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began to cast long shadows before three o'clock, l, hearing my patron say thus, runs presently to except where the openings looked towards the the hollow channel in the middle; there was a west, and as soon as those shadows reached us kind of a fall, or break in it, where the water by the cool breezes of the air came naturally on, falling perhaps two or three feet, had made a drawing every way exceeding pleasant and re- 1 little place deeper than the rest; and which, freshing.
though there was no water then running, yet had The place we were in was green and flourish-| water in it, perhaps the quantity of a barrel op! ing, and the soil well cultivated by the poor in two; here, with the help of two of the servants dustrious Chilians, who lived here in perfect and a kind of scoop, he presently threw out the solitude, and pleased with their liberty from the water, with the sand and whatever was at bottom tyranny of the Spaniards, who very seldom among it, into the ordinary water-course; the visited them, and never molested them, being water falling thus hard, every scoopful upon the pretty much out of their way, except when they | sand or earth that came out of the scoop before came for hunting and diversion ; and then they it, washed a great deal of it away; and among , used the Chilians always civilly, because they that which remained, we might plainly see little were obliged to them for their assistance in their lumps of gold shining, as big as grains of sand, diversions, the Chilians of those valleys being very and sometimes one or two a little bigger. active, strong, and nimble fellows.
This was demonstration enough to us; I took By this means most of them were furnished | up some small grains of it, about the quantity of with fire-arms, powder, and shot, and were very half a quarter of an ounce, and left my midshipgood marksmen, but as to violence against any. men to take up more, and they stayed indeed so body, they entertained no thoughts of that kind, long, that they could scarce see their way to as I could perceive, but were content with their overtake us, and brought away about two ounces way of living, which was easy and free.
in all, the Chilian and the servants very freely The tops of the mountains here, the vallies giving them all they found. being so large, were much plainer to be seen When we had travelled about nine miles more than where the passages were narrow, for there in this winding frightful narrow way, it began to the height was so great that we could see grow towards night, and my patron talked of nothing Here, at several distances, (the rocks taking up our quarters as we had before ; but towering one over another) we might see smoke his gentleman put him in mind of a Chilian, one come out of some, snow lying upon others, of their old servants, who lived in a turning trees and bushes growing upon others, and among the mountains, about half a mile out of goats, wild asses, and other creatures which we our way, and where we might be accommodated could hardly distinguish, running about on others. again with the helps of a house, and place, at
When we had passed through this second val. least, for our cookery. “ Very true," says our ley, I perceived we came to a narrower passage, patron, “ we will go thither, and there, seignior," and something like the first ; the entrance into says he, turning to me," you shall see an etuit indeed was smooth, and above a quarter of a blem of complete felicity, even in the middle of mile broad, and it went winding away to the N., and this place of horror; and you shall see a prioce then again turned round to the N. E., afterwards greater, and more truly so, than King Philip, almost due E., and then to the S. E. and so to who is the greatest man in the world." S.S. E., and this frightful narrow strait, with the Accordingly we went sostly on, his gentleman hanging rocks almost closing on the top, whose | having advanced before, and, in about half a mile height we could neither see nor guess at, con. we found a turning or opening on our left, where tinued about three days' journey more, most of we beheld a deep, large valley, almost circular, the way ascending gently upwards; and as to and of about a mile diameter, and abundance the river, it was by this time quite lost, but we houses or cottages interspersed all over it, so that might see, that on any occasion of rain, or of the the whole valley looked like an inhabited village, melting of the snow on the mountains, there was and the ground like a planted garden. a hollow in the middle of the valley, through We who, as I said, had been for some miles which the water made its way, and on either | ascending upwards, were so high above them, that hand the sides of the hills were full of the like the low valley looked as the low lands in England gullies, made by the violence of the rain, where, I look below Box hill, in Surrey ; and I began to not the earth only, but the rocks themselves, ask how we should get down ? But as we were even the very stone, seemed to be worn and pe come into a wider space than before, so we had netrated by the continual fall of the water. more daylight; for though the bollow way head
Here my patron showed me, that in the hollow rendered it near dusk before, now it was almost which I mentioned, in the middle of this way, and clear day again. at the bottom of those gullies, or places worn, as Here we parted with the first Chilian that! above, in the rocks, there were often found mentioned, and I ordered one of my midshipmeu pieces of gold, and sometimes, after a rain, very to give him a hat and a piece of black balle. great quantities : and that there were few of the enough to make him a cloak ; which so oblige little Chilian cottages which I had seen, where the man, that he knew not what way to testis they had not sometimes a pound or two of gold his joy; but I knew what I was doing in this dust and lumps of gold by them; and he was and I ordered my midshipman to do it, that ke mistaken, if I was willing to tarry and make the might make his acquaintance with him agains: experiment, if we did not find some, even then, another time, and it was not a gift ill bestowed in a very little search.
