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lawless state, in which the country was left by the retreat of all the remaining royal forces to the extreme frontier, the family in which our author had resided, thought themselves no longer secure in their estancia, near Gualqui ; and in the month of October, 1818, removed to another at Penco, situated in the mountains near the coast.
The following description of the situation of the estancia, near Gualqui, which is given by our author, in taking leave of it for Penco, will suggest to our readers some ideas of Chilian scenery.
• Under other circumstances, and in better times, our residence near Gualqui might have been made a delightful one. The scenery in the neighborhood is grand and picturesque, and the site of our estancia sometimes brought to my mind the Valley of Rasselas. It is situated on the declivity of a mountain ; before it is a rich valley of narrow circuit ; and through the centre of the valley runs a pleasant and perennial stream, thickly set with fruit trees ; figs, olives, lemons, peaches, quinces, pears, and apples in abundance. It is completely and closely encircled by lofty mountains, covered by evergreen trees and shrubbery. On the side of one of these mountains is the vineyard, and over others are footpaths, leading to the different estancias in the neighborhood. From their summits the view of the surrounding country is magnificent, ending with the Cordilleras, at the distance of forty leagues, perpetually covered with snow,
and assuming the appearance of dense white clouds, rising from the horizon in a thousand fantastical shapes. Over them lies the road from Chili to Buenos Ayres.'
Our author and his friends reached their new retreat at Penco in safety. Some very interesting accounts are here given of the ancient city of Concepcion or Penco, destroyed by earthquakes and inundation, but our limits oblige us to pass them over. A few days after their arrival here, some transport ships from Spain, with troops for the royal armies, appeared in port. They had sailed from Cadiz in May, and arrived, much weatherbeaten, at Concepcion, in October. The troops consisted of veterans from the armies, which had served against France. Shortly after the transport ships, arrived the Maria Isabella, a frigate of the first class, attached to the same expedition, and bound to Lima, with several high officers of the royal government, a son of the viceroy, and very valuable effects. She was one of the vessels sold
New Series, No. 19. 40
by Russia to Spain, of which several proved, we believe, unseaworthy. The Maria Isabella, according to our author, was built of the best materials, and finished in a superb style.
We have more particularly mentioned the case of this vessel, because it leads to some reflections on the momentous character of the South American policy, which our government, supported, as we think, at the present time, by a very general popular assent, has announced itself as ready to pur
That policy is, that while the United States will adhere to their neutrality between Spain and her colonies, they will resist any attempts of the great powers of Europe to assist Spain in subduing them. To what extent such attempts must go, to call out our interference, will of course be a question for the discretion of our government to solve. If a great power may sell to Spain ships of war, on terms of long credit and easy payment, we see not but that the same power may loan her or give her money, and furnish her with troops. If, however, the general report is true of the quality of the ships sold by Russia to Spain, the friends of South American liberty need be at no great pains to prevent the repetition of such succors. An idea of their unseaworthiness prevailing among the troops to be embarked in them, was among the causes of the revolution in 1820.
The fate of the Maria Isabella was as disastrous for the Royalists, as that of her companions left rotting at the quays of Cadiz. Just as she was about to sail for Lima, two Patriot ships of war entered the harbor, and after one broadside, the Maria Isabella was compelled to strike-a rich and acceptable prize to the victors. Her officers made their escape in the boats to Talcahuano.
After the Patriot vessels and their prizes had sailed from the bay, the Royal general Sanchez, with most of the inhabitants attached to the king's cause, and the officers of the unfortunate frigate, marched into the interior for los Angeles. Thus the country was again exposed to lawless guerilla bands. The family, in which our author lived, suspected already of patriotism, and doubly suspicious for not having accompanied the Royal army, felt themselves no longer safe in their estancia at Penco, and determined to conceal themselves in the mountains. The mildness of the season favored this measure; and the greater part of November was passed
by them in the mountains. Having been led by false information of the approach of the Patriots to return to their dwelling, they were immediately surprised there, by a Royal guerilla party. All but our author escaped again to the mountains. The house was immediately plundered of all its moveables, and our author taken into custody as a suspicious person. In this character, robbed of his effects and in peril of his life, he was obliged to attend the party who had made him prisoner, in an anxious march to los Angeles. On his arrival at this place, he had the good fortune to be recognised by the commander in chief, who treated him with kindness. The descriptions given in this part of the work of our author's adventures at los Angeles, one of the frontier towns of Chili, at a distance from the coast beyond the reach of most travellers, and to which he was himself so unexpectedly conveyed, form the most interesting portion of the book. The following is the account of this city.
"The city of los Angeles is situated nearly in the centre of an immense plain, extending to the river Biobio, about three leagues distant on one side, and to ranges of hills of moderate height on others. The plain affords excellent pasture for innumerable flocks and herds, and in the neighborhood of the hills are many first rate estancias, belonging to citizens of los Angeles, and to rich country gentlemen. A number of these last had already resorted to the city with their families; and among them, many were easily distinguished as Europeans. The city is built upon the same plan as Concepcion; the streets wide and at right angles, and the same style of architecture; but the private houses not so well built, nor of so good materials, and the public buildings vastly inferior.
