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twice, as if I had been afraid to venture myself | eight or nine days; but that those ways were with him, he told me he would send for his two esteemed very dismal, lonely, and dangerous, sons, and leave them in the ship as hostages for because of wild beasts; but that through the my safety.
vallies the way was easy and pleasant, and per. I was fully satisffed as to that point, but did fectly safe, only farther about; and that those not let him know my mind yet, but every day ways a man might be sixteen or seventeen days we dwelt upon the same subject, and I travelled going through. through the mountains and vallies so duly in I laid up all this in my heart, to make use of every day's discourse with him, that when I as I should have occasion ; but I acknowledge afterwards came to the places we had talked of, that it was surprising to me, as it was so perit was as if I had looked over them in a map fectly agreeing with the notion that I always before.
entertained of those mountains, of the riches of I asked him if the Andes were a mere wall them, the facility of access to and from them, of mountains, contiguous and without intervals and the easy passage from one side to another. and spaces like a fortification or boundary to a The next. discourse I had with him upon this country ? Or, whether they lay promiscuous subject I began thus. “Well, seignior," said I, and distant from one another? And, whether |“ we are now come quite through the vallies and there lay any way over them into the country passages of the Andes, and methinks I see a vast beyond them.
open country before me on the other side ; pray He smiled when I talked of going over them. tell me, have you ever been so far as to look into He told me they were so infinitely high, that no that part of the world, and what kind of a human creature could live upon the top; and country is it?" withal so steep and so frightful, that if there was He answered gravely, that he had been far even a pair of stairs up on one side and down on enough several times, to look at a distance into the other, no man alive would dare to mount up the vast country I spake of." And such indeed or venture down.
it is," said he; "and as we come upon the ris. But that, as for the notion of the hills being 'ing part of the hills, we see a great way, and a contiguous, like a wall that had no gates, that country without end; but as to any descriptions was all fabulous ; that there were several fair of it, I can say but little," added he, “ only this, entrances in among the mountains, and large, that it is a very fruitful country on that side pleasant, and fruitful vallies among the hills, next the hill. What it is farther, I know with pleasant rivers and numbers of inhabitants, 1 and cattle and provisions of all sorts; and that I asked him if there were any considerable some of the most delightful places to live in that || rivers in it, and which way they generally run? were in the whole world, were among those || He said, “It could not be, but that from such a vallies, in the very centre of the highest and ridge of mountains as the Andes, there must be most dreadsul mountains.
a great many rivers on that side, as there were “Well," said I, "seignior, but how do they | apparently on this; and that, as the country was go out of one valley into another? And whither infinitely larger, and their course in proportion do they go at last ?” He answered me, those | longer, it would necessarily follow, ihai those vallies are always full of pleasant rivers and small rivers would run one into another, and so brooks which fall' from the hills, and are formed form great navigable rivers, as was the case in generally into one principal stream to every vale; || the Rio de la Plata, which originally sprung from and that as these must have their outlets on one the same hills, about the city La Plata in Peru, side of the hills, or on the other, so, following and swallowing up all the streams of less note, the course of those streams, one is always sure became, by the mere length of its course, one of to find the way out of one valley into another, the greatest rivers in the world." That, as be and at last out of the whole into the open coun observed most of those rivers ran rather southtry; so that it was very frequent to pass from eastward than northward, he believed they ran one side to the other of the whole body of the away to the sea, a great way farther to the mountains, and not go much higher up hill or south than the Rio de la Plata ; but as to what down hill, compared to the hills in other places. 1 part of the coast they might come to the sea in, It was true, he said, there was no abrupt visible that he knew nothing of. parting in the mountains, that should seem like This account was so rational, that nothing a way cut through from the bottom to the top, I could be more; and was, indeed, extremely sawhich would be indeed frightful; but that as tisfactory. they pass from some of the vallies to others, It was also very remarkable, that this agreed there are ascents and descents, windings and exactly with the accounts before given me by turnings, sloping up and sloping down, where we the two Chilian Indians, or natives, which I had may stand on those little ridges, aud see the on board, and with whom I still continued to waters on one side run to the west, and on the || discourse as occasion presented; but who, at this other side to the east.