as will appear in its place. The Chilian mountaineer at whose house we We were now obliged to quit our mules, who had stopped to dine, had gone with us, and he llall took up their quarters at the top of the lul,
while we, by footings made in the rocks, des- |, after their own way, and benches to sit to them cended, as we might say, down a pair of stairs of like our country people's long tables in England, half a mile long, but with many plain places be- || and mattrasses, like couches, all along the other tween, like foot paces, for the ease of going and side, with skins of several sorts of wild creatures, coming.
laid on them to repose on in the heat of the day, Thus winding and turning to avoid the decli- || as is the usage among the Spaniards. vity of the hill, we came very safe to the bottom,
Our people set up their tents and beds abroad, where my patron's gentleman and our new land.
as before ; but my patron told me the Chilian lord that was to be, came to pay his compliment
would take it very ill if he and I did not take up to us.
our lodging in his house, and we had two rooms He was dressed in a jerkin made of an otter
provided, very magnificent in their way. The skin, like a doublet, a pair of long Spanish
mattrass we lay on had a large canopy over it, breeches of leather, dressed after the Spanish
spread like the crown of a tent, and covered with fashion, green, and very soft, and which looked
a large piece of cotton, white as milk, and which very well, but what the skin was I could not
came round every way like a curtain, so that if guess; he had over it a mantle of a kind of
it had been in the open field, it would have been cotton, dyed in two or three grave brown co
a complete covering ; the bed, such as it was, lours, and thrown about him like a Scotchman's
might be as hard as a quilt, and not more, and plaid ; he had shoes of a particular make, tied
the covering was of the same cotton as the cur. on like sandals, flat-heeled, no stockings, his
tain work, which, it seems, is the manufacture of breeches hanging down below the calf of his
the Chilian women, and is niade very dextrously; leg, and his shoes lacing up above his ancles ;
| it looked wild, but was pleasant enough, and he had on a cap of the skin of some small beast
proper to the place, so I slept very comfortably like a racoon, with a bit of the tail hanging
in it. out from the crown of his head backward, a long pole in his hand, and a servant, as oddly
But, I must confess, I was surprised at the dressed as himself, carried his gun: he had |
| aspect of things in the night here. It was, as I neither spado nor dagger.
told you above, very near night when we came to When our patron came up the Chilian stepped
this man's cottage (palace I should have called forward and made him three very low bows, and
lit), and while we were taking our repast, which then they talked together, not in Spanish, but in
was very pretty, it grew quite niglit; we had a kind of mountain jargon, some Spanish, and
wax candles brought in for light, which, it some Chilian, of which I scarce understood one
seems, my patron's man had provided, and the word. After a few words, I understood he said
place had so little communication with the air by something about a stranger come to see, and then,
windows, that we saw nothing of what was with
out doors. I suppose, added the passages of the mountains; then the Chilian came towards me, made me
After supper, my patron turns to me; “ Come, three bows, and bade me welcome in Spanish. As I seignior," said he,“ pray prepare yourself to take
on as he had said that he turns to his bar la walk."-" What! in the dark !" said I, “in barian, I mean his servant, for he was as ugly a
such a country as this?"_"No, no," says he, looking fellow as ever I saw, and taking his gun
“it is never dark here; you are now come to the from him, presented it to me; my patron bade me
country of everlasting day. What think you, take it, for he saw me a little at a loss what to
is not this Elysium?"_"I do not understand you," do, telling me, that as it was the greatest com
says I.”-“But you will presently,” says he, pliment that a Chilian could pay to me, he would
“ when I shall show you that it is now lighter be very ill pleased and out of humour if it was abroad than when we came in.” Soon after this not accepted, and would think we did not care to
some of the servants opened the door that went be friendly with him.
