaten without the
trouble of cooking it. The fruta do Conde, or chirimoya of the
Spaniard, and custard-apple of the West Indies, is delicious,
but varies a good deal in quality. The maricuja, Spanish
granadilla, the fruit of the passion-flower, is very good.
It is about as large as a swan’s egg, with a pulp and seeds
like a gooseberry. The alligator or avocada pear, the mammon,
papaw, or mammy apple, are common fruits, not so good as those
before-named. Pine-apples are common enough, but not very good.

[54] The Brazil government have adopted measures to introduce immigrants
to supply the place of slaves, they have established some large colonies
from Germany, France, and Portugal, principally by private speculation
and by the government; and those colonies of private individuals are
the surest guarantee for the abolition of the slave trade, because
those parties are now interested by the larger profit they derive from
free labour, in keeping this system instead of the other, especially in
coffee. They are greatly prized for their steady industry, peaceable
disposition, and easy adaptation of themselves to the manners and
usages of the people among whom they come to reside. As is the case in
Australia, and in most parts of North America, they are very general
favourites with the inhabitants of all classes, and, on the whole,
are preferred probably to any other Europeans. The number of German
immigrants now in Brazil may be considered as amounting to somewhere
about 15,000; and to these considerable additions are still being made
from the large importations which are now daily taking place from the Old
World. They bear coffee labour pretty well, but most of them are employed
in the province of Rio Janeiro and Rio Grande; the government is very
solicitous to treat them as well as possible, and it has established
those colonies in the provinces which are best for it, more like the
climate of Europe; the provinces of Rio Grande and St. Catherine are the
coldest provinces in the country. They imported, besides those Germans,
a great many Portuguese, a different set of people altogether. They are
from Madeira, and from all parts of Portugal, and from their islands;
they generally arrive in greater numbers than the Germans. Very few
Chinese have been tried. The white natives of Brazil do not work much
upon the sugar and coffee plantations; they only serve like what we
call headmen, superintendents; not in any other way. The Germans are
contracted with and brought to Brazil; the Portuguese come on their own
account; they do not contract them in Portugal; they come of themselves
by hundreds; they generally get employment about the towns, about the gin
shops, and gin taverns, and small businesses. For particulars of this
kind, see the Report on Slave Trade Treaties. It is calculated that the
sugar crop this year, 1854, will be about 30,000 tons less than the last.

[55] Yesterday an experiment was tried with a locomotive steam-engine
on the rails of a finished portion of the road from Mauá to the
Estrella mountain. Our ‘Weekly Correspondent’ sent us last night the
following communication respecting this trip:—Whilst the political
world was agitated this morning, and the sword of Damocles, ceasing its
oscillations for a moment, fell on the ministry, myself, and some other
curiosity seekers, amongst whom were noticed the ministers of England
and of Austria, risked ourselves in a trial of the first steam-carriage
that travelled over the first railway in Brazil. We crossed the bay in a
vessel, also moved by Fulton’s agency, and in two hours (the steamer was
of small power) we arrived at Mauá. The first part only of the pier for
disembarking being laid, we climbed up by the aid of ropes, and threaded
our way amongst a succession of loose and insecure planks to the shore,
at the risk of taking a mud-bath. A few paces distant we saw a single,
graceful-looking locomotive, with the certificate of the year of its
birth and the name of its worthy papa engraved on the central wheels. The
letters, in yellow metal, were as follows: ‘Wm. Fairbairn & Son, 1853.
Manchester.’ The proper carriage was not yet attached; they substituted
for it a rough waggon, used for the conveyance of materials, and without
further delay we squatted ourselves at the bottom of this impromptu
vehicle. Suddenly a prolonged and roaring shriek, a whistle with the
force of 50 sopranos, screamed through the air, deafening the hearers,
and causing us to raise our hands to our ears. It was the signal for
departure; the warning to those who might be on the line to guard against
a mortal blow; an announcement made by a tube attached to the locomotive
itself. Swifter than an arrow, than the flight of a swallow, the
locomotive threaded the rails, swung about, ran, flew, devoured space,
and, passing through fields, barren wastes, and affrighted animals, it
stopped at last breathless, at the point where the road does not yet
afford a safe passage. The space traversed was a mile and three quarters,
and the time occupied in the transit four minutes. It is just that we
should here record the names of Messrs. Trever and Bragg; the first,
for having had the boldness to undertake the enterprise, the other, for
executing, with zeal and skill, the respective works. Mr. Hadfield,
who also went on this excursion, appeared greatly delighted. One of
his dreams for many years past has been the application of railroads
and steam in this empire. Being amongst us as the representative of a
company which undertook the line of steamers from Liverpool, towards the
establishment of which he greatly contributed, he could see his dreams
realized, as our Latin masters would say, terrâ marique. Whether it was
George Stephenson or Trevithick, as the English assert, the Brothers
Sequin, according to the French, or Oliver Evans, as the Americans
pretend,—whoever was the inventor of locomotives, what is certain is,
that humanity has taken a gigantic stride since that acquisition. The
Peace Congress ought to commemorate in annual session so prodigious an
invention, which can, more than half-a-dozen pompous discourses, cement
the bonds of union of nations, bring nations together into one family,
and develop commerce, that most powerful element of peace and greatness.
What a brilliant future for Brazil do we see in the wheels of that
locomotive! Happy those amongst us who may have long lives—they will pass
by great cities, by great rural establishments, recollecting that on
their sites were swamps and forests. Oh! if the existence of man was not
so short; if, at least, we could return to this world invisible shadows,
wandering in our native country, how small we should find ourselves,
comparing our past, that is, our present of to-day, with the progress
made by the generation then before us. But human beings are like the
workmen who assist each other in raising an edifice: each age deposits
its stone towards the completion of the great work. Our first stone has
been laid on the plain of Mauá. The edifice is already commenced; let us
not be discouraged; and if death should overtake us in the midst of the
work, here are our generations to continue it. Peace, in the meantime,
and eternal rest to the poor Mauar race. The invisible power has come
to replace their services, with the first-fruits and benefits of which
a bright morning succeeds to a dark and ugly night. May the material
improvements of the country come, and with them peace and industry; and,
to commence the sooner the better, let us have the roads of Minas and San

[56] Exports of staple productions of Rio Janeiro, the result of slave
labour, during 1851: coffee, 2,037,305 bags, value, 4,756,794_l._;
sugar, 12,832 cases, value, 234,980_l._; rosewood, 36,813 planks,
value, 82,000_l._ In addition to these, other articles of produce, such
as hides, horns, rice, tobacco, tapioca, rum, &c., were exported, the
value of which may be estimated at 264,000_l._, making the total value
of produce shipped in that year 5,337,074_l._ Exports of the staple
productions of Rio Janeiro, the result of slave labour, during 1852:
coffee, 1,906,336 bags, value, 4,265,800_l._; sugar, 13,960 cases, value,
160,000_l._; rosewood, 25,500 planks, value, 55,000_l._ The value of the
other articles cannot be correctly ascertained, but may be estimated at
about 290,000_l._, making the total value of produce exported in that
year 4,770,800_l._ Rio Janeiro, February 24th, 1853. J. J. C. WESTWOOD,
Acting Consul.

[57] Steamers running from Brazil to the United States, starting, say,
from Rio, touching at Bahia, Pernambuco, Maranham, Pará, and one or more
of the most important of the West India Islands, would prove a lucrative
undertaking. The importance of this line of steamers to those interested
in the trade between the two countries must impress itself upon all who
are conversant with the trade carried on; but although a considerable
amount of freight may be relied on, the passenger traffic will probably
be far more important. Besides the Americans and others interested in
this trade, many English and Brazilians intending to travel from South
America to Europe, and vice versa, would go _viâ_ the United States,
some for business purposes, and many to visit that country. Another
very important object would also be attained, viz. the completion of
the communication between all the large maritime towns of Brazil and
the capital of the Empire, by efficient steam-ships. At present the
communication, from Pernambuco to Pará, is carried on by small steamers
belonging to a native company, which is subsidised by the government,
and the reason given for the continuation of the subsidy was, that,
although English steam companies now put some of the northern ports in
rapid communication with the capital, those beyond Pernambuco still
relied solely on these small steamers. Although the trade between the
West Indies and Brazil is unimportant, these countries are at present
so thoroughly devoid of means of intercommunication that advantages
could not fail to be derived by the establishment of this line. At
present, a person wishing to leave a Brazilian port for the West Indies
will generally find that he must go _viâ_ England or the United States,
and this even from the most northern ports. The importance of such an
undertaking to Brazil would be immense, and I have no doubt that the
Brazilian government would be fully alive to the advantages they would
derive from it, and that they would be ready to grant a liberal amount
for mails, &c.—_Contributed._

[58] A Monte Videan writer in the City article of the _Times_ on the
17th of last month, has the following remarks, at once explanatory of
the condition of the government of the Banda Oriental, and of Brazilian
relations to it, and of the feelings prevailing in the Uruguay as to the
tendency it is desired that such relationship should assume:—

By a decree of the Provisional Government, Berro, the
ex-Minister of Giro, having been detected in fomenting the
civil war, has been outlawed. Any person is authorized to
kill him. This decree does not meet with the approbation of
the people, but in these countries public opinion has little
influence with governments. Brazil, it is said, has been
offered the protectorate of this republic, and refused it;
but she will use force, if necessary, to exact the fulfilment
of treaties; and it is generally believed here that the Banda
Oriental will soon be occupied by troops from the empire, to
restore and maintain order and support any constitutionally
established government. This news is as generally agreeable
as it is credited. The respectable portion of the Orientals
are convinced the country cannot be governed without foreign
aid, and the numerous foreigners residing here, of course,
rejoice in the prospect of peace and order. The Government
has authorized its agent in Paris to contract a loan of
12,000,000 duros, at 70 per cent., interest payable half-yearly
at the rate of 6 per cent. on the nominal capital; also to
grant a privilege for ten years to a company (with a capital
of 3,000,000 duros) of a bank of issue and discount on the
principles of the Bank of France; and, lastly, to concede
lands to an association which undertakes to despatch several
thousands of emigrant agricultural families to this republic.
These three projects are connected with each other. If Brazil
maintains order in the country for a few years, no doubt the
immigration scheme would be as beneficial to the immigrants as
to the republic.

[59] Brazil has long been diplomatically represented in this country
by M. Sergio Teixeira de Macedo, envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary, 5, Mansfield-street, Portland-place, a gentleman whose
high breeding, varied intelligence, and conciliatory manner towards
all who have business at the Legation have rendered him deservedly
popular, both with the _corps diplomatique_ and the public. He writes
and speaks English with ease and accuracy, and having married an English
lady (lately deceased) of rare accomplishments, by whom he has had a
numerous family, he is necessarily almost as familiar with the manners
and usages of society amongst us as a native. His staff consists of
J. T. do Amaral, Esq., secretary of legation, and Chevaliers H. C.
d’Albuquerque, J. A. da Silva Maya, A. de P. Lopes Gama, H. de T. M. de
Montezuma, and J. P. d’Andrada, attachés. The Brazilian consul-general
is Admiral Grenfell, Liverpool, who has distinguished himself in the
Brazilian service, and whose biography will be found in a subsequent
page; vice-consul, L. A. da Costa, Esq., 14, Cooper’s-row, Tower-hill,
London. A Brazilian vice-consul has lately been appointed at the Bahama
Islands, in the person of Mr. George W. G. Robins, of Nassau, a gentleman
who has already filled many honorary posts there with much distinction,
and is qualified in every way to secure to the imperial flag the same
respect that attaches to those of France, Spain, the United States,
&c., in that thriving British dependency. England is represented in
Brazil by Mr. H. F. Howard, who was attached to the mission at Munich in
1828, appointed paid attaché at Berlin in 1832, secretary of legation
at the Hague in 1845, and in 1846 at Berlin, where he was several times
chargé d’affaires. He was appointed envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary at Rio Janeiro in 1853, with a salary of 4000_l._, and
500_l._ per annum for house-rent. His secretary of legation is the Hon.
W. G. Jerningham, who was attached to the missions at Munich and Berlin
in 1834, to the embassy at Vienna in 1836, appointed paid attaché at
the Hague in 1839, and to his present post, with a salary of 550_l._
per year, in 1850. The British consuls are—at Rio Janeiro, where he
had previously been vice-consul, Mr. J. J. C. Westwood, 800_l._; at
Bahia, Mr. J. Morgan, who was attached to the legation at Rio Janeiro
as translator in 1845, appointed consul at Rio Grande in 1847, and
transferred to Bahia, where his salary is 800_l._ per annum, in 1852;
vice-consul at Bahia, Mr. J. Wetherell; at Pernambuco, Mr. H. A. Cowper,
formerly consul at Pará, 500_l._; at Maranham, Mr. H. W. Ovenden,
300_l._; at Pará, Mr. S. Vines, 450_l._; at Paraiba, Mr. B. M. Power,
400_l._; at Rio Grande do Sul, the Hon. H. P. Vereker, who was appointed
to a clerkship under the Commissioners of Railways in 1848, a clerkship
in the Board of Trade in 1851, and to his present post, with 800_l._
per annum, in 1852; and at St. Catherine’s, Mr. R. Callander, 500_l._
These salaries are all exclusive of fees, which, in many instances, are
very considerable, emoluments frequently arising from commissions on
Australian gold dust left at Brazilian ports for shipment to Europe; but
that source of gain is far more lucrative on the west than on the east
coast of South America, and hence the increasing pecuniary importance of
consular appointments in the Chilian and Peruvian ports.

[60] This was one of the most appalling disasters ever known at sea,
and the sensation it produced exceeded, perhaps, that occasioned by
any similar incident since the memorable destruction of the Kent East
Indiaman. The Ocean Monarch American emigrant ship left Liverpool, bound
for Boston, August 24th, 1848, having 396 passengers on board. She had
not advanced far into the Irish Channel, being within six miles of Great
Ormshead, Lancashire, when she took fire, and in a few hours was burnt
to the water’s edge. The Brazilian steam-frigate Alfonso happened to
be out on a trial trip at the time, with the Prince and Princess de
Joinville and the Duke and Duchess de Aumale on board, who witnessed
the catastrophe, and aided in rescuing and comforting the sufferers
with exceeding humanity. They, with the crews and passengers of the
Alfonso and the yacht Queen of the Ocean, so effectually rendered their
heroic and unwearied services as to save 156 persons from their dreadful
situation, and 62 others escaped by various means. But the rest, 178 in
number, perished in the flames or the sea. The conduct of the New York
sailor, Jerom, on this occasion, was scarcely less distinguished for
bravery and self-sacrifice than that of the black sailor, Simon, at the
wreck of the Pernambucana, as described at page 132.

[61] A writer in the 8th edition of the _Encyclopædia Britannica_, now
publishing, says, ‘Nearly all the branches of this noble stream are
navigable to a great distance from their junction with the main trunk;
and, collectively, the whole affords an extent of water communication
unparalleled in any other part of the globe. What adds to this advantage
is, that as the wind and the current are always opposed to each other,
a vessel can make her way either up or down with great facility, by
availing herself of her sails in the one case, and committing herself to
the force of the current in the other.’

