Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

they exhibited. They sometimes wreathe caps or bonnets for the head, in the most tasteful manner, to protect the face from the sun; and, according to Capt. Pipon, "our dress-makers in London might take pattern from the elegant taste of these untaught females." The females of John Adams's family consisted of his old blind wife and three daughters, from fifteen to eighteen years of age, and a boy of eleven; a daughter of his wife, by her former husband, and his son in law. On the opposite side of the little village is the dwelling of young Christian; and in the centre is a smooth verdant lawn; and as we learn from the same sources, these houses contain very good beds, comfortable furniture, and have the recommendations of cleanliness in the highest degree. One is, in addition to all this, much gratified to know that such are the natural fortifications of the island, that it may be deemed impregnable to an invading enemy.

They now departed from these interesting colonists, and Chapter VI. introduces us to the sea-port of Valparaiso, on the coast of Chili, at which place they arrived after a voyage of thirty days. It is situated in Lat. 31° 7' S.; and in Long. 79° 19' W. This town is commodious, large, and opulent, regularly built, with houses of only one story high; its trade is confined chiefly to corn, cordage, and copper. The custom-house is erected on the beach, as are also the mercantile houses; there are two churches and many monasteries. The citadel is in the centre of the town, and commands it in every direction; it is secured by a battery of twelve guns, adjoining which is the governor's residence and the prison; the whole fortress, however, is quite untenable, and in a very neglected state. The shore is bold, and the anchorage secure, but water for large vessels is very difficult to be procured. Notwithstanding the vigilance of the government, smuggling is carried on to a considerable extent. The market is well supplied, particularly with poultry, vegetables, and fruit. There is an abundance of cattle in the country around, and the horses are handsome, fleet, and spirited. There is likewise another division of this town distinct from the part called Port Valparaiso, already described; this is named Almendrale, or Almond Grove, and has several small churches and a monastery. It is the great fruit mart, and has large vineyards and gardens. The population is about 25,000. The temperature is moderate and salubrious, and the rainy season continues from June to September. Quillota, a town in the interior, was the place next visited by the author; it stands in the midst of a fertile valley, which produces fine hemp, and is very abundant in gold and silver ore. The Chilinans in general are active and expert in securing the wild cattle of the country, but are in a low state of military discipline, and ill affected towards the Spanish government. The

voyage was now re-commenced, and they soon arrived at Callao, the port of Lima, which, with the island of San Lorensa, forms a magnificent harbour. This town is mean, and contains only 300 houses, but has a custom-house, which is rendered of great importance by its extensive commerce. The approach to Lima is commodious and agreeable; it is entered by an arch-way, and disposed in rectilinear streets, with proper precautions to preserve cleanliness.

"The extent of this city may be estimated to be nearly eight miles in circumference, including the suburb on the north side of the river, or about two miles three quarters in length, and a mile and half in width. Its fortification consists, merely of a wall built of unburnt bricks, from 15 to 20 feet high, and nearly as many thick, with bastions flanking each other a distance not exceeding two hundred yards.

"The width of the breast work from the inside extremity of the parapet, is by no means adequate to permit the mounting of cannon, and it appears evident to have been intended only to protect the city from the incursions of, or being surprized by the Indians.

"According to Frazier, whose plan, as well as description of the place, I found to be exceedingly correct, it was built in 1685 by John Ramond, a Flemish Priest in the Viceroyship of the Duke de la

Plata.

the

"It is now very neglected, and out of repair, but the disaffected state of the country seems to have created some just alarm among Spaniards, and the Marquis of Concordia has ordered several gateways to be repaired, and the wall to be put in a proper state of defence; but its great state of disorganization precludes its being accomplished in any reasonable time. It possesses no kind of ditch, or out-works.

"At about 150 yards, or one square from the bridge, is the Placa Real, or Royal Square, in the centre of which are the remains of an elegant brass fountain; several of the lions with which it was embellished, as well as part of the statue of Fame, still remain. The water is thrown to a considerable height, and the basin is suf ficiently spacious for it to fall within its margin. On the east side of this square is the cathedral, and palace of the bishop. The Viceroy's establishment occupies the North side; the West is taken up by the court of justice, council house, and prison, with a row of arches, which are continued throughout the South side, and under them are shops of various descriptions. There is a market held in this square, but it cannot boast of any particular excellence.

"The Cathedral does not possess any external beauty; but the splendour, magnificence, and riches of the interior can alone be conceived. The enchanted palaces, as described in the fairy tales, recurred to my memory the instant I entered this elegant sanctuary. The great altar, standing at the east end, is modern; and the columns, numerous as they are, together with every other part, are covered with silver in about the thickness of a dollar, and when lit up for the performance of any

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

particular ceremony, its brilliant and beautiful appearance cannot be exceeded. Don Mathias Mastro, a Priest, was the architect. He is also a painter of considerable merit. The various altars on either side,

are equal in richness if not in beauty, to the one I have mentioned. The church of San Augustin may be considered the next in beauty, by many I dare say superior to the cathedral; all the altars are superbly ornamented, and several are of incalculable value, but particularly the one, erected at the entire expence of the silversmiths, which is covered with solid metal, of more than common thickness,-it only required a few additional ornaments which were in a state of readiness, to make it complete. This church contains some excellent paintings.

"San Domingo also vies with the others in point of elegance, and has a handsome tower, (of great height,) at the top of which the traveller may enjoy a most extensive, picturesque, and interesting prospect; and as it is difficult for a stranger to find his way through the town, I would recommend him to visit this tower the first thing, as, from a single look he will receive more information relative to the place, than from studying the Lima directory a month.

