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Full text of "China to Peru over the Andes: a journey through South America"

JadMimaAcj) yihcc^ 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 
AT LOS ANGELES 





1.0S ANGELES 
LIBRARY 



'/r 



CHINA TO PERU 



CHINA TO PERU 

OVER THE ANDES 

A JOURNEY THROUGH SOUTH AMERICA 



Lady (HOWARD) VINCENT 

AUTHORESS OP " 40,000 MILES OVER LAND AND WATEB, 
" NEWFOUNDLAND TO COCHIN CHINA," ETC. 



WITH REPORTS AND LETTERS ON BRITISH INTERESTS 
IN BRAZIL, ARGENTINA, CHILI, PERU, PANAMA 

AND VENEZUELA i 

By Sir HOWARD VINCENT, M.P. 



WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS 



LONDON 
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COxMPANY 

Lunited 

ija, Paternoster Row, E.C. 

[Ali rights resenet/] 



145830 



TO 



THE PEOPLE OF CENTRAL SHEFFIELD 



THIS ACCOUNT OF 



OUR THIRD WORLD JOURNEY 



IS 



AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED 



PREFACE. 

'' Let observation with extensive view, 
Survey Mankind from China to Peru." 

So wrote Samuel Johnson, and it has been my 
keenest desire and my good fortune to act upon the 
injunction. 

" Forty Thousand Miles over Land and Water " 
told of the impressions made upon me in the United 
States of America, Australasia, and the vast Empire 
of India. 

"Newfoundland to Cochin China" detailed my 
experiences in the Dominion of Canada, amid the 
fascinating Japanese, and around the Walls of the 
Forbidden City at Peking. 

This volume speaks of a third journey, whereof 
the furthermost point completed our " survey of 
mankind from China to Peru." At the request of 
many friends and for our warm-hearted constituents, 
the people of Central Sheffield, these records are 
printed and published. 

Ethel Gwendoline Vincent. 
I, Grosvenor Square. 



CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER I. 

TAGE 

Over the South Atlantic i 

CHAPTER II. 
The Haven of Brazil in Revolution . . . 12 

CHAPTER III. 
Up the Plate to Buenos Ayres .... 28 

CHAPTER IV. 
The Camp of .'\rgentina 55 

CHAPTER V. 
Across the Andes 87 

CHAPTER VI. 
Chili and the Chilians 122 

CHAPTER VII. 
The Nitrate-fields and the Desert Shore . . 145 

CHAPTER VIII. 
Peru, and Five Miles towards Heaven . . .167 

CHAPTER IX. 
To the Archipelago of Occident . . . .198 



Contents. 



APPENDIX. 

I.__To THE Land of Revolutions 
II. — British South America Won and Lost 
III.— The Paris of the West . 
IV. — Argentine Politics . 
V. — Argentine Travelling in 1827 
VI.— Over the Cordillera 
VII.— The English of the Pacific 
VIII.— The Nitrate Fields of Chili 
IX.— Peru and the Peruvians 
X. — Venezuela and Englan[> 
XL— The West Indies 
XI I. — British Interests in Brazil 
XIII.— British Commercial Interests in Argen 

TINA 

XIV. — British Trade in Chili . 
XV.— British Interests in Peru 
XVI.— The Panama Canal . 



Index 




PAGE 

233- 
240 
244 
250 
252 
•56 
261 
267 
272 
277 
283 

291 
302 
309 
318 

3^7 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGB 

St. Vincent, Cape de Verd Islands 2 

Pernambuco 6 

Corcorado and the Sugar Loaf 22 

Plaza Libertad— Buenos Ayres 40 

Rosario de Santa F6 68 

Posada on the Andes 102 

Road over the Andes between the Argentine Republic and 

Chili no 

Santiago de Chili 124 

Bridge on the Valparaiso and Santiago Railway . -134 

The Esplanade, Valparaiso 136 

Nitrate Works 156 

Scene on the Oroya Railroad 178 

Monte Meiggs, Summit of Oroya Railway .... 184 
Panama Canal Company's Hospital ..... 200 

Panama Canal Works 318 

View of the Panama Canal - 322 



CHINA TO PERU, 

CHAPTER I. 

OVER THE SOUTH ATLANTIC. 

A LITTLE green bay surrounded by olive- covered 
slopes, with the white and buff town of Vigo lying 
above it, gives the comfort of shelter, after a dreary 
day of tossing in the Bay of Biscay^ for all on board 
the Royal Mail Steamer Thames. 

We embark a goodly number of emigrants^ who 
come out in flat-bottomed lighters, sitting enthroned 
amongst their household gods, and getting wet 
through, ere a lucky jump lands them on the gang- 
way. 

The next morning we are steaming merrily up the 
Tagus, past the bar and lighthouse and the Tower 
of Belem, and Lisbon lies white and smiling in the 
sunshine, its white and pink houses terraced one 
above each other, high up on the hill. 

We take a run up to Cintra ; beautiful Cintra, with 
its green valley, amid the barren mountains, filled 
with splendid Spanish oak and chestnut trees, its 
overhanging gardens gay with every tropical creeper ; 
where the fuchsias grow in bushes and the magnolias 
flower on full-sized trees. Such a view too over many 

B 



2 China to Peru. 

bare brown ranges, out to the ocean, whilst always 
immediately above us is the grey parapet of the 
ancient Moorish fortress, running up and down, to 
right and left, on the high-most peak. 

On the evening of the second day after leaving 
Lisbon, we could just distinguish, on a cloudy moon- 
light night, the pale shadowy outline of the great 
rock peak of Teneriffe, rising out of a translucent 
grey range of mountains on the Island of Grand 
Canary. To port, Las Palmas, another island of the 
Canary group, is marked by a single lighthouse. 

Four days afterwards we are up at six o'clock to 
see the morning mists roll away from St. Antonio 
and St. Vincent, two of the islands of the Cape de 
Verd group. Weird and fantastic are the volcanic 
peaked rocks of the mountain ranges — now rising in 
conical needle peaks, now massed like craggy castles 
or opening out into deep craters. Abundant rain 
must have fallen lately, for St. Vincent is not the 
bare and barren island so oft depicted, but shows a 
pale green vegetation, very fresh and sparse, but 
which, mixed with the bright chrome and madder 
tints of the volcanic strata, gives to it a curious and not 
unattractive character. It reminds us much of Aden, 
possessing, like that place, a varied grandeur of its 
own, produced by Nature trying to make a play of 
colour with the sparsest materials. 

Lying in the absolute centre of the Bay of Porto 
Grande is the most curious freak of creation : a little 
pinnacled rock island, tapering to a natural peak, 
which in its turn is crowned by a white lighthouse. 
The base is completely hollowed out by the action of 
the continuous swell of the South Atlantic breakers. 



Over the South Atlantic. 3 

forming a black cavernous circle around, which is 
broken into perpetually by clouds of foam and spray. 

This bears the commonplace name of Bird Island^ 
and looks as if it had just been placed there on pur- 
pose to carry the dazzling white lighthouse, with its 
steep zigzag path and final approach by a balustrade 
and stone steps, whose faithful light guides the ships 
to a safe anchorage. 

There are the red-roofed cluster of houses, with 
the large white building of the Brazilian Submarine 
Telegraph Station, which makes up the whole of the 
town. We land to find a iow clean paved streets, 
peopled chiefly by negroes and negresses, and pro- 
ceed to the telegraph station. About forty clerks, 
under the care of Mr. Lloyd, live here, and transact 
the business of the electric current, joining South 
America with Europe. Cable messages pass through 
the operating room we visit in every language, but 
as codes are chiefly used it must be dull work, hour 
after hour, writing off meaningless words from the 
ceaseless click, click of the instrument. The only 
amusement of these exiled clerks is cricket, and their 
chief excitement as to whether incoming vessels will 
stay long enough to enable them to get up an oppo- 
sition team for a match. St. Vincent belongs to the 
Portuguese, and one cannot help regretting that it is 
not one of England's possessions, as forming an in- 
valuable coaling station. We may, however, take 
comfort in the fact that all the ships in harbour this 
morning, with the exception of a Portuguese gun- 
boat, carry the Union Jack, showing, as always, the 
complete supremacy of England on the seas in all 
parts of the globe. 

B 2 



4 China to Peru. 

Sunday in the Doldrums ! with the most awful 
heat. Some Httle amusement may be extracted from 
the manner in which passengers, at the extremity of 
endurance, lie panting on the deck, and for once our 
unpleasant Portuguese and Brazilian passengers are 
somewhat subdued. Everything but most absolutely 
necessary clothing is discarded, and everybody gasps 
and perspires during this loss of our hitherto pleasant 
companion, the north-east trade wind. This true ex- 
perience of the tropics is succeeded by the day of 
tropical downpour, which is generally found just 
north or south of the equator, where the different 
wind-currents meet. 

The following day we crossed the line about mid- 
day ; but with a cool breeze on the port side it is 
difficult to believe we are on the equator. With the 
picking up of the south-east trade wind in another 
day, the extremes of temperature are over. 

A word about the Royal Mail steamer Thames. 
She is a splendid vessel of 6000 tons, and commanded 
by Captain Hicks, the best captain that in our many 
sea voyages we have sailed under. She is very com- 
fortable in all respects but one. The largest part of 
the passengers are Portuguese and Brazilians, indeed 
they appear always to support the line, and to use it 
more than the English. Suffice it to say that their 
manners, habits and customs do not harmonize with 
ours, and indeed appear to us repellent. The con- 
tents of the cruet are poured over the food, or you 
may sec several raw eggs broken into a tumbler, with 
wine and Worcester sauce added impartially thereto. 
Add this drawback to an unfair proportion of chil- 
dren and a greatly overcrowded ship, and our 



Over the Sotctk Atlantic. 5 

month^s sojourn on the Thames is otherwise like 
any other long sea voyage. 

A scudding white-crested breeze^ with a bright sun 
chasing shadows across the green island of Fernando 
Noronha, the Convict Settlement of the Brazils, is the 
next point of interest. The island has a most curious 
natural phenomenon. From the green hills that 
slope gently upwards from the centre of the island 
springs an horizontal basaltic pyramid, 1000 feet 
high. In the far distance it resembles a steeple, but 
as you come nearer it appears to be a great mass of 
rock, balanced on, and shelving outwards, so as to 
overhang, the mountain on to which it is accidentally 
thrown. We clearly distinguish the pink and red 
houses of the penal settlement, with their broad 
thatched roofs, the red prison where they are con- 
fined at night, the road running through the centre 
of the town, and the white stone house, probably the 
Governor's, about half-way up on an open space. 
The further end of the island is covered with forest, 
and at its extremity is an archway, cleanly cut 
through the rock, called the " Hole in the Wall," 
and through which we get a glimpse far out to sea. 
On the beautiful yellow beach the sapphire waves, 
crested with foam, roll continuously in. 

Fernando Noronha is four and a half miles long, 
with a population of 2000, out of which 200 are 
women convicts. It is garrisoned by a company of 
Brazilian soldiers, commanded by a major, who acts 
as governor. The island seems too pretty and at- 
tractive a spot for a penal population, and efforts are 
being made to persuade the Brazilian Government to 
form a quarantine station here for the northern ports. 



6 China to Peru^ 

" Land on the starboard bow! " calls out the look- 
out, in the customary monotonous yet melodious 
pitchy in place of the usual " All's well," that echoes 
through every hour of the night, as the bells strike, 
and here is our first view of the green-blue line of the 
great continent of South America, our first view of 
the coast of Brazil, which forms one-fifth part of this 
same continent, and again one-fifteenth part of the 
whole world. 

Pernambuco, the Recife of the natives, and the 
second largest city in Brazil, is coming into view, 
and soon we are opposite the bold green-clad height 
of Olinda, with its verandahed houses scattered 
amongst palm-groves. Well may its appearance have 
caused Decarte Coelleo, as he explored the coast to 
exclaim in Portuguese : " O linda stuaceo para se 
funda una villia." " Oh ! beautiful site for a town.' 
Exclamation immortalized as being used in part, to 
furnish the name of this pretty suburb. 

Pernambuco, with its houses all white and red- 
roofed, lying among groves of tufted palms, seems to 
rise out of the ocean. Brilliantly shines the sun in 
tropical clearness. The sea is the usual perfect ultra- 
marine of this South Atlantic, with never a trace of 
the green of the North Atlantic in its unfathomable 
depths. 

Creamy-white is the foam that girdles the reef, 
thrown high in mid-air from off that wonderful natural 
breakwater. Truly may Pernambuco be called the 
Brazilian Venice, with its many intersecting streams, 
and its quiet lagoon lying inside the bar. 

This Recife (the native name for reef) is a 
mighty coral reef which extends along nearly the 



Over the South At /antic. 7 

whole extent of the northern coast of Brazil. For 
five miles from Pernambuco, it continues without a 
break, and is laid so exactly straight and even that it 
resembles a breakwater of concrete. There is one 
opening opposite the town, and vessels of no great 
draught can pass the bar, and anchor alongside the 
wharf. From our deck it appears as if the spray- 
dashed on to the wharf itself, but in reality there is a 
green lagoon, between the reef and the dock. At low 
water the reef is exposed and seems formed of a hard, 
dark brown rock which, when broken up, resembles 
yellow sandstone containing imbedded bivalves. A 
coralline reef it must have been, constructed labori- 
ously during perhaps, hundreds of years, by the 
patient, industrious hives of submarine life, and 
when deserted by them, has become filled up with 
sand and shells. 

Our yellow quarantine flag flies mast high. Some 
forty passengers, all packed and ready to land, await 
with feverish eagerness the result of much signalling 
from the shore, whilst the remainder discuss the pros- 
pects of landing ; for Pernambuco is exposed to the 
fury of the great Atlantic rollers, and a jump into a 
boat as it is carried swiftly by the ^gangway on the 
crest of the wave, or even being lowered in a basket, 
is as nothing compared to the soaking with spray as 
you cross the bar. Therefore is opinion divided as to 
the prudence of landing. 

A boat is sent off from shore. All watch it dash- 
ing on the heights of the rollers, and then ploughing 
into their troughs. The doctor stands, papers in hand, 
on the gangway ; but when the green flag comes within 
speaking distance, a polite little official stands up and 



8 China to Peru. 

delivers himself of a fiat of quarantine. No mails are 
to be received or delivered, no cargo disembarked, no 
passengers landed, our clean bill of health not even 
inspected, but an unreasoning arbitrary order for the 
ship to proceed to Isla Grande, 1200 miles down the 
coast, and the nearest and only quarantine station for 
this vast seaboard of Brazil. 

Blank disappointment, utter dismay, is depicted 
upon the countenances of all, as we turn away from 
the bulwarks, but we feel the greatest commiseration 
for those who have nearly, so very nearly reached 
home, and to whom it means a journey at their own 
expense of 1200 miles, quarantine and fumigation at 
a lazaretto, and a tedious return by a coasting 
steamer. Worse even is the case of the second-class 
passengers and steerage. Many will have paid away 
their bottom dollar in passage-money, and here they 
will be landed in a strange country, far from their 
destination, without means for return. Quarantine is 
the curse of the European inhabitants of South 
America, and the Government with its arbitrary orders 
delays the development of trade and progress in the 
country. 

With sad little groups scattered about the decks, 
discussing the situation and picturing worse future 
evils, the anchor is quickly weighed and once more 
wc are ploughing our way through the brilliant blue 
waves. 

The " might have been's ^' of life ! Yesterday we 
should have touched at Maceio, the capital of the 
Province of Alagoas, a thriving town with a large 
trade in sugar and cotton. To-day we should have 
cast anchor in the Bay of All Saints' before Bahia 



Over the South Atlantic. 9 

" a gulf formed by nature for the emporium of the 
Universe." 

Out here in South America we are constantly on 
the track of the ancient Spanish mariners, the dis- 
coverers of the New World. It was from Bahia that 
Americus Vespucius, in 1 503, carried home from the 
newly discovered country a cargo of the dye wood, 
which when cut in pieces resembled *' brazas " or 
*' coals of fire," from which circumstance it was called 
Brazil wood, indirectly giving the name of Brazil to 
the country. 

We should like to have landed at Bahia, on the 
four mile long Praya, or beach, of the old town and 
business quarter. Thence ascended to the newer and 
more habitable quarter of the town on the hill by a 
steam lift. We should like to have seen the negresses, 
the finest in South America, and the fattest, who are 
thus described by an American author : " The 
women who hawk fish or pine-apples in the streets, 
are marvels of physical development and grace. 
They are as straight as palms, and as lithe as willows, 
and they walk like Greek goddesses. With purple, 
pink, or blue waists cut low in the neck, they display 
arms of the finest modelling, and a development of 
mascle and sinew and an erect and queenly car- 
riage, which must be the envy and despair of the 
Brazilian ladies of the highest rank.^' We missed, too, 
taking on board the luscious pineapples, and pipless 
oranges for which Bahia is celebrated. 

But, alas ! we are steaming on past all these 
Brazilian ports, until on a cloudy Sunday morning, 
slowly Cape Frio loomed up before our eyes, a stately 
mountain of rock, the beginning of a range of sixty 



lo CJiina to Peru. 

miles, which ends abruptly at the entrance of Rio 
Harbour. Here we are, sailing straight past the 
haven where we would be. The mountains open out. 
The entrance guarded by the twin islands of Pai and 
Mai is seen, the Sugar-loaf, Corcovado, Tijuca, recede 
before us. Another sixty miles and we are anchored 
at our quarantine retreat, at Ilha Grande. 

Painfully intense is the long wait before the launch 
sets off from the pier, appallingly long seem the 
lengthy and deliberate turnings over of the ship's 
papers, and the parleyings between the doctor and 
health officer. Experience has made us nervous. 
We crane over the ship's side to catch the first inti- 
mation of our fate. It comes. Glad news. A day's 
fumigation on the morrow, and we may return to 
Rio on the day after. 

Early next morning we are turned out of our berths, 
and the health officers come off and order all the 
mattresses and bedding to be thrown into a barge and 
borne off to the fumigating buildings we see lying low 
in a sandy cove. Soon comes an all-pervading smell 
of carbolic, from a watering-can which sprinkles dis- 
infecting fluid freely, leaving a little puddle of the 
same in each cabin, whilst fore and aft from the steer- 
age rise columns of suli)hurous fumes. 

We escape ashore in the afternoon. Now Ilha 
Grande is very far from being the desolate quarantine 
station you might suppose. It is a very pretty peaked 
island, tropically covered and fringed with palms, 
with the pink lazaretto nestling by the water's edge. 
A ramble round the white sands of the beach, where 
the waves lazily wash ashore shells and seaweed, up 
and down the hillside, entrances us with visions of 



Over the South Atlantic. 1 1 

Tropical America. There are the sword-Hke leaves 
of the banyans clustering under the cocoa palms, tall 
clusters of white belled datura growing beside the 
glossy leaved bushes of the coffee plant, all covered 
with its exquisite white starred blossom, giant cacti, 
clinging and growing upon the rocks of the sea-shore, 
orchids nestling on the branches of trees, and every 
specie of tropical fern and creeper grow in this luxuri- 
ant isle. 

The lazaretto and adjoining buildings form quite 
an imposing square on the landing-stage. The former 
is very large and really well-furnished, and they show 
the apartments where the late Emperor and Empress 
performed their quarantine in common with their 
humbler subjects. The expense of building was over 
60,000/., and the maintenance of such a large estab- 
lishment must be costly in proportion. Yet when we 
remember the deathly scourge of yellow fever, which 
yearly claims its hundreds of victims, we can scarcely 
wonder at their precautions to refuse admittance to 
an equally deadly enemy, cholera. But a very few 
weeks ago an Italian steamer came into port with 
120 cases on board and sixty deaths to report. 

At II p.m. we are still waiting for our bedding to 
return, and it is a ludicrous sight soon afterwards to 
see all the passengers turning over piles of mattresses 
and pillows in search of their own. When secured we 
find them emitting a strong perfume of sanitas and 
wet through, for it is raining diligently. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE HAVEN OF BRAZIL IN REVOLUTION. 

Torrents of rain usher in the morning of our return 
to Rio de Janeiro, and continue whilst we retrace 
our course. Soon we see the sleeping outline of the 
" Gavia" or "Look Out," which forms the extremity 
of the Tijuca range of mountains. Now we are 
under the towering summit of the Corcovado, such a 
perpendicular peak of rock, but the umbrella on its 
summit tells us that ; from the other side, facing the 
harbour, a railway renders it accessible. Lastly, 
from amid the mist and spray, slowly emerges the 
great Sugar Loaf. 

The similitude from the entrance is absolute. The 
Sugar Cone is rounded and graduated to perfection. 
With the waves sullenly booming round the base, 
this unscalable mass of rock, without chink, jut, or 
cavity on its entire surface rising up immediately at 
the point of entrance, forms a fitting introduction to 
the most beautiful harbour of the world. It inclines 
slightly over, leaning towards the sea and from in- 
side, a green shoulder projecting from halfway up 
joins it to the peninsula. 

Two flat little islands, called Pai and Mai (father 



The Haven of Brazil in Revalution. 13 

and mother in Portuguese) guard the entrance, and 
threading our way between them we are passing 
within a stone's throw of the battlemented Fort of 
Santa Cruz, mounting a triple row of a hundred 
guns. The tiny islet of Lage, with another fortress, 
lies as nearly as possible midway between Santa 
Cruz and the Sugar Loaf, completing a perfect 
defence to the entry of the harbour. Villegaignon 
another island fortress and naval depot, is a little 
further to the left, and, see, it flies the white or rebel 
flag, having gone over to the enemy but yesterday. 
Little did we imagine that two hours later, all these 
same forts would be booming forth smoke and fire, 
and that the whole sea would be surging with a hail 
of shot. 

How describe the harbour now we are well inside 
it .-• We seem to see an intricate panoramic suc- 
cession of wooded mountain peaks, many of them 
terraced with brightly coloured houses undulating 
round the curves of the bay, and a little condensed 
as they touch the water's edge. Sydney Harbour is 
perhaps more beautiful and is certainly larger, but 
Rio is the grandest. The town proper of Rio is 
difficult to distinguish, so numerous and far extend- 
ing are its suburbs. Numberless green islands stud 
the deep blue of the harbour, whilst the fluted tops 
of the Organ Mountains form a completing circle to 
the further edge of the bay. Now the sun gleams 
forth lighting up the spires and towers of Rio, and 
bringing out the brilliant green of the tropical 
vegetation. 

The political situation, however, detracts from the 
interest of the harbour, for now we see that all the 



14 China to Peru. 

shipping is collected at the head of the bay opposite 
to Nichteroy, the capital of the province, possessing 
the arsenal, and that the men-of-war of all the 
European powers are anchored near. There is the 
British cruiser Siriiis, and two gunboats, the Beagle 
and Racer. The first is commanded by Captain 
Lang, who performed for the Chinese navy what 
Gordon did for their army. One French man-of- 
war, two Italian, two German, and two United 
States, are all near together. The rebel fleet with 
top-masts lowered, and decks cleared for action, lies 
in different parts of the bay. Over there is the 
Aquidaban, the flagship of Admiral Custodio de 
Mello, the leader of the Naval Rebellion. Its deck 
is crowded with people. 

On anchoring confusion reigned supreme on board, 
but we were extricated by courteous letters from Mr. 
(now Sir Hugh) Wyndham, the British minister, and 
Captain Lang, who had sent a steam launch from 
the Sirius to convey us ashore, and in a few minutes 
we were on our way thither in his genial company. 

There to the left is the Ilha das Cobras with the 
red cross flag hoisted on the Marine Hospital. It is 
also the site of the Naval Cadet College, commanded 
by that admirable man, Saldanha da Gama, and it is 
mainly owing to his good influence that up to now 
the cadets have maintained an attitude of neutrality. 
Thus Ilha das Cobras and another adjoining island, 
also remain neutral, and their partisanship is eagerly 
desired and sought by both parties. 

We land at the Naval Arsenal, near the Custom 
House, remembering that it was from here that the 
late and last Emperor, l^edro II., was taken on board 



The Haven of Brazil in Revolution. 15 

the gunboat, at dead of night, and last set foot in 
Brazil. 

A few days ago the Government attempted to 
seize Ilha das Cobras, so the Aquidaban anchored at 
the buoy we see about 200 yards away, and com- 
menced to bombard the lower part of the town which 
contains the business quarter. The steeple of the 
Church of the Pescadores was knocked down, and 
the shell exploded in the room of a house below, 
which we afterwards saw with the wall blown out. 

We land and take a " bond " (or tramcar) through 
the Rua Primo de Marco, past the Hospital of the 
Misericordia lying by the harbour shore, until we 
reach a steep street where we get out. A climb up 
some winding steps brings us to the house and 
garden of Mr. Mendes, the well-known purveyor to 
the British Navy, under the familiar name of 
" Portuguese Joe." Mr. Wyndham, unable to get a 
room in any hotel, is lodged for the present here. 
All the Legations are situated at Petropolis, Rio 
being too unhealthy as a place of residence. We 
are assured that the hotels in the lower part of the 
town are unsafe, and whilst they telephone for 
rooms at the Hotel International at St. Thereza, we 
are put in possession of the political situation. 

On the morning of September 6th, Rio awoke to 
find that the navy under Admiral Custodio de Mello 
had rebelled against the military dictatorship of 
General Floriano Peixoto. All the officers hap- 
pened by a curious coincidence to be ashore that 
night, and by morning Mello was in possession of 
twelve vessels of war, five torpedo boats, five coasting 
gteamers, and two steam launches, twenty-four vessels 



1 6 Chijia to Peru. 

in all. The arsenal at Nichteroy was bombarded, 
and Mello issued a manifesto. Being in possession 
of the harbour, he was able to cut off supplies and 
all communication by water. On Wednesday there 
were signs that the city was to be bombarded by the 
rebels. Suddenly at ten o'clock, firing commenced. 
It was the signal for a stampede of women and 
children, and a general exodus to the mountains. 
It is estimated that one-third of the population left 
the town. The banks and places of business were 
closed. Few casualties were reported, but the press 
censorship is so rigorous, that the newspapers are a 
perfect blank as to current events. 

Once or twice the bombardment was renewed, and 
some shots and shells fell in the lower town, one 
unfortunately killing a young English clerk standing 
on the balcony of a restaurant. Gossip says that he 
was one of four clerks who came out together from 
England last October. Three died of yellow fever 
within three months of landing, and now the fourth 
has met with a violent death. 

On September 25th the fleet notified their inten- 
tion of bombarding the city. Mr. Wyndham issued 
a manifesto to the English to leave Rio as quickly as 
possible. The same notice was issued by the other 
ministers to warn their countrymen, and it was 
arranged that in case of necessity, the Europeans 
were to assemble on the Palace Square to be taken 
off to the various men-of-war. Two rockets from 
the town, answered by one from the cruiser, were to 
be the signal for landing some 700 bluejackets from 
the united fleet. All the European powers are 
working harmoniously together, with the strange 



The Haven of Brazil m Revolution. ly 

exception of Germany, who holds completely aloof, 
perhaps because the French Admiral happens to be 
the " doyen " of the fleet on this occasion, and they 
do not choose to work under him. 

The intervention of the foreign Powers, headed by 
Mr. Wyndham, served to avert the destruction of the 
city. The Government consented to dismount the 
guns on the heights just above the lower town, on 
condition that Admiral Mello undertook not to 
bombard the city. The desertion of Villegaignon, 
one of the three forts in the harbour, on the previous 
day, has been one of the severest blows yet received 
by the Government. 

Such is the position of affairs. We find Rio in a 
state of siege, and yet the apathy of the people is 
astounding. They assemble on a good vantage-point 
to watch the firing, as if it had been a sham battle. 
Partisanship does not run high, but as many arrests 
have been made, men fear for their opinions. We 
gather that the rebels are gaining ground. The 
National Guard has been called out, but comprising 
as they do the worst elements of the town, more is 
to be feared from their excesses perhaps than from 
the landing of the rebels. A strange incident 
happened the other day. A boat flying the British 
flag was seen at the customary anchorage of the 
Aqiiidaban (foreign launches and boats have been 
allowed to land when bearing the flags of their 
nationalities). On investigation by the British flag- 
ship, it turned out that an American named Boynton 
and an Englishman were preparing with a torpedo 
to blow up the Brazilian ironclad ; the former 
averring that he had been offered a large sum of 

C 



1 8 China to Peru. 

money, 10,000 dollars of which had already been 
advanced, if he succeeded in blowing up the centre 
vessel of the mutineers. They were taken prisoners 
to their respective cruisers. 

Rumours being current of a bombardment between 
the forts this afternoon — indeed they appear only 
to be waiting for two sailing vessels to clear out of the 
way — we hasten to take the " bond " to the funicular 
railway. In a few minutes this lifts us far on our 
way up the mountain. Another bond, drawn by four 
mules, drags us up the steep, winding mountain road. 
The views over the harbour are superb ; the vegeta- 
tion, with its glowing, tropical colouring, enchanting ; 
but — boom ! boom ! we hear the thunder of the 
cannon, and we can think of nothing else until, with 
a final tumble and scramble, the mules land us under 
the walls of the hotel, on the heights of Santa 
Thercza. 

What a sight meets us as we reach the terrace ! 
Great columns of smoke puff out from Santa Cruz, 
as one after another her guns open fire on the now 
rebel fortress of Villegaignon. A flash of fire, a 
volume of smoke, and then a reverberating boom that 
shakes the ground, even at this height and distance, 
under our feet. Now the fort of Lagc, appearing only 
a tiny speck on the blue waters of the harbour, joins 
in and contributes the thunder of its guns to the 
bombardment ; and a masked battery on the penin- 
sula of San Juan occasionally sounds forth, as shown 
by the column of smoke that rises from this green spot. 
But the rebels answer gamely, Villegaignon pours a 
storm of shot around Santa Cruz and Lage, and the 
Aquidaban with the other war vessels open fire. 



The Haven of Brazil in Revolntion. 19 

Rumble, rumble, as of distant thunder ! flash, flash ! 
boom, boom ! as the artillery thunders forth mur- 
derously on all sides. All the intermediate sea 
around Santa Cruz and Lage is agitated by a hail- 
storm of shot. Frequently a shell falls, sending up a 
column of spray into mid-air. 

What was that ? A great flash of fire, succeeded 
by a cloud of smoke, rises out of Villegaignon. We 
imagine a shell has burst inside the fort. But we 
heard afterwards that a Whitworth gun had exploded, 
killing one man by cutting his body into three pieces, 
and wounding seven others. Then a shell burst just 
short of Santa Cruz, with a great flash of flame and 
smoke, succeeded by a fountain of water over the place 
where it fell into the sea. We see a ship sailing gaily 
in under full canvas, past Pai and Mai, towards the 
entrance of the harbour. They must be astonished 
at the boom of cannon, but as they may have been 
sailing for thirty days out from England, and know 
nothing of the revolution, probably they imagine it 
is some national festival of rejoicing. Whiz ! — a shell 
went very near their mast and fell a few yards off. 
They begin to think something is wrong, and soon 
come to anchor. 

For two hours does this vigorous bombarding pro- 
ceed, and then clouds descend in heavy rains, and 
early darkness sets in. The firing dwindles and dies 
away. What has been the result ? Nothing gained 
on either side. They say a few shots landed in 
Santa Cruz, one in Lage, and some bullets hit the 
heavily armoured side of the Aquidaban. We had 
seen with astonishment that the shot and shell fell 
promiscuously short — in fact so bad was the aim that 

c 2 



20 China to Peru. 

we almost concluded that it was done on purpose. 
Thus ended without damage another of the series of 
pantomimic conflicts. 

We find a very damp room and beds in a 
dipendance of the hotel, which is crowded with 
refugees ; but we think ourselves fortunate to be 
safely encamped on the heights of Santa Thereza, 
beyond the range of the stray bullets of these incom- 
petent gunners. 

From our beautiful mountain we take a bond the 
next morning, winding down the hillside. The 
white stone aqueduct made by the Jesuits, who were 
some of the first settlers in Brazil, and whose good 
work for the country is constantly present, bears us 
company for some way. Around us is a jungle of 
dense tropical growth of gigantic palms, bright-green 
banyan trees, eucalyptus, flowering bushes with 
bright, waxy leaves, wreathed with ropes of creepers, 
all mingling together in dusky confusion. Maiden- 
hair fern grows freely in the crevices of the walls of 
the overhanging gardens, with their gaudy hedges 
of crotons, whilst the views over the harbour, lying 
serene and bright in the clear morning air, are simply 
indescribable. For between fifty and sixty miles its 
beautiful contour indents the coast, with numberless 
islands of vivid green jewelling its placid surface, 
whilst the Sugarloaf stands ever in sentinel watch at 
the harbour entrance, and the Tijuca range forms a 
magnificent background of brightest emerald-green. 

Our enthusiastic delight over this panorama of 
beauty ends with the funicular railway, which brings 
us quickly down to the lower town, past the roofs of 
many houses. One minute we are on the mountain- 



The Haven of Brazil in Revohttion. 2 1 

side, looking down far below ; the next we are landed 
in the street. A " bond " takes us to the centre of 
the town. The term " bond " applied to the tram- 
ways comes from the English company who started 
them, giving bonds or coupons. There is little choice 
of locomotion in Rio, for carriages are scarce and the 
only alternative is the regular old-fashioned French 
tilbury, lined with crimson plush, and holding but 
one person besides the driver. The streets are so 
badly paved, and formidable holes and pools of water 
so frequent, that a bond is the preferable mode of 
travelling, and patronized by all classes. They are 
all drawn by mules, who, with bullocks of far-branch- 
ing horns, are the only draught animals. These 
mules are fine animals; sleek, strong, and wiry, 
looking ridiculously small to draw the large open 
tramcar, but they go a great pace, and keep on their 
legs in a wonderful manner, picking their way on 
the uneven cobble-stones. The whip used is a flat 
leather thong, which comes down with a resounding 
thwack on the mule's back. The bond is stopped by 
a " tschut," a noise peculiar to Brazilian lips. 

There is nothing to see in the town. All the 
beauty of Rio lies in the wondrous setting of the 
harbour, and the pretty surrounding suburbs. The 
streets are very narrow, winding, and overhung with 
the broad eaves of the roofs and tiers of balconies, 
rendering them sunless and cheerless. Yet many of 
the houses have a good appearance, from the marble- 
veined stone, sparkling with mica and quartz, of 
which they are built, and which bears a resemblance 
to alabaster. The fretwork of the iron railings and 
gateways is attractive, and they have imported from 



2 2 CJiina to Pern. 

Portugal the pretty custom of tiling with blue and 
yellow porcelain the lower storey of the dwellings. 
Squalid as are the houses of the smaller streets, they 
are redeemed by a certain picturesqueness of oriental 
colouring. These are some of the tints we see : grass- 
green, sky-blue, heliotrope, pale pink, chocolate, dark 
brown, yellow, and carmine. 

Rua Primo de Marco seems to be the busiest com- 
mercial street, which we reach by the Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs. Opposite is the palace of the late 
Emperor, looking on to Palace Square, with the 
allegorical fountain representing the four principal 
rivers of Brazil — the Amazon, the Parana, the 
Madeira, and the San Francisco. To this palace 
Dom Pedro hurried from Petropolis, where he per- 
manently resided, on the news of the first breaking 
out of the revolution on November 14th, 1889. It 
was here that, after a sleepless night, surrounded by 
the Empress, the Crown Princess Isabel, and the 
Conde d'Eu, he resigned the throne, to be hurried 
from the palace the same night and placed on board 
a gunboat. So ended the revolution of the " Three 
Glorious Days." We are beholding the sequence to 
the Emperor's abdication in the civil war in progress. 

Numberless kiosks, hung with painted poles, 
facilitate the sale of lottery tickets, which are used 
for all purposes, including that of collecting money 
for charitable objects. A mixture of races is seen 
in the Brazilians with their small persons, sallow 
faces, and brown eyes ; Portuguese, who are 
of finer and stronger build ; and the emancipated 
negro slaves, and the negresses, with their turbaned 
heads and flat-footed, swinging gait. 



The Haven of Bi'azil in Revolution. 23 

We turn into the Rua Ouvidor, the principal street 
of Rio. It is a narrow alley, dark from the meeting 
balconies overhead, where no traffic is permitted. 
This is perhaps as well, for in other similar streets 
the bonds come so close to the pavement that it is as 
well to step into a doorw ay as they pass. The coup 
d'ml of the Ouvidor, with the narrow vista obscured 
by the overlapping flags, is original. Chief among 
the flags is the Brazilian ensign, green with a white 
centre, whereon is depicted a blue globe with celestial 
stars. Each constellation represents a province of 
Brazil, whilst across all is inscribed the motto, 
" Ordem e Progresso," "Order and Progress " It is 
a satirical comment on the present condition of the 
country. The Ouvidor is the Bond Street of Rio. 
The shops are full of Parisian goods, and hundreds 
use it in the evening as a favourite lounge. Times 
are unsettled now, and we see the Ouvidor somewhat 
deserted. 

The afternoon finds us on our way out to Botofogo, 
a rich suburb extending for five miles to the 
Botanical Gardens. We see some of the palaces of 
the merchant princes, for Botofogo shares with Gloria, 
Larangeiras, and Thereza, the popularity of these 
breezy suburbs, with their pretty views over the 
harbour. It is a lovely drive, for to the left we draw 
near to the leaning Sugarloaf, whilst Corcovado is 
hanging immediately over our heads, on the right. 
We pass gardens full of flaming blossoms, orange, red, 
and purple. The alamanders grow on bushes, the 
poinsettias spread their scarlet petals along the dead 
branches of their trees, flaming salvias and spreading 
oleanders grow to the dimensions of huge shrubs. 



24 China to Pent. 

while the hibiscus, single and double, is in full 
bloom. Trails of purple bougainvillia cover the moss- 
grown walls, and the orange-trees are weighed down 
with their golden fruit. Yet the Brazilians seem to 
prize our simple English flowers the most, for in those 
gardens that are most carefully tended we see our 
own familiar roses, carnations, asters, pansies, and 
even a few small autumn dahlias. They look so 
tender and delicate, beside the large and flaming 
blossoms of a tropical country. 

The Botanical Gardens lie at the foot of the Tijuca 
Mountains, That magnificent avenue of palms, the 
finest in the world, grows here. Fifty palms form a 
lateral avenue ; they are intersected in the centre 
by a double avenue, running longitudinally, of fifty 
more palms on either side. Each rises from, a neat 
glass plot, throwing a perfectly straight, unnotched 
grey stem high in the sky, ending in a fringed cluster 
of palm-leaves. The perspective of these avenues is 
perfect, their fringed tops, in ever-diminishing 
height, seeming to meet together and descend in a 
vanishing line together. Since the deposition of the 
Emperor the gardens have fallen into bad order, and 
are now dismal and uncared for. 

Rain has recently fallen, and we find Rio 
pleasantly cool and damp ; but Nature has been too 
lavish, and these mountains that encircle the town 
shut out the breezes, and in the hot weather leave it 
a prey to stifling heat, which brings disease in its 
train. Yearly the population of 400,000 is ravaged 
by fever, and it is truly said, "Yellow Jack is the 
Emperor of Death, for whose downfall and per- 
manent exile Rio dc Janeiro despairingly hopes." 



The Haven of Brazil in Revolution. 25 

A disturbed night. At midnight we are awakened 
by the booming of cannon. The search-light, which 
sweeps the harbour incessantly at dark, has dis- 
covered that the Marilio Bias is cruising outside 
and attempting an entrance. Notwithstanding the 
firing, she manages to slip by the forts without 
injury, and gain entrance into the harbour. 

At 6 a.m., having first assured ourselves that the 
Peak was clear, we prepared to ascend the Corcovado. 
But ere we had finishing dressing, down came the 
clouds, the mist even covering the harbour. Still we 
persevered, and joined the mountain railway at a 
midway station. This train shirks nothing. Up the 
steepest grades we go, the engine pushing from 
behind. The line is cut through the tangle of 
tropical growth, and as we rise quickly upwards, we 
are constantly looking down into the prettiest valleys 
and getting lovely peeps over the harbour. The sun 
gives forth a pale gleam, and we are hopeful, for this 
ascent gives quite the finest viewof the whole of Rio ; 
indeed it is difficult to understand its topography 
without seeing the panorama of Corcovado. 

The railway can go no further than Paneiras and 
the hotel platform, for the rebels have seized so much 
of the coal supplies that fuel is running short. 
Nothing daunted, we commenced to walk, and after 
getting very hot and tired, the clouds came down 
and damped our clothes and our ardour, and we 
descended, sadly and dispirited, to the town. 

To-day is a national holiday. They are celebrating 
the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, 
and all the offices are closed and the streets hung 
with flags. We had luncheon with Mr. Wyndham at 



26 China to Peru. 

the fashionable restaurant in the Ouvidor, the 
" Londres," where the cuisine is French. On the table 
are alabaster vases filled with flowers made of 
feathers, a fashionable industry in Brazil. They are 
clever imitations, but too gaudy to be pretty. More 
worth buying are the green beetles and dragon-flies 
that make up into pretty pins and brooches. We 
usually connect Brazil with the nuts bearing that 
name. Strange that all through the country you 
never see a Brazilian nut on the table. They are used 
only for export, and the rectangular shape arises 
from the way several nuts are packed together inside 
a pod. 

On going down to the Arsenal wharf to embark for 
the Thames, we find the landing-stage has been 
fortified with iron plates, trusses of hay, and sand- 
bags, whilst a Maxim gun is being wheeled into 
position by some soldiers. Steaming safely under 
the protection of the British flag of the Sirius's launch, 
we reach the Thmnes. 

There is great excitement on board. The rebel 
launches guard the ship, whilst some officers parley 
with Captain Hicks. It appears that we have as 
passengers some sixty deserters from the rebels, who 
are being sent by the Government to man one of the 
war vessels at Rio Grande do Sul. Admiral Mello 
demands their surrender with their firearms, refusing 
the Thames a passage outwards. Their luggage is 
being searched, but after some delay and consultation 
Captain Lang orders the Thames to proceed, and 
signals to the men-of-war, " Stand by ; English mail 
going out." We get up steam and proceed forth, 
passing right under the stern of the Aqicidaba7i, 



The Haven of Brazil in Revolution. 27 

Slowly we steam past, but not a shot is fired. On 
past Villegaignon and Lage we go, where we can see 
no damage from the bombardment. Opposite Santa 
Cruz we hang out a board inscribed with the pass- 
word of the day, " Dino," but the look-out is so bad 
that we have passed ere they discover us, and give 
a tardy salute. With the Sugarloaf and Corcovado 
wreathed in mist, we sail past twin Pai and Mai, out 
into the open ocean. 



CHAPTER III. 

UP THE TLATE TO BUENOS AYRES. 

It is the weary story oft repeated of quarantine all 
down the coast. We feel sadly impatient with this 
fresh disappointment and delay. 

The colour of the ocean has undergone a change. 
It is muddy and torpid from the volume of water 
pouring down from the River Plate at the rate of 
fifty-two million cubic feet per minute. We halt at 
Flores, a little rock-bound island, the quarantine 
station. Here we learn our fate, and that there is no 
landing at Monte Video. We put ashore several boat- 
loads of passengers, to join 270 others who are per- 
forming their penance. Then they have the impudence 
to send off and say that it is raining too heavily for 
them to disembark any more, and we are kept 
anchored for the night. Thus it is ever, one more 
wearisome delay upon another. 

We proceed to Monte Video, the capital of 
Uruguay, the Oriental State as it is always named, 
being to the eastward of Argentina. The people 
delight in being called " Orientals," and some of the 
oldest Spanish blood is in their veins. They are 
chiefly an agricultural and pastoral people, so the 
name seems misapplied. 



up the Plate to Buenos Ay res. 29 

Monte Video has no port. Intended by nature to 
become one of the most considerable commercial 
capitals of South America, for lack of safe anchorage 
it languishes. The current is extremely dangerous. 
We lie out in the open roadstead^ which is exposed 
to the full fury of the " pampero " as it blows off the 
mouth of the Plate. In ancient time there were so 
many sandbanks that the sailors named it Boca de 
Infernus ; and so it seemed to us this morning, for 
with a fresh breeze, the yellow, muddy waters of the 
Plate foamed into billows, and the lighters that came 
alongside rolled and pitched desperately, leaning to 
every angle of the compass. Even safely anchored as 
we are, the ship rolls and lurches, shuddering from 
stem to stern as we occasionally bump on a sandbank. 
The horrors of landing in the launch alongside, 
reconcile us somewhat to our missing a visit to 
Monte Video. 

Across this troubled expanse of water lay the long- 
drawn line of the town, with the turret of the cathe- 
dral a dominating point. But the most prominent 
object to the left is the green Cerro or Mount, which 
gives its name to Montevideo. Rising to 500 feet, it 
bears on its summit an old Spanish fort, from the 
centre of which springs a lighthouse, with a revolving 
light, visible twelve miles out to sea. 

The afternoon wears on. The wind blows, the 
waves rage around, and everything that comes out to 
us is under water the whole time. The lighters 
rocking wildly alongside receive our cargo of sacks 
of coffee. Then a sad accident happens. A little 
girl of six, looking out of a port-hole in the steerage, 
is caught in the rigging of a lighter and falls into it. 



3© China to Peru. 

The latter has sprung a leak and threatens to sink ; 
they hasten to shore, and only some hours afterwards 
we learn that the child's neck was broken by the fall, 
and that she was killed on the spot. 

If the Republic of Uruguay is not very familiar to 
us at home, at least it produces two well-known 
household commodities, Paysandu ox-tongues are 
exported from Paysandu, one of the principal ports 
on the River Plate ; and at Fray Bentos, many miles 
further up, is the Saladero, or beef saltery, which 
manufactures Liebig's essence of beef. 

A little voyage of only 120 miles across the estuary 
of the River Plate brings us opposite to La Plata. 
It is hard to believe that this wide sea is only the 
mouth of a river. But so it is. 

For four weary days are we kept stationary at this 
anchorage opposite La Plata, surrounded by a large 
number of other vessels, our companions in mis- 
fortune. Daily does the health officer call in on us, 
on his round of inspection. We watch the launch 
visiting first one vessel and then the other. Our 
turn comes. It is always the heart-sickening answer, 
" To-morrow, perhaps." The weather is cold and 
cheerless ; a great process of cleaning up the ship 
commences, and day after day of blankness rolls by 
until, on the morning of a certain Friday, we feel sure 
that our release is at hand, and that the eight 
days^ quarantine from Rio de Janeiro have elapsed. 
We are all packed and waiting. The launch and 
health officer begin the usual visitation. But hour 
succeeds hour. " He cometh not/' is the despairing 
cry of all on board, and we sit down in spiritless 
despair for yet another dull day of inaction on board. 



up the Plate to Buenos Ay res. 3 1 

We are just commencing dinner that evening, when 
a gentleman comes up the saloon and speaks to the 
captain. The good news spreads like wildfire. It 
is the doctor, and we know that we have pratique. 

The Argentine Government are doubtless right to 
impose a strict quarantine against arrivals from 
Brazil. Yellow fever is an epidemic that would 
spread quickly in their insanitary towns, but a ship's 
clean bill of health might avail something in shorten- 
ing the period of detention, and a sailing-ship sixty 
or eighty days out from England, and that has not 
touched at any intermediate ports, might be given 
free pratique at once. Reason and judgment should 
prevail against red-tapeism. At least we have been 
saved the horrors of Martin Garcia, the quarantine 
island ; the French mail is just landing her passengers 
there. 

Very early the next morning we are inside the 
long breakwater with its fringe of rustling willows 
and reeds, whispering in the still morning air, and 
passing the docks of Ensenada. The low, swampy 
ground is covered with great clumps of pampas grass. 
Soon the Thames is turning, with the help of two 
valiant little steam-tugs, in a narrow basin, and safely 
docked at La Plata. These docks are a great en- 
gineering work, and were built by a Dutchman, 
Mr. Wardrop, costing 3,000,000/. 

Whilst the confusion of passing the luggage 
through the Custom House progressed, we had time 
to take the train to La Plata, about three miles 
distant. The country was intensely flat, and inter- 
sected by dykes and swamps covered with coarse 
grass. The train, after passing through the street in 



2^ China io Peru, 

the centre of the city, landed us at a magnificent 
terminus, a typical introduction to this deserted town. 
La Plata is a city of paper. Founded in 1882, during 
the years of the boom, when the docks then being 
constructed would connect it with Ensenada, La 
Plata was designed by its founders to be a great com- 
mercial port, the capital of the province, and the 
rival of Buenos Ayres, the national metropolis. 
Magnificent public buildings rose quickly to order, 
boulevards were laid out in wide blocks, and sites set 
apart for the Provincial Assembly, the City Hall, 
Museum, etc. It was designed to be like Washington, 
a city of " magnificent distances." Land speculators 
operated largely and found a fertile field for their 
nefarious dealings. In a year or two the census 
numbered 30,000 inhabitants. But they soon tired 
of the quiet life, and longed for the pleasures of the 
capital. The exodus began. Now La Plata is a 
city of the departed. The streets we see are grass- 
grown and deserted. Rows of carriages stand await- 
ing a fare, but none ply in the streets. The trams 
even are empty, and were it not for the law obliging 
provincial employees to reside here, it would be a 
city of the dead. 

We see the wide Plaza, with the scrubby palm 
avenue that connects the local Parliament Buildings 
on the one side, with the Government House on the 
other. This latter with its magnificent Corinthian 
columns is half finished, one wing being minus 
windows and its outer veneer of stucco. A tramway 
takes us past the police barracks, and towards a great 
triumphal arch which leads nowhere. Then among 
the groves of eucalyptus-trees we pass the museum, 



up the Plate to Buenos Ay res. 2>2) 

the only thing worth seeing, and so forth again on 
to the dreary plain and back to the docks. La Plata, 
placed down on a swamp^ vast and treeless, sheltered 
only by the eucalyptus which have grown up 
quickly since the foundation of the city, was without 
a raison-d'etre, and doomed to a speedy death. We 
see it senile and decaying. Yet is it interesting. 
The abstract was so grandiloquent, the concrete is so 
infinitely dismal. 

We return to Ensenada at the same time as the 
special train, which brings glad hosts of friends to 
greet our passengers. This is a great Argentine 
custom, the greeting and bidding farewell to travellers, 
and the railway-stations are always crowded with 
groups of these affectionate friends. Very amusing 
and "sentimental," as an American lady said to me, 
were some of these welcomings ; for the Argentines 
are a very affectionate race, and if their women are 
not remarkable for their intellectual qualities, at least 
they are very fond and devoted mothers. You also 
see here, what you never would in England, married 
sons and daughters living under the parental roof, 
and not seeking a house of their own on marriage. 

Our Custom House inspection, thanks to the 
courtesy of the officials, was purely nominal, and we 
were soon in the train going up to Buenos Ayres. 

South America looks very untidy. That is our 
first impression of the country as we pass through a 
large, flat expanse of land, almost bare save for a 
luxuriant crop of large-leaved, rank thistles, on which 
many cattle preparing for export are feeding. Now 
we run through a large estan9ia, with the pretty 
house hidden among some woods of eucalyptus. 

D 



34 China to Peru. 

These trees make such a curiously even wood or 
forest, planted in regular lines, and with nothing but 
grey stems visible below, with no undergrowth or 
bramble to break their even ranks. We become at 
once acquainted with a leading feature of life on an 
estan9ia. I refer to the bleaching and rotten carcases 
that lay strewn in all directions. Where they fall, 
there they lie, the skin only being thought worth 
preserving, and all the pampa of South America 
is strewn with these ghastly objects. We are de- 
lighted to see another distinctive feature of this 
southern hemisphere in a flock of ostriches, flapping 
their wings and striding away from the train 

This little journey of two hours, intensely ugly as 
it is, is characteristic of the Argentine Republic. 
The deadly level monotony of the country, the utter 
flatness, is typical of the whole. The untidy fences, 
the shanties roofed with corrugated zinc, the parched 
earth, the rank growth of thistles, the large herds of 
cattle, are metaphorical of the whole of Argentina. 

We approach Buenos Ayres through the most un- 
savoury portion of the city, the Boca, where, in the 
most wretched " conventillos," or wooden houses 
raised on posts, gather together the lowest of the 
Italian immigrants. The streets are full of holes, 
covered with green slime, squalid and festering with 
disease, a very hotbed of crime. The tower of the 
church of San Domingo is passed, where hang the 
flags of the English regiments, dark memory of a 
great national reverse. Then the docks of Buenos 
Ayres, with its sea of rigging crowded together in 
the narrow channel of the little stream of Richuelo, 
come in sight. There are sailing vessels from every 



up the Plate to Bueiios Ayres. 



Jo 



port of the world, busy lading barrels of sugar, or 
dried hides, which lie stacked high on the docks ; and 
some day when the Government have finished the 
great excavation works of the new docks, from this 
little stream the largest vessels will be able to come 
up and anchor before the wharves of the city. 

We arrive at the Central Station, and, thanks to the 
kindly help of Mr. Green, the courteous agent for 
the Royal Mail Company, we find ourselves in a few 
minutes at the Royal Hotel. This hotel marks a 
new departure in the social status of the city ; for 
hitherto, as we had been warned, the indifferent 
comforts of the Grand and the Provenye were all 
that the traveller could expect. Henceforth Buenos 
Ayres has a first-rate hotel, newly furnished from 
Paris, and well equipped in every way. The 
American system of an inclusive charge, generally 
varying from six to ten dollars a day, is general. 

Buenos Ayres is the most important town in the 
southern hemisphere. It surpasses Rio de Janeiro, 
Melbourne, and Sydney in population. It is the 
Paris of South America — the first thing that strikes 
you, however, are the tramways — the number of trams, 
and their noise. The pavements are very narrow, 
barely room for two abreast ; and the tramcars usurp 
some of this space, the horses touching the curb as 
they stumble along in the gutter. A horn dangles 
from a string in front of the driver, and at every cross 
street the sound of this penny trumpet re-echoes, or 
even the more ambitious notes of the bugle recall a 
hunting morning at home. Again, you may liken it 
to the cat-calls of a Punch and Judy show, or the 
braying of an ass. Night is made hideous by it, 

D 2 



36 China to Peru. 

and, awake or asleep, this noise in the streets below 
is perpetual and harassing. The second thing that 
calls for notice is the paving of the streets with large, 
uneven cobble-stones, full of holes, and seamed with 
tram-lines. On all sides you have the most painful 
spectacle of horses falling, slipping, and recovering 
themselves on the greasy stones. Driving is a 
penance, with the carriage-wheels being constantly 
wrenched against the tram-lines, and the relentless 
jolting over ill-laid blocks. The horses are small 
and mean-looking. Excellent as they are for hard 
work, the drooping head and flopping ears of the 
native horse make him a peculiarly ugly-looking 
animal. It is a sign of the cheapness of horseflesh 
that all hired carriages have a pair ; in fact, a vehicle 
drawn by a single horse is almost unknown. 

A policeman is posted at every transverse crossing. 
His neat uniform of blue cloth, with cape and white 
spats, is very smart ; whilst standing near him, 
hobbled, is his horse, ready for him to mount, in pur- 
suit of justice. He is provided with a whistle, and 
every quarterof an hour all through the night it sounds, 
and is answered by the man at the next point, and 
so on all through the city. If he receives no answer 
from his comrade, he mounts his horse and gallops 
to the next point to see if anything is wrong. Thus 
all through the night, the citizens who lie awake, 
are constantly reassured of the presence of these 
watching guardians. 

Buenos Ayres is a typical American city, laid out 
in the wearisome regularity of the chess-board. Each 
block — called a manzana — is 140 yards by 140, on 
each of its four sides, and contains about 100 



up the Plate to Btienos Ayres. 2>7 

houses. These blocks are intersected with another 
street about every 150 yards. Thus the geography 
of the city is simple, though occasionally you forget 
the inordinate length of a street, and find you have 
further to go than you like, for many of the streets 
contain 1300 or 1400 numbers. Rivadavia, the 
central artery, is several miles in length, and has over 
7000 numbers. We find many national events com- 
memorated in the names of the streets, such as Calle 
25 Mayo, the day of independence from the Spanish 
yoke. Every South American city thus honours 
the 25th of May. Or again, great generals, such as 
Belgrano, General Lavalle, and Rivadavia, give their 
names to a Calle. 

Were the streets wider and the houses higher, 
Buenos Ayres would be a handsome city. As it is, 
even the best quarters of the town have a mean and 
cramped appearance. The houses are only one story 
high, with a flat roof called the " azotea." The 
windows are on a level with the pavement, and 
guarded by iron railings, and shuttered, which gives 
rather a grim, dull appearance to the dwellings. 
Many of the houses and public buildings have a 
handsome exterior, as they appear to be built of 
massive blocks of stone and granite. Pleasing de- 
lusion ! for here is a half-finished building of rough 
brick and mortar, and it awaits the veneer of stucco 
that completes the illusion. The old Spanish custom 
is universal of the houses being built round a 
"patio." Very pleasant and cool look these pretty 
patios, of which we catch passing glimpses through 
the light filagree grille that guards them from the 
streetj with their tesselated marble pavements in blue 



14 



58 



38 China to Peru. 

and black, their palms and flowering shrubs clustered 
round a splashing fountain. 

We were amused to see that the Buenos Ayreans 
ensure a fresh supply of milk, by having the cow, 
with its calf, brought to the door. Thus you con- 
stantly saw a cow being milked under the house- 
holder's supervision. Another feature in the dairy 
supply are the gauchos, with long, flowing ponchos, 
riding in from camp on the roughest horses. At- 
tached to the saddle are leathern receptacles, covered 
with cow-hide, some small, others large, arranged in 
tiers. The smaller tins contain the cream and the 
larger the milk, and the former is made into butter 
and churned as the animal jogs along. A sheep's 
skin covers the saddle and cans to prevent the sun 
from turning the cream, and the gaucho rides atop, 
with his legs dangling forward over the horse's neck. 

We attended church on Sunday morning. There 
was a poor congregation ; but the English, from the 
absence of the usual Saturday half-holiday, adopt the 
custom of the Catholic country, and spend Sunday 
in amusement. Mrs. Pakcnham, the wife of our 
Minister, took us out to the Polo Club at Bclgrano. 
Buenos Ayres has many suburbs, the chief of which 
are Flores, Belgrano, and Quilmes, and here most of 
the foreigners reside in pretty quintas, or villas. 

It was a long drive of six or seven miles through 
the Avenida General Alvear, and beginning with 
some of the palatial residences of the elite of Spanish 
society. These splendid houses, with their portc- 
cocJicrcs and recessed balconies, their pretty gardens 
full of palms and banksia roses, command a view over 
the River Plate. Formerly they were the scene of 



up the Plate to Bitenos Ayres. 39 

many magnificent entertainments, but since the 
boom and subsequent crash they arc given over to a 
quiet solitude. There is scarcely any entertaining 
done now, and retrenchment and economy are the 
order of to-day. Buenos Ayres has awakened from 
its mad revel of profligacy, when foreign money 
poured in plentifully, and great public works gave 
opportunity for jobbery. It is wiser and sadder, and 
healthier times are coming, when public confidence 
will be restored. In every city we came upon the 
remnants of this great boom, in the shape of magni- 
ficent public buildings, half finished, and falling into 
decay. On all sides we heard of the semi ruin of the 
great Spanish and Argentine families. We had left 
England with the same tale of ruin and disaster to 
all interested in South American stocks ringing in 
our ears, only to find a repetition of it in another 
hemisphere. 

The pretty gardens of the Recoleta lead us into the 
broad, dusty avenue, lined with casuerina-trees, which 
extends for a dreary length past the Penitentiary, 
the Waterworks, and the park of Palermo, towards 
Belgrano. There are the two racecourses, and the 
" barranca," or high cliff, where several pretty houses 
are in possession of one of the few elevations 
around Buenos Ayres. It is a dusty, untidy-looking 
bit of country, and Belgrano, when we reach it, looks 
somewhat dull, with its rows of barred and shuttered 
windows, ill-paved streets, and clouds of dust, en- 
livened only by a few pretty quintas and their rose- 
laden gardens. 

The polo-ground and its pavilion, are situated amid 
most dreary surroundings of half-finished houses and 



40 China to Peru. 

broken-down palings. The native horses seem to 
make most excellent polo ponies, and we witnessed 
a very fast game, Hurlingham is another polo and 
cricket ground, an hour away from the city. Alto- 
gether Buenos Ayres, with 4000 English residents, 
seems to show decidedly sporting tendencies with its 
twenty-four athletic clubs, which include eight cricket, 
five football, two polo, six rowing, one tennis, and a 
hunt and a kennel club. 

The most enthusiastic traveller would find it 
difficult to discover much to see in the city. Plaza 
Victoria, with its single circular row of palms around 
the square, is the civic centre, and contains all the 
characteristic extravagant work of Juarez Celman. 
Here is the Government Palace, the Capitol, the 
Law Courts, the Cabildo, the Bolsa, where, amid 
scenes as feverish as those in Wall Street, fortunes 
were made and lost in the palmy years of 1888 to 
1890. The Cathedral and Bishop's Palace occupy the 
best part of one side. The imposing facade of the 
cathedral was given by General Rosas, " a tyrant who 
needed to do something for religion to atone for his 
crimes against liberty." The portico is upheld by 
twelve Corinthian columns, and represents Joseph em- 
bracing his brothers, in commemoration of the re- 
union of Buenos Ayres with the other Argentine 
provinces. But the coup-d'oeil of even all these fine 
colonnaded buildings, with their Grecian capitals and 
recessed balconies, is quite spoilt by the intervals of 
unfinished houses, or flat-roofed, dingy shops, whilst 
the centre of the square is bare and unattractive, 
notwithstanding its two patriotic monuments. 



up the Plate to Buenos Ayres. 4 1 

Every Englishman must soon turn his steps to- 
wards the church of San Domingo, rising from a 
marble platform, with its right-hand tower thickly 
embedded with cannon-balls. It contains a sad 
sight for us. On each of the six pillars of the nave 
is a handsomely carved gold frame. Within it, pro- 
tected by glass, an ancient flag, not an emblem of the 
Church, not a record of the march of Christianity ; 
but a monument of the defeat of the English in 
1807. 

In the'year preceding. General Beresford, with the 
71st Highlanders, a battalion of Marines and a i^"^ 
gunners, had taken possession of Buenos Ayres. The 
expedition was planned . by Captain Sir Home 
Popham upon his own responsibility. The Spanish 
Viceroy fled at the approach of the English, and 
40,000 people surrendered on June 27th, 1806, to 
1000 British infantry, with 16 horsemen, 2 howitzers, 
and 6 field-guns. A million sterling of treasure was 
despatched to London, and received with popular 
rejoicing. 

The idea of Pitt was to repair the loss of the 
United States of America, by the acquisition of the 
far richer Southern Continent. Had it been realized 
how different would have been the lot of these 
politically distracted Republics ! Strong reinforce- 
ments were prepared. Merchant fleets set sail for 
the new El Dorado. They left England triumphant. 
They returned despondent. 

Beresford the Brave had done all that was 
humanly possible to maintain his position. He had 
conciliated the inhabitants, paid for all his supplies, 



42 China to Peru. 

guaranteed the freedom of religion. Had he declared 
his mission to be the expulsion of the Spaniards, and 
the establishment of South American independence, 
he might have won the people over completely. But 
he had no instructions. By degrees the weakness of 
his position became apparent. By the help of a 
French soldier of fortune — Captain Liniers, after- 
wards styled the Reconqueror — Spaniard combined 
with Argentine, and surrounded him on all sides. 
Beresford was compelled to surrender. 

The relieving force was under the ill-fated com- 
mand of General Whitelocke, of reputed bar-sinister 
royal. He was either knave or fool — perhaps both. 
He had an army of 12,000 men and the support of a 
large naval force; but after criminal delay he 
marched on Buenos Ayres on July 5th, 1807. Only 
raw levies were opposed to him, but his defeat was 
signal ; he surrendered at discretion. These flags 
in San Domingo are the trophies of the re- 
conquest. 

They consist of the King's and the regimental 
colours of the 71st Highlanders ; a red ensign of 
the Royal Marines, the " R.M.B." conspicuous in the 
centre, and the legend, "Ubique per mare, per terram" ; 
a Union Jack and a plain red ensign, said to have 
belonged to H.M.S. Diadem; a red flag with a 
Death's head and crossbones thereon. 

One of the prisoners of the 71st, whose brave 
deeds in America and Hindostan, in Africa and the 
Peninsula, at Waterloo and Sevastopol, are not 
diminished by their action at Buenos Ajres, wrote 
with charcoal on the wall of his cell the following 
doggerel Spanish epitaph : — 



up the Plate to Buenos Ayres. 43 

" Aqui yace el fomoso Regimento nombrado del 
Ingles 71. 
Jamais vencido de enemigo alguno, 
Que en lides nil. Salio luciniento. 
Aqui yace postrado su ardmento 
A la fuerza y valor de unos soldados, 
Que sin brillo, sin lustre y desertrados, 
Abaturon su orgullo en un momento 
Llora la Inglaterra esta disgracia, 
Serviendo de escarimento a su osadia 
Al saher sucumbieron por and acea 
Cerca de dos nil bomberes que mania 
Intentar dominar su ineficacia 
Del Argentine el brio y valentia." 

Which may be paraphrased : — 

" Here lies the famous Regiment numbered 71st 
by the Engh'sh — the hero of a thousand fights, never 
vanquished by a foe — its ardour laid low by the 
valour of a few soldiers, without tradition or ex- 
perience. In a moment they lowered its pride. But 
let this misfortune be to England a warning that 
Argentine, the brilliant, is not to be overcome by 
some 2000 men." 

It is said that once since that sad day, the Argen- 
tine Government was disposed to restore the colours 
to her present Majesty in proof of amity and good 
will, but that the British Minister replied, " that 
when we wanted them, we would come and take 
them." There is probably no truth in this, for 
although our diplomatic representation in South 
America may not be brilliant^ it is not discourte- 
ous. The rumour probably arose from a Chilian 
gentleman having written in 18S2 to H.R.H. 
the Duke of Cambridge offering to restore a 
standard of the 71st, taken by his grandfather at 



44 China to Peril. 

Buenos Ayres in 1806, The letter being referred to 
the Argentine capital, gave rise to a municipal com- 
mission, which, after full investigation into all the facts, 
declared that no other flags were taken save those in 
San Domingo, and a banner in the Cathedral, and 
that no Chilian troops came to the succour of the 
Argentines. 

On the other hand it was probable that in the 
popular enthusiasm over the Reconquest, which 
is still celebrated on many a street, flags were made, 
as souvenirs, in imitation of the captured ensigns. 

The Recoleta, the great cemetery of Buenos Ayres, 
lies on a bluff, surrounded by a pretty garden. It 
presents a strange spectacle. The coffins are not 
buried^ but each is placed in a separate temple of its 
own. Thus you walk through broad, palm-bordered 
avenues, where a strange medley of marble memorials 
are thickly crowded together. Some have a canopy 
supported on columns, with a life-sized statue of the 
deceased seated beneath. In others you descend 
into a cool marble grotto inside the vault, where a 
bust of the departed crowns the altar. There are 
obelisks, pyramids, and rock-hewn caves without 
number. But the most favourite way is to enshrine 
the coflin in the marble altar-piece, leaving a space 
where it is visible among the candles, crucifixes, and 
tawdry decorations of artificial flowers and bead 
wreaths. The doors are often left open, and it is 
customary for relations to come and tend the decora- 
tions. Some again have vaults, seventy feet deep, 
with sliding doors, and you can look down and 
see the compartments, some quite full and others 
awaiting their occupants. 



up the Plate to Bitenos Ayres. 45 

Many of the chapels contain a family, and it is touch- 
ing to see the babies' coffins and those of children of all 
ages, buried with their parents. A placard announces 
that this sepulchre is to let. Possibly the relations 
have omitted to pay the rent, in which case the occu- 
pant is unceremoniously turned out and sent to the 
common cemetery ; for only the rich can afford to 
be buried here, the price of a vault in perpetuity 
being about 2000/. Those who cannot afford the 
luxury of a chapel must be placed in the thick 
wall divided into niches, where the door is sealed 
with a marble tablet with the name of the de- 
ceased. The big bell of the neighbouring church 
of the Recoleta tolls ceaselessly, and the barbaric 
pomp of the funerals is very impressive, with their 
enormous retinue of mourning friends. But the near 
contact with death around and above ground is 
oppressive, and with a shudder we emerge through 
the gloomy portals, where the sable bier in the 
adjoining sala awaits the next comer, to mingle with 
the gay throng of carriages wending their way to- 
wards the park of Palermo. 

The Mendicants' Asylum occupies the old convent 
of the Bethlemite friars, on this same bluff. Forty 
years ago the few poor persons there were in Buenos 
Ayres made their rounds every Saturday on horse- 
back, wearing a police medal, and soliciting alms, 
being sent away sometimes with the formula, 
" Pardon me, brother, for giving you nothing," Now 
they are gathered into this poor-asylum under the 
care of the Sisters of Charity. 

We drove one afternoon to see " Celman's Folly," 
and arrived at a building rich in Rococo encaustic 



46 CJiina to Peru. 

tiling, resplendent in blue and brown and yellow 
Doulton ware, wrought into pilasters, rising tier 
above tier into a magnificent pile. We thought at least 
that it was the city hall or some great public building. 
What was our surprise to learn that all this splendour 
contains only a vast series of water-tanks, raised in 
separate stories, each huge tank occupying one side 
of the building ! 

As we ascended, the sound of many waters reached 
our ears, tons of water pouring from the topmost 
cistern and filtering down to the lowest. These 
waterworks cost the shareholders 6,000,000/., over 
100,000/. of which was squandered in this ridicu- 
lous palace of pipes. The water supply is 
obtained from La Plata. The drainage also flows 
into the river some way distant. There is some 
idea that in certain tides and winds they get inter- 
mixed. 

At the " Frontone " or ball-court in the Calle 
Cordova, we witnessed the national game of 
" Pelota." It is a most graceful pastime, the 
*' cesta " or long basket scoop receiving the ball 
with a skilful swoop, and then shooting it out 
again to a great height. It requires much dexter- 
ous skill to play well. The "frontone" resembles 
our racket or fives court, and the four players 
are called a quinetta, and play up to forty 
points. The excitement and shouting is intense 
in the betting-ring below, bets being offered on 
each volley and frequently on each stroke, if the 
volley is long sustained. A Spanish team receives 
an enormous sum to come out here, and a pro- 
fessional player will make perhaps 2000/. for the 



up the Plate to Buenos Ayres. 4 7 

season, whilst it is no uncommon thing for the stakes 
to amount to 3,000,000/. in one year. It seemed to 
us that the strain on the wrist, where the cesta is 
attached by the winding round and round of a leather 
strap, must be trying. It would be a charming 
novelty to introduce into England, now that the day 
of lawn-tennis is waning. The size and space 
occupied by the frontone, however, is a difficulty, 
though small courts are constantly found in the 
grounds of Spanish houses. 

A lovely afternoon found us on our way out to 
Flores, where are the prettiest quintas (or villas) of the 
Spanish and English merchants. We left the town 
at the commencement of Calle Rivadavia, and after 
going out into the country some six miles, still found 
ourselves in the same street and at No. 7000 odd ! 
Very pretty are these villas, built in bungalow style, 
everybody choosing what appears best to his taste, 
be it Gothic, Corinthian, or Moorish, castellated or 
crenellated, arched or square, with balconies, terraces, 
and marble steps ; each surrounded by a garden 
full of palms, and with such voluptuous hedges of 
roses, whilst pale-yellow tea roses form creepers of 
tropical growth on the walls and balustrades, and 
fountains play into a basin of gold-fish. The variety 
is infinite and pleasing. For several miles this suburb 
of Flores extends into the country, with its double 
row of quintas. 

Returning we visited the post-office, which, though 
the only one for the whole city, is in a curious dirty, 
rambling building, situated quite out of the centre 
of the town, and surrounded by a fretwork of poor 
streets. Next we came upon " Tattersall's," which, 



48 China to Peru. 

borrowing its name from the great Knightsbridge 
emporium, fulfils much the same functions out here, 
only the sale of stock is included in its programme. 
All the great sales of thoroughbreds and stock 
from the well-known estan9ias are held here, and 
only last week the great yearly " ramate " of Captain 
Kemmis' yearlings took place, though the prices 
realized were rather disappointing compared to better 
times. 

We ended up the afternoon with our usual stroll 
in the Calle Florida, that fashionable Regent 
Street of Buenos Ayres, with its Parisian shops 
and large crowd oi fldneurs, whilst smart carriages 
with their gaily clad occupants gallop past on their 
way to Palermo. 

One evening we .paid a visit to General Bartolom6 
Mitre, an old and revered servant of the Republic, 
who has taken part in many campaigns, and filled 
the office of President. Full of years and honours, 
he passes his declining days in the seclusion of his 
library, translating Dante's " Inferno '' into Spanish. 
With pardonable pride he took us up to his wonder- 
ful library, and showed us the i5,cxx) volumes, 
catalogued and classified, of every work and book 
published on the American continents. North and 
South. Adjoining and opening into his house are 
the offices and printing-press of the Nagion^ of 
which General Mitre is the able and fair-minded 
proprietor and editor. 

Our social functions included a ball at Comte and 
Comtesse de Sena, in their palatial residence, when 
we were introduced to the elite of Argentine society 
and portenas, as the ladies born in Buenos Ayres are 



up tJic Plate to Buenos Ayres. 49 

called. The senoras, with their clear complexion and 
lustrous black eyes, their Parisian toilettes and 
gleaming diamonds, seemed to us beautiful and bril- 
liant. Many of them had had English governesses 
and spoke English well, the others French, 

We regretted to see that the English and Spanish 
society are quite apart. There is no social intercourse 
between the two nationalities, no interchange of 
courtesy. The English residents lose much that is 
pleasant thereby, though it is possible that the older 
families of the Republic may not care to be associated 
with our representatives, who are all intimately en- 
gaged with commerce. One must, however, allow 
that this is generally the case with the English colony 
abroad; we are too narrow-minded and prejudiced 
to associate cordially with other nationalities. 

Another night we visited the Opera in Calle St, 
Martin, and heard a good performance of Donizetti's 
" Favorita." The opera season is over, and the ladies 
attend in morning dress, but earlier in the year full 
dress is compulsory. The house presents a much 
more brilliant spectacle than our Covent Garden, 
from the division between the boxes being merely a 
low balustrade ; thus the coup-d'ml of the house is 
greatly enhanced. They have excellent opera com- 
panies, French, Italian, and Spanish performing 
during the season, 

A luncheon given us by Mr. Wclby, the delightful 
and popular First Secretary to the British Legation, 
at the Cafe Paris, made us acquainted with that 
fashionable restaurant, the rendezvous of the principal 
men of business for the mid-day dejeuner. 

The darkness of the Cafe is redeemed by the ex- 

E 



50 China to Peru. 

cellence of its juicy beefsteaks, its delicious asparagus, 
strawberries, and fresh cream from the quinta. 

Buenos Ayres supports two racecourses, one at 
Palermo, the other at Belgrano, called the Hippo- 
drome. It was to this latter course that, on a lovely 
Sunday morning, we were driving in Scnor Manuel 
Ouintana's (son of the Minister of the Interior) smart 
victoria. The Derby of the year, the great inter- 
national race with Monte Video and the Oriental 
Republic, was about to be run. The stand was gay 
with fluttering flags, and a vast crowd of some 8000 
persons were present. We were conducted to a box 
above the space reserved for the Jockey Club, with a 
view over the pretty course, bordered with weeping 
willows, and with the carriages grouped on the ground 
on the other side of the railings. The paddock and 
weighing-rooms were excellent. We only missed the 
lawn in front of the stand, in place of the dusty space 
that took its place, to make it like Ascot. The 
colours were as varied and prettily combined as in 
England. The jockeys are all Argentine ; English 
ones are never successful. It is whispered that 
jealousy is the reason, and not want of skill, and that 
an English jockey is always hustled in the race. 
There are no bookmakers. The betting is all through 
the Pari Mutuel, and in the large circular pavilion, with 
its separate giuchet for each horse. One hundred 
and ninety-six thousand tickets were taken at this 
one meeting. The State charges a percentage on the 
winnings, and the Jockey Club or owners of the race- 
course do the same ; thus the two clubs are always 
well in funds. The horses parade round, and up and 
down a long time before each race. This enables 



up the Plate to Buenos Ay res. 5 r 

people to judge the favourites, and a last rush to the 
Pari Mutual then takes place. The boxes, with their 
low divisions, were full of smart ladies dressed in 
lightest summer attire forming a mass of brilliant 
colour. In this clear atmosphere pale vivid colours 
seem appropriate, and I often wondered at the daring 
shades of magnolia, orange, and pink that were worn 
with great effect by their fair owners. 

Two former Presidents, General Roca and Dr. 
Pellegrini, were conversing in a box below us, and 
we saw and were introduced to many well-known 
people. Then the Jockey Club served a magnificent 
luncheon in a private room in the stand. The 
interest was gathering up, and excitement became in- 
tense as the hour for the big race drew near. Some 
300 Montevideans had come over expressly to witness 
the race, and how they shouted for their favourite as 
slowly but surely it was beaten, and Buenos Ayres, 
the Argentine champion, won easily. The en- 
thusiasm was enormous, and an ovation was ac- 
corded to horse and jockey as he was led through 
the crowd. 

Of all the things that surprise you as you land in 
this South American capital, perhaps the park at 
Palermo is the most startling. Here, between the 
hours of five and seven each evening, but more par- 
ticularly on Thursdays and Sundays, you will find 
hundreds of smart equipages, in a quadruple rank, 
going at foot's pace round and round the oval en- 
closure of the park precincts. Prettily laid out, it 
has an historical interest, having belonged to the 
great tyrant Rosas. The carriages are mostly closed 
or have the hood up. Ideas of propriety and the 

E 2 



52 China to Pent. 

duenna hover over society, and the belles are hidden 
behind glass panels. Moreover, these Hispano- 
Argentine ladies never walk in the streets. Their 
lives are very dull, as they scarcely read or work, and 
their greatest pleasure is the daily airing in the Park, 
where they can display the lavish extravagance of 
their costumes and the cosmetics of their faces. It is 
no exaggeration to say that all are alike painted and 
powdered freely, from the highest ladies to the gri- 
sette. This procession of smart broughams, landaus, 
victorias, phaetons, and buggies, with liveried servants 
and splendid horses with cruel bearing-reins, does not 
betoken hard times. But here all is on the surface. 
They may not be paid for. What matter } The 
Argentine would rather live meanly at home than not 
make his outward parade. 

A few horsemen mingle in the throng returning 
from the Rotten Row, where it is curious to see the 
riders ambling or "pacing" along in place of a trot 
or gallop. It looks a somewhat effeminate motion 
to us, but this is the natural gait of the horse, and he 
must be trained to other paces. 

Now the gay throng turns homeward through the 
Boulevard Santa Fe, and you would think life de- 
pended upon getting home first, for the coachmen 
race with each other at full speed — indeed, they 
refuse a place where it is forbidden. 

Paris has two great imitations, the one in the PZast, 
the other in the West — Bucharest and Buenos Ayres. 
It is rare to find two cities so far distant, yet so 
resembling one another. Both are largely given up 
to pleasure. In both every available cent is spent on 
outward show. In both P>ench shops and restaurants 



up the Plate to Buenos Ay res. 53 

fill the streets. In both French habits and customs 
are imitated in exaggeration. The resemblance is 
complete. 

Buenos Ayres is a most pleasure-loving city. The 
Opera is always crowded, and the attendance at 
twenty-six theatres averages 3000 per evening, or one 
in every 180 of the population. The restaurants re- 
main open all nighty and tram-cars scarcely cease 
running. It is also a very cosmopolitan city, with its 
mixed nationalities of Brazilians, Spanish, Italians, 
Argentines, Germans, French, and Basques. The 
latter perform the domestic duties for the residents, 
whilst the Italians, whose immigration is enormous 
and successful, are the masons, the bricklayers, the 
gardeners, and day-labourers of the Republic. There 
are 700,000 Italians in the country, a good seventh of 
whom remain in the capital. Their children will be- 
come Argentines, Spain will give place to Italy. 
The Germans, hard-working and industrious, number 
some 5000 ; the Frenchmen have 9000, employed 
chiefly in shops and restaurants ; England is repre- 
sented by some 5000 residents, but the working men 
who have come out have done badly. On every hand 
we hear this fact confirmed. 

The haute coinmerce of the country, the banking 
business, the great import and export houses, the 
large financial firms, the landed interest, is mainly in 
English hands, but they make no permanent home 
in the River Plate. Their eyes are ever cast towards 
their native shore, and their fixed idea is to return 
home so soon as their fortune is assured. The Ger- 
mans are more prominent in Ic petit commerce. If a 
profit, however small, is to be made in a transaction, 



54 China to Peru. 

they will work hard to earn it. The French settle in 
the country. They are sympathetic to the foibles of 
the Argentines. 

Hospitality and kindness had been showered upon 
us during our stay, and we left Buenos Ayres full of 
regrets, and full of gratitude to our kind hosts and 
hostesses. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE CAMP OF ARGENTINA. 

It was one of those perfect spring days, when we feel 
it a pleasure to exist, for our excursion to the Estan^ia 
San Martin, belonging to an Argentine gentleman, 
Senor Vincente de Casares. An hour in the train 
on the Sud Ferril Carril, passing through an abso- 
lutely flat country, occupied by many quintas and 
estan9ias, gave us our first impression of the " Camp." 
It is a curious expression this, signifying the country, 
and it takes a little time to habituate oneself to 
'* living or going into camp " simply meaning to live 
or go into the country. 

On arrival at the Station Vincente Casares we found 
a break and a magnificent four-in-hand team of blacks 
awaiting us, but our first view of the latter was some- 
what untoward, for the leaders were standing on their 
hind-legs and fighting vigorously with their feet. 
After some trouble they and their harness were dis- 
entangled, and we proceeded along the road, a typical 
camp one. Space is not valuable, so the track is 
enormously wide, and barely indicated by some 
crooked railings. Road it cannot be called, for it is 
composed of the virgin soil of loose earth, now in dry 
weather a cloud of dust, rising in a monsoon behind 



56 China to Peru. 

us. In wet weather it becomes a morass, with lakes 
and ruts. The horses are never shod, nor do they 
have their hoofs pared. It is unnecessary, for the 
road is only their native earth. 

Magnificent iron gates, lead us through a rich crop 
of alfalfa or lucerne to the pretty house, with a 
deeply recessed piazza leading into the surrounding 
rooms. Radiating from all sides of the house are 
grand avenues of eucalyptus, with far-reaching vistas. 
They flourish and grow rapidly, and are thus valuable 
in this treeless country. Just behind the piazza is 
an archway of willows, in the purest, freshest green. 
These weeping willows are found all over South 
America ; they form a pretty and uncommon vege- 
tation. Just now in the spring of the year they are 
rejuvenated and clothed in tender virgin green of 
brightest tint. The garden, with its fountains play- 
ing, its fawns and lions of bronze, was full of 
palms, gueldre roses, great red-headed poppies, and 
borders of cloves and pink. We thought San 
Martin a charming place, and would willingly have 
passed a month there. 

The San Martin Estan9ia comprises something 
over thirty leagues, a league being three square 
miles in extent, or equal to about 6000 English 
acres. Over 6000 head of cattle arc reared on this 
vast estate. But you soon grow accustomed to large 
figures in camp life, and deal in thousands where in 
England we should speak of fifties. The mayor 
domo, as the agent or estate manager of an estan9ia 
is designated, did the honours for M. Casares, who 
sent us a telegram of regret that he was accidentally 
prevented from coming himself. 



The Camp of Argentina. 57 

The brilliant sunshine and pleasant breeze, the 
glories of a spring day, are enhanced by the ex- 
hilaration of this delicious climate. Overhead is a 
deep-blue sky, paling to a translucent grey tinge on 
the sweeping line of the horizon, always a noticeable 
feature in this flat pampa country. Birds are build- 
ing their long, conical nests, amongst the budding 
branches of the trees, and on every gate and post 
are plastered their mud hives. The ptero, re- 
sembling our plover, wheels circling round, uttering 
its wild, piercing cry. Owls sit and blink in the 
sun, beside the earth holes of the bizacha or 
prairie dog. The short grass is just putting forth a 
new growth. We drive over the breezy uplands to 
inspect the herds of cattle. There are magnifi- 
cent Durhams, Herefords, and black and white 
Dutch cows grazing with their calves. Their 
enormous size, broad backs, and weight of flesh 
would delight the judges of fat cattle at the 
Islington Agricultural Show, and I doubt finer 
animals being there exhibited than we were now 
seeing. 

All the paddocks were covered with great clumps 
of thistles ; but' they are not like our ugly wayside 
weed, the favourite food of the donkey, but have 
beautiful silver leaves, long and drooping and grace- 
fully scolloped. Their fertile growth is an indication 
of good land. During seasons of drought the cattle 
feed on them, as they retain the moisture, and even 
during the driest periods a little green grass is 
generally found under their spreading leaves. During 
the months of January and February the thistles 
attain to a height of six or seven feet, and present 



58 China to Peru. 

a very handsome appearance with their glow of 
purple blossom. 

Then we drive across to the Central Dairy. We 
have noticed the various little buildings, scattered at 
far distances on the horizon. They are the milking- 
sheds, which collect and forward the milk to their 
great receiving centre, and we see the rough country 
carts, drawn by a troika of shaggy horses, containing 
the milk-cans, continually driving up before the 
platform. Here their contents are emptied into a 
great tank. I don't think that on any English dairy 
farm we should see a veritable corrugated zinc tank 
full of milk, the contents being passed through a 
pipe to the bell-shaped separator in the centre of 
the building. Here it was wonderful to see the 
milk pouring out of one tap and the cream from 
the other. The churn, the butter squeezer, and the 
separator are all worked by machinery ; the churn- 
handle pumped vigorously up and down, and the 
wooden roller revolved round the circular board, 
pressing and squeezing out the butter-milk from 
great yellow-coloured masses of butter, by in- 
visible means. The inside of this dairy was some- 
what sloppy and untidy, and I must say that in this 
wholesale process one missed the clean tiles, the well- 
scoured milk-pans, and the irreproachable cleanliness 
of an English or Danish dairy. Sufficient butter 
and milk are sent away from St. Martin to supply a 
shop in the Calle Florida. 

A drive a little further on brought us to a col- 
lection of ranchos and the sheep-pens ; the shearing 
for the year is, however, finished. These ranchos 
are very rough huts built of mud bricks, with earth 



The Camp oj Argentina. 59 

floors. Sometimes, indeed, they are made of wattles, 
plastered over with earth, and form but a frail pro- 
tection on these exposed plains. Another paddock 
contained some of the valuable blood-mares and 
their foals. A single guanaco was feeding amongst 
them. We returned to wander round the farm 
buildings. One was surprised to see how rough 
was the stabling, vvith mud floors and matchboard 
partitions, where some exceedingly valuable mares 
and stallions were lodged. 

It was pleasant to rest awhile amid the groves of 
eucalyptus, with the drowsy humming of insects, the 
singing of birds, and splashing of the fountain 
mingling together in the noonday heat, whilst 
luncheon was preparing. This turned out to be a 
native feast, beginning with " Tuchero," a favourite 
Spanish dish, and a staple dish in the domestic 
economy of South America. It consists of slices 
of mutton boiled until dry and stringy, and 
served up with salad cabbage and turnips. The 
piece de resistance lay in the sheep, which we had 
watched, under the charge of a peon, being roasted 
whole in an adjoining grove. Cut open and ex- 
tended across a spit, the carcase slowly revolved 
over a "small fire of sticks. It was now produced, 
hacked up into unknowable portions. Pale-green 
strawberries, quite ripe but of this unusual colour, 
cream thick and rich from the dairy, with asparagus 
large, succulent, and jucy, and such as we in England 
never see or taste, completed this rural repast. 

A last treat was reserved for us. Don Vincente 
Casares is celebrated for his stud, and no estan^ia 
in the Argentine boasts finer horses than were now 



6o China to Peru. 

produced. Gaily caparisoned with white and scarlet 
pad-cloths, decked with prize rosettes, led each by 
his particular stable peon, they pirouetted and 
pranced round and round the gravel drive. There 
was the bright chestnut thoroughbred, winner of a 
flat race a week ago ; there were Clydesdales, and 
roadsters, and thoroughbred hacks and racers, as 
fine as any stud in England could produce, and we 
never tired of watching these magnificent animals 
trotting and capering round, now pawing the air with 
their fore-feet, now showing a clean pair of heels. 
A great deal of trouble has lately been taken by 
leading estanyieros to improve the blood stock, and 
large sums have been expended in bringing over 
valuable sires from England. Ormonde, who was 
bought for 15,000/., is only an instance of this deter- 
mination. South America is already beginning to 
show the results of this improvement in breeding, 
and where horses can be reared so cheaply, the time 
will come when they will be largely exported to 
England. Already we were told, that a horse which 
will fetch 20/. in England, pa}'s his expenses and 
leaves a margin of profit for the owner. An ordinary 
criollo horse can be bought for a sum varying from 
i/. to 3/. Hence it is that even the poorest colonist 
or settler, the shepherd, the farm labourer, the 
wandering gaucho, all possess a horse. All ride in 
this country, and no man thinks of walking. The 
saddle is his home, and the horse his faithful 
companion. 

We returned to Buenos Ayres to make our final 
departure west on the following day. • 

A last rattle over the Jioles and ruts of the capital 
brought us to the Once dc Setiembrc Station at 



The Catnp of Argentina. 6i 

6.30 a.m. The two trains per day on all the lines, 
leave, the one very early in the morning, the other 
late at night. 

We are to travel in regal luxury, for Mr. Bou- 
wer, the Metropolitan agent, and Mr. Craik, the 
manager of the Central Argentine Railway, have 
combined to do all in their power for our comfort, 
and have given us the use of a private car. We 
find ourselves in a long telescope coach, consisting 
of a sitting-room furnished with sofas, armchairs, 
writing-table, and looking-glasses, whilst the passage 
leads to two bedrooms, with hanging cupboards and 
every luxury, including a bath-room. The kitchen 
is at the further end. Domingo, the car attendant, 
is quite a character. He is an excellent cook, and 
overwhelms us with the number of meals and courses 
that he is only too anxious to serve, and insisting, 
contrives to get his own way. Attached to the end 
of the train we can enjoy our platform, with its 
uninterrupted vista of the twin rails, unwinding them- 
selves in parallel and diminishing lines, across the 
great waste. 

This is the pampa of South America. 

Imagine a great barren plain of burnt, brown 
pasture, monotonous as the ocean, without a ridge or 
hillock or rise, reaching to the horizon ; a plain thus 
extending, without break or change, right from the 
Atlantic seaboard of Argentina to the foothills of the 
Andes. More cultivated and populated with men 
and cattle, it resembles closely the prairie of America. 
It has its counterpart also in the prairie of Canada. 
Like those great lone lands it has a peculiar fascina- 
tion of its own, acquired from the extreme even 
monotony of the stretch, ending in a yellow circular 



62 China to Peru. 

line sweeping around the horizon and joining on to 
the pale, transparent sky-line, fading gradually 
together into space. It is a fascination, appreciated 
in some measure perhaps by those dwelling near the 
Downs at home. 

Yes, the pampa exercises a great enchantment. 
During the four or five days during which we 
traversed its wide belt, the feeling of being drawn 
more and more into sympathy with the rich and 
boundless " park " increased. The first thing you 
notice about the pampa is the extraordinary stillness, 
broken only by the sound of the wind rushing through 
the dried liganeous grasses, producing a harsh, 
rustling sound. There is no bird life, if you except 
the hawks and falcons circling high in the air, watch- 
ing for their prey. There are no flowers on the 
pampa, and in this it differs from the prairies of 
the northern hemisphere and the veldt of the Cape. 
I found a few scarlet and purple verbenas growing 
between the lines, and a little meadowsorrel and 
larkspur flourishing on the rank grass along the rails, 
but these were the only sign of the blossoming of 
spring. Oft we are delighted with constant visions 
of mirage floating in the distance, when the hot air 
quivers and dances, picturing blue lakes and green 
islets with cattle standing knee-deep in water, 
tantalizing delusion in a " barren and dry land where 
no water is." 

A perpetual source of interest are tiie vast herds of 
cattle, sheep and horses, feeding now near the line, or 
anon appearing as specks in the far distance. One 
thousand sheep will be counted in a single flock, or 
five hundred liead of cattle in a herd. The horses are 



The Camp of Argentina. 63 

always seen to be in groups. They follow the lead of 
the tingling bell of the maddrina, an ancient mare, 
who leads and guides the " tropilla " in their aimless 
wanderings over the plain. 

Occasionally some picturesque figure of a galloping 
gaucho, with flying poncho, lasso in hand, will come 
in sight, rounding up a tropilla, and sending them 
flying before him ; but generally these vast herds 
apparently roam where they will, 

A melancholy source of interest are the skeletons, 
thickly strewn through the camp. Where the grass is 
most arid and parched, there they lie thickest, or in 
the gulleys where the water should be, and where 
they have come down to drink, and die for lack of it. 
Where they die there they lie. In pathetic attitudes, 
with heads upturned and limbs outstretched, their 
whitened skeletons are bleaching in the sun. It is 
terrible to see them in their dift"erent stages of decay, 
with the flesh blackening and entrails protruding; 
but genernlly the birds of prey do their work quickly, 
and nothing but the vertebrae and skull remain after 
two or three days. Meat is so cheap that the skin 
only is worth saving from ofl" the carcase. Now we 
see the skeletons of many sheep. They lie thickest 
along by the railing which marked the old road, and 
where the grass is perhaps a little better. The 
drought has been terrible throughout the country, 
lasting for three years. Cattle have died by thou- 
sands. In many places the ground is quite bare, with 
not a single blade of grass. The water-gulleys are 
dried up ; only the thistles seem to thrive. They are 
large and abundant everywhere. 

It is true that in the pampa there is little indeed to 



64 China to Pent,. 

be imagined, not even a sense of vastness. Darwin, 
touching on this point in his "Journal of a 
Naturalist," truly says : " At sea, a person's eye being 
six feet above the surface of the water, his horizon is 
two miles and four-fifths distant. In like manner, 
the more level the plain, the more nearly does the 
horizon approach within these narrow limits ; and 
this, in my opinion, entirely destroys the grandeur 
which one would have imagined that a vast plain 
would have possessed." 

This is so, and yet, though the distance is not great, 
that clear circumference circling round our little 
coach, holds a mystery. What is beyond ? Whither 
leads it ? A question asked all through life. A 
question never answered here below. You ascend a 
mountain— how big the world looks. You descend 
and travel on the plain — how small it is, circum- 
scribed by this yellow line of grass. 

Now and again we pass a solitary graveyard by the 
line, roughly fenced in^ where the gaucho, lonely in 
life, is left lonely in death. Once we saw a {ev<j rough 
carts, drawn by their untidy mestizzos, standing with 
drooping heads, while a group of rough gauchos 
stood gazing into an open grave where a comrade had 
just been laid to rest. A few weeping women were 
crouching at the head of the grave. It was a 
pathetic scene, and a touching theme for a picture, 
this last act in the wild gaucho's life, this laying to 
rest amid the pampa where he had roamed at will 
during life. 

We have seen the pampa in the early morning, 
with the mists rolling away ; in the brilliant glare of 
noonday, when the hot air scintillates with mirage, or 



The Camp of Argentina, 65 

obscured by driving clouds of rain. We have seen it 
at sunrise, noontide, eventide, in the dusk, by moon- 
light, or with darkness brooding over all. But it is 
always interesting, always attracting, always silent, 
always monotonous, yet always pleasing. 

The stations are mere brick buildings by the side 
of the line, placed at equal distances of twelve miles 
apart, and named after the different Estan^ias through 
whose land the line runs. There was no idea of a 
village or even a collection of "ranchos" when the 
station was being made, but quickly a little town, or 
perhaps it would be more correct to say a straggling 
group of buildings of some sort have grown up 
around them. A few tents, marked F.C.C.A. (Ferro 
Carril Central Argentino), are grouped around. 
They are used by the men employed on the railway. 
Now we pass the solitary house of the superintendent 
of the quadrillo or gang who maintain the line in 
repair, or a few platelayers, who lift their trolley off 
the rails at the train's approach, and then lie down 
flat to see how much the line has deflected from the 
passing of the train. 

Occasionally a group of trees attracts attention in 
the far distance. We know that it indicates an 
Estan^ia, for in this shadeless and treeless country 
the first work of settlement is to plant something 
that will give a little shade. Generally the Eucalyp- 
tus is chosen, on account of its rapid growth, attaining 
as it does to a good-sized tree in a short time ; but the 
tall poplar is also a favourite. A very pleasant oasis 
of cool shade around the Estan9ia these groves make, 
difficult to appreciate, except on a pampa so utterly 
scorched, blazing, and unsheltered. The next familiar 

F 



66 China to Peru. 

object is the water wheel, whose fluttering white 
wheels catch the sunlight whilst supplying water 
(found generally at fifteen to twenty feet) to the estate. 

Fencing is pretty general now, and the old days of 
the rounding up and cheery gatherings at the neigh- 
bouring Estan9ias are becoming a custom of the past. 
But such fencing. It is no exaggeration to say that 
not one iron stanchion is upright ; all are crooked, 
bent, or broken. We liked the railway best when 
it was not enclosed on either side, and when 
the line seemed to be running directly across the 
pampa. 

Now and again we pass a cluster of two or three 
ranchos, the abode of the peon. These rough huts 
are built of sun-baked mud bricks, or even wattles 
plastered with mud. They are put down anywhere, 
without the suggestion of a fence or enclosure, 
and are typical of the untidiness of the country. 
Their presence generally indicates a small belt of 
agricultural land, of wheat or lucerne, where the 
ploughing is done with a team of four or six oxen. 
The colonists, as the settlers on an Estan9ia are 
called, are mostly Italians. They thrive and do ex- 
ceedingly well, being hardworking and industrious. 
More often than not they hire land from the Estan- 
(;iero, and cultivate it for themselves. We had a pro- 
prietor on board through whose territory of 30,000 
acres we were running. He intended to sell some of 
his property, and said that most probably it would be 
bought by the colonists. 

The burrows of the Bizacha or prairie dog, with its 
attendant watcher, the owl, sitting on guard ; a huge 
waggon with upturned roof, the schooner of the 



The Camp of Argentina. 67 

prairie, drawn by a team of ten bullocks, creaking and 
groaning along ; the picturesque figure of a gaucho 
on the horizon galloping loosely on his mestizzo, 
followed by an ugly whelping cur ; these are the only 
points of interest during a long, long, hot day. 
Summer has come with a burst at last. The heat, 
even tempered by the luxury of the car, was terrific, 
and the dust was a source of misery. It permeated 
the air in clouds, obscuring everything in a dim fog, 
filtered through every aperture, smothered everything. 
Domingo in vain dusted round. It was useless. 
Dust covered everything again in five minutes. This 
result of the long-continued drought was a serious 
drawback to the delight of prairie travelling. 

It takes ten hours to accomplish 190 miles, but at 
five o'clock we arrived at Rosario, hot and dusty, to 
be kindly received by Mr. Craik, the Administrator 
General of the Central Argentine Railway, at his 
charming house opposite the station. 

A welcome storm broke during the night, and we 
awoke to a downpour of rain, which, however, cleared 
off too soon to do much permanent good. 

Although Rosario is the second town of the 
Republic, it is utterly dull and unattractive. The city 
stands on the banks of the Parana, which is here a 
very wide river, bordered with flat, ugly banks. The 
Parana and the Uruguay are the two great confluents 
which, flowing both together into the ocean at 
Buenos Ayres, form the vast estuary of the River 
Plate. During the last two years the prosperity of 
Rosario has declined, but a movement is in progress 
to make it the capital of the Province of Santa F^ in 
place of the city of that name, and this would perhaps 

F 2 



68 China to Peru. 

revive its falling fortunes. There is a large popu- 
lation of English employed in banks and offices and 
by the Central Argentine Railway, though some of 
these officials live about eight miles out, at Fisher- 
town. 

The Boulevard is the mightiest work of Rosario, 
and its only " sight," if you except the great 
towered building of the Palace of Justice, or of In- 
justice, as the Europeans familiarly call it. This 
boulevard extends for about two miles out, into the 
utter flatness of the dead level surrounding the city. 
It cost the City Improvements Company, or rather 
the unfortunate British public, no less a sum than 
2,500,000/., and has a metalled -wdiy, a very wonderful 
improvement for a South American road. Double 
avenues of palms and shrubs, with a promenade walk 
in the centre hung with electric light, border the 
entire length. But on either side there are wide 
open spaces. It was intended that this spacious 
avenue should be lined with palaces, but it is the old 
fatal story of the Boom and Baring crash, which 
extended from the capital into the provinces, and 
which has tainted Rosario with the universal collapse 
of national credit. Thus we see half-finished 
mansions of ambitious design, partially plastered, 
with unglazed windows and unshuttered doors, 
memorials of a national folly, and never likely to be 
tenanted by their projectors. 

A little hillock, or mound, at the end of the Boule- 
vard is perhaps intended to teach the natives and 
children what a hill is like. We see people ascend- 
ing this miniature elevation as if to sec the view 
from the summit, and in truth, in this tableland. 



The Camp of A7'gcntina. 69 

a few inches of height secures a view of the 
horizon. 

As we reach the outskirts of the town from the 
Boulevard, we have the usual untidy aspect of a 
South American city, with its waste spaces, filled 
with debris, and isolated houses dotted down, without 
any definite plan, where no road passes, and leading 
no whither. A curiously unfinished look these houses 
have, with their one storey of mouldy and decaying 
plaster, and bright washes in strong green and pink 
tints. The railway runs on a highway along the 
centre of the road. But when we return to the town 
we see that Rosario has some bustling streets and 
good shops. The Day of Independence is celebrated 
as usual in the Plaza May 25, where is the Cathedral 
and Court House, a pretty garden with a marble 
column and statue in the centre. The fagade of the 
Court House is perforated with bullet holes. There 
is not a whole square inch, and the Cathedral tower 
is almost as profusely peppered with shot, fired during 
the thirty-six hours which the Revolution of the other 
day lasted, by the insurgents, from a high building 
at the opposite corner of the Plaza. What was the 
Revolution about ? People scarcely know. Some 
trivial provincial grievance or other. It is generally 
the same story in these Republics of Revolution. 
Some party led by an ambitious man, for his own 
ends, tries to defeat a Governm.ent which is ever 
unstable and dependent on a popular will and vote. 

With a special engine, Mr. Craik ran us down to 
the great workshops of his central station. Never 
were works in more beautiful order, from the building 
sheds, where cars were in process of construction, to 



yo China to Peru. 

the repairing shops ; from the foundry and casting 
forge to the cleaning sheds ; from the timber-sawing 
to the stores, where everything from a needle to a 
lamp is kept in apple-pie order, on shelves that line 
from floor to roof an enormous building. The works 
are so self-contained, that at the stationery office 
they print and check their own tickets by machinery. 
The grain elevator of many stories is on a siding 
over the Parana, and the vats are capable of storing 
150,000 tons of grain, after thrice winnowing the 
wheat by a complicated system of machinery. We 
have seen many grain elevators in the United States 
and Canada, but never one equal to this. 

We left Rosario at 7 A.M. the following morning 
in a newly-varnished and yet more sumptuous car. 
It was to be our travelling home on the pampa for 
the succeeding four days. 

A gorgeously hot morning it was for our visit to 
Mr. Kemmis' well-known Estan9ia of Las Rosas. 
The origin of this pretty name is derived from the 
emblem of the white and red rose of the York and 
Lancaster Regiment, in which the owner served in 
former years. The prairie was covered with clumps 
of tussock grass, and blazed in the glare of an intense 
heat. As we alighted at the station, a blast of hot 
air, as if from a furnace, met us, and driving up to the 
Estan9ia, the atmosphere was intensely clear and 
quivering with heat. 

The scintillation was quite painful to the eyes, and 
a wonderful mirage danced on the distant horizon, 
depicting the usual derisive water and green trees to 
the dwellers in a land parched and thirsting with 
drought. 



The Camp of Argentina, 71 

We approached the Estan^ia by a double row of 
Persian lilacs in full bloom. The Spanish name of 
Paraiso or Paradise tree has a pretty simile in this 
sweet-smelling feathery flower, that so closely re- 
sembles our lilac at home. Las Rosas is a typical 
house, with its deep verandahs and rambling bun- 
galow buildings looking on to a garden in front, and be- 
hind on to a great collection of various farm buildings 
and stables. The garden is dried up, and shows sad 
signs of the visit of the plague of locusts last year. 
The green arbour has entirely disappeared, leaving 
a few bare stalks, and the tops of all the trees are 
eaten clean away. It is doubtful whether the latter 
will ever recover. These swarms of locusts appear 
suddenly, and in a few hours they have swept off all 
green things. Wonderful stories are told of the 
havoc they do, of the blackness that darkens the 
sun as the swarm passes. At Leones, a station we 
noticed on the line, the train has several times come 
to a standstill on account of the locusts. The wheels 
of the carriages had become so lubricated with the 
oil crushed out from them, that they revolved without 
progressing. 

Life on an Estan9ia seems to us very pleasant. 
The learners certainly have a much better time of it 
than the cowboys on the Ranches of America or 
Canada. It must be a life with a charm of its own, 
with wild, lonely rides, galloping over these vast 
stretches of grass from early morn until dusk. The 
horn sounds as a signal to begin work at daybreak, 
and one goes off to the shearing shed, and another 
to inspect the watering places. This is a most essen- 
tial and important duty. The troughs have to be 



72 China to Peru. 

filled three or four times daily, and special men are 
kept for this work. Every part of the Estan9ia is 
dotted over with watering troughs. Another will 
ride north or south^ according to orders, to oversee 
the work being done, and this will involve a daily 
ride of perhaps forty miles. Thus every part of the 
Estan9ia is visited and patrolled twice a day. 
Luncheon is at twelve, and in the hot weather a 
siesta is accorded to all, peones included, and the 
whole Estan9ia is wrapped in drowsy repose until 
two o'clock. Tea at four, and dinner at seven, con- 
cludes the routine of hours and meals. 

In some Estan^ias, the learners live in a separate 
building, and mess by themselves. Mr. Kemmis 
wisely adopts the civilizing influence of keeping them 
under his own roof, and at his own table. 

In due course, the sound of the horn dispersed 
all to their work. The heat continued tremendous, 
and was over 90° in the shade, and equal to one of 
the hottest days in January. It presaged the storm 
that all arc hoping and longing for. This is the 
usual formula for the weather to pursue during the 
summer. It grows hotter and hotter, the air be- 
comes more stifling and oppressive, it is working up 
for a storm, which will break with tremendous 
lightning and thunder, cooling the air with torrents 
of rain. I accepted the custom of the country, 
and retired for a siesta. It was very pleasant to rest, 
with the drowsy hum of the insects outside the deep 
verandah, the cooing of the doves, and the whispering 
of the wind in the poplars, coming in through the 
wired doors and windows. 

Mr. Kemmis has just had his annual sale of year- 



TJic Camp of Argentina. "]'}, 

lings at the Buenos Ayres Tattersall's, so that he 
had only a few horses to show us, but we saw the 
famous " Whipper-in," whose progeny are found 
on every race-course in the Republic. He was the 
enterprising Estan9iero who first treated for the sale 
of " Ormonde " to this country, offering 20,000/., but 
through some mishap the transaction came to nought. 
Then we visited the shearing sheds, where shearing 
was in full operation. The sheep-rearing industry of 
Australia and the Argentine are about equal. The 
numbers reared are nearly identical. Scab and burr 
are the diseases they both have to contend with ; 
certainly these Lincolns, Rambouillets and Negretis 
are the finest sheep I ever saw, with wool of two 
inches staple. The process of shearing, if slower, is 
more carefully done than in Australia, and the 
shearers are strictly superintended, and not allowed 
to hack the sheep. 

In an adjoining corral were some horses, just 
driven in fresh from camp, and being haltered for 
the first time. It was most interesting to watch the 
operations of the head peon, in flowing chiripa 
(trousers) and leathern " tirador," bright with silver 
piastres, throwing a loop over the head, and with great 
dexterity avoiding the ugly rushes of the frightened 
animal. This loop was gradually tightened, pressing 
on the windpipe, whilst two more lassoes attached 
a hind and fore leg together. These lassoes are 
made by the peones, of raw hide, with a loop and 
button, and never break. 

It required something strong to resist the wild 
plungings, and rushing to the corner of the corral 
that ensued, whilst four peones were required to 



74 Chma to Peru. 

hold on to the lasso and " give and take." Gradu- 
ally the horse realizes that it is useless, and allows 
the man to come slowly nearer and nearer. Very 
gently and cautiously he approaches near enough 
to slip the headstall first over one ear, then the 
other. The nose band is passed around, and with a 
few more plungings and backings the horse is led 
out and tied up with some others standing quietly 
by, who a {^w minutes before were remonstrating 
as vehemently as the last captive. These horses seem 
to use their fore legs, and rear and paw, while 
Australian walers are more handy with their hind 
ones and in bucking. 

In all Estan^ias the buildings are of the roughest 
description, not excepting the stables, and the yards 
are thoroughly untidy. Utility, and not show, is all 
that is thought of, and they would scarcely pay if 
managed on other lines. 

The peones, as the farm servants are called, live in 
a separate building, and are found in everything, 
rations of meat (which is eaten four times daily), 
bread, coffee, and mate being served out to them. 
A large collection of horses are kept in the corral, 
and the peones catch one and gallop off to their 
work. A peon would think it a degradation to be 
asked to walk. The crioUo, or native horses, are 
small, hideous animals, but they present a picturesque 
appearance when saddled with the high peaked 
saddle, covered with sheepskin, the clumsy carved 
wooden stirrups hanging therefrom, and a decoration 
of leathern strips, studded with silver,dangling over the 
nose band. The mcstizzo, or cross between a native 
and an English horse, is an improvement on the 



The Camp of Argentina. 75 

criollo, but all the fine carnage horses are imported, 
as the native animals are too small. 

The peon has taken the place of the gaucho, who 
now roams further over the plain, A type quite 
by itself, the gaucho resembles the Bedouin of the 
desert, with his flowing costume of the bright 
coloured poncho, a simplification of the Arabian 
burnous, the chiripa, or riding trousers, floating like 
the full pantaloons of a Zouave, fastened at the waist 
by a raw leathern tirador, scaly with silver piastres, 
and boots made out of the skin of the hind leg of a 
calf. The spur is a large circle of blunt points some 
four inches round, and resembles a star. 

This pampean gaucho is very Oriental in aspect 
and manners. He is full of superstition. His name 
is derived from an ancient Ouicha, or Peruvian word, 
signifying " orphan, wandering, abandoned." The 
epithet suits him. He is really a wandering or 
" lost child " of the social group. Born somewhere 
in a rancho on the Argentine plain, growing on 
horseback, learning from childhood to fight and 
suffer, his first and indelible impressions are those of 
self-reliance. The immense pampa, without trees or 
outlined ways, more barren than the sea of old to 
ancient mariners, unfolds itself to his eyes, mysterious 
awful, indefinite. It is there that he must live, 
grieve, fight, love, and die. To overcome distance, 
to get his food, he has his horse and his lasso. 

To find his way on this invariable circular horizon 
better than by the moving sun and the inconstant 
stars, he has the smell of certain herbs or bushes, 
which once seen he will never forget. At night, 
fifty leagues away from home, after ten years' absence. 



76 China to Peru. 

he will yet find his way, by the peculiar smell or 
taste of the pasture he is crossing. His senses are 
sharpened as necessary weapons. His sight is as 
keen as a hawk's, and his insensibility to pain and 
hunger belongs to a lower organism. In a far distant 
galloping he counts the horses, and knows whether 
they are ridden by soldier, Indian, or comrade. In 
the trampled grass his Mohican eye follows the track 
of an animal, distinguishes the footprint of a lost 
horse among tracks of a numerous group. He re- 
cognizes amongst a hundred the running colt that he 
marked with fire the preceding year. The gaucho's 
skill with the lasso, a raw hide rope of six yards in 
length, throwing it with such exactitude as to en- 
tangle the feet of any running animal, is simply 
marvellous. Not less wonderful is the casting of the 
bolas, or three-balled weights, in the capture of the 
ostrich. His luxuries are simple as his life. The 
mate cup, with its long tube or bombillia, is his 
solace after a long day's ride, and " the carne con 
cuero," or ox, roasted with the hide on over a fire 
of hot cinders, is his idea of a sumptuous feast. 

We had a lovely drive in the cool of the evening, 
right out into the midst of the wild pampa, sur- 
rounded by it and seeing nothing else. The sun was 
sinking sullenly, a dull, livid ball of fire, into crimson 
clouds, whilst a faint indication of mountains in the 
pointed and peaked clouds indicated a coming 
storm. A sort of dull twilight was creeping over 
the wilderness, accompanied by a great stillness and 
oppression. Before us, stretching to the horizon, 
was a belt of luscious green. It is a crop of alfalfa, 
or lucerne, the raising of which is a new introduction 



The Camp of Argentina 77 

by Mr. Kemmis, who first tried the experiment. It is 
now universal throughout the country, and forms a 
most valuable crop. Green and succulent, the ex- 
tremely deep roots prevent the alfalfa being parched 
by drought. When it is pressed and dried it forms 
a food as nourishing as hay, and cattle fatten quickly 
on it. 

Over the limitless paddocks we fly — for the pad- 
docks here are boundless in extent — now ncaring a 
herd of Jaullocks, with enormous branching horns, fat- 
tening for export to England, the two-year-olds as 
big as four ; now a flock of 500 lambs, which will be 
forwarded to Liverpool on December ist, and sold 
there for Christmas fare. After all expenses are paid, 
including those of the shepherds who accompany 
them, Mr. Kemmis will be able to count a clear profit 
of \l. Js. 6d. per head. Several well-known Estan9ias, 
including that of Mr. Dickenson, the great sheep 
breeder, are visible on the horizon, and the large 
buildings we see at the station belong to the different 
estates, each having its separate shed, corral, and 
lading platform for the forwarding of cattle. We 
pass some of the wells, where the water wheels are 
pumped by mules, and then, in a fast gathering dusk, 
we gallop home up the avenue of Persian lilacs. 
But suddenly their sweet smell is lost in an awfully 
pungent and pestiferous odour, that fills the air 
far and near. It is the trail of the skunk across the 
road, that most vindictive of animals, who, when 
attacked, retaliates by squirting over his enemy a 
fiery juice that burns and scarifies, and smells for 
ever. It was delightful sitting out after dinner, 
watching the sheet lightning. A bright star shines 



78 China to Peru. 

amongst the trees, darting backwards and forwards. 
Several clusters arc on the ground. They are fire- 
flies, " nature's night-lights," shining with a pure, 
brilliant light, very beautiful to behold, paling in 
their magnificence the lights of the Southern Cross 
above. 

We awoke the next morning with the sound of 
many waters rushing in our ears. It was a joyful 
noise, and one full of music to the ears of the Estan- 
yiero. " The floods clapped their hands," and the 
waters gurgled and flowed in rivers off the verandah, 
and flooded the yard into a lake. The storm has 
come after a long drought, accompanied by a hurricane 
of wind that bends the willows and lilacs, waving 
them wildly to and fro. It is rain that is worth a 
lOO/. a minute to the country, for with spring here, 
and summer heat coming, the parched country was 
utterly exhausted, and food for the cattle had well 
nigh given out. 

We had a perilous and exciting drive in the break 
to the station. The wind blew a regular " pampero," 
or whirlwind. The pair could scarcely face it, al- 
though sinch horses, ridden by peones, and drawing 
from the girth, helped to pull the carriage along. The 
road was under water, deeply in some parts, the 
whole way. Rain came down in torrents, and blew 
through everything. Trees bent double under the 
gale, whilst the cattle stood looking pitiable objects, 
with drooping heads and tails, backs against the 
storm. The cloud effects, with rain hailing along the 
ground, in black mist, were very strange and beauti- 
ful ; distant objects appearing twice their natural 
size, and looking most unearthly. The whole face 



The Camp of Argentina. 79 

of the country was under water. The change from 
yesterday was sudden and startling. 

We reached the station, after a final struggle, to 
find one of the car windows had been blown in. 
Wet, dishevelled, and bedraggled, we were grateful 
for the refuge of the car, and felt it was like coming 
home. A special engine took us to Canada de 
Gomez, to join the ordinary train. 

A marvellous transformation takes place after rain 
has fallen over the pampa. Wc had been told about 
it, but it is necessary to see it to believe. The same 
burnt earth, hard as a brick surface, is changed to 
rich loam ; green grass is sprouting up already in 
tender shoots. Even the brown clumps of tussock 
growth are a little less harsh and stringy. Abundant 
pools gather in any little hollow or declivity. The 
cattle seem to graze more eagerly. And all this 
gracious change comes after a few hours of rain, so 
rich and prolific is this pampa soil. It only lacks 
irrigation to become a smiling country. 

It was very pleasant all through that long day, 
hour after hour, watching from our large airy-win- 
dowed coach the endless vista of pampa unfolding 
before us. The turf mounds, heaped round the tele- 
graph poles, come at last to possess an interest. We 
jump up to see the distant figure of a solitary gaucho. 
And the stations, which in the evening are a favourite 
resort, are as amusing as the appearance of an un- 
expected special coach on the train is to the native 
population. Our curiosity is mutual and recipro- 
cated. 

In the afternoon, soon after passing Villa Maria, a 
distinct change comes over the country. We travel 



8o China to Peru. 

through a great grey wilderness of scrub trees, whose 
bare skeleton branches are composed of thorns. It 
is a sterile belt of Pampa, a sandy, barren district, 
whereof the vegetation is harsh and ligneous, and 
composed principally of thorn bushes or low trees, of 
which Chanar is the most common. Hence it is 
called the *' Chanar steppe," and is the beginning of 
the Monte formation, a sterile saline pampa, that 
reaches up to the salt lake, and encloses Tucuman in 
the far north. It continues until we reach Cordoba 
in the evening. 

The approach to the city is most pleasing. The 
sand dunes and hillocks, with their deep water- 
courses, and the railway cutting through them, is a 
welcome change, even before the view over the town 
looking down from the high embankment comes into 
sight. Cordoba lies in a delicious green valley, a 
perfect oasis, where the tall poplars flourish abun- 
dantly, and the little flat-roofed pink houses peep 
out from their midst, giving a very Eastern look to 
the city. It is really the bed of an ancient river, and 
the barrancas, or ridges, crowned with buildings, 
surround the town. Then, to the eye's delight and 
refreshment, rises far away, some twenty-five miles 
in front of us, the great sierras of the Cordoba range, 
in a succession of serrated peaks, each one rising 
regularly above the other in tier-like steps, cool and 
intensely blue in this crystal atmosphere. Only 
after two days of continuous travelling on the pampa, 
and a fortnight of living in a country flat as a rolling 
board, could we have appreciated the modest charms 
of Cordoba. 

We dined and spent the evening with Mr. Munro, 



The Camp of Argentina, 8 1 

the manager of the Central Cordoba Railway, and 
passed the night in our coach on a siding. 

The morning following was cold and rainy for our 
exploration of the old city. We seem to be trans- 
ported into a different world, for Cordoba is an 
ancient Spanish town, full of reminiscences of the 
Jesuits, whose headquarters it was during the six- 
teenth century, a centre of learning and civilization, 
and the only place east of the Andes with a printing- 
press. A walk soon brought us to the Plaza San 
Martin, with its double promenade of red granite, a 
favourite resort for the evening stroll of its citizens, 
who wander round and round the inner and outer 
circle. It is well shaded by the spidery foliage of the 
pepper-tree, mingling with the sweet-smelling paraiso. 

The cathedral overshadows the Plaza, the only 
beautiful thing in Cordoba. It is a grand and com- 
plicated Moorish building, stained pink, but worn 
black with age in many places. The turreted towers 
with their open campaniles and green bronze bells, 
are crowned by other miniature towers. These are 
joined by a Moorish archway, whilst a massive dome, 
rising behind, is flanked by flying buttresses, and 
crowned by a crucifix enclosed in a halo of iron 
trellis. The interior is cold and bare, they say, but, 
as usual, the church was shut. Open very early in 
the morning only, we always find that, contrary to 
the custom of Roman Catholic countries, the churches 
are kept shut all day. It does not give the idea that 
they are very devout in their religion. 

Certainly this cathedral is a striking pile, and 
one appreciates it the more, in that you soon learn 
to look for no architectural beauty in a Spanish- 

G 



82 China to Peru, 

American town. Wc had certainly seen nothing as 
yet " more picturesque than this grim, battlemented 
pile, built as if its founders meant it to be a strong- 
hold of historic faith." The Moorish Cabildo adjoins 
the Plaza. 

Not far off is the Jesuit church, where the richly- 
carved wood ceiling, put together without nail or 
screw, attests to the skill of the ancient fathers. 
Tradition has it that the trunks of cedar from which 
the roof was carved were brought down on rollers 
from Tucuman. The gold it is decorated with came 
from Peru, Then we passed the quadrangle of the 
University, with the Academic Hall where degrees are 
conferred. The Bull sanctioning this bears the sig- 
nature of Gregory XV., 1621, and is countersigned 
by Philip III. of Spain. "The library collected by 
the Jesuits with infinite toil was scattered at the 
suppression. The remnants form the bulk of the 
State library at Buenos Ayres. Grocers and con- 
fectioners used the Jesuit books as wrapping-paper 
for more than forty years, until the late Dr. Gordon, 
Her Majesty's Vice-Consul, saved many valuable 
works by buying them." So says Mr. Mulhall in 
his " Handbook of the Argentine Republic." The 
University was revived in 1870, and flourishes with 
a staff of modern professors. 

It seems appropriate that the Observatory of the 
Southern Hemisphere should be found at this seat of 
learning. We ascend the barranca and sec the re- 
volving telescope, contained in a circular building, 
that follows the course and checks the position of 
each star by the aid of a clock-like instrument. The 
sky is so clear at Cordoba that stars of the seventh 



The Canip of Argentina. 83 

magnitude can be seen, whereas the tenth degree is 
the ordinary standard of observation. 

In an adjoining building the meteorological obser- 
vations for the Argentine Republic are registered. 
The windmills on the housetop cause the pencils 
to trace in delicate shadings and thin strokes the 
velocity of the wind for each minute and hour of the 
day. 

In returning, we drove past the Alameda with 
its reservoir and stone balustrades on the Plaza 
Sobremonte. But the glory is departed since a great 
tornado visited the city, tearing up the trees by their 
roots and leaving the Plaza bare and desolate. The 
theatre, with its Corinthian columns and fagade, 
is unfinished ; the National Bank is lodged in a 
palatial but half-completed edifice. It is the old 
story, we tire of hearing, the boom and the collapse 
of the bubble. Cordoba now, with its 30,000 inhabi- 
tants, seems a complete city of the dead. The 
streets are deserted. Two persons occupy the prin- 
cipal avenue. There are no carts of merchandise, 
no movement in the roadway. Occasional trams 
pass half empty. The shops are open, but there are 
no customers. The Spanish houses, with their barred 
windows, look mysteriously desolate. We seek in 
vain, during passing glimpses, for a sign of life in the 
pretty patios. The city appears as if plague-stricken, 
a mournful impression, aided by the cold wind of a 
cheerless day. It is a sarcastic comment on this 
condition of things when, in an empty street, our 
coachman is called upon by a policeman to stop, and 
proceed over the crossing at a walk. This ancient 
custom survives from a time when the streets were 

G 2 



84 China to Pern. 

full of life, and crossings frequent. A policeman 
then, as now, stationed at the cross-roads, was 
deputed to see this order executed. 

We returned to our coach, which was now attached 
to a goods train of fifteen waggons, to retrace our 
steps to Villa Maria, It was a slow progression, 
with long halts at each wayside station. The clouds 
lay low on the pampa, rain came on, and a cold 
wind bent the thorn-bush and whistled round our 
car ; whilst the gauchos, huddled together, sitting in 
groups on their haunches on the platforms, wrapped 
in dirty brown ponchos, presented a picture of 
misery. 

Arrived at the junction of Villa Maria, after much 
jerking and shunting in pitch-darkness, we were left 
quiet for the night, or rather until four in the morn- 
ing, when we began our journey over the Andine 
line. This is one of the very few Government lines 
(all the other railways are English concessions), and 
in consequence the permanent way is in such a con- 
dition as to be almost dangerous. We risked de- 
railment ; but partly owing to the splendid construc- 
tion of our bogie coach, partly to being attached well 
in the centre of the train, we escaped easily. 

This Andine railway runs through a very pretty 
bit of pampa, and morning found us amid a changing 
scene of comparatively wonderful variety, bounded 
by a low line of hills, very soft and blue with distance. 
Some poplars and a {q^n trees, rather thorny and 
stunted, it is true, gave a somewhat park-like 
appearance to the country. 

Arrived at Villa Mercedes, another junction, our 
car is again shunted for a few hours, before being 



Tlie Camp oj Argentina. 85 

attached to the train on tlie Great Western Railway. 
Thus, owing to the courteous combination of three 
h'nes, our private coach has been run direct from 
Buenos Ayres to Mendoza, over the Central Argen- 
tine, the Andine, and Great Western systems. 

Villa Mercedes is only remarkable for its Indian 
ranchos, with a swarming population of swarthy 
women and children, and many mangy curs, and for 
its enormous avenues of poplars, running in all 
directions. 

We cross the River Secundo on a trellis iron bridge. 
The rivers north of the Parana to Brazil are num- 
bered consecutively, one, two, three, &c., and thus 
we know this is the second tributary northwards. It 
seems quite strange to see a railway cutting and an 
embankment once more, for the Central Argentine 
is laid down on a plain so flat and straight, that there 
is scarcely one such engineering difficulty on the 
whole system. 

It was a lovely summer's afternoon, the sun shining 
brightly and turning all the pampa into a rustling, 
waving sea of golden sunshine. Soon the shadows 
lengthen out, and make a neighbouring hill look 
large and abnormally out of proportion. 

The San Luis range of mountains, the end of the 
Sierra of Cordoba, now rising out of the great yellow 
waste, is a forerunner of that other and far mightier 
range, the Andes. Intensely blue, their crevasses 
and summits are frosted with half-melted snow. 
They appear almost unreal, as the phantasy of some 
dream, but strangely beautiful after the mile upon 
mile of utterly flat, bronze-green country of the past 
days. 



86 China to Peru. 

We arc passing over the poorest province of the 
Argentine, that of San Luis, where all the land is 
covered with clumps of coarse grass. But we see 
here a remnant of the ancient pampa days. A 
puma, of a bright-fawn colour, the size of a large 
dog, with a short black nose and cunning, furtive eye, 
is seated beside a dead horse, gnawing away at the 
carcase. With the advance of cultivation two 
characteristics disappear — the Indians and real 
pampa grass, and now neither the one nor the other 
are seen, unless it is far up in the interior of the 
country. 

The orange-glowing horizon and sumptuous setting 
of the sun was our last view at night over the prairie. 
In the morning it is sunrise over the valley of Men- 
doza,with the foothills of the Andes in the background. 

And what a scene of beauty and freshness does 
the sun shine upon ! A green, smiling valley, en- 
circled in the arms of lofty ranges, where the shadows 
lie long and blue ; whilst far, far away, lost amongst 
the fleecy clouds, are the virgin snow-peaks of the 
great Sierra of the Andes, It is scarce possible to tell 
where the snow ends and the clouds begin. Swiftly 
we pass from the saline desert of sage-brush into the 
region of the vineyards, with their trellises of pale- 
green vines, into the valley which is filled with tall 
poplars, amongst which are the white houses of 
Mendoza. 

Behind us, for league upon league, stretches the 
boundless prairie. Before us is this happy valley. 
Mendoza is an oasis, a fair, green resting-place for the 
traveller, ere once again he plunges into the wild, 
grim rock recesses of the stern Andes. 



CHAPTER V. 

ACROSS THE ANDES. 

Mendoza, under the influence of a fresh spring day, 
looked enchanting. The breeze rustled gaily in the 
giant Carolina trees that in double and triple rows 
line the magnificent width of avenues. These trees 
shoot up a thick grey stem, then branching out over- 
head, with their large, flat leaves, form beneath a cool, 
spacious arcade. 

Mendoza is a typical up-country town, and one 
never tires of watching the characteristic peasant 
types that throng the streets. Now it is the pampa 
gaucho, with a broad slouch hat and crimson poncho, 
passing by. The great leathern covering to his stirrup 
originated as a protection against the pampa grass. 
Now an ancient country dame, of strongly marked 
Indian type, with coarse tresses of black hair, a wide 
straw hat, a brilliant red and yellow petticoat, comes 
pacing along. Rough country carts, with their 
comical troika of mixed mules and horses of all 
colours and size, gallop by with a deafening noise. 
Their drivers, whilst riding the outside animal, 
keep the whip extended over the necks of the 
others like an artilleryman's salute. Horses hobbled 



88 China to Peru. 

with a strap and button passed round the fore-legs 
stand waiting before the shop doors. 

Women^ hooded and clothed in sable, rosary and 
breviary in hand, flit by on their way to mass. 
We attend the American Methodist Church, where 
a service is being held for the first time for three 
years. Constantly, as we turn into some street, the 
blue grandeur of the foothills of the Andes over- 
shadows us, and lifts us for a moment out of the 
everyday life of the streets. The snow yet nestles 
in the crevasses, and though fully ten miles away, we 
feel that we are dwelling under them ; the intensely 
clear, crisp atmosphere brings them delusively near. 
And these mountains, which are yet 10,000 feet 
above the sea-level, are only the foothills of the 
Andes ! They are mighty forerunners of a still 
mightier barrier. 

Our enthusiasm for the prettiness of Mendoza is 
somewhat damped by the dirt and discomforts of our 
first experience of a South American hotel, an 
experience we had been lucky in hitherto escaping. 
Our two lofty rooms, opening on to a dusty patio full 
of litter and refuse, are dirty and shabby to a degree. 
The stained and discoloured wall-paper; the carpet of 
gaudy pattern, containing the dust of many previous 
occupants ; the dilapidated chairs and sofa, with the 
horsehair protruding through sundry rents ; the beds, 
which we strip with a shudder over their filthy coloured 
blankets and smother in " Keating's," are suggestive 
of all that is horrible. The drawers and cupboards 
are in such a condition that we determine not to 
unpack our boxes. The food is so bad as to be 
scarcely eatable. Soaked and fried in oil, it requires 



Across the Andes. 89 

the spur of hunger to be able to swallow it at all. 
Such is the typical hotel of the country. 

The shaded depths of San Martin's Avenue 
tempted us for a stroll in the evening. The same 
hooded figures of this morning are now, gorgeously 
arrayed in bright apparel and displaying their 
charms, racing up and down the avenue in their 
carriages. A grand funeral procession, with its atten- 
dant following of nearly fifty carriages containing the 
merest acquaintances of the deceased, has spoilt, they 
say, the spectacle of the Sunday evening parade on 
San Martin. The great excitement to-day was the 
return of the hearse, surmounted by the grim figure 
of Charon, with his scythe, galloping back for a 
fresh burden from the living, and accompanied by 
the carriage containing the wreaths sent in honour of 
the last departed. 

Then we drove to see the ruins of the earthquake 
of 1861, when nearly the whole city of Mendoza was 
destroyed. The broken archway of the church of 
San Domingo and a few other fragments remain 
amid the most unsavoury surroundings of adobe 
ranches, reeking in mud and slime, with grovelling 
children and dogs. 

We m.ade a pleasant expedition the following day, 
Mr. Villalonga, the kindly and courteous Adminis- 
trator-General of the Great Western Railway, taking 
us in a special train a little way into the country 
to see one of the largest vineyards. The adobe- 
walled vineyards are suddenly succeeded by the 
saline desert, where the ground sparkles with the 
briny deposit ; sage-brush flourishes with a few 
clumps of waving plumes of real pampas grass. It 



90 China to Peru. 

is an apt example of what irrigation will do. Water 
this same land and it will become as smiling and 
fruitful as the country encircling Mcndoza. 

All around the western horizon sweeps that in- 
surmountable barrier, a glorious panorama of snowy 
peaks, their pure summits mingling with the cloud- 
flecked sky, and yet just discernible, being faintly 
outlined by the pale shadows that indicate a peak. 
It is a splendid vision— a view one never tires of 
seeking amongst the clouds, for, unless at early morn- 
ing, they are seldom visible in their naked grandeur, 
but always veiled by vapour. 