[62] Mr. Edwards, in his ‘Voyage up the Amazon,’ before alluded to,
says, that Pará contains an area of 950,000 square miles, nearly half
the area of the United States, and all its territories. Its soil is
everywhere of exhaustless fertility, and but an exceedingly small
portion of it is unfitted for cultivation. The noblest rivers of the
world open communication with its remotest parts, and lie spread like a
net-work over its surface.… There is scarcely a product raised in the
two countries in which Brazil could not undersell the United States in
every market of the world were it not for the export-tax. Its cotton
and rice, even during the past year, have been shipped from Pará to New
York; its tobacco is preferable to the best Virginian, and can be raised
in inexhaustible quantities.… Sooner or later, the Amazon must be the
channel of a vast commerce, and Pará must be, from the advantages of its
situation, one of the largest cities in the world.—_Edwards’s Voyage up
the Amazon._

The value of the exports from Pará in 1848 was about £148,720, of which
one-fourth was taken by the United States, a like quantity by Portugal,
one-fifth by France, one-sixth by Great Britain, and the remainder by the
Hanseatic towns, Belgium, Genoa, and Denmark. The value of foreign goods
imported in the same year was about £147,322, principally from the United
States, Great Britain, Portugal, and France. The increase in the trade
of this port will be seen by comparing the preceding statement with the
exports and imports of 1851. In that year the value of the former was
about £356,200, and that of the latter about £273,067. Proportionately
with the aggregate increase, the American and British shares of the trade
had slightly advanced; while the French share had declined to one-eighth,
and the Portuguese had diminished more than one-half. The trade with
Genoa had ceased; but that with Sweden, which had declined since 1846,
showed very promising signs of a revival. The principal articles of
export from Pará are caoutchouc and cocoa, the mean yearly value of the
trade in the former being about £138,000, and of the latter, £67,725.
Among the articles of export in which a lesser trade is carried on may be
enumerated rice, piasaba rope, annatto, sarsaparilla, hides, nuts, sugar,
isinglass, and cotton.

[63] Every one whom I conversed with on the subject of the Amazon
advocates with earnestness the free navigation of the river, and says
that they will never thrive until the river is thrown open to all, and
foreigners are invited to settle on its banks. I think that they are
sincere, for they have quite intelligence enough to see that they will be
benefited by calling out the resources of the country.—_Herndon._

[64] Piasaba is a species of palm from the bark of which is made nearly
all the rope used upon the Amazon. The appearance of the rope made from
it is similar to that of the East India coir. The fibres of the bark are
brought down the rivers Negro and Branco, and made into ropes at Barra.

[65] The Brazilian nutmeg is the fruit of a large tree that grows
abundantly in the low moist lands between the rivers Negro and Yapurá,
above Barcellos, a village on the first named river. The fruit is round,
and has a hard shell, containing two seeds, which are ligneous and
aromatic, but not equal in flavour to the Ceylon nutmeg; though this may
be owing to the want of cultivation.

[66] Since my departure from the banks of the Orinoco and the Amazon, a
new era unfolds itself in the social state of the nations of the West.
The fury of civil discussions will be succeeded by the blessings of peace
and a freer development of the arts of industry. The bifurcation of the
Orinoco, the isthmus of Tuamini, so easy to pass over by an artificial
canal, will fix the attention of commercial Europe. The Cassiquiari—as
broad as the Rhine, and the course of which is one hundred and eighty
miles in length—will no longer form in vain a navigable canal between
two basins of rivers, which have a surface of 190,000 square leagues.
The grain of New Grenada will be carried to the banks of the Rio Negro;
boats will descend from the sources of the Napo and the Ucayali, from the
Andes of Quito and upper Peru, to the mouths of the Orinoco—a distance
which equals that from Timbuctoo to Marseilles. A country nine or ten
times larger than Spain, and enriched with the most varied productions,
is navigable in every direction by the medium of the natural canal of the
Cassiquiari and the bifurcation of the rivers. This phenomenon, which
one day will be so important for the political connexions of nations,
unquestionably deserves to be carefully examined.—_Humboldt._

[67] Bolivia has but one sea-port on the Pacific, that is Cobija, an open
roadstead and a miserable village, at the head of the great desert of
Atacama. The land transportation between this port and the agricultural
districts of the republic is too rough, too tedious, and too expensive
ever to admit of its becoming a commercial emporium. The direction in
which Bolivia looks for an outlet to a market for her produce, is along
her navigable water-courses that empty into the Amazon, and then down
that stream to the sea.—_Maury’s Valley of the Amazon._

[68] Vast, many, and great, doubtless, are the varieties of climates,
soils, and productions within such a range. The importance to the
world of settlement, cultivation, and commerce in the Valley of the
Amazon cannot be over-estimated. With the climates of India, and of
all the habitable portions of the earth, piled one above the other in
quick succession, tillage and good husbandry here would transfer the
productions of the East to this magnificent river-basin, and place them
within a few days’ easy sail of Europe and the United States. Only a few
miles back we had first entered the famous mining districts of Peru. A
large portion of the silver which constitutes the circulation of the
world was dug from the range of mountains upon which we were standing,
and most of it came from that slope of them which is drained off into
the Amazon. Is it possible for commerce and navigation up and down this
majestic water-course and its beautiful tributaries to turn back this
stream of silver from its western course to the Pacific, and conduct it,
with steamers, down the Amazon to the United States, there to balance the
stream of gold with which we are likely to be flooded from California and
Australia?—_Herndon’s Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon._

[69] On the subject of climate, I refer to the annexed chapter by my
valued friend, Dr. Dundas, who has kindly complied with my solicitation
to enrich this volume with a contribution in which he has epitomised, for
popular use, and in a most simple form, some of the results of his great
professional experience and scientific research; and I am sure I only
anticipate the verdict of the reader, whether medical or otherwise, in
declaring the annexed pages to be as completely exhaustive of the subject
treated of as any reasonable limits of a work of this nature would
possibly admit.

[70] Mr. Wallace, in his ‘Travels on the Amazon and the Rio Negro,’
observes—‘In the districts we passed through, sugar, cotton, coffee,
and rice might be grown in any quantity, and of the finest quality. The
navigation is always safe and uninterrupted, and the whole country is so
intersected by igaripès and rivers that every estate has water carriage
for its productions. But the indolent disposition of the people, and the
scarcity of labour, will prevent the capabilities of this fine country
from being developed till European or North American colonies are formed.
There is no country where people can produce for themselves so many of
the necessaries and luxuries of life.… And then what advantages there
are in a country where there is no stoppage of agricultural operations
during winter, but where crops may be had, and poultry be reared, all
the year round; where the least possible amount of clothing is the most
comfortable, and where a hundred little necessaries of a cold region are
altogether superfluous.

[71] Its capacities for trade and commerce are inconceivably great.
Its industrial future is the most dazzling; and to the touch of steam,
settlement, and cultivation, this rolling stream and its magnificent
water-shed would start up into a display of industrial results that would
make the Valley of the Amazon one of the most enchanting regions on the
face of the earth. From its mountains you may dig silver, iron, coal,
copper, quicksilver, zinc, and tin; from the sands of its tributaries
you may wash gold, diamonds, and precious stones; from its forests you
may gather drugs of virtues the most rare, spices of aroma the most
exquisite, gums and resins of the most useful properties, dyes of hues
the most brilliant, with cabinet and building woods of the finest polish
and most enduring texture. Its climate is an everlasting summer, and its
harvest perennial.—_Herndon._

[72] Comte-rendu de l’Académie des Sciences de Juillet, 1843, and Les
Mémoires des Savants étrangers de 1843.

[73] Within the last few years this censure does not so strongly apply.

[74] Since the above lines were written, we have had later intelligence
(14th January, 1854,) from Brazil, stating the important fact that the
disease had totally disappeared from all the seaports of the empire.

[75] By late accounts from Pernambuco we notice the death of Anna Vieira,
aged 150.

[76] Since the above was written, we have learned incidentally that a
letter exists from a near relative of the late Sir William Ouseley, who
took a great interest in genealogical studies, and had traced the Ouseley
family to a high antiquity, in which the writer, after relating how he
had been foiled in endeavouring to trace a particular ancestor, adds, ‘I
have proved our descent lineally from the Carlovingian, Merovingian, and
Capetian monarchs of France, the Saxon and Norman kings of England, and
the ancient kings of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. I think that is enough
in all conscience, in addition to nineteen of King John’s twenty-five

[77] Gold (coined or in bullion,) is admitted duty free; wrought gold
and silver at an ad valorem duty of 5 per cent.; wools and furs, 10
per cent.; raw and sewing silk, 12 per cent.; woollen, flax, cotton,
hardware, and paper manufactures, 15 per cent.; clothes, boots and shoes,
saddlery, sugar, coffee, tobacco, tea, olive oil, and generally all
edibles, 20 per cent.; spirituous liquors, 25 per cent.; wheat and Indian
corn, small fixed duties. By chapter 2nd, relating to maritime exports,
horse skins are charged with a duty of one dollar each; sheep skins,
three dollars a dozen; other skins 4 per cent. on their marketable value;
salt tongues four reals a dozen; tallow 12 reals an arroba; hair and
wool, two dollars an arroba; horns, 4 per cent. on their value. All other
products of the province of Buenos Ayres, and in general all the fruits
and production of the Argentine provinces, duty free. The introduction
landwards of foreign merchandise is prohibited. The tariff is subject to
annual revision.

[78] _The Trade of London with the River Plate_ has materially increased
during the last few years, and is very different now from what it was
twenty years ago. Then vessels used to be a long time on the berth, or
were partly loaded with manufactured goods, and afterwards filled up with
coals, or called at the Cape de Verds to load salt, as the remainder
of their cargo; whereas, now they are despatched with full cargoes of
manufactured goods every two or three weeks. This marked improvement
arises partly from the comparative tranquillity of the River Plate
provinces, and the greater wants of the people, and partly from the more
expeditious and commercial mode of carriage in this country, by means of
which considerable parcels of goods from the manufacturing districts are
now forwarded to London for shipment by the vessels regularly despatched
by Messrs. Martin and Scott, the London and River Plate ship-brokers,
who afford merchants every facility in shipping by their vessels, the
expenses of goods thus forwarded never exceeding and, in many cases,
being very considerably less, by this than by any other route whatever.
The number of vessels despatched from London within the last four years
has been about 60, averaging 15 ships, aggregating 2,745 tons’ register,
or 4,423 tons of actual storeage, shipped annually. Of this number, 37
were British and 23 foreign, chiefly of the Danish flag; 25 of these
vessels were sent to Buenos Ayres direct, 12 to Monte Video direct, and
23 to Monte Video and Buenos Ayres, the restrictions formerly existing
between Monte Video and Buenos Ayres, so that no vessel touching at
the one port could discharge at the other, having been abolished since
the deposition of Rosas. The goods shipped from London are coals, when
required for ballast, iron, zinc, and other metals, paint, oil, anchors
and chains, hardware, hollow ware, tools and agricultural implements,
earthenware, rope, beer, &c. There are also considerable shipments of
linen, cotton, and woollen goods, hosiery, haberdashery, together with
a considerable quantity of millinery, silks, and fancy goods, wines,
spirits, furniture, toys, and pianos. Of these goods, anchors and chains,
tools and agricultural implements, earthenware, and cotton goods are,
for the most part, sent up specially from the inland manufacturing
districts for shipment. The produce of the River Plate arriving in London
is very considerable, and consists of salted and dry ox and cow-hides,
horse-hides, tallow, mares’ grease, bone-ash, animal manure, wool, hair,
horns, and bones. There is also, occasionally, a small quantity of
Paraguay tobacco, ostrich and vulture feathers, nutria, chinchilla, and
other skins. These remarks apply in an increased degree to Liverpool,
between which port and the Plate the commercial intercourse is infinitely
greater than between London and the Plate, the imports and exports being
necessarily much the same as to quality. The trade between Liverpool and
the ports of Buenos Ayres and Monte Video for 1853 collectively amounted
to 64 vessels, consisting of 11,850 tons.

[79] Sir William Gore Ouseley was the British Minister here referred to.
It is alike foreign to the purposes of this volume, and to the wishes
of the writer, to express any opinion on the policy pursued by England,
in the affairs of the Plate, at the period mentioned; but he deems it
the merest justice to the reputation of the diplomatist just named for
sagaciously judging of ‘coming events’ by the ‘shadows cast before,’
to record a fact familiar to every one who has sojourned, for ever so
brief a period, in the River Plate, viz., that the inhabitants of all
classes, without exception, native or foreign, are as unanimous now in
their approving remembrance of his conduct, as they were at the time it
elicited their spontaneous applause in an enduring and complimentary
form. Not less than 800 native Monte Videans, embracing the elite of
the whole community[A] not actually in the interest of the enemy,
tendered their grateful thanks for his efforts to preserve the national
independence—efforts which, had they not been thwarted in quarters where
the utmost assistance should have been accorded, would have secured
that object, while avoiding years of war and bloodshed, and saving some
millions of property lost to the commerce of the world by a continuance
of the disturbances by Rosas. His exertions for the promotion of commerce
formed the most marked item of eulogium in the address from the French[B]
inhabitants, and is particularly deserving of being dwelt upon, now
that the mercantile course of action he recommended so strenuously, as
to the opening of the rivers, has been ratified in respect to Paraguay,
whither he sent our recent Plenipotentiary there no less than eight
years ago, as we shall see when we come to speak of that country. Of the
sense entertained of his merits by the English at Monte Video, their
address,[C] subjoined below, is sufficiently explanatory; but something
still more significant is the circumstance that, though Sir William was
a party to the unfortunate loan by British capitalists, and though it
has been hitherto found impossible to obtain payment thereof, principal
or interest, in any form, no word of censure is vented against him; for
it is felt that the loan was a wise and prudent measure at the time,
and that had the spirit in which it was entered into on both sides been
carried out in the sense then understood, as it readily might have been,
but for shortsightedness at home, the lenders would have been paid with
at least as much regularity as the French government, who continued their
assistance long after England had backed out of the engagement, to the
same effect. And, undoubtedly, the French government have every right
to be paid; for, without their continuous aid Monte Video must have
fallen, and Rosas would at this moment have been Dictator of the whole
Argentine Confederation, of which the Uruguay, and probably Paraguay
also, would have been component parts. It is further felt that even after
the untoward turn affairs have taken, as regards the original engagement
about the loan, the interest might readily be continued to be paid, were
the customs’ receipts administered in the judicious mode initiated when
Sir William obtained the money for the government, viz., by a committee,
composed chiefly of foreign merchants, who collected the dues with so
small an expense that there was always a considerable surplus; whereas in
native hands the aggregate received barely paid the cost of collection.
It is gratifying to find, even at the twelfth hour, years after
misrepresentations to the contrary had effected their momentary object
in causing the recall of Sir William from an arena where the cajolery
and the bullying of Rosas were rendered alike abortive by the tact and
vigour of the British Minister, that these truths are now recognized, not
merely by the Anglo South American public, but by the English authorities
at home, whose _esprit de corps_ renders them ever reluctant to admit
that an injustice can be committed against a servant of the Crown, and
still more reluctant to make any reparation for it.[D] On the accession
of the Derby administration, one of the first acts of the Foreign
Minister, Lord Malmesbury, who, in common with the Imperial ruler of
France, had devoted a great deal of consideration to questions of South
American commercial policy, was to despatch Sir C. Hotham on a mission
for the completion of the work in which that gallant officer had been
previously engaged at the instance of Sir William; and the noble lord,
rightly feeling how much was due to the originator of the same design,
obtained the Order of the Bath for the late minister to the Plate,
expressly on the ground of the services he had rendered to his country
and to humanity during his mission there, and which are specially alluded
to in the addresses presented to him, as quoted in the foregoing page.
Though the present administration do not, or at least did not, appear
to attach the same importance as their predecessors to the recent South
American commercial treaties, it is understood that they have not failed
to express their appreciation of the pioneer in the path of progress
in that direction; and that they have admitted that a very hasty, and
consequently very erroneous, judgment had been passed on his political
conduct in the Plate. Why that judgment should have been hasty, why it
should have been formed on the representations of those whose policy and
whose patron, (the Dictator,) have since been swept away, and are now
only mentioned to be derided, is a secret which it would require the
penetrative perseverance of Mr. Urquhart himself to detect. But it is, at
least, satisfactory to know that the _amende_ has been made as liberally
as it is in the nature of the official genus to do these things; and
that a gentleman in whose family the diplomatic faculty may be said
to be hereditary,[E] and with whom we have reason to hope it will not
terminate,[F] has been authoritatively pronounced to have proved himself
worthy of his antecedents. It is, however, more immediately in reference
to his services to commerce that his name is introduced here; for it is
impossible to allude to the late South American treaties of ’53 without
feeling that Sir W. Gore Ouseley’s labours of ’46 in that cause place him
in the same relation to what has been accomplished by Lord Malmesbury and
Sir C. Hotham as the inquiries of the Import Duties’ Committee placed
Mr. Hume in respect to the Free-trade achievements of Messrs. Cobden and