[ocr errors]

"As the city contains upwards of fifty churches and chapels, the reader will see the impossibility of my bringing all before him, and consider it sufficient, if, in addition to those I have already mentioned, I say that San Francisco with La Conception, and La Mercy, are the most extensive, as well as handsome; although none of the others are in the least deficient in riches and splendor.

"The monasteries here, are both numerous and spacious, and I should suppose of the different orders there cannot be less than eighteen or twenty; and some among them contain three or four squares, or a piece of ground equal at least to six acres.

"The largest of those is, of the Franciscan order, and contains from 1200 to 1500 Friars. The Augustins come next, and I think the monastery itself, although not so large, is much more elegant than the former; the number of monks exceed a thousand. These have two or

three smaller ones in different parts of the city. There are also numerous establishments of this nature under the various denominations of Dominicans, Benedictines, Mercerarians, &c. &c. and are generally. found in the most desirable and advantageous situations.

"Of convents for nuns, there are also several, and of great extent: but those of St. Clare, the Carmelites, and the Incarnation, are the principal ones of note." (P. 118-122.)

The University is considerable and well-endowed; and the Lunatic Asylum is arranged on a commendable plan. There is a Royal Court, which is under the Viceroy's control, and several of inferior consequence. The inquisition is situated in the east end of the town, and is of considerable size. The mint is a very extensive building, and has a civil power, independent of the Viceroy. The other public buildings are principally the Torus, or Amphitheatre, for bull fights, a powder manufactory, and the Pantheon de los Meurtos, or public cemetery. The whole coast of Peru and Chili enjoys a very mild temperature, and, in de

fault of rain, is chiefly moistened by heavy dews. The brief: account of the mines next given, presents nothing of a novel nature. The Indians of Casco are in stature of a middle height, and muscular, with very little beard; their colour is a bright copper, with wide countenances, and dark eyes and hair.

The celebrated island of Juan Fernandez was next visited by the Briton. It is now the place of exile for the patriots of Chili, who reside in a little village near the beach. This village is commanded by a battery and 100 soldiers, totally devoid of discipline. The island is highly romantic, and abounds in rivulets; its soil is a bright red ochre, and extremely fertile. The mountains, which are difficult of access, abound in the box and myrtle, with many species of wild animals; and the climate, though very variable, is not unhealthy.

Having obtained a passport, Lieutenant Shillibeer proceeded over-land to Santiago, the capital of Chili. This journey was performed over an unequal country, watered by several streams, in the space of about two days. The city stands in an extensive and fertile plain; it is composed of spacious and handsome edifices, though they have only a ground floor, and is totally without fortification. The market is well supplied, and the mint is extolled by the author as the most elegant he had witnessed in South America. The churches here, of which there are many, are only distinguished by a profusion of gilding, and a variety of traditionary miracles. Monastic discipline at Santiago is in a very relaxed state, and the clergy are represented as extremely avaricious and licentious. A wall which has been erected to restrain the over-flowings of the Maypocho, is the fashionable promenade of the town, being sufficiently broad to allow of three persons walking abreast. The inhabitants are represented as illiterate, voluptuous, and indolent, and yet as laying great stress upon external accomplishments; and though they are not insen sible to the duties and graces of hospitality, they are still, in their natural dispositions, both proud and vindictive. The popula tion is about 50,000. This city is the residence of the President of Chili, who acts in subordination to the Viceroy of Lima.

The subsequent matter of the volume is of no interest; indeed the few additions made by Lieutenant Shillibeer to the accounts already received of Pitcairn's Island, and its patriarchal society, form the real attractions of his publication; and we cannot but greatly lament the shortness of the visit which the Briton and Tagus were able to make to persons so morally interesting, as the members of this singularly-formed community. On the other hand, when we consider how virtuously composed this little Eden seems to be, under the good man who presides over it, we dread the moral danger to which unhallowed visits from these regions

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

of the globe may expose it; and if this diminutive Commonwealth is destined to be revisited under the authority of our own Government, let us hope that some feeling and tenderness will be shown in the selection of the persons charged with so delicate an errand.

ART. IX.-The Works of Ben Jonson, with Notes, Critical and Explanatory, and a Biographical Memoir. By W. Gifford, Esq. 8vo. 9 vols. Nicol. London, 1816.

THERE was a time when Shakspeare was fairly laid on the shelf. Certain poets and literati, indeed, knew of such a writer; and even condescended occasionally to handle his rough diamonds, and give them a modern polish and a French_setting. Thus Dryden and Davenant patronised the Tempest. The public were informed that this old piece was Shakspeare's; and they were called upon to wonder at the genius, which, by a process of poetic alchemy, could convert lead to gold; and improve the crude plan of the Stratford bard, by a male counterpart to Miranda and a witty confidante. Tate, in like manner, took pity on Lear, and discovered that the filial interest of Cordelia and Edgar was tame, and out of the approved tragic rules; and that Edgar and Cordelia must absolutely make love. We call our stage reformed and enlightened; but these paltry impostures still keep possession of it.

Shakspeare, however, could not long be depressed: Adversis rerûm immersabilis undis. The Indian queens and Indian emperors made room for Constance and Imogen, Macbeth and Othello. Pope and Rowe aspired to the credit of taste by becoming his editors. Commentators arose on commentators, like the crop of armed men from the dragon's teeth, and like them they destroyed each other. To the stupid ignorance or indifference which had prevailed respecting this master of the human mind, succeeded a busy and self-important enthusiasm: to comment upon Shakspeare was to contend for the prize of right English feeling, and perception of true genius:

[ocr errors]

Here strip, my children: here at once plunge in:
Here strive who best can dash through thick and thin.

The admirable "Canons of Criticism" checked for a season the zeal of verbal torture; but notes and remarks continued to sprout with hydra fertility of succession, till common sense was again heard in the "Comments on the Commentators of Shakspeare."

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »