Abbildungen der Seite


" Lords of the conquest and com marched against the Tapuyas; the fame of merce of India." The land was ne this dreadful engine went before them, and glected and left like a common to

the Tapuyas filed. From a slave, Caramu. whoever chose to traffick there, and

ru became a sovereign. The chiefs of the

savages thought themselves happy if he even when its value was better un

would accept their daughters to be his derstood, the government of Lisbon wives; he fixed his abode upon the spot was long more anxious to exclude where Villa Velha was afterwards erectthe French from its commerce, than ed, and soon saw as numerous a progeny to profit by the possession them. an old patriarch’s rising round him.

The best families in Bahia, trace their selves. Almost all which has been

origin to him.”—P. 30, 31. done in Brazil has been effected by private exertion. At first, a trade Caramuru, however, and persons was carried on with the Indian inha- in the same condition with himself, bitants in the same manner, and for

were not the only colonists. Many nearly the same commodities as

individuals founded little factories that now maintained by the English in different parts of the country; and and Americans with the savages of small forts and establishments, rePolynesia.

sembling nearly those at present By degrees, occasional adventu- scattered along the coast of Guinea, rers, thrown by shipwreck on the appear, though this stage of Brazicoast, or led by idleness and aver lian history is not very clearly told, sion to restraint, united themselves to have been founded by governa with the natives, and became inter- ment; yet the persons sent out to preters or supercargoes. Of these, these feeble garrisons, were, of all one of the first and most remarkable, others, least adapted to serve the was Diogo Alvarez, a young Portu. real interests of their country, or to guese, whose story might supplant contribute to the advantage of the Philip Quarl or Robinson Crusoe in natives, a docile race, whom a wiser the nursery, and set many an ardent policy might have soon reclaimed. boy on fire for voyages and disco

A majority, at least, of these coyery.

lonists were criminals, not sent as “ He was wrecked upon the shoals on prisoners or labourers, like our conthe north of the bar of Bahia. Part of the victs in New South Wales, but emcrew were lost; others escaped this death ployed as soldiers, or as free settlers, to suffer one more dreadful; the natives

and sometimes even as commanders seized and eat them. Diogo saw that there

no other possible chance of saring and governours. But if the system of his life, than by making himself as useful Port Jackson be erroneous, and tend as possible to these cannibals. He there to immorality, what must have been fore exerted himself in recovering things the effect of sending the same defrom the wreck, and, by these exertions, scription of characters in responsiAmong other things he was fortunate ble and important situations? Was enough to get on shore some barrels of there Portuguese gentleman powder, and a musket, which he put in whose vices were intolerable in his order at his first leisure, after his masters mother country? He was sent with were returned to their village; and one day arms in his hands to prey upon the when the opportunity, was favourable, wretched Americans. Was there an brought down a bird before them. The women and children shouted Caramurn! Indian governour, whose lust and Caramuru! which signified a man of fire ! cruelties had forced themselves on and they cried out that he would destroy the notice of government? he was them: but he told the men, whose asto. punished by the permission to tynishment had less of fear mingled with it, rannize, with still less restraint upon that he would go with them to wår, and his actions, in Brazil. For many gekill their enemies.

“ Caramuru was the name which, from nerations this extraordinary policy Elenceforward, he was known by. They

was the curse of the South Ameri



can colonies; but at first when the dued, and a vast extent of coast to settlers were almost all of this de- occupy; and the distance of these scription, released from the re. captaincies from Portugal, and from straints of European laws and de- each other, rendered it impossible cency, and thinly scattered amid to obtain assistance, when assistance numerous tribes of savages, it is was required. Many captains were evident that the wicked passions of ruined with their colonists, by the each party would grow worse by expenses of setting out; others their mutual example. We have overpowered by the natives, or reduseen, in the present day, how much ced to the most horrible distresses harm has been done by the runagate by famine, from their ignorance of sailors in Polynesia, and in Brazil the business of a settler, and their the consequences appear to have neglect of a previous stock of provi. been equally pernicious.