[A] Senor. Los infrascriptos Ciudadanos naturales de la Republica
Oriental del Uruguay sienten la necesidad de manifestar a V. E. el
altisimo aprecio en que tienen la lealtad de su caracter, y los muchos
y relevantes servicios que V. E. en el desempeno de las funciones
que le habia confiado el Gobierno de S. M. su Augusta Soberana, ha
prestado a la causa de la Independencia de nuestra Patria. La guerra que
devasta el suelo en que hemos nacido es, en todo rigor, de parte de los
Orientales, una lucha de defensa legitima y de Independencia—lucha que
no hemos provocado, y en cuyo termino no buscamos ni apetecemos mas que
la conservacion de la situacion en que nos coloco el pacto celebrado
en 1828 entre el Imperio del Brazil y la Republica Argentina—que nos
esta reconocida por todas las Naciones, y virtual, pero solemnemente
garantida por la Inglaterra y la Francia. Ciertos de la eficacia de esta
garantia y del interes politico y comercial que tienen esas dos grandes
potencias en el mantenimiento de la Nacionalidad Oriental,—con todas sus
consecuencias, y en que no que—de absorvida por un Poder anti-social
y repulsivo de toda idea civilizadora, los Orientales procuraron su
apoyo y una alianza justa y decorosa. El principio en que esta alianza
se basaba era honroso, y los fines, a mas de honrosos civilizadores y
fecundos en resultados beneficos, para la paz externa de estas regiones,
y para la paz interior de nuestro pais que deseamos, con toda la fuerza
de que somos capaces, teniendo por mira unica, que reconciliada la
familia Oriental a que pertenecemos, fuera de toda coaccion e influencia
estrana, pueda elegir en libertad, y en la forma consagrada en sus
leyes, un Gobierno suyo, que la rija con suecion a la Constitucion y
a los intereses Orientales. Los dos Agentes encargados en 1845 por la
Inglaterra y la Francia de dar apoyo a la nacionalidad Oriental volviendo
la paz a nuestros hogares, y los Senores Almirantes Inglefield y Lainé,
que han tenido el mando de las fuerzas interventoras, han desempenado
mision tan noble del modo mas cordial, mas conforme al pensamiento
esplicitamente declarado por sus Gobiernos al pensamiento y al deseo
del nuestro, y de todos los buenos Orientales; por lo que reconocemos
deberles sincera y profunda gratitud. Permitanos V.E. consagrar en esta
carta, respecto de su persona, la espresion de ese sentimiento; que
agreguemos a ella la de los votos que hacemos por sus prosperidades—y
le pidamos conserve siempre la memoria de nuestra Patria y la de los
Ciudadanos que interpretes, sin dudaen, este acto, de la sociedad en que
viven—tenemos el honor de ofrecer a V.E. el homenage del respeto, de
la adhesion y de la amistad que le profesamos y con que somos. De V.E.
affmos Servidores.


_Sir,—The undersigned native citizens of the Oriental Republic
of Uruguay feel the necessity of manifesting to your Excellency
the very great esteem in which they hold the loyalty of your
character, and the many high services that your Excellency,
in the discharge of the functions confided to you by the
Government of Her Majesty, your august Sovereign, has lent
to the cause of the independence of our country. The war
which desolates our native soil is strictly, on the part
of the Orientals, a struggle of legitimate defence and of
independence—a struggle which we have not provoked, and in
the result of which we neither seek nor desire more than the
preservation of the position in which we were placed by the
compact celebrated in 1828, between the Empire of Brazil and
the Argentine Republic—a position recognized by all nations,
and virtually, but solemnly, guaranteed by England and
France. Certain of the efficacy of this guarantee, and of the
political and commercial interest of these two great Powers
in the maintenance of the Oriented Nationality, with all its
consequences, and in its not being crushed by an anti-social
power, repelling every idea of civilization, the Orientals
sought their aid, and a just and proper alliance. The principle
on which this alliance was based was honourable, and its
objects, besides being honourable, were civilizing and fertile
in beneficial results for the external peace of these regions,
and for the internal peace of our country, which we desire with
all the strength we possess, having for sole object, that the
Oriental family to which we belong being reconciled, it may,
without foreign coercion or influence, elect, freely, and in
the mode consecrated by its laws, its own government, which
shall rule it in conformity with the constitution and the
Oriental interests. The two agents charged in 1845, by England
and France, to give aid to the Oriental nationality and restore
peace to our hearths, and the Admirals Englefield and Lainé,
who had command of the intervening forces, have discharged so
noble a mission in the manner most cordial, most in conformity
with the intentions explicitly declared by their governments,
and with the thoughts and desire of ours, and of all good
Orientals; for which we acknowledge that we owe them sincere
and profound gratitude. We beg your Excellency will permit us
to record in this letter, as regards yourself personally, the
expression of this sentiment; let us add that of the wishes
we entertain for your prosperity, and we beg you always to
preserve a recollection of our country and that of those
citizens, who, faithful interpreters of the feelings of the
country in which they live, have the honour of offering to your
Excellency the homage of the respect, adhesion and friendship
which we possess, and with which we are,—your Excellency’s most
faithful servants, &c., &c._

[B] Monsieur le Ministre Plénipotentiaire. Les soussignés, residants
Français à Montevideo, ont appris avec une sincere affliction votre
prochain départ pour l’Angleterre. Les preuves réitérées de votre
bienveillance pour nous, le parfait accord qui a tonjours régné entre
vous et Monsieur le Baron Deffaudis, votre générosité envers nos com
patriotes malheureux, la noblesse de votre caractère, votre constante
sollicitude à défendre les intérèts généraux du commerce, peuvent
vous avoir attiré l’animosité des ennemis de l’intervention et de
l’humanite; mais ils vous ont acquis la reconnaissance des populations
civilisées des deux rives de la Plate. Daignez done, Monsieur le Ministre
Plénipotentiaire, accepter le tribut de nos regrets les plus sinceres;
croire que votre souvenir nous sera toujours cher, et agréer l’hommage
des sentiments respectueux avec lesquels nous avons l’honneur d’être,
Monsieur le Ministre Plénipotentiaire, vos très-obeissants serviteurs.

[C] Address of the British residents and merchants to the British
minister to the states of La Plata.—We, the undersigned, British
merchants and residents of Monte Video, having learned with sorrow, that
your Excellency is on the eve of retiring from the position you have
held amongst us, with so much credit to yourself and benefit to our
country, beg leave to express our sense of admiration at the enlightened
and impartial conduct, just views, and penetrating judgment which have
distinguished you throughout your arduous career, during the intervention
of the British and French governments in the River Plate. We gladly bear
witness to the firmness, justice, and humanity, which characterized your
proceedings, amidst the numerous difficulties and afflicting scenes which
have often surrounded you; and we have beheld with unmixed satisfaction
the constant harmony that has prevailed between your Excellency and your
respected colleague, Baron Deffaudis, which as well as your individual
efforts, has so greatly promoted concord and unanimity among all classes
of both nations, and foreigners, in Monte Video. Impressed with a deep
sense of obligation for your invariable attention to the interests of
British subjects, and for your watchful care over their persons and
property, whenever endangered, and also for the kindness and urbanity
which have marked your personal intercourse with us, we cannot permit
your Excellency to leave these shores without receiving our heartfelt
thanks and grateful acknowledgments. With a just appreciation of the
merits of your Excellency in your official capacity, and an affectionate
regard for your private character, we beg you will accept our sincere
wishes for the future health and happiness of yourself and family. We
have the honour to be, &c. (Signed by 85 British residents.)

[D] This, however, is more apparent than real. Though the Earl of Derby,
speaking on the Address to the Throne, the opening night of the present
session, pleasantly twitted Ministers with their omission in the Royal
Speech of all allusion to Sir C. Hotham’s Paraguayan mission, and with
consequent indifference to its objects, it must not be inferred that the
Aberdeen Cabinet is in the least degree insensible to the importance of
securing such benefits to our commerce as the Malmesbury Treaty seeks
to accomplish, though there may be some discrepancy of opinion as to
the extent that treaty succeeded in such direction. Seven years ago,
Lord Aberdeen, then foreign secretary in the Peel Administration, in his
instructions to Sir William G. Ouseley, then minister at Buenos Ayres,
for his guidance in the joint intervention by England and France between
Buenos Ayres and Monte Video, said:—‘The war in which the Argentine arms
are at present engaged, is waged against a state, the independence of
which England is virtually bound to uphold.’ Lord Aberdeen instructed his
minister, ‘to open up the great arteries of the South-American continent
to the free circulation of commerce, would be not only a vast benefit to
the trade of Europe, but a practical, and perhaps the best, security for
the preservation of peace in South America.’

[E] So long ago as the reign of Elizabeth, Sir John Ouseley, of
Courteen-hall, Northamptonshire, a distinguished military officer,
in obedience to the orders of the Earl of Essex, then commanding in
Portugal, went ambassador to the Emperor of Morocco, and subsequently
fell at the siege of Breda, in 1624. The uncle of Sir William and father
of the present baronet (Rev. Sir F. Arthur Gore Ouseley, to whom the Duke
of Wellington, the Duke of York, and Marchioness of Salisbury, stood
sponsors), was the celebrated ambassador to Persia, of which country he
obtained the Order of the Lion and the Sun, and subsequently the Grand
Cross of the Imperial Russian Order of St. Alexander Newski, when he was
appointed plenipotentiary to St. Petersburgh. His brother, Sir William,
(father of the late minister to the Plate), accompanied him to Persia,
was the well-known historian of that mission, as already stated, and
author of many learned Oriental works, in recognition of whose merits he
received the Order of Knighthood.

[F] The eldest son of Sir William, Mr. W. Charles Ouseley, accompanied
the expedition of the blockading squadron up the Parana river; and,
inheriting his father’s faculty of pictorial delineation, as evinced in
the ‘South American Sketches,’ contributed to that magnificent volume two
subjects, taken at Corrientes, which will be found copied in the chapter
devoted to that country; but, owing to haste on the part of our artist,
the copy affords an imperfect idea of the original. Mr. W. C. Ouseley
likewise accompanied Sir C. Hotham, as attaché, during the recent mission
to Paraguay, and returned with his Excellency in the autumn of 1853.

[80] The liberal spirit of this State encourages foreigners. Imitating
the United States, it facilitates the acquirements of the privileges of
native citizens by emigrants from foreign countries, and even surpasses,
in this respect, the wise provisions of that system, so advantageous
for a new and thinly-peopled country, and so successfully adopted
by North America. Foreign merchants have brought their business and
capital to Monte Video, while hard-working Basques, Germans, Irish,
French, and Italians, (chiefly Genoese) have flocked to this city,
and, in most instances, obtained the rights of denizens or citizens.
Residence, marriage with a native, the acquisition of a certain amount
of property, real or personal, are among the conditions conferring
citizenship. This privilege may appear to be somewhat easily granted;
but it must be recollected that no ‘Oriental’ citizen existed previous
to 1828; consequently there has not been time for the development of
any very jealous feeling of exclusive national rights, as possessed by
one race only in the republic of the Uruguay. It is for these reasons
that so many foreigners have flocked to the Banda Oriental, and settled
in the interior as well as in the towns; and hence the rapid increase
of Monte Video in trade and population, which even the invasion and
siege of its capital, so lately at an end, have not sufficed to reduce
to the level of their former comparative insignificance. The whole of
the Banda Oriental being freed from the invaders, and the independence
of the republic being guaranteed by Brazil, commerce and agriculture
are therefore now reviving; and it is to be hoped that the numerous
resources of the country will be peaceably and usefully developed; while
the free navigation of the tributaries of the River Plate, now ensured,
will be of the greatest importance to the trade of all nations, and
produce incalculable benefits to the States through which those noble
rivers flow. The exports, as before stated, comprise all of the staple
commodities produced by the Argentine provinces, viz: hides, tallow,
horns, horse-hair, jerked beef, wool, &c., to which, in all probability,
corn will be added in a few years, the soil of this State being for the
most part admirably adapted to agricultural purposes.