The drive to Senor Benyas' vineyard was charming. 
" Trapiche " is approached by avenues of poplars, 
hedges of roses, and magnificent weeping willows, 
sweeping in a green waterfall to the earth. It is 
almost impossible to picture the graceful beauty of 
these trees when they attain to the height we see 
here and are clothed in new spring foliage. We 
would fain on arrival have lingered in the shady 
depths of the verandah, shut in by a thick trellis of 
honeysuckle and roses, perfuming theair,or in the gar- 
den, where cabbage-palms and other tropical specimens 
grew alongside with the wisteria, syringa, fuchsias, 
verbenas, and arum lilies of an English home garden. 

First we passed through a yard where they were 
making adobe, or bricks of mud. Like the ancient 
Egyptians, they constructed bricks without straw. 
Of this material the fourfold vaults are made, and 
they seemed admirably adapted for keeping the 
wine cool. In pitch-darkness, candle in hand, we 
groped our way inside the vault, past enormous 
barrels containing looo litres of new wine. A tram- 



Across the Andes. 91 

way runs through an adjoining building, direct 
from the vineyard, up one incline and down the 
other. The vats filled with grapes are passed up this 
line, tilting their contents into one of the eight 
presses that are employed. The expressed juice then 
passes into the enormous vats we are shown, and is left 
to ferment for from four to six days. The wine is 
then ready for use in due time. 

Introduced by the Jesuits in the sixteenth century, 
Mendoza is well adapted for vine-growing. The 
whole valley is rich and smiling with their extensive 
growth. This vineyard is one of the largest in the 
district, and comprises 500 acres. A drive through 
the broad road, bordered by vines, showed us how 
beautifully cleaned and well-kept was each plant. 
Already branches of tiny green berries give promise of 
a splendid harvest in February, Irrigation is the great 
secret of success, and each furrow is filled with water 
twice daily. It is often difficult and expensive to 
get the concession for water in a valley where all and 
everything depends upon such a supply. The vines 
here are grown in the French fashion, that is, each 
plant is like a bush, and the tendrils are trained along 
vertical wires. But some proprietors adopt the 
Spanish system, which is to prune the vine until 
there is a wooden stem of four or five feet, and then 
the leaves grow over a trellis, leaving a cool, shady 
avenue underneath. A vine takes three years to 
mature, but if the planter has sufficient capital to 
wait that time he is amply repaid. The profits are 
large, and the machinery required is simple. 

We drove home under the deep-blue shadows of 
the mountain range, catching distant glimpses of the 



92 China to Peru, 

yellow panipa. The road was the usual typical 
sample that we have learned to think nothing of. 
Now the axle of the wheel is deep in mud with water 
spurting around, or the carriage in passing over a 
hillock is tilted at right angles. Now it is a stream 
that we ford on a few loosely laid, rotten boards, or a 
gulley, the dried bed of some torrent, that we plunge 
into and emerge with a struggle on the other side. 
The horses gallop gaily over all obstacles, heedless of 
inequalities in the road, and you soon tire of watching 
for accidents when you find that nothing happens. 

We returned to make our final preparations for 
the morrow's start across the mountains. Our lug- 
gage had to be divided up into equal packages, 
weighing forty kilos each, to allow of their balancing 
across a mule's back. We confided it all to the 
care of M. Rosas, the agent for Villalonga's Express 
Company, and we had good reason to be satisfied 
with the care he took, for everything arrived, after the 
perilous crossing, in first-rate condition. 

As the time approaches for our start, imaginative 
friends suggest every new kind of danger and diffi- 
culty. We are warned that we shall suffer from the 
sorocche or mountain sickness, that our breathing in 
the high altitudes will become oppressed, that our 
ears and noses will bleed from the same cause, that 
we ought to take provisions, that it is quite unneces- 
sary, that we have a period varying from five hours to 
five days' riding on muleback ; that the cold will be 
intense, that storms are raging in the passes, and 
the summit is impassable. We have ceased to listen 
to these idle tales. From Buenos Ayrcs even to 
Mendoza, from the moment of landing until now, we 



Across the Andes. 93 

have never ceased seeking for information and asking 
advice. The result has been so contradictory and un- 
satisfactory, so few people from the Argentine side have 
crossed the Andes, that we determined to believe no- 
thing more, but to rest satisfied that we should soon 
find out for ourselves. As it turned out, a letter written 
by Mr. Bagallay, C.E., before we left England, proved 
the only reliable account, and we wished afterwards 
that we had followed its advice more closely. 

It was a glorious morning for starting on our 
journey across the Andes, and eleven o'clock found 
us at the station of the Transandine Railway. A 
tiny train of one baggage and one passenger coach 
awaited us, and we are rejoiced to find that there were 
only two intending passengers beside ourselves, and 
so little danger of overcrowded inns. The tender of 
the engine was piled high with wood, which fuel is 
used in place of coal. The gauge is only one 
metre, but the bogie carriages, with their one seat 
to each window on either side, are very comfortable. 

The Transandine Railway, crossing the Andes, is 
being built in combination between the Argentine 
and Chilian Governments, to connect the two pro- 
vinces. It now takes ten days to pass the Straits of 
Magellan, and costs 40/. This route can be done in 
two days and a half from Buenos Ayres, for the sum 
of 1 2/., so say at least the advertisements. The cattle 
trade between Argentina and Chili is very large. 
The railway will save them the long, toilsome journey 
of many days' duration, and the subsequent rest and 
fattening. Freights being cheaper than by the sea 
route, the railway hope to secure much of the present 
coast trade. The Argentine section, though it has 



94 China to Peru. 

io8 miles to lay against the forty-four miles of the 
Chilian side, has by far the easier task. The railway 
now nearly reaches Punte de las Vacas, and the 
Tolorzia Valley presents no engineering difficulties. 
The Chilian section has to be carried through with 
one extended system of tunnelling, ending in the 
summit tunnel of the Cumbre. The mountain range 
of the Chilian side is so complicated and precipitous, 
that it has been decided that this will be the cheapest 
and only possible method of constructing the rail- 
way. 

The giant trees of the avenues of Mendoza waved 
their farewell to us. The valley smiled joyfully in 
the sunshine, as we steamed past the green vineyards 
and the willow-shaded ranchos, with their adobe 
enclosures. 

Very soon we are out among the winding foothills, 
a series of large hillocks, barren and stony, covered 
only with a great growth of cacti, just beginning to 
flower. The small, wax-like petals are just bursting 
out of their red sheath, atop of their thorny, 
bristling stems. The mountains that form the outer 
barrier of the Andes, with the sun just overhead, look 
intensely blue and deep in morning shadow, and so 
different to the afternoon aspect, when the slanting 
sun-rays bathe them in golden sunshine. 

At the first halt for water we left the carriage, and 
by special permission from Mr. Grant Dalton, the 
administrator of the line, we mounted the engine. 
Here we found two wooden seats, placed at right 
angles over the cow-catcher, railed in in front. Away 
from all dust, heat, and smoke, it was a delightfully 
commanding position. 



Across the Andes. 95 

Our first experience was a wild rush down into a 
ravine, with several acute curves. The clatter was 
tremendous, the noise deafening ; it fairly took our 
breath away for the first five minutes. Then we de- 
scribed a sharp circle in turning on to a trestle bridge, 
where the lines, supported only on cross sleepers, left 
a widely open lattice, looking immediately over and 
down beneath into the foaming, muddy torrent of 
the Mendoza. 

This river will be with us all day. We shall see it 
in every phase of its existence, follow it up to its 
remotest sources. Here it is a broad, foaming river ; 
now compressed into a rocky channel, and raging 
angrily ; now it is spread out over a wide bed, from 
which it has shrunk into a succession of smaller 
channels, percolating over a river-bed much too large 
for it. And so we pursue its windings, until it is lost 
amongst the plains of Uspallata. 

We are rushing next into a tunnel with a deafening 
roar, and a firework illumination from the flying 
sparks of the wood fire. We know what a tunnel 
feels like from the inside of a railway-carriage, but it 
is a very different experience to being outside. An 
arch of black darkness engulfs the engine. We 
plunge blindly into an abyss of space, and are 
seemingly lost in it for a few moments, until a 
glimmering of day slowly dawns at the other end, 
finishing in an archway of light, and we emerge 
in clouds of mist and smoke into air and daylight 
once more. 

We have turned up out of the valley by this time, 
and, entering the defile of mountains, have begun to 
penetrate the inner range. There are nothing but 



96 China to Peru. 

great barren mountains all round ; no level space 
except the little bit of railway-line coaxed from the 
bed of the Mendoza, or blasted from out the steep 
cliff side. Should the straitened valley open out 
a little now and again, it is only to be filled up by a 
moraine of rock and debris that has rolled down from 
the heights above. Every quarter of an hour finds 
us among mountains, growing grander and mightier. 
Now we see some snow-wreathed summits, with 
white chasms deep cut into their sides. If we could 
approach near enough, we know that each is a mighty 
glacier firmly wedged into a crevasse. 

We had occasion again and again to remember 
that in this intensely clear atmosphere the height of 
'the mountains is extraordinarily deceptive. Perhaps 
we think these neighbouring giants are not, after all, 
so very colossal. We shall find that they are from 
7000 to 10,000 feet high. Nor must we forget that 
on the summit of the Andes we shall attain to an 
altitude not far short of Mont Blanc. 

I have heard the Andes spoken of as such a deso- 
late range, so drearily rockbound and monotonous. 
It is true, but we forget that they are highly volcanic. 
We see it in the glowing colours all around, and this 
redeems them from their uniform sterility. Some- 
times it is almost like being enclosed in a crater, 
recently in action, so copper-red are the rocks about. 
A great deal of ash-coloured scoria mingles with the 
more vivid shades. A stratum of bright-yellow clay 
forms a dash of violent chrome on yonder precipice, 
whilst here on the side of this mountain some beautiful 
chameleon shades of heliotrope and green subtly 
intermix. One monster is clothed in vermilion, so 



Across the Andes. 97 

deep is its shade of red. It is as if red-hot lava had 
recently poured over its sides. 

Deep shadows, as the sun rose higher above the 
ravine, caused strange illusions, pinnacles and isolated 
rocks standing out in strong relief, and resembling 
men and animals. A serried line of rocks shaped 
themselves into a battlemented fortress, raised on a 
sheer wall of the same ; whilst a perfect row of little 
pillars represented soldiers storming the stronghold. 
From our frontier seats on the engine we had 
an uninterrupted survey of this grand pass in its 
solemn loneliness. Not a single house, except the 
rancho of the quadrillo engaged on the line ; not a 
single human being, save the solitary, picturesque 
signalman, standing with outstretched flag at the 
saluting point, did we pass the whole day. The 
stations are simply a platform and shed by the side 
of the line, with a watering tank for the engine. 

It was a changing scene of grandeur and beauty, 
differing little except in degree, until in the wane of 
the afternoon we emerged from the shadow of the 
narrow defile, left the high chain behind us, and 
came most suddenly into a widespread upland. It 
is the beginning of the great valley of the Uspallata. 
We halt at the station, where a few houses, buried, 
and low built behind any convenient rising ground, 
adjoin some stone corrals. These corrals are of fre- 
quent recurrence. Built roughly of the stones lying 
about, the square walls form a pen, with an entrance. 
The beasts are driven in here for shelter when storms 
arise. The Uspallata is a valley of rest for the herds 
of cattle, numbering 40,000 or 50,000, yearly driven 
across into Chili. They remain a few days eating 

H 



98- China to Pent. 

the rank, brown grass, and seeking the few green 
weeds that flourish under the shelter of a stone, 
before beginning anew the labours of the Pass. The 
herdsmen carry no forage, and again and again we 
wondered how these poor animals subsisted for a 
period of eight or ten days on the meagre gatherings 
of the wayside. It is almost impossible to believe 
that this wide valley, so open to the north, is in the 
heart of the Andes, and some 6000 feet above the 
sea-level. 

As we left Uspallata Station there was a most 
beautiful vision, the effects of a storm: sun and rain 
in the mountains behind us fought for the mastery, 
amid banks of massed-up black clouds. A thunder- 
bolt flashed out, a brilliant zigzag of blinding light. 
The battle raged furiously for some time, then the 
clouds lightened until merged in clouds of rain, 
which were drawn heavenwards in gauzy ribbons 
of pale-grey mist. And whilst this storm was pro- 
gressing behind us, all the mountains in front were 
lighted up in glowing sunshine, one leviathan in 
particular singling itself out by its translucent 
shades of pale opaline streaks, from against the 
deeper brown^ red, and blue of the remainder of the 
range. 

The Uspallata is left behind, as we enter a nar- 
rower defile, where the summits are loftier, the sides 
more precipitous, the whole scene wilder, grander, 
and more utterly desolate. The Mendoza is lost to 
view in a deep gulley. The earth-banks are cut in 
strata, so clean and neat, as if done with pick and 
shovel, that it is quite remarkable. A last halt to 
replenish the ever-thirsty engine, and we reach Rio 



Across the Andes. 09 

Blanco and alight at the station. The progress of 
the Transandine is well marked, for last year the 
railway reached only to this point. Now we can 
continue on the last finished section, but in a baggage 
car, roughly fitted round with seats. Accompanied 
by some navvies, with their tools and large flat cakes 
of bread, we started, crossing the Rio Blanco, a tribu- 
tary of the Mendoza, on a bridge, and winding round 
into another defile. Now the mountains are deeply 
streaked with snow, lying thickly in crevasses. Very 
grand they appear, in the glimpses we obtain through 
the sliding doors of our waggon. We pass frequent 
quadrillos, putting the finishing strokes to the line. 
Then a graveyard in a sandy waste, with rough 
black crosses, crooked and tumbling down. Lastly 
the railway works are reached, with their stores of 
iron rails, bolts, and nuts, their piles of pot sleepers, 
zinc wheelbarrows, and enormous dredgers. The 
quarters of the men appear fearfully rough. The 
hovel-like houses are made of sheets of galvanized 
iron, or are merely wattle huts, plastered with mud, 
but suited perhaps to the requirements of the dirty 
Indian women standing at their doors. Groups of 
men in ponchos, who have just finished work, stand 
round smoking. 

We make a little further cautious progress on the 
line, blasted out of the cliff side, or won from the bed 
of the Mendoza, which is here a rushing snow tor- 
rent, thick with the debris of the moraine. It is 
another phase, for never did river change like the 
Mendoza, varying so greatly at different points of 
its progress. A steep ascent. It is the end (for the 
moment) of the Transandine Railway on the Argen- 

H 2 



lOO China to Peru. 

tine side. We alight to find ourselves on a rocky 
incline, while a troop of mules await us and our 
baggage on a platform below. 

The loading of the mules is interesting. The 
animal is blinded with a poncho tied like a hood 
over the head, refusing to be laden unless this is 
done. Even then they kick and squeal at each 
tightening of the rope, which is a thong of raw hide 
of enormous length. Our baggage was divided up 
into packages of equal weight, and balanced on 
either side, being fastened round and round, over and 
back, on the wooden saddle, covered with sheepskin. 
Thus they transport packs of enormous weight and 
size, 150 kilos., or 300 lbs., being no unusual load 
for a mule. Spare animals are taken in the caravan, 
so as to relieve the too exhausted. 

When all was ready we mounted our mules, mine 
being a bright-brown animal, handsome, if obstinate, 
refusing to move unless the arriero or muleteer was 
behind, ready to cut it with his lasso. The cruelty of 
the bits used is awful. A large ring is forced into 
the jaw over the tongue, with a bar crossing beneath, 
whilst another ring encompasses the nose. These 
people are true Spaniards in their cruelty to animals, 
and jagged and bleeding mouths and sore backs are, 
with few exceptions, the unvarying rule. The Chilian 
saddle, with its high pommel, was an instrument of 
torture. Never shall I forget the weary hours I 
passed in that saddle, nor the mi.sery I endured 
from it. 

We started over a good road, the track ready made 
for the line, for the engineers hope to be at Punta de 
las Vacas by the end of the month. Twilight and 



Across the Andes. loi 

fast-falling darkness wrapped in gloom the encom- 
passing mountains, though daylight lingered lovingly 
in a blush of rosy light on their highmost summits. 
One huge mountain behind us, filling in the valley, 
thus lighted our onward path. It was a lonely, 
gloomy ride of nearly two hours, travelling thus 
through the deep fastness. We had one nasty place 
to descend in the dark, on a steep bank, where the 
cutting for the railway bridge across the river had 
been commenced. Then the mules shied violently 
at the light shining on the water inundating the road, 
and we arrived, none too soon, at Punta de las Vacas. 
The friendly fire of the muleteers' camp, and the light 
from the windows shone out to greet us as we 
stumbled, tired and dazed, into the house. 

Punta de las Vacas is a typical " posada " or inn. 
It is filthy and rough as possible. The sheds and 
outhouses are built round a mud corral, into which 
the mules are driven at night. In one of these out- 
houses, an adobe (or mud) lean-to, thatched with 
reeds, where many apertures let in light, we passed 
the night. The earth floor was covered by a filthy 
mat by the bedside ; one tin basin and a towel com- 
pleted the furniture of the room. There was neither 
chair nor table. It was a question of camping on 
one's bed, sleeping in one's clothes, the bed looking 
of doubtful cleanliness. ^y dint of bribery we 
obtained this apartment to ourselves, else it is usual 
for the ladies to be herded five and six in one room, 
and the gentlemen in another. Two smoking lamps 
lighted us through a very indifferent meal, \ki& piece 
de resistance of which was tripe, whilst the correspon- 
dent of a New York paper did all in his power to 



I02 China to Peru. 

alarm us with an account of his day's experience in 
crossing the Cumbre or summit. He related how 
the snow lay deep and impassable, described the 
eight inches that, with a false step from your mule, 
separated you, on either side, from a bottomless 
precipice and sudden death. He talked of the horrors 
of mountain sickness, the springing up of storms and 
gales of wind, the endurance and physical strength 
required, and sent us to bed thoroughly uncomfort- 
able and frightened, with his stories ringing in our 
ears. 

To bed, but not to sleep. The great height of 
7000 feet affected us. It seemed to excite our nerves 
until we felt quivering and palpitating all over, whilst 
our breathing was oppressed by the high altitude. 
We scarcely closed our eyes all night. It was a bad 
preparation for the ensuing day, for the crossing of 
the Andes. We were thankful when, at 3 a.m., the 
call came to rise. We had been warned, in this keen 
mountain air, not to wash the face, so we were soon 
dressed, and turned out on a brilliant starlight night, 
crossed the corral to eat something at the house. 
Chunks of burnt toast and execrable chocolate were 
somewhat untempting fare, but we struggled as well 
as we could. After groping about in the darkness, 
we at length found the mules and mounted. The 
exorbitant charges did not lessen our disgust with 
the discomforts of this posada, in spite of the smiling 
landlady. 

The rough mountain path led up and down, but in 
the pitch-darkness we blindly followed our arriero, 
stumbling along and trusting in the surefootedness 
of the mules. Nevertheless, it was very uncomfort- 






v'? 






4 




Across the Andes. 103 

able work ; but we forgot it in looking at the solemn, 
silent scene around us. Above was a dark-blue 
vault, brilliantly spangled with stars. The Southern 
Cross, more perfect than I have ever seen it before, 
lay at cross angles just above a great black mountain 
top ; whilst Venus, gleaming large and blue, shone 
stedfastly above our night's resting-place. In the 
valley immediately in front of us was a mammoth 
mountain, its sloping shoulders filling up the space, 
and visible only to us, because the pale glimmer of 
dawn was heralding in the grey east. 

Now we turn from the stony bridle-path into quite 
another valley, where the desert space is wide and 
sandy. It is the Valley of Tolorzia, where Nature 
has seen fit to perform some marvellous convulsions. 
We cannot but feel here that we arc penetrating into 
the fastnesses, the deepest recesses of this herculean 
range, the greatest mountains of Nature's creation, 
wrapped as they are now in mysterious gloom. 

A little grey light glimmers around, showing 
things in the undue proportion of an uncertain light. 
We look behind. Dawn is breaking over the range in 
an opalescent grey. Daylight dawns apace. We 
hail its advent as a welcome messenger. And then 
looking up suddenly before us, gleams a glorious 
mountain, one " of the Andean Kings, with a snowy 
ermine falling from stately shoulders" — a splendid 
apparition brought very near to us in the chill, clear 
light of dawn. Even as we gaze, the rosy pink 
blushes over the crystal white of the summit. Then 
the sun rises, reflected in a few shafts of light, thrown 
up from the disc-like halo, appearing above a 
hindmost peak. All the mountains around and 



I04 China to Peru. 

above us are steeped in golden light. We alone 
travel in the deep shadow of the valley. Slowly and 
lovingly caressing their rugged sides, the gladdening 
light glides down, and with a suddenness too startling 
to describe, I saw in front on the road the two 
elongated shadows of ourselves. Looking up, the 
whole valley is bathed in a full flood of warm 
sunshine. 

It was the herald of a glorious day for the passage 
of the Cordillera. 

How is it possible to bring before anyone the utter 
barrenness of this Tolorzia Valley, with its narrow 
tract of sandy wilderness .'* How describe the awful 
loneliness of this great barren range ? yet withal 
its stately grandeur, the imposing array of mountain 
standing behind mountain, in unceasing length, the 
eye pursuing a line of 15,000 feet from base to 
summit, or a distance of five miles, in a {q\m seconds. 
The dazzling perfectness and purity of the eternal 
snow summits ! The long, even-sloping shoulders of 
snoWj or the glaciers fast frozen for ever into their 
vast crevasses ! One such of these would be sufficient 
to please, but with their never-ending number and 
height, they are almost overpowering, and one felt 
almost unable to rise to a sufficiently high level of ad- 
miration throughout the day. It is marvellous when 
we consider that this giant elevation is only after all 
a continuation of the Rocky range of America and 
Canada. The system of mountains, with a slight 
break at the Isthmus of Panama, continues all along 
the western coasts of North and South America. 

The road we are on is a good though stony track 
across the sand, extending for a distance of thirty 



Across tJie Andes. 105 

kilometres from Punta de las Vacas to Las Cuevras 
at the base of the summit. A feeling of sadness is 
induced by the number of carcases strewing the 
way, and adding to the sensation of loneliness. 
Now we see the leg of a mule, or the bleaching skull 
of an ox. Or again, it is the skeleton of a horse or 
bullock that is lying directly across the centre of the 
track. Their dying attitudes are pathetic. As they 
fell, so they died. In one case the head is raised and 
supported on the point of the horn, which has 
penetrated the ground. In another the cow has 
fallen on her knees, and thus expired, although it is 
difficult to believe that in doing so, the body did not 
roll over on to the ground. I describe what we 
saw. Stone corrals for the cattle are frequent. 
How terrible are their sufferings in this barren vale. 
It must truly be to many a valley of death. An 
enormous eagle with outstretched wings soared aloft. 
King of birds, his dwelling is in a lonely eerie far 
above the haunts of man. In strange contrast, one 
tiny bird twittered alone on the ground amongst the 
thorn scrub. How it came there, and how it lived, was 
a mystery. It bore us company for many an hour. 

We passed one or two round adobe huts, a 
casucha or post house, to shelter the carriers 
employed for the mail. They make the passage all 
through the year, even when the mountains are deep 
in snow. The mails are frequently lost, and the 
service is so irregular, that, except in summer, people 
choose the longer but safer Straits route. Very 
occasionally, the loneliness is relieved by a train of 
mules. The arrieros, in their gay-coloured ponchos, 
are solemn-looking men, who go indifferently on their 



io6 China to Peru, 

way, after passing the usual salutation of " Buenos 
Dias." 

At length something white, that is not rock, appears 
in the distance. The clear atmosphere makes it 
seem nearer. It is yet a weary way off. On and on 
we go. At last we ride up a slope, and find ourselves 
on the plateau of Puente del Inca. We dismount, to 
see the wonder of the natural bridge overhanging the 
Mendoza, which is buried far below in the chasm of 
its own hollowing. The formation of jagged rock is 
thrown across in a sloping archway. A hot mineral 
bath is found bubbling up in an adjoining cave, the 
roof of which is hung with dropping stalactites, 
glistening with quartz and mica. 

This little halt was very welcome, with its ^qw 
minutes' relief from the discomfort of the saddle. 
We had ridden ceaselessly for three hours, and 
already reached an altitude of 10,570 feet. We 
wanted to have some coffee at the Posada, which 
bears an even more evil reputation than the other 
Andean rookeries, but we were urged to hurry on to 
Las Cucvras, another two hours' riding. Though be- 
ginning to weary, we remounted without further delay. 
A horrible little watercourse, with an alarmingly 
sheer descent, followed by a rickety wooden bridge 
over the stream, brought us again on to the road, in 
the valley of the Inca. Where this valley begins and 
ends it is impossible to find out. The exploration of 
the Andes is so recent that the mountains have not 
been distinguished by names, and we soon found 
that it was useless inquiring what this or that was 
called. 

For weary, weary miles, for an interminable dis- 



Across the Andes. 107 

tance, we could see the road stretching its relentless 
length before us. I began to feel that my strength 
was ebbing. Yet the mountain scenery was glorious. 
Now it is "the rock-bound monastery of the 
Penitentes, with its procession of pilgrim boulders ; " 
a perfect simile for this crenellated extended 
length of rock, beneath which in procession are the 
winding lines of jagged rocks, representing the 
pilgrim's progress up the mountain side. 

But we are getting too weary to look much more. 
It becomes a ride of physical endurance, a long 
drawn out agony. The sun is hot. We have ridden 
breakfastless, save for a ie\w biscuits, since 4 a.m. 
The provisions we have brought with us in our hand 
luggage are on a baggage mule far in the rear, a 
contingency we never foresaw. The stirrup leather 
had skinned my leg, so I gave that up, and let my 
foot dangle helplessly. Then the pressing of the 
high-peaked pommel caused such pain, that at last I 
removed my leg, and rode just sitting sideways on 
the saddle. We urged the mules all we could. 
We dared not linger to rest, for already the sun is 
high, and we must pass the Cumbre ere noon. We 
have been warned over and over again that a wind, 
often rendering the summit quite impassable^ springs 
up in the early afternoon, and this is what we dread. 
That fear drives us on, forbids us to linger. 

Again and again we anxiously inquire of our 
muleteer as to the distance still before us. "Another 
hour." Thus has he stolidly answered for the past 
two or three hours. And hearts begin to lose cou- 
rage, and strength fail altogether, with ever that 
relentlessly unending road before us. 



io8 China to Peru. 

Wc come to some shanties lying in a valley by the 
Mendoza. A chapel and these few mud houses give 
us once again an idea of human companionship, even 
though we only see a solitary figure. Some galleries 
in the rock have been blasted out, in preparation for 
the railway tunnel. Winding up a mountain out of 
the valley, we turn, when half-way up, on to its further 
side, and find ourselves face to face with a magnifi- 
cent mountain. It is exactly opposite to us ; so 
near we think to touch it, and yet so unreachable 
because of the fathomless gulf between. It was a 
curious feeling, to be hemmed in between these 
opposing monsters. The little foaming torrent in the 
abyss below is our old friend the Mendoza, whose 
windings and turnings we have now nearly followed up 
to their source in the snow beds of the summit. We 
seem to penetrate further, as each turn bring us into 
into a fresh valley higher up, and nearer to the 
central peaks. 

There are many more weary turns in the bridle 
path, and now I am only able to hold on feebly to 
the saddle, and long ardently for Las Cuevras. Will 
it never come ? Up and down, round boulders, now 
mounting, now descending. But a final climb, and 
beneath us, in the open plain, we hail the shanties of 
Las Cuevras. Even that last bit of descending road 
seemed very, very long, and I felt as I reached the 
Posada, that I could scarcely have held on for another 
moment. 

What a filthy place it was ! A low doorway led 
into a mud shed, surrounded by rickety tables and 
benches. Well was it that wc had been warned not 
to pass the night here, and though we had settled to 



Across the Andes, 109 

leave the question open, the sight of this disgusting 
hovel was enough. Weary as we were, after riding 
for seven hours continuously, a distance of thirty 
kilometres, we determined at all hazards to persevere. 
Some travellers who had just come over the summit 
from Chili strongly advised us to hurry on, on 
account of the wind. We could not tarry, although 
I was woefully disappointed of a rest. We trusted 
that food would restore us somewhat. Delusive 
hope. A chicken sopa of hot water and grease, some 
orange fish, rancid and strong-smelling, a beefsteak 
too hard even to cut, proved simply uneatable fare. 
It must be added that the exhilarating air takes 
away all inclination to eat. After twenty minutes' 
halt, we remounted. 

The valley in which lies Las Cuevras is extremely 
beautiful. It forms a large .circular plain, around 
which mountains rise to an altitude of from 15,000 to 
20,000 feet, their summits clothed in snow, that ex- 
tends also in deep streaks down their sides. It is 
extraordinary to stand there on a perfectly flat space 
and see these mountains opposite rising up abruptly 
out of the level valley, without slope or shoulder. 
Behind the Posada are some large zinc-roofed build- 
ings. They contain the motors for driving the air com- 
pressors to be used for drilling the rock, in the great 
tunnel through the Cumbre. Already 253 metres of 
this gigantic undertaking have been bored on the 
Argentine side. 

Our attention is rivetted on the earth mountain, 
wh'cli is to take us sheer up the remaining 2000 feet 
to the Cumbre. The face of the mountain is delineated 
in long zigzags, and already the path is marked out 



I lo China to Peru. 

by the ascending line of laden pack mules, toiling in 
single file up the terrible incline. The bell of the 
leader tinkles regularly, answering the musical calls 
of the muleteers, encouraging the patient progress of 
these much-enduring animals. Traversing a stony 
arete, we too find ourselves ou the track, and begin- 
ning the ascent. 

My mule led the caravan, the arriero encouraging 
him vigorously from behind if he showed signs of 
halting. A few turns brought us wonderfully quickly 
on to a level with those mountains opposite I have 
just described. We wondered to think how un- 
approachable they had seemed when we were down 
at Las Cuevras. The end of each zigzag brought us 
to the edge of the mountain, and it was disagreeable 
turning the corners sharply overhanging the deep 
ravines on either side. Soon, indeed, it made one 
sick to peep down on the plain, so far and directly 
below was it, and the best way was to look always up 
to the path above. One false step from the mule, 
and we should have rolled to the bottom, or bounded 
down the mountain side. 

The precipitous steepness of that path it is 
difficult to depict. The mule's head rose up before 
you, whilst his tail was somewhere far below, and you 
had hard work to lean sufficiently forward to prevent 
slipping off behind. Still, though an unpleasant and 
giddy piece of riding, it is not dangerous ; moreover, 
the ascent on the Argentine side is child's play com- 
pared to the Chilian descent on the other, with its 
howling precipices, ugly aretes, and rocky paths. 
For this is an earth mountain, giving a good foot- 
hold to the mule. 



ROAD OVER THE ANDES BETWEEN THE ARGENTINE REPIBI.IC AND CHILI. 

Page no. 



Across the Andes. 1 1 1 

The path is so narrow that it is impossible to 
pass anything. We overtook an overladen pack 
mule being cruelly driven by a drunken muleteer, 
and just as I arrived behind him, his mule slipped, 
fell, and commenced rolling down the mountain be- 
fore my eyes. It was sickening to see the frantic 
efforts of the poor animal to save himself, the scram- 
bling to try and obtain a foothold, whilst the man 
drove his enormous spurs deep into its flanks, I 
could not look at what happened, but somehow he was 
saved. The incident, however, did not tend to make 
us more comfortable, as the path grew even more 
precipitous towards the end, and resembled moun- 
tain climbing on muleback. An hour and a half 
brought us td La Cumbre, or the summit. We arrived 
quite suddenly, with one last curve. To spring off the 
panting mule was the work of an instant. To look 
round the next. Great heavens ! What a glorious 
spectacle ! It is supreme. You are breathless, you 
gasp at the marvellous grandeur. It is worth endur- 
ing everything to gaze upon this. Fatigue, hunger, 
weariness, fright, all are forgotten. You feel inclined 
to pour out one long peon of thankfulness at having 
ever been permitted to know such a glorious view. 

Standing on that little barren summit, among a 
group of mules and muleteers, we were 13,000 feet 
above the world. First we look upon the glorious 
succession of snow mountains belonging to the 
Argentine range ; then turn face about to the 
Chilian Cordillera, startled to see below a great crater 
filled with dazzling snow. The long smooth 
shoulders of the mountains are sparkling and glisten- 
ing in the brilliant sunshine, with these crystal 



I I 2 



China to Peru. 



particles, whilst the great ermine-clad range beyond 
forms a perfect horizon chain of peak towering above 
peak, piled up heavenward. It is a stupendous 
vision. It is scarcely possible to believe that a 
grander one exists anywhere. 

What a glorious day it is. The sun seems to be 
so near, shining in a sky of deepest ethereal blue. 
There is not a cloud or suggestion of mist on these 
heights, varying from 15,000 to 20,000 feet. There 
is Tupungato towering in solemn silence, the highest 
peak in this colossal range, looking down from a 
height of 22,000 feet. Yonder Juncal reveals its 
ruined crater. "Those silver threads here and there 
are the beginning of rivers emptying in the Atlantic. 
Those tangled skeins near the snow beds yonder are 
the sources of the Aconcagua and rivers flowing into 
the Atlantic. The gales which sweep over it come 
from the Atlantic, and, depositing their last drops of 
moisture in snow, pass on to the rainless seaboard of 
the Pacific, dry, cool, and balmy. This is the heart 
of the Andes. It is an earthquake-shattered region, 
over which the creative mysteries of the past seem to 
brood." 

We were too absorbed in the scene around us to think 
of the promised sorocche, or mountain sickness, the 
bleeding of ears and nose, the difficulty of breathing 
to be experienced on the summit. Nor were the too 
numerous wraps we had taken necessary. We must 
not stay long on this wind-swept platform. There 
is no place to corral the mules, or protection for 
ourselves. We gaze wistfully, wishing we could 
linger yet a little. We look reluctantly again, 
and yet once again, then mount and bidding fare- 



Across the Aiides. 113 

well to Argentina, we turn and set our faces towards 
Chili. 

We entered deep snow directly we commenced the 
descent. The beaten track was slippery with ice, 
whilst the snow reached up to the saddle girths on 
either side. Although my mule was led, it was 
extremely unpleasant, descending on this path of iced 
snow down a precipitous mountain side, the animals 
sliding and slipping along as best they could. 
There were a few ugly places, where the snow had 
melted and given way, and where the mules sunk into 
a crevasse four or five feet deep, floundering, plunging, 
falling, and recovering. One place was impassable, 
until stones had been dug out and placed to form 
some sort of foothold. 

But worse was to come. For when the snow and 
boulders and the last arete were past, we found our- 
selves on a scarcely discernible track of loose scoria 
and stones, winding over the side of deep precipices. 
They yawned below and on either side of us. A 
false step by the mule, and we should be hurled to 
certain death. It was blood-curdling work. One 
tried not to see, but glimpses of these death traps 
would appear in the windings of the dangerous way. 
Only a fortnight before a family had come over. 
One of their pack mules slipped in the snow and was 
lost with the baggage in a crevasse. The arriero's 
mule made a false step and rolled over, carrying the 
man, hanging by his stirrup in the lasso, over a preci- 
pice. Fortunately some little obstacle caught them, 
and with the greatest difficulty they were rescued. 

How quickly we descended. The great snow fields 
were soon left behind us. But the valley was deep 

I 



1 14 China to Peru. 

and windinj^, and before we were half-way down I 
called a halt, and notwithstanding all remonstrances 
dismounted. The descent threw me against the 
pommel, causing such pain from the pressure that I 
could endure it no longer. My nerves, unstrung 
with excessive fatigue, could stand the strain of riding 
over these dangerous precipices no more. The sharp 
stones cut my feet horribly. The loose earth and 
stones formed a glissade down the steep places, or were 
sometimes turned into running rivers of liquid mud, 
ankle deep, and flowing down, as mule after mule 
churned it up in descending. It was not a moment 
to consider such trifles as mud and dirt. Heedless 
of all, I plunged wildly on, down, down, thankful 
only for every inch of descent accomplished. 

The wind sprang up. How thankful we were to 
have passed the Cumbre in safety. Stumbling, 
tripping, clinging to rocks, sliding down anyhow ; at 
length, after a very long while, we saw a glad sight — 
the end of the deep ravine, the valley of rest. A 
further source of satisfaction was the joy of our 
luggage passing by safe and sound, for we had 
suffered many pangs of doubt as to its safety, at 
various periods of the journey. 

Little did we think that this extremely long, steep 
descent was only the prelude to many other similar 
ones, ere our arrival at Juncal. All the afternoon we 
descended from valley to valley, dropped down suc- 
cessive altitudes, each one being reached by an 
equally terrible descent carved out from the mountain 
side. I was obliged to remount. It was best to 
put entire faith in the mule and never attempt to 
guide him, even when he persistently chose the 



Across the Andes. 1 15 

outer and overhanging edge of the pathway. Twice 
we stopped to rest under the shelter of a corral. 
I could scarcely hold on much longer, being 
utterly exhausted and too weary to think of any- 
thing but an arrival at our destination. The moun- 
tains might be most beautiful, but I could only cling 
in a long drawn-out agony to the saddle. 

So steep is the Cordillera on the Chilian side, 
that during the afternoon we descended 5000 feet, 
still leaving over 8000 feet to be accomplished. The 
scenery was magnificent, far grander and more varied 
than that of the morning. As I have before said^ 
the Chilian ascent is much more beautiful, if pre- 
cipitous, than the Argentine Valley. 

Late in the afternoon we found ourselves opposite 
a mountain, looking down upon a lovely valley. 
This scene, tired as I was, was of such extreme 
beauty that it remains imprinted on my memory. 
" It was the descent of the Caracoles, one of the 
boldest and most picturesque sections of the Cor- 
dillera." Our muleteer then took us over a fearful 
moraine, turning off the path which would have led 
us past the black waters of the desolate Inca Lake. 
It may have been a short cut, but we were sorry 
afterwards to have missed seeing this mountain sea. 
At the bottom, at Calavera, on a large open space, 
were the zinc-roofed buildings of the railway works 
and the drilling installations for piercing the entrance 
to the Cumbre summit on this, the Chilian side. The 
tunnel is to be 5000 metres in length, without venti- 
lation, and will pierce through and under the valleys 
we have been descending during the afternoon. 
Will Juncal never come? Yet another valley to 
1 2 



1 1 6 China to Peru. 

ride through, yet another descent before us ; but in 
the distance is the wooden house of the Juncal Hotel, 
lying far away below the hillside, beside the foaming 
torrent of the Aconcagua, which oozes out of the 
snow beds of some of the Andean Mountains we 
have just been passing. The final descent is fortu- 
nately over a good road, engineered by the railway 
for transporting their material to Calavcra, for I had 
come to the final stage of exhaustion. 

We arrived at the hotel, I was lifted off the 
mule and placed on a bed, where for two hours 
I lay aching and throbbing with pain, unable to 
move or speak. Then tea was a great refresher, 
accompanied by a hot bath with arnica, to relieve 
the weary limbs. 

We had ridden between fifty to sixty kilometres, 
or from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m., with only half an hour's 
rest, and almost without food. We arrived smothered 
in mud and dirt, with everything spoilt we had on. 
But I had saved my face from swelling by means of 
a linen mask, and a paste of cold cream and vaseline. 
The mountain air is so dry and keen that several 
ladies described to me the condition of their faces as 
being so inflamed and painful that they had to keep 
their rooms for a week after crossing the Cordillera. 
Hence my precautions. 

During the entire day, the rnules had been given 
nothing to eat or drink. They did not appear over 
tired, but on a fair road it is always reckoned that a 
mule can comfortably do from fifty to sixty miles 
per day. 

The Juncal Hotel is a clean wooden structure in 
a lovely situation at the head of the Aconcagua 



Across the Andes. 1 1 7 

Valley, and surrounded by mountain peaks. It is 
kept by M. Hispa, a Frenchman, who, we are glad 
to hear, is about to take over the Posada at Las 
Cuevras^ when, let us hope, it will become as clean 
and comfortable as this pretty little inn. We slept 
for twelve hours. Awoke refreshed, though still 
so sore and stiff, we felt we could not face another 
thirty kilometres of riding after yesterday's ex- 
perience, so we chartered M. Hispa's carriage for 
the lovely drive on a spring morning down the 
valley of the roaring torrent of Aconcagua. 

Unwise decision. In a few minutes we wished 
ourselves back on our mules, for the springless two- 
wheeled waggonette, with its mixed team, jolted and 
bumped relentlessly against the stones loosened from 
the banks, that had fallen on to the road, causing 
renewed suffering to our bruised and wearied bodies 
and making us almost seasick. 

As we dropped down the valley, it was interesting 
to watch the various stages of vegetation, beginning 
with a scrub growth, continuing with evergreen 
shrubs and hardy trees, then a quantity of pansies 
and marigolds and wild flowers, and ending in a 
magnificent growth of cacti, growing in groups of 
wanton luxuriance on every hill-side, their round, 
thorny stems crowned by a white, waxy flower, re- 
sembling a Eucharis lily. Counted as a trouble- 
some weed in this country, in England what a 
curiosity we should consider their peculiar and 
bristling growth. 

Salto de Soldato is reached after a three hours' 
drive, and we rest under an arbour of dried branches, 
until the arrival of the special engine generously 



1 1 8 China to PeriL. 

sent for us by the Company. Then M. Hispa 
insisted upon driving us to the station himself, and 
it did seem hard lines that after escaping all the 
perils of crossing the Cordillera, and just when 
we had, as we thought, arrived safely, that worthy 
gentleman should all but succeed in sending us over 
a last precipice by the aid of bad driving and a 
refractory mule. But so it was, and we had a narrow 
escape. 

The special engine awaited us at this, the end of 
the Chilian section of the Transandine Railway. It 
was a funny little machine, being a trolly surmounted 
by a boiler, with a single seat to hold two passengers 
behind. It was truly the " machina especiaP' men- 
tioned on the ticket, and was to run us down to Los 
Andes over the completed section of the railway. 
The line here is being merely kept in repair, as since 
the crisis there has been no money forthcoming in 
Chili to continue the work. But whilst we were at 
Santiago, Mr. Matteo Clark was obtaining a fresh 
concession on new lines from the Government. If 
successful in securing the assent of Congress, the 
works should be recommenced immediately. 

A few instants after leaving the station we plunged 
into a tunnel, then out again, and in the second 
before entering another tunnel we catch a glimpse of 
the Soldier's Leap, from which the place obtains its 
name. It is a deep-hewn chasm in a rocky defile, 
with the Aconcagua rushing below. The legend 
runs that during the war between Chili and the 
Argentine a soldier escaped his pursuers by leaping 
across this gap. 

It was a wild, mad rush downwards, lasting over 



Across the Andes. 1 19 

an hour, on that Httle trolley. Ever descending into 
the valley, with the mountains receding rapidly 
before us. That fertile, smiling valley of vineyards, 
with its green fields of lucerne and wheats its teeming 
habitations, seemed to us like returning to the world 
once more. This morning we were in the fastnesses 
of the mountains. This afternoon we are in a well- 
populated plain. The " Lion of the Andes," a great 
snow-capped peak, with a summit resembling a square 
Norman castle keep, rose prominent from the range. 
Down, down, in a frantic rush, amid clouds of smoke 
and dust, amid a deafening clamour of rattling wheels. 
We cling vigorously on, being shaken and rocked 
from side to side ; it is only another method of 
battering our aching limbs. A final rush and a 
spurt of steam, and we draw up at the platform of 
the station of Los Andes, or Santa Rosa. 

Soon we are at rest in the quiet green patio of the 
Hotel de Commerce, fragrant with roses and lilies, 
and listening to the gently splashing fountain, whilst 
good M. and Madame Haler minister to our wants. 
How grateful we were for that pleasant two hours of 
repose. What an oasis of refreshing quiet and 
greenness it seemed after the gaunt grimness of the 
scenes of the past few days. 

1 have recorded our experiences in traversing the 
Cordillera, but I am well aware that many will not 
agree with my account of the fatigues and discom- 
forts of the journey. I have met several ladies who 
have thoroughly enjoyed the expedition, while others 
again will think with us that the trip may be made 
under pressure of necessity, but certainly not for 
pleasure. I think myself that the question resolves 



1 20 China to Peru. 

itself into one of physical strength. If a lady is 
sufficiently strong to ride continuously for twelve 
hours without undue fatigue, the journey through 
such grand scenery is enjoyable. If, like myself, she 
becomes so over-tired that the only question to be 
thought of is whether strength can hold out until 
the end of the day, she will probably agree in my 
account. 

The advance of the railway will quickly lessen the 
amount of riding. Ladies will be warned by the 
experience of others to take their own saddles. The 
inns, with the increase of passengers, will improve 
in food and accommodation. 

Los Andes, with its green plaza so well laid out 
and carefully tended, is a charming little place, but 
it owes everything to its grand background of the 
Andes, in all their glory. Now that we have pene- 
trated far into their innermost recesses, and have 
made such an intimate acquaintance with their 
ascending heights, it is pleasant to contemplate them 
from a distance that lends them somewhat of en- 
chantment. 

At six in the evening we took the train to San- 
tiago, making our farewell to the Cordillera, under 
the blush of a rosy sunset that ctherealized, while 
bathing their rock-bound surface in a tender pink. 
A last look in the twilight revealed them faded into 
a cold and ghostly grey. The gathering dusk hid 
from view the thriving farmsteads, the vineyards, 
gardens, and rows of poplars of this smiling Chilian 
valley. 

Santiago is reached shortly after lo p.m., and we 
arc soon established in the palatial, if rambling. 



Across the Andes. 121 

Hotel de Frangia, giving on to the Plaza. We fully 
rejoice in a return to civilized quarters once more, 
while a feeling of thankfulness is not absent that 
our crossing of the Andes is a feat accomplished. 



CHAPTER VI. 

CHILI AND THE CHILIANS. 

" Toll, toll, toll," the neighbouring bell of the 
Cathedral of Santiago booms into my awakening ears. 
Cracked as the bell is, it yet gives forth a sonorous 
full-toned note, and on looking out of my window, 
overlooking the vast Plaza, I see crowds of black-robed 
and hooded women obeying its summons, and 
hurrying in at the great door, to be joined by a pro- 
cession of white-robed priests, wearing large black 
shovel hats. 

There is a great commemorative funeral service in 
progress, for the anniversary of the death of the 
patriot minister, Portales. You enter the Cathedral 
to see a most impressive sight. Hundreds of women, 
all clothed in black, are kneeling on the floor, their 
faces upturned, listening to an eloquent sermon from 
the black-gowned cure. His sonorous accents echo 
through the aisles, accompanied by many eloquent 
gestures. There are no chairs or prie-dieuSy but each 
woman brings in her own mat or handkerchief to 
kneel on. The catafalque is ablaze with hundreds 
of lighted tapers, whilst the whole Cathedral is sump- 
tuously draped in black and silver. The choir-stalls 
are occupied by high Church dignitaries. There 



Chill and the Chilians. 1 23 

is the Archbishop, with an enormous white mitre and 
spangled gold vestment, whilst below are grouped 
the lesser lights of the Church — the bishops arrayed 
in velvet vesture scarcely less gorgeous. The 
acolytes and surpliced choir complete the pic- 
turesque grouping around the High Altar, 

We were enjoying this gorgeous spectacle, when I 
began to find out that the women were staring and 
whispering about me. I suddenly realized that my 
hat was the object of comment, and that all the other 
fenaales were shawled and hooded except myself. 
Luckily we made an exit before being forcibly 
ejected, for no woman in Chili or Peru is allowed to 
enter a church except their heads are covered in this 
fashion. The idea originated in a good principle. 
There was to be no difference amongst the wor- 
shippers. The hood and draped figure were common 
alike to the highest in the land and the humblest 
churchgoer. 

The difference in religious fervour between Chili 
and the Argentine is at once apparent. Here they 
are ardent devotees. Churches are open all day, 
bells tolling forth perpetually over the city, and 
hooded women, kneeling, mat in one hand, rosary 
and breviary in the other, swarm in the streets in the 
early morning, hurrying along to mass. Even in this 
levelling costume, the distinctive mark of the lady 
will peep out. Now it is discovered by the jewelled 
hand stealing from under the shawl, or the heavily- 
chased silver mounting of the breviary. Some 
daughter of vanity may even try to lessen the severity 
of the costume by a border of lace, and many con- 
trive to adjust the mantilla in such a coquettish way 



1 24 China to Peru. 

that it marks out to perfection the shape of the head. 
But the Spanish ladies need not fear the severe sim- 
ph'city of the praya. It forms the most becoming 
and effective frame to their beautiful complexions 
and lustrous black eyes. 

Santiago is a most fascinating capital. Of all the 
places we have seen in South America it pleases us 
most. To begin with, there is that wonderful 
setting for the bright little town, formed by the 
semicircle of the Andes. Look which way you will, 
their white-crowned summits peep above the brown 
roof-tops, and glimmer behind the many church 
towers. Now, as through the whole summer, they 
appear always wrapped in a golden haze. It imparts 
to them a transparent delicacy of colour hard to 
describe. They are thirty miles away, and yet how 
near they seem, for in this lucid atmosphere distance 
is a fantasia that deceives greatly. 

One of the great charms of Chili is the perfect 
climate. Rain may fall for three months of the year, 
but during the other nine months the sun shines 
without fail, day after day, while the heat is tempered 
by a fresh breeze. It is an ideal atmosphere, with an 
air bright, light, and invigorating. The want of water 
is the only drawback, but the industrious Chilian, by 
the aid of trenches and miniature canals, brings the 
mountain stream into the valley, and by a compli- 
cated system of irrigation, produces the luxurious 
vegetation and crops that we see. 

Santiago possesses a magnificent boulevard, ex- 
tending for two miles in the Alameda or Avenida das 
Delicias. Truly named is this umbrageous avenue of 
trees and shady promenades. In the evening, when 



Chili and the CJiilians, 125 

the band plays, the citizens there stroll in large 
numbers. Its great length is frequently interrupted 
by equestrian statues, and other monuments erected 
to the memory of patriot generals and citizens. The 
Chilians, of all people in the world, are the most 
patriotic, and on every plaza and in the park of every 
city you find these tokens of a grateful people to the 
heroes who have rendered services to their country. 
The tramway is accorded a special avenue to itself 
The trees of the Alameda, in their rich green foliage, 
call for much admiration in a country where all 
becomes burnt up and brown unless carefully 
watered. 

The end of the Alameda is crowned by Santa 
Lucia, the unique feature of Santiago. 

Santa Lucia was a barren rock until the muni- 
ficence of a citizen. Vicuna Mackenna, transformed it 
into the fantastic eminence before us. The winding 
walks that ascend to its summit are fringed with 
pepper trees. Aloes form a natural prickly hedge, 
whilst tlie rocky walls are draped and blazing with 
scarlet geraniums. There arc cool grottoes, with 
trickling water, a restaurant and theatre. Santa 
Lucia has its chapel, with the marble statue of a 
mitred archbishop, with hand upraised in the act of 
blessing the city from this elevated position. The 
view from the crowning pavilion, with Santiago 
spread out at our feet, is magnificent. We see the 
brown tiled eaves of the houses of its 200,000 
citizens, the masses of church spires, the green 
lines of the Alameda distinctly marked out, and 
vanishing in the distance, the dry, unsightly bed of 
the Rio Mapocho, crossed by numerous bridges. 



126 China to Peru. 

the whole encircled by that glorious snow range 
of the Cordillera. 

Our Plaza is the centre of life. The Hotel dc 
Fran^ia, with its imposing fagade of Ionian columns, 
occupies the whole of one side, the Cathedral and 
Archiepiscopal Palace another, and the Post Office a 
third. The colonnade under our hotel is an open 
bazaar, with its stalls and goods disposed on counters 
in the streets. Lovely flowers and fruit, such as 
strawberries, bananas, pine apples, green figs, and 
custard apples, are exposed for sale. 

The wonderful covered gallery of San Carlos is 
only equalled by the arcade at Milan, This lofty 
colonnade is cruciform in shape, meeting in the 
centre under a lofty arched dome of glass. The 
shops in it are Parisian, whilst its pavements are a 
favourite lounge for \.\\c flaneurs of the capital. 

The streets are full of movement. The tram service 
is frequent, and as they all start from the Plaza on a 
single line, the block is often great. At night their 
red lamps proceed in slow procession, forming a 
complete circle of coloured light around the square. 
Their conductors are women, the distinguishing 
uniform consisting in a straw sailor hat. It seems 
strange to us to sec these women seated on the 
footboard of the open tram, collecting their fares. 
Knifeboard passengers have to pay before they go 
up. The Tramway Companies find that the women, 
whilst working for less wages, are also much more 
honest. The receipts have materially increased since 
this change was adopted. 

The shrill cries of the ragged street urchins, offering 
lottery tickets and newspapers, cease not day nor 



Chili and the Chilians, 127 

night. Monster bullock waggons creak along the 
road, the driver walking alongside, to admonish his 
fourfold team of oxen with the wand-like whip. 
Gauchos, of even more picturesque type than those 
in Argentina, pace along. Their ponchos are shorter 
and of more brilliant and varied stripes, their sombreros 
are woven in straw of many colours, whilst the huge 
circular star-shaped spur, which does not prick so 
sharply as an ordinary one, is more utilized to hold 
on with than to punish the mule or horse. The 
saddle is even more decorated than that of the 
Eastern gaucho. As the most characteristic object 
to take home from South America, we invested in 
Santiago in a complete gaucho equipment, consisting 
of high peaked saddle, lasso, bolas, wooden box 
stirrups, spurs, and a cruel ring-bit. 

We observe a novel form of advertising. A tram 
is hired, and with a band playing on the top to 
attract attention, drives round the town in the after- 
noon, scattering hundreds of handbills, with notices 
of some evening entertainment. The hackney 
carriage is so quaint as to deserve special notice. 
Swung high on C springs, the carriage roof projects 
over the driver's seat, affording him protection. It 
gives a curious elongated and somewhat awkward 
appearance. Badly paved with the usual stone 
cobbles as are the streets, they are yet an improve- 
ment on those of Buenos Ayres. A block away 
from the Plaza is the Camara de Deputados, or 
Parliament buildings. The Corinthian columns and 
pink exterior of this pretty little House of Deputies 
is indicative of the simple interior. The semi-circular 
Chamber contains the President's desk, slightly raised 



128 China to Peril. 

on a platform, with rows of desks around. Each 
desk provides space for two deputies. There are 
special galleries Reserved for the Press, the Diplomatic 
Corps, and the public. The dining and waiting rooms 
are small but comfortable. Adjoining the lower 
Chamber, is the National Library and the Senate 
House. 

One of the sights of Santiago is the Cousino Park, 
where between the hours of five and seven the 
Chilian ladies come out for their daily drive. 
Avenues of pepper trees and groups of Eucalyptus 
surround the circular promenade, whilst the eye is 
refreshed by that most rare growth in South America, 
green glades of grass. In a country where for so 
many months of the year no rain falls it is difficult, 
nay, almost impossible, to keep a lawn from becoming 
burnt up. The lake in the centre is fringed with 
water reeds. Clumps of arum lilies cluster on the 
banks. Hedges of roses surround it, whilst rustic 
bridges, wreathed in creepers, are thrown across to 
an island in the centre. Among the groves of trees 
that surround the lake there is a restaurant, but the 
fashionable circle is found elsewhere. Here, enthroned 
in state, the ladies sit in rows, watching the occupants 
of the other carriages. Some of these equipages 
amuse us greatly, such as a char-a-banc full of young 
men, an English tandem, and a high dog-cart. 
There is even one four-in-hand, but perhaps to us 
the strangest custom is that of two young men 
solemnly driving round and round in a close carriage. 
Doubtless, the ladies are the attraction. 

Beautifully dressed, the charms of these ladies are 
partially concealed by their closed carriages. An open 



Chili and the Chilians. 129 

carnage is not considered the proper thing. So soon 
do we fall into the ways of the country, that a 
victoria now looks to us quite an outrage on estab- 
lished custom. True it is that the panels of glass, 
forming the sides of the carriages, display the 
occupant as much as possible. As in Spain, the 
Eastern seclusion of women yet lingers in these 
South American capitals. Their lives are chiefly 
confined to the patio. The daily drive in the park, 
varied by much mass-going, is the only amusement 
and occupation. 

We were granted an audience by the Archbishop 
of Chili at the Palace. An outer lobby, filled with 
suppliants, admitted us to the corridor overlooking 
a patio green with palms, and to the crimson uphol- 
stered reception-room, with the usual portrait of the 
Holy Father. 

The Archbishop received us in state, in the Hall 
of Convocation. Advancing over the polished boards, 
down a long room, attired in purple and scarlet robes, 
and attended by a group of high ecclesiastics, His 
Eminence courteously greeted us, and led us to 
chairs placed at the upper end. The Convocation 
Hall is a stately chamber, dim with stained glass, 
reflected in shining colours on the carved oak stalls 
that line the walls. The ceiling is adorned with a 
beautifully painted fresco, of an allegorical subject. 
The light catches the burnished points of a crucifix 
turned eastwards. The chapel, immediately opposite, 
is florid in blue and white decoration. Marriages and 
baptisms of state are performed here. 

We gave much greeting from Cardinal Vaughan, 
and presented the letter of recommendation addressed 

K 



130 China to Peru. 

by His Eminence on our behalf to " Omnibus 
Ecclesiae Catholicae Archiepiscopis, Episcopis, Sacer- 
dotibus, et Fidelibus." 

The conversation turned on Cardinal Manning, and 
our host was much interested when we related the 
story of our little girl's visit to him, a few days 
before his death. She wore a scarlet coat and hat. 
He laughingly asked her how she dared appropriate a 
cardinal's headgear, and, taking it off, placed it on his 
own head. He then fetched from his bedroom a sacred 
picture, which he gave her with his blessing and 
salute. Monsignor Cazanova is a very able man, of 
commanding presence and deep-set brows. He 
asked many intelligent questions respecting Ireland, 
Mr. Gladstone, and Home Rule. 

The Roman Church is all-powerful in Chili, and 
has enormous political influence. He attributed this 
to the pure Spanish descent of the population ; 
whilst the Italian element which largely predominates 
in Argentina, hampers the progress of the Church 
there. The Catholicism of Italy has never been so 
fervid as that of Spain. The interview, with the 
listening group of ecclesiastics, was somewhat formid- 
able, especially as we are not children of his Church, 
and I was relieved when we found ourselves outside 
the Archiepiscopal precincts. 

An hour later the President of the Republic received 
us in his crimson-canopied reception chamber, at the 
" Moneda." These Government buildings of the old 
Spanish rule are a succession of rambling plaster 
courts, connected by wooden verandahs and stair- 
cases, covering a large space. The interior windows 
of the Mint arc guarded by iron bars. 



Chili and the Chilians. 1 3 1 

Characteristic of the simple state observed by the 
President is the ante-chamber, guarded by a single 
officer in uniform. President Montt wears the 
uniform of the navy to which he belongs, and speaks 
excellent English. He is pleasant and affable. The 
salary of 1500/. does not admit of much ostentation 
or show. None is needed by this simple and loyal 
people. Later in the evening, we met the President 
walking unattended in the Alameda. 

A great national and Conservative demonstration 
was taking place at the Opera House, to celebrate 
the anniversary of the death of Portales, a former 
minister, who was assassinated at the early age of 
forty-four. He died nearly fifty years ago, without 
achieving any great work, but with the reputation 
of being an upright and honest minister. The 
enthusiasm, therefore, his memory arouses is quite 
extraordinary. His name is to the Conservative 
party what Beaconsfield's is to ours. 

The committee kindly put a box at our disposal. 
We arrived to find the Opera House crowded from 
floor to roof with an appreciative audience. Not a 
place was vacant. The House was festooned with 
roses, and a bust of Portales occupied the centre of 
the stage, whilst the ladies of the chorus were grouped 
around, among the overhanging palms. It was a 
brilliant spectacle, the lower boxes of the tiers adding 
to the coup d'oeil. The President was there in his 
loge, whilst that of the Municipality, opposite, 
was occupied by the ladies and gentlemen of the 
committee. 

The interest of the entertainment consisted in the 
concert, all the music and orchestra being undcr- 

K 2 



132 China to Peru. 

taken by amateur performers, many of them being 
members of well-known families. The music was 
interspersed by speeches and addresses in praise of 
the statesman. We found these latter very long and 
tedious. A lady recited a poem composed by her 
mother, a daughter of Portales. We were taken 
during the interval behind the stage, and introduced 
to some of the leading ladies and gentlemen. 

When the allegorical tableaux, with a picture of 
an angel crowning the laurel-wreathed bust of 
Portales, wound up the demonstration, we found 
that it had lasted for four hours and that it was 
nearly 2 a.m. We escaped the dancing that was to 
follow in the/fp^^r, and hurried home. 

The charming Minister of Foreign Affairs — Senor 
Don Venturo Blanco Riel — came on Sunday afternoon, 
to drive us out in his carriage to the Ouinta Normal, 
to witness the opening of a picture-gallery by the 
President. 

The Ouinta Normal is a species of " living 
encyclopaedia,'^ exhibiting the products of the country, 
and combining a Botanical and Zoological Garden. 
There are specimens of the llama, alpaca, guanoco, 
housed indiscriminately near cages containing 
partridges, Dorking hens, and species of our common 
geese. The gardens are shady, and well laid out 
round a pretty lake. Two military bands were per- 
forming. It was pleasant watching the crowds of 
people strolling about, enjoying the music and the 
Sunday afternoon rest. 

The Quinta Cousino is one of the sights of 
Santiago, and thither Sefior Osa and Councillor 
Lopez conducted us one afternoon. This magnificent 



Chili and the Chilians. 133 

palace belongs to Madame Cousino, the proprietress 
of the Peninsula of Lota, the owner of its rich coal- 
mines, and almost the wealthiest woman in the world, 
with a fortune estimated at perhaps 400,ocx)/. sterling 
a year. We have not time to go south and visit 
Conception and Lota, but everyone tantalizes us by 
descriptions of the latter spot, with its lovely gardens 
overhanging the sea. 

This beautiful house is well worthy of a visit. We 
pass through room after room, hung with exquisite 
and priceless brocades, embroidered by hand. The 
curtains, wall-panels, and furniture are en suite. 
The ceilings are frescoed with water-nymphs and 
cherubs ; costly cloisonne and exquisite Dresden 
china adorn the ormolu or Mexican marble mounted 
tables. The house is a gem, worthy of the Roths- 
child family of South America. The marble hall, 
full of beautiful statuary, leads to the spacious stair- 
case, whose wall-panels are decorated by the French 
artist Clarin with realistic scenes from the life of 
Paris. One panel represents the Champs Elysees 
and the Arc de Triomphe, full of gay carriages, and 
another the course at Longchamps. 

I have never seen anything like the sumptuous 
decorations of the bedrooms. The beds, hung with 
vieux rose satin or pale-green eau de vie, are draped 
in costly lace, the wall-panels and furniture being 
similarly covered ; the blue satin canopied bed in 
Madame Cousino's own room being a work of art 
in itself A picture gallery possessing a Meissonier, 
and enormous stables, with accommodation for 120 
horses, completed this Palace of Delight. The house 
at Lota is even more superb, and yet the owner of 



134 ' China to Pern. 

all these mansions elects by choice to live in a small 
apartment in Paris ; seldom comes here, and, most 
ironical coincidence of all, is in perpetual ill-health. 
One daughter is a permanent invalid, another in a 
convent, and one of the two sons dislikes all pomp 
and show. Such is life ! 

We are told that there are several other houses on 
the Alameda and elsewhere in Santiago almost as 
magnificent as this Ouinta Cousino ; for they are 
free here from the Baring boom and crash, and are 
not living in a state of retrenchment and retirement 
as in Argentina. 

Senor Osa (to whom we were indebted for much 
that was pleasant during our stay at Santiago) gave 
us a magnificent paseo, or dejeuner, at his Ouinta 
in the country, asking a distinguished company 
to meet us. It was a drive of four miles out, along 
a typical country road, full of ascents and declivities, 
hidden in clouds of dust. 

The Quinta, with its marble hall and large apart- 
ments, was very handsome ; the garden charming, 
with its long walk arched over with trellises of 
vines, leading through to an avenue of tulip-trees 
in full bloom. The large yellow flower, with its 
orange centre, filled the air with perfume. A lake, 
covered with water-lilies, was beyond. There were 
orchid-houses, ferneries, and conservatories, and some 
lawns, though not quite perhaps of the shaven 
smoothness we are accustomed to in our gardens 
at home. As for the roses, their luxuriance could 
not be equalled. On trees over six feet high, masses 
of white and pink blossoms clustered thickly ; others 
grew in hedges, or climbed over archways ; the 



Chili and the Chilians. 1 35 

tea-roses being exceptionally fine. South America 
is, in this spring season, a land of flowers. 

The table at dejetiner was decorated to form a 
parterre of bloom, being completely covered with 
floral designs. It was a native repast, with several 
favourite Chilian dishes, and commenced with 
" cazuela," a soup of hotch-potch, and was followed 
by some " empanadas," or pastry pies ; the charac- 
teristic feature of both being the hot curry flavour, 
produced by a liberal use of the red chili. Prize 
horses and bulls were produced afterwards for our 
inspection; but we were growing impatient to leave, as 
time pressed. A paseo is an interminably long enter- 
tainment ; for beginning at 11 a.m. or so, it frequently 
lasts until dinner-time approaches. 

At length we bade farewell to our kind host and 
hostess, drove with Mr. Kennedy, the British 
Minister, through the blazing sun on our return to 
Santiago, packed up, and were ready to leave for 
Valparaiso in the evening. 

The Chilian railway system is a Government enter- 
prise, and the cheapest to travel by in the world. Our 
journey of 120 miles only cost eight shillings. The 
setting sun crimsoned the snow summits of the 
Cordillera, as we wound among the little valleys and 
low foothills. We judged that the curves and 
gradients of this line are severe, from the way the 
carriage shook. Now in the dark we heard the 
engine puffing and struggling up hill, then again 
shutting off steam for a downward rush. 

