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keen judge of character. Whatever might to what extent these were capable of relief,
Let the pages of history now close, with the coolness of philosophical reflection reviewing in leisure the scenes that it has described.
“ The manner in which the Spanish terri The lands, the persons of the conquered tories in the new world had been originally races were parcelled out and appropriated acquired was most unfortunate, both for the by the victors as the legitimate spoils of vicconquered races and their masters. Had tory, and outrages were perpetrated every the provinces gained by the Spaniards day at the contemplation of which hu. been the fruit of peaceful acquisition, of manity shudders. These outrages, though barter and negociation, or had their con. nowhere perpetrated on so terrific a scale quest been achieved under the immediate as in the islands, where, in a few years, direction of government, the interests of they had nearly annihilated the native pothe natives would have been more carefully pulation, were yet of sufficient magnitude protected. From the superior civilization in Peru to call down the vengeance of of the Indians in the Spanish American heaven on the heads of their authors; and colonies they still continued after the con the Indian might feel that this vengeance quest to remain on the ground, and to was not long delayed when he beheld his mingle in the same communities with the
oppressors wrangling over their miserable white men, in this forming an obvious spoil, and turning their swords against contrast to the condition of our own abo each other. Peru, as already mentioned, rigines, who, shrinking from the contact of was subdued by adventurers, for the most civilization, have withdrawn, as the latter part of a lower and more ferocious stamp has advanced, deeper and deeper into the than those who followed the banner of heart of the wilderness. But the South Cortez. The character of the followers American Indian was qualified by his pre partook in some measure of that of the vious institutions for a more refined legis. leaders in their respective enterprises. It lation than could be adapted to the wild was a sad fatality for the Incas, for the hunters of the forest, and had the sove. reckless soldiers of Pizarro were better reign been there in person to superintend suited to contend with the fierce Aztec than his conquests he could never lave suf. with the more refined and effeminate Peferred so large a portion of his vassals to ruvian. Intoxicated by the unaccustomed be wantonly sacrificed to the cupidity and possession of power, and without the least cruelty of the handful of adventurers who notion of the responsibilities which at. subdued them ; but, as it was, the affair tached to their situation as masters of the of reducing the country was committed to land, they too often abandoned themselves the hands of irresponsible individuals, to the indulgence of every whim which soldiers of fortune, desperate adventurers, cruelty or caprice could dictate. Not unwho entered on conquest as a game which frequently, says an unsuspicious witness, they were to play in the most unscrupulous I have seen the Spaniards, long after the manner, with little care but to win it. Re conquest, amuse themselves by hunting ceiving small encouragement from the go. down the natives with bloodhounds for vernment, they were indebted to their own mere sport, or in order to train their dogs valour for success, and the right of con to the game. The most unbounded scope quest, they conceived, extinguished every was given to licentiousness; the young existing right in the unfortunate natives. maiden was torn without remorse from the
e of relief, Ercting it. un illusory 208 Caras, gotenance 315, on the Cable, the si complish. orce equally Success to
ons of his power was Es own in. ies of fac. ast on the er that & ch price in
ropriated ils of ric
arms of her family to gratify the passions sought shelter in the fastnesses of the of her brutal conqueror.
The sacred Andes. The poor Indian, without food, houses of the Virgins of the Sun were without the warm fleece which furnished broken open and violated, and the cavalier him a defence against the cold, now wanswelled his harem with a troop of Indian dered half-starved and naked over the girls, making it seem that the crescent plateau. Even those who had aided the would have been a much more fitting Spaniards in their conquest fared no symbol for his banner than the immaculate better, and many an Inca noble roamed cross. But the dominant passion of the a mendicant over the lands where he once Spaniard was the lust of gold. For this held rule; and if driven, perchance, by bis he shrunk from po toil himself, and was necessities to purloin something from the merciless in his exactions of labour from superfiuity of his conquerors he expiated his Indian slave. Unfortunately, Peru it by a miserable death. It is true there abounded in mines which but too well were good men,-missionaries, faithful to repaid this labour, and human life was their calling, who wrought hard in the the item of least account in the estimate spiritual conversion of the native, and of the conquerors. Under his Incas, the who, touched by bis misfortunes, would Peruvian was never suffered to be idle; gladly have interposed their arm to shield but the task imposed on him was always him from his oppressors; but too often proportioned to his strength. He had his the ecclesiastic became infected by the seasons of rest and refreshment, and was general spirit of licentiousness, and the well protected against the inclemency of religious fraternities, who led a life of the weather. Every care was shown for easy indulgence on the lands cultivated by his personal safety. But the Spaniards, their Indian slaves, were apt to think less while they taxed the strength of the native of the salvation of their souls than of to the utmost, deprived him of the means profiting by the labour of their bodies. of repairing it when exhausted. They Yet still there were not wanting good and suffered the provident arrangements of the wise men in the colonies, who from time Incas to fall into day : the granaries were to time raised the voice of remonstrance emptied; the flocks were wasted in riotous against these abuses, and who carried their living, they were slanghtered to gratify a complaints to the foot of the throne.* To mere epicurean whim, and manya llama was the credit of the government it must also destroyed solely for the sake of the brains, be confessed that it was solicitous to obtain a dainty morsel, much coveted by the such information as it could, both from its Spaniards. So reckless was the spirit own officers and from commissioners de of destruction after the conquest, says puted expressly for the purpose, whose Ondegardo, the wise governor of Cuzco, voluminous communications throw a flood that in four years more of these animals of light on the internal condition of the perished than in four hundred in the country, and furnish the best materials times of the Incas. The flocks, once so for the historian; but it was found much numerous over the broad table lands, were easier to get this information than to profit now thinned to a scanty number, that by it."