[81] It is not within the scope of this publication to give anything
like a history of the several places touched at, still less of a place
whose late history, in particular, has been so unprecedentedly troublous,
even in these regions of disorder, as has that of the capital of the
Uruguay. Still a few particulars are essential, and in matters of this
sort no authority is preferable to that of Sir W. Parish. Monte Video
was commenced in 1726, under the name of San Felipe, Puerto de Monte
Video, by Zavala, governor of Buenos Ayres, who had been ordered by the
government to make permanent settlements there and at Maldonado, for the
more effectual maintenance of the rights of the Spanish crown, after
dislodging the Portuguese from the vicinity of the former place, where
they had established themselves. Some families were transported thither
from the Canaries, and others removed there from Buenos Ayres, in order
to secure the privileges offered to the new settlers. The viceroy sent
large sums of money from Potosi to carry on the works; and the walls in
due time assumed, with the labour of the Guavian Indians, the appearance
of an important fortification. In 1808, when the intelligence of the
abdication of the king, and the declaration of war against France, was
received at Buenos Ayres, Elio, the Governor of Monte Video, was the
first to disobey the orders of Don Santiago Liniers, the viceroy at the
time; and convoking the inhabitants, established an independent junta of
the Monte Videans, after the example of those set up in the Peninsula.
They subsequently took their share in the war of independence; and their
deputies, with those of all the other provinces of the Rio de la Plata,
assembled in congress at Tucuman, solemnly declared their separation
from Spain, and their determination to constitute a free and independent
State, on the 19th of July, 1816. During the struggle with the mother
country, one common object, paramount to all other considerations, the
complete establishment of their political independence, bound together
the widely spread provinces of the old viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres; but
the very circumstances of that struggle, and the vicissitudes of the
war, which often for long periods cut off their communications with
their old metropolis and with each other, obliging them to provide
separately for their new temporary government and security, gave rise,
especially in those at a distance, to habits of independence, which, as
they acquired strength, loosened, more or less, the ties which bound
them to Buenos Ayres, and in some cases produced an entire separation.
Amongst others, the Banda Oriental was withdrawn from the authority of
the capital by the notorious Artigas, whose anarchical proceedings,
fraught with the most fatal consequences to the peace of the republic,
afforded a plausible pretext for the occupation of Monte Video by their
Portuguese neighbours—the cause, eventually, of a long and ruinous war
between the republic and Brazil, which was only terminated by British
mediation, and by the territory in question being erected into a new and
independent State, in 1828. Some further particulars, respecting both
its previous and subsequent history, will be found under the head of
Buenos Ayres. Besides Monte Video, the chief towns are Colonia (nearly
opposite Buenos Ayres) and Maldonado; together with sixteen smaller
towns, several hamlets, and numerous estançias or farms, and ranchos or
cottages; but the whole population of the republic, which is divided
into nine departments, and covers a fertile area of about 200,000 square
miles suited for almost every purpose required by man, does not exceed
probably one half the population of Liverpool. Still it is growing, and
will continue to grow, for, during the few years of peace, since its
independence, the population has increased, that of the capital from
about 12,000 to nearly 50,000. The city proper, formerly not extending
beyond the citadel (now converted into a marketplace), rapidly spread,
and handsome buildings and streets were constructed, extending as far
as the recent inner (formerly the outer) lines of the fortification,
enlarging the area to several times its previous size. Beyond are villas
and ‘saladeros’ (establishments for slaughtering cattle and preparing
hides and tallow), while pretty and sometimes spacious suburban dwellings
surrounded by well-cultivated gardens, extend to a considerable distance
beyond the outer walls.

[82] Lady Louisa Tennison, who, in her beautiful work _Andalusia, &c._,
published by Bentley at the close of last year [1853], says:—

I know that I shall be accused of insensibility and want of
taste, when I confess that my first disappointment on landing
in Spain was the almost total absence of beauty amongst the
Spanish women. Poets have sung of Spain’s ‘dark-glancing
daughters,’ and travellers have wandered through the country,
with minds so deeply impressed with the preconceived idea of
the beauty of the women, that they have found them all their
imaginations so fondly pictured, and their works have fostered,
what I cannot help maintaining, is a mere delusion; one of the
many in which people still indulge when they think and dream
of Spain. The women of Spain have magnificent eyes, beautiful
hair, and generally fine teeth; but more than that cannot be
said by those who are content to give an honest opinion. I
have rarely seen one whose features could be called strictly
beautiful, and that bewitching grace and fascination about
their figures and their walk which they formerly possessed,
have disappeared with the high comb which supported the
mantilla, and the narrow _basquina_, which gave a peculiar
character to their walk. With the change in their costume,
those distinctive charms have vanished. The gaudy colours which
now prevail have destroyed the elegance that always accompanies
black, in which alone, some years since, a lady could appear
in public. No further proof of this is required than to see
the same people at church, where black is still considered
indispensable, and on the Alameda with red dresses and yellow
shawls, or some colours equally gaudy, and combined with as
little regard to taste. The men have likewise abandoned the
cloak, and now appear in paletots and every variety of foreign
invention: nor have they either gained by their sacrifices
at the altar of French fashion. By no means distinguished
in figure, none needed more the rich folds of the _capa_ to
lend them that air of grace and dignity which it peculiarly

[83] The appearance of the city of Monte Video is most prepossessing.
It is built on an eminence which forms a small peninsula, being washed
on three sides by the sea, and from the various sea-breezes to which
the situation exposes it, must be a very healthy spot. It is calculated
to maintain a very extensive commerce, and would, doubtless, long have
enjoyed it, had not the vitality of the little Republic sunk under
the obstinate persecution to which it was subjected by Rosas, in the
person of the savage and overbearing Lieutenant Orebbe. At the time of
my visit the Brazilian fleet, under the command of Admiral Wingfield,
was in the offing. Notwithstanding the devastating effects of war, this
city, Phœnix-like, is again rising from her ashes. Lines of bastions and
batteries are daily giving place to scenes of commercial enterprise and
agricultural activity. The husbandman labours with his ploughshare and
the sickle, where deadly engines of war once vented forth their flames.
Streets lined with new and extensive buildings are met with at every
turn. Elegant French shops attract the eye, as their well-stored windows
exhibit the beautiful fabrics of European manufacture. So great is the
number of foreigners who are domiciled in the city, that it has quite the
appearance of a colony of strangers, the natives of the country forming
but a small proportion of the entire population. The Basques predominate.
After that the Italians take the lead. Little good has been effected
by the maintenance of a foreign legion for so long a time, under the
auspices of the celebrated Italian leader, Garibaldi. The present troops
of the Republic are the emancipated negroes, officered by native whites.
The Hotel de Paris is kept by a French cook, who at one time belonged to
a French vessel of war. For the accommodation of a few rooms and board
for three persons, I was charged here at the rate of a doubloon a day.
There are several other hotels in the city. That of Il Comercio bears a
good repute. The whole place, including the suburbs, literally swarms
with _cafés_ and _estaminets_. That of the Bal d’Oro, which is a large
establishment near the quay, carries off the palm, and is much frequented
by officers of the French navy. The various dwelling-houses are provided
with flat roofs, and these, combined with a number of observatories,
which are the constant resort of the inmates, gave the city a lively and
agreeable aspect. The market-place, which formerly formed a part of the
old fort or citadel in the time of the Spaniards, is well supplied with
every species of provisions. Its display of fish far surpasses that of
Buenos Ayres, both as regards variety and quality.

As a maritime and commercial port, Monte Video holds a very desirable
position, and will doubtless before long supersede Buenos Ayres, as the
first port on the coast for the disembarkation of goods for the internal
consumption of the country. The effects of the cessation of hostilities
begin already to be seen in a great outlay of capital; and in the course
of a few years, when commercial relations are on a better basis, and
security to life and property is better insured, this city will rise into
greater mercantile importance than any other in this part of the New

[84] Owing to the disturbed condition in which the Banda Oriental had
been for so many years, during the aggression of Rosas, and the absorbing
anxiety that has since prevailed to repair some of the disasters so
occasioned, added to the domestic dissentions that have too often
supervened, the authorities in the Uruguay have not been able to devote
much attention to the cultivation of European diplomatic relations.
Any affairs of that nature in England pertaining to the republic are
transacted at the Consulate Office, New Palace Yard, Westminster; and
commercial consular matters in Liverpool by Mr. Hall, Dale-street, who
is himself a citizen, and the son of a citizen, of the Uruguay, having
succeeded his father in his present office. The British diplomatic and
consular staff in the Uruguay consists of Mr. G. J. R. Gordon, who was
private secretary to the late Sir Edward Disbrowe, at Stuttgard, in 1832,
was appointed unpaid attaché at Frankfort in 1833, at Stockholm in 1834,
paid attaché at Rio Janeiro in 1836, chargé d’affaires there in 1837, to
a special mission in Paraguay in 1842, secretary of legation at Stockholm
in 1843, and chargé d’affaires and consul-general in the Uruguay in 1853.
His salary in the latter capacity is 1400l. per annum, exclusive of 1_l._
per day for diplomatic services as chargé d’affaires. The vice-consul at
Monte Video, who receives 500_l._ per annum, or 100_l._ more than the
same officer at Buenos Ayres, is Mr. G. S. L. Hunt, who served some time
in the army, was a supernumerary clerk in the Librarian’s Department of
the Foreign Office in 1846, and in 1847 was appointed to his present post
at Monte Video, where he for some time acted as consul-general.

[85] Many of the Buenos Ayrean houses, especially in the suburbs, consist
of a square of building surrounding a Patio, or quadrangular court,
paved with marble, and having either a fountain, or, more frequently, a
draw-well, in the centre, and often pleasingly ornamented with flowers,
shrubs and fruit. The mode and materials of building here, as in other
parts of South America, are such as to obviate, in a great degree, the
danger of fire. Stone or brick, iron, stucco, and tiles are the chief
component parts of a house; little wood is employed, except for beams,
and this is generally hard and heavy, especially in Brazil, and not
readily combustible, as explained in a previous chapter. The floors,
except in some houses built by foreigners, are not constructed of wood,
but of glazed tiles, as in the South of Europe; the staircases being also
of solid masonry. The population of Buenos Ayres had been constantly
decreasing since the time Rosas introduced his reign of terror; but
there is now a decided turn in the state of things in that respect. It
may be simply classified into the white and coloured races; the latter
constituting nearly a fourth of the whole, which is a smaller proportion
than in any other town on the east side of South America. The slave-trade
was prohibited in 1813, by a decree of the first constituent assembly,
consequently any further supply of the negro-stock has ceased; and since
then slavery has gradually become extinguished, not only in Buenos Ayres,
but in all the provinces of La Plata, either by the slaves enrolling
themselves as soldiers, or by their purchasing their freedom. The negroes
now constitute, perhaps, the most useful and industrious class of the
lower orders of the community.

[86] A large proportion of the population of Buenos Ayres, as is stated
in the text, consists of foreigners, many of whom have formed matrimonial
alliances with the native ladies. The latter are reputed the handsomest
women in South America; though the palm is disputed by their fair sisters
of Monte Video, on the grounds set forth in the chapter on that head;
and, in the unsophisticated state of society in which they move, their
frank and obliging manners render them doubly attractive to strangers.
They are passionately fond of dancing; and in their love of, if not
proficiency in, music will vie with the young ladies of any country in
the world. Amongst the men the same taste, in a higher degree, appears to
be developed in a talent for poetry; and they are generally well-grounded
in most of the leading branches of general, and especially of commercial,
knowledge. Living is very moderate here: the river abounds in excellent
fish; and fresh meat may be purchased at an exceedingly low rate. Water
is comparatively the most expensive article, for the lower orders are
obliged to depend for a supply upon the itinerant water-carriers, who
hawk it about the streets in ox-carts. But the higher classes generally
have large tanks or reservoirs under the pavement of their courtyards,
into which the rain-water, collected from the flat-terraced roofs of
their houses, is conducted by pipes, and, in general, a sufficiency may
thus be secured for the ordinary purposes of the family. In addition to
what has been said of the climate of Buenos Ayres, it may be remarked
that at times it is insufferably hot; the prevailing character of the
atmosphere, however, being dampness, which produces many bronchial
affections. But although the whole country appears low and marshy, cases
of intermittent fever are hardly known there; and it may therefore be
considered generally healthy, but certainly not to the extent to justify
the appellation of Buenos Ayres—Good Airs—bestowed upon it by Menoza, its
original founder, in special allusion to its supposed salubrity.

[87] The buildings are generally not more than two stories high, _i.e._,
a ground floor, and one over it, unless the ‘açoteas,’ or terraces,
are to be considered as a third, along which, the whole range of a
‘block’ of houses may, by climbing over the partitions or parapets, be
traversed without descending into the streets. In times of siege, attacks
by foreign enemies, or during internal struggles, these houses form
temporary fortresses, admitting of formidable defence; and being solidly
built and furnished with strong gates and doors, while the windows of
the lower and ground-floors are protected by strong iron bars, it is no
easy matter to take a town, or even a house, built in this way, as has
been sufficiently proved on the occasion in question. Whitelock was a
vain, foolish, insensible man, though not a coward, as was generally
believed, and the prevalence of which belief partly led to his being
disgraced on his return home. The fact is, he seems to have had a most
contemptuous opinion of the Spaniards, from the circumstance of the place
having been taken a short time previously, almost without resistance,
by Admiral Sir Home Popham and Viscount Beresford, the armament having
been fitted out, without any authority from England, at the Cape of Good
Hope; and so elated was its commander by his unexpected success that he
wrote home declaring all South America to be ready to receive us with
open arms. So indeed, it proved in one sense, as Whitelock subsequently
found to his cost on attempting to recover the city after the British
garrison had been expelled; for his men were mown down with musketry
and grape in scores, without being able to return the fire with any
effect. It was on this occasion that the gallant Colonel Thompson, late
M.P. for Bradford, was taken prisoner by General Liniers, who was shot
as a rebel three years afterwards himself. The excesses Thompson saw
committed under Whitelock impelled him to that denunciation of flogging,
and other military abuses, which had so offended the authorities at home
that he has never had his proper promotion by seniority, and is now
(March, 1854) an unredressed complainant against the injustice of having
been passed over in the last brevet, and told that his name shall never
appear in another. As the news of the extraordinary success of Popham
and Beresford at Buenos Ayres stimulated the despatch of an expedition
the following year, under Sir Samuel Auchmuchty, against Monte Video,
where, however the British suffered most severely, one third of the
whole army being killed, though finally effecting the capture of the
place, so was its evacuation caused some six months subsequently by the
intelligence of the defeat of Whitelock—the withdrawal of the whole of
the English force from the Plate being, indeed, the condition on which
the Spaniards gave up their prisoners, and permitted the survivors of
these ill-starred expeditions to withdraw in peace. The commander of
the land forces of the first expedition against Buenos Ayres, Viscount
Beresford, who was then taken prisoner, but escaped, and afterwards
captured Madeira, which he held for some years on behalf of the crown
of Portugal, in the wars of which country, especially at Albuera, he so
eminently distinguished himself, died only in the course of the present
year. The late Lord Holland, in his posthumous ‘Memoirs of the Whig
Party during My Time,’ published a few weeks back, has a very singular
chapter on the secret history of these expeditions. His lordship, who was
a member of the cabinet at the time, says that Whitelock’s was but one
of a series of South American expeditions, and that it was originally
destined for Valparaiso. It was fortunately ‘detained by subsequent
events at Buenos Ayres, and the worst part of our plan was thus concealed
from the knowledge, and escaped the censure, of the public.’ Had the then
minister, Lord Grenville, remained in office, he would have sent against
Mexico Sir Arthur Wellesley, who, in that case, might probably never have
become Duke of Wellington. Sir Arthur, however, was sent to Portugal,
where the Convention of Cintra seemed to offer an augury of evil to the
croakers, which his genius subsequently so gloriously falsified.

[88] I shall not only not repeat none of the Cenci-like stories told
of this lady and her father, and current in every mouth on the Plata,
but tell something of a very different kind from Mr. Bonelli, adding,
however, that it is the first of the sort I ever heard, and I am quite
sure it will be looked upon as rare news in Buenos Ayres, though Mr.
M’Cann also says something similar, viz.—

This severe and bloodthirsty man had a daughter, and it is pleasing to
turn away from the contemplation of the many vices which disfigure his
character to those beautiful traits of humanity and tenderness which
distinguished hers. Manisiletta was loved and honoured by all; pity
lurked within her soul, and every attribute of womanly feeling was there.
This good creature, with tears and supplication, often prevailed with
the harsh tyrant when other means were useless. At her entreaties, many
a life was spared, and many a prayer of gratitude has ascended to heaven
for the rescue of a father or a brother from his impending fate, at her
kind interference.

