Show Translation



[{he king. All the veteran troops in Cliile do not
exceed 2000, and these consist of artillery, dra-
goons, and infantry. The infantry as well as the
artillery is under the command of two lieutenant-

3. Ecdesiasikal government .— respects the
ecclesiastical government, Chile is divided into
the two large dioceses of St. Jago and Concepcion,
which cities are tlie residencies ot the bishops,
who are suffragans to the archbishop of Lima.
The first diocese extends from the confines of Peru
to the river Maule, comprehending the province
of Cnjo upon the other side of the Andes. The
second comprises all the rest of Chile, with the
islands, although the greater part of this extent is
inhabited by pagans. The cathedrals are sup-
plied with a proper mmiber of canons, whose re-
venues depend upon the tithes, as do those of the
bishops. The court of inquisition at Lima has
at St. Jago a commissioner with several subaltern
officers. Pedro Valdivia, on his first entering
Chile, brought with him the monks of the order
of Mercy ; and about the year 1553, introduced
the Dominicans and strict Franciscans. The Au-
gustins established themselves there in 1595; and
the Hospitallers of St. John of God, about the
the year 1615. These religious orders have all a
number of convents, and the three first form dis-
tinct jurisdictions. The brothers of St. John of
God have the charge of the hospitals, under a
commissary, who is dependent upon the provin-
cial of Peru. These are the only religious frater-
nities now in Chile. The Jesuits, who came into
Chile in 1593, with the nephew of their founder,
Don Martin de Loyola, formed likewise a separate
province. Others have several times attempted,
but without success, to form establishments, the
Chilians having always opposed the admission of
new orders among them. In St. Jago and Con-
cepcion are several convents of nuns ; but they
are the only cities that contai?i them.

4. The cities and dwellings . — The cities are
built in the best situations in the country. Many
of them, however, w ould have been better placed,
for the purposes of commerce, upon the shores of
the large rivers. This is particularly the case with
those of more recent construction. The streets
are straight, intersecting each other at right angles,
and are 36 French feet in breadth. On account
of earthquakes the houses are generally of one
story ; they are, however, very commodious,
whitewashed without, and generally painted within.
Each is accommodated with a pleasant garden, ir-
rigated by an aqueduct which furnishes water for
the use of the family. Those belonging to the


L E.

wealthier classes, particularly the nobility, are
furnished with much splendour and taste. The
inhabitants perceiving that old buildings of two
stories have resisted the most violent shocks, ha\ e
of late years ventured to reside in the upper rooms,
and now begin to construct their houses in the
European naanner. In consequence of this the
cities have a better appearance than formerly ; and
the more so, as instead of forming their houses of clay
hardened in the sun, which was supposed less liable
to injury, they now employ brick and stone. Cel-
lars, sewers, and wells, were formerly much more
common than at present; a circumstance which
may have contributed to render the buildings more
secure from earthquakes. The churches are ge-
nerally more remarkable for their wealth than their
style of architecture. The cathedral and the
church of the Dominicans in the capital, which
are built of stone, are however exceptions. The
first was constructed at the royal expcnce, under
the direction of the Bishop Don Manuel Alday,
an excellent and learned prelate; it is built in a
masterly style, and is 384 French feet in front.
The plan was drawn by two English architects,
who superintended the work : but when it was
half finished they refused to go on, unless their
wages were increased. In consequence of this tlie
building was suspended, when two of the Indians
who had worked under the Englishmen, and had
secretly found means of instructing themselves in
every branch of the art, offered to complete it :
which they did with as much skill and perfection
as their masters themselves could have displayed.
In the capital the follow ing edifices are also worthy
of remark : the barracks for the dragoons, the
mint, which has been lately built by a Homan ar-
chitect, and the hospital for orphans.

5. Population . — Spanish Chile, in consequence
of the freedom granted to its maritime trade, is
peopling with a rapidity proportioned to the salu-
brity of its climate and the fertility of its soil. Its
population in general is composed of Europeans,
Creoles, Indians, Negroes, and Musters. The
Europeans, except a few French, English, and
Italians, are Spaniards, who for the most part are
from the s. provinces of Spain. D. Cosrne Bueno,
whose manuscript account of Peru is stated by
Robertson, as having been drawn up in 1764,
(though the copies w hich v/e have seen of this work
contain facts of a later date by at least 20 years),
ffives to Chile a population of 240,000 souls.
Malespina, who visited that country in 1790, is of
opinion that this estimate, is greatly under the
truth ; and we hove been lately informed, on good
authority, that the present population of Chile]

Notes and Questions

Please sign in to write a note for this page


This section is not in Alcedo's text