time, I removed into the Madagascar ship, to I asked him what kind of a country was on the || make room for these Spanish prisoners. other side ? and how long time it would take up | I observed the Spaniard was made very sen. to go through from one side to the other? Hel sible by my doctor of the obligation both he and told me, there were ways indeed that were more his fellow-prisoners were under to me, in my mountainous and uneasy, in which men kept persuading the privateers to set them at liberti, upon the sides or declivity of the hills, in which and in undertaking to carry them home to that the natives would go and guide others to go, and part of Spain from whence they came ; for as so might pass the whole ridge of the Andes in / they had lost their cargo, thcir voyage seemed
to be at an end. The sense of the favour, I say, weather and little wind) at Tucapel, or the river which I had done him, and was still doing him, | Imperial, within ten leagues of Baldivia, that is in the civil treatment which I gave him, made to say, off Cape Bonifacio, which is the north this gentleman, for such he was in himself, and point of the entrance into the river of Baldivia ; in his disposition, whatever he was by family, for and here I took one of the most unaccountable, that I knew nothing of; I say, it made him ex. and I must needs acknowledge unjustifiable reso. ceeding importunate with me, and with my doc. lutions, that ever any commander entrusted with tor, who spoke Spanish perfectly well, to go with a ship of such force and a cargo of such consehim to Villa Rica. .
quence adventured upon before, and which I by I made him no promise, but talked at a dis no means recommend to any commander of a tance. I told him if he had lived by the sea and ship to imitate; and this was, to venture up into I could have sailed to his door in my ship 1| the country above one hundred and fifty miles would have made him a visit. He returned from my ship, leaving the success of the whole that he wished he could make the river of Baldi voyage, the estates of my employers, and the via navigable for me, that I might bring my ship richest ship and cargo that ever came out of up to his door, and he would venture to say, those seas, to the care and fidelity of two or three that neither me nor all my ship's company should men. Such was the unsatisfied thirst of new starve while we were with him. In the interval discoveries, which I brought out of England of these discourses I asked my doctor his opinion, with me, and which I nourished at all hazards to whether he thought I might" trust this Spaniard || the end of the voyage. if I had a mind to go up and see the country for However, though I condemn myself in the a few days ?
main for the rashness of the undertaking, yet let “Seignior,” says he, “the Spaniards are, in some me do myself so much justice, as to leave it on respects, the worst nation under the sun; they | record too, that I did not run this risk without are cruel, inexorable, uncharitable, voracious, all the needful precautions for the safety of tae and in several cases treacherous; but in two ship and cargo. things they are to be depended upon beyond all And first, I found out a safe place for the ships the nations in the world, that is to say, when they l to ride ; and this neither in the river of Tucapei, give their honour to perform any thing, and nor in the river of Baldivia, but in an opening or when they have a return to make for any favour || inlet of water without a name, about a league to received;" and here he entertained me with all the south of Tucapel, embayed and secured from long story of a merchant of Chartagena, who in | almost all the winds that could blow; here the a sloop was shipwrecked at sea, and was taken ships lay easy, with water cnough, having about up by an English merchant on board a ship eleven fathoms good holding ground, and about bound to London from Barbadoes or some other || half a league from shore. of our islands; that the English merchant meet I left the supra-cargo and my chief mate, also ing another English ship bound to Jamaica, put || a kinsman of my own, a true sailor, who had the Spanish merchant on board him, paid him for been a midshipman, but was now a lieutenant : his passage, and obliged him to set bim on shore || I say to those I left the command of both my on the Spanish coast, as near to Chartagena as ships, but with express orders not to stir, nor he could. This Spanish merchant could never | unmoor upon any account whatever, life and rest until he found means to ship himself from death excepted, until my return, or until if I was Chartagena to the Havanna on the Galleons, from || dead, they heard what was become of me; no, thence to Cadiz in Old Spain, and from thence || though they were to stay there six months, for to London, to find out the English merchant, they had provisions enough, and an excellent and make him a present to the value of a | place for watering lay just by them; and I made thousand pistoles for saving his life, and for his all the men swear to me, that they would make civil returning him to Jamaica, &c. Whether no mutiny or disorder, but obey my said kinsthe story was true or not his inference from it man in one ship, and the supra-cargo in the was just ; namely, that a Spaniard never forgot other in all things except removing from that a kindness; “But take it withal," says the doctor, place; and that if they should command them to * that I believe it is as much the effect of their stir from thence, they would not so much as pride as of their virtue ; for at the same time," touch a sail or a rope, said he, “they never forget an ill turn any more When I had made all these conditions, and than they do a good one, and they frequently en told my men that the design I went upon, was tail their enmities on their families, and prosecute for the good of their voyage, for the service of the revenge from one generation to another, so the owners, and should, if it succeeded, be for all that the heir has with the estate of his ancestors their advantages; I asked them if they were all all the family broils upon his hands as he comes willing I should go ? to which they all answered to his estate."
that they were very willing, and would take the From all this he inferred, that as this Spaniard same care of the ships, and of all things belonging found himself so very much obliged to me, 1 to them as if I were on board. This encouraged might depend upon it that he had so much pride me greatly, and I now resolved nothing should in him, that if he could pull down the Andes for hinder me. me to go through, and I wanted it, he would do | Having thus concluded every thing, then, and it for me ; and that nothing would be a greater | not until then, I told my Spaniard that I had satisfaction to him than to find some way or almost resolved to go along with him; at which other how to requite me.
he appeared exceedingly pleased, and indeed in a All these discourses shortened our voyage, and || surprise of joy. I should have told you, ibat we arrived fair and softly (for it was very good before I told him this, I had set all the rest of the prisoners on shore, at their own request, just ||their father laid a great many solemn charges between the port of Tucapel and the bay of the ll upon them that they should not stir out of the conception, except two men, who as he told me, I ship till I came back safe, and that I gave them lived in the open country beyond Baldivia, and, || leave; and he made them promise that they as he observed, were very glad to be set on | would not : and the young gentlemen kept their shore with him, so to travel home, having lost || word so punctually, that when our supercargo, what little they had in the ship, and to whom he whom I left in command, offered to let them g communicated nothing of all the discourse we had on shore several times to divert them with shoot. had of the affair of the mountains.
ing and hunting, they would not stir out of the I also dismissed now the two Chilian Indians, |ship, and did not till I came back again. but not without a very good reward proportioned. Having gone this length, and made everything to, not their trouble and time only, but propor- ready for my adventure, we set out, Captain tioned to what I seemed to expect of them, and || Merlotte, the Spanish doctor, the old mutineer, filling them still with expectations that I would that was my second mate, and who was now capcome again and take a journey with them into | tain of the Madagascar ship, and myself, with the mountains.
two midshipmen, whom we took as servants, but And now it became necessary that I should who I resolved to make the directors of the use the utmost freedom with my new friend the main enterprise. As to the number, I found my Spaniard, being, as I told him, to put my life in | Spaniard made no scruple of that, if it had been his hands and the prosperity of my whole adven- | half my ship's company. ture, both ship and ship's company.
We set out, some on horses and some og He told me he was sensible that I did put my / mules, as we could get them, but the Spaniard! life in his hands, and that it was a very great and myself rode on two very good horses, being token of confidence in him, even such a one that the same that his two sons came on. We arhe, being a stranger to me, had no reason to ex. rived at a noble coutry seat about a league shor: pect : but he desired me to consider that he was of the town, where, at first, I thought we had a Christian, not a savage ; that he was one, I been only to put in for refreshment; but I soon had laid the highest obligation upon in volun. found, that it was really his dwelling house, and tarily taking him out of the hands of the free- where his family and servants resided. booters, where he might have lost his life ; and, Here we were received like princes, and with as in the next place, he said, it was some argument much ceremony as if he had been a prince that that he was a gentleman, and that I should find entertained us. The mayor domo, or steward of him to be a man of honour : and, lastly, that it || his house, received us, took in our baggage, and did not appear that he could make any advan ordered our two servants to be taken care of. tage of me, or that he could get any thing by I need not tell you that the Spaniard did ail using me ill; and if even that was no argument || that pride and ostentation was capable of in. yet I should find when I came to his house that | spiring him with to entertain us; and the truth he was not in a condition to want any thing that I is, he could not have lived in a country in the might be gained, so much as to procure it by | world more capable of gratifying his pride ; for such a piece of villany and treachery, as to be. || bere, without anything uncommon, he was able tray and destroy the man that had saved his life, to show more gold plate than many good fainand brought him out of the hands of the devil | lies in our country have of silver; and as far safe to his country and family, when he might | silver, it quite eclipses the appearance, or rather have been carried away, God knows whither. || took away the very use of pewter, of which se But to conclude all, he desired me to accept the did not see one vessel, no, not in the means. offer he had made me at sea (viz.) that he would part of his house. It is true, I believe, the Spa. send for his two sons, and leave them on board niard had not a piece of plate or of any householu the ship as hostages for my safety, and desired furniture which we did not see, except what they might be used on board no otherwise than | belonged to the apartment of his wife ; and it i I was used withshim in the country.