[89] In January 1831, the provinces of Buenos Ayres, Entre Rios,
Corrientes, and Santa Fé, entered into a federal compact, to which all
the other provinces at subsequent periods became parties. The union was
a voluntary alliance. No general constitution was promulgated, and the
adhesion of the several members was left to be secured by the resources
of the person who might obtain the direction of affairs. This Argentine
Confederation, like the republic which it had succeeded, soon fell into
a state of anarchy, and it was not till the election of General Rosas as
governor or captain-general, with almost absolute power, in 1836, that
even temporary quiet was secured. By this arrangement the provincial
government of Buenos Ayres was invested with extraordinary powers, and
temporarily charged with the transaction of all matters appertaining to
the common interests of the confederation, and the carrying out of its
business with foreign nations. Rosas had previously served as governor
and captain-general of Buenos Ayres for the usual term of three years,
and had obtained unrivalled influence in that province, chiefly through
his military powers, as displayed against the Indians. His decision and
energy secured for awhile internal peace, and the provinces began to
recover from the effects of the long prevalent anarchy. But cruelty and
despotism marked his sway at home, and his ambition, which continually
prompted him to endeavours to extend his power over the whole country
watered by the Plata and the Parana, led him into disputes with foreign
powers: and these ultimately brought about his downfall. His commercial
policy had for its object to secure for Buenos Ayres the monopoly of the
trade of the Plata, his political policy to obtain a like territorial

On the death of Francia, dictator of Paraguay, he refused to acknowledge
the independence of that power, insisting that it should join the
Argentine Confederation, at the same time he refused to allow the
navigation of the Parana by vessels bound to Paraguay. Lopez, the new
dictator of Paraguay, therefore entered into alliance with the Banda
Oriental, now called Uruguay, with which Rosas was at war. These powers
applied for assistance to Brazil. The war was prolonged until the whole
country on both sides of the Plata and the Parana was in a state of
confusion. On the earnest appeal of the merchants and others interested,
Great Britain volunteered her mediation, but it was rejected by Rosas,
who marched his troops within a few miles of Monte Video, which his
fleet at the same time blockaded. The emperor of Brazil now interfered,
and sent a special mission to request the interposition of the courts
of London and Paris. The British and French governments in February
1845, decided on sending plenipotentiaries to the Plata to offer their
mediation, and to announce their intention to enforce a cessation of
hostilities if needful, by an armed intervention. The offer was rejected
by Rosas, but readily accepted by his opponents. The united fleet of
England and France at once commenced operations by seizing the fleet of
Rosas which was blockading Monte Video, and the island of Martin Garcia
which commands the entrances of the Parana and the Uruguay. The harbour
of Buenos Ayres was at the same time declared under blockade, and the
combined fleet prepared to open the Parana, and to convoy as far as
Corrientes any merchant vessels that might desire to ascend that river.
Rosas on his part made hasty preparations to intercept the fleet by
planting batteries with parks of heavy artillery at Point Obligado; and
placing three strong chains across the river, supported by 24 vessels
and 10 fire-ships. On the 19th of November 1845, the combined fleet,
consisting of eight sailing and three steam vessels, forced the passage
with trifling loss to itself, but entirely destroying the batteries, and
considerably injuring the army of Rosas. On the return of the fleet, with
a convoy of 110 vessels, it was encountered at San Lorenzo by a very
powerful battery which Rosas had erected in an admirable position, in the
full expectation of destroying a large number of the merchant vessels,
and of crippling the naval force. The battery commanded the river, and
was difficult of attack by the steamers, but it was speedily silenced by
a rocket-brigade, which had been the previous night secretly landed on
a small island in the river. The combined fleet escaped with trifling
loss, the rocket-brigade lost not a man; but four of the merchant vessels
which, through unskilful pilotage, ran ashore, were burnt to prevent them
falling into the hands of Rosas. The loss to the Argentine army was very
great. Again plenipotentiaries were sent out by the combined powers,
but Rosas refused to yield; and England withdrew from the blockade in
July, 1848. It was however continued by France until January, 1849. On
the final withdrawal of the two great powers in 1850, Brazil determined
on active interference. The power of the Dictator, General Rosas,
essentially despotic, and devoted to the maintenance of the supremacy
of Buenos Ayres, had moreover become intolerable to the provinces which
desired a federal and equal union. Accordingly, towards the close of
1850, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay entered into a treaty, to which
Corrientes and Entre Rios, as represented by General Urquiza, became
parties, by which they bound themselves to continue hostilities until
they had effected the deposition of Rosas, ‘whose power and tyranny’ they
declared to be ‘incompatible with the peace and happiness of this part
of the world.’ Early in the spring of 1851 a Brazilian fleet blockaded
Buenos Ayres, and soon after an Argentine force commanded by Urquiza
crossed the Uruguay. The struggle was now virtually terminated. General
Oribe, who commanded the army of Rosas at Monte Video, made a show of
resistance, but it was merely to gain time in order to complete his
arrangements with Urquiza, and he soon after capitulated. His soldiers
for the most part joined the army of Urquiza, who, at the head of a force
amounting it is said to 70,000 men, crossed into Buenos Ayres. A general
engagement was fought on the plains of Moron, February 2, 1851, when the
army of Rosas was entirely defeated. Rosas, who had commanded in person,
succeeded in escaping from the field; and, in the dress of a peasant, he
reached in safety the house of the British minister at Buenos Ayres. From
thence, with his daughter, he proceeded on board H.M.’s steamer Locust,
and on the 10th of February sailed in the Conflict steamer for England.

But the fall of the tyrant did not bring peace to the unhappy country.
Urquiza, by the governors of the provinces assembled at San Nicolas, was
invested with the chief power, and appointed Provisional Director of the
Argentine Confederation. The Chamber of Representatives of Buenos Ayres,
however, declared against him, and protested against the proceedings of
the convention on the ground of the superior privileges of Buenos Ayres
being menaced. Urquiza dissolved the Chamber, and insurrection broke out.
Civil war, with all its aggravated evils, thereupon ensued. [See memoir
of Urquiza.]

[90] General José Maria Paz, minister of war, to whom I had the pleasure
of a personal introduction, is a man of benevolent aspect and quick
address. He is a native of Buenos Ayres, and commenced his military
career during the war of independence against Spain, in which he greatly
distinguished himself. In the campaign against Brazil, in 1825, he
commanded a brigade in the army of General Alviar, and added to the
laurels he had already won. When General Rosas seized upon the supreme
government of Buenos Ayres, General Paz was among those who opposed his
usurpations; but in one of the engagements which followed he was taken
prisoner, and kept a long time in confinement. Having at length obtained
his liberation, he commanded in the province of Corrientes, and defeated
General Echague at the battle of Cargaassu, in which he displayed the
greatest tact and ability. He commanded the garrison of Monte Video
during the memorable siege that city sustained from the forces of Rosas
and Oribe, and is generally esteemed one of the ablest, and the most
honourable, truthful, and humane of the South American chiefs.

[91] The English and foreign merchants residing in this city have
established an English club-house, where a limited number of beds is
provided for bachelor members. This fine establishment is conducted
by a committee of gentlemen, and contains every possible convenience,
including a reading and news-room, as well as one for billiards; and, in
fact, economy, comfort, and every facility of commercial intercourse,
have been consulted in all its arrangements. The foreign population of
this city includes a great number of shopkeepers, who form quite a little
Paris of elegant shops. Hatmakers, tailors, _coiffeurs_, _modistes_,
and bootmakers predominate amongst the French; merchants, storekeepers,
publicans, and boarding-house keepers amongst the English; and amongst
the Italians, warehousemen and captains of small craft trading to the
inland ports on the mighty Plata. The immigration of Irish to this
place must have been on a very extensive scale, since all the hotel
and boarding-houses, which are invariably European, have them in their
employ. They are also to be found in great numbers on the farms in the
neighbourhood of the capital, which are held by Englishmen, and which
supply the city regularly with butter, eggs, and milk. The difficulty in
finding a washerwoman is indescribable, and would scarcely be credited.
I had to send my servant in all directions before he could find one, and
then I discovered that I could enlist her in my service only on these
conditions—first, that I should await her leisure, and next that I should
pay at the rate of three or four royals for each article!—_Bonelli._

[92] The remarks made in reference to the description of trade carried
on with Monte Video may be considered as applicable in a great degree to
Buenos Ayres. The following is the latest published official statement
of the imports into the United Kingdom from the Oriental Republic in
1851:—untanned hides, 10,247 cwts.; seal-skins, 12,008; tallow, 8,664
cwts. In the same year the imports from the Argentine Republic were as
follows:—untanned hides, 261,653; lamb skins, 55,744; nutria skins,
7,417; tallow, 135,856 cwts.; wool, 853,194 lbs.; unwrought copper,
127 cwts.; cotton goods, 90_l._ value; India silk handkerchiefs, 432
pieces; brandy, 18 galls.; Spanish wines, 56 galls.; French ditto, 19
galls.; tobacco, 18 lbs. Buenos Ayres is the great source of our supply
of hides, and the quantity of tallow imported thence is only exceeded
by the supplies we obtain from Russia and our Australian colonies. The
latter source being now closed by war, and likely to be so as long as the
Eastern difficulty continues, our trade with the Plate in that respect
becomes of course proportionably important.

[93] In reference to the correspondence between England and the River
Plate, Buenos Ayres had long enjoyed considerable advantage over the
Uruguay; but both are now on the same footing in this respect. One great
reason of the little interchange of correspondence between Great Britain
and Monte Video has been the high rate of postage; but such cause is now
removed by a Treasury warrant, (dated February 24th, 1854,) directing
that on every letter not exceeding half an ounce in weight, posted in or
addressed to any part of the republic of Uruguay, to or from the British
islands and colonies, or transmitted from Uruguay to any foreign country,
through England, there shall be charged 1_s._ If the letter exceeds half
an ounce in weight, the postage is 2_s._; exceeding one ounce, 4_s._;
exceeding two ounces, 6_s._; exceeding three ounces, 8_s._; and for every
ounce above four ounces, two additional rates of postage. Fractions above
four ounces to be charged as an additional ounce. Books and magazines to
pay the following rates:—not exceeding half a pound in weight, 6_d._;
above that weight, 1_s._ per pound, and all fractions charged as an
additional pound. The postage must be prepaid in stamps, and the packets
must be open at the ends or sides, contain printed matter only, and not
exceed twenty-four inches in length, breadth, or depth. British and
Uruguayan newspapers may be sent direct to and from the United Kingdom
and the Uruguay at the rate of 1_d._ each.

[94] Our present diplomatic relations with the Disunited Provinces of
the Plata are of a peculiarly embarrassing and uncertain kind, owing
to Urquiza being the ostensible head of the Confederation, though not
of its most important province, Buenos Ayres. This anomalous state of
things long occasioned proceedings on the part of our representative
there, Captain R. Gore, R.N., that have naturally and almost unavoidably
produced some strong opposition and animadversion. Into the justness
of these strictures it is not the business of the author to inquire;
and, accordingly, he contents himself with supplying some few data of
the antecedents of the functionaries about to be enumerated. First,
the gallant gentleman just named, whose salary as consul-general is
1600_l._, with the usual 1_l._ per day as chargé d’affaires. He is
fourth brother of the Earl of Arran, and sat for the borough of New Ross
in 1841 and 1847, when he declared himself ‘a cordial supporter of the
Melbourne ministry,’ and an ‘advocate for free trade and the abolition
of monopolies.’ He was appointed chargé d’affaires and consul-general
in the Uruguay in 1846, and transferred to Buenos Ayres in 1851. Our
Buenos Ayrean consul, whose salary, I believe, is 600_l._, is Mr. M. T.
Hood, who was employed for some years in the consulate-general at Monte
Video, appointed vice-consul there in 1841, acting consul-general there
in 1846, and consul-general at Buenos Ayres in 1847. Our Buenos Ayrean
vice-consul is Mr. T. Parish, to whom I shall have to express a sense
of my obligations in a subsequent chapter. As regards the diplomatic
representation in this country of the Argentine Confederation, like the
Uruguay, and for much the same reason, it is confined merely to the
consul-general in London, Mr. George F. Dixon, Great Winchester-street,
City, the minister, Don Manuel Moreno, having for some considerable time
left England, where he had resided for many years during the supremacy
of Rosas. The consuls and vice-consuls for the Argentine Confederation
are Liverpool, Mr. Hugh C. Smith; Dover, Mr. S. M. Latham; Falmouth, Mr.
Alfred Fox; Plymouth, Mr. J. Luscombe; and Glasgow, Mr. George Young.

[95] A present probably from the English admiral of that name.

[96] Speaking of the descent of the river, at a terrific pace, by the
Alecto, Commander M’Kinnon, in his work ‘Steam Warfare on the Parana,’ to
which reference has already been made, says:—There was only one person
in South America who had either the nerve, knowledge, or ability to do
it. It is natural to suppose that this person must have been a native of
the country, brought up on the river, and who had spent a long and active
life in getting such a thorough and precise knowledge. With pride do I
say it, this was not the case. The pilot was a brother officer, Captain
B. J. Sullivan, who coolly stood on the paddle-box, and conned the vessel
by a motion of his hand to the quarter-master. The whole of the river, up
to Corrientes, is now surveyed by the above-mentioned officer, and better
known, by his means, in London, than at Rosas’ capital, Buenos Ayres.

