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on the Andes, not a name was to be seen, or a word upon the walls. Those who had died in them were too intent upon their own sufferings; the horror of their situation was unspeakable, and thus these walls remain the silent monuments of past misery.'-Head, pp. 164,
Though all around was a surface of snow at the summit of the ridge, when Captain Head passed it,-cheerless, wild, and inhospitable as the view was, it was still sublime ;-he could not help observing to one of his companions, whose honest heart and thoughts were faithful to those left behind in Old England, What a magnificent view! What thing can be more beautiful?' After smiling for some seconds, the Cornish lad replied, Them things, Sir, that do wear caps and aprons.'
Mr. Miers, in these mountains, as on the Pampas, enters into a most elaborate detail of every circumstance that occurred, and of the objects that presented themselves on each day's journey: he conjectures what the height may be of every ridge or peak, describes the nature of the rock formation, and notices many of the vegetable productions; all of which, we admit, will be found extremely useful to the naturalist and the traveller, but are far too long and minutely detailed for us to meddle with. Here, however, we cannot accuse Mr. Miers of exaggerating the difficulties and the dangers. These are unquestionably great; and, contrary to his usual state of mind, we think Captain Head is rather inclined to make them greater than they are. What says the Captain to the single fact, that when he was at Uspallata, an English lady, with a child about seven years old, and two or three younger ones, had just passed the Cordilleras, with no other assistance or protection than a few peons? This lady was no other than the wife of Mr. Miers; and never, to be sure, were fair lady's travels, or travail, more fully described than her's are, in her good husband's two
Few native quadrupeds, except the Guanacho, inhabit this part of the Andes, and birds are not numerous. The Vulture of the plains is the Aura, that of the Cordilleras the Condor: both have nearly the same habits; both may be seen, sometimes in large flocks, wheeling through the air in circling eddies, looking out for some dead carcass on which they may pounce and gorge themselves, which they frequently do to such an excess as to be unable to rise from the ground. One of the Cornish miners, observing one of these creatures standing in this condition by the side of a dead horse, went up to him, and seized him by the neck, which he tried with all his strength to twist; no condor could be expected to approve of having his neck thus twisted, and this made a valiant resistance. After a long wrestling match and many a
stout Cornish hug,' our miner was victorious, and brought away some of the large wing-feathers to exhibit as trophies: his companion, however, who followed at some distance behind, reported the vanquished and displumed condor to be still alive and merry.
A scene of comparative bustle and gaiety succeeded to the solitary journey across the Andes. When within a few leagues of Santiago, Captain Head says
I was now met by, and I overtook, men, women, boys, priests, &c., on horseback, either coming from or going into town, all at a canter, and in very singular dresses. Many of the horses were carrying double, sometimes two giggling girls, sometimes a boy with his grandmother behind him; sometimes three children were cantering along upon one horse, and sometimes two elderly ladies; then a solitary priest with a broad-brimmed white hat and white serge petticoats tucked up all about him, his rosary dangling on his mule's neck, and his pale fat cheeks shaking from the trot. Milk, and strawberries, and water-melons, were all at a canter, and several people were carrying fish into the town tied to their stirrups. Their pace, however, was altogether inferior to that of the Pampas, and the canter, instead of the gallop, gave the scene a great appearance of indolence.'- Head, p. 184.
Both our travellers agree in their accounts of the people of Santiago, and of Chile in general; and adieu to the sweet romances that have recently been published concerning the wealth and resources of that country, the amiable disposition of its inhabitants, the talents, the taste, and the beauty of its women, and the wonderful progress of education among the upper and middle ranks of life.-Santiago, Captain Head tells us, is full of priests, and, therefore, the people are indolent and immoral. I certainly,' he says, 6 never saw more sad examples of the effects of bad education, or a state of society more deplorable.' This is strongly confirmed by Mr. Miers, who spent several years among them. He says,
The moral debasement of the population is great beyond belief, produced chiefly by the intolerance, and increased by the tyranny, of the priests.' These ghostly persons, it seems, have a thorough detestation of all foreigners, but more especially of the English, against whom they excite the minds of their miserable fanatics, so that the life of an Englishman is frequently brought into danger. The Chilenos, he says, possess no single virtue, though they have fewer vices than most other creoles.
There is a passiveness, an evenness about them, approaching to the Chinese, whom they strongly resemble in many respects: even in their physiognomy they have the broad, low forehead, and contracted eyes; they have the same cunning, the same egotism, and the same disposition to petty theft. They are remarkable, too, for extreme patience and endurance under privations; they can seldom be moved
to passion, and are most provokingly unfeeling. A foreigner may use towards a Chileno the most opprobrious epithets, may convict him of falsehood and deception, may fly into a passion about his conduct, but he cannot be moved from his sang-froid; he will bear all patiently, even blows, and look at a stranger with a sneer: his patience is not unlike that of the sheep, the camel, or the llama and alpaca.' -Miers, vol. ii. pp. 223, 224.
Among the upper ranks, he tells us, there is an understood accommodation, which allows both man and wife to follow the course of life best suited to their tastes, and each has commonly a paramour. Of the slovenly appearance of the women when at home, their want of cleanliness, and their indecent dress and habits, he gives a most disgusting account; and this state of things is not, he says, confined to the lower, but pervades the middle and higher classes of society. Of the young ladies, about whose taste, elegance of dress, and engaging manners, we have heard so much, our author says, "They are exceedingly inelegant in their gestures, vulgar in their deportment, laugh at every trifle, and have, in common with the lower classes, the habit of spitting before you in a disgusting manner and he is quite surprised that some of our countrymen should speak in such extravagant terms of women who, in his opinion, have nothing to render them even tolerable.' He gives the following as a family-picture from the first rank of life in Chile, sketched as he found the group, when taken by surprise on a morning's visit.