Valparaiso looked its best under the beams of a 
crescent moon, the pale-blue light gleaming and 
dancing on the foam of the waves, washing into the 



136 China to Peru. 

bay we were skirting. Myriads of lights twinkled in 
long-drawn-out or arched lines, up and down, over the 
rocky promontory on which the town has found for 
itself a foothold. We see the sea once more. We 
have travelled from ocean to ocean, from the green 
waves of the Atlantic to the blue waters of the 
Pacific. 

A walk through the solitary and deserted streets 
brought us to the Hotel de France. Worn out with 
the overwhelming hospitality of our friends at 
Santiago, we rested well and slept soundly. 

Valparaiso^ most quaint of seafaring ports, is laid 
out in one long street, on a piece of land that has 
been rescued from the bay. After the precise chess- 
board configuration of other South American towns, 
the windings of the Calle Arturo Prat are a refreshing 
variety. All around are the great bare hills of 
yellow earth, sparsely dotted with green scrub and 
bushes. Their natural conformation is preserved, 
whilst the houses are terraced a little way up each 
hill, and divided by deep gulleys. They are reached 
by winding wooden stairs, or steep roads, carved out 
in the cliffs. The overhanging wall of rock, that rises 
above the roof-tops of the central calle, is hung 
with scarlet geraniums and yellow marigolds. 

Valparaiso has its cool, green public gardens, its 
central Plazas, and national monuments to patriotic 
countrymen, chief of which is that to Arturo Prat, 
the hero of the naval battle at Iquique ; but save the 
theatre, no other fine public buildings. English 
abound in the streets, for somewhere about 2000 
reside and are engaged in business here. Mr. 
Wethcrall, tlic English chaplain, kindly gave up his 



Chili and the Chilians. 137 

day to us, and from the top of a tram, showed us the 
little there is to be seen in Chili's chief seaport. 

We spent the afternoon in going by train to 
Vina del Mar, the fashionable watering-place on the 
sea-shore, celebrated also for the national races that 
are frequently held on its racecourse. Through the 
wharves, with piles of merchandise lying before the 
numerous shipping offices, we go, slipping along the 
sea-shore, amongst the rocks, where the waves, black 
with seaweed, come rolling in. In this sheltered and 
placid bay the Pacific gleams pale and misty in the 
afternoon sunlight. Far away yonder, hidden under 
that white cloud, is the snow cone of Aconcagua. 

A sad sight is a large steamer wrecked on the 
rocks quite near the shore. She is one of the 
steamers belonging to the Sud Americana or Chilian 
line, and went ashore in a dense fog the night before 
last. Her captain, an old servant of the company's, 
mistook the whistle of the train going round the bay, 
for that of the tug sent out to meet him. The ship is 
heeling over fast ; indeed on our return journey we 
saw a marked difference in the list to starboard. 
They fear she will become a total wreck. 

We travel through the midst of the pretty quintas 
and green gardens of Vifia del Mar, and alight at the 
hotel opposite the station. The garden, with its deep, 
shady groves of casuerina-trees, its terraced walks, 
lawn-tennis courts and winding paths, is the great 
attraction to the hotel. Many come and pass the 
summer here, to enjoy the sea-bathing, though the 
little wooden houses on the sands look somewhat 
rough, and the cold current renders the water too icy 
cold for many to endure. Chili is superior to the 



138 China to Peru. 

Argentine in possessing this seaside place and several 
mountain villages for a summer change of residence. 
At Buenos Ayres they have only one seaside (and 
shadeless) village, Mara la Plata, to resort to in the 
hot season. 

The racecourse, marked out by a circular row of 
poplars, is pointed out to us in the distance. A 
natural hill has been taken advantage of to form a 
grand-stand. The boxes are dug out in tiers on the 
hill-side, and pleasant to remember arc the open-air 
picnics which take place in each loge. The climate of 
Valparaiso, as its chief charm, deserves a passing 
word. A clear atmosphere, pure as ether, bright 
sunshine, temperate heat, with a rainfall of only 
thirteen inches, confined to three months in the year, 
is a climatic condition hard to find elsewhere. 

We left Valparaiso at sundown, embarking from 
the Plaza, with many regrets that our stay had 
been so shortened, to go on board the Maipo. 

The Maipo is one of the fleet of the Sud Americana 
line, which, with a friendly competition, shares with 
the Pacific Steam Navigation Company the trade 
along the coast-lines of Chili and Peru. We spent 
three happy and comfortable weeks on this charming 
little steamer, with her roomy deck cabins, her 
splendid promenade decks, and cheerful saloon, 
gay with paper flowers. Passengers came and went 
at each port, but we were never crowded. The food 
was excellent, the Chilian stewards attentive, and 
Captain Selmer, most pleasant of commanders, did 
well the honours of his ship as only can a Dane. 
Above all, it is one of the few calm sea-voyages of the 
world. Day after day the sea was like an expanse 



Chili and the Chilians, 139 

of dark-green glass, varied only by the long, 
undulating, heavy swell, which (^/^ sometimes make us 
roll a little uncomfortably. Not even the latest 
arrived passenger thought, however, of being ill. 

But the Maipo had one great drawback. She 
carried three hundred head of cattle from Valparaiso 
and other ports to supply food to the towns along 
the " Rainless Coast." The cattle arrive alongside in 
flat lighters, to be swung on board. It is a sight to 
make one miserable, watching these poor bullocks, 
packed so tightly together in the lighter, that when 
one falls down, the others crush it by standing or 
trampling on it. For hours they stand in cramped, 
uncomfortable positions, horns tightly tied, heaving 
up and down in the lighter, alongside the vessel. 
As they are slung up they look meekly round, whilst 
being bumped and crashed against the ship's side. 
The chain and pulley go down with a run, and they 
are given a final plump on the lower deck before 
scrambling to their feet. Many pause breathlessly, 
then a pole with a pointed nail is dug into their 
sides, and the tail is twisted until the crackings are 
plainly audible. The effluvia arising from the lower 
hatchways is nauseating, and at times overwhelming ; 
it pervades the atmosphere and cannot be got rid of. 
The stench greets you as you open your cabin door 
in the morning, and is with you all day. The longer 
the cattle remain on board, naturally the stronger it 
grows. 

The stern of the ship is fitted up with booths, 
where a regular market of fresh vegetables, fruit, 
flowers, shrubs, plants, butter, and eggs is held at 
each stopping port. The saleswomen sit enthroned 



140 China to Peru. 

amongst their household gods, and crowds of boats 
put off to buy provisions, hovering around until the 
officer of the port has come on board to receive our 
papers. Then there is a frantic rush and scramble 
up the gangway, followed by much chaffering and 
bargaining. But these stolid ladies are too wise ; well 
they know the worth of their goods in this desert 
land, where no green thing will grow. They have 
no competition, they command the market, and will 
not abate one cent. Thus the coast of Chili is fed 
daily from the south. 

The voyage along the coast brings us in contact 
with the most wonderful phenomenon. For 2000 
miles, for a distance extending from Coquimbo all 
along the northern coast of Chili, and including the 
whole coast of Peru, to the Gulf of Guayaquil, we see 
a zone of rainless desert. Nothing will grow ; there 
is not a tree or tiny blade of grass. It is all sand 
and rock. Rain is unknown, and drinking-water for 
the towns can only be obtained from a great 
distance in the interior of the mountains, whence it is 
brought down at considerable expense. Some places 
resort to distilling the sea-water. Fogs at night arc 
frequent, and they impart a little moisture to the 
thirsty sand. The zone extends inland for a width 
varying from twenty to eighty miles. At Guayaquil 
it ends abruptly, with a return to a moister 
atmosphere. 

A scientific explanation of this extraordinary freak 
of nature is forthcoming. " The trade winds strike 
Northern Brazil loaded with vapour, and currents of 
air drift westwards, supplying the Plate and Amazon 
systems with abundant rainfall. When these cur- 



Chili and the Chilians. 141 

rents beat against the ramparts of the Andes, the 
remaining moisture is wrung from them by the con- 
densing power of low temperatures at extreme alti- 
tudes. From the crest of the range, there are no 
sources of evaporation, until the tranquil levels of the 
Pacific are reached. The air currents in their pas- 
sage to the coast are without moisture. The snows 
on the eastern slopes and central summits of the 
Andes are final deposits of vapour, which exhaust 
the water supply of the Atlantic trades. There is 
nothing in reserve for the strip of sea-board and the 
intervening mountain slopes." Hence this extra- 
ordinary " Rainless Coast." 

The only seaport town we landed at in Chili was 
Coquimbo. It served as a sample for many other 
smaller and more primitive places. The steep 
streets of Coquimbo, with a big mountain behind, 
even the smoking chimney of the large copper- 
smelting works^ looked picturesque under the shining 
light of a full moon. Coquimbo is the centre of a 
great copper-mining industry. Some of the great 
fortunes of Chili have been drawn hence. We find 
the shops open even at this late hour, as we proceed 
down the street. The railway runs through it to 
Sarsena, the principal town, for which Coquimbo is 
only the port. We find a great crowd at the post- 
office (where we go to post our letters), eagerly 
watching the letters of the mail we haye brought 
being pushed, after sorting, into the guichets. 

We proceeded to the Plaza, which is the usual 
green oasis, fringed with pepper-trees. The doors 
of the cathedral opposite were open, and the sound 
of music attracted our attention. The sight that 



142 China to Peru, 

greeted us, as we stole up the steps, was very pretty. 
The altars were ablaze with light, and the church 
decorated in blue and white^ for it is the month of 
the Blessed Virgin Mary, and every evening, from 
the 8th of November to the 8th of December, this 
commemorative service will be held. The floor of 
the church was massed with black-robed women, 
whilst the treble, childish voices of the choir chanted 
a sweet-toned litany. The refrain of the " Ave Maria" 
echoed again and again, floating out to us on the 
still, night air, dying away into silence as the black- 
robed priest, with his sympathetic voice, admonished 
his flock from the pulpit. Truly this night service is 
a fresh proof of the religious devotion of the Chilian 
nation. 

Day after day we touch at these little seaport 
towns. Sometimes two are accomplished in one day. 
The hauling up and letting go of the anchor grows 
a very familiar sound. They are desolate little 
villages, consisting of a few brown-roofed houses, 
scarcely distinguishable from the surrounding desert 
of sand. If the place is of sufficient importance, a 
band-stand occupies a commanding position on the 
landing-stage. There are no wharves or piers. The 
surf is heavy and the landing often difficult. The 
arrival of the mail steamer is the great event. Our 
variety of merchandise is large, consisting as it does 
of sacks of flour, maize, or coffee, of trusses of hay, 
iron castings, steel rods, and barrels of lard. A few 
passengers leave, a few arrive at each port. The six 
steam-winches work merrily, and noisily all the time 
we remain at anchor. 

Yet it is an interesting voyage, the outline of the 



Chili and the Chilians. 143 

coast is so extremely curious and beautiful. Like 
the desert of Arabia it is indicated in a faint, pale 
grey, white, or lavender outline. The intense dry- 
ness of the atmosphere absorbs all colour^ and leaves 
only these dim monotones. 

Yes, it is almost an impossibility to describe this 
phantom line of coast, designated in pale tints. The 
mountains are so spectral, so distinct, yet veiled ; 
such delicate pearl-grey ranges meeting such a 
pellucid sky, with neutral furrows depicting the cre- 
vasses on their precipitous slopes. Fleecy banks of 
cloud float midway along the range, or gather, veiling 
in mystery their summits. Anon, the white sand of 
some mount will shine and glisten like a mantle of 
silver. 

Morning, afternoon, and evening, day succeeding 
day, this transparent, illusive coast is ever with us. 
Barren and deadly drear as with a near approach it 
is, the distance enfolds it in this entrancing and trans- 
forming haze. 

The sunsets of this South Pacific are wondrously 
beautiful. They are washed in, in full^ soft shades. 
There is nothing gorgeous about them, no orange or 
blood-red crimson ; but delicate tones of cerulean rose, 
pearl-grey, or apple-green suffuse the sky, dying into 
a soft, full, glimmering twilight. 

Antofagasta, the capital of the province of that 
name, is situated on the Tropic of Capricorn. The 
horizontal line of that tropic runs through the town. 
From the deck we can distinguish the sandy streets, 
laid out in American squares, set down on this Sa- 
hara, this "abomination of desolation." Brown are 
the houses, brown the streets, brown the shore. There 



144 China to Peru. 

is a small church on a bleak plaza^ and many Pulpe- 
rias, or drinking-saloons. One house is singled out 
by its frontage, painted in imitation of a brick wall. 

Yet Antofagasta boasts of the largest silver-smelt- 
ing works in the world, and has railway communica- 
tion to the interior. We can see the puffing engine 
running along the valley, of the line leading into 
Bolivia, opening up a connection with La Paz, its 
capital. 

We are now passing along the coast of the great 
Atacama Desert. Some curious stratified and flat- 
topped ranges attract our attention one afternoon : 
they are beds of ancient guano deposits, now worked 
out. 

This utterly barren coast, so forbidding in its rock- 
bound desolateness, is yet a land teeming with gold. 
Hidden in the interior is a mine of wealth, pos- 
sessing an abundance of rich minerals, of gold, silver, 
copper, tin, and manganese ore. The vast nitrate- 
fields of Tarapaca are of priceless worth, and the 
deposits of guano reputed still rich and workable. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE NITRATE-FIELDS AND THE DESERT SHORE. 

We approach Iquique, chief town of the Province ot 
Tarapaca, on a cloudy morning. In any other part 
of the world, we should 'have thought that these 
heavy clouds indicated coming rain. There is no 
fear, however, of that. Rain has scarcely fallen within 
the memory of man. 

The ocean is alive with flapping pelicans. These 
great black birds are called by the Spaniard " the 
monk of the ocean/' appropriate name for their 
solemn ways and deliberate floating on the surface. 
See, one turns a somersault, disappearing under the 
water as it dives with his huge black beak after a fish, 
which he promptly deposits, if caught, in his depend- 
ing pouch, to be consumed when wanted. 

The purple-red mountain range comes very near 
to the shore, seeming to press Iquique down to the 
water's edge, where the town clusters, low and black, 
among some ships^ ri.^ging- It is hard to believe 
that this little brown-roofed settlement is the second 
principal seaport in Chili, contains 20,000 inhabi- 
tants, and is the great outlet for the export of the 
nitrate deposits. We can see the line of the Nitrate 
Railway ascending the side of the mountain. 

L 



146 China to Peru. 

Iquique has no port, but the sea is like a lagoon 
to-day, and we are spared the usual disagreeable 
landing. A long island forms the only protection, 
and the boatmen choose their course between the 
ledges of rock, over which the sea rushes precipitately. 
The landing-stage is flanked by some bodegas or 
warehouses, labelled with the familiar names of North 
and Jewell, and Gibbs and Sons. 

Iquique is celebrated in the history of Chili for 
the great naval battle. As we approach this part of 
the coast, the history of the great war between Chili 
and Peru, allied with Bolivia, assumes a more inter- 
esting connection. The war, begun upon various 
pretences, was in reality directed to the possession of 
the valuable nitrate-beds, then bringing in a great 
revenue to the Peruvian Government. Iquique^ with 
the possession of the nitrate deposits, passed victorious 
into the hands of the Chilians in a few months. 

The Peruvian ironclads, the Indepcndencia and the 
Huascar, encountered the Chilian Esmeralda and the 
little gunboat Covadanga in the harbour of Iquique. 
The commander of the Esmeralda was Arturo Prat, 
and, running his ship alongside the enemy, he endea- 
voured to capture the Huascar. He boarded the 
latter, calling on his men to follow him, but the 
vessels separated ere the order could be obeyed. He 
was instantly shot down, and his ship sunk, with its 
crew of eighty men. Such is the heroic deed com- 
memorated in the monument at Valparaiso. Round 
the promontory, on that ledge of rock, we shall pre- 
sently see the wreck of the Independencia. The 
captain of the Covadanga saved his ship by the 
following stratagem : unable to outstrip the pursuing 



The Nitrate Fields and the Desert Shore. 1 4 7 

Independencia^ he sailed with his tiny gunboat close 
in shore, and lured the fine ironclad on to the neigh- 
bouring rocks. 

Mr. Griffin, the Administrator-General of the Ni- 
trate Railway, came on board to meet us, and before 
breakfasting at his house, toc>k us for a drive through 
Iquique. The green plaza, with its blooming flowers, 
is of course named after Arturo Prat. The low 
houses, all built of wood, the general store-shops, 
and the drinking-saloons, some of which are painted 
in vivid shades of blue and green, an attempt per- 
haps to supply the colour of vegetation, — are laid down 
on this barren desert. Yet the town is not unhealthy. 
The ozone breezes of the sea sweep over and purify 
the streets. 

The lion of Iquique is the pretty sea-walk of 
Cavancha, extending for two miles along the beach. 
The great surf rollers, with their curling crests of 
pale green, are for ever rolling in and flinging them- 
selves amongst the brown seaweed covering the rocks. 
The cool sea-breeze is refreshing, and the beautiful 
tints of the ocean, lose nothing by comparison with 
the barren desert dust of the interior. We reach the 
promontory, which is occupied by a few houses and 
a restaurant, with a balcony overhanging the sea ; 
the garden is full of flowers and creepers. It is hard 
to imagine the value these few common nasturtiums 
and geraniums suddenly acquire in this land where 
no green thing exists, and where even the soil in 
which the plants are grown has to be brought from 
a great distance. Situated though Iquique is in the 
tropics, the absence of all damp makes the heat 
temperate ; children thrive and do well, and there is 

L 2 



148 China to Peru. 

none of the langour and exhaustion of a tropical 
climatei 

We drove back to breakfast, hurrying for our start. 
The Nitrate Railway Company have most generously 
given us a special car and engine, to run over the 
great nitrate-fields of Tarapaca. We shall cross the 
pampa of Tamarugal, sleep at one of the oficinas, and 
rejoin the steamer at Pisagua on the morrow. 

Away over the desert we started on our journey, 
passing first the bright-blue buildings of the hospital, 
and then the cemetery with its many black crosses 
half buried in the sand. The ascent commenced at 
once as we ran on to a long V. Here the engine was 
reversed, and we commenced puffing up the moun- 
tain side. We see a Fairlie engine for the first time ; 
it is a double locomotive with a funnel at either end, 
and quadruple boilers, possessing the necessary 
power to draw the heavy trucks of nitrate up the 
steep gradients of this railway, a gradient occasion- 
ally rising to one in five. This V helps us greatly in 
our upward progress ; we have already risen rapidly 
above the town, Iquique, on its little black pro- 
montory, is even now growing small, whilst the long, 
serpent trails of foam marked out the blue ocean 
along the shore. We pass the three large water- 
tanks, used for the storage of the water supply of the 
city. Brought down from Pica, far in the interior 
of the desert, we are constantly tracing the black line 
of the water-pipes in our journey across the pampa. 

Now we sec a wonderful phenomenon. The ocean 
is lost to sight behind a great sandhill, 800 feet high. 
When we are opposite to this mountain it has a 
most peculiar appearance, derived from the perfectly 



The Nitrate Fields and the Desert Shofe. 149 

even, smooth surface of sand, slightly crinkled in 
places with the ruffling of the wind. The narrow 
edge at the top is perfectly built up on either side, to 
the finest apex. There is an idea that this mountain, 
now about six miles distant, is slowly but surely 
travelling towards Iquiquc. The southerly breeze is 
always driving up the particles of sand over the 
summit to fall on the further side, and thus visibly 
the mound is shifting northward. 

The range of the sea-coast has been climbed ; we 
have reached the summit and find ourselves on a 
large plain, surrounded by other mountains, and 
broken up by low foothills, amidst which we a re 
continually winding. It is extremely curious to look 
upon this vast tract of country, composed of nothing 
but sand, dust, and rock. There is not a herb or a 
blade of grass ; it is a dreary, monotonous desert, 
and yet this barren land is teeming with mineral 
deposits ; it is " a vast chemical laboratory," highly 
charged with saline matter. The earth in places is 
white and shining with these crystals of salt. Again, 
the district is intensely volcanic, and in many places 
assumes the conformation of a crater, streaks of red 
and carmine giving to it the appearance of a recent 
eruption. 

There is little to vary the monotony. An occasional 
black cross, marking the lonely spot where some 
traveller lay down and died ; the bones and skeletons 
of many beasts of burden ; the empty bottles or 
sardine-tins thrown away by the passing caravan, are 
the only signs of civilization. The long lines of 
telephone and telegraph poles bear us company, now 
running along by the line, or anon taking^a short cut 



150 China to Peru. 

over some hilltop, forming a connecting link with the 
outer world. 

Indications of the ancient sea-level, in the deep 
depressions and curious strata, are perpetually pre- 
sent. We imagine that the conformation of the 
bottom of the sea, resembles our strange sur- 
roundings. 

How were these great nitrate deposits formed ? 
There are several theories brought forward, the most 
popular being that these fields were the bed of the 
ocean, and that the mineral deposits were formed 
chiefly by decayed animal vegetation, seaweed, and 
shells, mingled with salt deposits left exposed by the 
receding of the water. This theory is borne out in 
some measure by the constant finding of petrified 
shells, fishes, and seaweed as the caliche is dug out. 
Others again formulate elaborate calculations, based 
upon the wind currents and rainfall of the Andes. 
The guano is thought to be the deposit formed in 
the passage of vast flights of birds. 

Whichever supposition is right, it is quite certain 
that these deposits could only be possible in this 
Tarapaca desert, where rain is unknown and where 
the intense dryness of the atmosphere has evaporated 
all moisture, leaving the caliche, slightly covered by 
a fine dust, in a high state of preservation. If rain 
fell, this wilderness would blossom with fruitful vege- 
tion ; but it is perhaps the one spot on the face of the 
earth where rain is not prayed for. Damp or moisture 
would injure this field of wealth. 

The central station provides us with the anomaly 
of a quaint, wooden Norwegian house, alongside the 
platform. Hearing that the nitrate-fields were in 



The Nitrate Fields and the Desert Shore. 1 5 1 

high altitudes, some one thought that for mountain 
heights this would be a suitable building. 

The " pampa " of Tamarugal is extraordinary. 
We are accustomed to think of a pampa as suggest- 
ing wide plains of grass, but here there is nothing 
but bare earth, crisp and saline. Each railway siding 
is full of trucks containing sacks of nitrate. Every 
sack weighs 300 lbs., and some 120 trains pass daily 
over the line, bringing down to the seaports the 
output of the numerous oficinas. The first oficina 
we see is that of Sevastopol. It forms the commence- 
ment from this side of a continuous series of works, 
oficina after oficina, for the next hundred miles suc- 
ceeding each other at quick intervals. To Sevastopol 
attaches the interest of having been the oficina visited 
and described by Darwin in his "Voyage of the 
Beagle." He thus speaks of his impressions : " The 
appearance of the country was remarkable from 
being covered by a thick crust of salt, and of a 
stratified, saliferous alluvium, which seems to have 
been deposited as the land slowly rose above the 
level of the sea. The salt is hard and compact ; it 
occurs in water-worn modules, projecting from the 
agglutinated sand, and is associated with much 
gypsum. This superficial mass very closely resembles 
that of a country after snow, and before the last 
dirty patches have thawed. The existence of this 
crust of soluble substance over the whole face of the 
country, shows how extraordinarily dry the climate 
must have been for a long period." 

Of the forty or more oficinas, over thirty are in 
the hands of English companies, whilst ten millions 
of British capital is laid down on this Chilian desert. 



1 5 2 China to Peru. 

Colonel North, the nitrate king, is the head of a 
syndicate owning many of the best oficinas. The 
railway touches at each of these establishments, con- 
necting them by separate sidings leading into the 
works. Unfortunately the railway has fallen out 
with some of the companies, who object to the 
heavy charge for freightage. Three rival lines 
are in process of construction, and it is feared that 
they will injure and absorb a substantial share of the 
profits. The combination to limit the output ceases 
on March ist of next year. When that time arrives, 
a great scramble will begin for the yet untouched 
fields. 

For miles and miles the entire face of the country 
is delved and dug up, in the search for caliche. The 
friable earth, light and saline, is turned over into 
heaps, leaving deep holes, which have been blasted 
out. The appearance of all the oficinas is the same : 
a row of smoking chimneys, some lines of black 
tanks, piles of brown, dark-looking refuse, and shining 
heaps of the snow-white nitrate lying beneath the 
cancha. A powder-magazine, enclosed in a stone 
corral, a water-wheel, and the ranches for the 
workpeople completes the establishment. One well- 
known oficina after another comes into sight. A 
few are deserted, as the deposits on their section 
have been worked out. Others are only producing 
a small output. 

How long will these deposits last ? That is a 
question no one can answer. Some estimate their 
duration for a hundred years. But certain it is that 
long ere that period arrives, the machinery of many 
of the present oficinas will be useless, unless moved 



The Nitrate Fields and the Desert Shore. 153 

into the interior, where, they say, rich deposits still 
remain unexplored. 

We come on to a plain where^ eighteen years ago, 
a freshet descended from the far-away snow moun- 
tains. The furrowed earth yet shows signs of the 
receding waters, and, wonder of wonders, a few thorn- 
bushes manage to eke out a barren existence, and 
to burst into flower with a yellow bloom. Strange 
that, they say, this wild child of the desert cannot be 
induced to grow on a cultivated soil. The saline, 
parching dust, penetrating every part of the carriage, 
was overpowering. It obscured the smoke of the 
mills. A single dog racing the train raised a white 
storm, whilst the solitary rider could be traced 
miles away on the plain by the trail of dust that he 
raised. The dust is the great curse of this nitrate 
pampa, whilst the exhilarating climate, obtained by 
the height of 3000 feet above the sea-level, is its 
great attraction. The intensely dry air is only 
tempered by the fogs which descend at night, and 
cling over the plain in the early morning. 

We now pass the great battle-field of Pozo 
Almonte, and see the heights where the artillery 
were posted. The little heaps of stones raised by 
the Peruvian soldiers, as shelters to shoot from, yet 
line the hillsides of the plain where the engagement 
took place. Their brave commander, Pozo Almonte, 
was wounded at the commencement of the battle, but 
he returned to the combat, only to have his horse 
shot under him, and to be wounded again, mortally. 
He was carried to the shelter of the railway-station, 
where he died. The station-master entertained us 
with a description of how he provided for the safety 



154 China to Peru. 

of the women and children by digging a large hole 
in the earth, where he buried them with his family. 
The war raged fiercely all over this ground, the 
Peruvians fighting to retain possession of the valuable 
country that provided them with a revenue. 

A conical hill shows a perpendicular path to its sum- 
mit. It is an ancient Indian burial-place, where, from 
the distant village, they bore their dead to be interred 
on a height, towards the rising sun. The tumuli are 
doubtless full of archaeological remains, and as in- 
teresting as the stones we have already passed, 
covered with hieroglyphics, but already broken in 
pieces by the vandals employed in repairing the rail- 
way or telephone lines. It is curious to distinguish 
the Indian trail, with its arrow-like directness, from 
the hundreds of winding tracks formed by the Euro- 
pean, which are always in sight, traversing with a 
patchwork design the mountain sides. 

At length we reach our destination, the Primativa 
oficina. The carriage runs into a siding under a 
railway bridge, where ;the cutting is supported on 
hundreds of sacks filled with earth, making a 
splendidly solid embankment. We directed our 
steps to the flat-roofed wooden bungalow, standing 
on a slight eminence, the residence of the adminis- 
trator, Mr. Hawes. ' He had unfortunately met with 
a terrible accident a short time since, falling into one 
of the tanks of boiling nitrate, and barely escaping 
with his life. His deputy, however, Mr. Nines, 
showed us over the works, but not before their press- 
ing hospitality had made us partake of a dinner we 
scarcely wanted. 

The Primativa, belonging to the group of Colonel 



The Nitrate Fields and the Desert Shore. 155 

North's undertakings, is one of the largest establish- 
ments on the pampa, but all the oficinas are carried on 
on similar lines. All have similarly excellent houses 
with European furniture. The manager and his family 
live in separate apartments, but the secretary, book- 
keepers, and clerks reside also under this roof, and 
meals are taken together. They live well, too, 
although all provisions and every necessary of life 
has to be brought from a great distance by the 
steamer and railway. Perhaps the comforts of their 
daily existence reconcile them to the loneliness of 
the pampa life. Some houses have billiard-tables, 
others lawn-tennis courts. Cricket matches are fre- 
quent, and even balls not unheard of. The oficinas 
are sufficiently near together to allow of social inter- 
course. The telephone forms a connecting chain 
between each establishment, linking them also with 
the railway and the outer world. The hospitality of 
the oficinas, as we had good occasion to know, is 
unbounded, and extended to any passing strangers. 
The guest-rooms are always in readiness, and a 
traveller chancing by, is most cordially welcomed. 

We started off to visit the works, and to inspect 
the various processes. The caliche in the rough 
conglomerate is shot down from the cart into the 
crusher beneath, where it is ground into powder. 
Passing into waggons waiting below, it is thrown 
into the tanks. Here we see a mass of yellow, brown 
matter, seething and boiling fiercely, in a succession 
of large vats. During the boiling process the in- 
soluble matter, dirt, &c., called ripio, falls to the 
bottom, leaving the nitrate of soda in a liquid state. 
The boiling process continues for from, eight to ten 



156 China to Peru. 

hours, or until the whole charge of caliche is held in 
suspension ; it is then run off into the cooling or 
settling tanks. The boiling tanks are now cleared 
by allowing the ripio to fall out through traps, which 
form the bottom. When all the refuse is removed 
the tanks are sealed up, and re-charged with the 
drainage from the settling tanks, fresh water, and 
caliche. The process is always in progress, when in 
" full make," day and night. The boiling tanks are 
worked in pairs or sets, so that whilst some of 
the tanks are employed boiling, others are being 
cleaned. 

The steaming liquid having been carried by gravi- 
tation to the bateas (precipitating tanks), cools, and 
forms a dense mass of granulated crystals, not unlike 
a somewhat coarse snow. In this state it is allowed to 
stand from twenty-four hours to four or five days. 
After the crystals are precipitated, steps are taken to 
carry off all excess of moisture in the form of liquid 
(agua vieja), which is collected and pumped up to 
the boiling tank to be re-boiled, or used in the manu- 
facture of iodine. The iodine from this agua vieja, or 
mother liquid, is produced by steam impregnated 
with fumes of sulphur being passed through it at 
high pressure. During the process, which only lasts 
from twelve to fifteen minutes, the dull-yellow liquid 
changes colour to dark cobalt. At a certain stage in 
the process, only known to the chemist, the high- 
pressure steam is shut off; floating on the surface of 
the liquid appears six to eight inches of a bluish, 
soapsud-looking matter, which is removed. The pro- 
cess of subliming, to obtain crystals, has then to 
follow. The fumes of the shed used in the manufac- 



The Nitrate Fields and the Desert Shore. 157 

ture of iodine were overpowering. The ripio, when 
run off from the tanks, gradually accumulates until 
it forms a high hill on one side of the oficina. I am 
indebted for the foregoing description of the pro- 
cess of the nitrate manufacture, to a small pam- 
phlet -published in 1887 by Captain Castle, of the 
Royal Navy. 

The roads surrounding the oficinas are alive with 
carts drawn by mules, bringing in the caliche. A 
mule in these parts is a more valuable animal than 
a horse, costing about 16/., but they are very fine 
large beasts for that price. An engine drawing some 
little trucks, connects the distant beds with the works. 
The caliche is found buried in the earth, at a distance 
of from 4 to 30 feet, and at a level never less than 
2000 feet above the sea. It never exists in the 
mountains, but always lies on the lower slopes, or on 
the surrounding plain, A favourable place is selected, 
a shaft is driven through the upper crust of 
friable earth, and a small hole is excavated, suffi- 
ciently large to allow of a boy being lowered into it. 
He prepares a funnel-shaped hole, where the charge 
of gunpowder is inserted, the explosive being manu- 
factured on the oficina, from the saltpetre extracted 
from the caliche. The bed being thus exposed, it 
only remains for the pickaxe and shovel to work 
away and fill the carts. 

There is great difficulty in obtaining sufficient 
workmen; competition for labourers runs high be- 
tween the different oficinas, and a system of bribery, 
by an increase of wages, is in many cases resorted to. 
Even then, there are generally from 200 to 300 
workmen tramping across the pampa from one oficina 



158 China to Peru. 

to another, seeking work on better terms. They will 
leave at a day's notice and on the most trivial pre- 
text. The work is done on the " piece " system ; the 
men, working day and night by electric light, earn 
the enormous wages of 15/. to 18/. per month. 

Yet how they live ! We drove through the quarters 
where reside the 1500 employees, to see hovels, with 
mud floors, made out of a few old sacks or decayed 
strips of matting, hung on poles. Pieces of zinc, old 
packing-cases, biscuit-tins, anything is utilized to 
form the walls. There are no windows, so the door 
is generally open to give a glimpse of the squalid 
interior. The centre of these slummy lines is occu- 
pied by decaying refuse, composed of old rags, iron, 
vegetable parings, or filth of every description, whilst 
for some distance around the plain is strewn with the 
refuse cast forth from this odoriferous camp. Many of 
the workmen are Bolivians, and can be recognized by 
their squat faces, swarthy complexions, lank hair, and 
for their peculiarly revolting and dirty habits. The 
remainder of the population show marked signs of 
their Indian descent. The women, in gaudy petti- 
coats of magenta, yellow, and blue, indicate the 
liking of their race for a bright touch of colour, whilst 
their hair, depending in two coarse plaits of hair, is 
covered by a wide-brimmed Panama straw hat. The 
import of these must be enormous, as men and women 
alike wear them throughout the country. Pigs, 
dogs, and goats and children roll indiscriminately in 
the dust together ; the donkey alone seems cared for, 
but he is a treasured beast of burden, bringing into 
camp, as he does, contraband stores and liquors. 

All supplies and provisions must be bought from 



The Nit7^ate Fields and the Desert Shore. 159 

the store belonging to the oficina, the amount of 
goods taken weekly being subtracted from the wages 
of the peon, the residue being handed to him. It 
partakes of the hardship of the " truck system,'^ but 
the " salitreros " have found by experience that it is 
the only practicable way of preventing drunkenness, 
and works for the good of the people : it is a source 
of profit, too, to the establishment, for the store at 
Primativa earns a large income yearly. How do the 
men spend their high wages, hedged round by these 
salutary regulations, and living in this squalid 
manner ? They go on " the spree," throwing their 
money recklessly away in buying silk dresses 
for their wives, in drinking, and rioting. It is only 
the pure air of this healthy and exposed pampa 
that prevents an epidemic from sweeping through 
these foetid slums, where no attempt at sanitation 
is essayed, and where morality is at its lowest 
ebb. 

Returning to the car, the sunset transfigured the 
whole face of this barren pampa ; it glowed and 
palpitated in crimson light, and was flooded with a 
delicious warmth. Then the sky was suffused in 
saffron light^ then apple-green, finally dying away 
into a soft heliotrope twilight. It was succeeded 
by a brilliant moonlight, making the night as day, 
bringing out in startling relief the shadow of each 
wayside rock, silvering over the mud walls of the 
workmen's hovels. 

The electric beacons of the oficinas flashed far out 
over the plain, and the fitful flames of the furnaces 
gleamed brightly as we sped past. We sat at the 
carriage window watching this strange, weird country 



i6o China to Peru. 

with the caliche-beds shining brightly as if frosted on 
a starlit night. 

We passed the bungalow of the doctor opposite a 
station. Several are employed in the district, and are 
attached to a group of oficinas. It is a hard life, and 
the distances to be covered, on horseback or on a 
hand-car on the line, are very great. Many a wild 
and lonely ride across the pampa does this hard- 
worked official perform, when summoned, as he con- 
stantly is, for urgent accidents. We had a good 
example of this, for at the oficina where we passed 
the nightj the doctor had paid his visit and just re- 
turned home, when a boy, thrown from a mule, was 
brought in unconscious, and he had to be telephoned 
for again. 

At this moment the brakesman came in to say that 
a car was on the single track in front of us. We 
whistled loud and often, but to no purpose, and, push- 
ing the waggon in front of us, we deposited it in the 
next siding j it was being employed for the illicit 
transport of caliche, dug out from under the line 
under cover of night. A horseman set to watch, 
galloped after our special to give the alarm, and thus 
saved a disagreeable accident. 

Immediately after this startling incident we arrived 
at the oficina of Jazpampa, Mr. Erichsen, the cour- 
teous administrator, entertaining us most hospitably 
for the night in his pretty vcrandahed house. 

In the early morning the pampa, with its dim 
shadows and pale tints, looked perfectly lovely. The 
camanchaca, the white mist of the Indians, rolled 
away over the plain, resembling in the distance the 
undulating waves of the ocean. A great white bed 



The Nitrate Fields and the Desert Shore. i6i 

of nitrate, glistening snow-white in the morning sun, 
lay at my feet ; whilst descending deep into the 
ravine on the opposite side of the line, but lying half 
way up was the black group of works belonging to 
the Paccha Oficina. 

We commenced the descent to Pisagua; dropping 
down 3700 feet in two hours. It was a wonderful 
journey, described in steep declines and broad zig- 
zags, on a gradient often as much as one in five. 
Cautiously, with a detaining ballast of three carloads 
of nitrate, we descended over these steep gradients 
and sharper curves ; constantly we had only an 
embankment, bounded on either hand by deep rock- 
bound ravines, just wide enough for the train to pass 
over. We found ourselves frequently wondering how 
these banks, built out of the loose sand, could sup_ 
port the weight of a succession of heavy truckloads 
of nitrate. Fortunately the phenomenon of the total 
absence of rain secures them from the danger of a 
wash out, which would certainly be fatal to the 
engineering feats in many parts of the line. 

The final descent into Pisagua, and the manner in 
which the line finds a foothold, blasted out of the 
mountain side of the successive coast ranges, is 
magnificent. We found ourselves shooting over an 
abyss into the Pacific, which suddenly came into 
sight between two great yellow mountains ; but no, 
just on the edge of the precipice we are saved, and 
bellowing through some deep cuttings, we turn round 
the corner of the mountain but a little way below its 
summit. A projecting peak is blasted through, and 
emerging from its precipitous crags a full view of the 
ocean is before us, the hamlet of Pisagua at our feet, 

M 



1 62 China to Peru. 

the JSIaipo, a tiny speck on the blue waters, anchored 
in the bay. Two ranges must be cHmbed down 
before we find ourselves on the seashore ; the first is 
accomplished by the line clinging on to the mountain 
side, whilst running down a steep hill and describing 
a wide circle round the valley to the head of the 
succeeding ridge. 

We stopped on the site of an ancient encampment 
to inspect the breaks ; so great had been the strain 
and friction of the dangerous descent that the wooden 
blocks were on fire. All were charred and smoking, 
although water had been freely poured on the axles 
by the breaksman of each car. The Nitrate Railway 
use only a hand-break, which necessitates an enormous 
staff, as each truck has to have its breaksman mani- 
pulating the restraining wheel. 

The relics of the encampment of the allied army 
of Peru and Bolivia are still visible in collections of 
old rags, bottles, ammunition boxes, wheels, and 
broken equipage. An unexploded shell, weighing 
150 lbs., is set on end under the zinc roof of some 
temporary barracks, whilst scrawled across the moun- 
tain side by the victorious Chilian troops is the motto 
yet visible, " Viva Chili." We cannot understand 
how the invading army can have scrambled up the 
sides of the steep mountain below, and attacked and 
dislodged the Peruvian forces, encamped in a posi- 
tion so strong that they should have been able to 
repel any enemy. 

The descent of the second and even more acutely 
precipitous range is quickly and easily accomplished, 
by the help of three boldly described Vs. It was 
alarming to see the steep gradient of the railway in 



The Nitrate Fields and the Desert Shore. 1 6 



o 



two lines, one below the other ; but as each was 
reached, we descended as before, imperceptibly and 
gently, until a last run down brought us opposite the 
platform of the station. Mr. Clark, the superintendent 
of this section, awaited us ; we had a minute to spare 
to go over to his house opposite and be greeted by 
Mrs. Clark, and then we hurried on board. The 
captain had received orders at Valparaiso to detain 
the steamer until eleven o'clock, but we had promised 
to be punctual. 

From the deck of the steamer, as we traced the 
triple lines of railway tracking the mountain side, and 
watched the trains cautiously creeping down in quick 
succession, we realized, even more than when we were 
on it, the engineering wonders of this Nitrate Rail- 
way. 

The malodorous cattle have gone, the market is 
finished, the coaling at Iquique we have escaped, and 
now the Maipo is undergoing a much-needed process 
of cleaning. 

Arica, the last Chilian seaport, is reached in the 
evening ; it is the capital of the rich province of 
Tacna^ and was one of the three ports (Iquique and 
Antofagasta being the other two) that were lost in 
the war by Peru. The province is temporarily occu- 
pied by the Chilians, pending a popular vote to be 
decided next year as to whether Tacna shall remain 
Chilian or Peruvian ; the party who loses is to be paid 
a large indemnity by the winner. Opinions vary 
greatly as to the result, which is becoming urgent and 
interesting. 

It is our farewell to Chili, for Arica is the frontier 
post of the Republic, on a coast that extends from 

M 2 



164 China to Peril. 

the boundary of Peru to Cape Horn — on a sea-board 
of 2500 miles in length, comprising forty degrees of 
latitude and an area of nearly 300,000 square miles. 
The Chilian flag waves from on high, on the great 
natural rock fortress, the final stronghold of a 
defeated nation. It is celebrated for an heroic de- 
fence, and the still more heroic death of its defenders. 
During the progress of the war, the Chilian forces sur- 
rounded and entrapped some Peruvian troops on the 
position. Sooner than surrender, each and all cast 
themselves down on the rocks beneath, and thus 
perished gloriously. 

It would be impossible to imagine a place more 
suited to be remembered in the annals of history 
than this fortress as we see it now, glowing crimson 
under the rays of the setting sun, towering as it does 
to a great height, full of deep crevasses and rising 
abruptly from the ocean, with its rampart of rocks 
beneath, covered with a dashing foam. The little 
town of Arica, in a pleasant oasis of vivid green, 
nestles below. We can hear the hollow sound of the 
waves, booming on the seashore in the moonlight. 

Farewell to this prosperous, industrious and thriving 
people. Like the Swiss, they are a hardy moun- 
taineering race, but above all, like them, a most 
patriotic nation. The Chilian flag, was the first 
object to greet us as we descended from the Andes 
into her well cultivated valleys. It is the last to bid 
us farewell, as we leave her sea-coast territories. 
Well has one of her writers said about her ensign : 
" Look at the star of Chili, white on a blue ground, 
as if placed in a reserved corner of the sky ; she 
spreads her four points towards the four cardinal 



The Nitrate Fields and the Desert Shore, 165 

points of the compass, with a fifth which is specially 
reserved to point us the road to glory." 

Mollendo, lying on its exposed table-land at the 
foot of the mountains, introduces us to our first Pe- 
ruvian port. The rocks around are covered with 
gleaming white guano, whilst the coast, from its rock- 
bound appearance, forbids a landing. But see, the 
boats come out to us from behind a great rock, under 
that little red house. It is the only shelter for a 
landing place that they can find along this surf- 
beaten coast, and even then the foam of the swell 
and breaking billows often catches the returning 
boats. Mollendo is the terminus of the long rail- 
way, joining Peru to Bolivia, " The line illustrates 
at once the folly and the genius of Mr. Meiggs. 
Begun at a coast village with no harbour, and ending 
327 miles away in a lake settlement of Indians, 
12,500 feet above the sea," this railway is of little 
practical use. 

At our next port we embark some more cattle. 
The Peruvian mode of boarding them is cruel in the 
extreme. Slinging is apparently too slow and humane 
a process, and so, passing a rope over the horns, the 
steam winch raises the bullock bodily, bumping his 
helpless body against the iron side of the ship. The 
strain of the entire weight being placed on the neck 
is fearful, and is shown by the eyes starting out of 
the head. Very pathetic is the look of wondering 
surprise that these animals give, as they are landed 
heavily on the deck. Twice during the day, two 
escaped and jumped overboard from the crowded 
barge. To no purpose, for a curious attraction to 
their fellow-companions in misery forbade them to go 



1 66 China to Peru. 

far away, and swimming round and round the ship, 
they were easily recaptured. 

A not less cruel and curious sight are twelve 
bullocks, brought out from the shore to the ship swim- 
ming in couples, and attached to the poles projecting 
from a frail " dug out " canoe. Their horns are up- 
held so that their mouths are kept well above the 
water, and they cannot drown. Poor brutes. Their 
bodies are swollen and distended from the salt water 
they have involuntarily swallowed. They struggle 
vainly, but they cannot sink. The chain of the crane 
is attached to their horns, and they arc drawn up wet 
and dripping. The mystery remains, how the light 
canoe does not turn over, as one after the other is 
hoisted up until only one is left ; we think his weight 
will sink the bark, but nothing happens. 

We are having a very pleasant voyage in these 
southern tropics. What surprises us is the total ab- 
sence of heat. Coming along by the Brazilian ports, 
on the parallel line of coast on the other side of 
South America, how intensely we suffered, how we 
groaned and endured on the deck of the Thames. 
But here, day after day we have the same cool, dry, 
yet sunny atmosphere. This pleasant condition of 
things is attributed to the cooling influence of the 
Humboldt current, or the Arctic wave that flows from 
the South Pole all down this coast of the Pacific. 
The absence of all damp and moisture is due to the 
effect of the rainless desert. Pottering along the 
coast, calling at every little port, we enjoy the sunny 
days as they roll quickly by, unmarked by any inci- 
dent. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

PERU, AND FIVE MILES TOWARDS HEAVEN. 

On a cold, foggy morning we cast anchor before 
Callao, the port of call for the Peruvian capital of 
Lima. 

Callao has a large sea- faring population of some 
25,000 inhabitants, but it is a dirty, unwholesome- 
looking town. The train soon bore us along the 
eight miles, that separate the capital from the port. 
The line at first ran through the centre of the streets 
of Callao, the stations being merely a house in the 
street, opposite to which the train stopped to take up 
or set down passengers. Although within the radius 
of the rainless zone, the valley of the Rimac, in 
which lies Lima, is not without a certain vegetation, 
dusty, brown, and burnt up, it is true, and obtained 
by industrious irrigation. The fields were sur- 
rounded by walls of adobe, laid in enormous 
blocks, and the road following the line was inches 
deep in dust. 

A short drive from the station brought us to the 
Hotel de Frangia e Inglaterra. It is the usual dilapi- 
dated and shabby hotel, with spacious apartments 
smothered in dirt, the redeeming feature being the 
courtyard, converted into a summer dining-room, 



1 68 China to Peru. 

shaded by green blinds and adorned with flowering 
plants. 

Peru recalls to our mind the picturesque history of 
the Inca kings, the fabulous wealth of cities paved in 
gold, the gorgeous temples, the tropical forests, and 
the brave exploits of that great pirate chief, Pizarro, 
as related in those graphic pages of Prescott's " His- 
tory of the Conquest of Peru." The glamour of 
those ancient days lingers around the capital of Lima, 
at its near approach. The illusion disappears but 
too quickly with a glimpse of the Spanish capital, 
its narrow streets paved with round cobble stones^ 
its shops full of second-rate French goods, its nu- 
merous stucco churches, gaudy with coloured plaster 
and florid carvings. 

The only curious feature of domestic architecture 
are the " miradores," or covered wooden balconies, 
projecting over the street from the secdind storey of 
the houses. Their lattice woodwork resembles the 
Egyptian moosherayabeah, and adds to the Eastern 
appearance. From the propriety of this seclusion, 
seeing, yet not being seen, the Spanish ladies watch 
the life in the street below. Their use is even more 
apparent in Carnival week, when for three days water 
rains in torrents from bucket, jug, or basin on the 
heads of the unfortunate passers-by. High-born 
dames only smile grimly as a shower descends on 
their lace mantillas, whilst the street urchin revels in 
squirts and other abominable tricks. Lima is given 
up to a wild revelry for three days. Ash Wednesday 
sees the churches filled with black-robed women. 

The only attraction of Lima is found in the Cathe- 
dral Plaza. Here the Gothic cathedral, with its 



Peru, and Five Miles towards Heaven. 169 

facade of innumerable pillars and carved figures of 
saints, stands raised on a wide platform. Deeply 
mellow are the sonorous tellings from the great 
bronze bells hung in either tower. But typical of the 
decay prevailing over all things in Peru, the cathe- 
dral cannot be entered because the roof is in momen- 
tary danger of falling in. Bankrupt Peru has no 
money even wherewith to repair this, the chief edifice 
of the faithful. The deep chocolate-coloured build- 
ings of the Moneda occupy another entire side of the 
Plaza, and the buildings of the municipality are over 
the arcade filled with shops. 

It is in these cool piazzas, the fashionable resort, 
that we can study the reputed beauty of the ladies of 
Lima. The old full-pleated petticoat of the national 
costume has been discarded, but the transparency of 
the lace mantilla displays to advantage the soft 
liquid eyes, the brilliant complexions of these Peru- 
vian beauties. Peru was chiefly peopled from the 
Spanish province of Castille. The blue blood and 
the handsome features and carriage of the Castillian 
7ioblesse is distinctly traceable in these ladies of 
ancient descent, whilst the pure Spanish of their 
speech attests further their origin in the ancient 
province. Under the protection of a black-hooded 
duenna, and eyed admiringly by the men, the lovely 
senorlta strolls demurely through the arcades. 

It is too early for the bathing at Chorillos, the 
fashionable watering-place a few miles out of Lima. 
Thither every afternoon during the summer the train 
bears car after car, crowded with these beauties, going 
for their daily plunge. The water, influenced by the 
Humboldt current, is icy cold, but it is recommended 



I/O China to Peru. 

by the doctors as a bracing tonic, to counteract the 
effects of the relaxing climate. 

Passing along the streets, you are besieged by the 
vendors of lottery tickets. Every dirty boy in the 
Plaza is hawking, with shrill cries, strips of pink or 
yellow paper bearing a number. We missed seeing 
the lottery drawn. But at Callao our attention was 
attracted by an open theatre in full view of the street, 
with a table on a platform supporting three large 
rotatory balls. The weekly lotteries are drawn here, 
the tickets being placed inside the balls, and the 
successful numbers announced on a board fixed above 
the building. It is a favourite form of gambling 
with the people. Not discouraged by a permanent 
non-success, they continue cheerfully buying tickets 
week after week. One wonders^ whilst admiring 
their perseverance. 

We soon found our way to Mr. Jacobi's well- 
known shop round the corner from the Plaza. Mr. 
Jacobi has the enviable reputation of being one of 
the {ew honest men in Peru, and you can spend hours 
in turning over his old hoards of silver treasures. 
Many heirlooms of jewellery have found their way 
here duiing these days of poverty ; even the Church 
is so impoverished that the priests have had to part 
with their valuables, and there are vestments, chalices, 
crucifixes, holy doves, and silver images for sale. In 
a museum behind the counter you can see the 
unbaked earthenware relics assuming the form of 
quaintly carved faces found in the old Inca tombs. 
The silver is sold by weight. A pile of sols (a 
silver dollar now worth about two shillings) is 
placed in the scale opposite the object. When the 



Peru, and Five Miles towards Heaven, i 7 1 

scales are equal the sols are taken out and counted, 
and, with a small percentage for the work, the 
price is arrived at under your own superinten- 
dence. 

A drive round Lima only shows how small is the 
city, every transverse street revealing the mountains 
at their extremity, and the peaked foothills that fill 
the plain around the city. Flagstaffs and crosses are 
the national emblems. The former are used for de- 
corating the streets with flags on Sundays and 
festivals, whilst the latter satisfy the superstitious 
inclinations of the people^ who imagine that the 
shadow of a cross protects and blesses the household. 
Wherever you look in Lima it is adobe, the mud 
brick of the country. It is used in the construction 
of the houses, the public buildings, and the churches. 
Plastered over, it presents the appearance of a white- 
washed wall left in its natural state. It is simply a wall 
of mud. Of the same material are constructed those 
tawdry and startlingly coloured fronts of the churches, 
hideous in rococo decoration and carved figures. 
The interiors, with their velveteen hangings, glass 
chandeliers, and gaudy paper flowers, are worthy of 
the exterior; although a peep in at the door, in the 
absence of a mantilla, has to satisfy my curiosity. 
They are even more strict in Peru, as to the 
regulation forbidding women to enter a church 
otherwise covered. 

Amid miserable surroundings of one-storied adobe 
dwellings is found the Column of Victory, with its 
handsome bas-reliefs surrounding the base, and 
commemorating the repulsed invasion of the Spaniards 
in 1866. The Chilians proposed to remove this 



172 China to Peru, 

national trophy after the war and the sack of Lima, 
but fortunately the united Legations interfered to 
prevent such a disgrace to the nation. 

A drive past some barracks, where every pane of 
glass had been broken, probably during some popular 
revolution, brought us on to one of the many bridges 
across the Rimac, with a far reaching view up and 
down the valley. 

The Alameda of Statues, lying under the shadow 
of Mount Christabelj and in this distant corner of the 
town, is a strange freak on the part of the citizens. 
It is a narrow alley, railed in, planted thickly with 
plants and flowers, and bordered with a double row 
of plaster statues. These represent Roman priests 
in togas and flowing robes, Greek sages crowned with 
laurel wreaths, the graceful archer, the laughing 
faun. Its strange beauties, situated in this deserted 
quarter, and surrounded by squalid adobe dwellings 
and a wretchedly poor population, appear to be 
somewhat wasted, 

A dusty road, leading past the crumbling gateway 
on the outskirts of the old town, brings us to the 
Ring, where every alternate Sunday a bull fight takes 
place. It is the fashionable amusement of the cruel 
Spaniard, who gloats over the shedding of blood, 
and laughs at the rage and pain of a wounded 
animal. The returning drive brings us, as always, to 
the central point of the Cathedral Plaza. 

Lima is a saddened city. An air of decadence 
hangs over it. Depression is rife. It was left a city 
of mourning, after the days of the disastrous war. 
Chili, in the possession of the nitrate fields and 
guano deposits, has sucked the life blood of the 



Peru, and Five Miles towards Heaven, i ']'}, 

Republic. Peru is moneyless. Private fortunes 
have disappeared. Rich men have become poor. 
Commerce is ruined and declining. Her railways 
are nearly all in the hands of the foreign bond- 
holders, represented by the Peruvian Corporation. 
What is to be the ultimate end of this nation ? Will 
Chili complete her conquest by absorbing Peru .-* 
Santiago would be too distant a capital, from whence 
to govern such an extended seaboard. Yet Peru 
should do well, for in her semi-tropical latitudes rich 
crops of coffee, cocoa, and sugar, and other valuable 
exports can be grown. It is not in any case likely 
that Peru can continue long as she now is. 

The climate of Lima leaves much to be desired. 
We have grown so accustomed to days of unfailing 
sunshine that we feel quite aggrieved at a cold, sunless 
morning. We have forgotten to question what the 
weather will be like for this or that occasion. Here for 
four or five months in the year this damp fog is 
peculiar to the capital. A mile or two outside the 
city it may be clear and sunny, whilst here a dull 
and cheerless atmosphere prevails. It never rains. 
Umbrellas are an unnecessary encumbrance, in fact 
an old inhabitant laughed at our carrying one. But 
this damp fog supplies a certain moisture, falling 
around in a heavy dew, and foreigners complain of 
the mildew and damp it leaves behind. 

Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Dawkins gave us a 
sumptuous dejeuner at the Exhibition Gardens. It 
is a fashionable Peruvian custom on Sunday morning, 
and the gardens, with their collection of animals and 
masses of flowers, are very pretty. Once again we 
notice the most tropically acclimatized flowers 



174 China io Peru. 

growing side by side with our familiar blossoms. The 
geranium, considered almost a weed here, flourishes 
alongside of a bouganivillea, and cabbage roses bloom 
beside daturas and magnolias. There are lawn 
tennis courts, and a croquet ground started by the 
English colony, but the Spanish ladies would not 
take kindly to the English game, and were too lazy 
to take the trouble to put the ball through the hoop ! 

In the afternoon, Senr. Ouesada, the editor of the 
El Conimercio, took us to his private house to intro- 
duce us to his charming wife and daughter. It gave 
us a glimpse of a characteristic Peruvian home. 
Sala led into sala^ all built round a bare patio, con- 
taining a staircase branching off from the centre 
landing. The furniture was gaudy with plush, and 
the decorations in French rococo style, but it accords 
with the taste of the country, and we learned that it 
was considered a very richly furnished house. 

We finished up this day of many callers and enter- 
tainments by a dinner, given us at the British 
Legation by Sir Charles and Miss Mansfield. 

The Oroya Railway, built by the great Californian 
contractor, Mr. Henry Meiggs, starts from Callao, and 
passing Lima, ascends 15,605 feet, or to the height of 
Mont Blanc, and to the summit of the Cordillera of 
the Andes, passing through a mountain district with 
no commerce and population save a few Indian 
villages. To serve what purpose was the Oroya line, 
and the railway from Mollendo to Arequipa con- 
structed ? I fear it was for the personal enrichment 
of the parties concerned. These concessions were 
granted by the Government to Mr. Meiggs, during 
the halcyon days of Peru's i^rospcrity. A larger 



Pertly and Five Miles towards Heaven, i 75 

sum than would be actually required for the con- 
struction of the line was demanded from the public. 
English shareholders invested largely. The surplus 
balance was divided between Mr. Meiggs, the 
Government of the day, and any opposing parties. 
Thus successive Governments and individuals were 
bought and silenced, whilst the result was seen in 
these wild railway projects. To draw a line 
straight up the highest mountain range, and say a 
railway shall go there, was the triumph of engi- 
neering which Mr. Meiggs set before himself to 
accomplish — and succeeded. The result is an en- 
cumbrance to the Peruvian Corporation of Bond- 
holders. 

"Between 1869 and 1872 Peru contracted foreign 
loans for the total capital amount of nearly 32,000,000/., 
principally for the purposes of railway construction, 
guaranteed upon the guano customs' duties and all 
the real property in revenue of the country. In 1876 
Peru made default upon her loans. In 1880 the 
war with Chili further complicated her financial 
bankruptcy. Owing largely to the exertions of Mr. 
Grace, a fresh contract was signed in 1890, placing 
the bondholders in possession of the guano beds, 
guaranteeing them a sum of 80,000/. a year from the 
Customs' revenue, conceding them 2,000,000 hectares 
of land for purposes of planting and colonization, 
and handing over the railways for sixty-six years to 
be administered and extended by the Corporation 
under certain conditions." 

There are two remarkable things about the Oroya 
Line. It is the highest railway in the world ; it is 
the greatest of engineering triumphs. The railway 



1 76 China to Peru. 

cost 5,000,000/, It is a common question whether 
the construction of the Central Railway to Chicla 
was the more wonderful feat, or the success of the 
contractor in getting 40,000/. a mile for the line. 
In 120 miles it mounts to a height of five miles 
above the earth, and accomplishes the usual distance 
of a balloon ascent. 

Mr. Daivkins, the Administrator of the Corpora- 
tion of Bondholders, despatched us at 6.15 from the 
station in a special train up the Oroya Railway. 
The " Favorita," a pretty little coach combining an 
engine and a compartment, stood awaiting us on the 
line. The fuel used is the refuse of refined petroleum 
oil, which is found in the petroleum beds that pene- 
trate under the sea along the coast. A large tank 
supplies the boiler with oil, which amounts to 
about half the expense of coal. There is no foul 
smoke proceeding from the funnel, only an imper- 
ceptible cloud of steam, except when the pipes are 
cleaned out with sand, then a great black cloud is 
expelled, floating away behind us. 

We ran at first through the broad valley, full of the 
bright green reed of the sugar cane plantations. 
This is the valley of the Rimac, and it is strange to 
think that notwithstanding the immense height we 
are to ascend, we shall be always more or less in this 
valley, until we reach the dividing watershed of the 
summit. Esta9ion Chosica is soon reached, and we 
supplement our hurried preliminary breakfast with 
delicious coffee and rolls, after the departure of the 
returning train. The trains only run three times a 
week, and break the ascent by a stopping for the 
night at Matucama, nearly 8000 feet up. It has the 



Pertly and Five Miles towards Heaven, i 'j'j 

advantage of accustoming the lungs to the rarefied 
atmosphere, and helps to avoid the inconvenience of 
sirocche. 

A run uphill brought us to Perugas, and the com- 
mencement of the engineering difficulties. The 
engine was placed on a turn-table and reversed. 
During the construction of this part of the line, all the 
labourers suffered from a dangerous fever. Its origin 
is unknown, and the only possible explanation was 
that some poison was emitted by the excavation 
of the earth. A well-known doctor at Lima studied 
the disease, and experimented on himself by 
inoculation. He died from its effects. 

We commenced our upward progress by describing 
a circular curve on a low mountain, a deep cutting 
bringing us through the summit. We looked down 
on a little green village, full of tropical vegetation of 
camphor, banyan, and sumach trees, a curious 
surprise in this desolate country of rock and sand. 
But strange to say we constantly notice all through 
the day, that the higher we mounted the greener it 
became. It is contrary to all the ordinary rules of 
mountain vegetation, where the higher latitudes are 
generally bare of any growth. But the peculiari- 
ties of the rainless coast upset the usual laws of 
nature. It may dominate the lower districts of Peru, 
but as we rise we get beyond its power and within 
reach of the rainfall from the clouds, where it grows 
greener with every ascending valley. 

The mule path follows the railway. We see it 
generally on the other side of the Rimac, with fre- 
quently passing caravans of mules and donkeys laden 
with merchandise. These beasts of burden are dan- 

N 



I 78 China to Pent. 

gerous rivals to the railway, and by their cheap 
transport, detract from the freight receipts of the line. 
The ever-thirsty engine has constantly to be drinking 
from the wayside butts of water. 

Now comes a bridge built by Eiffel. Lightest of 
metal structures, it has the appearance of a filigree of 
ironwork thrown across a great chasm. The central 
stanchion only reaches to the bottom of the ravine, 
whilst the others find a foothold on its sides. The 
great engineer came out to erect this bridge himself. 
We experience a peculiar sensation of balancing in 
space for a few minutes, between two black engulph- 
ing tunnels, which are joined by a short lever bridge. 
This must have proved a very difficult bit of engi- 
neering, as there was no foothold to pierce the entrance 
of the tunnel from the side, and one wonders how it 
was accomplished under such difficulties. All the 
bridges are of the same light structure, and occupy 
the most hazardous points of the line ; indeed, they 
are generally made use of to overcome some stu- 
pendous obstacle, such as the crossing of an entire 
valley, or the passage from one mountain to an- 
other. 

But to describe the marvellous feats of the Oroya 
Railway is impossible. It is a tour de force SiS, regards 
the engineering impossibilities that it accomplishes. 
It is the triumph of the engineer over every artifice 
employed by nature to daunt him. Things quite 
impossible, and that would not be even contemplated 
in any other railway in the world, have been success- 
fully carried out on this adventurous line. A moun- 
tain is no barrier. You tunnel clean through it. A 
valley is made light of, you bridge that over. The 



' fl 




SCENE ON THE OKOYA RAILRO'iD. 



Page 178. 



Peru, and Five Miles towards Heaven. 1 79 

steepest ascent is nothing. A succession of V.'s will 
bring you up any height with h'ghtning rapidity. 
The river is an impediment in your way. You divert 
its course by blasting a beautiful natural arch in the 
rock, a glimpse of the river foaming through it, round 
the precipices of the ravine, being obtained in a mo- 
mentary vision between the exit from one tunnel and 
the ingress into another. 

Our upward progress on the highest mountains, is 
marked out by an ascending succession of black 
tunnel mouths. We look up, to count perhaps three 
or four of these tunnel mouths heading in various 
directions. We cannot guess how we are ever going 
to reach them. For first the train enters a tunnel 
facing this way, then the line turns on itself in some 
mysterious manoeuvre, and we find ourselves entering 
another tunnel, but in an exactly transverse direction. 
We grow at last to wonder where next the railway 
can be going, but we learn to be surprised at nothing. 
We find words are not enough wherewith to express 
our admiration. We are perfectly astounded, never 
imagining that the line, much as we had heard of its 
wonders, could be anything like this. 

Another remarkable feature is the terraced 
cultivation of the old Inca days. Up the steepest 
mountain sides, graduating to the summits, is a 
network of tiny embankments, running first this 
way and then that until the mountain has the curious 
appearance of being pieced out like a patchwork 
quilt. It is an enduring testimony to the industry 
of the ancient Indian Incas, and attests to their 
acumen in choosing this rich warm soil, which^ with- 
out doubt, is in many places the bed of an ancient 

N 2 



i8o China to Peru. 

river. Standing out against the sky we see the 
black outlines of many a cross. The Indian, in his 
dire superstition, thinks the outstretched shadows of 
the arms will bring a blessing on his crops, and a 
defence from the mountain storm. 

We pass many an Indian village hidden deep in 
the mountain valleys, and constantly find ourselves 
looking down on the roofs of these settlements. They 
lie always on the banks of the river, with a church 
and graveyard, and green corrals full of lucerne, and 
wandering flocks of goats and donkeys. Their popu- 
lation is of pronounced Indian type, and all the women 
wear their hair hanging down in two plaits. The 
Rimac is always with us, foaming below in the 
ravine. 

It is after the first fifty miles have been passed, 
that we come into the grandest scenery. The ram- 
parts of rocks, enclosing us into narrow defiles, are 
magnificent. Their walls are perfectly precipitous ; 
their height overpowering. Withal there is great 
variety, as we constantly turn around and amongst 
them. We are equal with their feet, then rise, 
until wc may measure their midway distance. 
Leaving them behind us, we pass into another range, 
entering the narrowest possible valley, filled with 
gloom from the shelving precipices above. And 
here is the Bridge of Hell, of which we can catch but 
the merest glimpse from between the intervening 
tunnels. 

We pass the centre of the mountain through a 
tunnel, emerge on to a trestle bridge, to find that the 
Rimac, in a torrent of stormy waves, has pierced a 
course for itself round the mountain we have just 



Peru^ and Five Miles toivards Heaven. i8 i 

travelled through. It foams beneath our bridge and 
passes round a further mountain base, obliging us to 
avoid the valley, for there is no room for both line 
and stream, and to tunnel through this other moun- 
tain passage. It is a particularly precipitous and 
magnificent bit of scenery, and the culminating 
marvel of the Oroya line. The scenery in crossing 
the Andes by the Uspallata Pass, pales into insig- 
nificance beside it. We had seen nothing at all like 
this, nothing half so stupendously grand. A little 
green vegetation and a thriving growth of cacti on 
the slopes relieve the intense barrenness of the rock- 
bound walls. 

Exclamations of surprise are over and over again 
involuntarily forced from us. One place in particu- 
lar calls forth our admiration. No less than five lines 
of the railway are here visible. There is first the rail 
we are on, then there are three in successive rows 
beneath, cut out in V-sliaped gashes on the mountain 
side, whilst the remaining line is espied far below, 
on the other side of the Rimac, which we had here 
crossed on a low bridge. This feat alone describes 
the wonders of the engineering work seen on the 
Oroya. There are fifty-seven tunnels in the run of 
1 20 miles. We constantly see the beginning of a 
heading partially blasted out and then abandoned. 
During the building of the line they were perpetually 
repulsed by some insuperable difficulty, and had to re- 
survey many portions of the route to find fresh 
means of progress. It is said that 7000 men lost 
their lives during the construction of this railway. 
Looking at the result, it is easily believed. 

We are now getting into the heights ranging above 



1 82 China to Peru. 

10,000 feet. For some time we have all complained 
of a singing in our ears and increasing deafness. 
Now we feel an oppression in breathing and pains 
in the chest. These are the premonitory symptoms 
of the " sorocche," or mountain sickness. I think we 
all felt a little nervous at the prospect of a further 
rise of 5000 feet, with the air increasing in rare- 
faction with each ascending curve. 

The "sorocche" is felt in this rapid and high 
ascent more or less by everybody. It is rare for a 
party to go up to the summit, and for one or other 
of its members not to suffer from its nauseating 
effects. Our chances are increased a hundred- 
fold, because it is not usual to accomplish the 
ascent in one day, the train halting for travellers 
to pass the night about half-way up. The symp- 
toms of sorocche are sickness, retching, profuse 
bleeding from the ears and nose, accompanied often 
by intense suffering, attributable to the rarefaction 
of the air. 

We arrived at Chicla, where breakfast awaited us. 
The railway ended here until 1889, when the Peru- 
vian Corporation entered into possession, and 
continued the line over the summit and thirty 
miles beyond, down to Oroya. Directly we moved 
and descended from the train we experienced the 
dreaded sorocche, in a feeling of being intoxicated, 
swaying, shortness of breath, and an interior sinking 
and discomfort. Wc toiled up the stairway leading 
to the hotel very slowly, feeling sick and giddy. 
The only prevention and precaution is to keep quiet 
and move as little as possible. The rarefied air 
supplied us with sufficient nourishment. We were 



Peru, and Five Allies towards Heaven. 183 

not hungry, and speedily recovered from our feelings 
of discomfort. 

We soon started for the summit again. Only 
another 1000 feet of ascent and we shall be at the 
tunnel of the Galera. We encouraged the one sick 
member of our party with this good news. 

The first station, Casalpaca^ brings us to a last 
formidable series of Vs. We rise now by leaps and 
bounds, and the last 1000 feet is accomplished in a 
very short space of time. There are large silver mines 
at Casalpaca, tunnelling into the interior of the 
mountain for over a mile. We can see the tramway 
up the side of the mountains, leading to the shaft at 
the top. The mine pays 1000/. per week in freight- 
age to the railway. In descending we stayed here for 
a hurried inspection of the smelting furnaces, to see 
the great bars of smoking silver ore, fresh from the 
crucible, and the machinery driven by oil that was 
here drilling into the interior of the mine at a distance 
of over a mile away. 

This village is full of troops of llamas, arriving and 
departing along the mountain road. We see them 
now feeding on all the slopes, and the caravans of 
pack mules and donkeys are replaced by troops of 
llamas, employed in transporting merchandise. They 
are such pretty, soft-eyed looking creatures, with 
shaggy coats, long necks, crowned by a small head, 
and the ears adorned with gay ribbons. They 
resemble the ostrich in colour and size, and have 
with their long legs the same swinging and cautious 
tread. 

It is very strange, but as we near the summit 
the views become comparatively tame. The moun- 



184 China to Peru. 

tains appear as if exhausted. Around us are some 
green hills, with gentle slopes and feeding flocks of 
goats. And when the last grand sweeps and curves 
of the line have carried us up to the supreme point of 
the summit, we find an open plain. The earth is 
swampy and covered in places with bright green 
moss. It is a regular bog. There are one or two 
lakes lying in the hollows, from off which rises a fog 
of condensing moisture. Vegetation has grown with 
every ascending mile, and here it breaks out in a 
green, damp plain. The Riniac is a babbling stream, 
coursing down over that green slope, and finding its 
source in the neighbouring fields of ice. 

It does not feel in the least as if we had reached 
the summit. It seems too utterly poor a conclusion 
for the preceding grandeur of the journey. We 
experienced rather a chill of disappointment. A single 
shoulder of snow on this side is the only ice we see. 

Monte Meiggs, a small mountain standing by 
itself, and surmounted by a flagstaff, is before us. 
Beneath it, and to the left of the base, is the Tunel 
del Paso de Galera — the summit tunnel, and the great 
divide of the Oroya railway. We enter the tunnel. 
We reach the summit of the pass inside. We emerge 
and find ourselves looking towards the great 
Amazonian country. The little stream rising inside 
the tunnel, points out significantly the dividing water- 
shed. It runs downward into the valley of the 
Rimac on the other side, whilst on this the water is 
coursing towards the tributaries of the Amazon. 

Oroya is some thirteen miles further on, and the 
end of the railway for the present. But it is hoped to 
continue the work some day and accomplish the 




MONTE MEIGGS, SUMMIT OK OROYA RAILWAY. Page i $4- 



Peru, and Five Miles towards Heaven. 185 

great purpose of its originator, which was to open up 
communication with the plains of the Amazon, and 
form, with the waterway of that great river, a through 
route to the Atlantic Ocean. Once again then 
would these great oceans meet, through the medium 
of the iron rail. What has been so nearly accom- 
plished by Argentine and Chili in the Transandean 
Railway would be done likewise by Peru and Brazil 
with the aid of the Oroya Line. 

A little panorama, giving a far-away glimpse of a 
beautiful snow range, is before us. To our left, a 
lovely blue glacier, lying under a snow-topped 
mountain ; half its frozen surface has thawed and 
fallen away, exposing a cavity of intensely cerulean 
blue, from under a fringe of long hanging icicles. A 
i^^ more partially covered snow peaks. This is all 
we see. We wonder at the absence of much snow, 
for we remember that we are in this tunnel on a level 
with Mont Blanc, or 15,665 feet above the sea level. 
We think of the dome of snow, and the eternal fields of 
ice and snow surrounding that King of the Alps. We 
compare it with this summit, with its peaty soil of 
green moss and damp vegetation. The contrast is 
surprising, but is easily explained. Here the nearness 
of the tropics and the corresponding heat of the sun 
influences the temperature, even at this enormous 
altitude. With few exceptions, the snow and ice melt 
with successive summers' heat. 

It was cold and damp at the summit. We dared 
scarcely move from fear of sorocche. We got down 
from the car, looked around, stood, and shivered. 
Then the clouds rolled down and obscured all in mist. 
We re-entered the coach, steamed the few uphill yards 



1 86 China to Peru. 

into the centre of the Galera Tunnel, and began the 
long downward descent. 

Steam was shut off, and for the entire distance of 120 
miles we ran down hill from point to point, without 
steam, and only restrained from a runaway career by 
the application of the strong breaks. The engineer 
kept his hand always on the lever. His hold never 
relaxed. Our lives hung on his gentle pressure of 
that shining steel handle, the slightest applica- 
tion being promptly obeyed by the engine. Fiz, 
fiz, fiz, we heard all the way down ; it was the noise 
of the break restraining the wheels. It scarcely 
ceased, for only very rarely could we take a gradient 
without the restraining break. 

The clouds enveloped us. We had marvellous luck 
in reaching the summit just in time. A few minutes 
afterwards we looked down on a sea of fog, which 
continued all the way down for the first part of the 
descent, ending in a storm of hail and rain in the 
lower regions. Then the sun burst through the 
mist, and at Matucama we found a lovely summer's 
evening. 

We go down very rapidly, falling quickly to 
succeeding levels and from one V incline to another. 
We " breathe more freely " in every sense of the 
expression, because all fear of sorocche is past, and 
respiration is momentarily growing easier. Gliding 
quickly down the steep gradients, noiselessly and 
rapidly, is pleasant work, especially as the car is 
now running face downwards with the engine behind, 
until we reverse at a siding. We have thus a full view 
of the line in front, when, horror-struck, a few yards in 
front of us I see a large stone has fallen down, pro- 



Pertly and Five Miles tozvards Heaven. 187 

jecting over the line. Theengineer does not see it. It is 
too late to speak. A momentary suspense, followed 
by a crash and a bump. The danger is past. The car 
has not been derailed, the cow-catcher has saved us,and 
is bent and dented with the shock. It was rather a scare 
and a strain on our nerves. After this we descended 
more cautiously and at a slower pace. A little further 
on there is a similar occurrence, another stone has 
fallen, but this time the engine driver perceives it in 
time, and the power of the break is satisfactorily 
proved by an instant pull up. Both these masses of 
rock had become detached and had fallen, in the hour 
or two that had elapsed since our ascent. 

There are some startling sensations in the descent 
of the Oroya line, the least of which is a feeling that the 
train is running away down hill. There are plenty of 
places where, holding your breath, you look over into 
space. There are many moments when if the light 
car were to jump the rails, we should be plunged into 
eternity. We hang over abysses whose depths we 
cannot fathom, and we turn giddy as we peep over 
the side of many a precipice. 

A favourite way, now wisely discouraged by the 
management, is to descend the line on a hand trolley. 
Fifty miles an hour, even with a strong break, is a 
madcap ride, dangerous but exhilarating. Think of 
the consequences, if an obstacle such as we have just 
passed should be encountered. 

We are slipping down rapidly, dropping from one 
valley into another, getting down deeper and deeper 
amongst the endless tangle of ravines. We begin to 
wonder how much further down we can travel. We 
think the end of the descent wnst soon come now. 



[8S China to Peru. 

Yet after dropping down before some mighty range 
until we are equal with the bottom, it is only to find 
ourselves on a lower level, perhaps, but surrounded by 
equally high mountain passes. 

A very awkward incident occurs. Entering a 
tunnel, about half-way through we feel a concussion, 
and hear a thud against the side of the car. Looking 
back, in the dim light admitted from the entrance of 
the tunnel, we see the outline of the figure of a horse 
turning a somersault, and falling suddenly as if shot. 
At the same moment an Indian appeared running 
through and after the train from the further end. 
We supposed that the man had been walking 
through the tunnel, leading his horse. Hearing the 
train he ran back to save himself, leaving the horse 
loose in the tunnel. Doubtless we killed the poor 
animal, but if it had been a hand car the conse- 
quences to the occupants would have been serious. 
The car would have been thrown with force off 
the rails, and the passengers injured against the 
jagged crags inside the tunnel. We stopped at the 
next station to warn an ascending freight train, whilst 
the station master was sent in search of the man 
to procure his arrest. We congratulated ourselves 
upon a further escape. Mr. Mackay, who was doing 
the honours of the railway on Mr. Dawkins' behalf, 
assured us that such a series of escapades was a thing 
previously unheard of, and I must in justice add that 
they have never yet had a single serious accident or 
lost a life since the Corporation have been running 
the Oroya line. 

Our engine driver was anxious that we should 
accomplish the steepest gradients ere night- 



Peru, and Five Miles towards Heaven. 189 

fall, and asked permission to hurry on and run 
faster. 

We descended below the clouds, and left the rain 
and mist behind us. The sun burst out, warming 
in a pink glow the shoulders of the mountains, de- 
scending into the dusk of the valleys. A glorious 
sunset succeeded, seen in all its majesty of flaming 
orange and dusky crimson, framed in between the 
ramparts of two granite fortresses. How reluctantly 
it faded, lingering in a halo of rosy light, and dying 
into the soft transparent lilac of the tropical twilight. 
It left with us a worthy memory, framed in gorgeous 
colours, of our last view of the Andes. Dusk and 
gloom overtook us, and descended with us to the 
bottom of the valley. The light just lasted until at 
San Bartolome we ran over our last V. Thence- 
forward it was a long weary run in the dark, through 
the broad valley, until the lights of Lima shone out 
upon the darkness. 

Fifteen hours of constant travelling, coupled with 
the excitement and fatigue of perpetual admiration, 
and the influence of sorocche, had well nigh exhausted 
us. 

One day had been sufficient for us to ascend to 
the height of Mont Blanc and to descend again. 
One day had enabled us to penetrate for the second 
time into the heart of the Andes, and to traverse 
once more to the highest passes of the Cordillera. 

A last excitement though awaited us. Walking from 
the station at Lima we enter from a side street upon 
the Plaza des Armas. The electric lights shine 
brilliantly, the fountains play as usual, but it is 
strange that it is absolutely deserted. The arcades, 



igo China to Peru. 

usually so full of life in the evening, arc empty, the 
shops are shut, there is not a sign of life. It is easy 
to see that something is wrong. Picquets occupy 
each corner of the plaza. The prefect passes by, 
handsomely mounted, his orderlies behind, hand on 
pistol. At the corner of the Moneda, or old Spanish 
Government House, a cavalry soldier draws his sword 
and bars our passage. But an officer comes up and 
orders him " to let the English senorita go by." We 
proceed past the entrance to the Moneda, and see 
that the courtyard is full of soldiers. Passers-by 
are turned back at the crossing. The square is 
kept clear. But see, under those trees there is a 
scuffle between three or four men going on. It is an 
arrest. The political culprit is resisting the emissaries 
of the law ; an officer comes up and a soldier gallops 
on to the pavement to aid in the struggle. We dare 
not linger to witness the result. The streets are 
full of excited groups, shop shutters have been hastily 
put up, and the great entrance gate of our hotel is 
barricaded. 

There has been an aneute during the afternoon. 
What was it all about ? A few citizens, as the troops 
were marching back from a presidential review, or 
rather a political harangue, much elated by a " lunch 
a la criolla," have ventured to shout " Viva Pierrola," 
the popular democratic candidate for the presidency 
vacant next June. The army (and the Government) 
is for General Caccres. The town is at once placed un- 
der martial law. " Viva la libertad," may be the motto 
of a Spanish Republic. But what is the practice } 

Farewell calls occupied the morning until it was 
time to return to Callao and re-cmbark on the 



Peru, and Five Miles towards Heaven, 1 9 1 

Maipo. We returned to the ship laden with floral 
tokens of an untoward size. Precluded from enter- 
taining, it is the Spanish way of acknowledging and 
showing courtesy. Large sums, ranging from five 
pounds and upwards, are spent upon elaborate 
designs, such as a huge butterfly of varied hues, or a 
crescent erected on a pillar of flowers. 

A few days more of steaming along the coast of 
the rainless desert and we reached Payta, where we 
landed for an hour. As Coquimbo had been a good 
specimen of a Chilian seaport town, so Payta served 
to show us a typical Peruvian port. 

Anything like the filth and dilapidation of the 
deserted streets can scarcely be imagined. The 
tumble-down houses are all built of bamboo plastered 
with mud, large portions of which have dissolved 
into the original element of dust, leaving gaping holes 
in the walls. The floors are of mud. There are no 
windows or chimneys, yet in strange contrast to the 
poverty-stricken appearance of the houses are the 
elaborate attempts at carving exhibited on the over- 
hanging miradores or balconies. The squalor of 
the interior corresponds to the dilapidation of the 
exterior. Large families of Indian type lie huddled 
together amid the filth and dirt, or are seen 
squatting on the floor engaged in some domestic 
operation. The streets are full of decaying garbage, 
being investigated by the troops of mongrel curs that 
infest the streets. 

We proceeded to see the single (apology for a) tree 
on the Plaza of Payta. It is a small thorn tree, 
guiltless of green leaf, and bears company to the 
dead palms waving their withered and dust-laden 



192 China to Peru. 

branches. The seashore is strewn with offal, and the 
gulls coming up from the beach are pecking at the 
refuse in the streets. There are a few little shops^ 
containing a wonderful jumble of commodities. Yet 
the English Consul, who has been here for forty 
years, went home to England and returned again, 
declaring that there was no place like Payta, and the 
English clerk employed at the telegraph office did not 
seem to dislike the place. This decidedly uninteresting 
town is yet an important shipping port for vast inland 
cotton fields, and for the petroleum oil found in the 
beds reaching beneath the sea and along the 
coast. 

We wasted a great deal of valuable time at Payta 
transferring the cargo intended for Guayaquil off the 
Mapocho, sister ship of the Maipo, to save her 
calling at that fever-stricken port and so avoid 
quarantine at the other places of call. This delay 
cost us the loss of the tide at Guayaquil. 

This morning we perceive something dark on the 
low hills of the coast. So long accustomed to the 
grey line of sand, it awakens our curiosity. It is the 
beginning of vegetation on the shores of the Gulf of 
Guayaquil. The rainless zone is past, and the dense 
vapour-laden atmosphere of this great gulf brings it 
abruptly to a close. Now we labour in tropical heat, 
suffering severely as we anchor for the night at the 
mouth of the river Guayaquil and opposite to the 
wooded Island of Puma, where history relates that 
Pizarro first landed on his invasion of Peru. 

Steaming up the broad river, the approach to 
Guayaquil is very pleasing. The banks are fringed 
with forests of tall grey-stemmed trees, twined with 



Peru, and Five Miles towards Heaven^ 193 

flowering creepers. Banyan and cocoa palms wave 
their feathery arms. Ferns and bright-green mosses 
form a tangled undergrowth of tropical luxuriance. 
But these mangrove swamps^ beautiful as they appear 
to us by comparison with the great desert tract of 
the coast we have so long sailed past, are full of deadly 
miasma. We wind among the broad stretches of the 
river, and anchor in the wide reach of water before the 
quays of Guayaquil. 

Guayaquil is the chief port of the Republic of 
Ecuador. It is the great outlet for the trade of the 
whole province, a trade consisting largely of cocoa 
exported to France and Spain. Ecuador provides 
two-thirds of the production of cocoa to the whole 
world, and 25,000 to 30,000 bags are frequently 
shipped on a single vessel. The banks are lined 
with quays, sloping to the water's edge. Two or 
three unwieldy-looking river steamers lie at anchor. 
There are also many bathing establishments. 

Guayaquil, with its red-tiled roofs, standing out 
from the hills of rich green, its cool promenades 
of arcades, formed by the overhanging miradores 
of the houses, its waving groups of cocoa palms, 
appears a picturesque town. Thirty-five thousand 
people dwell in the houses concealed behind the 
quay frontage, but we do not venture to land, and 
sleep with hermetically closed windows, against the 
miasma rising from this unhealthy port. 

Guayaquil is only 4^ removed from the equator, 
and enjoys a reputation for perpetual yellow fever 
and small-pox. The rainy season, the most un- 
healthy period of the year, has just commenced, and 
Yellow Jack has begun to claim his victims with re- 

o 



1 94 China to Peru. 

newed vigour. The steamer^ lying out there in the 
river, has lost four of its crew from yellow fever. 
Two gentlemen residing at the hotel died of the same 
disease. The Englishman who died this day week 
in the room opposite ours at Lima, had been residing 
in this hotel, and had left Guayaquil but a few days 
before, happy in having secured for his Manchester 
house orders for i8,ooo/, worth of goods. The hotel 
is a plague-spot, and contains now more than one 
sufferer. 

We land one or two passengers for the distant 
capital of Quito, lying under Cotopaxi's great 
shadow, and reached only by muleback. We ought 
to be able to see the loftiest peak of South America, 
the great cone of Chimborazo, from the steamer's 
deck, but it is swathed in clouds. The difference in 
the productions of these tropical latitudes is readily 
perceived. Now great lighters full of oranges and 
mangoes and bags of cocoa come alongside, and the 
ship is besieged by sellers of green love-birds, parrots, 
alligators, and monkeys. We have to discharge a 
double allowance of goods. The noise of the six 
steam-winches, working together and at once, is 
terrific. Oppressed with the tropical heat, haunted 
by the breath of the pestilence-stricken town, we lie 
sweltering before Guayaquil for twenty-four hours. 

The monotony is varied by witnessing a popular 
demonstration, bordering on a revolution. The quays 
were lined with excited crowds. The boys of Lima 
had stormed the Ecuadorian legation. The Peruvian 
minister was expected by our boat, and they intend 
to mob him on landing. Disappointed in this, they 
carried shoulder-high an Ecuadorian senator who 



Pertly and Five Miles toivards Heaven. 195 

came up with us. Then they marched backwards 
and forwards, trailing in the dirt the Peruvian flag, 
while handbills were issued calling upon all patriots 
to enrol themselves as volunteers to march against 
Peru. A meeting was held, and " The dismissal of 
every Peruvian from Ecuadorian employ, the re- 
patriation of every Ecuadorian from Peru, the recall 
from exile of revolutionary generals to lead the hosts 
of Ecuador," was resolved upon. A telegram was 
sent to the President at the distant and (happily 
for him) inaccessible capital of Quito. He replied 
with much emphasis, on the dignity and honour of 
national and individual security. 

This petty ebullition of national feelings com- 
pleted our typical experience of the revolutions 
always proceeding or ready to break forth in the 
Republics of South America. In Brazil, Rio was 
in the midst of a serious and lasting revolution ; at 
Buenos Ayres we found a state of siege proclaimed 
for a certain number of weeks ; at Lima in Peru we 
witnessed the result of a few harmless shouts from 
the populace. Chili, industrious, honest, and pros- 
perous, was alone free from these petty revolutions, 
fatal to the credit and stability of all good govern- 
ment. 

At length the cargo is all on board : the steam- 
winches are at rest. We long for the refreshing 
breezes of the ocean. Then it is discovered that a 
dozen firemen have run away. They have to be 
sought for, collected together, and brought off in a 
boat, much the worse for liquor. Further lingering. 
This time it is the fault of the Ecuadorian postmaster. 
The mails tarry. P'or hours we wait. The tide has 

o 2 



1 96 China to Peru. 

turned, we fear to lose the whole day. At length they 
arrive, but only to be nearly lost as they come on 
board. The stream was racing down, five miles an 
hour. The steersman of the boat made fast to the 
gangway, and the tide swung round her head. A 
second more and the bags and treasure were at the 
bottom of the river, the boat capsized, and the two 
sailors drowning in the strong current. " Let go, let 
go ! " came the order, just in the nick of time. The 
boat was carried far astern, but saved. With a 
fearful struggle, the sailors beat back against the 
stream and were hauled up on deck. It ended 
our chapter of accidents : we caught the tide, and 
were out and away to sea ere evening closed. 

But we have lost much valuable time. Due at 
Panama on December 5th, the Maipo cannot now 
arrive before December 8th. Quarantine, or some 
hours' " observation/' after touching at Guayaquil, is 
sure to be imposed. The steamer of the Royal Mail 
is advertised to sail from Colon on December 8th. 
Shall we make the connection .-' Wc fear the worst 
and are anxious. 

We pass the Island of La Plata, where Sir Francis 
Drake stored all his provisions on his return to 
England after his first voyage from the West Indies 
to South America. From Cape San Francisco we 
leave Ecuador and stand out to sea, steaming across 
the crescent indentation that the coast assumes, along 
the shores of the Republic of Colombia. 

It takes us two days to steam this stretch of 800 
miles. We anchor soon after midnight of the second 
day in the Gulf of Panama, but at a distance of six 
miles from the shore. Our captain advances in the 



Peru^ and Five Miles towards Heaven. 197 

early morning inside the anchorage, but getting 
frightened at his boldness in defying the harbour 
rules, soon retreats. Meanwhile no doctor comes 
off. Just as we had given up hope, a boat appears 
with the longed-for functionary. He passes us in 
solemn review in the saloon^ and, after scanning our 
healthy appearance, decrees a twenty-four hours' ob- 
servation. We despair of catching our steamer. All 
we can do is to send off petitioning letters to the 
Governor, the Consul, and the shipping agents, beg- 
ging that our quarantine may be if possible shortened 
and the steamer delayed. We spend the day in 
restless anxiety. 

Detained prisoners, we look longingly towards the 
low, wooded hills of such brilliant green, surrounding 
the red roofs of Panama, and espy the entrance to 
the canal hidden round another wooded promontory. 
We are haunted by visions of the Royal Mail steamer 
Para sailing away this afternoon at five from Colon, 
on the other side of the Isthmus. 

Tropical downpours of rain, with a general cleaning 
of the decks and saloon, add to our uncomfortable 
frame of mind. The long day of anxiety and worry- 
ing at length draws to a close. 



CHAPTER IX. 

TO THE ARCHIPELAGO OF OCCIDENT. 

At six the next morning they awoke us with the 
joyful intelligence that the doctor was seen in his 
launch, coming to let us out of quarantine before the 
appointed time. To get up, dress, and finish packing, 
was the work of a quarter of an hour. Another 
quarter of an hour saw us and our luggage safely 
aboard the steam-launch. We had no time for 
breakfast, but what mattered that, so long as we 
caught the steamer and saved a fortnight's stay on 
the Isthmus ? Our letters had been successful. Mr. 
Mallet, the zealous English Consul, had kindly moved 
all the powers that be, to get our quarantine shortened, 
petitioning the governor and the doctor on our 
behalf, and detaining the steamer at Colon. 

We steamed across the Gulf of Panama. The 
dense mist lying over the land at the back of the 
Isthmus indicated the line of the canal. It is to this 
poisonous exhalation that the Isthmus owes much of 
its alleged unhealthiness. To the right, some miles 
away on the beach, are the ruins of the old town, 
sacked and destroyed by Morgan. 

The only landmark now seen of the old city is the 
crumbling tower of the church, "where Pizarro offered 



To the Archipelago of Occident. 1 99 

his prayers and vows to the Virgin, before sailing 
southward for the conquest of Peru." Ancient 
Panama was founded by the old navigators after their 
first view from thence of the Pacific. It was a 
Spanish stronghold, whence Peru was subjugated, 
and the whole continent of South America over- 
run. 

The early morning cast a halo of beauty around 
Panama, tinging with sunlight the mouldy, green 
walls of the battery, ever washed by the waves of the 
Pacific, and lighting up the deep-red tone of the 
tiled roofs. Tales of the fever-laden atmosphere fade 
into the distance with this view of the town. It is 
low tide, so we have to leave the launch and take to 
the row-boats. Worse still, the luggage can only be 
landed on the reefs, from thence put into carts, and 
brought across the town. The ordinary train is on 
the point of leaving. A special train, costing 2c/., 
must now take us the forty-eight miles across the 
Isthmus. 

A drive through Panama revealed a succession of 
hilly streets, with low, ugly houses, where damp, 
mouldy walls are stained and discoloured with 
excessive wet, and overhung with hibiscus and 
tropical creepers. The shops seem to consist chiefly 
of low drinking-booths and barbers' salons, but have 
a deserted and depressed appearance. The popula- 
tion is made up of tall negroes and negresses, clothed 
in a single brilliant-coloured cotton chemise, exposing 
to full view the necks and arms, with a plentiful 
sprinkling of pale-faced Europeans. The pretty little 
plaza, with its croton-bordered walks, contains all of 
Panama's public buildings. Here is the cathedral 



200 China to Pern . 

with its double towers, inlaid with oyster-shells, a 
mother-of-pearl decoration of quaint but effective 
style. Here, too, the bishop's palace, the canal 
offices, the bank, and the hotel, whose doubtful re- 
putation has been noised abroad in our ears recently 
and frequently. The governor's palace, guarded by 
a {q.\v baggy-trousered soldiers, is round the corner, 
facing seawards. 

Everybody looks depressed, miserable, and anae- 
mic. The damp heat and enervating atmosphere are 
but too apparent now we have landed. It is a vapour 
bath, laden with unwholesome exhalations, breeding 
fever and its attendant evils. Yet some assert that 
directly the canal works stopped, Panama ceased 
to be unhealthy. It was the exudation from the 
newly turned over earth that caused the fever and 
ague, that made Panama the graveyard for thousands, 
that filled the splendid hospital on yonder eminence, 
with its red roofs joining the separate wards, and 
capable of accommodating 600 or 700 patients. 
During the canal working it was always full of the 
sick, the dying, and the dead. 

Panama, with its air of decay and crumbling, looks 
very different now to what it did in the days of its 
prosperity, when work on the canal was in full swing. 
Then it was a town with a population given up to 
reckless debauchery and revelry of speculation. Then 
it was a hell of vice and gambling. Now it awaits 
eagerly the renewed confidence of some nation or 
syndicate, who will recommence afresh the construc- 
tion of the much-needed waterway. 

The mail steamer has only agreed to wait until 
10.30. Time presses. Yet the "special" is not 



To the Archipelago of Occident. 201 

forthcoming, as the line is blocked by another train. 
We grow anxious and impatient, our tempers not im- 
proved by a further exorbitant charge of three cents 
on every pound of luggage by this American railway 
company. After enduring so many and repeated 
delays, what would our feelings be should we after 
all miss the steamer ! At length, after weary wait- 
ing, the train arrives, and we commence our journey 
across the Isthmus. 

I don't know if others have imagined, as I had, 
that the Isthmus of Panama is, like that of Suez, a 
desert with much sand. 

It is in reality the most beautiful peninsula, de- 
signated by vegetation of an extraordinary luxu- 
riance. I have seen tropical growth in almost all 
parts of the world, but nothing comes up to the 
vegetation on this Isthmus of Panama. The trees 
are twined and draped with curtains of creepers, 
which flower along the branches. Palms grow to an 
abnormal size, the banyan-trees do likewise. Tall 
cocoa-palms stand aloft in solitary grandeur, whilst 
peach and fig trees, sugar-canes and banana-trees rise 
from the midst of an undergrowth so dense and 
tangled as to be quite impenetrable. It is a journey 
prolonged through a vast palmery, or proceeding 
through a long-continued heated conservatory. 
But occasionally from below comes a gleam of water, 
foetid, stagnant water, covered with green slime, 
emitting the most poisonous vapours. Nearly the 
whole of this beautiful forest covers a marsh of stand- 
ing water. Can we wonder at the brilliant green, the 
abundant growth, the glowing colours of this truly 
ultra-tropical forest ? 



202 China to Peril. 

We constantly pass groups of wooden houses, 
raised on piles, above the standing water. The com- 
pany erected over 5000 of these wooden huts. Many 
are locked and empty, but others are tenanted chiefly 
by negroes and negresses, the former being employed 
to watch and keep the works and machinery in 
order. 

From side to side of the railway we watch the 
sinuous course of the canal, " the unfinished ditch, 
the most startling memorial of human miscalculation 
and credulity that modern civilization has known." 
We see the muddy channel frequently blocked up by 
shifting earth, or lost amidst the dense growth, where 
lie buried the 50,000,000/. already spent. One grieves 
to think of the many hard-earned savings of the in- 
dustrious French artisan, that have thus been swal- 
lowed up with a result now before our eyes. The 
banks are strewn with valuable machinery, lines of 
railway waggons on an embankment, standing idle, 
piles of sleepers, dredgers of all descriptions, floating 
in the river or standing on the sidings. Further on 
there are some sheds full of engines, but for the most 
part this costly machinery is rotting in the air, 
becoming rusty in the moist-laden atmosphere. 
To fulfil the conditions, about to expire, of the Canal 
Company with the Colombian Government, men 
are employed to keep the machinery in order and 
the canal open as far as possible ; but how can a 
handful of men cope with the ravages of an all- 
destroying climate .'' 

Now the canal crosses the railway to be engulphed 
in the half-finished excavations of the celebrated 
Culcbra Mountain. It is only a low eminence to 



To the Archipelago of Occident. 203 

look at, but a cutting of 375 feet will be necessary 
to pierce it for the canal. Large sums of money 
were expended, and a big machine half-way up 
the mountain side speaks to the half-finished work. 
I suppose the banks when first made were clean 
embankments of earth. Now a rank vegetation 
clothes not only their sides, but encroaches over 
the bed of the narrow ditch until it is scarcely 
discernible. 

As we approach Colon we have constantly in view 
the broad, swift- flowing river of the Chagres. The 
original idea was to use this river as the base of the 
canal by widening and dredging its bed. But then 
a difficulty arose. The Chagres is subject to freshets, 
and the stream has sudden rises and falls occurring 
in the space of a few hours. It daunted the engineers, 
and upset the original plans. Still, part of the river 
bed is utilized, and it is difficult sometimes to tell 
where the canal and river merge together, and where 
they separate. 

We pass several stations where a collection of 
wooden houses, shaded by broad verandahs, mark 
some important point in the canal works. The 
street facing the line is largely composed of drinking- 
booths, posted with advertisements of the great 
" Loteria de Panama." The population is made up 
of " darkies " well adapted to work in this tropical 
heat, whilst their mulatto wives, huge, and lightly 
clothed, are splendid specimens of that dusky race. 
The ubiquitous Chinaman is present, too, and we 
decipher their hieroglyphical signs over many a door. 

In an hour and a half the special train has run 
across the Isthmus, with its dense vegetation, its 



204 China to Perti. 

muddy canal, and broad, flowing river. We have 
left the Pacific in the Gulf of Panama, and here at 
Colon we find the Atlantic in the Gulf of Darien, 
soon to be merged in the waters of the Caribbean 
Sea. Colon was called Aspinwall in early days, 
after the name of the railway contractor, but was 
changed to Colon, the Spanish name for Columbus. 
Nevertheless, the railway officials are true to its 
earlier name, and label the luggage Aspinwall. 

Colon is a small place, with an even worse reputa- 
tion for healthiness than Panama. It is, perhaps, 
more densely shut in and surrounded by trees and 
heavy growth than the larger town, although more 
exposed to the refreshing ocean breezes. The Euro- 
peans live in the little bay inside yonder point, in 
houses that face the beach and the seashore. It is a 
great relief to see the Para, blue Peter flying at 
her mast-head, and steam up, ready to bear us away. 
Two boats were waiting, in charge of the ship's 
officers, to take passengers and luggage on board. 
Thankful were we, after all doubts and delays, to be 
at last safe on board the steamer. 

A last sad impression of the fatal canal is left 
on our minds as we leave Colon. There is the 
picturesque chalet-house on the sea point, standing 
amid waving palms, and with the statue of Columbus 
presented by the Empress Eugenie in the garden of 
M. de Lesseps' former residence. We think of the 
poor old man far away in Paris, unconscious in the 
last days of old age, of the blasphemies and curses 
being heaped upon his head by the thousands of 
ruined speculators, by thousands of sufferers from 
cupidity and crcdulousness. 



To the Archipelago of Occident. 205 

What is to be the future of the canal ? Next year 
must decide. The time allowed by the Colombian Go- 
vernmentwill soon be over, and they can seize the plant 
unless work is recommenced. Perhaps a fresh syn- 
dicate may be formed in France ; but they have been 
badly caught, and will be shy to bite again. Let us 
hope rather that an influential company may be formed 
of English capitalists to carry out and complete the 
canal. The South American Republics of Central 
America might well contribute a fixed sum, as it is of 
every importance to their commerce for them to have 
through communication with Europe. " Ouien sabe ? " 
(Who knows ?), the favourite dilatory expression of the 
Spanish South American. It is a suitable exclamation 
wherewith to take farewell of this great southern 
continent of America. 

The Para steamed out along the well-wooded 
shores of the gulf of Darien into the open and dis- 
tressful ocean, bearing us on our homeward way, 
towards some of those spice-laden islands of the West 
Indies. 

Sunrise over Port Royal ; this is what we see on 
the second day of our voyage out from Colon. The 
white guardship, lying across the entrance to the 
wonderful natural inlet which forms the wide shores 
of Kingston Haj-bour, and the few buildings of Port 
Royal on the flat, thin green line of the jutting 
isthmus, stand out against the crimson sky. The 
houses of Kingston, hidden amongst tropical groves, 
cluster thickly down to the black wharves on the 
water's edge. Golden mists, opaque and dusky, 
enshroud the higher ranges of the Blue Moun- 
tains. 



2o6 China to Peru. 

What a wonderful and pleasing variety is found in 
the great backbone of bristling mountains running 
through this beautiful island ! The serrated tiers of 
little peaks, whose turret-shaped elevations face all 
ways, whose descending slopes give such infinite 
change, are gleaming with brilliant green ; yet over 
all is that wonderful azure haze that imparts to them 
a bright-blue tone, plainly indicating the origin of 
their name. 

We anchor at the wharf of Kingston, where all is 
obscured to view by an enormous stack of coal, whilst 
the air is thick with dust arising therefrom as the 
baskets are filled with coal. The coaling of the ship 
is performed by women : with their short petticoats 
and heads swathed in bandanna handkerchiefs they 
make strange coal-heavers. With their swinging 
gait they bear the enormous weight of these coal 
baskets on their heads. Merrily they go at it all day, 
laughing gaily as they troop up the gangway in going 
and returning streams. 

Jamaica is the largest island of our West Indian 
possessions, and alone contains an area exceeding all 
the other islands of this tropical group. It is also 
distinguished for being the only British possession 
that bestows a title upon the Queen, who is here 
styled the " Lady of the Island " — a title originating 
in the time of Charles I., in whose reign Jamaica 
passed into the hands of Great Britain, and who was 
then designated the " Lord of the Island." 

Kingston is disappointing and uninteresting. The 
two main and far-reaching arteries of North and 
Duke Streets, with their one-storied houses, offer no 
attractions. The shops are scrubby little stores, open 



To the A^^chipelago of Occident. 207 

to the street, and with their goods exposed on the 
floor, or hung around the wooden pillars that support 
the rough piazzas raised above the street. Coloured 
Manchester cotton goods and gaudy bandannas of 
red and yellow, with coarse glazed earthenware and 
cheap tin goods, seem to be the favourite native 
emporiums. The open sewers are unsavoury ditches 
running generally down the centre of the road, form- 
ing a formidable canal at the crossings, which 
requires careful negotiation on the part of the buggy 
driver. 

But the population, at least to a newcomer, pro- 
vides endless sources of amusement. The negresses, 
in their green, red, and blue cotton dresses, frilled and 
flounced, waddle aggressively along, whilst a little 
straw sailor-hat, perched aloft on their crisp, woolly 
head, gives a perky appearance to the general turn- 
out. This jaunty little hat is most generally favoured, 
but others are partial to a large straw hat covered 
with nodding plumes of uncurled ostrich feathers. 
What bright colours, too, they love ! Pink and yellow 
ribbons contrast with their black, polished faces, whilst 
the protruding lips are on a level with the straw brims 
of their hats. 

The common women swathe their heads and bind 
them up in gay bandannas, tied behind in a most 
artistic knot, with the ends standing erect. How 
splendidly they move and walk, these women with 
their supple figures, accustomed from childhood to 
walk with head erect, bearing some great weight. It 
seems curious to our chivalrous natures to see the 
woman carrying the heaviest loads, such as a huge 
box on their heads, whilst beside her walks the hus- 



2o8 China to Pern. 

band, bearing a parcel in his hand ; but the custom of 
the country requires it. Men labour in the fields and 
do all the hard manual work — they are not efYcminate ; 
but woman carries the load, and a man relieving her 
of it would be considered a fit object for scorn amongst 
his companions. 

How strangely alike seem to us these black negroes 
and negresses, with their crisp, woolly heads, their 
complexions varying in sable intensity from maho- 
gany and copper-colour to ebony, their thick, pro- 
truding lips, and flat, wide nostrils. We can see no 
distinguishing difference in their all-pervading ugli- 
ness. But I suppose amongst themselves they find 
such, and varying degrees of beauty, largely deter- 
mined by the size and rotundity of the lady. 

One of the well-appointed buggies in general use, 
drawn by a native horse of small but wiry proportions, 
took us out five miles to the Governor's residence, 
called King^s House. " Manchester Square," a sharp 
corner, leading into a short street, brought us out of 
the town proper. A row of open booths, containing 
a medley of shops, surrounded the approach to the 
race-course, where some races are to be held on the 
morrow. The course is open to the public and there 
is no gate-money, except for the small stand belonging 
to a company. 

As we drive out into the country we might almost 
imagine ourselves in an English lane, so green are the 
wayside hedges, so grass-grown are the bordering 
ditches; but then some great tropical growth — a 
giant cactus or a trailing alamander bush — recalls us 
to the fact that we are in an island of the West 
Indies. We pass many pretty homelike houses. 



To the Archipelago of Occident. 209 

enclosed in fields and surrounded by luxuriant 
gardens ; they belong to the judges and well-known 
planters of the Island. Always, as a magnificent 
background to everything we see, is that lovely 
changing range of deep-blue mountains. 

The road is excellent : to us^ after our late experi- 
ence of South American high-ways, it seems a " path 
of pleasantness " indeed. But the roads all over the 
Island are in equally good condition, and during his 
Governorship, Sir Henry Blake has been instrumental 
in making some 4C0 miles of communication. 

The lodge at the gate entrance to King's House 
is hidden under the purple bloom of a buganvillea, 
whilst the long carriage-approach is flaming with 
orange and yellow crotons, crimson hibiscus, and 
such gorgeous trees of poinsettias, the scarlet- 
pointed blossom lying at the end of each leafless 
grey branch. 

The Governor and Lady Blake kindly insist upon 
our spending the night at King's House, and the 
hermetically sealed ship in this tropical latitude, 
dusted over with black coal-grit, combined with the 
smell of the harbour, which absorbs the surface 
drainage of the town, combines to render a night on 
board out of the question. 

Kingston may be small and dirty, but the Island 
of Jamaica is a gem among her rival sisters, enthroned 
on this West Indian ocean. Little as we can sec of 
the island in our short stay, we see enough to con- 
vince us of this. 

We set to work to see all that is possible, and 
commenced by a drive to Gordon Town. The road 
winds through a deep glen, hemmed in between 

P 



2 lo China to Peru. 

mountain peaks, and with a stream turning round 
and about in the narrow ravine below. It was a 
lovely drive, the charm increased by a perfect morn- 
ing of bright sun, pleasant breeze, and tempered 
heat. The tropical vegetation was exceptionally 
lovely on account of its multitudinous variety, and 
although the trees and palms mingled together and 
formed a massive growth, still it was not a tangle of 
jungle, but each plant had room to grow to its full 
stature without being too cramped and dwarfed by 
its surroundings. 

We pass some of the soldiers of the Native West 
India Regiment being exercised in outpost duty, 
whilst a fatigue party in an adjoining field are 
encamped by a fire preparing the midday dinner over 
a fire. There is a large college standing in a park 
removed from the road : and from it two large wag- 
gonettes are bearing the pupils home after their 
morning studies. 

We penetrate deeper into the ravine up the steep 
mountain way. It is a lovely road, crossing the 
river on bridges, giving glimpses up fresh valleys, 
and made picturesque by the figures of negresses 
carrying perhaps a large pommeloe on the head, or a 
basket full of oranges ; whilst donkeys, laden with 
paniers of fresh grass or other marketable produce, 
are constantly driven on one side to let us pass. 
There are frequent picket-houses and guard-rooms 
for the soldiers quartered at Newcastle, and yet more 
frequent drinking-shops, licensed to " sell rum, beer, 
and brandy," where Tommy Atkins' temptations to 
refresh himself on his long upward tramp are very 
great. 



To the Archipelago of Occident. 2 1 1 

Gordon Town is a small collection of roofs, but 
the carriage-drive ends here, and there is only a 
bridle-path from this point up the mountain side to 
Newcastle. Newcastle is represented to us by a 
number of white houses terraced on to the sloping 
shoulder of the higher range of the Blue Mountains, 
almost enveloped in clouds, and two thousand feet 
immediately above us. This elevated station, some 
4000 feet high, is the depot for the English regiment 
quartered at Kingston. Cool and healthy, the officers 
and men quartered on this distant and inaccessible 
mountain height must often wish themselves nearer 
to the dubitable charms of Kingston. The drive to 
Gordon Town is very beautiful, and we are told that 
it is the loveliest in the Island. We returned home 
through the Hope Gardens, where the lawns of grass 
thrive under much careful irrigation, and the ferns 
grow under the shade of a conservatory made of palm- 
branches, 

A hurried luncheon at King's House and we 
drove back to Kingston to take the train to Bog 
Walk, another place famed for its beautiful scenery. 
The line is managed by an American company, and 
the coal-dust from the engine smothers the passengers 
in dirt. The heat was intense, although old residents 
were indignant at the suggestion, and impressed 
upon us that it was their Vvinter. Summer must be 
unbearable, judging by the heat of December. It is 
a very pretty journey, the line bein^ won out of the 
mountain side, and in places tunnelling through it. 
We arrived at Bog Walk Station, where a carriage 
was in waiting to drive us through the valley to 
Spanish Town. 

P 2 



2 12 China to Peru. 

Bog Walk is a lovely ravine, filled with banyan 
groves, overshadowed by overhanging rocks, whose 
nooks and crannies are filled by maidenhair and other 
hothouse ferns. 

The River Cobra rushes along a rocky bed, hidden 
deep in the mountain cleft ; whilst the mountains, 
heavily laden with tropical growth of brilliant hues, 
rise around to a considerable height. Strange fruits 
hang from many an unfamiliar tree, whilst the 
cloudy-grey lichen, called the old man's beard, 
depends from the branches of the trees ; over there, 
a large spreading one by the water's edge is covered 
with a trailing creeper that forms an umbrella shade 
of giant proportions. 

Bog Walk is a lovely drive of some five miles long, 
and worthy of a prettier name. We cross the Cobra 
on a rough, unrailed bridge, and soon emerge from 
the ravine into an open, park- like space, where 
hedges of cacti form a thorny enclosure to many 
little encampments of thatched hovels. In one 
clearing is a little brick church, with the neighbouring 
house of the pastor raised on wooden piles. A few 
farms and houses placed nearer together warn us of 
the approach to the old-world capital and quaint 
little city of Spanish Town. The old plaza is 
surrounded by the Government House, looking 
closed and deserted with shuttered windows, 
although really a finer residence than that of King's 
House, on the one side, while on the other are 
the Colonial Secretary's offices, the Government 
Savings Bank, with a statue of Rodney, bearing a 
Latin inscription, under an open portico. Spanish 
Town, with its groves of banyan-trees, and many 



To the Archipelago of Occident. 2 1 3 

pretty villas and gardens on the outskirts of the city, 
is a favourite place of residence. 

We just caught the train on our return to Kingston, 
and paid a hurried visit to the ship to pack our bags 
for the night, escaping from the smells, heat and 
dirt as quickly as possible. Then, lighted by the 
brilliant fire of the glow-worms, dancing hither and 
thither, we drove out to join a dinner party, and sleep 
at King's House. 

Refreshed by the cool and quiet of a night in the 
country, and at an altitude of 400 feet above the 
harbour, we drove back into Kingston and further 
explored the dirty, unattractive streets. Then, over- 
come by the tropical heat of their winter sun, wc 
returned on board, glad to stand out to sea past Port 
Royal, keeping the amethyst range of the Blue 
Mountains with their graceful peaks running across 
the island, in sight until sundown. 

The following morning we approach quite close to 
the bright-green shores of Hayti, that most fruitful 
but independent island, given up under the domination 
of the two Republics of Hayti and Domingo to savage 
rule and rude cultivation. We cast anchor in the 
sheltered cove before the port of Jacmel, whilst a 
few clumsily manoeuvred lighters come alongside to 
receive the cargo. The shores of Hayti bear us 
company for the whole day, somewhat breaking the 
force of a head-wind. 

During the succeeding days we are exposed to the 
full fury of this gale. All suffer, all are miserable. 
It is only a question of the degree of discomfort 
everyone on board is enduring, for the following four 
days. 



2 14 China to Peru. 

Relief is brought to all with the anchoring of the 
Para in the open roadstead before the Island of 
Barbados, and opposite to Bridgetown, early one 
morning. The green spit of land, sweeping round a 
half-formed bay, and running out to sea, is crowned 
by a lighthouse and signal-staff flying many flags. 
The great, green-crested breakers come sweeping in, 
curling over to dash themselves on to the shining 
white beach, recalling many a description of these 
South Sea Islands. Bridgetown presents itself to us 
in a medley of buildings and houses, buried amongst 
much green vegetation. 

Barbados is the central point of departure for 
several of the other islands of the Leeward group — 
for St. Vincent, Tobago, Grenada, Trinidad, also for 
Caracas and Venezuela. Seven other Royal Mail 
steamers, engaged in performing the intercolonial 
service, lie in the roadstead whilst we are preparing 
to take on a collection of passengers from these neigh- 
bouring islands. Barbados is the most thickly 
populated island of the West Indies, and supplies 
coolie labour to other less favoured spots. 

Bridgetown, with its glaring white roads, its Broad 
Street full of general emporiums, narrow streets, and 
rough, untidy houses, is singularly unattractive. 
There is nothing to please or interest in this typical 
little West Indian capital. The bridge spanning 
the river, filled with shipping, and the green 
enclosure where the post-office is lodged in a building 
ornamented with a beautiful Moorish arch, and the 
neighbouring church tower viigJu be called pretty. 

Out of the town we drive in one of the abominably 
bad native carriages, each one worse horsed than the 



To the Archipelago of Occidents 2 1 5 

other, past numerous little wooden bungalows. These 
tiny wooden houses, raised above the roadway, are 
curious habitations. They have no surrounding^ 
gardens, no glazed windows, but only wooden 
shutters that open on to a passage leading round the 
house. They appear very small and very public 
dwelling-places, exposed to the full view of the 
passers-by. How black and coarse-featured are the 
negresses, gnawing sticks of sugar-cane ; how lazy 
and insolent in demeanour the negroes we meet as we 
drive along. 

Barbados would be nothing without "the garrison." 
The military quarters, the mess-rooms, and barracks 
of the English regiments quartered here are a great 
feature. There is the park-like space of the Savannah, 
bordered around by trees, with an officer all dressed 
in white, taking a morning gallop across the brown 
turf. A pretty drive of two miles brings us out to the 
Marine Hotel at Hastings. The sea-breezes sweep 
around this favoured point, whilst a band-stand 
ornaments a cool sea walk. 

We return to Bridgetown by another road, circling 
the Savannah again, and passing many pretty stone 
houses, surrounded by gardens rich in tropical blos- 
soms, where doubtless reside the principal residents 
of the island. On our way back we call at Govern- 
ment House, a charming residence, so suitably planned 
as to be open to the draught of the trade wind, blow- 
ing through the house for six months of the year. 
General Paton is in charge as acting Governor 
during Sir John Hay's absence, and he and Mrs. 
Paton kindly insist upon Colonel Vincent staying 
with them until the succeeding steamer takes him to 



2i6 China to Peru. 

Trinidad, St. Vincent, Grenada, and Venezuela, whilst 
I continue on my homeward voyage in the Para. 

The interior of Barbados, stretching far away in 
undulating reaches, looks ugly and uninteresting, 
and is clothed throughout with bright-green sugar- 
canes. A curio-hunt in Bridgetown convinces us 
that the shops are only full of native rubbish, con- 
sisting chiefly of fans made from the gossamer tissue 
of a tree-bark, shells, polished tortoiseshell, and carved 
cocoa-nuts ; nor are we greatly impressed with the 
exterior of the ice-house, the fashionable restaurant, 
situated in a dirty street, where a breakfast of flying- 
fish is considered a delectable entertainment for pass- 
ing voyageurs, and where anything from a frying-pan 
to a dining-room table may be purchased. 

The Para weighs anchor at sundown to pass out 
into the stormy ocean. 

What a terrible voyage that was ! For twelve days 
we had ceaseless head- winds with a very " big" sea. 
The ship was battened down, all the skylights and 
port-holes permanently closed. The water poured 
over the lower deck, and occasionally overflowed and 
flooded the passages leading to the cabins. 

There was no rest day nor night ; nearly all the 
passengers were sick or sorry — some never appeared 
at all ; vacant places at table were the rule and not 
the exception. All were worn out and utterly weary 
of day succeeding day of this wearisome monotony 
of misery. 

Any liquid comestible was looked upon with 
suspicion at meal-time ; a passenger bold enough to 
venture on soup was a terror to his next-door 
neighbour. Cups of tea were landed in the lap, 



To the Archipelago of Occident. 2 1 7 

and soda-water bottles rolled and crashed on the 
floor of the saloon. 

One wretched Sunday will long be remembered. 
The Para varied her frolicsome dancing on the crest 
of the billows, and took instead to rolling heavily in 
their troughs. A sleepless night spent in being 
pitched out of our berths, or in trying to wedge every 
movable article, rolling heavily up and down the 
cabin, found us heavy-eyed and ill-tempered at 
breakfast-time. Fiddles were useless with such 
rolling. Spoons, forks, knives, and glasses crashed 
up and down against their sides, with each awful roll, 
and overbalanced on to the floor. Life-lines were 
stretched along the deck, and those of us who were 
bold enough to venture up, were requested to cling 
on to the ropes. 

Summer skies had long ere this faded into a 
memory. Deck-awnings had been stowed away, 
and extra blankets for the berths requisitioned. 
Deck-chairs lay unused in stacks. Cold and gloomy 
was our approach to England's shores. 

At 10 p.m. on the night of December 27th, small 
groups of shivering passengers were standing on the 
deck, gazing on the two brilliant meteors of the 
Lizard lights. Through the deep darkness shone 
out these electric beacons, welcoming home many a 
weary, worn exile. An hour later the gleam of 
the Eddystone Lighthouse is on our starboard bow. 

We anchor off the lights of Plymouth to land the 
mails and some passengers. The mail contract has 
been saved by half an hour. 

We awake the next morning to find ourselves in 
the calm waters of Southampton Bay, and passing 



2 1 8 China to Peru. 

the white chalk points of the Needles and the green 
downs of the Isle of Wight. The leafless trees, 
and the cold white fog give us but a cheerless 
impression. 

The dirty steam-tug, the long delay at the Custom 
House, and the arrival at Waterloo to the first dense, 
black fog of the season, complete the regrets that a 
third long journey, in another world than ours, must 
now be reckoned only a thing of the past. 



APPEN DIX 

By colonel HOWARD VINCENT, C.B., U.V. 



The following letters appeared in 27ie Globe, The Sheffield 
Telegraph, and other papers. 



TO THE LAND OF REVOLUTIONS. 

Island of St. Vincent, September 30th, 1893. 

Friends at home thought the present time ridiculous^for 
a tour in South America. For the past month and more 
every day has brought cablegrams to Europe of fresh re- 
volutions in Brazil or Argentina. We settled, therefore, to 
come and see what they were about, and whither they 
were leading the British millions so lavishly sent over the 
South Atlantic. The crowd on board the Royal Mail 
steamer Thames shows that there is little danger to be 
apprehended. Brazilians, Argentines, and Chilians are 
returning after a summer in Europe with their wives and 
children, and Englishmen, also long resident on the 
Spanish main. The revolutions are nothing; the revolu- 
tions are local ; all will be over in a day or two ; it is only 
a tournament between lawyers who are "out" and lawyers 
who are " in." The country is safe enough, and foreigners 
are never interfered with. Such is the universal opinion. 
We shall see how far it is justified. But here we are at 
St. Vincent, in the direct trade route between the United 
Kingdom and the rich markets of the River Plate. The 
total distance is between 6000 and 7000 miles. It is too 
far for any man-of-war or well-laden vessel to steam without 
coaling. 

The whole policy of the statesmen who founded the 
Empire was to make it independent of foreign nations. It 
was the great aim of Pitt, who realized more than anyone, 
before or since, that the Empire was trade. England holds 
the route to the great East by well-placed fortresses, and by 
having the coaling stations in her own hands. • The French 



2 20 Appendix. 

can barely reach their Eastern possessions, even through 
the Suez Canal, without the leave of England. They 
cannot do so at all by the Cape of Good Hope. The 
(Germans, the Dutch, and the Portuguese are in like case. 
It is a great power in our hands. Hamstring the fleetest 
runner and he is powerless. Deprive the most formid- 
able ship of war of coal and it is of no account. For the 
security of our trade, for its economical maintenance in 
peace, it is essential that sufficient coal should be obtain- 
able on every road of commerce under the British flag. 
For the protection of our trade, in war, for the safe arrival 
of those food supplies our neglected land at home compels 
us to seek abroad, British coaling stations are of 
paramount importance. 

The Eastern trade route has been well secured. But 
the Western trade route has been neglected. It is of nearly 
as great value as the former, and, better still, it is only in 
its childhood. If South American politicians will but cease 
to revolutionize, and give pledges for security, its limit is 
not in sight, its volume cannot be ciphered. How comes 
it that there is no harEour and no coaling station under the 
Union Jack from the English Channel to the further sea- 
board of the South Atlantic ? Lisbon, Madeira, and the 
Cape de Verd Islands are Portuguese. Teneriffe and the 
Canaries are Spanish. Ascension and St. Helena are out 
of the way and otherwise unsuitable. It may not be too 
late to repair the error by awaiting the opportunity. 
Skilful negotiations and the payment of a fair price should 
be the weapons. Take the map, follow the track of trade, 
and for a centre point in the South Atlantic you fix on the 
Island of St. Vincent. We are there to-day. The magnifi- 
cent harbour of Porto Grande is full of British shipping — 
colliers discharging coal from England, merchantmen 
taking in coal. The only foreign flag is on a little Portu- 
guese gunboat. English money is alone current in practice. 
On shore there are about 40,000 tons of British coal — 
1 70,000 tons were imported by English houses last year for 
English steamers. Every ton is charged a duty of \s. ^d. 
to the Portuguese Government. It augments by so much 
the cost to the shipping. There are 150 Englishmen on 
the island — the able staff of the Brazilian Submarine Cable, 
directed for nineteen years by Mr. Lloyd — loo valuable a 



To the Laud of Revolutions. 221 

public servant to remove to a more temperate region for 
toil, and others. They pay to the Portuguese authorities a 
duty of about 75 per cent, on the goods they import for 
daily existence. It is a heavy charge. These duties, all 
paid by England, constitute the only revenue of the colonial 
Government, and it can but ill-suffice for the officials 
maintained. It is, moreover, a declining income. Favour- 
able as is St. Vmcent for coaling, every effort is being made 
to escape the Portuguese exactions. The Spaniards have 
made " Las Palmas " free. The consequence is that its 
trade has quadrupled in the last five years, while St. Vin- 
cent has retrograded 30 per cent. But the Grand Canary 
is too near England, too far from South America, not 
sufficiently equidistant, and without a harbour, to compare 
with Porto Grande. What, then, should be done ? 

St. Vincent should become British. By force of arms ? 
Assuredly not, for we desire nothing better than peace and 
amity with Portugal — our old ally — and her safe riding 
through her pressing financial troubles. But what could 
be fairer than, if Portugal were willing to sell, and she could 
well do so without loss of dignity and prestige, that we 
should buy, or give something in exchange in East Africa ? 
It would be money well spent by us. Of the island itself 
we could not make much more than the Portuguese. 
It is arid. But to us as a coaling station, a harbour, and a 
pivot of cable communication, it would be invaluable. 
True, St. Vincent could but ill stand alone. Within gun- 
shot is San Antonio, fertile and blessed by nature. The 
one to feed the other. Let Portugal keep the other 
seven islands of the Cape de Verd group, including her seat 
of government at St. Jago, and the valuable salt deposits 
at Ilha de Sal ; but let the British Foreign Office watch for 
the opportunity of acquiring St. Vincent and San Antonio, 
The Administration which succeeds in this task — and it 
should not be a very difficult one — will do a mighty service 
to British trade, and do much to secure and extend it. 

Rio de Janeiro, October 12th, 1S93. 

" Order and Progress" is the motto of the United States 

of Brazil. It was adopted on the 15th of November, 1SS9, 

when the Imperial House surrendered to two battalions of 

raw soldiers and a company of cadets, unprovided with 



2 22 Appendix. 

ammunition. The aged Emperor had had a long and 
beneficent reign ; but by frequent absences in Europe he 
had accustomed his people to believe that they could do 
perfectly well without him. His unostentatious life at 
PetropoliSj his shabby appearance in public, and the scien- 
tific, rather than political, bent of his mind, prevented 
him arousing any enthusiasm even in Court circles. 
Suffering from softening of the brain, dazed by the sudden- 
ness of the blow, the aged sovereign gave up the throne 
without the slightest effort to retain it. The acquiescence 
of the Crown Princess and her Orleans husband, the 
Conde' d'Eu, is more difficult to understand. But the 
people were completely indifferent. One hour they were 
contented with and loyal to the Imperial House, and gave 
not a thought to expelling it. The next they joyfully 
accepted the Baby Republic. Marshal Deodoro da 
Fonseca was called from a bed of sickness to lead the 
movement. He had been overwhelmed with favours 
by the Imperial hand, but no consideration of gratitude 
restrained him. 

The triumph was short-lived. Martial law had to be 
proclaimed in a month, and it has been enforced re- 
peatedly ever since. The civic liberty and the freedom of 
the Press enjoyed under the Monarchy have been abro- 
gated. ** Disorder and Retrogression " is the practice of 
the Republic. 

A provisional constitution was proclaimed on June 22, 
1890, but it was not until the 24th of February, 1891, that 
it was finally accepted by the Congress, notwithstanding 
the employment of every electoral device to secure the 
servility to the Executive of the Senate and the House of 
Representatives. The American Constitution was prac- 
tically translated into Portuguese. In one respect Marshal 
Deodoro da Fonseca disappointed his friends. He was 
only brought out as " a galvanized corpse," and he showed 
far too much vitality. A process of harassing him was 
forthwith commenced. His election to the Presidency 
was only effected by 129 votes to 97 cast for Dr. Prudente 
dc Moraes, President of the Senate, who will probably 
stand again with every chance of success. • The two I louses 
passed an Act setting forth the grounds upon which the 
President could l)e impeached. Deodoro fell well within 
' I k- lias since been elected. 



The Brazilian Naval Revolt. 223 

them, and trial by a hostile Senate was inevitable if tlie 
Bill passed. It was therefore vetoed. Again it was 
brought forward in Congress, and only missed enactment 
by a single vote. Forthwith Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca 
dissolved Congress and proclaimed martial law. He was 
assured of the support of the army. But the great 
southern province of Rio Grande do Sul revolted (as it 
now has again) and 20,000 men were organized over the 
Uruguayan frontier. The Military President had also not 
reckoned with the navy. Admirals Wandelkolk and Cus- 
todio de Mello took an opposite line. The arrest of the 
former was effected, but the latter escaped to his fleet, and 
persuaded the officers to join him. On November 23, 1891, 
he brought three vessels into line of action in the Bay and 
threatened to bombard Rio de Janeiro. Unsupported by 
his colleagues, undermined by his Vice-President, the 
founder of the Republic surrendered as quietly as the 
Emperor had done to himself two years before, and soon, 
like his former master, he passed away from terrestrial 
ambitions. In accordance with the terms of the consti- 
tution, the Vice-President, General Floriano Peixoto, 
became without further election the chief of the Executive. 
He has himself been a candidate for the Presidency, but 
only secured two votes. The people were, as before, abso- 
lutely indifferent. Nor do they appear the least to appre- 
ciate that the present Chief of the State has continued 
annually to draw only the Vice-Presidential salary and to 
content himself with a modest abode instead of occupying 
the Executive mansion. There can be little doubt that 
the first revolt of Admiral Custodio de Mello was supported 
by General Floriano Peixoto. It is also practically certain, 
although not announced, that an agreement was arrived at 
that he should have, on his own behalf and on that of the 
navy, the reversion of the Presidency. This is the only 
reasonable explanation of the present position of affairs. 
Admiral Custodio de Mello became Minister of Marine. 
He resigned in April last on a bill being vetoed precluding 
a Vice-President from becoming President. In this action 
he probably saw that General Floriano Peixoto had no 
intention of abiding by the secret understanding, and 
that although nominally in favour of a civilian President 
supported by the army, he was by no means adverse 
to being himself duly elected as President. This opens 



2 24 Appendix. 

Chapter II. — that of the present, or third, Republican 
Revolution. 

What Admiral Custodio de Mello had successfully done 
in November, 1891, against the President, Deodoro da 
Fonseca, with the connivance, if not at the actual instigation 
of the Vice-President, General Floriano Peixoto, it was 
highly probable he would do again. His movements were 
watched and the Government placed in possession of full 
details concerning an extensive naval conspiracy. But with 
that extraordinary apathy and indifference which is as 
characteristic of the Brazilian authorities as of the people, 
no steps were taken to frustrate it. As midnight was 
striking on the 5th of September last. Admiral Custodio de 
Mello, although at that time holding no naval commission, 
went with a score of friends on board the Aquidahaji, the 
principal vessel of the squadron, and assumed command. 
The captains of the fleet were all on shore, of course, by 
pre-arrangement. The Rcpub/ica, the Trajano, and the 
Marcillio Dias surrendered as quietly as the flagship. A 
landing party was at once organized, and a quantity of 
ammunition and stores removed from the Nictheroy Arsenal 
and from the Island des Cobras. The Brazilian vessels in 
the harbour were also required to give up their cargoes in 
exchange for receipts in the name of Admiral de Mello. 
By ten o'clock on the 6th of September the insurgent forces 
numbered 12 ships of war, 5 torpedo-boats, 5 coasting 
steamers, and 2 steam-launches — 24 vessels in all. 

A clear narrative of subsequent events is not easy to 
obtain. The Government habitually suppresses all infor- 
mation. The Brazilian newspapers, in hourly dread of 
suppression under the state of siege, only refer in the most 
guarded terms to the revolution, and some of them — notably 
the leading newspaper — ih^Joiirna/ 0/ Commerce, makes no 
mention of it at all. The only reliable source of informa- 
tion is the weekly issue of the Rio News,, owned and 
edited by an yXmerican gentleman of singular ability and 
fairness. 