[97] The author on whom we have so frequently drawn for facts and
illustrations, seems to attach greater moment to Corrientes, speaking
of which he says, ‘There is more of a military authority combined with
usual duties of a Captain of the Port in South America than is exercised
by our Harbour Master, giving him some of the powers of a commandant.
The existence of regularly organized ports of entry for foreign vessels
so far up the river (and there are others much higher up the Parana and
Paraguay) is not generally known. It has been the not unnatural, but
injurious, policy of the government of Buenos Ayres (Rosas) to seek to
monopolise the trade of the states of La Plata, and to prevent direct
intercourse between the other maritime, or rather fluvial, provinces and
foreign countries. Europeans have been in the habit of looking on Buenos
Ayres and Monte Video as the sole ports fitted for foreign commerce in
the states of La Plata, whereas there is no doubt that the best ports are
in the river Parana itself, which affords excellent positions for depôts
of produce, and for loading or discharging vessels. Many such ports
exist on the banks, not only of the Parana, but of the rivers Uruguay
and Paraguay. In the Parana there is deep water, generally from five to
twenty, and sometimes forty, fathoms, with good anchorage. The current
runs three or four knots, often more, when floods increase the large body
of water coming down from the river Paraguay and the numerous smaller
rivers which empty themselves into the Parana from various quarters, and
are swollen by the melting snow of the Andes. The soil about Corrientes
is sandy: trees thrive, but there is more brushwood than timber. The
inhabitants, having hitherto had but little intercourse with the rest of
the world, are naturally ignorant respecting Europe and its usages. Many
of them know but little Spanish, using the Indian dialect, the ‘Guarani,’
which prevails more or less throughout all this part of the interior of
South America, including Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil. Of their little
knowledge of things considered as the everyday comforts or necessaries
of life in other countries, an eye-witness related a somewhat amusing
proof. ‘An old Scotchman, who had been settled at Corrientes for the
greater part of his life, begged some coal from a British war-steamer
on her way up. His sole object in making the request was to be enabled
to vindicate his reputation for veracity. It seems that he had often
told them that in England they had a kind of black stone that could be
used as fuel, an assertion which was scouted as absurd and incredible,
and he was considered as a Scotch Munchausen. He obtained the coal,
however, and on the day fixed for the experiment half the town assembled,
and, seated in a large circle, with their cigarritos in their mouths,
watched the smoke arising from the coal with silent incredulity. It
did not readily ignite, so the Dons began to shrug their shoulders and
intimate their contempt for the whole affair; but when the fire blazed
up, a total change came over them, and it was highly amusing to witness
the enthusiastic delight they evinced, shouting energetically, vivaing,
&c.’ He adds, speaking of the Corrientines, ‘As a race, the men of this
country seem much finer in stature and appearance than the women, who
are generally small, fair, and delicate, and it is said that further
in the interior and in Paraguay they are still more fair and northern
looking.’ Some travellers assert that what they call their religion is
often little else than superstition, and that their morality is far from
strict, but this may be a false impression, adopted on slight grounds. In
dress they are perfectly innocent of any superfluity, for which the great
heat is a valid reason. But whatever are their shortcomings resulting
from their isolated position, they are most hospitable and kind towards
strangers. ‘Travelling through the country one is well received at every
house one rides up to; refreshment is always promptly offered, especially
water melons, which are particularly grateful in these climates. Payment
when offered is almost invariably declined, and never demanded.’ In
consequence of the gradual filling up of the Parana by alluvial deposits
towards the Delta at its mouth, the navigation is much better higher up
in the river than where it spreads into many small channels, emptying
themselves into the upper part of the River Plate; still a vessel
drawing sixteen or seventeen feet of water can go over all the passes
when the river is moderately high; although during the prevalence of
certain winds from the north and west there is less water, and near the
island of Martin Garcia generally not more on the banks than fourteen
feet. Thus from Colonia to the Bajada, and further up to the pass of San
Juan, without any extraordinary rise in the water, a large vessel can
ascend. From San Juan to Corrientes there is only a depth of thirteen
feet on the worst passes, and about the same depth may be had all the
way to Assumption, watching opportunity. There are neither ‘snags’ nor
‘sawyers’ [trunks of trees carried down by the current and fixed in the
bottom, very dangerous in the Mississippi and other great rivers of
North America, where they are known by these names], rocks, nor other
obstructions, but steamers may go at full speed up or down by keeping the
right channel. In the broad parts the stream runs at the rate of about
three, and in the narrow channels, four knots, or even more.’

[98] I have since ascertained that not only did Mr. Hopkins and his
party arrive safely at Assumption, but that the vessel had returned to
Buenos Ayres, and was going up again—a proof how easily the river can
be navigated. Mr. Hopkins was received with great cordiality by General
Lopez, and in return for the present of an American carriage, had given
to him a large quantity of maté, with a grant of valuable land on the
banks of the river, near Assumption. He has been appointed, I hear,
United States consul to Paraguay, and thus infinitely increased his means
of effecting the results I confidently venture to anticipate at his hands.

[99] The description of this magnificent and important river, by the
authors of ‘Letters from Paraguay,’ is too accurate and graphic to be
omitted here, viz.:—The Paraná, having its source in the southern part
of the Brazilian province of Goyaz, flows down from latitude 81 degrees
south, still increased, as it runs, by numerous tributary springs. It
is uninterrupted in its course by any obstacle to navigation, except
by that formidable one, called the Salto Grande, (the Great Waterfall,
_literally_, the Great Leap,) which in latitude 24 degrees, with a noise
and tumult, heard many miles off, dashes its foaming mass of water over
rocks, precipices, and chasms, of the most stupendous character. Resuming
after this its placid course, the wide and glassy Paraná, richly wooded
on both sides, and navigable by small vessels, pours down its salubrious
waters impregnated with sarsaparilla, till, at Corrientes, it forms its
junction with the River Paraguay. From that point the two rivers joined,
go under the name of the one river, Paraná, the latter being, sometimes,
though erroneously, below this, considered the parent stream. The Paraná
discharges itself into the River Plate, by several mouths; by that of
the Paraná Guazú, at which point the waters of the Uruguay also fall
in: of the Paraná Miní, lower down; and of the Paraná de las Palmas,
still near to Buenos Ayres. Thus formed, the Rio de la Plata pours its
accumulated waters into the Atlantic; and although its mouth at the two
opposite capes of Santa Maria and San Antonio is one hundred and fifty
miles wide, it does no more than correspond to the grandeur of the inland
navigation. From its source, in Matto Grosso, latitude 14 degrees south,
till its confluence with the Paraná at Corrientes, the River Paraguay has
already run a course of 1,200 miles; from Corrientes to Buenos Ayres,
the distance measured by both these streams under the one name of the
Paraná is 740; while from Buenos Ayres to Cape St. Antonio and Maria,
the combined waters of the Paraguay, Paraná, and Uruguay, united under
the one name of River Plate, run a farther distance of 200; making a
total course of 2,150 miles, including the windings, which are often of
a very sweeping kind. Of this immense tract of water, fifteen hundred
miles are navigable by vessels drawing ten feet. The river abounds
with fish from its mouth to its source. The pexerey (king’s fish), the
dorado, mullet, pacū (a sort of turbot), and many others, are found in
it; its banks are for the most part richly studded with wood; its various
islands are adorned with beautiful shrubs, evergreens, creepers, &c.;
the woods abound with game, and the adjacent country teems with cattle.
The waters are highly salubrious; the soil all along the banks of the
river, with the exception of the Great Chaco, is rich and fertile in the
highest degree. But notwithstanding all these advantages—notwithstanding
that the country has been for three hundred years in the possession of
a civilized European nation—after I had galloped two hundred and eighty
leagues, I did not see above four or five small towns. Not more than a
like number of vessels were to be descried on my route, while at every
fifteen miles distance a miserable hut, with its half-dozen inhabitants,
was alone interposed to relieve the monotony of the scene. The secret of
all the silence, solitude, and abandonment of Nature to herself, which I
saw and lamented, is of course to be traced to the inadequate means which
have hitherto been used to provide even a semblance of the population
necessary to cover a country of such vast fertility and extent.

[100] Mr. McCann is in error in stating the population of this town at
8,000; and his general description of it would apply more to Rosario,
probably owing to some error in his notes afterwards, when describing the
two towns.

[101] ‘I will mention a few of the uses to which I have seen hides
applied. The hammocks in which the people sleep were hides cut, like a
puzzle, to spread out as so much net-work, neat, cool, and pleasant.
The milk from cows was collected and emptied into a hide spread out on
sticks in the shape of a large bucket or tub, capable of holding from
sixteen to twenty gallons. The houses and carts were covered with hides;
a hide-spout conveyed water off roofs. The tanpits were hides spread out
like the milk tub before mentioned, containing other hides under tanning
process. Everything connected with horse furniture was supplied by hides.
The beams and supports of houses were lashed by hide thongs. The doors
and windows, and, frequently, the very walls, were hides laced together;
in short, everything almost was hides.’—_Mackinnon._

[102] Rosario is most favourably situated for carrying on a large trade,
which promises soon to locate itself here. Already there is an English
branch establishment here, and a resident English consul has been

[103] The capital of the province of Corrientes, of which our sketch is
taken from the deck of a man-of-war, is not a large place. Its population
has been variously estimated at 3,000, 6,000, and 8,000 inhabitants.
This difference is partly accounted for by the fluctuations incident to
the military system by which they have too long been oppressed. In fact,
subjection to martial law has hitherto been, not the exceptional, but the
normal state of these countries. A traveller visiting one of these towns
while the greater part of its male inhabitants are absent on military
service as volunteers, would have a very different impression as to the
number of its population from that which he would receive during a time
of peace, and in the commercial and busy season. Moreover, a great many
of the wives and children of these men follow, as best they may, the
march of the troops, so that whole districts are thus nearly depopulated
by these frequent drains of their inhabitants. The ‘Gauchos,’ as the
country people are called, are naturally a good-natured, hardy, and
courageous race. The demoralization and recklessness consequent on their
being forcibly taken from useful and peaceful occupations to swell the
ranks of some ambitious ‘caudillo’ or chieftain, have of course produced
much evil, inuring them to scenes of violence, bloodshed, and injustice.
It is true that they are called out and armed for the loudly-proclaimed
purpose of defending ‘la libertad, la patria,’ &c., and appeals to the
feelings of independence, honour, virtue, and all the high-sounding words
of the sonorous language of Spain are employed by those who want their
services. Here, as too generally in Spanish America, their feelings of
patriotism have been so frequently invoked either to defend or attack
some individual or party, that it is only surprising their characters
are not more perverted, and that the moral devastation should not keep
pace with that which has so long physically blighted these naturally
fine provinces. The resources of these states have been wasted in order
to maintain a military force much too large in proportion to their
population, and it has been employed either in aggression on neighbouring
countries, or for the intimidation or coercion of the provinces
themselves, to support the personal policy of the executive. Thus their
great capabilities of production have not been developed, and industrial
improvement has been completely checked. The evils of such a system are
even more injuriously felt in these vast and thinly inhabited regions
than they might be in countries differently circumstanced.

The wealth of Corrientes consists chiefly in vast herds of cattle, sheep,
and horses. The pasturage of the province is remarkably fine: its exports
are hides, tallow, wool, hair, and some agricultural produce. The trade
which might arise with the countries in the interior, through which these
mighty rivers flow, were the navigation open, is beyond calculation, and
its profits would soon enable the States of La Plata to pay with ease
their foreign and domestic creditors, and to raise funds for internal
improvements. During the few months that the navigation of the Parana
was kept open in 1845-6, two convoys, (under the admirable arrangements
adopted by the distinguished officer who commanded H.M. squadron in the
Parana, Commodore Sir Charles Hotham), one consisting of upwards of one
hundred vessels, laden with produce, the other of more than seventy, came
down that river and the Paraguay with very little loss or damage, after
having exchanged the cargoes of European or North American merchandise
that they brought up for the goods with which the different depôts at
Corrientes and other places were overflowing, to the value of some
millions of hard dollars. It is true that an accumulation of produce
at the ports of the river then existed, caused by the interdiction
of the navigation by the governing power of one of the banks of the
river. But as it is the manifest interest of the different states whose
natural outlet is by the River Plate and its confluents,—the Parana
and Uruguay,—that internal navigation should be free, or placed, for
instance, on a similar footing to that of the Rhine, it is to be hoped
that before very long the governments most interested in this question,
those of La Plata especially, will awaken to a sense of the vast interest
they have in opening these great channels of inter-communication to the
commerce of the world.

[104] Le Paraguay; son passe, son present, et son avenir; par un
Etranger, qui a vecu longtemps dans ce pays, ouvrage publie a
Rio-Janeiro, et reproduit en France; par General Oriental Pacheco-y-Obes.

[105] Mr. G. W. Drabble, a gentleman who proceeded some time ago from
Manchester on a visit to the River Plate, determined to devote some of
his time and attention to ascertaining the capability of the Argentine
territory and the Banda Oriental for growing cotton. Lord Clarendon
having been written to by the Manchester Commercial Association to ask
his assistance for Mr. Drabble in carrying out this intention, replied,
in a letter, dated the 1st of March, that he would have particular
pleasure in complying with the request, and that his Lordship ‘had
recommended Mr. Drabble to the kind offices of Captain Gore (Her
Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires at Buenos Ayres) and Mr. Hunt (the British
Acting Consul-General), and had instructed them to afford to Mr. Drabble
every facility and assistance in their power in furtherance of his
object, which was one in which Her Majesty’s Government take great
interest.’ A letter was afterwards received from the Consul-General at
Monte Video, 4th of June, stating that he would be very glad indeed to
give Mr. Drabble every assistance in his power. The following letter to
Mr. J. A. Turner, president of the Manchester Commercial Association,
details the result of Mr. Drabble’s investigations:—‘Buenos Ayres, Oct.
1. The unsettled state of politics that prevailed on my arrival here
prevented my being able to avail myself of the offers of assistance
by Mr. Gore and Mr. Hunt, nor was a journey to the interior provinces
then practicable. From Paraguay, fortunately, General Lopez, son of
the President of that country, was passing through this city, on a
visit to Europe; which enabled me to be presented to him by Sir Charles
Hotham, who has rendered me every assistance, and given me most valuable
information as to that country. That territory appearing to hold forth
more prospect of success in the cultivation of cotton, I have sent up
a gentleman possessing the requisite talent, so that he may be enabled
to furnish an accurate report as to the facilities that may be there
found. Even here, however, I would observe that much more attention is
being attached to the country of Paraguay, as a rich field of enterprise;
and, as a pioneer to what we hope may be continued efforts, a steamer
started from this port yesterday to that destination, conveying a company
recently arrived from the United States’ said to be well supported,
consisting of several directors, and conveying with them machines for the
cultivation and cleaning of cotton, tobacco, sugar, and rice; sawmills,
for making available for export the valuable wood that there so abounds,
and other machines suitable for the development of its resources. If
they are once enabled to establish a footing there, and, especially, if
the project of steam navigation up our interior rivers is accomplished,
great results may attend these primary efforts. Some of the interior
provinces of this confederation have been long said to be most suitable
for the cultivation of cotton, and a sample, pronounced to be of very
fine quality, from one of them (Tucuman), was last year exhibited in
Manchester. I have forwarded, per steamer, another example from the
neighbouring province of Catamarca, the lands of which are reported as
being capable of producing a much superior article to any other of these
States. I consider, however, that a great difficulty will exist in the
development of this cultivation, in any of these interior provinces, from
the long land carriage required to bring it to an exterior market. The
cost of the best qualities there, as plucked, say with seed, is 7rs. to
8rs. per arroba; if cleaned up there, as it must be to give the least
hope of successful competition, it is calculated that the yield would
give about 25 per cent. of gross, thus placing the cost of an arroba,
or 25 lbs., at an average of 30rs.; expenses of cleaning would be 2rs.;
carriage to Buenos Ayres, per arroba, 6rs.; total, 38rs.; which, taken
at to-day’s rate of exchange, would net per lb. 8⅕d. In Catamarca the
cotton tree has been cultivated regularly, but, attention never having
been paid to it as an article of export, the production has never
increased. It is a perennial plant, sown in spring, and yielding the
same year. It grows about four feet to five feet high. In the winter it
is cut down, but the following spring it shoots up for another year’s
yield. No great care is paid to it till the time of gathering the pod,
when it is regularly plucked. The Paraguay and Corrientes plants are of
the same class. The quality of the Corrientes cotton has so far been
much inferior. It is, however, in the same latitude, and the soil is
represented as being equally fertile, and from its geological position,
that province would seem to be the most preferable. The great drawback
to the extension of this cultivation will be the want of labour. The
population of Catamarca is not more than 40,000; that of Tucuman may
be estimated at 50,000. But even so, there are so many other articles
of production of great value, and requiring little labour, as tobacco,
sugar, &c., that it will be difficult to obtain sufficient hands for the
plucking and cleaning, unless expressly imported. The requirements of
the native population are few, and their ambition soon satisfied. It is,
therefore, almost impossible to get them to labour for more than their
actual wants. That these countries, however, present many facilities and
advantages for the extension of this cultivation cannot be doubted; nor
that capital, properly laid out, would, with care and energy, give every
prospect of ample profit. But the commencement of this, as of all other
undertakings, requires to be followed up with the greatest energy, and
under the personal superintendence of a practical and interested party.
Although Mr. Drabble estimates that only 25 per cent. of clean cotton
would be obtained from the seed, some gentlemen in Manchester, who have
had much acquaintance with the subject, are of opinion that, with such
fine growths as the samples already sent home from the district, the net
produce of clean cotton would be much more likely to be one-third of the
gross weight than one-fourth, and, consequently, the cost at which cotton
could be supplied would be proportionately reduced.