into the next room, and the door of that room, As we had given this Chilian no notice of our
which opened into the air, stood open, from coming, no, not a quarter of an hour, we could
whence a light of fire shone into the outer room, not expect great matters of entertainment, and,
and so further into ours. " What are they burnas we carried our provision with us, we did not
ing there ? " says I to my patron. “ You will stand in much need of it; but we had no reason
see presently," says he, adding, “ I hope you will to complain.
not be surprised." So he led me out to that This man's habitation was all the same as the
door. rest, low, and covered with a sedge, or a kind of | But who can express the thoughts of a man's reed, which we found grew very plentifully in || heart, coming on a sudden into a place where the the valley where he lived. He had several pieces | whole world seemed to be of a fire-light? The of ground round his dwelling, inclosed with stone | valley was on one side so exceeding bright, the walls, made very artificially with small stones, eye could scarce bear to look at it; the sides of and no mortar; these enclosed grounds were the mountains were shining like the fire itself; planted with several kinds of garden-stuff for his the flame from the top of the mountain on the household, such as plantains, Spanish cabbages, other side casting its light directly upon them, green cocoa, and other things, of the growth of from thence the reflection into other parts looked their own country, and two of them with Euro red, and more terrible ; for the first was white pean wheat.
and clear, like the light of the sun, but the other He had five or six apartments in his house, | being, as it were, a reflection of light, mixed with every one of them had a door into the air, and some darker cavities, represented the fire of a into one another, and two of them were very large furnace, and, in short, it might well be said, here and decent, had long tables on one side, madell was no darkness; but, certainly, at the first view, it gives no traveller any other idea than that of the valley about half a mile, when another great being at the very entrance of eternal horror. || valley cpened to the right, and gave us a more
All this while there was no fire, that is to say, || dreadful prospect than any we had seen before ; no real flame to be seen, only, that where the for at the farther end of this second valley, but flame was, it shone clearly into the valley; but at the distance of about three miles from where the volcano, or volcanoes, from whence the fire we stood, we saw a livid stream of fire come ruo. issued out (for it seems there were no less than ning down the sides of the mountain for near three of them, though at the distance of some three quarters of a mile in length, running like miles from one another), were on the south and | melted metal into a mould or out of a furnace, east sides of the valley, which was so much on till, I suppose, as it came nearer the bottom it that side where we were that we could see no. cooled and separated, and so went out of itself. thing but the light, neither on the other side Beyond this, over the summit of a prodigious could they see any more, it seems, than just the mountain, we could see the tops of the clear top of the flame : not knowing anything of the flame of a volcano, a dreadful one, no doubt, places from whence it issued out, which no could we have seen it all, and from the mouth of mortal creature, no, not of the Chilians them which, it was supposed, this stream of fire came : selves, were ever hardy enough to go near ; nor though the Chilian assured us that the fire itself would it be possible, if any should attempt it, was eight leagues off, and that the liquid ire the tops of the hills, for many leagues about which we saw came out of the side of the moun. them, being covered with new mountains of ashes tain, and was two leagues off from the great and stones, which are daily cast out of the mouths volcano itself, running like metal out of a furof those volcanoes, by which they grew every day || nace. They told me there was a great deal of higher than they were before, and wbich would || melted gold run down with the other inflamed overwhelm not only men, but whole armies of earth in that stream, and that much gold was " men, if they should venture to come near them. afterwards found there. But this I was to take
When first we came into the long narrow way || upon trust. I mentioned last, I observed that, as I thought, W This sight was, as you will easily suppose, best the wind blew very hard aloft among the hills, || at a distance, and indeed I had enough of it. and that it made a noise like thunder, which I || As for my two midshipmen, they were almost thought nothing of but as a thing usual; but frightened out of all their resolutions of going now that I came to this terrible sight, and that any further in this horrible place, and when we I heard the same thunder and yet found the air came back they came mighty seriously to me, calm and quiet, I soon understood that it was a | and begged of me for God's sake not to venture ! continued thunder, occasioned by the roaring of any further upon the faith of these Spaniards, the fire in the bowels of the mountains.
for that they would certainly carry us all into It was some time, you may suppose, before a some mischief or other, and betray us. traveller, unacquainted with such things, could I bade them be easy, for I saw nothing in it at make them familiar to him; and though the all that looked like treachery. That it was true, borror and surprise might abate aster proper re indeed, it was a terrible place to look on, but it flections on the nature and reason of the thing, seemed to be nothing but what was natural and yet I had a kind of astonishment upon me for a | familiar there, and we should be soon out of it. great while; every different place to which I They told me very seriously that they believed turned my eye presented me with a new scene of it was the very mouth of hell, and that, in short, horror. I was for awhile frightened at the fire they were not able to bear it, and begged of me being, as it were, over my head, for I could see | to go back ; I told them no, I could not think nothing of it, but that the air looked as if it were of going back; but if they could not endure it, all on fire, and I could not persuade myself but || I would give consent that they should go back in it would cast down the rocks and mountains on || the morning. However, we went, for the preon my head. But they laughed me out of that sent, to the Chilian's house again, where we got part. After a while I asked them if these vol. | a plentiful draught of Chilian wine, for my patron canoes did not cast out a kind of liquid fire; as had taken care to have a good quantity of it with I had seen an account of on the monstrous erup- us, and in the morning my two midshipmen, who tions of Mount Etna, which cast out a prodigious | got very drunk over night, had courage enough stream of fire and run eight leagues into the sea. I to venture forward again ; for the light of the Upon my putting this question to my patron, sun put quite another face upon things, and he asked the Chilian how long ago it was since || nothing of the fire was then to be seen, only the such a stream, calling it by a name of their own, smoke. ran fire? He answered, it ran now; and if we All our company lodged in the tents here, but were disposed to walk but three furlongs, we| I and my patron the Spaniard, who lodged should see it.
within the Chilian's house, as I told you. This He said little to me, but asked me if I cared || Chilian was a great man among the natives, and to walk a little way by this kind of light ? I all the valley I spoke of, which lay round his told him, it was a surprising place we were in, dwelling, was called his own; he lived in a state but I supposed he would lead me into no danger. || of perfect tranquillity, neither enjoying nor coHe said he would assure me he would lead me veting anything but what was necessary, and into no danger ; that these things were very fa- i wanting nothing that was so ; he had gold, as it miliar to them; but that I might depend there might be said, for picking it up off the dunghill, was no hazard, and that the flames which gave for it was found in all the little gullies and rills all this light were six or seven miles off, and some of water, which, as I have said, come down from of them more. We walked along the plain of the mountains on every side ; yet I did not find
that he troubled himself to lay up any great || We were now come to another night's lodging, quantity more than served to go to Villa Rica, l/ which we were obliged to take up with on the and buy what he wanted for himself and family; ll green grass, as we did the first night; but by the he had, it seems, a wife and some daughters, but help of our proveditor-general, my patron, we no sons; these lived in a separate house, about fared very well, our goat's flesh being reduced a furlong from this where he lived, and were kept | into so many sorts of venison, that none of us there as a family by themselves, and if he had had could distinguish it from the best venison we any sons they would have lived with him.
ever tasted. He did not offer to go with us any part of our Here we slept without any of the frightful way, as the other had done; but having enter things we saw the night before, except that we tained us with great civility took his leave. I might see the light of the fire in the air, at a caused one of my midshipmen to make him a Igreat distance, like a great city on fire, but that present, when we came away, of a piece of black gave us no disturbance at all. baize, enough to make him a cloak, as I did the In the morning our two hunters shot a deer, other, and a piece of blue English serge, enough or rather a young fawn, before we were awakc, to make him a jerkin and breeches, which he and this was the first we met with in this part accepted as a great bounty.
of our travel, and thus we were provided for We set out again, though not very early in | dinner even before breakfast time. As for our the morning, having, as I said, sat up late and breakfast, it was always a Spanish breakfast, drank freely over night, and we found that after that is to say, about a pint of chocolate. we had gone to sleep it had rained very hard, We set out very merrily in the morning, and and though the rain was over before we went out, we that were Englishmen could not refrain yet the falling of the water from the hills made smiling at one another, to think how we passed such a confused noise, and was echoed so back. through a country where the gold lay in every ward and forward from all sides, that it was like ditch, as we might call it, and never troubled a strange mixture of distant thunder, and though ourselves so much as to stoop to take it up; we knew the causes yet it could not be but sur so certain is it that it is easy to be placed in prising to us for awhile.
