Show Translation



[amounts to 790,000 souls, including 70,000 inde-
pendent Araucanos.

6. Chilian Creoles . — The Creoles, who form the
greater number, are the descendants of Europeans.
Their character, with some slight difference, pro-
ceeding from climate or government, is precisely
similar to that of the other American Creoles of
European origin. The same modes of thinking,
and the same moral qualities, are discernible in
them all. This uniformity, which furnishes much
subject for reflection, has never yet been considered
by any philosopher in its full extent. Whatever
intelligent and unprejudiced travellers have ob-
served respecting the characters of the French and
English Creoles, will perfectly apply to that of the
Chilian. They are generally possessed of good
tfllents, and succeed in any of the arts to which
they apply themselves. They would make as great
progress in the useful sciences as they have done
iji metaphysics, if they had the same motives to
stimulate them as are found in Europe. They do
not readily imbibe prejudices, and are not tena-
cious in retaining them.

7. State of arts and sciences, — As scientific
books and instruments, however, are very scarce,
or sold at an exorbitant price, their talents are either
never developed, or are wholly employed upon
trifles. The expences of printing are also so great,
as to discourage literary exertion, so that few aspire
to the reputation of authors. The knowledge of
the civil and canonical laws is held in great esteem
by them, so that many of the Chilian youth, after
having completed their course of academical edu-
cation in Chile, proceed to Lima, which is highly
celebrated for its schools of law, in order to be in-
structed in that science. The fine arts are in a
very low state in Chile, and even the mechanical
are as yet very far from perfection. We may ex-
cept, however, those of carpentry, and the work-
ing of iron and the precious metals, which have
made considerable progress, in consequence of the
information obtained from some German artists,
who were introduced into the country by that
worthy ecclesiastic, Father Carlos, of Hainhausen
in Bavaria. In a w'ord, the arts and sciences of
Chile have for these latter years much engaged the
attention of the inhabitants, and it is affirmed that
the state of the country has already assumed a very
ditferent appearance.

8. The peasantry . — The peasantry, though for
much the greater part of Spanish origin, dress in
the Araucanian manner. Dispersed over that ex-
tensive country, and unencumbered by restraint,
they possess perfect liberty, and lead a tranquil
and happy life, amidst the enjoyments of that de-

lightful climate. Raynal observes, the principal
part of these robust men live dispersed upon their
possessions, and cultivate with their own hands a
greater or less extent of ground. They are in-
cited to this laudable labour by a sky always clear
and serene, and a climate the most agreeably tem-
perate of any in the two hemispheres, but more
especially by a soil whose fertility has excited the
admiration of all travellers.” They are naturally
gay and fond of all kinds of diversion. They
have likewise a taste for music, and compose verses
after their manner, which, although rutle and in-
elegant, possess a certain natural simplicity more
interesting than the laboured compositions of cul-
tivated poets. Extemporaneous rhymes, or im~
provisatori, are common among them, and are
called in their language palladores. Those known
to possess this talent are held in high estimation,
and apply themselves to no other occupation. In
the countries dependent on the Spanish colonies,
there is generally no other language than the Spa-
nish spoken, but on the frontiers the peasants speak
the Araucanian or Chilian, as well as the former.

9. Di'ess, Sfc . — The men dress in the French,
and the women in the Peruvian fashion, except
that the women of Chile wear their garments longer
than those of Peru. In point of luxury, there is no
difference between the inhabitants of the two coun-
tries ; Lima prescribes the fashions for Chile, as
Paris does for the rest of Europe. Those who are
wealthy make a splendid display in their dress,
their servants, coaches, or titles. Chile alone, of
all the American provinces, has enjoyed the supe-
rior privilege of having two of its citizens exalted
to the dignity of grandees of Spain ; the one Don
Fernando Irrazabal, Marquis of Valparaiso ; the
other, Don Fermin Caravajal, Duke of St. Carlos.

10. Diseases; small-pox., how cured. — The sa-
lubrity of the air, and the constant exercise on
horseback to which they accustom themselves from
childhood, render them strong and active, and
preserve them from many diseases. 'I'he small-pox
is not so common as in Europe, but it makes ter-
rible ravages when it appears. This disease Avas,
in the year 1766, for the first time introduced into
the province of Maule, where it became very fatal.
A countryman who had recovered from it, con-
ceived the idea of attempting to cure a number of
unhappy wretches, avIjo had been abandoned, by
coAv’s milk, which he gave them to drink, or ad-
ministered to them in clysters. With this simple
remedy he cured all those whom he attended ;
while the physicians, Avith their complicated pre-
scriptions, saved but a very few. This anecdote is
supported by, at the same time tiiat it tends strongly]

Notes and Questions

Please sign in to write a note for this page


This section is not in Alcedo's text