[106] The chief provisions are the following:—British subjects are free
to navigate the banks of the rivers of Paraguay. British traders may
settle and carry on commerce in any of their towns, instead of being
restricted to Assumption, as hitherto. Finally, they may marry the
daughters of the country—a privilege from which they have until now
been debarred. Similar treaties have been made with France, the United
States, and Sardinia. This treaty (said an eminent ‘Economical’ authority
at the time it was made known in England,) will help to forward the
designs of Bolivia to promote the free navigation of the rivers that
run from her territory into the Plate. Could that navigation be opened,
it would be something like spreading the advantages conferred by the
Mississippi on North America over South America. The Plate is formed by
the junction of the Parana and the Uruguay. From the Plate to Assumption,
the Parana, with its branch the Paraguay, is navigable for 800 miles
in the dry season by vessels drawing six feet of water, and in the
rainy season by vessels drawing twice as much. Beyond that 800 miles,
it is navigable as a canal for 600 miles, almost to its sources in the
mountains of Brazil, not far from one of the streams navigable into the
heart of Bolivia upwards of 1,000 miles from the Atlantic. The Uruguay
is navigable for 300 miles from its junction with the Parana, and there
the navigation is stopped by a ledge of rocks which does not affect the
level of the stream. Were this impediment removed—and the governments of
Brazil and Buenos Ayres are bound by treaty to remove it—the river would
be navigable for 300 miles further. Thus together there is an interior
navigation from the Plate of at least 1,600 miles, and probably when the
country shall be fully explored for many hundred more miles, opening up
for the use of the closely-pressed people of Europe some of the finest
countries of the globe. The great empire of the south, extending through
more than thirty degrees of latitude, and in its widest part through
thirty degrees of longitude, with a population of about 5,000,000, and a
portion of them slaves, is increasing in people and wealth much faster
than the countries on the Plate. It is extending its trade year by year,
and may in the end absorb and incorporate the neighbouring republics;
but it is yet far from that consummation. Unless, therefore, some more
European life be infused into the countries on the Plate, unless spare
hands from England, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany, each of which
has already supplied some of the scattered population on the Plate, go
thither, and bring those countries more into contact with Europe, they
are likely to remain only half tenanted for ages.

[107] When Rosas, in his protest, announced that he was preparing great
military and naval armaments, with a view of invading and incorporating
her in the Argentine Confederation, Paraguay speedily raised an effective
army of more than 30,000 men; and calculating that force at the moderate
rate of two per cent. on the entire population, the result is above a
million, which, as already stated, is more than double the population
of the Argentine provinces and the State of Uruguay united—a fact which
explains why it is that Paraguay imports more than all the interior
provinces of the Confederation, including the province, though not the
port, of Buenos Ayres itself.

The town of _Conception_ has been resuscitated from its decay by the
government founding the town of St. Salvador, on the Paraguay, and
covering all the fords by a line of small fortified posts. New works and
branches of industry have been commenced, and quarries of calcareous
stone, an article which Paraguay, before Francia’s time, imported, are
now worked. The _Encyclopædia Britannica_, now being published, puts down
the population of Assumption, the capital, at 12,000, which is certainly
considerably under the real number. With an activity and zeal which would
do honour to governments better furnished with resources and auxiliary
means, the consular government undertook to open new roads, by cutting
through the forests to an extraordinary extent, in order to facilitate
transit and the trade to the exterior. The road which was opened across
the mountain called _Caro_ is twelve leagues in length and fifty feet
broad. That which traverses Mount _Palomares_ is thirteen leagues long,
and of the same breadth as the first; and Mount _Caagazu_ has been cut
by a road six leagues long and thirty-six feet wide. There is also now
approaching completion a road which is passable for carriages from
_Villa-Rica_ to the bank of the Parana. Bridges have been constructed
over several water-courses and dangerous ravines, and where the
breadth of the rivers has been too great, commodious ferries have been
established at the expense of the government. In the district of Rosario,
where there are many grazing estates, the proprietors were frequently
exposed to excessive droughts, which occasioned the dispersion, mixture,
and loss of the herds. The government has had a canal opened from five
to six leagues long, and which, serving as a reservoir to many brooks,
will retain water even in the most terrible droughts. A similar route has
been carried out in the department of _San Estanislao_. The government
has resolved on founding other new towns, and has overcome the obstacles
opposed to the development of others already existing, such as _Villa
Franca_, which, situated at the bottom of a plain, suffered much in the
rainy season. It opened drains for the stagnant waters, and the soil has
been much improved.

There is one arrangement which does the greatest honour to the liberalism
and equity of the consular government. We may, properly speaking, say
that there are no slaves in Paraguay; the number is not quite certain,
but, from the statement of a recent traveller, there would not appear to
be more than one thousand in the whole of the territory of the Republic.
The consular government, in order to put a stop to slavery in a natural
manner, although it be on so small a scale, has declared every child
born of slaves to be free, and has prohibited, by a decree, all fresh

[108] The climate, which has so much influence on the prosperity of a
country, is salubrious, equable, and agreeable. Although tropical, this
region is exempt from the fevers which commit such ravages at Havana and
New Orleans, and from the earthquakes and hurricanes of the West Indies
and other tropical countries. All epidemics are unknown: in fact, the
climate of Paraguay is proverbially salubrious, one proof of which is,
that there is an unusual proportionate number of octogenarians, and even
centenarians. The British and French war-steamers, Locust and Flambart,
were lately there for upwards of two months, during the hottest season,
without a single case of serious illness occurring on board. Such, too,
was the case when a French steamer was sent up by the British and French
Ministers in 1846. Though the heat is great, it is infinitely more
bearable than in most parts of the Brazils; while all experience goes to
show that Europeans become speedily acclimated.

[109] Prolific as are so many portions of South America, there is no one
area of anything like the same magnitude to be compared for a moment with
Paraguay. Here are cultivated, with an easy success to which the wants
of the inhabitants are the only limit, cotton, sugar, indigo, cochineal,
and the finest tobacco in the world; dyes of great value abound, as also
various wild plants of the hemp kind, capable of being converted to the
greatest utility; resinous trees, amongst them several producing the
Indian-rubber and gutta-percha gums; copaiba, rhubarb, and medicinal
plants of equal virtue, its sarsaparilla being superior to all others,
and its bark having still as high a repute among pharmaceutical savants
as when first introduced thence into Europe by the Jesuits towards the
middle of the seventeenth century. Plantations of coffee have lately
been commenced, and answer excellently. Fruits and grain embrace nearly
all that are indigenous to the temperate and the torrid zone; and the
cattle may be multiplied to an indefinite extent if advantage be taken
for that purpose of the illimitable pasturage—an important consideration
just now, bearing in mind the sources of our supply of hides and tallow,
whether from the North of Europe or South America itself. Direct European
intercourse, by means of the Malmesbury treaty, not only promises to be
productive of the utmost good to Paraguay proper, but, through Paraguay,
to the remotest provinces of the Confederation, and beyond, to the
spurs of the Andes. The Vermejo, already twice explored, puts Paraguay
in communication with the vast provinces of Salta, Jujui, and Tucuman;
and if, as there is good reason to believe, the Pilcomayo is navigable
considerably above Paraguay, her commerce would go straight to the
heart of Bolivia. By the river Paraguay itself ships of 200 tons can
ascend to Cuiaba, the capital of the Brazilian province of Matto-Grosso;
while the interior of Paraguay is interlaced all over with navigable
streams emptying themselves into the great fluvial artery after which
the province is named—thus facilitating the transport, in the manner of
the Chinese canals, of its produce to the markets of Assumption and the
thriving town of Pilar.

[110] The natives of Paraguay are docile to their superiors, vigorous,
inured to hardship, and intelligent; at the same time that they are
sober, phlegmatic, and not likely to be carried away by enthusiasm. They
do not appear to be endowed with that impetuous and exalted valour which
seeks to confront danger and death; they would, therefore, not be well
adapted for offensive warfare. But they possess, without any doubt, that
severe and immovable intrepidity which sees danger and death without
being shaken by them, an invaluable quality for defensive war, and which,
developed by exercise and arms, may in its turn serve for the attack.
The Paraguayan is firm and tenacious in his projects: in whatever he
undertakes, if he meets with resistance, he grows obstinate, and dies
rather than yield or desist. He is insensible to stimulants, and the
seduction of immoderate desires. His family, his valley, his country, the
government which he idolizes, are all the world to him. He is, however,
notwithstanding his apparent phlegm, most susceptible in whatsoever
he considers to be foreign domination, superiority, or influence, and
attributes to contempt the most indifferent act which is repugnant to
his habits, his customs, or his interests. He does not, however, evince
his resentment by words or cries—he is too concentrated for that; but
still he allows no opportunity to escape of expressing by monosyllables,
gestures, or actions, more energetic than words, what is passing at the
bottom of his heart.

[111] The first consul, Don Carlos Antonio Lopez, is a rich landed
proprietor. He received in his youth, at the College of Assumption,
such education as during the first years of this century could be met
with in the American colleges. When his studies were concluded, he gave
lessons in theology at the same college, and was installed in a chair of,
what at that time was termed, philosophy. He afterwards devoted himself
particularly to the study of jurisprudence, and to the profession of
an advocate, and exercised it, according to general report, with zeal,
impartiality, and disinterestedness, which acquired him credit, friends,
and a select number of clients. When it became dangerous, under the
tyranny of the Dictator, to exercise a profession so independent as that
of advocate, M. Lopez retired to his estate, 40 leagues from Assumption,
and gave himself up entirely to agriculture, and to the perusal of the
few books which he had been able to procure. He very rarely went to the
capital, and then only for a few days. His retired life, the description
of seclusion to which he had condemned himself, providentially saved him
from the distrust and terrors of the Dictator, and from imprisonment or
death, which were their usual consequences. M. Lopez has never quitted
his country, and previously he had not taken the smallest share in public
affairs. He was unable to make acquaintance with the excellent works
published on numerous branches of public administration and political
economy, or to obtain the least intelligence of the events which had
occurred in Europe and America during the preceding twenty years, for the
Dictator persecuted, with more rigour than the Inquisition itself, men
of learning and their books, and neither one nor the other had been able
to penetrate Paraguay. Nevertheless, the acts and writings of M. Lopez
have shown that he was no stranger to sound doctrines of administration,
and that he had meditated in his retreat on the situation of his country,
its necessities, the evils it suffered, and their causes, as well as on
the remedies which it would be possible to apply to them. Such qualities
would naturally acquire for him an ascendancy and preponderance in
the management of affairs; and, thus acquired, he has exercised them
discreetly and vigorously.

The second consul, Don Mariano Roque Alonzo, was a soldier who reckoned
many years service in barracks and garrisons. He commanded a corps or
battalion of the troops which occupied the capital, when his companions
in arms appointed him Commandant-General in the interval between the
death of the Dictator and the assembly of Congress. During this short
period he maintained public order, and protected the tranquillity of the
citizens with zeal and moderation. Like a man of good sense and honour,
and of docile character, he at once acknowledged the superiority of his
colleague, which of itself is a merit, and always deferred to it, in
which he rendered a great service to his country.

In 1844, Congress again assembled, and elected M. Lopez president, a
renewal of confidence which his excellent conduct in the interval of
years that had elapsed since his first election fully justified; and the
same may, of course, be said of his subsequent re-election.

[112] In 1849, when the army of Paraguay gave signs of life by occupying
a part of the province of Corrientes, to protect the introduction of
a large convoy of military equipments purchased from Brazil by the
president, General Rosas, who had laughed at the army of Paraguay, found
nothing to oppose to it when it appeared but a defensive attitude. At
the present time that army, from its acquirements and discipline, is the
envy of the armies of the different nations of South America. A treaty
of alliance, offensive and defensive, entered into somewhat later with
the Brazils, and ratified by the Emperor, revealed the existence of
Paraguay to the political world, since this treaty had for its basis the
preservation of the nationality of the Oriental State.

The Dictator had a great number of men under arms; but there was no army
or any military organization of any kind, and the soldiery was allowed
to oppress the other classes. On the other hand, it happened with the
military service, as with all other branches of the administration,
that there were no other laws nor rules than the capricious will of
the Dictator: there was no law to fix the term of service; the private
soldiers had already served a long time, and had a right to their
discharge. Detachment and garrison duty, even in the remotest parts of
the frontiers, was performed without any turn of service or regularity.
The troops remained there sometimes as long as fifteen years without
being relieved, and without receiving any other assistance or pay than a
meagre ration of meat. The consular government gradually allowed these
officers and soldiers to retire, and replaced them with 3,000 men,
obtained by recruiting. The officers who had served for long periods had
small pensions awarded them, and the longest term for the most distant
detachments was reduced to three years.

[113] The Dictator died in 1840, at the age of 85, of apoplexy, leaving
the country in the most dangerous crisis in which a nation can find
itself, that of complete ‘acephalousness’ (being without a head).
Exclusively occupied with himself, the Dictator had neither foreseen
nor prepared anything for cases so easy to anticipate as illness or
death. Nevertheless, there were no parties in Paraguay; neither violent
reactions nor disorders have been seen there, which has, with reason,
surprised all the world. Nor did the country return to the subjection of
Buenos Ayres, which, however, is sufficiently explained by the character
of the inhabitants. The moment the Dictator was dead, his ‘actuario,’
(the person through whom all business with Francia was transacted,)
who doubtless desired to follow out his system, and succeed him under
the name and shadow of some military chiefs, suggested to the four
commandants of four of the ‘corps d’armée’ which occupied the capital
the idea of self-electing themselves into authority and forming a
government. The advice pleased these officers; they added an alcalde to
their number, elected the president, and composed a governmental junta,
of which the ‘actuario’ made himself secretary. But neither the junta
nor the secretary knew how to, or were able to, maintain their footing.
The junta itself had been installed but a few days when it decreed
the arrest of its own secretary, who knowing well, doubtless, what he
deserved, hung himself in prison. The other military chiefs soon made
those who formed the junta imperatively feel the necessity of convoking a
congress, and of doing so by an authority not confined to theirs. After
some hesitation, the natural consequence of the acephalous state of the
country, these military chiefs named a ‘Commandant General of Arms,’
without any administrative authority, and with no other attribute than
that of convoking a congress within a given time, and of watching in the
interval over the maintenance of public order. This new personage did not
fail to execute the orders he had received, and convoked a congress in
March, 1841, six months after the death of the Dictator. This congress,
composed of 500 members, elected directly by universal suffrage, hastened
to satisfy the first necessity of Paraguay, that of an authority to take
the cause of the country and its administration in hand; and the void, so
full of danger to the public weal, was filled up. A government, composed
of two consuls, was immediately appointed, and no other obligation was
imposed on it than that of ‘maintaining and defending the independence
and integrity of the Republic,’ and which it was to swear before being
formally inducted into office. Finally, the congress had the wisdom to
consider its task to be thus terminated, and it added nothing to the
duties of the consuls thus elected than a recommendation to encourage
public education, relying for the rest on the conscience and knowledge of
these magistrates.