sions. Even in those districts which “ Each made the other worse; the can. had better fortune, the system pronibals acquired new means of destruction, ved itself to be radically mischievous. and the Europeans new modes of barbari- Human nature is not made for absoty. The Europeans were weaned from that lute and uncontrolled authority; the human horrour at the bloody feasts of the captains abused their powers, and savages, which, ruffians as they were, they had at first felt, and the natives lost not only the wretched Indians, but that awe and veneration for a superiour the European settlers, were driven race, which might have been improved so to despair and insurrection. greatly to their own advantage."

Twenty years after the measure For thirty years after the discove- was first resorted to its consequences ry of Brazil, things remained in this were become intolerable. Joam reneglected state; but by degrees, the voked the powers of the hereditary fertility of the soil and the excel. captains, and subjected the whole lence of the climate were known, of Brazil to a governour, appointed and the renown of Cortez and Pi. by the crown. zarro, with the treasures they had While the Portuguese were thus acquired, conferred a sort of fashion employed in exploring and settling on America, which induced noble the coasts and creeks of Brazil, they adventurers of capital and influence had little opportunity, and apparentto try their fortune there. Here, too, ly few inducements to penetrate far the system pursued was singular; into the interiour. One Garcia, an to encourage such enterprises, the extraordinary character, whose gecountry was partitioned by Joani the nius and achievements are overlook. third, into large lots, under the name ed in the imperfect histories of his of captaincies, each extending over countrymen, with five Europeans, fifty leagues of coast, and each com one mulatto, and an army of Indians, mitted to the absolute and heredita- undertook, indeed, a journey, of ry government of the fidalgo who which we know no more, than that undertook to subdue and settle it. its extent and boldness was almost This was the plan least expensive unparalleled; but the result does not to government, and the administra- appear to have encouraged others tion of the colonies was thus in- to similar attenipts; and though trusted to those who had the deep- vague reports prevailed of gold and est interest in their prosperity; but diamond mines, the treasures which ihere were many and serious attend now distinguish Brazil were then ant evils. Individuals might, indeed, inviolate. possess sufficient means to settle In the mean time, however, the and cultivate the small, uninhabited Castilians were proceeding in a very islands in the Atlantick; but in Bra- different manner to the north, south, zil there were sarages to be sube and westward. As early as 1508,


Juan Diaz de Solis had discovered sery the most intolerable, wherever a prodigious river to which he gave their wild or wicked schemes of his own name, and where he was adventure led them. Irritated at not killed and eaten by an ambush of finding the treasures they expected, savages.

they tortured, in some instances, the In 1525, Cabot, following the wretched Indians, to force them to track of Magalhaens, arrived at the point the way to scenes of wealth same stream, and explored it as high which had no existence; and every as the Paraguay. A little gold and tale of wonder, which fear or ignosilver which had been obtained from rance produced, was eagerly caught the natives, raised his opinion of the at and credited. It was thus that importance of the country; the river their avarice was inflamed by tales was named Rio de la Plata, and of El Dorado, the gilded monarch many an adventurer was lured to his of an imaginary, inland Peru; or their destruction by this deceitful title. In lust and curiosity, stimulated by the 1534, the towns of Assumpcion and report of a nation of fair, and warBuenos Ayres were founded. Both like, and wealthy women. With these were far removed from the objects like these before them, hunsea, an extraordinary circumstance ger and thirst, and pestilential cli. in an infant colony, but not without mates; and all the plagues of beasts, a parallel, as we believe the settle and reptiles, and insects, ment of Canada was effected in a cheerfully encountered. Wading by similar manner. In both cases the day breast deep in putrid water, and superiour fertility of the interiour, fixing by night their wretched ham. and the facility of communication mocks amid the branches of trees; afforded by a noble river, were suffi- making the fire to dress their procient inducements; but the Spaniards visions on wicker frames, guarded threw their head quarters as far west by a little clay; their wounds festeras possible, because, to the eastward ing for want of help, or healed, as they found no traces of gold or sil- they sometimes fancied, by repeating ver. The few specimens which Ca a few verses of the psalms; on they bot had met with, were not the went, for weeks together, through product of the country, but brought marshes and thickets, exposed to all from a distance. This the invaders the dreadful plagues of a rank and soon discovered; but it was for gold neglected soil, a prey to continual they came, and in search of gold inundations, and fruitful in every they had traced within a few years deformed, and abominable, and poithe course of the river, from the sonous production of nature. In Atlantick to the Andes; while, at the reading, indeed, a fair and homely same time, and with equal difficul. statement of the horrours and diffi. ties, Orellana proceeded down the culties which attended such expediMaranon in the contrary direction. tions as those of Yrala, Ayolas, The Castilians were a more adven- Cabeza de Vaca, &c. there is noturous race than the Portuguese; or, thing which excites so much wonto speak more properly, the spirit der as that men should be found in of Portuguese adventure had taken endless succession, not only to surits direction eastward.

vive, but to repeat these dangerous The invaders of Paraguay and experiments. Of the wild beasts, inGuiana, though of all men least deed, but little mention is made; adapted to colonize a country pro- but the snakes were enormous; and fitably, were still admirably qualified alligators, and the more dangerous to explore it widely. Disinclined to palometa, a small, but most voradomestick labour, they bore, with cious river shark, abounded in every patience, the severest toil, and min stream. The vampires and mosqui

2 K


toes were the plagues of the air; in truth, the strange correspondence and on the dry ground, where such ex- and consistency of the stories deli. isted, the ants, whose regular and vered by so many unconnected tribes multitudinous march resembled the of Indians, and related by so many noise of an army, were, at uncertain authentick travellers, may well be intervals, the devourers of every sufficient to induce us not hastily to green, and every living thing The reject a statement, which, however chiggers laid their eggs beneath the extraordinary, contains nothing in nails of the feet and hands, and pro- itself impossible. These warlike laduced wounds or mortification in dies, the Cougnantainsecouima, or whatever joint they assaulted; and, women without husbands, should amid these more dreadful visita seem, at a period subsequent to the tions, frogs, toads, and scorpions colonization of South America, to were too common and too inconsi- have emigrated from Paraguay, derable to be worth the mention. where the Spaniards first heard of

Of the tales which led on to ruin them, to the shores of the river to .so many adventurers, from Cabeza which they have given a name; and de Vaca down to the gallant Ra- from thence to have past by the Rio leigh, Mr. Southey justly rejects, as Negro to the northward. The lies of apocryphal, the story of the city of Orellana, who fought with them in Manoa, whose Inca was dressed his passage down the river, are al. every day in a fresh suit of gold

together unworthy of notice. But the dust, glued with a paste of spices, testimony of Condamine and Acunon his naked body, and whose mean ha is certainly more to the purpose; est utensils were “ plates of gold a and their accounts, as well as those foot broad.” With great plausibility obtained in Venezuela, agree in ashe accounts for such a story existe signing the Amazons a seat in the ing in Guiana, from the wealthy and heart of Guiana, the only part of populous kingdoms of Peru and Bo- America which no European has yet gota, situated on the opposite sides explored. Ornaments of green jad, a of the continent.

favourite decoration with many sa: It is, indeed, a curious circum

vage nations, were said to have been stance, and has led to many errours brought from their country, and when not attended to, that the geo they had regular pairing seasons graphical knowledge of savages with a neighbouring tribe. The reaches farther than we at first sup boys produced from this intercourse, pose. The people of Peru told of a

were destroyed; the girls became mighty kingdom far to the east; the members of the commonwealth. Bogotas sent their conquerors west After all, there is nothing miracu. ward; and the Spaniards were long lous in the story. in discovering that the two nations only spoke of each other. It is thus “ The lot of women is usually dreadful that English credulity has been among sayages; the females of one horde mocked in North America by tales

may have perpetrated what the Danaides of white men far to the west, with

are said to have done before them, but

from a stronger provocation; and if, as is beards, and mounted on horses; and not unfrequent, they had been accustominstead of recognising, in this de. ed to accompany their husbands to battle, scription, the Spaniards of New there is nothing that can even be thought Mexico, has sought for the descen- improbable in their establishing themdants of Madock on the banks of the selyes as an independent race, and se. Mississippi, or the sources of the

curing, by such a system of life, that free

dom for their daughters, which they had Rio Colorado.