to be observed, that the women never appeared I was ashamed to accept such an offer as this ; || except at a distance and in the gardens, and tha but he pressed it earnestly, and importuned the being under veils, we could not know the le doctor io move me to acccept it, telling him that || from her women, or the maids from the mistres. he should not be easy if I did not, so that, in We were lodged every one in separate apa short, the doctor advised me to agree to it; and, ments, very well furnished, but two of thes accordingly, he hired a messenger and a mule, || very nobly indeed; though all the materials in and sent away for his two sons to come to him ; | furniture must be there at an excessive prat and such expedition the messenger made, that in | The way of lodging upon quilts, and in beti six days he returned with the two sons and three made pavillion-wise, after the Spanish custom servants, all on horseback. His two sons were need not describe ; but it surprised me to a very pretty well behaved youths, who appeared the rooms hung with very rich tapestries, its to be gentlemen in their very countenances; the l part of the world where they must cost so dear. eldest was about thirteen years old, and the other We had Chilian wine served us up in roca about eleven. I treated them on board, as I had gold cups, and water in large silver decantes their father, with all possible respect; and having that held, at least, five quarts a piece ; ths entertained them two days, left order that they stood in our chamber. Our chocolate a should be treated in the same manner when I brought us up in the same manner in deep en was gone; and to this I added, aloud, that their | all of gold, and it was made in vessels ali. father might bear it, that whenever they had a silver. mind to go away, they should let them go. But! It would be troublesome to the very reader
interrupt my account with the relation of all the | old cabinet full of pretty large drawers, and pulfine things he had in his house, and I could not ling out one drawer, he showed us a surprising be persuaded but that he had borrowed all the number of pieces of pure clean gold, some round, plate in the town to furnish out his sideboard | some long, some flat, some thick, all of irregular and table; but my doctor told me it was nothing | shapes, and worked roundish at the ends, with but what was very usual among them that were rolling along, some of these weighed a quarter of men of any substance, as it was apparent he | an ounce, some more, and some less, and as I was; and that the silversmiths at St Jago sup lifted the drawer, I believe there could not be less plied them generally with their plate ready || than hetween twenty and thirty pounds' weight wrought, in exchange, with allowance for the of it. quality, for the gold which they found in the Then he pulled out another drawer, which mountains, or in the brooks and streams which was almost full of the same kind of drug, but as came from the mountains, into which the hasty | small as sand, the biggest not so big as pins' showers of winter rain frequently washed down heads, and which might very properly be called pretty large lumps; and others, which were smal gold dust. ler, they washed out of the sands by the ordinary After this sight a man was to be surprised at methods of washing of ore.