A consular government, composed of two individuals, with identical
rights and attributes, but who unavoidably differed in character, ideas,
and education, was eminently defective, and carried within itself the
germs of great inconveniences and dangers to the State. But, happily, it
produced none, thanks to the deference and docility of one magistrate,
the prudence and superiority of the other, and the short duration of
their term of office, which was but for three years.

During the Dictatorship education had been altogether abandoned; the
establishments devoted to instruction had been closed, and their
resources diverted to other purposes. Lopez established primary schools,
and laid the foundation for a college; and two Jesuits arriving about
1844, one of them took charge of a school for mathematics; but they left
the country in 1846.

Religion and public worship, which exercise so much influence on the
morality of a people, were suffering much from the want of spiritual
advisers. At the death of the Dictator there were only fifty priests in
Paraguay, all old, and several verging on decrepitude. Many churches
in the country, even in populous parishes, were closed for want of
pastors. The consular government hastened to remedy so great an evil: it
commenced negotiations with the Holy See, and presented two priests for
consecration as bishops; one, as diocesan, and the other as coadjutor.
In the meantime it pressed the head of the bishopric to extend to those
parishes which were destitute of pastors the jurisdiction of the nearest

[114] The revenue of Paraguay is derived principally from the duties
levied on goods imported and exported, (the former of which ought to be
considerably modified, and the latter reduced to almost nothing,) stamped
paper, shopkeepers’ licences, the tithe of the produce of the soil, and
the ‘half-annaata’ tax (half the value of the waste lands granted by
government); but we are, as yet, ignorant of the details, no statistical
documents being yet published in the Republic.

There is also, however, another and not inconsiderable branch of revenue,
viz.: the monopoly enjoyed by government of the sale of ‘maté,’ or
Paraguay tea. It purchases this herb as prepared in the forests of the
state, and when well packed and in good condition, at a given price,
and disposes of it to the merchants for exportation, as well as to the
consumers, at the rate of seven rials per arrobe.

What will at a later period constitute incalculable wealth for Paraguay
are its lands and forests: it will derive a very considerable revenue
from them. More than half of the surface of the territory is public
property, comprising immense forests of timber, of the most varied and
valued kinds, within reach of navigable rivers. These lands at present
are of little value; but they will speedily acquire a much greater, for
the president has adopted a very wise system of disposing of them, viz.,
granting them to applicants at a perpetual ground-rent of five per cent.
on the amount at which they are valued by competent persons. This plan
will greatly facilitate their sale.

[115] The consular government opened the world to men who had been
separated from it for thirty years, through the complete isolation in
which Francia kept the country; internal communications and relations,
which were limited to the most indispensable acts of material life, were
relieved from the dangers and obstacles which tended to restrict and
paralyse them. Access to _Stapua_ was permitted to every one who desired
to betake himself to that market, and navigation to all who desired
to export the produce of the country. The idea and the hope of seeing
commerce spring up anew, alone sufficed to reanimate the spirits and
awaken the minds of men long benumbed under an oppressive yoke.

This renewal of hope and labour was, in a great measure, due to the
encouragement given to the consular government. There were families
fallen into a state of poverty bordering on utter destitution; the
government came to their assistance by causing to be distributed amongst
them more than three thousand head of cattle; and in goods, instruments,
and tools, to the value of more than twenty-two thousand dollars. They
were thus set up again, and enabled to resume their labours.

[116] The administration of justice at Paraguay is as simple as it
naturally ought to be with a people whose civil relations are few
in number and little complicated; but the increase of property and
the complication of relations will require tribunals more learnedly
organized. What the consular government did sufficed to create legal
order, and put an end to the reign of force and arbitrary sway, which
the Dictator had substituted for the rule of justice; but in criminal
trials an innovation was introduced, which, although imperfect, will
be perfected in time, when education has made greater advance, and
which will incontestably serve as a basis for the institution of the
jury, the source of so many benefits. It was ordained, that in order to
pronounce criminal sentences, the judge should associate with himself
two individuals, drawn by lot out of a list previously made. The
confiscations under the Dictator, the enormous fines which he imposed,
and which were equivalent to confiscation, had reduced a great number of
families to misery; the consular government restored such property as yet
existed, and adjudged some indemnities for those which had been disposed
of; the rural estates which had been applied to the public service, and
which it would not have been convenient to withdraw, were purchased from
the former and legitimate possessors. This striking act of equity alone
completed a revolution in the social and administrative order of Paraguay.

[117] The government which succeeded Francia’s despotism, and of
which M. Lopez was the head, did not allow the least sign of blame or
disapprobation of the Dictator’s conduct to transpire. It would indeed
have been useless, and have set a bad example, to abuse his memory and
awaken a remembrance of irreparable evils.

From the death of the Dictator to the installation of the consulate, all
persecution, as well as the sanguinary executions and fusillades, so
common during Francia’s tyrannical sway, had ceased. But the political
prisoners, to the number of more than 600, had not been released, with
four or five exceptions, and suffered the same evils in the dungeons and
casemates. When the consuls, however, were elected, they released all
these political prisoners, and sent them to their families. It was a
significant act. It showed to all that the reign of cruelty and terror
had given place in the counsels of the government to principles of
mildness and sound policy. It was natural that the agents and employés of
the Dictator should have inspired resentments and profound hatred by the
pitiless way in which they had executed the orders they had received; and
complaints did begin to be heard against some of the officials for the
abuse they had made of their authority.

[118] From the crowd of rank and fashion, I had a good opportunity of
observing the costumes. The limited intercourse between this part of
South America and other lands has, of late years, degenerated to almost
entire seclusion. It would, therefore, be unreasonable to expect the
inhabitants could procure dresses of equal beauty to those of more
favoured nations. But the country manufactures of which the garments were
principally formed, though comparatively coarse, were very elaborately
worked by hand, and, consequently, infinitely dearer than female attire
of the same quality in Europe. For example, a small coarse towel, or
napkin, embroidered or worked all round by hand, was worth a doubloon, or
ounce of gold, equal, nearly, to four pounds sterling.—_Robertson._

[119] The Pacific Steam Navigation Company under contract with Her
Majesty’s Government for the conveyance of the mails semi-monthly between
Panama and Valparaiso, in connection with the Royal Mail Steam Packet
Company, have now on the West Coast of South America the following
steam-ships, viz:—

Lima 1,100 tons and 400 horse power
Bogota 1,100 ” ” 400 ”
Santiago 1,000 ” ” 400 ”
Bolivia 800 ” ” 280 ”
New Granada 600 ” ” 200 ”
Valdivia 700 ” ” 180 ”
Osprey 300 ” ” 100 ”

The distance steamed annually is about 200,000 miles, and the number of
intermediate ports touched at on the coasts of New Granada, Equador,
Peru, Bolivia, and Chili, between the termini, is about 13. The company
have also a contract with the Government of Chili for the conveyance of
mails monthly between Valparaiso and Chili, as mentioned in the text.

[120] Though I have quoted in the appendix a good deal of data referring
to the Falklands, I cannot mention those islands in the text of this
volume for the last time without adducing in evidence of their extreme
eligibility, in connection with Australian commerce, the annexed letter
from the very competent authority whose signature it bears. It is
addressed to my fellow-townsman, Mr. Jeffrey, of Compton House, who,
after a very able speech in Liverpool in promotion of the decimal system,
in illustration of which he quoted the principle of circle sailing, put
some questions, at the instance of a friend, to Mr. Towson, in respect
to the Falklands, and received in reply the following remarks, whose
accuracy has been so strikingly corroborated by Captain Matthews, of the
Great Britain, whose letter will be found in another page:—

Local Marine Board, Liverpool, 31st December, 1853: My dear
Sir,—The Falkland Islands are the best possible coaling
stations for steamers homeward bound from Australia. The Marco
Polo and Eagle sighted them on their celebrated homeward
passages; consequently they lay in the best track. They are
also situated about midway. It is true that less than one-third
of the coals is required between Australia and the Falkland
Islands, which will be consumed during the homeward voyage.
But, under all circumstances, it is desirable to coal here,
as it will enable the ship to start from Australia in good
sailing trim, instead of being overburdened with coals on that
part of the voyage in which steam is of but little value. A
half-cargo of coals at Australia, and a full cargo of coals at
the Falkland Islands, is what I have recommended for steamers,
in cases in which I have been consulted. Although I think it
possible that steamers will at length make the voyage without
coaling at any intermediate station; I still think that it is
less likely that this will be adopted on the homeward passage
than on the outward, because, on the first half of the voyage
out, coals will be required most, but homeward on the second
half, so that, as a coaling station, the Falkland Islands
stand preëminent. Also for steamers bound to the West coast of
America, North and South, the Falkland Islands will be the best
coaling station both out and home.—I am, my dear Sir, yours
truly,—JOHN THOMAS TOWSON.—_To James R. Jeffery, Esq._

[121] In proof of this we may here cite the letter of Captain Matthews,
of the Great Britain, as already alluded to:—

Liverpool, 1st April, 1854.

Gentlemen,—I have much pleasure in complying with your
request that I should lay before you a brief statement of the
advantages afforded by the Falkland Islands as a place of call
for ocean steamers. Captain Grant, of the Sea Bird, in the very
interesting letter which he wrote to you from Stanley relative
to the deposit of coal for the Great Britain, has already made
you aware of the excellence of that harbour, and of its easy
access. I am able, from my own experience, to confirm, in every
particular, Capt. Grant’s remarks.

The government charts are exceedingly correct; the land as
you approach it is made out without any difficulty, and we
saw Pembroke Point and its beacon (now to be superseded by a
lighthouse) at the distance of seven miles. The harbour itself
is like a large dock, secure from all winds, and with an
entrance sufficiently wide for a good smart sailing vessel to
beat through with ease. All the dangerous points are distinctly
marked by the kelp or sea-weed. The anchorage is excellent,
varying from four to five fathoms at low water, so that the
Great Britain is everywhere in perfect safety; and even were
she to touch the ground, she would not receive any injury, as
the bottom is all soft mud.

The facility for watering ships is good: a reservoir, holding
about 200 tons of water, communicates by means of pipes with
the end of a jetty, where, even when the tide is out, there
is always about three feet of water, which is sufficient for
a flat boat to float off ten tons at a time. The casks in
the boat are filled by fastening a short hose to the pipes,
and thus one ship can be watered as rapidly as if she were
in Liverpool. The Governor, of whose courteous and obliging
conduct I cannot speak too highly, promised that, should
Stanley become a port of call for steamers, a floating tank
shall be built, so that water could be alongside the ship
immediately on her arrival, and pumped into the tanks or casks,
as the case may be.

There are considerable herds of cattle on the islands, and when
put up to feed (as was the case with the Great Britain) their
beef is very good; vegetables of the more ordinary kind, such
as potatoes, cabbages, and turnips, can be had when in season.
Ship chandlery and grocery stores can also be purchased to a
limited extent. Labour is scarce, as the population of Stanley
(the only settlement) is only about 400. But every year as the
islands become better known this want will no doubt be less

I should add that the hulk for coaling the Great Britain was
placed in the most convenient situation. I experienced not
the slightest difficulty in this or any other matter during
this detention of four days in these islands, owing chiefly to
the good management of Mr. Dale, the agent for the Falkland
Islands’ Company, who was immediately in attendance on arrival
of the ship, and continued until the hulk with coals was
alongside. The zealous attention and kindness of this gentleman
to my passengers and myself whenever his services were required
will always be remembered by us.

I remain, gentlemen,

Your obedient servant,


Messrs. Gibbs, Bright, and Co.

[122] Speaking of this functionary, I am reminded that I have left the
diplomatic and consular corps of some few of the states of South America
unenumerated. The following brief particulars, however, will be found to
embrace all that is necessary to be known on such head, in respect to the
states in any way coming within the scope of the foregoing pages:—

Venezuela has at present no diplomatic representative in this country.
The consuls are Mr. J. Milligan, London; Mr. A. Fox, Falmouth; Mr. W.
Watson, Liverpool; and Mr. J. Ferguson, Belfast. The British consuls are
the Hon. R. Bingham, who was attached to the mission at Naples in 1818,
to the embassy at Paris in 1823, to the mission at Madrid in 1825, to
the embassy at Lisbon in 1828, appointed paid attaché at Madrid in 1829,
secretary of legation at Munich in 1831, at Turin in 1839, and chargé
d’affaires and consul-general in Venezuela in 1852, salary 1200_l._;
Mr. J. Riddel, La Guyra, 200_l._; Mr. J. McWhirter, acting consul in
Venezuela from 1835 to 1837, and from 1839 to 1843, appointed vice-consul
at Puerto Cabello in 1843, 200_l._; Mr. E. T. Harrison, Maracaibo,
200_l._; and Mr. K. Mathison, unpaid consul at Angostura from 1841 to
1845, appointed vice-consul at Bolivar in 1847, salary 200_l._

Bolivia is diplomatically represented in England by General Andrea Santa
Cruz, minister plenipotentiary. The Bolivian consuls are Baron Scholey,
consul-general, whose office is 1, London-street, Fenchurch-street,
London; Mr. H. Morris, Dover; Mr. T. W. Fox, Plymouth; and Mr. R. Dunkin,
Llanelly and Swansea. The British chargé d’affaires and consul-general
in Bolivia is Mr. J. A. Lloyd, formerly aide-de-camp to a West India
governor, who permitted him to proceed to Columbia, where he was officer
of engineers to General Bolivar, in 1827 was sent to the isthmus of
Darien, and laid down the line of railway, was afterwards scientifically
employed by the Admiralty and the Royal Society, in 1831 was appointed
surveyor-general and civil engineer in chief at Mauritius, in 1850 a
special commissioner for the Exhibition of 1851, and at the close of the
latter year to his present post at Sucre, where his salary is 1200_l._

The consuls of Equador in this country are Mr. W. P. Robertson,
consul-general, 5, Barge-yard, Bucklersbury, London; Mr. E. Mocatta,
Liverpool; Mr. G. Dunlop, Southampton; and Mr. M. R. Ryan, Limerick. The
British consul at Guayaquil is Mr. W. Cope, whose salary is 1000_l._

[123] A writer in the city article of the _Times_ of February 17th,
dating from the Plate, shortly after the occurrence, says:—

The Lusitania, belonging to the Liverpool Screw Steam Company,
made the passage from England in 35 days. The Argentine
paddle-wheel steamboat, belonging to the same company, when
leaving the harbour about a fortnight since for Buenos Ayres,
struck upon a reef of rocks running from the Cerro. All efforts
to get her off proving ineffectual, she was abandoned, and
sold on account of the underwriters for 4,600 duros, but is
likely to prove a dead loss to the purchasers, as the engines
cannot be abstracted. The loss of this vessel is not only a
serious one to the company, but to the public in this part of
the world. By her punctuality and speed she had just succeeded
in driving away all competitors, and would have paid very
handsomely. When replacing her, it is believed, the company
would do well to send a larger vessel, but of no deeper draught
of water.