"On one side of the square is a large castle or fort, with a deep fosse and thick walls, in which a thousand troops might be quartered. It seems well calculated for defence against the Indians. Opposite to this is the only church and convent in the city. It is neither large, nor sightly, nor richly ornamented within. I know not how to account for the fact, that the ecclesiastical establishment here should be upon so small a scale ; since in many other towns in the country, of less magnitude, you meet with a church and convent at every corner. The manners and customs of the inhabitants, seem to me to differ but little from those of Concepcion, The complexion, especially of the lower classes, is of a darker hue, which is easily accounted for by their proximity to the Indians. The number of inhabitants, in ordinary times, amounts to about six thousand ; it was now swelled to about ten thousand,
• As I have said before, this place is the depót for all the articles of trade between the Indians and the inhabitants of the province ; and in the principal street, which is about a mile in length, there are more marks of business and industry, than I have seen elsewhere in this country. Through the centre of the city runs a clear and beautiful stream of water, fresh from the Andes, which, diverted into different channels, contributes much to the health and cleanliness of the city. The outskirts of the town are extremely beautiful. The houses are neat, generally somewhat distant from the road, and are so completely enshrouded in groves of fruit trees, that when passing among them, you can hardly persuade yourself that you are in a city. From los Angeles and the vicinity, is a noble view of the chain of the Andes, whose snowy peaks rise far above the clouds, that seem to be resting upon their sides. On approaching los Angeles, I thought we had arrived nearly at their feet; they seemed, indeed, to be almost impending over us; and I was astonished to learn that we were at least ten leagues from them.'
The following description of the Indian allies of the Royal cause, presents an interesting picture of a renowned people, now, it would seem, degenerated; certainly but little known at the present day.
* The impressions which I received with regard to the Indians, from the deputations which arrived to the Royalists, at Talcahuano, while I was there, were not materially changed by a nearer view of them. During my stay in los Angeles, a part of ten or fifteen tribes came in, to offer their services to the commander in chief. On these occasions, they were formally received by a general officer, were formed in the square, and honored with a salute of cannon and musquetry. At the time of the salute, a few of the boldest among them would generally gallop toward the cannon, flourish their lances at the time of the discharge, and seem to bid defiance to its power. Such instances of heroism were always received by their companions with a loud and piercing yell of applause. Of course nothing like regular discipli or subordination could be expected among them; and to keep them within any moderate bounds of order was no easy task. The earnestness, with which their aid was accepted, was enough to prove to them how important they were considered to the success of the Royal cause. It is true the present commander in chief, Don Francisco Sanchez, has long maintained a most extraordinary influence over them. I very much doubt, however, whether his name and presence were now so effectual in keeping them together, and maintaining their enthusiasm in the cause, as the immense quantities of wine and provisions that were required to be contributed from every part of the province for their support. Their encampment, a little more than a league from the city, exhibited one of the most disgusting scenes I ever witnessed. At noon you would find them sitting in groups round their fires, devouring their half roasted horse flesh with the voracity of tigers. Then followed their wine, of which they generally took enough to prostrate them senseless upon the ground. To every different tribe there were attached two or three citizens of los Angeles, who by long traffic with them had acquired their language, and who served as commissaries and interpreters, in their communications with the government.'
Our author remained at los Angeles till the month of January, 1819, at which time he received a military passport, to enable him to repair to San Pedro, a post on the southern bank of the Biobio, opposite to Concepcion. At this place he remained three weeks. At the end of this period, the Patriot army arrived at Concepcion, and took possession of that city. Having menaced an attack upon San Pedro, its residents not bearing arms, were ordered by the Royalist commander to quit it. These circumstances made another removal to the mountains necessary.
We regret that we have no room for the adventures of our author, and the family in which he was residing on this occasion. After four or five days, new orders, addressed to all on the south side of the Biobio, were issued, commanding them to retire to the city of Arauco, under pain of the king's displeasure. Unwilling to encounter the flight through the savage country to this distant spot, our author, with some friends of Concepcion, determined to conceal themselves in the mountains, and await the course of events. The Patriots soon took possession of San Pedro, and thus remained masters of the whole province of Concepcion. This circumstance enabled our author and his friends to repair in safety to that place; and with this, the little volume of his adventures is brought to a close.
A sketch of the revolutionary history of Chili is prefixed, by way of introduction, to the volume, and a good deal of instructive detail as to the events of the contest, at the important period when our author was in the country, is interwoven. This is too important a subject to be incidentally treated, and we have accordingly forborne to enter upon it. The extracts we have made will give our readers a favorable opinion of the little work from which they are taken. Its author