Consider the position of the Brazilian capital at the 
present time, and you will see how serious and yet how 
comical it is, how dangerous and yet how amusing. The 
beautiful harbour is only broken in its vast circumference 
by the narrow entrance. On one side of the gateway is 



The Brazilian Revolution. 225 

the Fortress of Santa Cruz, on the other are the guns of 
the San Juan Fort. The island casemates of Lage complete 
the defensive triangle in the hands of the Government. In 
the bay are 24 vessels, and the powerful fort on the Island 
of Villegaignon — 2^ miles on the town side from Santa 
Cruz, if miles from Lage, and 1.9 miles from San Juan, 
flying the white flag of the insurgents. In the centre of all 
on another island is the Naval School under Admiral 
Saklanha de Gama, the most accomplished officer in the 
Brazilian service. He has succeeded in preserving an 
attitude of neutrality, as did also Fort Villegaignon, until a 
few days ago. The adhesion of the latter brought the 
insurgent forces up to about 1200 men. On shore the 
Government disposes of as many thousands ; but they are 
ill-equipped, ill-oflicered and undisciplined — a greater 
danger to peace and order, most people think, than the 
rebel cannon. On October 10 two battalions of the 
National Guard settled a regimental difference with Maxim 
guns. The normal population of the town is about 400,000, 
including 16,000 Italians, 14,000 Portuguese, 2000 English, 
and 1000 Germans. In the hands of the English and the 
Germans is nearly all the foreign trade, and at all times 
half the vessels in the harbour are British. To protect 
these vast interests Her Majesty's Minister, Mr. Wyndham, 
has the assistance of Captain Lang and Her Majesty's 
ships Sirius, Beagle, and Racer. Mr. Wyndham is able to 
bring the experience of 35 years in the diplomatic service 
to bear on the situation, which is one of great delicacy and 
difficulty. It is fortunate that he has a Naval coadjutor so 
capable as Captain Lang. This officer, whose services were 
lent for some time to the Emperor of China, succeeded in 
raising within a few years a Chinese fleet of the first rank, 
and by his devotion, courage, and self-abnegation made a 
name for himself on the Yellow Sea, second only to that of 
Chinese Gordon on land. His personality and judgment 
have been of the greatest service at this crisis. The foreign 
squadron is completed by i French, 2 Italian, 2 German, 
2 American, and i Portuguese cruisers, disposing of about 
700 men. Admiral Sibron of the French Navy is the 
senior officer, but the guiding mind is that of Captain Lang. 
On shore Mr. Wyndham is the " doyen " of the diplomatic 
body. Between the foreign legations and between the ships 

Q 



2 26 Appendix. 

of the foreign squadron there is complete accord and har- 
mony of action with one unfortunate and notable exception. 
The German Charge d'Affaires and the senior officer of the 
German vessels have severed themselves from their col- 
leagues, and especially from the English. The seniority of 
the courteous French Admiral may have something to do 
with the matter. But it would be interesting to know if 
this independent German action is in pursuance of orders 
from Berlin, for it constitutes a serious divergence from 
that harmonious action throughout the world of England 
and of Germany which is the centre point of the far-seeing 
policy of the Emperor William II. 

Admiral Mello found himself no sooner in possession of 
the fleet than he issued a manifesto to the nation. He 
therein declared that his grounds of revolt were — 

(a) " Because the head of the Executive (Vice-President 
Floriano Peixoto) had arbitrarily mobilized the National 
Army and placed it on a war footing over the unfortunate 
states of Santa Catharina and Rio Grande do Sul. 

(b) " Because he had armed Brazilians against lirazilians, 
spreading mourning, want, and desolation in every nook and 
corner of the Republic. 

(c) *' Because he had perjured himself, deceived the 
nation, and opened with sacrilegious hand the coffers of the 
public exchequer to a policy of bribery and corruption. 

(d) " Because bankruptcy was knocking at the door 
with a long train of horrible misfortunes and disasters." 

Although the last statement is, at any rate, undeniable, 
Custodio de Mcllo failed to explain how such a condition 
of affairs was to be remedied by his ruinous revolutionary 
action. A like omission was apparent in the simultaneous 
manifesto of the four Deputies supporting him. They 
affirmed that " the seconding of the brave Admiral Custodio 
de Mello would be the means of restoring the sway of peace 
under the constitution and laws, and of preserving the sacred 
principles of Republicanism." 

These "sacred principles" appear in Brazil and, indeed, 
elsewhere, to be a perpetual state of siege and civil war. 

The campaign of the Navy against the Army opened 
badly for the latter, not only in the loss of stores, but also 
by one of the battalions having fired upon the launch of the 
Italian cruiser bearing the Consul. A sailor was killed, and 



The Brazilian Revolution. 227 

a full apology had to be made, a public funeral accorded, 
and an indemnity of 100,000 milreis promptly paid. To 
follow the " French duel" through all its ridiculous stages 
would be absurd. Suffice it to say that on September nth 
and 1 2th the insurgents attacked the provincial capital of 
Nictheroy, practically securing it ; that on September 13th 
they bombarded Santa Cruz from 10 a.m. to nightfall, being 
hotly answered ; that on September 17th the Repiil/lica, a 
first-class cruiser of modern type, ran out of the harbour 
right under the guns of the fortress, which on September 
22nd and 23rd was again playfully bombarded for three 
hours — an expenditure of powder and shot highly diverting 
to the inhabitants, who lined the heights, opera-glasses in 
hand, to witness it. 

But on the 25th of September a new phase was entered 
upon. The Government made ostensible preparations to 
take possession of the Ilha des Cobras, on which was the 
Naval Hospital. Two batteries of useless guns were 
mounted on shore, and under their cover it was sought to 
embark some troops. The Insurgent Fleet began forthwith 
to bombard the business quarter of the city, and a panic 
resulted. On the following day the attempt was renewed, 
and one of the first victims to the naval fire was Mr. 
Watmough, a much esteemed clerk in the London and 
Brazilian Bank, who was having luncheon in a restaurant, 
and went out on to the balcony to see what was going on. 
A fragment of shell took off the back of his head and killed 
him instantly. Again the Government was forced to desist. 
The seizure of the Harbour Island was abandoned in face 
of the declaration of the fleet that the bombardment of 
the city would be continued. The shore batteries were, 
however, directed to fire on every vessel coming within 
range. This opened up a very serious condition of affairs. 
The Government artillery was powerless to do any real 
damage to the insurgents from the too-distant City Heights. 
But its existence in position justified Custodio dc Mello in 
treating Rio as a fortified place, and in bombarding it as 
such at any time and without notice. 

The British Minister thereupon ordered the English com- 
munity " to seek places of safety without delay, and in the 
event of the town being given up to anarchy and pillage, 
assemble in the Palace Square, where, upon pre-arranged 

Q 2 



2 28 Appendix. 

signal, ihey would be protected by the joint forces of the 
squadron." The Government organs were exceedingly in- 
dignant at the suggestion that the town might be given up 
" to anarchy and pillage," and tried to incite an anti-foreign 
feeling. The Vice-President also issued a proclamation 
that " the Government was provided with all the means for 
maintaining order, and that it would direct every one to be 
immediately shot who attempted to commit a crime against 
private property." 

The efforts of Mr. Wyndham and his colleagues of France, 
Italy, and Portugal were next directed to obtaining the dis- 
mantlement of the useless shore batteries, so as to leave no 
excuse for further bombardment. These endeavours were 
eventually successful, and have been rewarded by the 
officially expressed thanks of the Vice-President, notwith- 
standing the marked and extraordinary abstention of Ger- 
many, as also of the representatives of the other South 
American Republics. 

The representations of the Powers were much aided by 
the prompt authorization of Lord Rosebery that Admiral 
Mello should be notified that the British vessels would join 
those of the Concordat in preventing by force the bombard- 
ment of an undefended city, and also by visible preparations 
for effective action on board PI. M.S. Siriiis. 

But, before this could be settled, renewed interchanges 
of iron compliments took place, on the afternoon of Sep- 
tember 30th, between the insurgent fleet and Santa Cruz. 
The former fired 196 shots, the latter about twice as many, 
at an average price of from 8/. to 10/. per shot, but still 
without apparent result. 

On the next day, what might have proved a serious inci- 
dent occurred. In the afternoon Admiral Mello notified 
the senior British Naval Officer that a steam launch flying 
the Union Jack was cruising around the Aijiiidahati under 
suspicious circumstances, ('aptain Lang went to inquire 
into the facts, and found that an American — one Captain 
Boynton, who is believed to have fixed a dummy torpedo 
on an American man-of-war one night in New York f larbour 
— was endeavouring, under cover of the British flag, to tow 
a torpedo by a submarine wire under the rebel flagship. He 
was promptly arrested and handed over to the American 
commander, while his British companions, for whom he 



The Brazilion Revolution. 229 

denied all complicity, were detained on the English ship. It 
is said that Boynton was to receive 20,000/. if he succeeded 
in blowing up the A(juidahan^ and had been given 10,000 
milreis on account. 

On the 4th of October, the Government, notwithstanding 
the agreement arrived at, placed a new battery on the San 
Bentohill,behindtheSandewater front. AnE;nglish,aFrench, 
and an American ofificer were told off to verify the fact and 
breach of agreement, which, being done, it was decided that 
no action could be taken by the foreign squadron to prevent 
retaliation by the insurgent fleet. The next day, at 7 a.m., 
the latter commenced the bombardment afresh, and Mr. 
(now Sir Hugh) Wyndham advised " British subjects to close 
their estabhshments, and retire to places of safety," adding 
*' no time should be lost." 

Admiral Mello must be credited with an effort to avoid 
doing serious damage to the city, and comparatively little 
was done. On the 6th of October, on renewed diplomatic 
representation, the San Bento battery was dismantled, and 
confidence thus greatly restored. 

We arrived at Rio in the Royal Mail steamer Thames, 
commanded by that prince of mariners, Captain Hicks, 
on Tuesday, the loth of October, just after Fort Ville- 
gaignon, with its garrison of 700 men, had declared 
itself no longer neutral, but for the insurgents. The 
Government is said to have forced this position by cut- 
ting off both the pay of the men and their water. In 
the harbour were between 80 and 100 vessels flying the 
Union Jack — an eloquent testimony to the magnitude of 
the British interests mvolved. Our landing at the Naval 
Arsenal showed at once the inadequacy of the shore 
arrangements. There was a sentry, certainly, but his 
functions seemed doubtful. The town gave little appear- 
ance of being in a state of siege. The only interest of 
the remaining inhabitants crowding the tram-cars seemed 
to be to get a good place to see the bombardment, which 
was announced for 4 o'clock. An English schooner, laden 
with coal from Cardiff, sailed over the bar just before 
that hour, all unconscious of the arrangements it was dis- 
turbing. The spectators were almost impatient at the delay 
in pulling up the curtain. The autocrat " Democracy " re- 
placed the Emperor Nero. At length, at 4.30, the fight 



230 Appendix, 

began, and for an hour and three-quarters Fort Ville- 
gaignon and the insurgent fleet on the one side, and Santa 
Cruz, Lage, and San Juan on the other blazed away, " de 
part et I'autre." So far as could be seen, the result was 
nil. Although the distances were well known, and the 
objects stationary, nearly every shot fell far short. It was 
impossible to believe that there was any desire for them to 
do otherwise. One shell exploded well over Santa Cruz, 
and an imperfectly fastened breech-piece in Villegaignon 
cut one man into three pieces, and wounded six others, 
but neither the vessels nor the forts were seriously damaged. 
It was a most absurd performance, and showed that neither 
side is really in earnest. If it were otherwise, the forts would 
surely give the rebel vessels no peace, and the insurgents, 
on the other hand, knowing the inadequacy of the Govern- 
ment forces, would effect a landing at any sacrifice. 

This morning certainly a little more energy was shown by 
the insurgents, and they are said to have inflicted serious 
loss on the Government troops near Nictheroy. The 
Marine Arsenal Wharf, too, shows apprehension of danger. 
An iron revetment has been run up, and quick-firing guns 
peer through a parapet of hay and sandbags on to the 
landing-stage. Great events may not be far distant, and 
the narrow tortuous streets of Rio may be soon writing 
history with scarlet hands. Admiral Custodio de Mello is 
also apparently far from dissatisfied with his progress. 
This is evidenced by his Flag-Lieutenant boarding the 
Thames and endeavouring by force to remove certain fresh 
passengers in civilian attire. The opportune arrival of Her 
Majesty's Minister and Senior Naval Officer soon proved 
to him, however, that the deck of a British ship is the free 
land of England. But as the Royal Mail steamer steamed 
slowly out to the South Atlantic under the stern of the 
Aquidahan the Queen's sailors — who are having a hard 
time of it, all shore leave having been necessarily stopped 
foi many weeks past— stood ready to run to quarters if 
need arose. Happily sucli was not the case, or grave com- 
plications would have arisen. The Green Flag and the 
Red Ensign saluted each other, and again presently in 
passing Santa Cruz, the password of the day being duly 
exhibited on the bridge to port. 

But how is it going to end ? That is what everyone 



The Brazilian Revolution. 231 

asks. But no Brazilian seems to know or care. Popular 
sympathy is apparently with Admiral Mello ; but on what 
ground nobody is able to explain. The naval officers are 
said to be better educated and of a superior class to those 
of the army, whose appearance is not more calculated than 
that of their subordinates to inspire confidence. But it is 
strange that the admiral who is responsible for the disci- 
pline and obedience of the Fleet to constituted authority, 
but who has twice within twenty-four months organized a 
mutiny and used Brazilian ships and Brazilian money 
against the Brazilian Government and Brazilian capital, 
should excite much enthusiasm in the minds of those who 
have the melancholy duty of paying for both sides in the 
struggle. 

The probability is that the revolution will drag on for 
some few weeks more, Santa Cruz and Lage being, as now, 
provisioned under the eyes of the insurgent fleet, the rebel 
officers coming not infrequently ashore unhampered. 
Then after immense sums have been thrown away, the 
present heavy deficit being enormously increased, by the 
intermediation of Admiral Saldanha de Gama, or other 
neutral authority, peace will be temporarily restored and an 
amnesty proclaimed.^ In the meantime the elections for 
the new Congress are announced for October 30th, and 
preparations will soon commence for the election in March 
next of a new president to come into office in the following 
November. Under the present condition of affairs the 
outlook before the United States of Brazil is most gloomy, 
but gloomiest of all for the unfortunate Englishmen who 
have advanced some 100,000,000/. for the development of 
the riches of the country by "Order and Progress." 
Although it is true that the people are saying openly that 
the condition of affairs which has distinguished the four- 
year-old Republic never occurred under the Monarchy, (hat 
then order was assured, and Brazilians did not war with 
Brazilians, that then living was cheaper and employment 
more abundant, the present revolution cannot be described 
as one in any sense for the restoration of the Imperial 
House. It might indeed be otherwise, if there were a pos- 

* Saldanha de Gama subsequently joined the insurgents and took 
command of their ships at Rio, surrendering to the Government in 
March, 1894. 



232 Appendix. 

sible and spirited candidate for tlie throne. The Crown 
Princess, although capable and energetic, is said to be 
fatally priest-ridden. Her husband never became popular, 
and her children are too young, while the sons of her late 
sister, who married the Duke of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, 
are from other causes ineligible. The influence of the 
revolution is, however, fatal to the country, and is likely 
prejudicially to affect and excite the other Republics of the 
South American continent. 



British South America. 233 



II. 

BRITISH SOUTH AMERICA WON AND LOST. 

Buenos Ayres, October 26th, 1893, 
The Calle de la Reconquista, the principal street in 
Buenos Ayres, holds an eloquent pen in British story. It 
traces deeds on which the English historian is very reserved, 
and of which the majority of students are ignorant. It 
recalls acts of valour and heroism from the glory of which 
a century of time cannot detract. It speaks of the 
humiliating defeat of a powerful British army, and the prob- 
able loss to the British flag of the colossal continent of 
South America, and its priceless wealth. It is worth while 
to disinter these memories from General Mitre's admirable 
history. They should serve as teachings to the present, as 
warnings to the future. 

It was in the spring of 1806. General Baird was in com- 
mand at the Cape of Good Hope. Captain Sir Home 
Popham was Principal Naval Officer. Pitt had honoured 
the latter with a private interview before he left England. 
The great Prime Minister, whose motto was '' British 
markets for British hands," had given him clearly to under- 
stand how glad he would be to see the loss of the United 
States repaired by the acquisition of the far greater and far 
richer South America. The overtures of the Venezuelan 
General, Miranda, and his associates for throwing off the 
Spanish yoke under British protection had opened up great 
possibilities. But it was necessary to proceed with caution 
and without warning to any other nation. Popham under- 
stood, and was willing to accept the responsibility of inde- 
pendent action and disavowal by the Home Government if 
need be. He talked over General Baird soon after the con- 
quest of Cape Town, who gave him the 71st Highlanders, 
fittingly led by William Carr Beresford. They sailed for 
the Spanish main. The little fleet consisted of three 
frigates, three corvettes, and five transports. No telegraph 



234 Appendix. 

or special correspondent was at Cape Town to betray the 
British rovers- Popham put in at St. Helena, and ob- 
tained a battalion of Marines and a few artillerymen. 

On the loth of June anchor was cast in the River Plate. 
The Spaniards were taken entirely by surprise. On the 
15th of June the news came up to Buenos Ayres. The 
Andalusian viceroy completely lost his head and fled. Ten 
days later, at one p.m., the English landed — 60 officers, 
62 sergeants, 22 drummers, and 1466 rank and file. The 
71st Highlanders led the way, supported by the battalion of 
Royal Marines and three companies of sailors. The whole 
were under the command of General William C. Beresford. 
On the 26th, the little column advanced to the assault of the 
city, then of 60,000 inhabitants. The defending force of 
1000 horse and 16 pieces of artillery fled as soon as the 
Highland skirmishers opened fire. The next day the 
British marched through the narrow streets, drums beating 
and colours flying, and occupied the citadel. It was a 
brilliant performance, and well seconded would have 
brought the best part of South America under the British 
Crown. 

A proclamation was issued forthwith guaranteeing public 
justice, the security of private property, and the free exercise 
of the Catholic religion, as well as an unfettered commerce 
like other English colonies. A considerable, but not ex- 
cessive, indemnity was exacted, and, after provision for the 
expenses of the force, the greater part was sent to England 
with an urgent request for reinforcements. The good news 
was received with the greatest enthusiasm. The treasure 
was drawn through London in a triumphal procession. 
Merchant fleets were immediately equipped for this new 
El Dorado. Seven thousand troops were ordered to be 
despatched at once, and another force destined for the con- 
quest of Chili, under General Crawford, was instructed to 
give assistance in the River Plate if necessary. 

Meanwhile things had gone ill with Beresford. Dissen- 
sion apparently broke out between him and Popham. 
When the Spanish thousands saw by what an insignificant 
force they had been defeated, they felt ashamed. Con- 
spiracy was rife. The citadel was mined. Jieresford was 
short of ammunition, and much troubled by desertions. 
His forces included a few Roman Catholic Irishmen, and 



British South America Lost. 235 

the Spanish priests were apparently successful in seducing 
some of them. One in particular, Michael Skcmnor, went 
over to the enemy, and gave effective help. Bcresford got 
wind of what was in progress. From the citadel he saw 
the hostile forces being organized and massed. On the 
ist of August he made a sortie with 500 Scotchmen and 
completely routed the enemy. One man alone stood to the 
Castilian guns — Michael Skemnor, the Irish deserter. He 
was tried by court-martial and sentenced to death. But 
Beresford, most generous of victors, allowed the Bishop of 
Buenos Ayres to give him extreme unction, and himself 
received the prelate with military honours. The victory 
was only transient in its results. The straits of Beresford 
were too apparent. Liniers, a French soldier of fortune, 
organized a still larger force to expel the invader from the 
secure ground of Monte Video. 

On the nth of August it embarked from the bank of the 
lower estuary under cover of a fog, and in spite of Popham. 
The next day Liniers led 4000 men to the attack. Beres- 
ford did all that was possible, valiantly seconded by the 
7 1 St and the Royal Marine battalion. They were hopelessly 
outnumbered, and the ammunition gave out. The King's 
colour and the regimental ensign of the Highlanders were 
taken by the victors. With a standard bearing the cipher 
•' R.M.B.," and three more British flags, subsequently taken, 
they are to day hanging under glass in massive gold frames 
on the six pillars in the nave of the great church of San Do- 
mingo. Well may the trophies be prized. They are unique. 
In neither palace nor cathedral elsewhere are like records 
of British defeat. In the tower above lie still embedded 
the British cannon balls. Well may the Argentines be 
proud of their " Victoria,"' their " Reconquista." But in 
their hour of triumph under Liniers they were as magnani- 
mous as their opponent. It is a distinguished trait of the 
national character. " Death to the man who insults the 
British troops " — now 300 short — went the order, and Liniers 
received Beresford in his arms for his valiant defence. 
He wished to let them embark for England, but this was 
too much for popular sentiment. They were kept as 
prisoners until the relief expedition reached the River 
Plate. Before then Beresford escaped, but, faithful to his 
parole, refused to bear further arms against his victors. 



236 Appendix. 

His valour and his conduct were worthy of his name and 
race. But with him ends the bright page of British martial 
story in Argentina. 

The attitude of Popham towards Beresford is inexplic- 
able. He was brought to trial, and superseded by Admiral 
Stirling. On the nth of October, 1806, the British rein- 
forcements for the River Plate sailed from Falmouth, under 
Sir Samuel Auchmuty. They were followed a month later 
by the Chilian Expeditionary Force, under General Crau- 
furd. It was May, 1807, before the whole force was massed 
on the River Plate, and ready to open operations, under 
the leisurely direction of Lieutenant-Oeneral Whitelocke.^ 
This British Commander-in-Chief is described as a great 
parade soldier, who by marriage — some say Royal pater- 
nity — obtained powerful influence at the War Office. To 
his general misfeasance posthumous rumour adds venality. 
Let us hope it lies. 

The whole force numbered 11,771 men. It was divided 
into four brigades, under Craufurd, Auchmuty, Lumley, 
and Mahon. The Argentines had been able to muster 
8600 bayonets, but they were ill-armed, ill-disciplined, ill- 
equipped, and badly led. The powder had to be obtained 
from Chili, to be carried 800 miles on mule-back, and 
across the frightful passes of the Andes in mid-winter. 
The British soldiery thought that it would be but a march 
of triumph, and so it should have been but for Whitelocke. 
One hundred and ten British sail supported the land forces. 
Monte Video had fallen to Auchmuty after a brilliant 
skirmish under Colonel (afterwards Sir Denis) Pack, Beres- 
ford's alter ego, who had also escaped from Buenos Ayres. 

' On January 28ih, 1808, Lieutenant-General Jolm Whitelocke, com- 
mander-in-chief of the expedition against Buenos Ayres, was brought 
before a general court-martial in the Great Hall of Chelsea College. 
Gen. Sir ^Vm. Meadows j)resided over a court of nineteen generals, in- 
cluding Sir John Moore, who on the i8th of March adjudged " the saitl 
Lt. -Gen. Jtihn Whitelocke to be cashiered and to be declared totally 
unfit and unworthy to serve His Majesty in any military capacity what- 
ever." The king, in confirming the sentence, directed " that it i)e read 
at the head of every regiment in His Service, and inserted in all regi- 
mental orderly books with a view of its Ijccoming a lasting memorial (jf 
the fatal consequences to which officers expose themselves who in the dis- 
charge of the important duties confided to them are deficient in that zeal, 
judgment, and personal exertion, which their Sovereign and their country 
have a right to expect from officers entrusted with high commands.*' 



British South America Lost. 237 

On the 28th of June, 1S07, the British disembarked 36 
miles from the capital. The weather was bad, and heavy 
rains made the march to Buenos Ayres very severe. The 
two advanced brigades, under Craufurd and Lumley re- 
spectively, were placed under Major-General Lcveson- 
Gower. On the 2nd of July they came across the enemy. 
Leveson-Gower executed a clever flank movement, seized 
the bridge leading to the eastern quarter of the city, charged 
the defending battalions, and completely routed them. 
Then was the moment to push on. Buenos Ayres would 
have again been ours, without another blow. But White- 
locke's superior order was fatal. He had been slow in organiz- 
ing the attack, he had badly chosen the place and time of 
disembarkation, and now he imposed further delay in the 
hour of victory. He was leading the main body by a cir- 
cuitous route, and in the meantime an improvised Resist- 
ance was organized by the City Council. Three days 
were allowed to elapse. At 6.30 on the morning of the 5th 
of July a Royal salute was fired. It was the signal for 
attack. Whitelocke had the choice of three alternatives for 
advancing on the citadel. He chose the worst. The force 
was divided into a central body and two wings. The left 
attack was to the north under Auchmuty and Lumley ; the 
right, to the south, under Craufurd. 

The British troops advanced at the double, without 
firing a shot, according to Whitelocke's orders. The flanks 
carried the Retire on the north and the Residency on the 
south. It was a short-lived success. Further advance 
was stopped by a murderous fire from well-chosen and 
well-concealed positions. But again the British pushed on. 
At 10 o'clock the cheers of the fleet greeted the planting 
of the Union Jack on the east, the south, and the north. 
The day was apparently ours. But at 11.30 a large hostile 
column advanced against Craufurd, supported by the guns 
of the fortress. That turned the tide. At 2 o'clock 
Craufurd was compelled to replace the British standard by 
a flag of truce. He had received no support. The guns 
were decimating his force, and with 46 officers and 600 
men he surrendered. Whitelocke, with the main body, was 
likewise repulsed with great loss. At sunset the defeat 
of the British was complete. They had lost 1000 killed 
and wounded, and 1000 prisoners. But 5000 or more 



238 Appendix. 

still remained, independently of the naval force, and the 
Residency and other ])ositions were still in British hands. 

Liniers, again chivalrous, proposed the surrender of all 
prisoners, and the free embarkation of the British troops. 
The alcalde thought this course much too generous, and that 
the complete evacuation of the River Plate was essential. 
To this Whitelocke would not agree. On the 26th a quarter 
of an hour was given him to accept before the reopening of 
hostilities. The minutes sped. The Argentines attacked 
the Residency, and were repulsed with heavy loss. Still 
all might have been retrieved, but Whitelocke sent a flag of 
truce to accept Linier's conditions. In the evening the 
convention was signed, and in two months the British 
evacuated the River Plate. 

What their ill-directed swords failed to accomplish their 
ships and their merchants have since won. Ten Re- 
publican flags float over South America, instead of the 
Union Jack. But British capital has developed, and is 
developing, the continent, and the energy of British mer- 
chants has effected the peaceful conquest of an El Dorado 
for British trade. 

The following letter from Major-General Sir Edmund 
du Cane, K.C.B., from the letters of his father, of the 20th 
Light Dragoons, will be read with interest on this subject. 
Queen's Gate Gardens, 24 April, 1894. 

My dear Vincent, — I return with many thanks the 
Whitelocke Court-Martial and the companion novel '' Ponce 
de Leon." I am very glad to learn all about those British 
transactions in South America, which are so little mentioned 
in histories that one knows nothing of them. My father's 
regiment, the 20th Light Dragoons, was detached from the 
Cape after its capture with some others, 3Sth and 54th I 
think, at Beresford's request when he found his force 
insufficient. But he surrendered the day this relief left the 
Cape, as they afterwards found. They landed and took 
Maldinaldo, a little way from Monte Video, and when Sir 
S. Auchmuty came with his relief expedition they assaulted 
and took Monte Video. This led the Spaniards to march 
the 71st Highlanders, and the other prisoners captured 
in Buenos Ayres, up the country, intending to take them 
600 or 700 miles. 



British South America Lest. 239 

When they had got about 100 miles, BeiesfoiU and Pack, 
the Colonel of the 71st, escaped. My father said the 
Spaniards treated their prisoners very badly, cut off their 
ears and used them as cockades. Whitelocke could have 
taken Buenos Ayres as Monte Video was taken^ but he was 
not a man of capacity, as I judge from the court-martial. 
The 71st hated surrendering, and said they would rather 
die with arms in their hands. My father's account was 
that they surrendered with all the honours of war, and then 
the Spaniards took them prisoners.' 

Yours truly, 

E. Du Cane. 



' The " Highland Light Infantry Chronicle " for 1894, the quarterly 
magazine of this glorious regiment, reproduces tlie Journal kept at 
Buenos Ayres in i8c6 by Captain Pococke of the 71st. It gives much 
interesting information, as does " Ponce de Leon," of which the hero is 
Lieut. Gordon, one of the prisoners, concerning a little known but 
eventful incident in British history. 



240 Appendix. 



HI. 

THE PARIS OF THE WEST. 

Buenos Ayres, October 30th, 1893. 
South America is a land full of surprises. The telegrams 
published in Europe led one to expect that the condition 
of Buenos Ayres would be anything but agreeable to a 
tourist. They spoke of revolutions, arrests, and general 
disturbance. Even the day before we were released from 
an utterly unnecessary quarantine the state of siege was 
prolonged for another sixty days. We were fully prepared 
therefore, to find everybody armed cap-a-pie, and all 
ordinary occupations and amusements suspended. But 
nothing of the kind. No one would know, from the 
appearance of things, that anything out of the common had 
taken, or was taking, place. There were no passport 
formalities to go through. The Customs House authorities 
were extremely polite and anxious to avoid giving trouble 
— indeed, too much so in the case of some of the passen- 
gers. The streets of Buenos Ayres were crowded with 
people, bright, gay, and full of life. They reminded one 
much of Bucharest. Successfully that little capital of 
Eastern Europe imitates Paris, Parisian life, Parisian habits. 
With equal, indeed greater, success Buenos Ayres docs so 
in the Western world. By comparison, our large provincial 
cities of like population (500,000) are funereal. The shops 
are full of the latest novelties. There are great cafes and 
restaurants. Within 500 yards of each other an Italian 
opera, three French dramatic companies, and two Spanish 
theatres are each drawing crowded houses. Arcs of gas 
lamps across the street opposite the theatre doors make the 
causeway as light as day. There are as many minor music- 
halls as in London. But in one respect Buenos Ayres 
surpasses either its French prototype or our metropolis of 
five million people. The detection of crime, and its ade- 
quate punishment, may leave, indeed, much room for 



The Paris of the West. 241 

improvement. Not so, however, street decorum. After 
nightfall, disorder is strictly confined to a special quarter, 
well patrolled by police. Elsewhere a constable stands at 
each corner where four blocks meet of a hundred houses 
each. From quarter of an hour to quarter of an hour one 
'* fixed point " whistles to the next " fixed point " that all is 
well with him. If he receives no answer, a horse is waiting 
patiently by the kerbstone, ready saddled and bridled, and 
he rides off to render assistance. 

The pride of Buenos Ayres is, however, the Park of 
Palmero. Thither on Sundays and Thursda}s everybody 
who is anybody resorts. If he has no carriage of his own 
he hires one — not a cab or greasy fly, but a really smart 
turn-out. Equipage after equipage tears along the Florida 
and the wide avenues leading to Palmero. It looks as if 
life itself depended upon getting there first. In '' the drive " 
three pair or five rows of carriages crawl along at a foot's 
pace, the ladies, in smart toilettes, doing credit to their 
natural beauty, and not a few men, too, taking the air in a 
close brougham. On special evenings the park is lighted 
by electricity, and the carriage carnival is prolonged. 

Every Sunday there are races, and very well managed, 
too. The horses are, for the most part, descended from 
English blood, many of the best being bred by Mr. Kemmis, 
on his 18,000 acre " estancia " at Las Rosas. The betting 
is all by" Pari mutuel," under official management. There 
is said to be a good deal of foul play among the jockeys, 
all natives, and on this account the large British sporting 
population in the Argentine capital sticks to polo, cricket, 
tennis, and football. It mingles, indeed, but very little, if 
at all, with the Argentines, either in athletics or society. 
In some ways this is to be regretted ; in others it is a 
good thing. It places a barrier which might be often 
lifted to mutual advantage, but maintains the individuality 
of race which has had so powerful an influence on the good 
name of Britain in foreign climes. Argentine society is 
attractive in many waj's. The men are generous, hospi- 
table, and prodigal in their expenditure, when they have any 
money, and possibly more so when they have none but 
what they have borrowed. They are, more than in Europe, 
the lords of creation. This affinity with the East is found 
in other directions. The ladies are handsome, well dressed, 



242 Appendix. 

and well behaved, enjoying little freedom as girls, and not 
much more as wives. A feeling is springing up against 
this, but it is not making much headway. The depression 
is a useful excuse, for ladies' amusements are expensive. 
Of the depression one is reminded by unfinished palaces 
and unfinished public works. The walls were put up at the 
time of boom. Then came the crisis and the crash. The 
workmen were taken off, and the bricks alone remain as 
monuments of madness. One piece of enforced economy 
is to be regretted, namely, the stoppage of street paving. 
The granite roadway of the narrow streets is in the most 
lamentable condition, painfully cruel to the brave little 
horses drawing the crowded tramcars, agonizing for those 
who take any other conveyance. The pavements are fairly 
good, but they are so crowded that people have practically 
to walk in single file, and the noise from the vehicles is 
deafening. I have mentioned the exdusiveness of the 
English (over 5000 in number), with their Hurlingham 
Club, and other physical associations. Perhaps it is partly 
founded on the great distance between the suburbs of 
Flores, Quilmes, and Belgrano, all equally popular. But 
the insularism is not confined to sport and games. It finds 
valuable vent, also, in a pretty church and an admirably- 
managed British hospital. But there is one game in high 
favour in Argentine circles, a manly one, and pretty to see. 
It is the game of Pelota. 

A long fives-court holds the four players, two on each 
side, severally armed wkh a long scoop-shaped basket or 
" cesta," fastened on the right hand at the wrist. It drives 
the ball at a tremendous pace, and the skill and activity 
involved are great. The betting is heavy, not only on the 
merit of the rival sides, but often on individual strokes, 
especially in the competition between six or more persons, 
playing two at a time, each missed stroke turning out the 
one in default. But for the size of the court required it would 
not improbably become a popular game in England. The 
Spanish professionals are in great favour, and receive large 
salaries. JJut it is said they arc rarely able to jjlay well 
after twenty-four years of age. 

It will l)e seen that, despite revolutions, dictatorship, and 
martial law, Buenos Ayres is a pleasant i)lace to live in. 
The evil tidings which mnke not a little sensation in 



The Paris of the West. 243 

London are frequently learned by the residents from the 
European papers, when, three weeks old, they come to 
hand. A more difficult task it will be to make clear the 
causes underlying these commotions, which, however exag- 
gerated, are ruinous to the country and fatal to the essential 
influx of capital and immigration. 



K 2 



244 Appendix. 



IV. 
ARGENTINE POLITICS. 

Mendoza, November ytlV, 1S93. 

It is a difificult task to understand Argentine politics. 
Men who have been years in the Republic give the most 
contradictory narratives. I will not, therefore, pretend to 
be able to weave an absolutely correct account of the 
present position of- affairs from the tangled skein. But I 
have had the advantage of personal communication with 
the leading men of the several parties, and the most 
experienced of the foreign residenis. I will try to give a 
general deduction from their views. 

In the first place, it will be asked, What was the meaning 
of the "latest" revolution? The numerical definition is 
essential, for, unfortunately, the history of Argentina as an 
independent Republic is an almost continuous record of 
revolution and civil war. The same may, indeed, be 
said of its neighbours in South America. The Spanish 
dominion was no doubt oppressive, destructive of trade 
and progress. But, at all events, it gave the people sub- 
ject to it a master, and prevented llie endless striving of 
every man after power, which has been the cause of all 
these internal disturbances. Of parties now there are 
legion, surrounding each politician with tongue more fluent, 
or hand more adroit, than his fellows. Tlie most 
prominent are known as Roquoistas, Juaristas, Mitristas, 
Trigogcnistas, and Modernistas. I am sensible of having 
omitted many. No doubt Mulhall's *' Dictionary of 
Statistics" enumerates them. But as the Representative 
Mouse numbers only some seventy-two members, I think 
there must be some parties consisting of one man alone. 
What are the principles dividing these numerous groups of 
ambitious politicians ? It would be difficult to explain 
otherwise than l)y a negative. It is not possible to gather 
what is the individual aim of any one party, which are the 



Argentine Politics. 245 

problems which separate them, beyond this :— power is the 
aim, tenure of office the governing principle. It is true 
that the Partido Nacional, now in office, embraces the 
Juaristas and Modernistas, of which the actual President of 
the Republic (or his son) is titular leader, as well as the 
followers of General Roca. They are termed the Conserva- 
tives, while the Union Civica is mainly manned by those 
known as Radicals. 

The "latest" revolution was the work of liie Radicals 
and their leader, one Dr. Alem — a greatly discredited per- 
sonage. Programme ihey had none. General disorder 
was apparently their mot d'ordre, and herein they not a 
little resembled the Socialists and Radicals of England. 
They went about crying for vengeance against corrupt 
servants of the State, and herein they did well. But the 
means they adopted were more than suspicious. Happily, 
the energy of Dr. Quintana, the Minister of the Interior, 
was more than they bargained for, and although the cost 
was great — close on a million sterling — and the bill has yet 
to be paid, the storm never made serious headway. It is 
astonishing how lightly men talk in Argentina of revolu- 
tions, and how' little attention they pay to them, lightly 
heeding that, although they rarely endanger life or property, 
being frequently little more than a street brawl, they are 
greatly magnified in passing through the cable to Europe, 
and greatly damage the credit and prosperity of the country. 
The reason for these frequent revolutions is not far to seek. 
One word expresses it — " Humanity." Far too few people 
are killed, far too few people are injured. This humanity 
causes a revolution to be regarded as a harmless amuse- 
ment, a sort of theatrical parade or ballet. Still worse, 
those who have caused all the trouble for their own ends, 
even if they have at the moment been in military, naval, 
or civil employ, are rarely punished. The execution of 
persons guilty of a political offence is forbidden by the 
Argentine Constitution, and as wide an interpretation is 
given to the term "political offence" as by the apologists 
for the dastardly attempts of the Fenian dynamiters 
to murder innocent men, women, and children. The 
commanders of the two Argentine ships of war who recently 
sided with the revolutionists, and used their guns and men 
against the nation, were sentenced by court-martial to 



246 Appendix. 

death. A few ladies sign the petition for clemency, invade 
the Chamber, carry it through the Lower House, and, of 
course, the President yields. He thinks that he may be in 
an analogous position some day, and one good turn will 
deserve another. Thus, so long as the revolutionist has 
nothing to lose and everything to gain, there will be revo- 
lutions. 

This false " humanity " is not, however, the only cause. 
The other is an excessive army and navy. What in the 
world the Argentine Republic, with a native population of 
only about 2,oqo,ooo of all ages and both sexes, wants with 
over 1400 naval and military officers, no man can conceive. 
Of course they have little to do besides enlivening the 
streets and restaurants with their exceedingly smart 
uniforms, and, as a necessary consequence, they give much 
attention to politics, or, rather^ to the rivalry of parties. 
They have to be reckoned with by every Government, and 
hesitation about some pension or privilege might bring 
about an immediate revolution, and the chances of its 
temporary success are usually even. Argentina has no 
external enemies. Chili, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil 
have far too much to think about at home, or are too weak. 
All Europe wishes peace and prosperity to the Republic, 
and too many Europeans and natives are interested in the 
country to permit aggressions by any single state. The best 
reform the Argentine Legislature could possibly institute 
would be a reduction by two-thirds of the army and navy. 
As it IS, the 7000 men on a peace footing of the former, 
and the 34 ships of the latter, while of little use against 
the foreigner, are a perpetual menace to the internal 
welfare of the Republic. 

The labour, too, of the men is lost to agriculture. They 
are of fair physique, docile — " better than their uniforms," 
said General Campos, the Minister of War, in response to 
a compliment on their appearance. The National Guard, 
having a paper strength of at least 500,000, would be 
ample for the defence of the country, if properly organized. 
That a reduction of the army and navy would be attended 
by a revolution goes without saying. But General Roca, 
formerly President, and the leading man in the country, could 
probably effect it. Unfortunately ill-health compels his 
retirement for the time from active political life. Not 



Argentine Politics. 247 

improbably the same cause may bring him ere long to 
England for rest and change. He should receive the warm 
welcome he deserves. His support of the present admin- 
istration is essential to its existence. The President, Dr. 
Luis Saenz Pena, is an amiable man, with a rare reputation 
for honesty, but also for paying undue heed to the advice 
of a political son. He is not, moreover, a strong man, 
and has no knowledge of Europe. His election was acci- 
dental, and he has had, and has, a very difficult task in 
reconciling conflicting interests in his cabinet, guided by 
men of more ability and experience. His earliest effort 
was the exclusion of General Roca and his friends. The 
support, therefore, of General Roca at the present time is 
the more praiseworthy. That it is strong or enthusiastic 
is not to be pretended — indeed, it was described to me by 
the representative of a Continental Power as that of a 
" slanting pillar." It is given wholly in the interests of 
pubHc order, for which the Minister of the Interior, Dr. 
Quintana, a statesman of great ability and much adminis- 
trative power, is responsible. If a coalition Ministry could 
be formed, embracing General Roca, Dr. Pellegrini, with 
that other former President, the national historian, General 
Mitre, the proprietor also of the most influential newspaper, 
together with Dr. Quintana and Dr. Terry, the miscella- 
neous parties now undermining the interests of the State by 
their divergent views and individual ambitions might be 
absorbed. There is really nothing to divide them, and the 
necessity for political tranquility is so paramount that, if 
such a combination were possible, it would be the surest 
guarantee for the future of the country. 

Unless this, or something analogous, is formed, no one 
can predict how long the present state of affairs will last. 
The existing Government is, doubtless, anxious to discharge 
its duty honourably. But whether it is strong enough to 
do so is an open question. There are not wanting causes 
of disturbance. Four provinces at the present time are 
being administered by the National Government through 
an Intervener, owing to the failure of the local adminis- 
tration. The need, too, of a steady course of administra- 
tion is the greater, by reason of the composition of the 
people. The population for a land ten times the size of 
the United Kingdom is one fifth less than that of London. 



248 Appendix, 

Of the 4,000,000, no less than one-third arc in the city and 
province of I3uenos Ayres, covering only a twelfth of the 
area of the Republic. The foreigners and the children of 
foreigners equal, if they do not actually exceed, the native 
Argentines. They may be said to compose at least three- 
fourths of the commercial and industrial population, and 
the most valuable part of the landed interest is rapidly 
passing also into their hands. Hitherto foreigners have 
taken no part whatever in Argentine politics. They have 
left them entirely to the natives, the natives again leaving 
them almost entirely to a small section of the community, 
for the most part lawyers and others eager for spoil. 
There are many Argentine gentlemen of high character, 
wide culture, great intelligence, and large estate. They 
shun politics like the Plague. The vast majority of the 
native peasantry avoid them equally. They only want to 
be let alone, and do not care even to vote. Together these 
two classes, the Argentines of position and the Argentines 
of industry, with the foreign proprietors, merchants, trades- 
men, and labourers, form a c!ear majority in the Republic. 
Provided the minority goes straight, the majority will be 
content to let it enjoy the sweets of office. But it is purely 
a question of time how long the majority will be content 
to be misgoverned by a minority, to have its business 
ruined, its debts unpaid, and general mistrust established. 

The mistake of an over-zealous policeman — there have 
been a few lately at Santa Fc — a misdirected rifle, a few 
soldiers out of hand, or a party of marauding revolutionists, 
nu'ght bring about the change. No doubt a life or two 
would be lost ; but the eventual gain would be great. 
England and Italy, Germany, France, and Spain have 
interests so great in Argentina in capital and men that, 
although content to allow the Republic to work out its own 
salvation, so long as Governments and revolutionists do 
not actively interfere with the foreign population and the 
peaceable pursuits of their callings, according to the Argen- 
tina Constitution, Europe could never allow any oppression 
to take place. In men, Italy is most concerned. There 
arc in Argentina 700,000 Italians, and without them neither 
railway could be worked nor harvest gathered, nor cattle 
reared. 'J'here arc 100,000 French — mostly shopkeepers, 
domestic* servants, and shepherds. 'i'here are 100,000 



Argentine Politics. 249 

Germans, mainly engaged in commerce. And there arc 
40,000 English, developing great tracts of land, furnishing 
brains and administrative power, and enabling the people 
to move from one end of the country to the other with the 
utmost facility. Behind these 40,000 British subjects arc 
not less than 150,000,000/. of British money, which has 
made the country what it is. These are interests not to be 
neglected. 



250 Appendix. 



ARGENTINE TRAVELLING IN 1827. 

The following letter from the late Rt. Hon. Sir Harry 
Verney, Bart., written shortly before his death, aged ninety- 
two, gives an impression of Argentina in 1827. 

Claydon House, Bucks, 

December 28, 1893. 

Dear Colonel Howard Vincent, — I suppose that we 
were in the House of Commons together, and I therefore 
take the liberty of writing to you, my parliamentary life 
having been fifty-four years. 

But before I was M.P. I made tlie journey which you de- 
scribe in the Globe of ^Vednesday, the 27th, in circumstances 
different from yours. I had been ill from a sea voyage, 
without the riding and walking exercise to which I was 
accustomed in England, and my doctor advised a gallop on 
the pampa. I went from Rio to Buenos Ayres and 
Monte Video with that object. It was in 1827. After 
three or four pampas gallops, which restored my health, I 
was tempted to take a longer ride. I was warned against 
it by all at Monte Video and Buenos Ayres to whom I 
mentioned it. It was not the right time of year, it was im- 
possible to cross the Andes blocked by snow, and travellers 
had been killed by the Indians' which was the far greater 
danger. I replied I would see how far I could go, and 
that I should probably return in two or three days. Sir 
Woodbine Parish, who was either our Minister or Consul- 
General, was most kind in dissuading me. I was so fortu- 
nate as to find at Buenos Ayres a very intelligent, expe- 
rienced guide, who had served under the Duke of Wellington 
— a Spaniard, The posts were five or ten or more leagues 
apart, each post house in a coral, round which'was a broad, 
deep ditch and a small gun at each angle of the mud wall. 



Old Argentine Travelling. 251 

I recollect seeing one wall built of animals' heads; the 
mud wall could not be made to stand upright. Wild 
horses were caught. Every postmaster had three or four 
tropas of horses, each tropa 100 or 150 horses. When I 
arrived at a station the postmaster started off a Gaucho in 
the direction in which was a tropa. In half an hour, more 
or less, I used to see first the Gaucho's head in the perfectly 
clear atmosphere, his arm with the lasso, then the horses' 
headSj all galloping towards me. The postmaster drove 
into the cordl a certain number of horses depending on the 
number of leagues to the next post house, and the number 
of my Gaucho party. The horses were very easy to ride, 
they seldom kicked or plunged. I rode many which had 
never been backed before. I always threw my poncho 
over the horse's head to blind him, while I forced the bit 
into his mouth and strapped my saddle on his back. 
When I jumped on his back holding the reins with the 
right hand, I pulled away the poncho from his head with 
the left. 

My ride to Mendoza was, I believe, 1000 miles, and 1 
think that I was fourteen or fifteen days. The postmaster 
used to tell me in which direction the Indians were sup- 
posed to be, and I always rode in a contrary direction. 
You speak of the summit of the Andes thirteen or fourteen 
thousand feet above the sea. I thought that it was 18,000. 
On the way I asked my guide how deep the snow was. 
He said 600 feet ! Pray pardon this long letter. 

Your faithful 

Harry Verney. 



252 Appendix. 



VI. 
OVER THE CORDILLERA. 

Santiago, November loih, 1893. 

The passage of the Andes is still somewhat of an event in 
South America. In winter it is a journey dangerous in 
itself, and at other seasons the discomforts surrounding it 
are great. Hence it is that so few persons in the Argentine 
have actually gone over the Cordillera. The native popula- 
tion is not much given to migration, and more especially 
when it is of a costly character. The foreigners in Argentina 
are not there for pleasure, and when opportunity for taking 
a holiday comes, they naturally prefer to go to Europe. 
These reasons make it exceedingly difficult to obtain exact 
information in Buenos Ayres as to the crossing of the Uspal- 
lata Pass, the best stopping places, and the precautions to 
be taken. There is, moreover, another reason, and that is 
the constant improvement of the route — the extension of 
the Transandine Railway, and the betterment of the accom- 
modation . The experience of a couple of years ago becomes 
ancient history, interesting as a reminiscence, but valueless 
as a guide. We found ourselves, therefore, at Mendoza, so 
surfeited by the most contradictory counsels, that we were 
unable to decide which to adopt, and doubtful whether to 
believe any. 

The first day's journey is simple enough. The Transan- 
dine Railway now takes passengers 100 miles on their way 
towards Chili. It runs two trains a week, along a smooth 
narrow gauge road — a triumph of engineering in not a few 
places. 'I'he first night has to be passed at Punte de Las 
Vacas, near which thousands of Argentine cattle, passing 
every year into Chili, rest awhile on their toilsome mountain 
tramp. The Transandine now lands its passengers six miles 
short thereof. In a month or so, Mr. Grant Dalton hopes 
to take travellers to the Inn itself. That will be a great 
convenience. But if the railway companies are going to 



Over the Cordillera. 253 

make the Transandine route popular, they must do some- 
thing more than provide two or three trains a week. They 
must enable their customers to obtain reasonable food and 
lodging. As it is, the hotel at Mendoza is a wretched 
affair, and the traveller is unfortunate who has to stay there 
more than a night. But it is a paradise compared to the 
wretched " posadas " on the Andean road. At Punte de 
Las Vacas the food is eatable, and the male and female 
dormitories, formed by mud walls, a mud roof, and a mud 
floor, have at least iron camp bedsteads. But at 7000 feet 
above the sea such " luxuries " are but scant preparation for 
an arduous journey. The Canadian Pacific has shown the 
way to open up a new country— that is by constructing the 
line, and putting up profitable hotels wherein to house 
travellers. The Transandine is more fortunately situated 
on the high road between two nations, the one largely de- 
pendent on the other for food. 

From Punte de Las Vacas we had to start before the sun 
rose. The cumbre or summit of the Pass over the moun- 
tains was over twenty-five miles away, and it is scarcely 
possible to cross it after noon. In the middle of the day a 
violent gale usually blows, and often with such force that 
neither man nor beast can retain a foothold. The mules 
knew their way, and it was both impossible and futile to 
attempt to guide them in the dark. The sunrise was 
glorious, lighting up the snow-clad mountain peaks, one 
after the other, with a halo of glory. The absence of all 
vegetation and of animal life made the long ride, however, 
somewhat monotonous. One little bird accompanied us 
for hours. What misadventure brought it there was a 
mystery, and it appeared delighted to find another living 
thing. By seven o'clock we reached Puente del Lica^ a 
natural bridge formed by rock, and near it some hot baths. 
The want of enterprise on the part of the railway became 
the more apparent as we looked into the hut, unable to pro- 
duce even a cup of coffee, and much less breakfast. There 
was no alternative but to push on another three hours and 
a half to Las Cuevas. The road, fortunately, was fairly 
good, not too steep, and a couple of mules were able in 
most places to travel abreast. After riding seven hours, we 
naturally hoped for rest and refreshment before attempting 
to cross the Cumbre. But neither were obtainable, and 



2 54 Appendix. 

the rising wind made the muleteers impatient of delay. 
The Argentine side of the Cumbre is very steep. Lut it 
presents no great difficulties. A zig-zig path, some six or 
eight inches wide, brings you to the summit in about two 
hours. True, it is like mounting a sugar-loaf. A fall would 
send both mule and rider thousands of feet to the bottom. 
But the sight at the top is an ample reward for all the toil, 
labour, and anxiety. It is magnificent and unequalled, as 
from a small level space, between 13,000 and 14,000 feet 
above the sea, you look upon giant mountain after giant 
mountain, mighty ravines, and impenetrable valleys, the 
atmosphere so clear that a dozen miles appear as a hundred 
yards. 

We thought our troubles past now that we had safely 
surmounted the summit. But the worst was to come. The 
descent on the Chilian side is very steep, longer, and more 
precipitous than into Argentina. It was made far worse, 
also, by being deep in snow, which was totally absent from 
the heights over La Plata. The glare and rising wind were 
almost blinding, despite masks and glasses, and made it 
difficult to make out the narrow track of a preceding caravan, 
walled in on either side by several feet of snow. "Trust to 
your mule " is advice easy to give ; but practice is necessary 
to follow it, and more especially coming down the side of a 
steeple, slipping here and sliding there, often sinking into 
a hole well over the knees. A man is more fortunately 
placed in the saddle than a woman, who has to meet the 
difficulties sideways. As one threads the narrow path, one 
says again and again : " How is it possible that two nations 
should be content in the present day to allow the communi- 
cations between them to remain in this primitive slate ? " 
A very small sum would make and keep in repair a decent 
road. It is said that the matter is in contemplation. But 
the only signs of execution were on the part of the English- 
man. The English have made and paid for the railroad 
between Buenos Ayres and Mendoza. The English have 
built the railroad from Mendoza towards the Andes. The 
l^nglish have made a considerable progress with a meeting 
railway on the (Chilian side ; and on the slopes of the Cumbre 
are vast quantities of material ready to carry out the bold 
jilans of Mr. Bnggallay and Messrs. Clark for a uniting 
tunnel so soon as the necessary capital is forthcoming A 



Over the Cordillera. 255 

long ride it seems to Juncal, and when the twelve hours on 
mule back are over and the fifty kilometres of the day's 
stage are accomplished, one feels that this passage of the 
Cordillera under present conditions is too physically ex- 
hausting, too hazardous, for pleasure. Nor is this view 
altered if you think to improve matters by going in a cart 
from Juncal to the Soldier's Leap. Those twenty miles 
down hill, over a narrow road, rocks and large stones con- 
stantly falling from the hills above into the foaming river 
below, and frequently resting on the road ledge, convey few 
agreeable reflections to the traveller. In four or five years, 
however, all this may be changed, and the sooner the better. 
If the Chilian Government guarantees the capital required 
for the completion of the railway, it is a guarantee which will 
be redeemed. 



'56 Appendix. 



VII. 

THE ENGLISH OF THE PACIFIC. 

Coquimbo, Chili, November i6th, 1893. 
The difference between ChiH and Argentina is consider- 
able. In the former one admires man, in the latter nature. 
This is speaking entirely from a practical point of view. 
So far as the picturesque is concerned, there is no corn- 
jiarison between the interminable plains of La Plata and 
the mountain scenery of Chili, (io where you will in Chili, 
from the frontier of Peru to Cape Horn, the Cordillera of 
the Andes form a background unrivalled in the world. In 
Argentina men can almost live without working, or, at any 
rate, by working so little as not to deserve the name of in- 
dustry. In Chili laborious exertion is necessary for the 
sustenance of life. The necessary consequence is that in 
the Eastern continent there is idleness, apathy, and indiffer- 
ence, a disposition to leave things to take care of them- 
selves, or to be developed by the foreigner. But on the 
narrow stretch of territory between the Andes and the 
Pacific, where floats for 2000 miles the Chilian flag, you 
find a sturdy independence and vigorous manhood. This 
strikes one almost as soon as you set foot in the country. 
Possibly the indifference of communication between East 
and West has not been without good effect. 

Chili prides itself upon being the England of South 
America, and there is much in the comparison. l>etween 
Chili and her Republican neighbours there is a great gulf 
of character, in many respects as wide a one as between 
ourselves and the Greeks. We may well feel proud that 
Englishmen had not a little to do in the establishment of 
this vigorous state. O'Higginsand ('ochrane, Arthur Prat 
and MacKenna are names justly held in reverence in Chili, 
and commemorated in street and statue. Norare Englishmen 
exercising little influence now in Chili. I speak not of the 
30,000,000/. of British money embarked in Chili, nor even 



English of the Pacific. 257 

of the great merchant houses which have made Valparaiso 
almost an English town, but of the sons of Englishmen 
who are to-day trusted leaders of the Republic. Edwards, 
Walker, Maciver, Ross are but a few of the British names in 
everyone's mouth. The Presidency of the Senate, the 
Leadership of both political parties, and many a place in the 
Legislature and the Civil Service of the State have fallen to 
them, not as Englishmen — for many of them have forgotten 
their fathers' tongue, — but as worthy Chilians, 

The size, the wealth, the luxury of Buenos Ayres took 
one by surprise. Santiago de Chile is even more surprising. 
It enjoys none of the advantages of the Argentine capital in 
maritime position, as a great centre of import and export. 
Its trade is comparatively small, its foreign population 
insignificant. But wide streets, flanked with trees, large 
squares, fine public buildings, heroic statuary, the most 
splendid boulevard in the world, doubling in length and 
breadth " Unter den Linden " at Berlin, are calculated to fill 
the Argentine with envy. Best of all, this result has been 
achieved by independent effort, and not from the mis- 
application of unpaid loans from a too-confiding foreigner. 
There are, no doubt, defects in the Chilian, as in the 
English, character. Perfection is probably still very dis- 
tant from her national and municipal institutions. But in 
South America the Chilian Government and the Chilian 
character stand upon an oasis. Alone among the daughters 
of Spain, alone even among the Republics of the world, has 
Chili anything approaching an independent Constitutional 
Government, responsible to the voice of the people. Her 
senators and deputies, and even the municipal councillors 
of the capital, are unpaid. They give their services, as in 
England, to the service of the nation, and a Parliamentary 
majority alone determines the tenure of office. We see, 
then, a republic formed, not on the model of the United 
States, which has produced such evil effects on the southern 
Continent, but a republic formed upon the English example, 
the Sovereign being substituted by an elected President. 
This one difference has been the source of Chili's greatest 
trouble, which gave her progress a blow, the effects of 
which are but too apparent at home and abroad. 

No dispassionate person could travel through South 
America and not come to the conclusion that almost the 

S 



258 Appendix. 

worst monarch must be better than a system under which 
one man after another plunges nations into ruin and 
scatters broadcast distress and desolation that either in 
his own person, or that of his son, or that of his nominee, 
he may continue to hold the power he has once tasted as 
head of the State. This is practically the history of the 
infinity of revolutions which have afflicted South America 
since the time of the nominal independence of her several 
states. This was the story of Balmaceda, which read 
Chili a lesson so severe. The Chilian resistance to the 
Dictator was not a revolution as in the neighbouring 
republics. It was simply the resistance of the Parliamen- 
tary party to a Presidential autocracy. But as in freedom 
from internal quarrels, Chili has occupied an unique posi- 
tion in South America, so did she stand alone when fighting 
commenced. Argentines and Brazilians, Peruvians and 
Uruguayans, play at revolutions as at chess, and the only 
harm done is to their credit at the hands of cable manipu- 
lators. When, however, Chilian fought with Chilian he 
fought with that tenacity of character and firmness of 
purpose which distinguishes him from his neighbours. 
There were real bombardments and real battles, involving 
great destruction of property and vast loss of life. This 
riveted European attention the more upon the Chilian 
Civil War, and the memory thus planted is not to be 
lightly uprooted. It is not, however, easy to find any 
nation more united within itself at the present time, and no 
one could possibly be better fitted than President Montt 
to preserve this position of affairs. He is not a politician, 
probably he is not a statesman. His only desire is to be 
a constitutional head of the State so long as he can usefully 
serve in that capacity to the satisfaction of the nation. Of 
Liberal tendencies, he is indifferent to party, and did not 
liesitate the other day to honour the memory of a deceased 
Conservative Minister. I can liken him to no one so 
well as to the late Lord Iddcsleigh. Of most modest 
demeanour, of most modest form of living, you see the 
President walking quietly in the Alameda, and say Chili is 
fortunate. 

Nor is the similarity to England confined to form of 
government, and the connection with England by blood. 
It extends even to political parlies in name and dividing 



English of the Pacific. 259 

line. There is the Conservative party led by the eloquent 
tongue of Seiior Carlos Walker, with its dead hero, Portales, 
like Lord Beaconsfield in opinions and in some degree in 
face. As we sat in a box at the Municipal Theatre at 
Santiago, crowded from iloor to ceiling, and saw the bust 
of Portales crowned on his first centenary with laurel by 
grateful dames, it was a Primrose League demonstration at 
Covent Garden for country, religion, and liberty. The 
Chilian Conservatives divide with Chilian Liberals as 
nearly as possible the voting strength of the country. They 
have the unbroken support of the Established Church of 
Rome in the most Catholic and religious country I have 
ever visited, and directed by an Archbishop of not less tact 
than skill. Upon the other hand, the Liberals hold most 
of the provincial offices, and although the President is deter- 
mined, so far as he can, to prevent official interference 
with elections, and has not hesitated, despite his kindly 
nature, summarily to dismiss more than one offender of high 
degree, it is probable that in many places during the 
elections next March custom will prove stronger than 
innovation. The result of the election is, therefore, a 
matter of considerable doubt, and is looked forward to 
with great interest. The main question at issue is that of 
the Established Church. Clerical influence has un- 
doubtedly been too strong, and is, many think, too strong 
still. The Radicals would disestablish the Church alto- 
gether, and cut off the annual subsidy it now receives of 
some 600,000 paper dollars. The Liberals would reduce it. 
The Conservatives support the old order — but as regards 
many of them, half-heartedly and with misgiving. Under 
these circumstances it is not improbable that a negative 
conclusion may be the result, and this will lead to a con- 
tinuation of a Coalition Ministry as at present. It is well 
constituted under Senor Montt, a cousin of the President, 
as Minister of the Interior. Among its ablest members is 
Seiaor Venturo Blanco Vicl, the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs, and it may well be hoped that under any circum- 
stances his return to the Moneda, or Government House, is 
assured. 

Rumours have of late been current in England of hostility 
on the part of Chili to foreign enterprise. It is not possible 
to ascertain that they have any basis of truth. The Chilians 

S 2 



26c Appendix. 

are anxious to do all that they possibly can for themselves, 
and to give employment to their own countrymen whenever 
possible. They cannot be blamed for that. The State 
owns the railways, and although they might be managed 
with greater profit and greater comfort by private enter- 
prise, they give fair facilities for travel at economical rates. 
The tram lines in Santiago and Valparaiso are Chilian 
owned, and worked far better than in many other places — 
women conductors having among other things sensibly 
augmented the receipts. There are Chilian steamship lines, 
mines, breweries, and factories yielding handsome profits. 
But it is recognized that without European, and particularly 
English, help, capital will be lacking, and there is not 
the slightest indication that any step will be taken to 
destroy that confidence which has up to a very recent 
period been felt, not only in Chilian development, but in 
Chilian integrity. 



Nitrate Fields. 261 



VIII. 
THE NITRATE FIELDS OF CHILI. 

Pisagua, November 21st, 1893. 

Ten millions sterling of British private capital ! This is 
the sight we have just witnessed upon the Chilian desert. 
When, however, one speaks of the Chilian desert, it is of a 
region infinitely more productive of wealth than the most 
fertile district. These hills and valleys of arid sand, giving 
life to neither bird nor tree nor plant, which stretch for 
hundreds of miles along the western shores of South 
America, are rich in gold, in silver, and in copper, in 
sulphur and other products of the earth, but most of all in 
nitrate of soda and the productions therefrom. Many 
mines and fields have been worked and exhausted ; many 
are being worked ; many more remain to be discovered and 
developed. These deserts form, moreover, but the glacis 
thrown up from the bed of the Pacific to pave the road for 
future generations to tread towards the hidden resources 
of Bolivia and the almost unexplored regions of the 
interior. 

The city of Iquique is proud of its wooden cathedral, its 
wooden theatre, its wooden houses, and the level roadway 
along the beach, whereon 20,000 people declare in evening 
walk that there are worse places to live in than this capital 
city of the rainless coast and the nitrate world. The freedom 
from rain saves them, indeed, from the troubles of the 
tropics in the Eastern Hemisphere. That damp heat which 
elsewhere renders movement a torture and life unendurable 
within the region of Capricorn is absent from the desert 
shore. The days are hot, but the nights are fresh and cold, 
and European children thrive here when from Asia they 
have to be sent home. Iquique lives, it is true, upon 
imported produce. Everything has to be brought from the 
south — even earth for the treasured flower of the English 
lady. But the supply of goods is plentiful over a waveless 



262 Appendix. 

ocean. Water itself was for long dependent upon steamer 
carriage, but now English ingenuity and enterprise have 
brought down a plentiful supply from the bosom of the 
desert itself. To that same universal agency is practically 
due the city of Iquique, or, at least, everything conducing 
to its present prosperity. 

First and foremost comes, assuredly, the Nitrate Railway 
— a triumph of engineering in itself; a trimiiph of good 
management in the hands of Mr. Griffin. Without the 
Nitrate Railway the nitrate fields could never have been 
developed, and although one can well sympathize with the 
nitrate owners competing keenly with each other against 
the high charges upon their goods, account should in fair- 
ness be taken of the hazardous nature of the undertaking 
in which investors sank their savings, the heavy expenses 
attendant upon a line with such steep gradients upon a soft 
foundation, and the years past of unremunerative labour. 
Perhaps more conciliation might have been advantageously 
shown in the adjustment of rates^ and more account have 
been taken of the difficulties under which many of the 
nitrate fields are now labouring. But it is to be regretted 
that the Chilian Government should have thrown all its 
weight against the railway, and, interpreting after its own 
reading the conditions under which the two millions or so 
of capital was furnished, be lavishly distributing competing 
concessions. Such action can hardly fail adversely to 
affect fresh applications for funds from the London market, 
and make British investors in South America far more 
cautious than they have been in the past. Industrial de- 
velopment must be always a hazardous quantity, and if an 
exclusive privilege granted at one time is to be withdrawn, 
not on a legally declared '^ lapsus," but at the whim of a 
subsequent Presidential authority, the supposed monopoly 
is worth nothing at all as a security. It is possible that 
one or two of the works in the nitrate district may be able 
to provide for themselves a cheaper means of reaching the 
ocean than they at present possess. But it will be rather 
by temporary and transferable means than by an elaborate 
or permanent line. The conveyance of nitrate is, and 
will always bo, the only source of income, and how long 
that nitrate will be obtainable from existing sources is a 
matter of pure conjecture. The enthusiast will declare 



Nitrate Fields. 263 

the reserves equal to his lifetime — and that, indeed, may 
be long, but will probably be short. Of course, there may 
be a certain amount of stores to convey to the works, but 
the wants of the workers are few ; and tliey are little 
tempted to travel, even by the nominal charge of a few 
shillings for the length of the whole of the present system 
of over 126 miles. 

