421

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CHILE.

421

[baptized, and made his page, instigated by sliame
for his countrymen, quitted the victorious party,
and by encouragement and entreaties prevailed
upon the Araucaniaiis to return to the conflict.
Thus was changed the fate of the day : of the
Spanish army only two Prornaucians had the for
tune to escape: and this may be considered an
epoch in the liistory of Araucanian valour, not
only from the event of the battle itself, but as be
ing the dawn of that glory which ever after signa
lized the armies of that nation under the hap])y
auspices of the Araucanian Hannibal, the greatand
valiant Lautaro.

11. Valdivia slain ; Lautnro appointed lieute
nant-general. — After the deatli of V^aldivia, who
was taken prisoner in the battle, and dispatched
by an old nlnien whilst pleading for his life in an
assembly of ulmenes, the young Lautaro was ap
pointed lieutenant-general extraordinary to Can
polican, with the privilege of commanding in
chief another army, which he intended to raise to
protect tlie frontiers from the invasion of the Spa
niards. In the mean time the Spanish inhabitants
of the City of the Frontiers and of Puren, think
ing themselves insecure within their walls, retired
to Imperial. The same was the case of those of
Villarica, who abandoned their houses, and took
refuge in Valdivia. Thus had the Araucaniaiis
only these two places to attack. Caupolican
having determined to besiege them, committed
to Lautaro the care of defending the n. fron
tier.

12. The mountain Mariguenu. — The young
vicc-toqui fortified himself upon the lofty moun
tain of Mariguenu, situated on the roatl which
leads to the province of Arauco, supposing, as it
happened, that the Spaniards, desirous of reveng
ing the death of their general, would take that
road in search of Caupolican. This mountain,
which on several occasions has proved fatal to the
Spaniards, has on its summit a large plain inter
spersed with shady trees. Its sides are full of
clefts and precipices ; on the part towards the
w. tlie sea beats with great violence, and the
e. is secured by impenetrable thickets. A wind
ing bye-path on the n. was the only road that
led to the summit of the mountain.

13. The Governor Villagran . — Fillagran, wdio
had succeeded Valdivia in the government, w as not
able to cope with the valour and militar\' prowess
of Lautaro. Without entering into particulars of
a desperate battle Avhich w'as fought between these
two commanders, we shall content ourselves with
observing, that the result was the immediate eva
cuation of Concepcion ; as Villagran, thinking it

impossible to defend that city, embarked precipi
tately the old men, the women, and children, on
board of two ships which were then fortunately in
the harbour, with orders to the captains to con
duct part of them to Imperial, and part to Val
paraiso ; while with the rest of the inhabitants he
proceeded by land to Santiago.

II. Concepcion destroyed . — Lautaro, on enter
ing the deserted city, found in it a very great
booty, as its commerce and mines had rendered it
very opulent; and the citizens, more attentive to
save their lives than their riches, had, on their de
parture, taken scarcely any thing with them ex
cept a few provisions. After having burned the
houses, and razCd the citadel toils foundation, the
victor returned with his army to celebrate his
triumph in Arauco. But although Lautaro
was til us successful, Caupolican was obliged to
raise the siege of Imperial and Valdivia ; these
places having had strong reinforcements thrown
info them by Villagran.

15. The small-pox appears. — It was at this aw
ful period, when he, availing himself of the ab
sence of his enemy, was ravaging the country in
the vicinity of Imperial, and burning the houses
and crops, that the Araucanians were visited by
tliat baneful enemy of mankind, the small-pox, sup
posed to have been communicated by some of the
Spanish soldiers, who were either infected at the
time, or Avho had but recently recovered from it.
It made the greatest ravages; and we hear that
of the several districts of the country there was
one whose population amounted to 12,000 per
sons, of which number not more than 100^
escaped with life. This pestilential disorder had,
to be sure, already made its appearance a few
years before in some of the n. provinces, but
those of the s. had been for more than a cen
tury exempt from its ravages, from the precautions
employed by the inhabitants (o prevent all com
munication with the infected countries. Whilst
Villagran was employing all his attention in main
taining, as far as possible, the Spanish power, his
attentio!: was drawn off to the claims of Francis
Aguirre, who, in Valdivia’s instructions, liad
been named the second as governor ; and who, on
learning the death of that general, determined to
possess himself of the government either by favour
or force.

16. Decision o f the audience of Lima respecting
the governors. — His pretensions must infallibly
have produced a civil war between Viliagran and
himself, had they not both consented to submit
their claims to the decision of the royal audience
of Lima. This court, whose jurisdiction at that]

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