nothing he could see. I asked him how long I was better satisfied in this particular, when such a treasure might be amassing together in the next day, talking to our new landlord this country ? he told me that was according to about the mountains, and the wealth of them, I the pains they might take in the search ; that he asked him if he could show me any of the gold had been twelve years here, and had done little which was usually washed out of the hills by the l or nothing ; but had he had twenty negroes to rain, in the natural figure in which it was found? have set on work, as he might have had, he He smiled, and told me yes, he would show us a might have had more than this in one year. I little; and with that, carried us up into a kind asked him how much gold in weight he thought of a closet, where he had a great variety of odd ||there might be in all this he had shown me? he things gathered up about the mountains and told me he could not tell; that they never trourivers, such as fine shells, strange stones in the bled themselves to weigh, but when the silverform of stars, heavy pieces of ore, but such as smith at St Jago came to bring home any neither he nor any of us could tell what they || vessel, or when the merchants from Lina came were, and the like; and after this, he pulled out to Baldivia with European goods, then they a great leather bag, which had, I believe, near | bought what they wanted of them; that they fifty pounds weight in it, here, seignior, says he, were sensible they gave excessive dear for every here is some of the dirt of the earth, and turning thing, even ten or twenty for one. But as gold, it out upon the table, it was easy to see that it he said, was the growth of that country, and the was all gold, though the pieces were of different other things, such as cloth, linen, fine silks, &c. forms, and some scarce looking like gold at all, || were the gold of Europe, they did not think being so mixed with the spar, or with earth, much to give what they asked for those things. that it did not appear so plain ; but in every bit In short, I found that the people in this country, there was something of the clear gold to be though they kept large plantations in their hands, seen, and the smaller the lumps the purer the had great numbers of cattle, ingenios, as they gold appeared.
call them, for making sugar, and land, under I was surprised at the quantity more than at the
elves thing itself, having, as I have said, seen the land families; yet did not wholly neglect the gold which the Indians found in the countries I getting gold out of the mountains, where it was have described, which seemed to have little or in such plenty; and therefore it seems the town no mixture; but then I was to have considered | adjacent is called Villa Rica, or the Rich Town, that what those Indians gathered was farther being seated as it were at the foot of the mounfrom the hills which it came from, and that those tains, and in the richest part of them. rough irregular pieces would not drive so far in After I had sufficiently admired the vast quanthe water, but would lodge themselves in the tity of gold he had, he made signs to the doctor earth and sand of the rivers nearer home; and that I should take any piece or any quantity also that the Indians, not knowing how to sepa. that I pleased; but thought I might take it as rate the gold by fire from the dross and mixture an affront to have him offer me any particular above, did not think those rough pieces worth small parcel. The doctor hinted it to me, and I their taking up, whereas the Spaniards here un. bade him return him thanks; but to let him dersto od much better what they were about. know that I would by no means have any of
But to return to the closet. When he had that, but that I would be glad to take up a piece shown us this leather pouch full, he sweeps it by or two, such as chance should present to me in to one side of the table, which had ledges round the mountains; that I might show in my own it to keep it from running off, and takes up country, and tell them that I took it up with my another bag full of large pieces of stone, great own hands. He answered he would go with me lumps of earth, and pieces of various shapes, all himself; and doubted not but to carry me where of which had some gold in them, but not to be I should fully satisfy my curiosity, if I would be gotten out but by fire. These, he told us, their content to clamber a little among the rocks. servants bring them home as they find them in I now began to see plainly that I had no manthe mountains, lying loose here and there, when ner of need to have taken his sons for hostages they run after their cattle.
for my safety; and would fain have sent for them But still I asked him if they found no pieces back again; but he would by no means give me of pure gold ? upon this, he turned to a great I leave; so I was obliged to give that over. A day
or two after I desired of him that he would give || one part of the hills or another; and that in my me leave to send for one more person from the passing the mountains I should see several of ships, who I had a great mind should see the them. I asked him if they were not alarmed country with me, and to send for some few things with them, and if they were not attended with that I should want, and, withal, to satisfy my earthquakes. He said he believed that among men that I was safe and well.
