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tremble at a mere glance from his master's eye. These latter cruelties were witnessed by me in a Spanish colony, in which it has always been said that slaves are better treated than by the Portuguese, English, or other European nations. I will not even allude to the many heart-sickening atrocities which I heard of on good authority; nor would I have mentioned the above revolting details, had I not met with sev eral people so blinded by the natural gayety of the negro as to speak of slavery as a tolerable evil. Such people have generally visited at the houses of the upper classes, where the domestic slaves are usually well treated-and they have not, like myself, lived among the lower classes. Such inquirers will ask slaves about their condition: they forget that the slave must indeed be dull who does not calculate on the chance of his answer reaching his master's ears.
It is argued that self-interest will prevent excessive cruelty; as if self-interest protected our domestic animals, which are far less likely than degraded slaves to stir up the rage of their savage masters. One day, riding in the Pampas with a very respectable planter (estanciero), my horse, being tired, lagged behind. The man often shouted to me to spur him. When I remonstrated that it was a pity, for the horse was quite exhausted, he cried out, "Why not? Never mind'; spur him--it is my horse." I had then some difficulty in making him understand that it was for the horse's sake, and not on his account, that I did not choose to use my spurs. He exclaimed, with a look of great surprise, "Ah, Don Carlos, que cosa!" (what an idea). It was clear that such an idea had never before entered his head.
Those who look tenderly at the slave-owner, and with a cold heart at the slave, never seem to put themselves in the position of the latter. What a cheerless picture, with not even a hope of change! Picture to yourself the chance, ever hanging over you, of your wife and little children being torn from you and sold to the highest bidder! And these deeds are done and excused by men who profess to love their neighbors as themselves-who believe in God, and pray that his will be done on earth! It makes one's blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen, and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty: but it is a consolation to reflect that we, at least, have made a greater sacrifice than was ever made by any nation to expiate our sin.*
Ar Las Minas we stopped overnight at a pulperia, or drinking-shop. During the evening a great number of Gauchos came in to drink spirits and smoke cigars. Their ap pearance is very striking: they are generally tall and handsome, but with a proud and dissolute expression of countenance. They often wear their mustaches, and long black hair curling down their backs. With their bright-colored garments, great spurs clanking about their heels, and knives stuck as daggers (and often so used) at their waists, they
* Slavery was finally abolished in the British West Indies in 1834–1838; in the United States by the civil war of 1861-1865.
look a different race of men from what might be expected from their name of Gauchos, or simple countrymen. Their politeness is excessive; they never drink their spirits without expecting you to taste it; but, while making their exceedingly graceful bow, they seem quite as ready, if occasion offered, to cut your throat.
The Gauchos are well known to be perfect riders. The idea of being thrown, let the horse do what it likes, never enters their head. Their test of a good rider is a man who can manage an untamed colt, or who, if his horse falls, alights on his own feet, or can perform other such exploits. I have heard of a man betting that he would throw his horse down
CHILE AND PERU.
twenty times, and that nineteen times he would not fall himself. I recollect seeing a Gaucho riding a very stubborn horse, which three times in succession reared so high as to fall backward with great violence. The man judged with uncommon coolness the proper moment for slipping off—not an instant before or after the right time—and as soon as the horse got up the man jumped on his back, and at last they started at a gallop. The Gaucho never appears to exert any muscular force. I was one day watching a good rider, as we were galloping along at a rapid pace, and thought to myself, Surely, if the horse starts, you appear so careless on your seat, you must fall." At this moment a male ostrich sprung from its nest right beneath the horse's nose. The young colt bounded on one side like a stag; but as for the man, all that could be said was that he started and took fright with his horse. I was surprised to hear the Gauchos, who have from infancy almost lived on horseback, say that they always suffered from stiffness when, not having ridden for some time, they first began again. One of them told me that, having been confined for three months by illness, he went out hunting wild cattle, and, in consequence, for the next ten days his thighs were so stiff that he was obliged to lie in bed. This shows that the Gauchos must really exert much muscular effort in riding.
In Chile and Peru more pains are taken with the mouth of the horse than in La Plata, evidently because of the more intricate nature of the country. In Chile a horse is not considered perfectly broken till he can be brought up standing, in the midst of his full speed, on any particular spot-for
instance, on a cloak thrown on the ground: or, again, he will charge a wall, and rearing, scrape the surface with his hoofs. I have seen an animal bounding with spirit, yet merely reined by a forefinger and thumb, taken at full gallop across a court-yard, then made to wheel round the post of a veranda with great speed, but at so equal a distance that the rider, with outstretched arm, all the while kept one finger rubbing the post; then making a demivolt in the air, with the man's other arm outstretched in a like manner, he wheeled round, with astonishing force, in an opposite direction.
Such a horse is well broken: and although this at first may appear useless, it is far otherwise. It is only carrying to perfection a daily necessity. When a bullock is checked