obtained for themselves." p. 609. To the accounts of the Amazons, Mr. Southey is more indulgent; and, Another phenomenon which Mr.

Southey seems disposed to rescue appointment, and dissolute habits from the gripe of Palæphatus, is the could produce; the Portuguese, re. mermaid; for be it remembered, that stricted by their situation to agricul.' the male of this species is as little ture and commerce, were, in despite noticed as the husbands of the of a faulty government, by the natuCougnantainsecouima. On this point ral effects of a fertile soil, and a we do not find our faith so vivid as salubrious climate, increasing rapidhis appears to be; the Upupiara of ly in wealth and numbers. They Brazil, which drowns the Indians, had their share, indeed, of the noxappears to us to be of the same ge- jous productions to which all hot nus with the manati of the Cana climates are liable; but the bounties dians, the Scottish kelpie, the nych of nature far surpassed her inconveof Scandinavia, and our English fit niences. Of the native trees the mag. of the cramp. Stedman's evidence is nificent acayaba was the principal, rather contrary. De Lery is, how- valuable for boat building, for dieever, no bad authority; and we have ing, for fruit, for a species of flower, a circumstantial description of a si- for a medicinal gum, and a liquor milar animal, in the same latitude capable of fermentation. Tea was as Brazil, and on the opposite side indigenous, and coffee and ginger of the Atlantick, in a work entitled, were soon introduced with success. « Istorica Descrizione de' trè Regni Sugar was cultivated to a consideradi Congo, Matamba ed Angola.' ble extent. Saltpetre was abundant, (Milan 1690.] This work, we be- and the sea (besides the mermaid). lieve, is scarce in its original form, teemed with innumerable species of though it has been pretty generally fish. Nor were even the interminable circulated in the French translation wastes of the interiour devoid of obof Labat, and the author (a Capu. jects adapted to relieve and delight chin missionary, il Padre Antonio the traveller. Amid all the horrours Cavazzi) professes himself an eye of the desert were found occasionally witness; for, in describing some of meadows spotted with tortoise eggs; the peculiarities of the « Pesce forests thronged with birds and monDonna," he says, “per quanto po- kies, and tangled with the luxuritei vedere." A hideous engraving is ant folds of creeping plants, applicagiven, opposite to which, in the copy ble to many important uses, and now before us, a French manuscript yielding when wounded a cool and note is inserted, with some filthy wholesome water, which amid desert circumstances respecting the same and stinking marshes, was a relief animal, from the account of one most necessary and seasonable. In Jean Moquet. But small reliance is the eastern Cordillera, where the to be placed on this engraving, Jesuits established a convent, are since, by the missionary's own ad found all the mingled products of mission, « non è stato possibile darlo tropical and temperate climates, and ad intendere precisamente a chi ne that pure air and majestick scenery fece l'imagine;” but a little fancy which distinguish the Blue Mounmight easily make a Pesce Donna tains of Jamaica. The Jesuits chose out of some species of seal, and their station well; but it is most une such, we apprehend, is the founda. just to accuse them of interested tion for most of the stories which views. Their arrival and labours were have been circulated.

indeed a biessing to Brazil. They While the Spaniards were wasting were sent by Joam the third, and their time and strength in endless seem, with greater talents, more and unprofitable wanderings, and extensive views of policy, and, unforquarrelling with each other in all tunately, a far worse religion, to have the bitterness which misery, dis- been inspired, in no small degree,

« ZurückWeiter »