I cannot describe all that I saw; suffice it to say, that the appearance of the beds, the confusion and filth of the room, exceeded all I could have conceived: the dishabille and dirtiness of the young ladies was far beyond the worst I had heard of them, and more than I was before willing to believe; but the old mother, generally so gay, presented a picture beyond all belief, dressed in a dirty old red calico gown, faded, and almost worn out, which never had been washed from the day it was made, was loosely hanging about her shoulders, and displaying in the opening behind the only other garment she had on: but such a sight! its texture was actually soaked and stiffened with grease from her skin, and discoloured with old age and long wearing nearly to the colour of mahogany.'-Miers, vol. ii. pp. 223, 224.
We cannot understand how Mr. Miers can allow these gentry the merit of being generally honest, when he says their word is not to be trusted, and when he accuses the very highest of them of being addicted to petty thefts, whenever they can carry off anything without being discovered. What does he mean us to think of the case of the valuable diamond brooch stolen from the dress of Lady Cochrane, by three ladies of the first respectability, and returned to her, twelve months afterwards, by a priest, to whom the
culprit had confessed the theft? This is a story of his own; and so is that of some ladies stealing lace, also from Lady Cochrane, which was detected on the spot. A third story is that of a rosewood cabinet, containing medals, and coins, and jewels, being stolen out of Lord Cochrane's house; for the discovery of which the governor appeared to take great pains. This cabinet, several months after, Lady Cochrane, on paying a visit to the governor's daughter, espied in an adjoining room! The governor protested he had no idea that it was the one lost; that his daughter had bought it of a soldier, but that it was then empty, and they know nothing of what it might have contained. Such are Mr. Miers's own stories, and we have no doubt of their truth. We dare say the Chilenos, as they are called, thought the English heretics fair game.
We have observed that the South Americans are all notorious gamblers, from the highest to the lowest-from the padré to the peasant; the women equally so as the men. A mother Monté, as she was called by the British officers, whenever a run of ill-luck went against her in Santiago, used to repair to Valparaiso, where she kept an open gaming-table, to which she brought young girls from Santiago as decoys, by whom, Mr. Miers says, the officers of the British frigates stationed there were terribly fleeced of their money—a surgeon, for example, losing in one night upwards of £120 sterling. Mother Monté, it seems, like Mrs. Cole, was extremely religious, and had always a clergyman in her train, who performed the office of banker at the Monté table.
Mr. Miers is satisfied that, to the intolerant spirit of the Catholic religion, to the fanaticism and superstition which it engenders, and, above all, to the readiness with which absolution is granted on demand, the bad part of the Chilean character should mainly be ascribed; and he might have said the same thing of countries nearer home than South America. In Chile superstition and hatred of heretics were strongly manifested on the occasion of that fatal earthquake of 1822, of which we had occasion to speak in our last Number, when reviewing the Transactions of the Geological Society.' This terrible convulsion overturned whole towns, changed the course of rivers, shook the lofty peaks of the Andes, and raised a line of sea-coast, fifty miles in extent, three feet above its former level-a force almost beyond human conception, when it is considered how deeply seated it must have been to have produced such violent and terrible effects over a surface of more than four hundred thousand square miles! Captain Head had ocular proof of the havoc that was made in the mountains and the mines.
I visited this mine, accompanied by a very intelligent Chilian
miner, who, with several of his comrades, was in a mine on this lode a hundred fathoms deep when the great earthquake of the 19th of November, 1822, which almost destroyed Valparaiso, took place. He told me that several of his comrades were killed, and that nothing could equal the horror of their situation. He said that the mountain shook so that he could scarcely ascend; large pieces of the lode were falling down, and every instant they expected the walls of the lodé would come together, and either crush them, or shut them up in a prison from which no power could liberate them. He added, that when he got to the mouth of the mine the scene was very little better there was such a dust that he could not see his hand before him; large masses of rock were rolling down the side of the mountain on which he stood, and he heard them coming and rushing past him without being able to see how to avoid them, and he therefore stood his ground, afraid to move. In almost all the mines which we visited in Chili, we witnessed the awful effects of these earthquakes, and it was astonishing to observe how severely the mountains had been shaken.'-Head, pp. 207, 208.
The luminous meteors mentioned by Mr. Miers, and also by Humboldt, as appearing about the time that earthquakes occur, are rather, we should suppose, (if there be any connexion between them,) the effects than the causes of those dreadful visitations. Judging from analogy, we should say that nothing but pent-up steam could lift and tear asunder such incalculable loads; and when it is considered that no active or extinct volcano has been discovered at a greater distance than about fifty leagues from the sea, and that most of them are in the sea, it seems not unreasonable to conclude that a vast body of water is necessary to produce those tremendous vomitings of our mother Earth. The earthquake in question drove thousands of families into the open air, where they suffered dreadfully from torrents of rain. Rain had never before been known to fall in these regions in the month of November; it therefore terrified these men even more than the earthquake itself-it was looked on as a special manifestation of the divine wrath-at what? Why, at the people in power, for having permitted the English heretics to contaminate the country!
From Santiago Captain Head proceeded to visit the gold-mines of El Bronce de Petorca, and of Caren, but gives no account of them. His next visit was to the silver mine of San Pedro Nolasco, in the Andes, about seventy-five miles from Santiago, and situated on one of the loftiest pinnacles of this immense cluster of mountains. The view, he says, was sublime, but so terrific as to make him shudder; and, although it was midsummer, the snow was stated, by the agent of the mine, to be from twenty to a hundred and twenty feet deep-we take for granted, in the ravines only. A small solitary hut, and two or three wretched