a station of life where that very gold, the heapHowever, we set forward, the way under foot || ing up of which is here made the rain business being pretty good, and first we went up the steps of man's living in the world, would be of no again by which we had come down, (our last || value, and not worth taking off from the ground host waiting on us thither,) and there I gave him nay, not of significatica enough to make a preback his gun, for he would not take it before. sent of; for that was the case here. Two or
In this valley, which was the pleasantest by three yards of Colchester baize, a coarse rugday and the most dismal by night that ever I saw, like mar,ufacture, worth in London about fifteen. I observed abundance of goats, as well tame in || perice halfpenny per yard, was here a present the inclosures as wild upon the rocks; and we jj for a man of quality; when, for a handful of found afterwards that the latter were perfectly gold dust, the same person would scarcely thank wild, and to be had, like those at Juan Fer. | you, or, perhaps, would think himself not kindly nandez, by anybody that could catch them. My | Created to have it offered him. patron sent off two of his men, just as a hunts We travelled this day pretty smartly, having man casts off hounds, to go and catch goats, and rested at noon about two hours, as before, and, they brought us in three, which they shot in less by my calculation, went about 22 English miles than half an hour; and these we carried with || in all. About five o'clock in the afternoon we us for our evening supply, for we made no dinner came into a broad, plain, open place, where, this day, having fed heartily in the morning about though it was not properly a valley, yet we nine, and had chocolate two hours before that | found it lay very level for a good way together.
We travelled now along the narrow winding | Our way lying almost E. S. E., after we had passage, which I mentioned before, for about four marched so about two miles, I found the way hours, till I found, that though we had ascended go evidently down hill, and in half a mile more, but gently, yet that, as we had done so for almost to our singular satisfaction, we found the water twenty miles together, we were got up to a from the mountains ran plainly eastward, and, frightful height, and I began to expect some very consequently, to the North Sea. difficult descent on the other side ; but we were We saw at a distance several huts, or houses made casy about two o'clock, when the way not of the mountaineer inhabitants, but we came near only declined again to the east, but grew wider, || none of them, but kept on our way, going down though with frequent turnings and winding two or three pretty steep places, not at all danabout, so that we could seldom see above half a gerous, though somewhat difficult. mile before us. We went on thus pretty much We encamped again the next night, as before, upon a level, now rising, now falling, but still i || and still our good caterer had plenty of food for found that we were a very great height from our us; but I observed that the next morning, when first entrance; and as to the running of the || We set forward, our tents were left standing, the water, I found that it showed neither east nor || baggage-mules tied together to graze, and our west, but ran all down the little turnings that we company lessened by all my patron's servants, frequently met with on the north side of our || which, when I inquired about, he told me he way, which my patron told me went all into the hoped we should have good quarters quickly great valley where we saw the fire, and so went || without them. I did not understand him for the away by a general channel north-west, till it present, but it unriddled itself soon after ; for found its way out into the open country of Chili, | though we travelled four days more in that narand so to the South Seas.
Il row way, yet he always found us lodging at the cottages of the mountaineers. The sixth day || Nay,” adds he, “is it not very odd to observe, we went all day up hill. At last, on a sudden, || that when for our diversion we come out into the the way turned short east, and opened into a vast bills, and among these places where you see the wide country, boundless to the eye every way, gold is so easily found, we come, as we call it, aand delivered us entirely from the mountains of hunting, and divert ourselves more with shooting the Andes, in which we had wandered so long. wild parrots, or a fawn or two, for which also we
Any one may guess what an agreeable surprise | ride and run, and make our servants weary thema this was to us, to whom it was the main end of || selves more than they would in fishing up the our travels. We made no question that this was gold among the gulies and holes that the water the open country extending to the North or Ato makes in the rocks, and more than would suffice lantic Ocean, but how far it was thither, or what to find fifty, nay, one hundred times the value in inhabitants it was possessed by, what travelling, gold. what provisions to be found in the way, what “ To what purpose, then, should we seek the rivers to pass, and whether any navigable or not; Il possession of more countries, who are already this our patron himself could not tell us one | possessed of more land than we can improve, word of, owning frankly to us that he had never and of more wealth than we know what to do been one step further than the place where we with ?" then stood, and that he had been there only once
Perceiving me very attentive, he went
on thus : to satisfy his curiosity, as I did now.