The Nitrate Railway serves about 300,000 acres of salt- 
petre ground. Thirty years ago they were estimated to 
contain some 63,000,000 tons of saltpetre, which, at the 
then rate of consumption, should last the world over a 
thousand years. But since then the world has changed. 
Its demand for nitrate has been enormously increased, and 
the Chilian Government, eager for the large export duty it 
levies of about 2/. 12^. bd. a ton, or 2s. 4^. per quintal of 
100 lbs., according to the rate of exchange, is anxious to 
force it upon a somewhat unwilling public at any price, 
regardless of the permanency of supply. Long ago the 
Indians recognized the agricultural value of nitrate, and in 
the beginning of the century half-a-dozen "oficinas" or 
works were established on the desert mountains of Tarapaca. 
In 1852 Mr. George Smith came out from Norwich ro 
develop the industry, and by 1870 there were eighteen mills 
working, of which four were owned by Englishmen. By 
1875 there were between forty and fifty. Peru, then 
Mistress of the Province and Queen of the Desert, saw the 
production increase, and with it the demand. The annual 
sale exceeded 4,000,000 quintals, and was evidently capable 
of being greatly increased. The Republic determined to 
turn trader, and expropriated the "oficinas," many of 
which were owned by Chilians, granting certificates of 
compensation. Fatal resolution ! It lost the province. 
Within four years a pretext for war was found, and within 
three months of its declaration the nitrate fields passed for 
,ever into the hands of Chili. The Peruvian certificates of 
indemnity sold for little or nothing. A title for 1000 silver 
sols, or over 180/., found with difficulty a purchaser at 
Lima for 30/. But upon that depreciated foundation arose 
one of the most remarkable monuments of personal success 
within the generation. 

Timely knowledge of the intention of the Chilian 
Government to honour the certificates by a re-grant of the 



264 Appendix. 

lands they represented, with fortuitous financial aid to 
courage and foresight, were the steps from a lowly level to 
the throne of the so-called " Nitrate King." Largely under 
his auspices some 10,000,000/. of British money have been 
laid out in the nitrate fields of Chili. There are now over 
fifty works for the production of nitrate of soda, and half of 
them are in British hands, and others again in the hands 
of foreigners. This is not regarded with favour in the 
centres of Chilian patriotism, where it is forgotten that, 
although the Chilian has many virtues, although he is brave 
and laborious, quick-witted and eager, the possession of 
capital is not among them. If the foreigner has laid out 
millions in Chili, some of which may be productive, but 
many of which he will never see again, it has been on the 
faith of the honour of Chilians, whom the turnover of those 
vast sums has so greatly benefited. But for these invest- 
ments of British money the nitrate industry would never 
have risen to its present condition, and production and 
knowledge would be far behind the existing standard. 

What is a nitrate mill or oficina ? To the slopes of the 
desert hill the " caliche," or raw material, is brought by 
mule cart or tram line. It has been dug out laboriously 
by blast and pick and shovel. Time was when it lay near 
at hand, but now the older works are .approaching the 
further confines of their properties, and soon will begin the 
struggle for ntw grounds, now held by the (iovcrnment. 
By tilt or other apparatus the crushing-machine is fed, and 
the i)roduct then passes to the boiling vats. In due time 
the sluices are opened, and down the pipes the charged 
liquor runs to the precipitating tanks. Thence, after the 
lapse of days, is taken the nitrate of soda, which, packed 
in bags of 300 lbs. each, is ready for export to fertilize more 
fertile fields. From the liquor again iodine is obtainable 
by due process, and the admixture of sulphur. 

The staff of a nitrate oficina is not large. The manager ' 
and the heads of departments are usually of the nationality 
of the owners, and they live a comfortable, patriarchal life 
in a large roomy house at a fair distance from the works, 
dispensing hospitality generously, and enjoying not a little 
social intercourse with friendly neighbours. The workmen 
are Chilians, Bolivians, and Indians. They receive ex- 
traordmarily high wages, often 15/. or 16/. a month on 



Nitrate Fields. 265 

piece work, and, as a rule, spend their earnings recklessly. 
Houses are provided for them, usually formed by a few 
sheets of corrugated iron, but they are more than sufficient 
shelter in the perpetual summer, and the most elementary 
rules of European cleanliness are almost impossible of 
enforcement. The desert provides no shops, and if it were 
not for the "oficina" store, the workman and his family 
would be able to obtain nothing. It may be a source of 
profit to the mill, and by charging goods against wages the 
" truck system " may be adopted. But it ensures some 
comfort at least to the housewife, and such is the demand 
for labour in excess of the sup])ly that fair treatment is 
assured by natural process, notwithstanding that combina- 
tion among the manufacturers which so exercises the 
Chilian official mind. Its object is the regulation of the 
output, and the development of consumption. These 
objects appear not only excusable, but absolutely essential 
in the common interest, and especially in the face of an 
export duty exceeding the cost of production. The merits 
of nitrate of soda can only be brought home to agri- 
culturists by organized effort, and a wholesale output upon 
an unappreciative market can only prematurely exhaust the 
sources of supply, at a heavy loss to all concerned, except 
the receivers of the export duty, which amounted to 
2,000,000/, in 1892, and should, unless evil counsels pre- 
vail, form a permanent source of income to the Santiago 
Treasury for many years yet to come. Unfortunately that 
profit to the Chilian Government is not shared by all those 
interested in the score or more of British nitrate companies. 
The majority of the shareholders are very distant from the 
nitrate fields, and had no idea of the proportion between 
the price paid for a property and its real value. The shares 
stand at 50 per cent, discount, and that probably represents 
a far more correct valuation. Even as it is, the business 
would appear to be overdone, and mills succeed mills far 
too quickly in a small area for large profits to be drawn. 
Everything depends, moreover, upon the extent of the un- 
worked ground available, and this is a matter of speculation. 
As it is, there appears to be little, comparatively speaking, 
within the present radius, for nitrate caliche is fickle, and 
will have nothing to do with valleys or mountain summits 



266 Appendix. 

in its choice of a home, but lies alone on hill slopes, 
most of which have now the appearance of having been 

overturned by a human earthquake. What is wanted 

is the geological chemist who will discover new zones 

or the means of producing more from the ground still 
available. 



Peru. 267 



IX. 

PERU AND THE PERUVIANS. 

Pyta, December ist^ 1893. 
It is affirmed by some enthusiasts, in spite of Columbus, 
that the riches of Solomon were drawn from Peru. How- 
ever that may be, neither Inca nor Spaniard, neither Chilian 
nor Peruvian has in any sense exhausted them. The real 
development of the country has indeed yet to begin. Tiie 
guano deposits, which yielded such enormous returns, may 
be in large measure exhausted. The nitrate fields of Tara- 
pack have gone for ever to the victorious arms of Chili. 
But Peru of its continental neighbours, has made least use 
of silver, and of copper, inexhaustible oil wells, vast regions 
for the production of tobacco, sugar, cotton, indiarubber, 
coffee, all the products of the tropics. There is only one 
obstacle to their being successfully worked, and that obstacle 
is Peru herself. The South American home of Castilian 
beauty, the seat of the purest Castilian dialect, Peru, 
with greater advantages than almost any of its con- 
tinental neighbours, has made least use of them, and 
been even more distracted by internal troubles, the rivalry 
of presidential factions and political revolutions. The 
present time is no exception to the general rule. " Liberty, 
equality, and fraternity" are preached upon the platform 
and })lacarded upon banners, but stoutly denied in the 
street. The mihtary despotism of Russia is mild compared 
to that of Peru. The streets of Lima are alive with red 
trousers and gold lace. Some two thousand officers with 
over 300 colonels constitute the " unemployed," and they 
are a far greater political danger and social trouble to Peru 
than the listless audiences on Tower Hill to England. The 
army is neither large nor formidable to a foreign foe. It 
has shown courage, but has always been outflanked. Its 
pay is small, and not paid. Its physique is indifferent, its 
equipment worse. The barracks of the capital are in a 



2 68 Appendix. 

woeful plight, without a pane of glass. But at the street 
corners stand drowsy sentries, before the doorways of 
quiet citizens march patrols, ready on the slightest pro- 
vocation to use their weapons against Peruvians. A recent 
review was made the occasion of a political demonstration. 
Four battalions marched past the President of the Republic, 
and went through half a dozen movements. The officers 
were given champagne ; the men brandy. Addresses 
followed from his present Excellency, and the President 
Anterior, who placed him on "the throne," and who in- 
tends to succeed him. The troops marched back, shout- 
ing wildly for General Caceres, and threw up their caps 
under the feet of his horse. He led them bravely in the 
Chilian war, but not to victory. His skill is reputed greater 
in the exercise of the financial opportunities of the Presidency 
than in the field. But the army, employed and unemployed, 
paid and unpaid, adores him, and looks to him for better 
times, and he is the military candidate for the succession 
of the actual President, his former subordinate and nominee. 
Colonel Bermudez.i 

A few people, who were outraged by the spectacle of the 
garrison converting a review into a political demonstration 
and by public servants usurping the functions of the 
electorate, ventured, in answer to the *' vivas " of the 
troops, to call the name of " Pierola." Sefior Nicholas de 
Pierola is the Democratic candidate, and one with an 
equal public record. He has headed two revolutions, and 
been for a time Dictator. In a moment the city was 
placed under martial occupation. Strong parties occupied 
all the approaches to the Central Square in front of the 
Government Buildings, and no Peruvian was allowed to 
enter it. Between these two candidates for the Presidency, 
vacant in the middle of 1894, the struggle will wage fast 
and furious. There will be many encounters in many 
places, many arrests, many whippings, much tampering 
with personal liberty, and much illegality. The third 
candidate put forward by the Union Civica, Sefior Mariano 
Nicholas Valcaved, President of the Chamber of Deputies, 
will not be a serious competitor. The Congress will be 
anxious to elect him, but a timely pretext will be found to 
dissolve it. In the rivalry between Caceres and Pierola 
' Since deceased. 



Peru and the Peruvians. 269 

there will be not a few individual sufferers. But the 
greatest sufferer of all will be the nation — Peru and her 
outside reputation. It is probable that the military party, 
assisted by all the influence of the Government agents 
throughout the country, will prove triumphant, and succeed 
in bringing about the re-election of General Caceres. It is 
a result which need not be regretted by those abroad, who 
are interested in the prosperity and tranquillity of the 
Republic. The probability is that the success of Senor 
Pierola, although more popular with the people, would lead 
to much greater disturbance, and the more, having in view 
the strength and sentiments of the military party. General 
Cace'res will also afford a greater guarantee for a strong 
Government, and what Peru wants more than anything else 
is a strong Government. The Peruvian is amiable and 
generous, fond of amusement, and indolent, submitting 
to anything at the hands of authority, if authority is 
stable. 

General Caceres is, moreover, a man of travel, who 
knows that without foreign capital and enterprise Peru can 
do little or nothing for Peruvians. He is able to gauge 
at its proper value the irresponsible grumbling against the 
domination of the foreigner, and himself largely concerned, 
when formerly President, in the acceptance by the Re- 
public in 1890 of the arrangements proposed by Mr. 
Michael Grace, Lord Donoughmore, and Mr. Eyre on 
behalf of the Peruvian Corporation, is likely to further 
their being loyally carried out. No country ever got rid of 
its foreign debt upon such favourable terms. Peru owed, 
for capital and accrued interest, upwards of 50,000,000/., 
mainly to England. The Peruvian Corporation assumed 
the responsibility of the whole on approved terms, and gave 
Peru at the same time the benefit of an admirable ad- 
ministration of the railways and other property conceded in 
return. The choice of an Administrator-General was for- 
tunate. In Mr. Clinton Dawkins, formerly of Her Majesty's 
Treasury, the bondholders have a representative who has 
commended himself to Peruvians as much by his ability, 
perseverance, and zeal on behalf of tlic common interest as 
by his personal tact. It will be most unfortunate for all 
concerned if any interruption should come in tlic Ad- 
ministration. There have, of course, been many and 



270 Appendix. 

serious difficulties with the Government. But they are in 
a fair way of being satisfactorily settled. If, on the one 
hand, the Corporation is obliged to recognize that passing 
depression and temporary circumstances prevent Peru 
from meeting in full the stipulated annual payment of 
80,000/. a year from the customs receipts in Callao, the 
Government sees, on the other, that it cannot, in justice, 
call upon the Corporation to expend the further capital it 
undertook to spend under a more auspicious condition of 
things, mutual compromise will be of mutual benefit. The 
time may be long, but it must come eventually, when the 
country will be able quietly to develop its great resources, 
and when by a prompt recognition of existing obligations 
and political quietude, the immigration of men and money 
will be considerable. Then the Peruvian Corporation will 
justify the hopes of those who founded it. In the mean- 
time, its property is in first-rate order. The railways, de- 
spite the extraordinary engineering difficulties under which 
they labour, in the passage of the Cordillera in the Centre 
and the South, are in excellent condition — the permanent 
way good, the rolling stock sound, and the stations, to 
many of which are wisely attached excellent hotels, far 
better than on many other British lines in South America. 
The Oroya road is probably the most marvellous railway 
in the world. In 106 miles it rises on an ordinary gauge 
by a gradient of 3-0 to 4 per cent, without rack, pinion, or 
other system, to a height of nearly 16,000 feet above the 
level of the sea at the starting-point of Callao. It turns in 
this adventurous flight backwards and forwards upon itself 
times without number, describes " C's,'" " S's," and " V's" 
repeatedly, runs through half a hundred tunnels hewn out 
of tremendous mountains of rock, skirts precipices upon 
precipices, and traverses many a torrent. 40,000/. a mile 
was the price to Peru of this extraordinary work. When 
the Peruvian Corporation succeeded to the heritage, the 
line stopped at Chicla, 12,000 feet high. The track was 
in bad order, and unless it was pushed over the Andean 
summit towards the valleys of the Amazon could never be 
made productive. A million has been spent, and well 
spent, in rei^airs, on the extension, and in adapting the 
engines for Pacific i)etroleum instead of sea-borne coal. 
Mr. J. L. 'ihorndike, a Canadian, was the engineer, Mr. 



Peru and the Peruvians. 2 7 1 

M. S. Grace the contractor. The summit is breasted at 
15,665 feet, and the line runs already for 30 miles to 
Oroya in the direction of the Amazon. It takes time to 
kill the competition of pack horse, mule, llama, and 
donkeys, costing little to buy and little to keep. But by 
an easy hand for a time, at least in the matter of rates^ 
eventual success is certain. A large agricultural export to 
the rainless coast of the Pacific may be confidently ex- 
pected to augment a growing mineral traffic. The popula- 
tion along the line is small, it is true, but little by Utile the 
people of Callao and Lima, and more especially the many 
visitors thereto passing north and south, will reap all the 
health and enjoyment that an extraordinary railroad offers 
in a land of perpetual spring. 



272 Appendix. 



X. 

VENEZUELA AND ENGLAND. 



Caracas, Christmas Day, 1893. 

Venezuela is from several points of view an exception 
among her Republican sisters on the Spanish Main. In 
the first place, the country, in at least the metropolitan and 
accessible districts of the nine States, is extremely beautiful. 
Mountain succeeds mountain, and valley follows upon 
valley. In the second place, Venezuela alone has a gold 
and silver coinage, well designed, cast from vast indigenous 
stores of precious ore, and of equivalent value to the 
sovereign in the major piece, and to a franc in the minor. 
But the greatest exception of all is that Venezuela is " not 
in friendship with Great Britain." Fortunately, at most, 
one in ten millions of the Queen's lieges is aware of the 
fact, or the national trepidation might be great. This 
state of affairs has prevailed, however, for nearly seven 
years. It was on the 20th of February, 1887, that the 
Venezuelan Government wrote to the British Minister ac- 
credited to the Republic: — " Great Britain has progressively 
increased her own advances from the Essequibo to the 
romuron, the Moroco, the Waini, the Barima, and the 
Amacuro. Great Britain has therefore violated the rights 
of sovereignty and the independence of Venezuela. Vene- 
zuela must not preserve relations of friendship with a nation 
which has thus offended her, and in consequence suspends 
them from this day." 

The British Minister, therefore, took his leave, and since 
that time British interests have been under the charge of 
the German Envoy. Fortunately for us, the Emperor 
William is represented at Caracns by a diplomatist of rank, 
fortune, and ability— Count Kleist, whose consort, the life 
and soul of the capital, is now endeavouring to build a 
Protestant Church. There are still, strange to say, some 



Venezuela. 273 

unbelievers in the visual fact the world over that "Trade 
follows the flag." The saying speaks for the " flag of 
sovereignty " alone. But it appears to be true also of the 
flag on the roof-top of a British Legation. Certain it is that 
since it was hauled down in Venezuela, British subjects 
and British trade have left, and been replaced by German. 
Five hundred Germans control the main channels of 
business, and more are coming. German competition is 
often exaggerated. But here, as in Guatemala, it is very 
real in its monopoly. There are two exceptions, however. 
The harbour at La Guayra was formed by an English 
company, and is managed by it. The railway breasting 
the 4000 feet from the sea to the capital in a wonderful 
circuit of 23 miles cut out of the precipitous mountain 
side, is also due to England, and a triumph of engineering. 
The railway to Valencia, on the other hand, is German. 
The concessionaire was Herr Krupp, and Essen made the 
rails, wheels, and axles. The capital was found by the 
Deutsche Bank and another. It passes through 80 tunnels 
on a 3 per cent, grade in its 70 miles or so. A great 
work, indeed, but not one to be interested in financially, 
despite the 7 per cent, guarantee — punctually ''' paid " 
according to South American rule. 

But to return to the iniquities of Great Britain in 
" violating the sovereignty and independence of Venezuela." 
Where are the Pomaron, the Moroco, the Waini, the 
Barima, and the Amacuro to which we have " progressively 
advanced " ? The Treaty Department of the Foreign 
Office has them marked on the wall. They are known in 
the great and thriving colony of British Guiana — the size 
of the United Kingdom — now so well administered by Sir 
Charles Cameron Lees. But elsewhere few British subjects 
know them by name, or could describe the course of the 
rivers they represent. They are all, however, well within 
the frontier line of British Guiana, as surveyed in 1841 by 
the engineer Schomburg, and it is rather Venezuela who 
has " progressively advanced " in her claims to the British 
territory, acquired from the Dutch by the Treaty of 18 14. 
This frontier line is actually in British possession, and, 
whatever they say at Caracas, neighbouring Venezuelans 
are perfectly contented and happy that it should be so. 
Above all, there can be no surrender of the right claimed a 

T 



2 74 Appendix. 

century ago, and re-affirmed by Lord Rosebery in 1886, to 
free navigation for the British flag on the Orinoco. This 
river, which was entered by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1585, is 
the second great water artery in South America. It is 
surpassed by the Amazon alone, is 20 miles wide at the 
mouth, opposite Barima Point on British territory, and is 
navigable certainly for 800 miles of its course. The 
Orinoco is fed by 436 rivers, leading to forests of wealth, 
as yet untrodden save by the Indian, and which we may 
well develop in friendly partnership. But, short of this, 
assuredly England would be glad to adjust any minor 
points of difference with Venezuela, and to see official 
concord again added to actual good will. The first step, 
of course, must be the renewal of diplomatic relations. 
This can only be done by the Government of the new 
President — General Crespo — conveying a distinct wish to 
that end, and a willingness to receive a new British Minister 
with especial and befitting cordiality. This is very desirable, 
as much from the Venezuelan point of view as our own. 

Venezuela adjoins British Guiana for many hundreds of 
miles. This must be, whatever the exact boundary. But 
the Republic is also only, so to say, a stone's throw from 
another prosperous and bounteous British colony. By way 
of Trinidad alone can her northern citizens reach the banks 
of the Orinoco in anything like comfort and safety. A 
great emporium for trade is therefore Port of Spain, on the 
Gulf of Paria, approached by the narrow passage of "The 
Dragon's Mouth." 

The Venezuelan revenue is mainly fiscal. That shows 
good sense. But the tariff is not framed on sensible lines. 
Sugar and articles of native growth are prohibited. In 
default of proper means of manufacture, native consumers 
fare very badly. On other goods the duty is enormous. 
The result is that sensible Venezuelans are alleged to have 
kept back the dues as long as possible, by holding their 
consignments from Europe in the warehouses of Trinidad 
until they were actually wanted. Possibly now and again 
an unpaid Venezuelan Custom-house official mis-read or 
forgot the text of the tariff To meet this loss, real or 
imaginary, to deal a nasty blow at Trinidad, and another at 
Cura9oa, belonging to Holland, and analogously situated 
on the Atlantic seaboard, Venezuela imposed an additional 



Venezuela. 275 

tax of 30 per cent, upon all imports from the colonies, in 
the Atlantic, of any European Power. On the surface, 
France, Spain, and Denmark were affected as well as 
England and Holland. But as the colonies of the three 
former nations did no trade with Venezuela, the effect fell 
solely on Trinidad and Curagoa. Most of all it affected 
Trinidad. This was in 1881. A vigorous Chamber of 
Commerce lost no time in protesting, and in invoking the 
prompt action of the Imperial Government. Protest has 
followed protest. The duties were imposed on May 3rd, 
1S82, and to this hour remain in force. Although one 
would not think it, from the stiff and brief despatches of 
the Colonial Office to the colony. Downing Street was not 
inactive. More than twelve years ago the Venezuelan 
Ministry was told by Sir Charles Mansfield that " Her 
Majesty's Government object to the application of the law, 
and that it was in contravention of the commercial engage- 
ment of 1834, which adopted and confirmed the Treaty of 
April i8th, 1825." 

This ought to have been enough to bring about the 
rescindment of the impost — although general nominally, of 
British application almost entirely. But words are not 
followed in these days of peace by that persuasion which is 
legitimate when " right speaks with might." The trade of 
Trinidad with Venezuela fell off 70 per cent. In 1889, 
" Her Majesty's Government will not fail to take advantage 
of any opportunity favourable for putting an end to the 
present unsatisfactory state of affairs." But still the matter 
drifts on, to the mutual disadvantage of both Venezuela and 
Trinidad. Happily, the Minister for Foreign Affairs at 
Caracas is now a courteous statesman, Seiior Don Rojas. 
He sees how unfortunate is the present condition of affairs. 
He sees that without British representation in Venezuela 
there can be no real development of the riches of his 
country by British capital, that without the advent of 
common sense, fair play, and respect for treaty engagements 
in the matter of trade with the British Empire, and every 
portion of it, but especially with Trinidad, there cannot be 
even an approach to a settlement of the boundary question, 
so vital to Venezuela. May Seilor Rojas be able to exert a 
just influence over the President-elect and his colleagues, 
and by necessary, but in no sense humiliating, overtures, 

T 2 



276 Appendix. 

re-establish " the relations of friendship " with Great Britain, 
broken so ill-advisedly, to his country's injury, by General 
Guzman Blanco. 

That ex-presidential autocrat and spoliator is now an 
exile from Venezuela. The provinces, towns, and streets 
named after him have been re-christened. High above 
Caracas is a so-called Hill of Calvary. High on " Calvary" 
stood a colossal statue of Guzman Blanco. The people 
threw it down, and pounded the pieces to powder. So 
may it be with his Act of "the suspension of friendship 
with Great Britain." Then up the hundred circular steps 
facing that Hill of Calvary will come each afternoon, with 
even lighter tread than now, the unofificial and octogenarian 
representative in Caracas of Great Britain. For nearly forty 
years Mr. Middleton served his country at foreign Courts. 
When, a quarter of a century ago, a pension was the reward 
of fidelity, Mr. Middleton, who knew every climate in 
the world, declared that of Caracas to be the best — a per- 
petual May, and yet so little visited from steaming Port of 
Spain — and there he would remaiji. His resolve has been 
faithfully kept and full of advantage to the pretty little 
capital. By his instrumentality in large measure is due 
many a good work, and not least of all a Society for the 
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — a terrible need in 
South America, as well as the presence of a magnificent 
band twice a week on the marble-paved " Plaza." In the 
centre thereof is the statue of " iJolivar the Liberator," 
mounted on the fiery iron steed which does like duty in 
many a South American capital for many a Republican 
hero. 



The West Indies. 277 



XI. 

THE WEST INDIES. 
"A Triumph of British Administration." 

The normal idea of the West Indies is that they form 
an archipelago of islands close to one another, and united 
by summer waters. The reality is very different. Many 
islands there are — thirteen distinct possessions, several 
groups conjoining different islands. But they lie within a 
parallelogram iioo miles from north to south — 1000 miles 
from east to west. Communication between them, if only 
40 or 50 miles apart, is uncertain and fitful, largely depen- 
dent on the fortnightly service of the Royal Mail Steam 
Packet Company, and more often than not across a 
stormy sea. Hence it is that West Indians, whether white 
or " cafe con un poco leche," or darkie, are stay-in-island 
people, know but little of their neighbours producing the 
same crops, and therefore with little mutual trade. When 
the official, the overseer, or the planter is entitled to a long 
holiday, he goes " home." The short vacations he spends 
at a more or less make-shift hotel on the shore, where the 
" beautiful north-easter " can blow over him all day and all 
night, and he can bathe perchance in a roaring surf. 

West Indians are kind and hospitable. But they are 
very sensitive. Who would not be with a thermometer 
ranging from 70 to 90 degrees ? Tliey know their own 
island and the roadstead of Barbados. But they object to 
visitors forming any opinion concerning these British pos- 
sessions as a whole. No prudent company would insure 
Mr. Froude if he again ventured among them. One writes 
therefore in fear and trembling. But let it be said at once 
that the greatest and most indelible impression the British 
West Indies make upon the political student is the magni- 
ficent example they present of the success, the justice, and 



278 Appendix. 

the popularity of British Administration. It is true that 
their united 12,000 square miles form but one 911th part of 
the British Empire. It is true that the 1,350,000 inhabit- 
ants of all the islands put together, form but one 260th part 
of the population of the Queen's dominions. But their 
scattered position, from three to five thousand miles from 
Great Britain, the impossibility of maintaining any Imperial 
force save at one or two points, the circumstances attend- 
ing their conquest and enforced peopling renders the task 
far more difficult than might be the case on a continent. 
But the success has been so great, so transcendent, that 
save for one or two minor and social grievances of an 
entirely transitory character, there is perfect peace, order, and 
contentment from the Bahamas in the north to Trinidad or 
British Guiana in the south, from Barbados in the east to 
Jamaica in the west, from windward to leeward. The 
supreme power is with the Crown, and good counsel conies 
from the Colonial Office, spoken through seven quinquennial 
Governors and sundry administrators. But the ordinances 
are of local initiation, of local enactment through many 
elected representatives, in some cases to two Houses of 
Legislature and of strictly local application. Public ex- 
penditure is wholly provided out of local taxation. Public 
order is maintained, and absolute security for life and pro- 
perty vouchsafed, by local police forces, and this amid a 
population freed by England, still capering in their joy at 
liberty, and as easily ignited by a misdirected spark as loose 
gunpowder. The world is illuminated by imperishable 
monuments of the Colonial genius of PJritain and the justice 
of her rule. But nowhere is it more conspicuous than in 
the British West Indies. In this sense it is regarded by 
Sixain, sore troubled by Cuba, the last remnant of a Colonial 
Empire as glorious, and more capable than that even of 
Britain. In this sense it is regarded by France, ever 
covetous of Colonial sway, but never succeeding, notwith- 
standing our example, in developing her few Colonies for 
the good of themselves or the Mother Land. Of this 
Martinique and Guadeloupe are instances in the West 
Indies, heavily subsidized though they are, and Indo-China 
in Asia. It is a fine thing, and one Englishmen may be 
proud of, that English is the universal language among a 
million negroes in the West Indies, to hear them declare 



The West Indies. 279 

themselves to be Englishmen, and talk of "Our Queen," 
and going " Home to England." Needless to say, that 
under such a condition of affairs it is absolute nonsense to 
talk at Exeter Hall, or anywhere else, about the oppression 
of the negro. A freer people is not to be found, or one 
with a clearer idea of asserting their rights to the extreme 
verge of verbal exaction and legal process. Education has 
done wonders on an intelligent foundation. The Church 
of England too may be proud of her work. She numbers 
a very large majority of the blacks among her sons. They 
are great church-goers, and numerous Protestant churches 
and chapels are well filled. Nor does the West Indian 
Christian, as in Hindustan and China, think Christian 
alcohol a cardinal article in the Christian creed. For an 
individual not to have seen a drunken man is nothing. 
But all authorities agree that the people are wonderfully 
sober, and an example to many a '■' cocktail " loving and 
" swizzle " ruined young Britisher. Morahty, however, is 
on a different level. It has been said that there is no 
" immorality " among them, for there is no " morality." 
Legitimacy figures in some islands at 40 per cent, among 
the births. But this is declared high, and an earnest 
Dominican priest in Trinidad, where alone Rome maintains 
the ascendant, put it as low as 12 per cent. Corroboration 
of this is found on the notice board of the English cathe- 
dral at Port of Spain. It announces that baptisms are 

held:— 

" Legitimate, Wednesday ; 
Illegitimate, Friday." 

In the English sense there is no overcrowding — that is, of 
too many tenements in dark and stuffy courts. But nothing 
will prevent as many negroes as possible from shutting 
themselves up in a shanty soon after nightfall, closing the 
shutters, barring every air crevice, and remaining there 
until daylight. Do they thtn come out to work? Their 
fathers or grandfathers did. But that was under the lash. 
Their motto rather is " Work a little, play a little, eat a 
little, sleep a little." It is all " a little," except perhaps 
"the sleep," but especially '^the work," and it takes but 
little in such a climate to support life. This undoubted 
indolence and want of perseverance, as also the absolute 
refusal to migrate from overcrowded Barbados to other 



2 So Appendix. 

islands crying out for labour, make the immigration of 
Indian coolies not only welcome, but an absolute necessity 
for Jamaica, Trinidad, and British Guiana. The Indian 
immigrant does exceedingly well, is under strict official 
protection, and rarely fails to save money. 

One sometimes hears of the ruined condition of the 
West Indies. If it exists, it is rnost carefully veiled. The 
public finances are wondrously prosperous. The total 
annual revenue exceeds 1,800,000/., mainly raised by 
Customs duties, against which there is not a word of com- 
plaint. The aggregate public debt is only 2,500,000/., and 
has been spent to the last farthing in reproductive works. 
Compare this — as you may compare the splendid West 
Indian roads, the calm, the quiet, the contentment, with 
the impassable highways, the incessant revolutions with the 
state of affairs in any republic of South America, and you 
can but take national pride in the administration to which 
the result is due. 

But there are other evidences of the material prosperity 
in the British West Indies than those already indicated, 
than the fields laden with sugar cane, and other tropical 
products, than the three-quarters of a million sterling in 
the Savings Banks, and they lie in 

The External Trade. 
It amounts to 12,000,000/. a year, practically 12/. a 
head, and of this one-half is with the British Empire. It 
is carried by seven million tons of shipping, of which six- 
sevenths are British. The trade with the Mother Country 
alone exceeds 14,000,000/, a year, and of this two-thirds 
consist of purchases by the British West Indies of the 
productions of British artisans. Ay, truly " Trade follows 
the flag." This circumstance must needs soften o\xr prima 
facie view of the British West Indies (except Grenada) 
and British Guiana scuttling off to Washington the moment 
the McKinley Tariff Act came into force in 1890, and 
with the consent of the British Government and the help 
of the British Ambassador, concludiiig a reciprocity con- 
vention with the United States. They were required by 
America as a condition precedent to pull their tariffs to 
pieces. American goods had to be admitted free of duty 
or at vast reductions. Jamaica cut off 30,000/. a year from 



The West Indies. 2 8 1 

her revenue, Trinidad, 1 8,000/., Barbados, 12,000/., and 
other Colonics in proportion, at the bidding of Secretary 
Blaine. But colonial legislators were loyal to England. 
They reduced their duties equally as against her and the 
United States. The result has been an increase in British 
trade— a fitting reward for the disinterested zeal of Lord 
Knutsford, and a falling off — "from some unexplained 
cause/' says the Secretary to the Washington Treasury — of 
American trade. A movement is being promoted by the 
St. Lucia Legislature to take the necessary steps to de- 
nounce the useless convention, as " having resulted in a 
large falling off of the revenue without any corresponding 
benefit to the planting interest, nor to the consumers of 
food, the retail price of which remains unchanged, and 
there being no other means of raising a revenue." 

So far so good. But there is a dark spot on the British 
West Indies, and it is one of vital concern to the Empire. 
These beautiful and luxuriant islands, rich in products 
dear to France and America, are at present defenceless 
and undefended, save Jamaica and St. Lucia. If war 
should ever unhappily break out they must fall, at least 
temporarily, to any Power able for a time to wrest from us 
any portion of the sea. They may eventually be recap- 
tured. But in any case enormous indemnities would be 
exacted, and they would have to be defrayed entirely from 
Colonial resources. Far better, far cheaper, far more 
patriotic to be prepared in time. There is a regiment of 
British infantry, a few artillerymen, and an engineer com- 
pany or two in the West Indies, besides a fine battalion of 
the West Indian Regiment. Of what avail would their 
bravery be over so wide an expanse, if the sea were lost? 
It can only be held by the Royal Navy, and the claims of 
the Empire on Her Majesty's ships in a great war would 
certainly leave but a comparatively small squadron for the 
West Indies. There are local forces it is true, and all 
honour to Colonels Ward and Wilson and those who in 
Jamaica and Trinidad have formed volunteer corps. But 
the local forces all told only muster on paper 2200 men 
and a few old guns, which, if fired, or fireable, would only 
expose the towns to bombardment. Corps of submarine 
miners might, however, be well organized. The leading 
houses would more readily furnish the officers than to 



282 Appendix. 

volunteer infantry, for on them woiild chiefly fall the 
penalty of neglect if an enemy were successful, and Colonial 
funds could well afford the necessary apparatus and the 
scientific control. Ships of war can only be kept away 
by the most powerful guns, equal to theirs, or by me- 
chanical contrivances rendering their approach impracti- 
cable. The first cannot be provided. The latter can, and 
also an organized plan for working them. The British 
West Indies owe it to themselves and to the Empire to see 
to it. 

C. E. Howard Vincent. 

R.AI.S. Orinoco, off Barbados, 
/an. \st, 1894. 



British Interests in Brazil. 28 



BRITISH COMMERCIAL INTERESTS IN 
SOUTH AMERICA. 

Reports to the Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures of 
the City of Sheffield 1 upon British Trade in Brazil, 
The Argentifie, Chili, Peru, and Panama. 



XII. 
BRITISH INTERESTS IN BRAZIL. 

Present Condition of Brazil. 

I. The present condition of affairs in the United States 
of Brazil is most unfavourable to obtaining any accurate 
information concerning the real condition of trade with 
the United Kingdom and its future prospects. I have, 
however, collected the best evidence on the subject which 
is possible under the deplorable circumstances of the hour. 
The Republic has been established barely four years, and 
they present an almost unbroken record of martial law, 
civil discord, and faction revolutions in the capital and the 
component States — a striking contrast to the peace, pros- 
perity, and progress obtaining under the prolonged reign 
of the late Emperor, who was deposed and exiled in a 
moment, without cause or notice, at the whim of a handful 
of mutinous soldiers. As I write, the unparalleled beauties 
of the harbour below me are stained by the extraordinary 

1 At a meeting of the Council of the Sheffield Chamber of Com- 
merce and Manufacturers held on Wednesday, the gih day of May, 
1894, it was resolved "That the best thanks of this Chamber l)e, 
and they are hereby accorded to Colonel Howard Vincent, C.B., M.P., 
for the valuable reports on Trade in South America which he has 
been good enough to send for the use of the Chamber." — W. H. 
Brittain, President. 



284 Appendix, 

spectacle of the entire fleet being drawn up in rebel array 
against the National Government and Metropolis. Bom- 
bardment is only restrained by the threatened employment 
of force by Her Majesty's ships Sinus, Beagle, and Racer, and 
the war cruisers of France, Italy, Portugal, and America. 
Every cargo arriving in the bay, not protected by a foreign 
flag, is seized by the insurgents. Nor does this civil war- 
fare, which has for the last six weeks paralyzed commerce, 
show signs of early termination, and, even when ended, 
there is not the slightest guarantee that internal peace 
will be long preserved, especially as in March next comes 
a new struggle for the headship of the Executive 
Government. 

History of 1892. 

2. " The history of 1892," says the American-edited 
Rio News, the most independent and trustworthy journal in 
the country, " is one long record of violence, arbitrary acts, 
and selfish schemes. Public credit and public interest 
have suffered almost irreparable injuries, and yet there has 
not been enough of patriotism, courage, and self-sacrifice 
to check the downward course of the nation. There has 
been less personal liberty than under the Monarchy, less 
respect for law, and less consideration for the good name 
of the country," 

Foreign Trade. 

3. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that 
the oversea trade should be mainly in the hands of foreign 
firms. On the northern seaboard, from the mouth of the 
Amazon to the capital, the English take a clear lead. 
In Rio many of the coffee exporters are Americans, and in 
the Southern provinces the Germans ])reponderate. In 
Santa Catharina and Rio Grande do Sul, the latter are 
beginning to exercise a marked influence upon local affairs. 
As yet, however, but the fringe of the enormous riches of 
the vast territory of the Republic — twenty-seven times the 
size of Great Britain and Ireland, larger than the United 
States or Australia — has been tapped. There are few good 
roads, and communication is mainly confined to the sea, 
and the 5000 miles of railway, laid down largely by British 
enterprise, and greatly harassed by officialdom. 



British Interests in Brazil. 285 

Commercial Indifference. 

4. How little interest, comparatively speaking, is taken 
in the development of commerce and industrial prosperity 
by the Republican authorities is well illustrated by two 
circumstances. The first greatly affects the British flag 
and its carrying trade. On the smallest pretext a vessel is 
denied the right to discharge its cargo, or land its pas- 
sengers, until it has performed quarantine and gone through 
certain ridiculous, but costly, performances for nominal 
disinfection at Ilha Grande, 60 miles south-west of Rio. 
This necessitates, in the case of a cargo destined for Para, 
an extra haulage on the double journey, of 4000 miles, and 
in the case of Pernambuco and adjacent ports for about 
2200 miles, leading to an enormous increase in freights 
and augmentation in the price of the necessaries of life, 
many of which must be imported. The second is, by 
comparison, of minor importance, though eloquent in 
itself, namely, the publication only the other day-efihe trade 
statistics of 1890. 

Staple Products. 

5. There are five great staples of commerce in Brazil — 
coffee and cotton, sugar and indiarubber, and tobacco. Of 
these, coffee is pre-eminent, and yields large returns. Eight 
million bags (worth over 20,000,000/.), of 60 kilos each, 
were exported last year, 1892, through Rio Janeiro, Santos, 
and Victoria. One-fourth went to Europe, excluding 
Great Britain, which took about 150,000 bags, and three- 
eighths to the United States. From the Amazon 5,000,000/, 
worth of indiarubber was exported, 1,600,000/ worth 
going to England, and double that quantity to America. 
But, valuable as are the bearing and possible coffee lands, 
rich as are the tropical regions in rubber extract and other 
natural products, they sink, it is thought by competent 
judges, into insignificance beside the capacity for the 
production of sugar. 

Hindrances to Industry. 

6. Of the hindrance to industrial development by the 
want of roads and the inadequacy of the railways mention 
has been already made. But there is another greatly 



286 Appendix. 

restraining cause, and it affects not only the production of 
the staples, but also the exploitation of the undoubted 
mineral wealth. It is the want of labour. Not infre- 
quently in some places a large part of a valuable crop has 
to be left on the ground for want of hands to gather it in. 
The population of the country is about 12,000,000, barely 
one-seventh of what it could well carry. " The outcome in 
considerable part," says a well-known Brazilian, "of an 
admixture of Indian, Negro, and Portuguese blood, the 
national character is gifted, it may be, by kindness of 
heart and amiability, but sullied by apathy, idleness, 
frivolity, and indifference, to a point not easy of concep- 
tion." The 1,500,000 slaves, so impetuously emancipated 
in 1887 by the Crown Princess Isabel, when Regent during 
her father's absence, under the generous but ill-limed heart 
guidance of the Church, can scarcely be induced by most 
liberal wages to work steadily for more than a few days at 
a time. Having few wants, with no cold weather to face, 
revelling in the luxuriance of nature, they apparently prefer 
the freedom of urban indolence and alcoholic indulgence to 
equatorial labour. 

Immigration. 

7. Considerable exertions have been made to procure 
immigration, and 250,000 Italians, Spaniards, and Por- 
tuguese have been brought in within the last two years. 
They are the only European races adapted to the climate, 
but for the most part the immigrants seek only to accumu- 
late a modest sum and to return to their homes. Negotia- 
tions are in progress with China. But there is nothing so 
distasteful to the prudent and conservative instincts of the 
Chinese as unsettled Governments. Of all immigrants, the 
most unsuitable are the English. The Emigration Bureau, 
in Westminster liroadway, cannot do better than continue 
to warn the English working man not to think of bettering 
his fortunes in ]5razil. A few forenien do well in the 
recently established cotton mills, which will present fresh 
rivalry to Lancashire. But they are men of superior class, 
in receipt of good salaries on a contract engagement, and 
quite different from the ordinary emigrant. 

British Trade, 

8. The total volume of British trade with Brazil amounts 



British Interests in Brazil. 287 

to over 13,000,000/. a year, of which two-thirds consist in 
purchases from Brazil and one-third of sales to Brazil. This 
preponderance of import over export on our part is a new 
feature in the commercial relations between the two countries 
in the past twelve years, and one unfortunately often dupli- 
cated at the present day. In i860 British exports to 
Brazil were double the imports thence. In 1880 they still 
exceeded them by 20 per cent. But while the importation 
from Brazil has quadrupled in the last 30 years, British 
exports have declined. Nor do we find that the whole 
volume of British trade with the Republic represents so 
satisfactory an increase as could be desired. While it 
amounts to about one-fourth of the total external trade of 
Brazil, British commerce, according to the eminent statis- 
tical authority of Mr. Mulhall, has increased only 6 per 
cent, between 1S80 and 1S91, while that of Brazil with the 
rest of the world increased 20 per cent. 

Reciprocity Treaty with America. 

9. In that year — 189 1 — moreover, the United States of 
America concluded with Brazil a reciprocity convention 
well calculated to make the British results for the next 
decade still more unsatisflictory. The convention — the 
first of a series of twelve similar treaties already signed at 
Washington, a number the augmentation of which is now 
in active negotiation — secured the admission into Brazil on 
April I, 1891, of fifteen standard articles of American 
production (including the old British staples of agricultural 
tools and machinery, mining and mechanical tools and 
machinery, all machinery for industrial and manufacturing 
purposes, and all railway construction material and equip- 
ment), " free " of all duty, v.'hether national, state, or 
municipal, and a reduction of 25 per cent, in 2000 other 
classes of goods ^' on the tariff then in force or which may 
hereafter be adopted." 

The consideration for this enormous advantage to the 
United States over Great Britain and the rest of the world, 
was the free admission of Brazilian sugars, molasses, coffee, 
and hides — articles America could not do without. It is 
obvious that the advantage of this treaty was and is entirely 
on the side of the United States of America, and this fact, 



2 88 Appendix. 

Brazil, in her wild desire to translate the American Con- 
stitution into Portuguese, could not then see, but now 
recognizes too late. 

The question for us, though, is not what good this or 
other reciprocity treaties is likely to do for America or the 
other contracting parties, but what harm it is likely and 
indeed certain to do British trade in the long run : slowly 
it may be, but not the less surely. 

Increase of Duty upon British Goods. 

10. Already in 1892 the Brazilian Budget Law increased 
by 60 per cent, the duties on cotton and woollen manufac- 
tures, mainly derived from England, and by 50 or 60 per cent, 
the duties upon other articles of import. It is satisfactory to 
find that Sheffield cutlery has not as yet been seriously 
affected. But it holds its own only by enforced cheapness, 
and that too often means an undue cheapening of wages. 
Axes, hatchets, picks, and other articles in the manufac- 
ture of which we excel, are, however, being obtained from 
the United States. Whatever the result up to the present 
time, the undermining of British markets is a matter which 
requires most careful watching, and it is satisfactory that 
Mr. Harford, Her Majesty's able Secretary of Legation, is 
giving close attention to the question in Brazil. 

It appears that the American sales to Brazil of cotton 
goods and manufactures generally have doubled, while 
those of hardware have trebled, and under date June 27, 
1892, the American Secretary of State reports to the Presi- 
dent : — " The condition of the export trade from the 
United States to Brazil during the last twelve months is 
extremely favourable, compared to that of Great Britain, 
which shows an enormous falling off in every line of mer- 
chandise." 

Preponderance of British Shipping. 

1 1. Such advantage as British trade enjoys in the Brazilian 
market is mainly due to the superior enterprise and skill 
of our merchant marine. At least one-half of the foreign 
trade of Brazil is conveyed in English vessels. There are 
rarely less than from 70 to 100 in the harbour of Rio de 
Janeiro, and among other things they brought last year to 



British Interests in Brazil. 289 

this port, principally from Cardiff, 454,000 tons of coal. 
As I count now the vessels in the harbour it appears that 
there is little besides the Red Ensign, and we can but feel 
that three Queen's ships — one cruiser and two small gun- 
boats — protecting them from spoliation at the hands of the 
insurgent fleet, are all too few. 

Necessity for a Stronger Navy. 

12. The maintenance of a British Navy sufficiently 
numerous and sufficiently strong to protect the commercial 
fleets of England on every sea against any eventuality is the 
first and cardinal principle to be borne in mind by every 
Englishman concerned in the maintenance of our trade 
and industrial employment. It is gratifying to find that 
the United States, despite the superior commercial activity 
of her rulers and diplomatists, comes but fourth into the 
ports of Brazil, being surpassed by Norway and Germany, 
who together muster barely half of the British sail. Indeed 
communication between New York and Rio has now 
been surrendered by the Northern Stars and Stripes to the 
British flag. 

Financial Difficulties in Brazil, 

13. Unfortunately in the actual state of Brazil it is not 
possible, despite careful inquiry, to suggest any special 
direction in which British trade could be advantageously 
pushed at the present time. The necessity for caution is 
only too apparent. Exchange which in 1889, under the 
Monarchy, was at par, or 27 pence per milreis, and only 
once fell below 20 pence, has now fallen to a fraction over 
10 pence. Nor has it probably by any means touched 
bottom. The cost of this revolution, the third in four 
years, will be enormous directly and indirectly. One can 
but look with apprehension at the large figures of the 
annual interest due to England on account of Capital 
advanced for State and other purposes. Recovery may 
and probably will come in time from the disastrous results 
of the follies of the newly-fledged Republic, and not least of 
all from the indiscriminate and reckless launching in 1891 
of banks, mining companies and industrial syndicates, and 

U 



290 Appendix. 

the indiscriminate sale of Government concessions, con- 
tracts, and lands. But this happy era will only be attained 
when Brazilian politicians and the people generally 
remember that the riches of the country can be developed 
and the national prosperity secured only by putting 
into practice the motto on their standard — " Ordem e Pro- 
gresso." 

C. E. Howard Vincent. 
Rio de Janeiro, October 12th, 1893. 



British Interests in Argentina. 291 



XIII. 

BRITISH COMMERCIAL INTERESTS IN ARGEN- 
TINA. 

Magnitude of British Interests. 

1. British Commercial Interests in The Argentine Re- 
public are colossal. The officially estimated amount of 
Foreign Capital invested in the country comes to a thousand 
millions of gold dollars, or 200,000,000/, sterling. The 
real sum is probably considerably more. Of this external 
concern in the welfare of Argentina, at least three-fourths 
appertain to Great Britain. The whole of the fourteen 
loans contracted by The National Government, amounting 
to 44,000,000/., were with one small exception raised in 
London. From the British Public — mainly, Provincial 
Governments have also obtained over 28,000,000/., and 
Municipal Corporations close upon 5,000,000/. Upwards 
of 70,000,000/. have likewise been advanced for the con- 
struction of railroads, and 10,000,000/. embarked in Indus- 
trial Enterprises. A fair proportion of the loi millions of 
gold dollars (say 20,000,000/.) obtained on supposed mort- 
gages of real estate below value, by so-called Cedulas came 
also from Great Britain, although the loss which will ensue 
has to be shared by continental investors, especially in 
Holland. On the other hand the purchasers of landed 
property in the Republic, and especially of the large holdings, 
have been, and indeed still are, British subjects. In their 
hands too are to a considerable extent concentrated the 
Import and Export Trade, and the reliable Banking and 
other Financial Business. 

Consequent Necessity for Effective Representa- 
tion. 

2. The recognition of these facts not only by the people 
of the United Kingdom, but also by Her Majesty's 

U 2 



292 Appendix. 

Government, in view of the past, present, and future condi- 
tion of affairs, is all-important. The representation of the 
Queen and Her Majesty's subjects should be commensurate 
with the magnitude of BritisTi interests, the number of 
British lives, and the amount of British property at stake. 
It is true that hitherto the '' revolutions/' as the incessant 
Republican contests for Presidential Power are designated, 
and which have been so disastrous to the welfare of the 
country, have not endangered foreigners to any appreciable 
extent. But it is a serious matter that while Argentina is 
in a state of revolution and of siege, while the condition of 
affairs in Uruguay is but little better, the River Plate, filled 
with British merchant shipping, should be left destitute of 
any vessel of Her Majesty's Navy. Events transpire rapidly. 
The unexpected is more certain to occur in South America 
than anywhere else, and I am but giving expression to the 
general feeling prevalent among more than 30,000 British 
subjects in the Republics debouching upon this vast estuary, 
when I say that it should never be left without one of Her 
Majesty's ships of size not inferior to the local vessels of 
war. 



The Foreign Debt. 

3. An arrangement has been entered into for the tem- 
porary reduction of the interest due on the National Loans 
amounting to 2,198,765/. per annum, by 648,000/. a year 
until 1898. This reduced interest, if not indeed the whole 
amount, Argentina is well able to pay. The customs 
Revenue alone should amount to some 3,000,000/. a year 
(the duties averaging 25 per q.qx\.\.. ad valorem^ \i \)XO-^(tx\y 
collected by competent persons effectually controlled, and 
honestly administered, independently of local influences. 
There is fair ground also for hoping that a satisfactory 
arrangement will be made by Dr. Terry, the present capable 
and well-intentioned Minister of Finance, with regard to 
the interest on the 16,000,000/. of Railway Capital guaran- 
teed by the State. But with respect to the Provincial and 
Municipal loans little hope can be held out, and still less 
with regard to the Cedulas. 'J"he three together amount to 
over 50,000,000/., and it will be fortunate if any consider- 
able proportion thereof ever reverts to the investors. 



British Interests in Argentina. 293 

Development of British Interests. 

4 The development of British Interests in Argentina has 
been coeval with the century. In 1804, the genius of Mr. 
Pitt, that great statesman, whose maxim was " British 
Policy is British Trade," foresaw the commercial future 
before South America freed from the Spanish yoke. Had 
more skill and better fortune attended the British arms at 
Buenos Ayres in 1806 and 1807, the Southern continent 
under the Union Jack would long ere this have eclipsed the 
United States in prosperity, and a richer Australia have been 
planted. In 1810, directly after the declaration of inde- 
pendence, English houses established themselves in the 
Argentine. In 18 17 there were twelve, in 1823 thirty-six, 
and in the latter year half the shipping of the River Plate 
was British. The first agricultural immigrants were Irish- 
men, and they amassed considerable fortunes, their descen- 
dants being to-day among the most prosperous " estan- 
^ieros " in the country. In 1854, British trade amounted 
to 2,600,000/, In 1884, Argentina took 4,800,000/. worth 
of British goods, and England imported from the Republic 
1,200,000/. worth. This total has now been nearly doubled. 
Last year, 1892, the Foreign Trade exceeded 204 million 
dollars — export being, for the second time only in eleven 
years, in excess of the import. According to the calcula- 
tions of Mr. Mulhall, the eminent international statistician 
and one of the oldest British residents in the Argentine, 
English trade increased between 1882 and 1892 by 105 per 
cent,, while the whole trade of the Republic increased only 
67 per cent. In the importation of woven and spun fabrics, 
of iron and steel, of building materials, of engines. Great 
Britain is well ahead, and they constitute half the imports. 
This result cannot be regarded otherwise than with satisfac- 
tion. 

Competition of Foreign Nations. 

5. At the same time, it is undeniable that the competi- 
tion of foreign nations for the custom of the Rci)ublic has 
become far keener. The trade of Germany increased 
between 1882 and 1892 by 177 percent., of Italy by 176 
per cent. The total trade, however, of both of these com- 
petitors combined, with the United States and Spain thrown 



294 Appendix, 

in, was less than that of Great Britain. France (the largest 
purchaser from Argentina) comes next to ourselves, with a 
total trade of about 8,000,000/., or one-third behind. It has 
gained, moreover, 29 per cent, in the ten years. I mention 
these circumstances in order to show that while there is 
every necessity for commercial and political vigilance on 
our part, there is no solid ground for the alarm which is 
frequently expressed that the Germans are beating us in 
Argentina. Certain it is that these indefatigable traders 
have made gigantic progress in many markets wherein, 
prior to German unity and the establishment of the German 
Empire, the British held the monopoly. Certain it is that 
by their never-wearying attention to details, to the study of 
local requirements in shapes, patterns, and colours, and 
their obliging readiness to do business in any language, 
currency, system of measurement, or quantity, and for a 
profit, however insignificant, they are absorbing more and 
more of the small trade. But in the major commerce, in 
large transactions requiring capital, in banking and in 
shipping, they arc hardly yet to be considered as serious 
rivals. 



False Marking of Foreign Goods as British. 

6. An allowance from all calculations must, however, be 
made with respect to the total volume of British trade, and 
whether compiled from our own or foreign statistics. This 
is necessitated, first, by a certain quantity of goods being 
unduly attributed to British origin or destination because 
they are conveyed in British ships; and secondly, because 
quantities of foreign-made goods, especially from Germany, 
are falsely marked with British names and trade marks, 
placed thereon either in Germany or England itself, after 
being imported from the Continent plain and unmarked, as 
unwisely permitted by British legislation. On this important 
subject I have addressed a separate communication to the 
Master of the Cutlers' Company, and cannot too earnestly 
commend the taking of prompt action to the early conside- 
ration of the manufacturers of Shefiield and other British 
centres. It is of especially vital importance to the cutlery, 
the iron and steel, and the dry goods trade in Argentina. 



British Interests in Argentina. 295 

British Railways in Argentina. 

7. Nothing has been more advantageous to British export 
to the Argentine than the development of the railway system 
of the Republic. It has, indeed, been overdone, the ac- 
commodation per thousand inhabitants being seven times as 
great as in Europe. Ninety per cent, of the railways belong 
to English companies, and as more than half of the twenty- 
seven have not lately been recovering their expenses, the 
loss is considerable. But improvement is now on the 
upward grade. Competing lines have been sanctioned to a 
ridiculous extent, and parallel roads supported without the 
slightest need by guarantees. Yet in the making of railway 
materials— engines, rolling stock, rails, &c. — British indus- 
try has been a great gainer. In locomotives and rails we 
are still well holding our own ; but in passenger carriages 
(as in reapers, winnowing machines, ploughs, rakes, and 
forks) English manufacture is being eclipsed by .America, 
and by Belgium in the supply of girders, columns, and of 
the thousands of miles of wire needed for the fencing of the 
permanent way, some of the companies, and notably the 
Central Argentine, one of the best managed lines in the 
world, and, 1 believe, the main line to the Pacific, under 
the administration of Mr. Dodds, of Sheffield, are now 
manufacturing for themselves, and will soon be independent 
of import. 

British Shipping. 

8. British shipping carries the greater part of the trade to 
and from Argentine ports. The number of vessels em- 
ployed exceeds that of the entire world outside South 
America, and amounts to between three and four thousand 
a year, and of a burden approaching 3,000,000 tons. It is, 
therefore, of serious moment to find that while the products 
of Argentina are accorded in the United Kingdom precisely 
equal rights to those of Great Britain or Ireland, the English 
flag is deferentially taxed m Argentine waters. A vessel of 
1000 tons register pays under the British flag over 20/. for 
entrance, lights, health, and wharfage dues, against only 
6/. \K^s. under the Argentine colours. It is not to be tole- 
rated that the Union Jack should be thus compulsorily 
withdrawn from British shipping, and it will be interesting 



2q6 Appendix. 

to ascertain if this injustice has been effectively represented 
in the proper quarter. Care also should be taken that the 
interests of British shipping are not prejudiced by the extra- 
ordinary quarantine regulations frequently and capriciously 
enforced. While the utmost sanitary slackness prevails on 
shore, as much in the capital as in the provinces, vessels 
thirty, forty, fifty, and even sixty days out from England, 
with an absolutely clean bill of health, arc subjected to 
long and vexatious quarantine on arrival in the River Plate. 

Agriculture in the Argentine. 

9. The greatest industry in the Argentine Republic is 
agricultural production. Indeed, it is the only one, for the 
total absence of coal, and apparently also of reliable oil 
wells, will for long prohibit any considerable establishment 
of manufacture. There are 22 millions of cattle, 75 millions 
of sheep, 4 millions of horses upon the fertile grass plains 
extending for hundreds of miles from the South Atlantic 
coast to the mountains. They show an enormous increase 
in the past ten years, as much in number as in quality, 
thanks to the importation of the best British blood, and, 
owing to the improved facilities, ox, sheep, or horse can be 
readily transported to Europe without loss of flesh. Kind- 
ness and space on board ship are remunerative. There are 
over 250,000,000 acres of land still to be taken up, and the 
greatest part of the entire area of the Republic is capable of 
transfer from pastoral to arable purposes, and especially to 
wheat cultivation. Fifteen years ago wheat had to be im- 
ported. In 1882 only 30,000 tons could be spared. Last 
year the surplus yield for export amounted to 1,300,000 
tons. 'J'he export of maize, linseed, and flour has also in- 
creased enormously, and that of alfalfa or lucerne, which, 
growing knee high with long roots almost dispensing with 
rain, is becoming very considerable. The harvest now 
almost ready to be reaped will be greater than ever, and 
conduce to railway, industrial, and general prosperity. 
There is no fear of a field, perhaps fifty miles square, being 
spoilt in a night, as in Canada, by a degree of frost. The 
only enemies of the Argentine farmer are drought and 
locusts. The latter constitute fre(]ucntly an army absolutely 
resistless and invincible, carrying everything before them, 



British Interests in Argentina. 297 

devouring every green thing, and bidding man and all his 
machinery stand aside until they have passed. 

Acquisition of Land by Englishmen. 

10. Many of the most successful " estancieros " are 
Englishmen and Scotchmen, while the Irish lead the way. 
The British have bought, and buy, the largest properties. 
Some districts, notably Canada de Gomez, in Santa Fe 
(with a rural polo club of seventy members) are almost 
English. It is not uncommon for property, or even a flock 
or herd, to be farmed in shares — in thirds, fourths, or fifths. 
A share of the proceeds goes to the proprietor, with a 
liberal percentage for his capital ; a share to the manager, 
and a share to the shepherd, his cottage and horses being 
allowed him, and his food from the flock, with what he can 
till. It is a system which produces excellent results for all 
parties, and more especially when vast distances make 
supervision impossible. Great fortunes have been made on 
" estancias," though often lost in other speculations, and a 
return of from 20 to 30 per cent, on the capital laid out is 
not rare. 

The Italians, on the other hand, are becoming possessed 
of small holdings. They have purchased over 16,000 pro- 
perties in the past seven years — about a third more than 
they sold. But the average value of each purchase was a 
little more than a quarter that of the 900 British purchases 
in the same period. 

Foreigners in the Argentine. 

1 1 . This induces inquiry as to the number of foreigners 
in the Republic. The Italian-born population is estimated 
by the Royal legation at about 700,000, and Italian children, 
counted as Argentines by reason of birth in Argentina, at 
from 300,000 to 400,000 more. It furnishes the manual 
labour. Every year a large number of Italians come over 
for the Argentine harvest in the European winter, and return 
home for the Italian spring and summer. The service 
between Genoa and Buenos Ayres is the fastest there is. A 
good proportion remain, and find ready employment on 
the land and the railways. A percentage also become 
''colonists," or small proprietors. The number would be 



29^ Appendix. 

much larger but for the political disquietude and uncertainty. 
It is a striking commentary on the pernicious effect of poli- 
tical turmoils that in 1890 the exodus of immigrants was 
only one-fifth behind the immigration, and in 1891 it was 
actually larger, Argentina has been far less successful than 
she ought to have been in attaching the immigrant to the 
soil of the country of his adoption, and for this squabbling 
politicians are alone to blame. Until greater care is taken 
to protect the foreign purchaser from fraud no great change 
can be looked for in this respect. The Republic may, 
however, be congratulated on tardy evidence of its desire 
to exclude foreign criminality from the territory. The con- 
clusion of an Extradition Treaty with her Majesty's Minister 
and Government, thanks largely to the personal popularity 
in Congressional circles of Mr. George Welby, the Secretary 
of Legation, cannot fail, if actively pursued, to be productive 
of great mutual benefit. 

The Spanish Colony, if '' Colony " it can be called, con- 
sidering that South America was under the Spanish flag for 
centuries, comes next, and after that the French, who 
largely compose the urban tradesman class, and furnish, 
from the Basque provinces, the best shepherds. 

In point of numbers, the British rank but fourth, if indeed 
they do not take place numerically after the Germans. In 
great measure they are of very superior class — wealthy and 
able, at the head of vast enterprises and employing large 
capital. British skilled artisans are also numerous and in 
good demand as engineers, locomotive drivers, and foremen. 
But again, these, brought out on time contracts and gold 
salaries, are carefully selected men and of higher grade than 
the usual emigrant from our overcrowded centres. For him 
there is absolutely no opening in the Argentine Republic. 
The climate, the laws, the customs, the food, the lodging 
and the association are entirely unsuitable, and there are 
but few instances of success. On the other hand, women 
domestic servants are in great demand. But emigration to 
Argentina, except under the auspices of friends in the 
country, is not to be thought of. 

Depreciation of the Currency. 

12. The great obstacle to successful emigration lies in the 
depreciation of the Argentine paper currency — horrible 



British Interests in Argentina. 299 

greasy stuff, tattered, dirty and torn, often carrying, it is said, 
infection in the five or ten cent, note, passing from juxta- 
position to the skin of the beggar, to a person taking change 
in shop or tramcar, which, having regard to the awful paving 
of the streets from one end of South America to the other, is 
the only rational form of town locomotion. This deprecia- 
tion — or rather the premium on gold, is not to be wondered 
at, considering the admitted issue of nearly 307 million 
paper dollars against a gold reserve, the most sanguine esti- 
mate can only put at about half that sum. There are 
national issues, provincial issues, and private bank issues. 
How little confidence the latter at least inspire, is illustrated 
by the refusal of provincial notes at the railway stations and 
post offices of the province itself. 

Contrary to the theories of foreign professors of political 
economy, the reduced value of the paper dollar has neither 
augmented wages, nor the cost of living. A paper dollar, 
depreciated between 200 and 300 per cent., secures now 
very nearly as much labour and as much food as it did when 
it was at, or nearly at, par. The unfortunate emigrant only 
realizes the terrible difference, when desirous of converting 
the paper savings — the Italian can generally scrape together 
while the Englishman spends — into a European equivalent to 
send or take home. 

The premium on gold is, moreover, of the greatest advan- 
tage to agriculturists. They pay for their labour, their food, 
and indeed for their holdings in depreciated paper, and they 
receive gold for their exported herds and crops. Its reduc- 
tion would be firmly resisted by every possible means, and 
if sudden or violent, would entail serious disaster. 

To the merchant, however, the result is very different. 
He has to pay gold for the foreign produce he imports, and 
he can obtain only with difficulty its equivalent in paper 
when he sells. The people do not understand why he 
should ask so many more " nationals " or paper dollars than 
formerly for this or that article, and dispense with it rather 
than pay the apparently enhanced price. The unaccount- 
able fluctuation in the premiums are also productive of much 
speculation and great risk. There will be a difference of 
ten or twenty points in a few days or hours, and the utmost 
caution is necessary to avoid less. 



300 Appendix. 

Great Problem of the Future. 

13. It will be gathered that the great problem before the 
Argentine Republic is the fast-increasing numerical and 
other superiority of the foreigner. There has not been any 
census for several years. But there can be no doubt what- 
ever that fully one-half, and probably more of the four 
millions of people in a land ten times the size of the United 
Kingdom, are either foreigners or the children of foreigners, 
or of mixed marriages. This is proved by various circum- 
stances. Of the births in the capital, containing an eighth 
of the whole population, purely Argentine marriages were in 
1 89 1 only 14^ per cent, of the whole, and the births arising 
from such marriages only io\ per cent. The transfers of 
property from Argentines to foreigners are increasing. But 
'it.w of the native landholders can resist the temptation to 
break up their estates. The Argentine is withdrawing every 
day more and more from industry and commerce. The 
capable upper class and the steady business people will 
have nothing to do with politics or the government of the 
country. This is unfortunate and lamentable, for it places 
political power largely in the hands of uneducated men, 
striving by every means, legitimate or otherwise, after their 
own ends. The people at large take little or no interest in 
public affairs. But a minute percentage concern themselves 
in elections, recognizing that under a democratic Republic 
considerable risk attends the exercise of the privilege of 
citizenship. The official mandate practically runs : "If the 
Government candidate is not returned by votes, let him be 
by bullets." Many think that foreign interests are too di- 
vided for any action on their part. Foreigners of all nations 
have up to the present wisely held aloof from Argentine politi- 
cal disputes, and in return they have not been seriously preju- 
diced either in person or individual property. But already 
there are signs of a coming change. The Italians are get- 
ting very strong, and they are absolutely indispensable to the 
cvery-day life of the community. If anything should occur, 
an act of injustice on the part of a petty judge, or the 
violence of an over-zealous policeman, a light may be set to 
a flame which will burn far and fiercely. The Italians, the 
English, and the Germans have interests in common, and 
they are shared by the French. Everything points to a 



British Interests in Argentina. 301 

union in the future, and especially between England, Ger- 
many, and Italy, in South America as in Europe, for the 
good of mankind in general, and themselves in particular. 

Conclusion. — Consular Commercial Reports. 

14. In conclusion, I must refer to the reports on the 
Argentine Repubhc, drawn up by Mr. Harris Gastrell, Vice- 
Consul at Buenos Ayres. They are full of valuable infor- 
mation, and have been prepared and published when it is 
still fresh. The advancement of an officer so zealous in the 
discharge of the duty towards British trade of Pier Majesty's 
representatives abroad may be hoped for. 

C. E. Howard Vincent. 

Mendoza, November 6th, 1893. 



302 Appendix, 



XIV. 
BRITISH TRADE IN CHILI. 

Difference between Chili and other South 
American Republics. 

