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402

CHILE.

[ auxiliaries, from whence has sprung that rooted
antipatliy which the Araucanians preserve against
the residue of that nation. In the course of the
year 1546, Valdivia, having passed the Maule,
proceeded in his career of victory to the river
Itata ; but being defeated there, he relinquished
his plans of proceeding farther, and returned to
St. Jago.

17. Valdivia sets sail for Peru ^ and returns with
men and supplies . — Being disappointed in his
succours from Peru, he, in 1547, was on tlie eve
of his departure for that country, when Pastenes
arrived, but without any men, and bringing news
of the civil war which had broken out between the
conquerors of the empire of the Incas. Neverthe
less, persuaded that he miglit reap an advantage
from these revolutions, he set sail with Pastene for
Peru, taking with him a great quantity of gold;
on his arrival he served, in quality of quarter-mas
ter-general, in the famous battle that decided the
fate of Gonzalo Pizarro. Gasca, the president, who
under the royal standard had gained the victory,
pleased with the service rendered him upon this
occasion by Valdivia, confirmed him in his otlice
of governor, and furnishing him with an abun
dance of military stores, sent him back to Chile
with two ships filled with those seditious adven
turers, of whom he was glad of an opportunity to
be disembarrassed. The Copiapins, eager to re
venge the murder of their prince, killed about the
same time 40 Spaniards, who had been detached
from several squadrons, and were proceeding from
Peru to Chile ; and the Coquirnbanes, instigated
by their persuasion, massacred alt the inhabitants
oi’ the colony lately founded in their territory,
ra,zing the city to its foundation. Francis Aguirre
was immediately ordered there, and had several
encounters with them with various success. In
1549 he rebuilt the city in a more advantageous
sit nation ; its inhabitants claim him as their founder,
and the most distinguished of them boast them
selves as his descendants. After a contest of nine
years, and almost incredible fatigues, Valdivia,
conceiving himself well established in that part of
Chile which was under the dominion of the Peru
vians, distributed the land among his soldiers,
assigning to each, under the title of commandery,
a considerable portion, with the inhabitants liv
ing thereon. By this means, having quieted the
restless ambition of his companions, he set out
anew on his march for the s. provinces, with a
respectable army of Spanish and Proraaucian
troops.

18. Concepcion founded. — After a journey of
150 miles, he arrived, without encountering many

obstacles, at the bay of Penco, which had been
already explored by Pastene, where, on the 5th of
October 1550, he founded a third city, called Con
cepcion. The situation of this place was very
advantageous for commerce from the excellence of
its harbour, but, from the lowness of the ground,
exposed in earthquakes to inundations of the sea.
Accordingly we find it destroyed in this manner
by an earthquake that occurred on the 8th of J uly
1730, and the 24th of May 1751; for this reason,
the inhabitants established themselves, on the 24th
of November 1764, in the valley of Mocha, three
leagues s. of Penco, between the rivers Andalien
and Biobio, where they founded New Concepcion,
The harbour is situated in the middle of the bay
called Talgacuano, a little more than two leagues
w. of Mocha ; a fort is now all the building that is
left at Penco. But to return to our history, the
adjacent tribes perceiving the intention of the
Spaniards to occupy this important post, gave in
formation of it to their neighbours and friends the
Araucanians, who foreseeing that it would not be
long before the storm would burst upon their own
country, resolved to succour their distressed allies,
in order to secure themselves. But before we pro
ceed to relate the events of this war, it may be
more advisable to give some account of the cha
racter and manners of that warlike people, who
have hitherto, with incredible valour, opposed the
overwhelming torrent of Spanish conquest, and
from henceforward will furnish all the materials of
our history.

CUAP. III.

Of the character and manners of the Arauca
nians.

1. Local situation . — The Araucanians inhabit
that delightful country situate between the rivers
Biobio and Valdivia, and between the Andes and
the sea, extending from 36° 44' to 39“ 50' of s.
latitude. They derive their appellation of Arau
canians from the province of Arauco, which,
though the smallest in their territory, has, like
Holland, given its name to the whole nation,
either from its having been the first to unite with
the neighbouring provinces, or from having at
some remote period reduced them under its do
minion. This people, ever enthusiastically at
tached to their independence, pride themselves in
being called auca, which signifies frank or free ;
and those Spaniards who had left the army in the
Netherlands to serve in Chile, gave to this country
the name of Araucanian Flanders, or the Invincible
State ; and some of them have even had the mag
nanimity to celebrate in epic poetry tlie exploits]

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