the hills themselves they might have some shaka This he consented to; so I sent away one of ings of the earth, because sometimes they should the two midshipmen, who I called my scrvants, | find pieces of the rocks break off and fall down, and with him two servants of the Spaniard, my and that it was among those little fractures that landlord, as I called him, with four mules and sometimes pieces of stone were found which had wo horses. I gave my midshipman my orders gold interspersed in them, as if they had been and directions under my hand to my super melted and run together, of which he had shown cargo what to do, for I was resolved to be even me some; but that, as for earthquakes in the
rith my Spaniard for all his good usage of me; 1 country, he had never heard of any since he came the midshipman was gone ten days, for they thither, which had been upwards of fifteen years, came back pretty well laden, as you shall hear, I/ including three years that he dwelt at St Jago. and the men were obliged to come all on foot. One day, being out on horseback with my
All the while they were gone, my landlord and landlord, we rode up close to the mountains, and I spent in surveying the country and viewing his he showed me at a distance an entrance, as he plantation. As for the city of Villa Rica, it was called it, into them, frightful enough indeed, as not the most proper to go there in public; and you shall hear in its place. Then he told me the doctor knew that as well as the Spaniard ; lihat was the way he intended to carry me when and therefore, though we went several times he should go to show me the highest hills in the incognito, yet it was of no consequence to me, world; but he turned short, and, smiling, said it neither did I desire it.
should not be yet, for though he had promised One night I had a very strange fright here, me a safe return, and left hostages for it, yet he and behaved myself very much like a fool about had not capitulated for time. it. The case was this; I waked in the middle | I told him he need not capitulate with me for of the night, and chancing to open my eyes, 1 time, for if I had not two ships to stay my consaw a great light of fire, which to me seemed as ing, and between tbrec and four hundred men if the house or some part of it had been on eating me up all the while, I did not know wbefire; I, as if I had been at Wapping or Rother-ther I would ever go away again or no, if he hithe, where people are always terrified with would give me house-room. He told me, as to such things, jumped out of bed and called my that, he had sent my men some victuals, so that friend Captain Merlotte, and cried out fire, fire! they would not starve if I did not come back for
The first thing I should have thought of, on this some days. This surprised me a little, and I occasion, should have been that the Spaniard did discovered it in my countenance. “Nay, seig. not understand what the words fire, fire ! meant ; || nior," says he, “ I have only sent them some vio and, that if I expected they should understand tuals to maintain my two hostages, for, you me, I should have cried fuego, fuego!
know, they must not want.” It was not good However, Captain Merlotte got up and my manners in me to ask what he had sent; but I Madagascar captain, for we all lay near one ano. | understood, as soon as my midshipman returned, ther, and with the noise they waked the whole that he had sent down sixteen cows, or runts, I house, and my landlord, as he afterwards con- | know not what to call them but black cattle ; fessed, began to suspect some mischief; his thirty hogs, thirteen large Peruvian sheep, as big steward having come to his chamber door and as great calves; and three casks of Chilian wine, told him that the strangers were up in arms, in with an assurance that they should have more which mistake we might all have had our throats provisions when that was spent, cut, and the poor Spaniard not to blame neither. I was amazed at all this munificence of the
But our doctor coming hastily in to me, unrid-Spaniard, and very glad I was that I had sent dled the whole matter, which was this, that a vol. | my midshipman for the things I intended to precano, or burning vent among the hills, being pretty sent him again, for I was as well able to requite near the Spanish side of the country, as there him for a large present as he was to make it, and are many of them in the Andes, had flamed out || had resolved it before I knew he had sent any. that night, and gave such a terrible light in the thing to the ship; so that this exchanging of air, as made us think the fire had at least been presents was but a kind of generous barter or in the out-houses, or in part of the house, and commerce ; for, as to gold, we had either of us accordingly had put me in such a fright.
so much that it was not at all equal in value to Upon this, having told me what it was, he ran what we had to give on both sides, as we were at away to the Spanish servants, and told them || present situated. what the meaning of it all was, and bade them || In short, my midshipman returned with the go and satisfy their master, which they did, and horses and servants; and when we had brought all was well again ; but as for me, I sat almost all what I had sent for into a place which I desired the night staring out at the window at the erup- the Spaniard to allow me to open my things in. tion of fire upon the hills, and the like bonfire I | I sent my doctor to desire the Spaniard to let had never seen before, I assure you.
me speak with him. I sincerely begged my landlord's pardon for I told him, first, that he must give me his disturbing his house; and asked him if those parole of honour not to take amiss what I had to eruptions were frequent. He said no, they were say to him; that it was the custom in our counnot" frequent, for they were constant, either in ll try, at any time, to make presents to the ladies,