“ Were these mountains," said he, “valued in I told him that if I had lived where he did, | Europe, according to the riches to be found in and had had servants and provisions at command, them, the viceroy would obtain orders from the as he had, it would have been impossible for me king to have strong forts erected at the entrance to have restrained my curiosity so far as not to in, and at the coming out of them, as well on the have searched that whole country to the sea side side of Chili as here, and strong garrisons mainlong ago. I told him it seemed to be a pleasant tained in them, to prevent foreign nations landand fruitful soil, and, no doubt, was capable of ing, either on our side in Chili, or on this side in
ltivation and improvement, and if it had been the North Seas, and taking the possession from cu have possessed such a country in his Ca- ll us; he would then order thirty thousand slares,
sty's name, it must have been worth || negroes, or Chilians, to be constantly employed, tholic Maju. ake the discovery for the honour while to underlu
| not only in picking up what gold might be found ..there could be no room to in the channels of the water, which might easily of Spain ; and thai question, but his Catho... Majesty would have
be formed into proper receivers, so as that if any honoured him that should havi undertaken such gold washed from the rocks, it should soon be
found, and be so secured, as that none of it would a thing with some particular mark at his favour,
escape ; also others, with miners and engineers, which might be of consequence to him and his family.
might search into the very rocks themselves, and He told me that as to that, the Spaniards i would, no doubt, find out such mines of gold, or seemed already to have more dominions in Ame other secret stores of it in those mountains, as rica than they could keep, and much more than || would be sufficient to enrich the world. ; they were able to reap the benefit of, and still " While we gmit such things as these, seig. more infinitely than they could improve, and es. nior," says he, "what signifies Spain making new pecially in those parts called South America, acquisitions, or the people of Spain seekiog new
That it was next to miraculous that they could countries? This vast tract of land you see here, keep the possession where they were, and were and some hundreds of miles every way, which not the natives so utterly destitute of support your eye cannot reach to, is a fruitful, pleasant, from any other part of the world, as not to be and agreeable piece of God's creation, but per. able to have either arms or ammunition put into | fectly uncultivated, and most of it uninhabited ; their hands, it would be impossible, since I might and any nation in Europe that thinks fit to settle easily see they were men that wanted not strength in it are free to do so, for anything we are able to of body nor courage, and it was evident they did || do to prevent them." not want numbers, seeing they were already ten “ But, seignior," said I, “ does not his Catholic thousand natives to one Spaniard, taking the || Majesty claim a title to the possession of it? whole country from one end to the other. and have the Spaniards no governor over it; por
He went on-" Then you see, seignior," says | any ports or towns, settlements or colonies in it, he,“ how far we are from improvement in that || as is the case here in Chili ?"_" Seignior," repart of the country which we possess, and many | plies, he, “the king of Spain is lord of America, more, which, you may be sure are among these as well that which he possesses as that which he vast mountains, and which we never discovered, possesses not, that right being given him by the seeing all these valleys and passages among the Pope, in the right of his being a Christian prince, mountains, where gold is to be had in such quan- || making new discoveries for propagating the tities, and with so much ease, that every poor | Christian faith among infidels; how far that may Chilian gathers it up with his hands, and may li pass for a title among the European powers I have as much as he pleases; all are left open, know not; I have heard that it has always passnaked and unregarded, in the possession of the ed for a maxim in Europe, that no country which wild mountaineers, who are heathens and sa-l is not planted by any prince or people can be vages; and the Spaniards, you see," says he said to belong to them; and, indeed, I cannot “are so few, and these few so indolent, so sloth. I say but it seems to be rational that no prince ful, and so satisfied with the gold they get of the should pretend to any title to a country where Chilians for things of small value in trade, that he does not think fit to plant, and to keep pos. all this vast treasure lies unregarded by them. session ; for if he leaves the country unpos.