Perhaps to few minds the perusal of the history of which the latest pages are now closed has been unaccompanied with many reflections disadvantageous to the character of the country from whose bosom these relentless and ferocious bands of adventurers went forth, to carry desolation and ruin among the peaceful and to them unoffending tribes of the Western World; for in so large a portion of it it is so dark in its features, it is so devoid of those virtues that seem to descend from a higher sphere at times to soften the cruelty and even to dignify the stern necessities of war,
that it requires the mind to be constantly looking forward in faith to
sich hu. s, though ic a scale
Among the ingenious contrivances with which men strike balances with their conscience, keeping one eye open to the scale in which the weight marked To XPNOTOV is placed, and the other shut, or at least winking, where the TO KAKov has somehow or other slipt in, that of the Spaniards deserves to be remembered, who established the slave trade on a principle of humanity, in order to save the native Americans from servitude and oppression. So in the Spanish translation of the little opera of Tonnelier (well known in Fontaine's fable) the scrupulous translator, careful of propriety and decorum, to avoid the indecorum of giving a kiss in public, introduces “l'ingénue Fanchette (the Cooper's wife) de ses doigts délicats nettoyante la téte du rival fortune (her lover)," See Lord Holland's Appendix to Guil. de Castro, p. 230.-Rey,
the result of some future good, as the end, to diminish the pain it suffers from a contemplation of the means by which it is to be accomplished. It is under this point of view that our farewell look of the subject should be taken. We must learn to be content in considering that the sword of the conqueror necessarily preceded the cross of the missionary; and, however mysterious it may seem, that these idolatrous nations, under the great inevitable law of suffering, were to be cleansed from the foulness of their ignorance and crimes by being baptized in their own blood. *
“ The effort to Christianise (says the nities like the good Las Casas in Cumaná, author) the heathen is an honourable or the Jesuits in California and Paraguay. characteristic of the Spanish conquests, At all times, the courageous ecclesiastic The Puritan, with equal religious zeal, did has been ready to lift his voice against the comparatively little for the conversion of cruelty of the conqueror, and the no less the Indian, content, as it would seem, with wasting cupidity of the colonist; and when having secured to himself the inestimable his remonstrances, as was too often privilege of worshipping God in his own the case, have proved unavailing, he has way. Other adventurers who have occu. still followed to bind up the broken. pied the New World, bave often had too hearted, to teach the poor Indian relittle regard for religion themselves to be signation under his lot, and light up his very solicitous about spreading it among dark intellect with the revelation of a the savages. But the Spanish missionary holier and happier existence.
In refrom first to last has shown a keen in. viewing the blood-stained records of terest in the spiritual welfare of the Spanish colonial bistory, it is but fair, and natives. Under his auspices churches on at the same time cheering, to reflect, that a magnificent scale have been erected, the same nation which sent forth the schools for elementary instruction founded, hard-hearted conqueror from its bosom, and every rational means taken to spread sent forth the missionary to do the work the knowledge of religious truth, while of beneficence, and spread the light of he has carried his solitary mission into Christian civilisation over the farthest remote and almost inaccessible regions, or regions of the new world.''t: gathered his Indian disciples into commu
* “N'entendez-vous la terre, qui crie et demande du sang ? Le sang des animaux ne lui suffit pas, ni même celui des coupables versé par la glaive des lois,''
See Le Maistre's Soirées de St. Petersbourg, ii. p. 30.-Rev. † Although far inferior to Columbus in displaying the higher qualities and resources of a great mind under unexampled difficulties, nor to be compared to Cortez in those points which form the commander, being only his imitator and follower in an easier path, yet the invasion and conquest of Peru by Pizarro has a completeness in the wbole story that would admirably adapt it to the purpose of poetry, and in which the others are deficient; for here the enterprise that began under the influence of strong passions was carried on and consummated by treachery and cruelty, and that at length pro. ceeded to its natural issue in the quarrel with the chiefs for the division of the spoil, in deadly enmity and warfare on each other, and in the violent death of all in battle, or assassination, or by the executioner; and lastly, there came the slow but certain and complete retribution, in the punishment of the offenders, in the establishment of law and justice, in the subversion of all rebellion, and in “ the acknowledged supremacy of the government.” We do not know an historical groundwork for a modern epic poem that offers more advantages than this, and which seems to unite in itself many of the poetic elements both of the Iliad and Odyssey. It would offer the animation and adventure of the former poem and would end with the tranquillity, the restoration of order, and the establishment of right and justice, of the latter. In such a subject there would be ample opportunity to effect what may be considered the chief objects of poetry, which, to use the words of the late noble biographer of Lope de Vega, are to i delineate strongly the characters and passions of mankind, to paint the appearances of nature, and to describe their effects upon the sensations." In a new country and among a new people the province of invention would be enlarged, new passions, or at least new forms of passion, would be brought within the scope of poetic imitation, and additional powers of imagination called into activity. In the history of the disa coveries of Columbus, materials are wanting for the development of a varied story: in that of Cortez, the moral drawn is incomplete: but the conquest of Peru seems to offer advantages to the poet which neither of the others possesses, in the variety of its matter and the completeness of its plan. --Rey,