1. There is a great difference between Chili and the 
other Republics of South America. The latter are for the 
most part content to leave the development of their natural 
resources to foreigners, especially to English capital, and 
then to scramble out of the financial engagements con- 
tracted in any way they possibly can. The Chilian, on the 
other hand, is distinguished by a laudable feeling of 
personal independence. He is anxious to do what he can 
for himself. The organization of the country may still 
leave much to be desired. But Chili resembles England 
in more ways than one. Two generations have seen only a 
single "revolution." President Balmaceda thought, after 
his five years of legal office were up in 1891, to become 
dictator after the manner of South American Presidents. 
He was overthrown by Congress and a free nation after a 
sharp struggle. Chilian senators — elected in the proportion 
of one for every three deputies and a third retiring every 
second year, and Chilian deputies, elected triennially in the 
proportion of one lor every 30,000 inhabitants, are not paid, 
and do not pay themselves in accordance with the usage of 
other democratic Republics. A " Walker " and a 
" Maciver," worthy sons of British parents, are proud to be 
Chilians, and respectively to lead the Conservative and 
Liberal parties on constitutional lines, and alternately to 
form ministries responsible, as with us, to Parliament, 
instead of to a Presidential autocrat. 

The National Debt. 

2. The lack of capital in Chili has been largely sui)plied 
from England, with satisfactory results, for the credulity of 



British Trade in Chih. 303 

the British investor has not been unduly taken advantage 
of, by the State at least. The Government loans are but 
five in number, and for only fifty-five million dollars, 
constituting an annual charge of two million dollars. For 
every farthing there is good value to show in the shape of 
1 106 kilometres of State railways, costing fifty-nine million 
dollars and bringing in a gross revenue of ten million 
dollars, notwithstanding exceedingly cheap fares and 
moderate rates. England overcame the engineering diffi- 
culties and supplied most of the plant. It is only now 
that Chilian drivers are taking the place of Englishmen, 
and it is proving a rather false economy in burnt boilers and 
tubes. 

Internal Debt. 

3. The Internal Debt amounts to fifty-three million 
dollars, which about represents the issue of State paper. 

Excessive Depreciation of the Currency. 

4. Notwithstanding the additional issues by forty banks 
(some of which are about to be amalgamated) otan aggregate 
of 1 1 5 million dollars' worth of notes, these figures compare 
so favourably with the financial condition of other South 
American Republics, and especially with the Trans-Andean 
External National Debt of 205 million dollars, and the 
Internal Debt of 307 million dollars, that the greater 
depreciation of the Chilian unit (it stands at about 16^/. or 
nearly 300 per cent, discount) is difficult to understand. 
There are, moreover, no Provincial State Loans, which in 
the Argentine amount to 143 million dollars, for the 
Republic of Chili does not consist of a Federation of semi- 
antagonistic States, but is like the United Kingdom, one 
and indivisible. 

Redemption of Paper. 
A law has, moreover, been passed for the total re- 
demption of the State paper on January ist, 1897, and the 
necessary machinery for the Mint has already been 
ordered. Already the small pieces up to 20 cents, are 
metallic. It is necessary, however, to add that the carrying 
out of the Statute will not be accomplished without great 
opposition, and especially on the part of the powerful 
agricultural interest, which is profiting largely by the low 



304 Appendix. 

rate of wages in national paper, and the profit resulting 
from export receipts in gold. 

External Trade. 

5, The external trade amounted in 1892 to 142 million 
dollars, divided into 78 millions (say 12,250,000/.) of 
imports, and 64 millions (say 10,000,000/.) of exports. 
These figures show an improvement over 1890, and a very 
considerable one over 1891, the year of the x'lnti-Dictator 
tussle costing the nation 72 million dollars. 

Britishers to the Front. 

6. The greater part of the foreign trade passes through 
Valparaiso, with the exception of the export of nitrate of 
soda. The Britishers are well represented at this splendid 
port, yielding precedence on the Pacific only to San 
Francisco, not only in ships, 465 of 588,000 tons, out of 
1258 of 1,343,000 tons, but numerically and in the 
Consulate-General. The British chaplain even takes an 
active and intelligent interest in the trade of his congrega- 
tion. Holding the most reliable census tally, namely the 
cemetery gate, he is able to gauge rightly the frequent 
assertion that the Germans are ousting the English, 
notwithstanding that the great business firms of the latter 
occupy house after house, and their language is heard 
almost exclusively. There are about 100 deaths a year 
among foreign Protestants — 50 are German, 40 are English, 
and 10 of other nationalities. The excess is entirely due to 
the greater proportion of German clerks. They are 
diligent and painstaking, good linguists, and disdaining 
recreation. Their high-spirited English colleagues are 
said, on the other hand, to prefer polo, tennis and cricket 
to the desk. In these they excel, and certainly the clerk 
leads a princely life to that he would follow at home. It 
ensures the good health necessary for posts of administrative 
res]jonsibility, and from the hands of all nations these go in 
lion's share to Englishmen who will keep steady, and master 
foreign languages. 

British Imports and Exports, 
7. 'I'he jjrincipal British imports are i)rinted white and 
unbleached cotton goods, woollens, carpets, hardware, 



British Trade in Chili, 305 

cutlery, rails and railroad iron, coal, candles, tea, boots and 
shoes, beer and spirits. They compose half of the whole 
trade. The principal Chilian exports are nitrate of soda 
(5,000,000/.), wheat (1,000,000/.), iodine (800,000/.), bar 
gold (100,000/.) and silver and copper each (800,000/.) and 
manganese. Three-fourths go, in the first instance, at any 
rate, to Great Britain. These facts show the close con- 
nection between the United Kingdom and Chili, The 
mutual trade has formed the subject of an important 
monograph by Senator Agostin Ross, late Minister to the 
Republic in London. Any proposition having its further 
development in view would probably be well received at 
Santiago de Chile, the finest city for its population (200,000) 
in South America, by the most sympathetic, capable, and 
stable government on the continent. 

Customs Duties. 

8. Indirect taxation is, in accordance with the rule of 
the universe, outside the United Kingdom, naturally 
preferred. The import duties press, however, heavily on many 
British industries. For instance, upon a case of Sheffield 
cutlery, worth 170 dollars 10 cents, they work out as 
follows : — 

35 per cent, (some kinds are 25 per cent.) 
on $1 70 10 cents ... ... ... $59.54 



75 per cent, of $59*54 in paper money ... $4465 
35 „ additional duty ... ... i5'i2 

Total duty $5977 

Add 25 per cent, on $59*54 $14 89. 

This is payable in gold at the rate of 38-/. 
per dollar, and after Jan. ist, 1894, it 
will be increased to 50 per cent. ... 35.08 

And 

Permits and Stamps ... ... , . 2-50 

Discharging and labourers ... ... 2*80 

Cartage and Despatching Fees 3'oo 

Total Customs Dues ... $io4T5 
or nearly 6/. 



3o6 Appendix. 

The increase of the payment in gold is especially serious 
for British trade. There is, however, the slight consolation 
that machinery for use in agriculture, mining, and other 
industries is admitted free, as well as electrical and railway 
plant, or about a fourth of the whole. 

Customs Revenue. 

g. The Revenue from Customs Duties amounted in 
1892 to nearly 48 million dollars, or eight times the total 
from the same source in 1878, the year antecedent to the 
war with Peru and Bolivia. The calculations of Seiior 
Graiia show that Chili has proved anew that " trade follows 
the flag." The Peruvian war gave Chili the new ports of 
Iquique, Antofogasta, Pisagua, Tocopilla, and temporarily, 
if not permanently, Arica. The four first-named produced 
in the tenth year of possession a trade of 50 million 
dollars, and a fiscal revenue in 1892 of 28^ million dollars, 
compared to only 19 million dollars from all the old ports. 

Chilian Military Expenditure. 

10. There is indeed ground to fear that this gigantic 
commercial success, by force of arms, may unduly excite 
the naturally bellicose disposition of the Chilian, and 
especially in view of the martial weakness and internal 
discord of his neighbours. The expenses of the army and 
navy are ever increasing, and already exceed 15 million 
dollars a year, or one-third of the total expenditure. The 
nation numbers 1,300,000 males, and from these are 
voluntarily recruited three regiments of artillery, six of 
infantry, four of cavalry, and a corps of engineers, a total 
of 6000 men for a population of three millions, of whom 
700,000 only can read and write. There is also a National 
Guard, consisting of 51,000 men in 78 corps. The officers, 
who are elsewhere in South America such a disquieting 
element, are less numerous than in other Republics. The 
generals are limited to ten, the colonels to fifty-eight. The 
Chilian navy consists of six first-class and six second-class 
vessels, with ten torpedo boats, the whole manned by 2050 
sailors, with 189 officers. A new 6000 ton armour-clad 
is under orders from France, and the rS steamers of the 



British Trade in Chili. 307 

Chilian Steamship Company (Sud-Americana) are available 
in case of need, receiving to that end a yearly subsidy of 
200,000 dollars. The coasts are being fortified under the 
direction of Colonel Betzbold, late of the Prussian 
Engineers. 

Steam Communication on the Pacific. 

11. It may be mentioned that the Compania Sud-Ameri- 
cana de Vapores, above-mentioned, monopolizes with the 
Pacific Steam Navigation Company the coast trade between 
Valparaiso and Panama. There are no other means of 
communication between the nineteen ports. The coast is 
for the large part of the distance a rainless desert, but rich 
in metals. Every article of food has to be brought by sea. 
The fares and rates are enormous, and the profits in 
proportion. Three weeks are taken by each vessel to get 
over 2800 miles, and there should be room for a quick 
competing service running in connection with the Mexican, 
American, British, French, and Spanish mails from both 
sides of the Isthmus of Panama. 

The Nitrate Fields. 

12. The Chilian shareholders in the Sud-Americana, who 
employ English officers and engineers almost exclusively, 
do not naturally object to yearly dividends, ranging between 
25 and 50 per cent. But so.iie of them seek to inspire the 
Chilian people with a feeling of jealousy towards the few 
profitable British ventures in the nitrate fields of Tarapacd. 
Since they were won from Peru in 1880, 367 million dollars' 
worth of nitrate of soda and iodine have been produced, at 
a profit to the Chilian Treasury of 161 million dollars. 
This result has been mainly brought about by the outlay of 
10,000,000/. of British money. The investments, taken as 
a whole, have produced and produce but an infinitesimal 
return. Very few of the over-numerous nitrate mills are 
paying a dividend to their shareholders. They were greatly 
over-capitalized, and are weighed down by the enormous 
Government duty of 2/. 12.C. dd. a ton, or over 100 per cent, 
on the cost of production. It yielded in 1892, 2,000,000/., 
on an export of about 800,000 tons, valued at 5,000,000/. 
Instead of taking up an attitude of hostility to the nitrate 

X 2 



3o8 Appendix. 

manufacturers, which cannot fail to close the door against 
future British individual investment, the Government might 
well show practical sympathy with the heavy losses which 
have occurred, and concern itself with the preservation of 
the supply of nitrate of soda, and all it brings to the State, 
for the unworked extent of the fields is already more than 
doubtful. 

Chilian Mineral Resources. 

13. Chill has, however, one great advantage over her 
agricultural ally on the Atlantic. It lies not only in the 
possession of a vast mineral zone, producing gold, silver, 
and copper, with an invaluable mining population, but also 
in coal, permitting the successful establishment of manu- 
facture. Chilian coal is used on the railways and the ocean, 
although somewhat foul and barely able to compete in 
price with English and Australian, cheaply sea borne as 
ballast for nitrate- fetching vessels. Captain Wonham, 
commanding H.M. Store Ship Liffey at this port 
(Coquimbo), has for instance 5000 tons of Welsh steam 
coal available for Her Majesty's ships on the station at 
about 25J-. a ton. 

Conclusion, 

14. It remains only to be added that the British Colony 
in Chili numbers between 5000 and 6000 persons, and, so 
far as Europe is concerned, is exceeded only by the 
Germans, and that slightly. British trade shows a steady 
improvement, and is vastly ahead of every other nation. 
The external relations of the Republic appear to give rise 
to no present apprehension. The boundary questions with 
Argentina have been satisfactorily settled, and in a few 
years the English railway over the Cordillera may perhaps 
l)e completed, and an Atlantic outlet given to the Republic, 
which can hardly fail to continue to prosper, and so justify 
the confidence which has always been reposed by England 
in Chilian honour and common sense. 

C. E. Howard Vincent. 

Coquimbo, 

West Coast of South America, 
November 17th, 1893. 



British Interests in Peru. 309 



XV. 
BRITISH INTERESTS IN PERU. 

Decadence of Peru. 

1. Peru was the prosperous seat for centuries of the great 
Empire in South America of the Incas. Then for three 
hundred years it was the capital province of the Spanish 
Dominions. To Peru came the produce of Europe. By 
Peru went out the riches of the continent. It was the 
great distributing centre. But now Peru has fallen from 
her high estate. The transition from Chili is great. It is 
another country, another race. The vigorous independence 
of the one is succeeded by the supine indifference of the 
other. The fault lies in the Government ; but most of all 
in the people who make, or rather tolerate, such a Govern- 
ment. The letter of the Constitution declares it to be 
" democratic, representative, and based on unity." It is so 
in name only. In practice the Government is autocratic, 
dictatorial, founded in revolution, and based only on 
presidential unity. 

Despotism of the Army. . 

2. The power for such an interpretation of a Republican 
sovereignty is derived from the Army. For external war- 
fare, for territorial defence, it has been proved valueless. 
The Chilian swept all before him. Many a brave Peruvian 
was driven into the sea, owing to chiefs taking no precau- 
tions to secure their flanks or rear. The Army now con- 
sists of a brigade of artillery, three regiments of cavalry, and 
six of infantry — recruited by conscription with a Reserve 
formed of all Peruvians. The standing force is not exces- 
sive in numbers. But it is ill equipped and disciplined. A 
scarcity of officers it cannot complain of. The Peruvian 
loves gold lace and red trousers. There are reputed to be 
three hundred unemployed colonels. Certainly the officers 



3IO Appendix. 

swarm in the capital. They are a constant danger to tran- 
quillity and civil order, zealous in their cause, not scrupu- 
lous in their methods. The Presidency becomes vacant 
next June. Their candidate is General Caceres, formerly 
President and Commander-in-Chief. They will probably 
carry him against the Congressional candidate, the Presi- 
dent of the Chamber of Deputies, and the popular candi- 
date, Sefior Don Nicolas de Pierola, formerly Dictator. 
At the present time the victory of the military or stronger 
party may possibly be advantageous to Peru and her 
European friends. 

The Peruvian Congress. 

3. There is no difficulty in manning the Senate and the 
House of Representatives. Every department returns one 
or more senators, according to the number of provinces of 
which it consists. Each province returns a deputy for 
every 30,000 inhabitants. Every senator and deputy 
receives his journey expenses, and 1350 silver sols from 
the State in three equal instalments, at the commencement, 
in the middle, and at the end of each session. That a 
recipient may never be lacking owing to death or other 
disability, a supplementary senator and deputy is selected 
for each seat, who instantly fills the gap. One-third of 
each House is renewed every two years, but less by the 
voice of the people than by the will of the prefects and 
sub-prefects presiding over departments and provinces, 
and Governors over districts, at the word of the President. 
Peruvians of position or engaged in commerce give politics 
in consequence a wide berth, and personally they are wise. 
Others are of small account in a " republican democracy." 



The Peruvian Deht and Peruvian Corporation. 

4. In two respects Peru is superior to other South 
American Republics. She has made an honourable 
arrangement as regards her external debt, largely owing to 
the effoits of General Caceres when President. The 
Republic has but to keep to it honourably. By the exer- 
tions of Mr. Michael Grace — of the firm of Grace, Brothers 
and Co. — the leading house along the Pacific coast, and 



British Interests in Peru. 31 1 

Lord Donoughmore, the Peruvian Government transferred 
its entire liability in respect of the three loans contracted 
in England in 1S69, i8yo, and 1872, to the Peruvian Cor- 
poration. In capital amount and interest the total came to 
50,000,000/. From their charge Peru obtained complete 
exemption, ceding in return to the Corporation ten State 
railways, wildly and extravagantly built under sinister 
American advice ; the guano deposits remaining after un- 
toward French manipulation ; the monopoly of navigation 
on Lake Titicaca, the main approach to Bolivia, sundry 
coast rights and public lands, and 80,000/. a year, in 
monthly payments, from the Customs receipts at Callao. 
The Corporation, under the able direction of Mr. Clinton 
Dawkins, is discharging its duties admirably, and has ful- 
filled all its obligations under the contract. Several new 
branches of traffic are springing up, the lines have been 
thoroughly repaired and pushed forward into the rich coffee 
lands on the Amazonian slopes of the Cordillera. Thus, 
great benefits will accrue to Peru if there be cordial co- 
operation between the Government and the Corporation. 
It is unfortunate that the fall in silver should have so de- 
preciated the fiscal receipts as to frustrate the intention to 
meet the monthly cash payment in full. But no doubt 
mutual concessions will be satisfactorily arranged.' 

Peruvian Currency. 

5. The second advantage secured by Peru over her 
neighbours lies in the possession of a silver currency com- 
pared to a paper issue against value too often fictitious. 
The silver crisis has, it is true, depreciated the value of the 
Peruvian sol, and ten now go to the English sovereign 
instead of about six. This is untov.-ard for the importer, 
whose rural customers cannot understand his altered charges, 
and dispense wiih his goods. But as elsewhere it is 
favourable to the exporter and to Englishmen engaged on 
contracts in Peru, among whom are many railway men who 
find the purchasing power of Peruvian money as regards 
domestic necessaries as great as ever. 

There is also an Internal Debt of about forty million sols, 
contracted by various Presidents, to meet the coupons of 

' This has now been accomplished. 



3 1 2 Appendix, 

which, some of the Customs receipts from alcohol and 
other matters are nominally allotted. 



Area of Peru and the Provinces in abeyance. 

6. Peru is estimated to contain over 400,000 square miles, 
and a population of 2,650,000. But these figures will be 
affected by the almost certain loss of the two provinces of 
Tacna and Arica in the course of next year. By the peace 
with Chili that Republic was to hold them until March, 
1894, when a popular vote should be taken to decide their 
fate — the victor at the poll paying ten million sols to the 
loser. But in the absence of any power on the part of 
Peru to find the money, Chili will probably not feel bound 
by the conditions involving a probable loss, as Peruvian 
patriotism is sure to gain the day over self-interest. There 
is a talk of securing the good will of Bolivia, by giving her 
this one outlet to the coast in exchange for some other 
territory. But whether Chili will admit an inland State to 
the Pacific shore is doubtful. 



Import Trade. 

7. The statistics compiled under circumstances of no 
little difficulty by Seiior Don Quesada, proprietor and 
editor of the leading paper, " El Commercio," and by 
Seiior Don Rodriquez in a noteworthy official publication, 
show that in 1891 the import trade of Peru exceeded 
15,000,000 sols, or about i sol, 84 cents (say 3^. 9</.) per 
inhabitant. Foreign goods paid an average duty of 395- 
per cent, ad valorem, and produced a customs revenue of 
about five million sols, say 500,000/. Over forty-one per 
cent, of the imports came from the United Kingdom, and 
they provided two-fifths of the fiscal income. 

These figures are satisfactory as regards our rivals, for 
the imports from Germany came only to 18.8 per cent, of 
the whole; from France only to 10.3 percent.; and from 
the United States to but just over 8 per cent. They are 
less so, however, as regards ourselves, for in 1870 British 
trade with Peru amounted to 6,700,000/., and in 1891 to 
less than one-third of that sum. 



British Interests in Perti. 313 

Export Trade. 

8. In the export trade Great Britain is the best friend 
of Peru. The total came in 1891 to 12^370,000 sols, and 
of this England bought to the extent of 469 per cent, of 
the whole, while Germany took but 8 per cent., and France 
2 per cent. The chief articles of Peruvian export are 
sugar, cotton, wool, hides, and minerals. The latter 
include gold, silver, and copper. In 1891 ten million 
kilogrammes were exported, valued at 2,000,000 sols and 
paying Customs tribute of §35,000. Soon, under the 
influence of the Peruvian Corporation, this source of 
revenue will be greatly increased. Mineral oil is also being 
found in abundance. Already it furnishes the motive 
power for the railways, notwithstanding average gradients 
of 3I to 4 per cent, at half the price of coal. Coftee and 
cocoa are being planted and should do as well as in Brazil 
and Ecuador. 

Shipping. 

9. In shipping Great Britain is of course pre-eminent. 
Half the vessels entering the excellent port of Callao are 
British. The Chilian flag comes next, but in many cases 
that is the principal Chilian article on board. The ship is 
British built, the officers British, the stores British, and not 
improbably the cargo, besides the capital behind the flag. 

British Advancement of Local Interests. 

10. It is only natural that occasionally a little feeling 
may be aroused by this predominance. It has, however, 
on the whole, been of immense local advantage. In many 
instances the British residents have as great interest in the 
development of the locality of their adoption as if they 
were native born. They show it by munificent charitable 
donations from their earnings. In Valparaiso the Chilian 
Government, and in Lima and Callao the Peruvian Govern- 
ment, have recognized it by nominating British subjects to 
seats on the municipality. The good they have already 
been able to accomplish is considerable. May Buenos 
Ayres and other towns follow so excellent an example ! I 
nothing else is done they will be able to show their colleagues 



3 1 4 Appendix. 

the imperative need of sanitation, and that good roads are 
at the root of prosperity, and of humanity towards that 
animal life, whose sufferings in Spanish America cannot be 
described. 



Iron and Steel in Central and South America.' 

II. Whichever way you turn in South America, British 
iron and steel meets the view. In every direction wasted 
British treasure is apparent. It is most conspicuous in the 
Argentine Republic. Brazil follows suit, and one trembles- 
for the 100,000,000/. of British capital in that once pros- 
perous empire, but now fast-decaying republic. How so 
many millions of savings could have been embarked on the 
faith of Governments so rickety, of Provincial Administra- 
tions so unsound, of Municipal Corporations so imaginary, 
to carry out the most ridiculous schemes, is a perpetual 
source of wonder to the traveller. It is to be hoped in 
charity that issuing-houses and boards of directors were 
equally ignorant, and that the blind only led the blind. But 
one result has been achieved, and one solid result remains. 
Some portion of the scattered millions found their way into 
British factories, some portion, in the shape of wages, into 
the hands of British ironworkers and artisans. Fully 75 per 
cent, of the lines laid down in South America were railed and 
equipped in the first instance from England, and this was at 
least a real and substantial advantage. In many cases this 
outlay is the only sensible thing connected with the com- 
panies, and represents the greater part of the available assets. 
It is interesting, therefore, to inquire in what position the 
British iron and steel trade stands at the present time in the 
South American market. 

In every case the Custom-house returns give an advan- 
tage still to England, sometimes great and preponderant, 
but showing in almost every republic the gradual advance of 
our most formidable competitors — tlie United States and 
Germany. Occasionally here and there is a railway, the con- 
cession for which was obtained in France, and occasionally 
in this or that town there is a French designed and French 
made bridge. But it is seldom. Great Britain, the United 

' Abbreviated from an article written for The Ironmonger. 



Iron and Steel in South A 7nerica. 3 1 5 

States and Germany are the only rivals in the iron race — 
barring that Belgian supply of columns and girders which is 
met with to so large and regrettable an extent at home. 

The railways, almost without exception, have been con- 
ceived by Englishmen, designed by Englishmen, and engi- 
neered by Englishmen. In equal degree they are to-day 
being managed by Englishmen, even when the original con- 
ception chances, unfortunately for the country, to be Ameri- 
can or of other nationality. This was highly advantageous 
to the British iron and steel trade. An Englishman at home 
frequently buys foreign-made goods without thought or 
regret. But expatriation sharpens his patriotism. He is 
more English than at home, and likes to be surrounded by 
materials reminding him of the old country, and on the sub- 
stantiality of which he can rely. 

On some lines American locomotives are used ; but by 
far the greater number of railroad-engines seem to be, or 
to have originally been, British made, at Leeds and 
Glasgow. 

It should be borne in mind that, although locomotives are 
free of Customs duty by nearly every tariff, privileged im- 
portation entails so much difficulty with authorities strug- 
gling for every cent, which can be fiscally raised, that all the 
important lines, and, indeed, most of the others, have com- 
menced to manufacture largely for themselves, and to build 
and repair their own locomotives and rolling-stock. The 
Central Argentine shops are the best I have seen, and on a 
very large scale. 

In every case the superintendents, foremen, and many of 
the artisans are English. The two former are usually brought 
out on time contracts for two or three years — the foremen 
receiving from 15/. to 22/. a month. As regards the ordi- 
nary mechanics, there are plenty to be had of English as well 
as other nationalities without time engagements. A good 
man will easily earn from 8x. to \\s. a day, while living is 
very cheap and better than at home. But the great temp- 
tation is as to drink. In many yards and on many farm 
stations the Englishman has established a woeful reputation 
for his countrymen as regards sobriety. 

In agricultural machinery there can be little doubt that 
the Americans have got well ahead with their comparatively 
cheap, light, attractive implements. Indeed, it wuuld appear 



3 1 6 Appendix. 

that, although Howards, Hornsbys, and some other great 
English firms show no lack of advertising enterprise, they 
hold their own more with threshing machines than anything 
else. As regards reapers, winnowing and sowing machines, 
ploughs, rakes, and forks, the Americans gain ground every 
day, and have almost established a monoply. This is the 
opinion of Drysdales, Shaw Brothers, and other important 
firms at Buenos Ayres, while it is evident that Grace 
Brothers, with their chain of houses on the Pacific, and 
Messrs. Agar, in the Argentine, who mainly import from the 
United States, are doing an enormous business. It appears 
that the majority of English makers adhere, and, perhaps, 
wisely, to their system of turning out a really first-rate, strong, 
durable article, but far heavier than the American. But it 
should be borne in mind that in South America, of all places 
in the world, capital is scanty, and the great aim of one and 
all is to make money quickly and " clear out." This applies 
to the colonies too, where I have noticed the growing popu- 
larity of cheap and showy American implements. 

In cutlery Sheffield wares and Sheffield trade-marks are 
predominant in every town and village. But not infrequently 
it is evident that the knife on which they are stamped never 
passed through the hands of a Hallamshire grinder. Ger- 
many is the great sinner in this respect, and Solingen the 
locus delicti. I am urging the Cutlers' Company to appoint, 
if only for a time, a travelling inspecting agency, with autho- 
rity to set in motion the local laws in this respect, which 
even in Peru are more up to date than in most of the great 
countries who send diplomatic delegates to an International 
Industrial Convention, and do nothing further to promote 
honest trading. It must be admitted, too, that the Germans 
are very ingenious in " getting up " their cutlery, in the shape 
and finish, in the carding or casing, and produce a very 
plausible-looking article at an extraordinarily low price. That 
the edge turns and the steel breaks in a few days is a secon- 
dary consideration. The low purse is tempted by cheap- 
ness, and in the wholesale show-room I have seen the real 
and the false side by side. 

I am bound, however, to add that while this increasing 
German competition is the bogie of every British merchant 
in South America, my own observation induces the belief 
that it is much exaggerated. Careful examination of the 



Iron and Steel in South America. 3 1 7 

customs and shipping returns shows this. It is corroborated 
by the use of one's eyes in the shop-windows and upon the 
table of every hotel or restaurant. Verification, too, of the 
alleged German population in a place has more than once re- 
duced it by one-half. It is certain, however, that the advance 
made by Germany in her foreign trade since she became a 
first-class empire with a strong foreign policy, and Ministers 
and Consuls protecting German trade, has been enormous. 
In the good old days, before the conclusion of the Franco- 
German war, and thecommercialdevelopment in the United 
States after the civil war, we had these markets all to our- 
selves, and it is but natural that the old-established houses 
should lament the new era of competition on every hand in 
every line. It demands the exercise of the keenest vigilance, 
the greatest activity, the forcing of our goods through hostile 
duties by every possible means, and not least of all, the 
employment of energetic travellers of courteous manners, 
knowing at least three languages, and most especially Spanish, 
both colloquial and epistolary, and remunerated rather by 
a very liberal commission on results, than by daily allow- 
ance. 

There is now no personal risk anywhere in South America, 
despite daily "revolutions" in one republic or another, to 
the foreigner, who takes ordinary precautions, is civil, and 
does not interfere with local affairs. 

C. E. Howard Vincent. 

Panama, Dec. 8, 1893. 



3 1 8 Appendix. 



XVI. 
THE PANAMA CANAL. 

T. The attention of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce 
having been drawn to the subjoined notice placed on the 
Order Book of the House of Commons, 

To ask the Under Secretary of State for' Foreign Affairs, if, having 
regard to the development of British commercial interests in Central 
and South America likely to ensue from water communication being 
established through the Isthmus of Panama, Her Majesty's Government 
would be disposed to favouraVjly entertain an invitation from the French 
Republic to the Great Maritime Powers to join with her in determining, 
by means of an international Technical Commission, the possih)ility of 
continuing the canal works through the opposing Cordillera, and thus 
completing the remaining portion of this vast undertaking abandoned 
Ijy the original Panama Canal Company now in liquidation ; • 

the following note was furnished of the facts concerning 
the magnificent efforts of the French people to connect the 
Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific through the Isthmus of 
Panama, for the good of International Commerce. 

Trade Communication via Panama. 

2. It is true that the plans made for a sufficient sojourn 
on the Isthmus in order fully to study local conditions were 
shattered by quarantine and other misfortunes. But thanks 
to Mr. Claude Mallet, Her Majesty's Consul at Panama, to 
Mr. Frederick Leay, Her Majesty's Consul at Colon, to the 
Hon. Secretary of the British Charnhjer of Commerce in 
Paris, to the courtesy of the Liquidators and Mandataire 
appointed by the French Courts, and the official documents 
placed at my disposal, I am able to give a general account 
of this wonderful enterprise, its past history, present ron- 
dition, and future prospects. 

It may be well recorded in passing, that the Spaniards, in 

' The necessary answer of the Government was that until a com- 
munication was received from France on the subject it would be 
jiremature to express any opinion. 



The Panama Canal. 3 1 9 

the early days of their American conquests, saw the vast 
influence to be exercised by the Isthmus Pass on inter- 
national trade. More than one English filibustering 
expedition was directed to the narrow strip of land 
separating the two mightiest oceans of the globe. In 1836 
the Government of His late Majesty King William IV. 
directed the attention of the British merchants in Peru and 
Chili to the importance of establishing communication 
with Europe via Panama. Its meetings assembled under 
the presidency of His Majesty's Consuls, the standard 
bearers of British trade on that distant sea-board expressed 
" respectful gratitude for such an unequivocal proof of the 
anxiety of His Majesty's Government to promote by every 
proper means the commercial interests of Great Britain, 
and unanimously concurred in the almost incalculable 
advantages and benefits likely to accrue from the establish- 
ment of the projected intercourse via Panama." 

The Pacific Steam Navigation Company, running from 
the Bay of Panama to Valparaiso, and thence by Cape 
Horn to England, was an early result, and it still pursues a 
prosperous course. The next development was undertaken 
by American hands. In 1849 the State of New York 
authorized Mr. William Aspinwall and others to form a 
company for the construction of a railroad across the 
Isthmus. It was duly built, and still constitutes the only 
means of communication. 

The Panama Canal Company. 

3. In 1876 the success of the Suez Canal directed the 
attention of those concerned in it to Panama. M. Bona- 
parte Wyse obtained a concession for making a canal from 
the United States of Colombia. In 1S79 it was transferred 
to M. Ferdinand de Lesseps, who visited the Isthmus with 
a large staff. Under date November 15th, 1880, he 
addressed an open letter to France, and therein an- 
nounced : — 

{a) That a Technical Commission had declared a canal 
to l3e practicable. 

(/;) That the Suez Canal contractors had undertaken the 
work for 500 million francs. 

(r) That a Share Capital of 300 million francs and a 
Debenture issue of 200 million francs would be sufiicienl. 



320 Appendix. 

(d) That a traffic of 6 million tons a year, yielding a 
revenue of 90 million francs, could be relied upon. 

{e) That the annual maintenance of the canal would not 
exceed 35 million francs, and that 80 per cent, of the 
balance would suffice to give 11^ per cent, on the invest- 
ment, 5 per cent, being paid during construction. 

Unfortunately this statement of affairs involved a spon- 
taneous reduction on the cost estimated by the International 
Commission, of 1500 million francs. But the French 
public seeing the Suez Canal receipts increase eightfold 
between 1870 and 1880, and the Founders' Shares of 200/. 
quoted at 15,000/. (now worth 60,000/.) threw their savings 
into the venture. The 600,000 shares of 500 francs each 
were eagerly subscribed in March, 1881, and by further 
issues no less than 1,335,565,700 francs were altogether 
obtained, or in round numbers 53,000,000/. sterling. The 
work was to be completed in twelve years, and by 1884 the 
Colombian Government was advised that one-third had 
been finished, and two years later one-half. Possession was 
thereupon given of a portion of the land included in the 
Concession. 

Difficulties of the Company. 

4. The difficulties which forced the Company to suspend 
payment in December, 1888, then commenced. The 
Chagres River, along the valley of which the course of the 
canal was in great part traced, rose sometimes from ten to 
twelve meters in thirty-six hours, and at such times the 
current towards the Atlantic ran at the rate of 2000 cubic 
meters per second. To dam the river, turn the river, use 
the river, were the remedies suggested. But one and all 
proved futile. Inundation succeeded inundation, and 
since the work has been given up the torrent has in some 
measure abandoned its natural bed for the artificial one of 
the canal. 

The Culerra. 

5. But the Chagres is not the only obstacle to be sur- 
mounted. The Highlands of the Cordillera are en- 
countered at the 23nl kilometer from Colon, and only give 
place to the Pacific lowlands at the 62nd. The mountain 
summit of the Culebra is 100 meters above the sea level. 



The Panama Canal, 321 

It was intended to cut through it, but the soil proved soft 
and shifting, and the steep slopes much affected by not 
infrequent earthquakes. A fresh, highly competent, and 
impartial Commission sent out in 1S90 by the Liquidators, 
reported that although a level canal was impossible, through 
communication might be perfectly well established by 
means of two locks. A further expenditure of about 
40,000,000/. would, however, be necessary, including 
incidental expenses and interests until it was open for 
traffic. 

Position of the Liquidation. 

6. In what position does the Liquidator — M. Pierre 
Gautron — find himself ? Two months ago he lost by 
death the assistance of his able colleague M. Monchicourt, 
and his task is thereby rendered the more onerous. This day 
five months, namely, on October 31st, 1894, the Concession 
expires, unless before then a new company is formed to 
complete the work. In that event the buildings, hospitals, 
workmen's houses, shops, and sheds, which cost 52 mil- 
lion francs, will become the property of the Colombian 
Government; and the land — some 250,000 hectares — 
already conceded, reverts to the State. The machinery, 
which cost 150 million francs, and some of which is in 
fair order, may be sold, but will scarcely pay for removal. 
The 489 million francs said to have been spent on the 2 1 
kilometers, already to some extent finished, will be absolutely 
and irretrievably lost. No other course will be possible, 
but to divide the assets in the hands of the Liquidator 
among the 400,000 bondholders. These assets consist of 
about 300,000/. in cash, as much as may be recovered 
from the old directors, M. Eiffel and others, against whom 
claims have been made for 50 million francs, the amount 
realizable from the sale of the machinery, and the value of 
68,534 shares (out of 70,000) of 20/. each in the Panama 
Railroad, purchased at 150 per cent, premium, subject 
ahvays to the claims of the Colombian Government in 
respect of 10 million francs it avers is owing to the Trea- 
sury by the Canal Company, and to any arrears due to the 
47 French employes now on the Isthmus, and the mainten- 
ance charges, estimated at 4000/ a month. To the 
prospect of a return so visionary the bondholders naturally 

Y 



32 2 Appendix. 

prefer the formation of a new company, and are probably 
ready to make over to it, if formed, all their plant and 
assets in consideration of a deferred interest in the new 
undertaking. 

A New Company. 

7. Is the formation of a fresh company possible under 
existing conditions ? In 1892, M. Hielard, Vice-President 
of the Chamber of Commerce of the Seine, unsuccessfully 
endeavoured to organize one. Nor has M. Bartissol, a 
former engineer of the Suez Canal, been more fortunate. 
He placed before the liquidators various tempting and 
ingenious schemes, proposing to complete the canal in four 
years, carrying away the debris by a subterranean channel. 
But the Commission to whom the matter was referred, 
made an adverse report, and on March 30th last, M. Gautron 
broke off negotiations with M. Bartissol, whose primary aim 
was apparently the amelioration of the Panama Railway, 
and a much needed improvement in the ports of Panama 
and Colon. It is quite clear, therefore, that fresh capital 
in sufficient amount will not come from the French public. 
But as the late M. Monchicourt wrote to the Prime Minister 
on April 29th, 1892, "The French Government cannot 
remain indifferent to a work which would add greatly to 
the over-sea prestige of France, and the abandonment of 
which means the loss of the 1500 million francs taken from 
the purest national thrift." 

Possible Action gf France. 

8. What action can the French Government take ? The 
law of July last suspended all legal proceedings, and vested 
the interests of the bondholders in a mandataire — M. 
Lemarquis. But that is of no avail in attracting fresh 
capital. It must be drawn from abroad as well as from 
France under Governmental encouragement and super- 
intendence. A condition precedent is indispensable — the 
determination by the highest possible scientific authority 
in the universe if the completion of the canal is practicable. 
The Commission sent out by the liquidators in 1890 de- 
clared that it could be made with two locks. Some of the 
best engineers of France were on that Conunission. Bui 



The Panama Canal. 323 

a yet higher tribunal, from an international point of view, is 
essential. France has been the pioneer. The losses have 
been French. Let France still take the lead and invite 
the Great Maritime Powers — England and the United 
States, Germany, Scandinavia and the Netherlands, Italy 
and Spain — to join with her m deciding if the natural 
difficulties presented by the Chagres River and the Culebra 
Mountain can be subjugated or not. An affirmative 
verdict from such a court would not find capital backward, 
as a traffic of not less than 4,000,000 tons could, it is 
thought, be relied upon even from the first, at a toll of 
about 10^. per ton, or 2d. per ton per kilometer. If 
negative, it is useless to throw good money after bad. An 
expenditure of 20,000/. by each of the Great Powers, and 
10,000/. by the Minor States, would be more than ample 
for the expenses. 

Response of European Powers. 

9- How the Powers would respond, it is ef course im- 
possible to say until France has given the invitation. So 
far as England is concerned the development of all sea 
communications is beneficial by whomsoever made. The 
Suez Canal proves this. The greater part of the shipping 
on either side of the Isthmus is already British. Our 
interests in Peru and Chili are enormous, and the Canal 
would increase them. It would bring us new markets on 
the Pacific from Alaska to the Straits of Magellan. It 
would reduce the 15,000 miles from Liverpool to San 
Francisco by two- thirds. It would save 4000 miles between 
Plymouth and Peru. It would enable us to protect the 
new trade and cable route between Canada and Australia. 
It would give us an alternative road to the South Seas, to 
India, and the far East. It would be of the greatest ad- 
vantage to Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, British Guiana, 
and our West Indian brothers. Like considerations in 
minor degree would weigh with France, Germany, and 
Italy, with Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Scandi- 
navia. 

Attitude of the United States. 

10. The attitude of the United States of America might 

Y 2 



324 Appendix. 

be more uncertain. The Americans have, however, the 
most to gain by the making of the Canal, unless it be the 
peoples of the adjacent Republics. As all machinery and 
masonry, all tools and all the woodwork must be brought 
to the Isthmus, the greater part would be purchased in 
America. The sea distance between New York and San 
Francisco would be reduced by one-half, between New 
York and Peru by two-thirds. The question of competi- 
tion with the Nicaragua Canal arises. The latter is finally 
declared to be impracticable with its 292 kilometers, against 
seventy-three between Colon and Panama, with its twenty- 
one locks and seventeen bridges, with the San Juan River 
not less treacherous than the Chagres. There is no doubt 
that American influence has been hostile to France at 
Bogota. But the feeling against the Canal being in the 
hands of " one " European Power would not apply to its 
being made by an International Corporation, on which 
America would be largely represented, and least of all to 
the scientific investigation preparatory to a recommence- 
ment of work. 

The Decision of Colombia. 

II. Only one other Power remains to be considered, 
and that it is true is the most important of all — the United 
States of Colombia — in whose territory is the Isthmus. 
But apart from the vast pecuniary and industrial interest 
Colombia has in the completion of the Canal, an equitable 
spirit of sound common sense has always animated, not 
only his Excellency the President of the Republic, but also 
the Government and Congress. As Dr. Nunez wrote not 
long ago to the liquidator — " the enterprise numbers many 
sympathizers in Colombia, and these sympathizers will 
increase in proportion as it is understood that negotiations 
are taking place with honourable and responsible persons." 
On December 6th, 1892, the Colombian Congress autho- 
rized the Executive either to modify previous contracts, or 
to conclude a fresh one without bringing the matter again 
before Parliament. The conditions of the present arrange- 
ment, made in April, 1S93, with M. Mange, arc certainly 
advantageous to the Republic, but perhaps not unduly so. 
They include the i)ayment of 80,000/. for damages, and of 



The Panama Canal. 325 

400,000/. for arrears, in addition to 10,000 shares in the 
Canal, the caution money of 750,000 francs deposited in 
1878 being maintained. A further extension of at least 
twelve months beyond the present term, ending on October 
31st next, would be necessary. But as there is no possi- 
bility of the Canal being made by any other means, it would 
doubtless be accorded. 

Conclusion. 

12. I have thus set out briefly, so far as I can, the 
present position of affairs, and the steps which I venture to 
suggest are essential to the carrying out of this great inter- 
national undertaking. It can hardly fail, if completed, to 
prove of inestimable advantage to international trade, and 
in any case to Great Britain and Ireland.' 

C. E. Howard Vincent. 
House of Commons, 

May 315/, 1894. 

' Those who desire more deeply to study the possibility of cutting 
through the Isthmus of Panama will find ample material, not only in 
the numerous publications issued by the Liquidator, 63^'s^ R^g (jg ja 
Victoire, Paris, but also in the works of M. Bunau-Varilla, formerly 
Engineer-in-Chief, published by Masson, 120, Uoulevard St. Germain ; 
in "The Nineteenth Century" for February, 1892; the "North 
American Review" and "Nautical Magazine " for February, 1893; 
"Leslie's Popular Monthly" for March, 1893; and the "Atlantic 
Monthly " for October, 1893. 



INDEX. 



Aconcagua, Mount, 137, 

Aconcagua River, source of, 112, 
116, 117. 

Advertising, novel form of, in San- 
tiago, 127. 

Agriculture in the Argentine, 296, 
297. 

Alameda of Statues, Lima, 172. 

Alem, Dr., 245. 

Amazon River, 184, 185. 

Andes, crossing the, 93-121, 252- 

255 ; the summit of the, 109- 
112. 

the "Lion of the," 119. 

Antofagasta, 143, 144, 163. 

Aijuidabati, warship, 14, 15, 17-19, 
26, 224-231. 

Argentine Republic, the, a great 
custom of, 33 ; pampa of the, 34, 
55-86 ; national game in the, 
46, 47; nationalities in, 53; 
climate of, 57 ; religious fer- 
vour in, 123 ; politics, 244-249 ; 
travelling in the, 250, 251 ; 

■ difference between, and Chili, 

256 - 260 ; British interests in, 
291-301 ; foreign debt of, 292; 
British railways in, 295; British 
shipping, 295, 296 ; agricul- 
ture in, 296, 297 ; depreciation 
of the currency, 29S, 299; the 
prolilem of the future in, 300, 
30: ; capital of, see Buenos 
Ayres. 

Arica, 163, 164, 312. 
Aspinwall, 204. 
Atacama Desert, the, 144. 
Auchmuty, Sir Samuel, 236-238. 



Bagallay, Mr., C.E., 93, 254 



Bahia, 9. 

Baird, General, 233. 

Barbados, 214-216, 279. 

Beagle, gunboat, 14, 225. 

Belgrano, I'olo Club at, 38-40. 

Beiiyas, Sefior, vineyard of, 90. 

Beresford, General, 41-43, 233- 

239- 

Bermudez, Colonel, 268. 

Bird Island, 2, 3. 

Bizacha or prairie dog, 66. 

Blake, Sir Henry, 209. 

Blanco, General Guzman, 276. 

Blue Mountains, 205, 211, 213. 

Bog Walk, Jamaica, 21 1, 212. 

Botanical Gardens at Rio, 23, 24. 

Botofogo, suburb of Rio, 23, 24. 

Bouwer, Mr., 6r. 

Boynton, Mr., and the Ai]uidaban, 
17, 18, 228, 229. 

Brazil ; quarantine in, 7-1 1, 28, 30, 
31 ; revolution in, 16-19, 221- 
232 ; British interests in, 283- 
290 ; present condition of, 283, 
284; History of 1892, 284; 
foreign trade, 284 ; commercial 
indifference, 285; staple products, 
285 ; hindrances to industry, 
2S5, 206 ; immigration, 286 ; 
British trade with, 286-289 ; re- 
ciprocity treaty with America, 
287, 288; financial difficulties in, 
289, 290 ; capital of, see l\io de 
Janeiro. 

Brazils, the convict settlement 
of, 5. 

Brazilian nuts, 26. 

Brazilian .Submarine Tclegra]ih J-ta- 
tion at St. Vincent, 3. 

Bridge built by Eiffel, 178. 

Bridge of Hell, the, 180. 



328 



hidex. 



Bridge over Mendoza River, lo6. 

Bridgetown, Barbados, 214-216. 

British Guiana, 273, 274. 

British trade with Brazil, 286-289. 

Buenos Ayres, 33-60, 257 ; San 
Domingo Church at, 34, 41-44; 
Royal Hotel at, 35; trams in, 35; 
street paving in, 36 ; policemen 
in, 36 ; streets and houses of, 
36-38, 47 ; milk supply in, 38 ; 
suburbs of, 38-40 ; cemetery of, 
44, 45 ; Mendicants' Asylum at, 
45 ; water tanks at, 46 ; Flores, 
a suburb of, 47 ; post office at, 
48 ; Tattersall's at, 47, 48 ; 
society in, 49 ; visit to the Opera 
at, 49 ; racecourses at, 50-52 ; the 
Paris of the West, 52, 53, 240- 
243 ; theatres in, 53 ; England 
and, in 1807, 41-44, 233-239; 
population of, 248, 249. 



Caceres, General, 190, 268, 269, 
310. 

Calavera, 115. 

Callao, port of, 167; lotteries at, 
170. 

Campos, General, 246. 

Canada de Gomez, 79, 297. 

Canary Islands, 2. 

Cape Frio, 9. 

Caracas, 272-276. 

Caracoles, the, 115. 

Casalpaca Station, 183. 

Casares, Senor V. dc, 55-61. . 

Castle, CaiJtain, descri]ition of ni- 
trate maiuifacture, 155-157. 

Cavancha at Iquiquc, 147. 

Cazanova, Mons., Archbishop of 
Chili, 130. 

Cattle ; on the pampa of South 
America, 62; shipping at Val- 
paraiso, 139, 140 ; Peruvian mode 
of boarding, 165, 166. 

Cattle trade between Argentina 
and Chili, 93. 

Celinan, Juarez, 40. 

Celman's Folly, liuenos Ayres, 45, 
46. 

Cemetery at Buenos Ayres, 44, 45. 



Central Argentine Railway, work- 
shops of, 69, 70. 

Chagres River, 203, 320, 323. 

" Chaiiar steppe," the, 80. 

Chicla, 182, 270. 

Chili, religious fervour in, 123, 142; 
climate of, 124; tramway com- 
panies in, 126 ; archbishop of, 
129, 130 ; Roman Church in, 
130 ; railway system of, 135; 
cattle in, 139, 140; war between, 
and Peru, 146, 153, 154, 162, 163 ; 
difference between, and Argen- 
tina, 256-260; nitrate fieldsof, 144- 
161 ; 261-266, 307, 308; British 
trade in, 302-308 ; national debt 
of, 302, 303 ; depreciation of the 
cunency, 303 ; external trade of, 
304; British imports and exports, 
304, 305 ; Customs duties and 
revenue, 305, 306 ; military ex- 
penditure, 306, 307 ; steam com- 
munication on the Pacific, 307 ; 
mineral resources of, 308. 

Chilian flag, the, 164, 165. 

Chilian saddle, lOO. 

Chimborazo, Mount, 194. 

Chorillos, bathing at, 169, 170. 

Chosica, estan^-ion, 176. 

Cintra, i. 

Clark, Mr. Matteo, 118, 163, 

254- 
Climate; of the Argentine Republic, 

57; of Chili, 124; of Valparaiso, 

138 ; of Lima, 173. 
Coaling stations, England and, 219, 

220. 
Cobra River, 212. 
Colomliia and the Panama Canal, 

324. 325- 

Colon, 204. 

Coquimbo, 141 ; cathedral at, 141, 
142. 

Coal reef o(T coast of Brazil, 6, 7. 

Corcovado, the, at Rio, 12, 25, 27. 

Cordillera, the, see Andes. 

Cordoba, 80-84; cathedral in. Si, 
82 ; university at, 82 ; observa- 
tory at, 82, 83. 

Corporation of Peruvian Bond- 
holders, 175, 176, 269, 270. 

Cnusifio, Madame, 132-134, 



Index. 



329 



Cousiiio Park, the, at Santiago, 

128, 129. 
Craik, Mr., 61, 67, 69. 
Crauford, General, 234-238. 
Crespo, General, 274. 
Culebra Mountain, 202, 320-323. 



Dairy at Estan(jia San Martin, 58. 
Dalton, Mrs. Grant, 94, 252. 
Darwin's "Journal of a Naturalist," 

64. 
Dawkins, Mr. Clinton, 173, 176, 

188, 269, 311. 
Desert, the rainless, in S. America, 

140-144, 148-154, 166. 
Dickenson, Mr., 77. 
Domingo, a car attendant, 61, 67. 
Donoughmore, Lord, 269. 
Du Cane, Major-General Sir E., 

238, 239. 



Eagle, an enormous, 105. 
Earthquake at Mendoza in 1S61, 

89. 
Eiffel, bridge built by, 17S. 
England ;and Buenos Ay res in 1S07, 

34, 41-44, 233-239 ; and coaling 

stations, 219,220; and Venezuela, 

272-276. 
English in Argentina, 53, 248, 249. 
Ensenada docks, La Plata, 31, 33. 
Erichsen, Mr., 160. 
Estanijias on the Argentine pampa, 

65-67; life on, 71-77; iee also 

Las Rosas, San Martin. 
Eyre, Mr., 269. 



Fencing round Estancias in Argen- 
tina, 66. 
Fernando Noronha, island of, 5. 
Fevor,a dangerous, near Lima, 177. 
Fireflies, 78. 
Fishertown, 68. 
Flores Island, 28. 
Fonseca, Marshal, 222-224. 
France and the Panama Canal, 316- 

323- 
Fray Bentos, 30. 



French, the, in Argentina, 53, 54, 

248. 
Froudc, Mr., and the West Indies, 

277. 
Funeral procession at Mendoza, 89. 



Galera, tunnel of the, 183, 184, 186. 

Gama, Admiral S. da, 14, 225-231. 

Gastrell, Mr. Harris, 301. 

Gauchos of the South American 
pampa, 64, 75, 76, 87 ; in San- 
tiago, 127. 

Germany and the revolution at Rio, 
17, 225, 226. 

Germans in Argentina, 53, 293, 
294, 298. 

Gold in the Atacama desert, 144. 

Gordon Town, 209-21 1. 

Grace, Mr. M., 175, 269, 271. 

Graveyard on the pampa, 64. 

Green, Mr., 35. 

Griffin, Mr., 147, 262. 

Guano deposits, Tarapaca desert, 
150. 

Guayaquil, port of, 140, 192-196. 

river, 192. 



Haler, M. and Mme., 119. 

Hawes, Mr., 154. 

Hay, Sir John, 215. 

Hayti, 213. 

Hicks, Captain, of the s.s. Thames, 

4, 26, 229. 
Highlanders, the 71st, at Buenos 

Ayres in 1807, 41-43. 233-239- 
Ilispa, M., 117, 118. 
Horse-breeding in the Argentine 

Repulilic, 60, 73. 
Hotels in South America, 88, 89. 



Ilha das Cobras, 14, 15,227. 

Ilha Gr.mde, 8, 10, 285. 

Jncas, the, in Peru, 16S, 309; 

industry of the ancient, 179. 
Inca Lake, 115. 
Indian burial place, ancient, 154; 

sec also Incas. 
village, iSo. 



330 



Index. 



Iquique, 145-I48, 261 ; naval battle 
at, 146,147; sea-walk of Cavancha 
at, 147 ; water tanks at, 148. 

Iron and steel in South America, 

314-317- 
Irrigation at Mendoza, 90-92. 
Italians in the Argentina, 53, 248, 

293, 297, 298. 



Jacmel, port of, 213. 

Jacobi, Mr. (of Lima), 170, 17 1. 

Jamaica, island of, 205-213, 281. 

Jazpampa, oficina of, 1 60. 

Jockey Club, the, Buenos Ayres, 

50-52. 
Juncal, 112, 114-118, 255. 



Kemmis, Captain, Las Rosas Es- 

tanyia, 48, 70-79, 241. 
Kennedy, Mr., 135. 
Kingston, Jamaica, 205-213. 
Kleist, Count, 272. 



La Cumbre, the summit of the 
Andes, 109, 112, 253, 254. 

Lage, fort of, 13, 18, 27, 230, 231. 

La Guayra, harbour at, 273. 

Lang, Captain, 14, 26, 225-229. 

La Plata, 30-33. 

La Plata, island of, 196. 

Las Cucvras, 105, 106-109, 253. 

Las I 'almas, 2. 

Las Rosas, EstaiKjia of, 70-79, 241. 

Lcay, Mr. Frederick, 318, 

Lees, Sir C. C, 273. 

Leones Station, 71. 

Lesseps, ^L P'crdinand do, 204, 319. 

LevesonGower,Major-GeneraI,237. 

Lieiiig's essence of beef, 30. 

Lima, 167-174, 189-191,267 ; archi- 
tecture in, 168 ; cathedral in, 
168, 169; the ladies of, 169; 
lotteries in, 170 ; surroundings of, 

171 ; Column of Victory at, 171, 

172 ; climate of, 173. 
Linicrs, Captain, 42, 235-23S. 
Lisbon, i. 

Rlamas, troops of, 183. 
Lloyd, Mr., 3, 220. 



Locusts, swarms of, 71- 

Lopez, Councillor, 132. 

Los Andes, 1 18-120. 

Lottery tickets at Rio, 22. 

Lotteries in Lima, 170. 

Lucerne, crops of, in Argentina, 76, 

77- 
Lumley, General, 236-238. 



Mackay, Mr., 188. 

Mai Island, 10, 12, 27. 

Maipo, S.S., 138-144, 162, 163, 191, 

196. 
Mallet, Mr. Claude, 198, 318. 
Manning, Cardinal, 130. 
Mansfield, Sir Charles, 174, 275. 
Mapocho, S.S., 192. 
Mara la Plata, 138. 
Marilio Dias, the, 25. 
^Latucama, 176, 186. 
Meiggs, Mr. Henry, 165, 174, 175. 

' Mount, 184. 

Mello, Admiral de, 14, 15, 17, 26, 

223-232. 
Mendes, Mr., 15. 
Mendicants' Asylum, Buenos Ayrcs, 

45- 

Mendoza, 86-92, 94, 252, 253 ; 
earthquake at, in 1S61, 89; vine- 
yards at, 90, 91. 

Mendoza River, 95-100, 106, loS. 

Middleton, Mr., 276. 

Miranda, (}eneral, 233. 

Mitre, General B., 48, 233-239, 247. 

MoUendo, 165. 

Monte Video, 2S-30. 

Montt, President, 130, 131, 2-8, 

259- 
Moraes, Dr. Prudente de, 222. 
Mount Christabcl, Lima, 172. 
Mount Meiggs, 184. 
Mountain sickness (sorocchc), 92, 

112, 182. 
Mules in Pern, 177, I7'^- 
Munro, Mr., So. 



Negro, the West Indian, 279. 
Newcastle, Jamaica, 210, 211. 
Nichteroy, arsenal at, 14, 16. 027, 
230. 



Index. 



ZZ^ 



Nines, Mr., 154. 

Nitrate fields of Tarapaca, 144, 
148-161, 261-266. 

Nitrate, description of manufac- 
ture of, 155-157, 264-266. 

Nitrate Railway, the, 145, 148-163, 
262-264. 

North, Colonel, and the nitrate 
fields, 152-155, 264. 



Observatory at Cordoba, 82, 83. 
Oficinas (nitrate works), 151-161, 

264-266, see lazpampa, I'accha, 

P yimativa, Sevastopol. 
Opera in Buenos Ayres, 49. 
Organ Mountains, 13. 
Orinoco River, 274. 
Ormonde, racehorse, 60, 73. 
Oroya Railway, the, 174-189, 270, 

271. 
Osa, Sen or, 134, 135. 
Ostriches, a flock of, 34. 
Ouvidor, the, principal street of 

Rio, 23. 



Paccha, oficina of, 161. 
Pack, Colonel, 236-239. 
Pakenham, Hor, Mrs., 38. 
Palermo, park at, 50-52, 241. 
Palms, avenue of, at the Botanical 

Gardens, Rio, 24. 
Pai Island, lO, 12, 27. 
Pampa of Tamarugal, 148, 151. 
Pampa, the, of South America, 61- 

86. 
Pampero, a (whirlwind), 78. 
Panama, Gulf of, 197, 198. 

Canal, 198-205, 318-325. 

Isthmus of, 198-203. 

Town, 197, 199. 

Para, Royal Mail s.s., 197, 204, 

205, 206, 214-217. 
Parana River, 67, 85- 
Paris, Buenos Ayres compared to, 

52, 53, 240-243. 
Parish, Sir W., 250. 
Paton, General, 215. 
Paysandu ox tongues, 30. 
Payta, port of, 191, 192. 
Pedro II., Emperor, 14, 22, 222. 



Peixoto, General F., 15, 223, 224, 
226. 

Pelicans in South Pacific, 145. 

Pellegrini, Dr., 51, 247. 

" Pelota," national game in the 
Argentine, 46, 47, 242. 

Peones, or farm servants on Argen- 
tine pampa, 66, 74-76. 

Pernambuco, 6-8. 

Peru ; war between, and Chili, 146, 
147, 153. 154. 162, 163; the 
conquest of, 168 ; finances of, 
172, 173, 175 ; and the Peruvians, 
267-271 ; Capital of, see Lima. 

British interests in, 309-315 ; 

decadence of, 309 ; despotism of 
the army, 309, 310 ; Congress at, 
310; debt of, 310, 311 ; currency 
of, 311 ; area of, 312; import 
trade, 312 ; export trade, 313 ; 
shipping, 313 ; British advance- 
ment ot local interests, 313, 314; 
British investments in, 314. 

Perugas, 177. 

Peruvian Bondholders, Corporation 
of, 175, 176, 269, 270, 310, 311. 

Peruvian mode of boarding cattle, 
165, 166. 

Pierola, Signor N. de, 268. 

Pisagua, 161. 

Pizarro, Inca chief, 168, 192, 198, 
199. 

Plate River, 28 ; sandbanks at 
mouth of, 29 ; estuary of the, 67. 

Politics in the Argentine Republic, 
244-249. 

Polo Club at Belgrano, Buenos 
Ayres, 38-40. 

Popham. Captain Sir Home, 41, 

233-236- 
Portales, Chilian minister, 122, 259; 

anniversaiy of the death of, 131, 

132. 
Port Royal, 205, 213. 
Pozo Almonte, battle-field of, 153. 
Prairie-dog, the, 66. 
Prat, Arturo, a naval hero, 136. 146, 

147. 
Primativa, oficina of, 154-159. 
Puente del Inca, 106, 253. 
Puma, a, 86. 
Puma, island of, 192. 



33' 



Index, 



Punte de las Vacas, 94, 100, loi, 
252, 253. 



Quarantine in Brazil, 711, 28, 30, 

31- 

Quesada, Sefior, 174. 

Quinta Consino, the, at Santiago, 

132-134- 
Quintana, Dr., 245-247. 



Race-course at Valparaiso, 138. 

Racer, gunboat, 14, 225. 

Railway, the highest in the world, 
see Oroya. 

Rain, lack of, at Iquique, 145. 

Rainless Coast of S. America, 140- 
144, 148-154, 166. 

Revolution in Brazil, 16-19, 221- 
232. 

Rimac River, valley of the, 167, 
176, 177, 180, 184. 

Rio Blanco Station, 99. 

Rio de Janeiro ; harbour of, 12-14, 
18, 21,22 ; Naval arsenal at, 14, 
15 ; bombardment of, 16-19, 221- 
232 ; suburbs of, 20 ; locomotion 
in, 21 ; streets of, 22, 23 ; Bota- 
nical Gardens at, 23, 34 ; fever 
in, 24 ; national holiday in, 25 ; 
population of, 225. 

Rio NfTiOs, the, 224, 284. 

Roca, General, 51, 245-247. 

Rojas, Sefior Don, 275. 

Rosario, 67-70 ; the Boulevard of, 
68, 69 ; Cathedral in, 69. 

Rosas, General, 40, 92. 



Salto de Soldato, 117. 

St. Antonio, island of, 2. 

St. Lucia, 281. 

St. Vincent, island of, 2, 3, 219- 

221. 
Sandbanks at mouth of river Plate, 

29. 
San Carlos, gallery of, at Santiago, 

126. 
San Domingo Clnirch, Buenos 

Ayres, 34, 41-44. 233-239. 



San Luis range of mountains, 85. 

province of,Argentina, 86. 

San Martin, the Estancia, 55-61. 

Santa Cruz, fort of, 13, 18, 19, 27, 
227, 230, 231. 

Santa Lucia of Santiago, 125. 

Santa Rosa, 119. 

Santiago, 120-128, 257 ; Cathedral 
at, 1 22- 1 24; Boulevard in, 124,125, 
Santa Lucia of, 125 ; streets of, 
127 ; the Consino Park at, 128, 
129; demonstration at CJpera 
House, 131, 132 ; the Quinta 
Normal and the Quinta Consino 
at, 132.134. 

Sarsena, town of, 141. 

Secundo River, 85. 

Sclmer, Captain, 138. 

.Sena, Comte de, 48. 

Sevastopol, oficina of, 151. 

Sheep-shearing in Argentine Re- 
public, 58, 59, 73-75. 

Sheffield reports to Chamber of 
Commerce, re British Commer- 
cial interests in South America, 
283-325. 

Sibron, Admiral, of the French 
Navy, 225-230. 

Silver-smelting works at Antofa- 
gasta, 144. 

Sirius, ILALS., 14, 26, 225, 228. 

Skeletons on the South American 
pampa, 63. 

.Skemnor, Michael, 235. 

Skunk, the, 77. 

Smith, Mr. George, 263. 

Soldier's Leap, the, 118, 255. 

.Sorocche, or mountain sickness, 92, 
112, 182. 

South America, horse-breeding in, 
60, 73; the pampa of, 61-86; 
hotels in, 88, 89 ; the rainless 
desert in, 140-144, 148-154, 166; 
Chili, the J'.ngland of, 256, 257 ; 
iron and steel in, 314-317; British 
commercial interests in, 2S3-325. 

.Sf)uth Pacific, sunsets of the, 143 ; 
pelicans in, 145 ; steam commu- 
7iication on the, 307. 

Spain and .South America, 9. 

Steel, iron and, in South America, 
3'4-325. 



Index. 



IIZ 



Storm, a heavy, 78, 79. 
Sugar-Loaf Mountain, 12, 20, 27. 

Tacna, province of, 163, 312. 

Tagus River, i. 

Tamarugal, pampa of, 148, 151. 

Tarapaca, nitrate fields of, 144, 
148, 150-161. 

" Tattersalls " at Buenos Ayres, 47, 
48. 

TenerifFe, Peak of, 2. 

Terry, Dr., 247, 292. 

Thames, Royal RIail s.s., i, 4, 5, 
26-32, 166, 219, 229, 230. 

Thorndike, Mr. J. L., 270. 

Thoroughbred horses at San Mar- 
tin, 60. 

Tijuca range of mountains, 12, 20, 
24. 

Tolorzia Valley, 94, 103, 104. 

Tramway companies in Chili, 126. 

Transandine Railway, Argentine 
section, 84,93-100, 185, 252-254; 
Chilian section, 1 18-12 1. 

" Trapiche," vineyard of, 90, 91. 

Travelling in the Argentine Re- 
public 1827, 250, 251. 

Trees in South America ; Caroline 
trees, 87 ; Eucalyptus, 56, 65 ; 
Paradise tree, 71 ; thorn tree at 
Payta, 191 ; weeping willows, 

56. 
Trinidad, 275. 
" Tuchero," a 

dish, 59. 
Tupungato, 112. 



favourite Spanish 



Uruguay River, 67. 
Uspallata, plains of, 95, 97. 
Pass, iSi, 252. 



Uspallata Station, 98. 



Valcaved, Seiior M. N., 268. 

Valparaiso, 135-138, 304; monu- 
mental, 146. 

Vaughan, Cardinal, 129, 130. 

Venezuela and England, 272-276. 

Verney, Sir Harry, 250, 251. 

Viel, Seiior Venturo Blanco, 259. 

Vigo, I. 

Villalonga, Mr., 89, 92. 

Villa Maria, 79, 84. 

Villa Mercedes, 84, 85. 

Villa residences at Elores, near 
Buenos Ayres, 47. 

Villegaignon, fortress and naval 
depot, 13, 17-19, 27, 225-230. 

Viiia del Mar, 137, 138. 

Vineyards at Mendoza, 90, 91. 

Walker, Seiior Carlos, 259. 

Wandelkolk, Admiral, 223. 

Ward, Colonel, 281. 

Wardrop, Mr., 31. 

Water tanks at Buenos Ayres, 46. 

Watmough, Mr., 227. 

Welby, Mr., 49. 

West Indies, the, 277-282 ; revenue 

of, 280 ; external trade of, 2S0- 

282. 
Wetherall, Rev. Mr., 136. 
Whitelocke, General, 42, 236-238. 
Wilson, Colonel, 281. 
Wyndham, Sir Hugh, 14-17, 25, 

225-230. 

Yellow fever, 31 ; in Rio, 24 ; a 
Guayaquil, 193. 



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