« ZurückWeiter »
small a space.
faithful city. There is a gang of convicts kept on the island, who are employed in getting out stone for various purposes, as it is the only place near affording a good supply.
Having nothing more interesting to say of Callao, I will direct your attention to the ruins of a once pretty village, in a south-east direction from it, called Bellavista. This place, when Callao was besieged by BOLIVAR and defended by RODIL, (for his majesty of Spain) was the advanced post of the patriot army ; and its destruction was the consequence by the guns of the castle. A few of the houses have been repaired, and are occupied by those who rent the fine orchards and gardens in its vicinity. From these, the markets of Lima are supplied with some of their best fruit and vegetables. Its ruined buildings present a striking contrast to the profusion of the riches of the earth, by which they are surrounded. The destructive effects of war and the grateful fruits of peace, are both at once presented to the eye, and together make a scene of picturesque beauty not often united in so
The next place worthy of notice, is Magdalena — distant from Bellavista about one and a half or two miles. It was the headquarters of General Bolivar during his stay in lower Peru, in 1825, and though very beautiful, it is the smallest village in the valley — composed chiefly of neat, comfortable houses, surrounded with orchards and gardens of great luxuriance, and beautified by a small branch of the Rimac, which adds much to its romantic loveliness. Most of the estates are owned by the gentry of the city, who retire to them occasionally during the summer months. It is in a south-easterly direction from Lima, and distant from it, by the road, about five miles. The ride to it is the most pleasant on the plain.
Leaving Magdalena, and still proceeding southerly, inclining eastward, a pleasant ride of three miles brings you to the large village of Miraflores. This delightful place is on the direct road from the city to Chorillos, about half way between. Chorillos is their chief bathing-place, and where as many as can afford the great expense, spend what is called the bathing season, which generally commences in February and ends in April. Of Chorillos, I will give you a more particular description when I visit it.
I have now given you a brief account of all the places situated in the valley of the Rimac. It only remains for me to describe its general appearance, and then introduce you to their Eden the famous city of Lima.
With the exception of the villages I have mentioned, and the enclosures round a few scattered farm-houses, the whole of this rich valley is in an uncultivated state, and presents to the eye the most barren prospect imaginable. The soil, being of a rich claycolored loam, has become baked hard by the sun ; its surface
gets finely pulverized, by the travel over it in all directions, and a high breeze covers everything with this gray powder, so that scarce a green blade is visible. The constant motion of this dust makes riding in the neighborhood very uncomfortable. I am informed that the cause of so much barren land, is the
poverty of the owners
the chief part belonging to a few old families, who were stripped of their wealth by the revolution. Their slaves were freed, and set adrift to shift for themselves ; of course they soon starved or fell into bad company, and became a burthen to those they once aided. The old grandees, unable to hire laborers, and still more unable to find purchasers, in the unsettled state of the country, are obliged to bear the privations of a narrow income, while there are owners of rich soil enough to make them perfectly independent, if they could by any fair means obtain cultivators.
This state of things is a great injury to all, particularly to the inhabitants of Lima; for, if the fine grounds in the vicinity were cultivated as they ought to be, it would reduce the price of almost all the necessaries of life nearly one half. But, alas ! there is no hope of this for a long time to come. They must be regenerated in their feelings and habits, ere any system of government can be permanent. Loudly as they have talked about freedom, they are still a nation of slaves. The only difference in their present and former situation, is that, under the viceroys, they had one tyrant to rule them, and now they have hundreds, equally as despotic, equally as fond of power, and as eager for wealth. Their gold and silver mines have been and will, I fear, continue to be a curse to them ; for, so long as they place their reliance on those uncertain sources of wealth, they will neglect the riches which might so easily be obtained from their fruitful soil. If the same labor that is now employed in digging for their precious ores, could be bestowed on the cultivation of the earth, it would make Peru a scene of unrivaled beauty and brightness — while the melancholy miner would exchange his dark and life-destroying abode for a sweet, smiling home on the green turf, enlivened by the cheering rays of the
Twice the wealth would be eventually obtained, and the many would not be sacrificed for the few. The only idea of liberty that ever enters the minds of the great mass of the population, is that they may lie in the shade and do nothing. To be freed from all exertion, both mental and bodily, is happiness, liberty, and all that a Peruvian desires.
How BEAUTIFUL the sky!
How lovely in the morn!
In summer days how fair !
How glorious the West !
How beauteous by night!
How solemn and sublime !
Thou ever-varying sky-
S. F. S.
SCENES IN EUROPE.
ROME.- NO. I.
Early on the morning of the third of October, I started from Florence for Rome with several companions, and we soon left the city and its suburbs, with their high walls and olive trees, behind us.
The country became far more beautiful. The blue Appenines skirted the way, and the road lay through rich vineyards, over hill and dale; and a beautiful sight it was to look at the rich grapes, which hung in clusters from the festooned vines, awaiting now, in the first days of the vintage, the hand of the laborer to gather them in their fullness.
The first night we slept at a small and uninteresting town, where we were considered a great wonder by the natives, who all gathered around the inn to look at us and our carriage. This kind of curiosity I have noticed ever since I left Bologna ; and above all, upon this last journey I have been stared at as if I were from the moon. Continuing our journey, the next day we passed by Arezzo, the ancient Aretium from which Flaminius marched to Thrasymene. We did not enter the city, but, skirting along the wall, we passed to the right. The road became continually more beautiful, for the land was undulating, and in many places the hills were covered with fine oak trees, of which the foliage was very luxuriant and covered the whole trunk : these formed an admirable contrast to the tedious olive trees around Florence. As evening came on, we approached the fatal ground of Thrasymene. M***** and I had our Livy and Byron, with Hobhouse's notes, in our hands, and studied the position and the history of the battle before we came to the spot. At length, ascending a slight elevation, we had at once a view of the beautiful lake, upon which the setting sun and the eastern moon were now blending their light : this lay upon the right hand of the road ; to the left were beautiful hills, covered, like a fine park, with groves of oak trees, retreating gently to the foot of the distant Appenines. We passed another little valley; and again ascending a little, we came to the entrance of the plain where the battle was fought. Livy has very well described the situation : loca insidiis nata, ubi maxime montes Cortonenses Thrasymenus subit. Via tantum interest perangusta, velut ad idipsum de industria relicto spatio, inde colles assurgunt.' The pope has taken advantage of this narrow pass, which is just upon his frontiers, and has placed his custom-house upon the spot; and there we had to stop, nearly two hours, while our things were overhauled. In the meantime, the moon had risen high, and was pouring her magic light upon the scene before us : the lake slumbered like a sheet of silver,' and relieved