Imatges de pàgina

converts with axes to cut through the woods, and to serve as guides, interpreters, and fellow labourers. They had weapons against wild beasts, but no fire-arms; and even the Indian comfort of a hammock was thought an unnecessary luxury for the preacher. Their toils, and the dangers to which they were occasionally exposed, may be appreciated from the following anecdote :

• In one of these excursions Ortega was caught by a sudden flood between two rivers; both overflowed, and presently the whole plain had the appearance of one boundless lake. "The missionary, and the party of Neophytes who accompanied him, were used to inconveniences of this kind, and thought to escape, as heretofore, with marching mid-deep in water; but the food continued to rise, and compelled them to take to the trees for safety. The storm increased, the rain continued, and the inundation augmented; and, among the beasts and reptiles whom the waters had surprised, one of the huge American serpents approached the tree upon which Ortega and his catechist bad taken refuge, and, coiling round one of the branches, began to ascend, wbile they fully expected to be devoured, having neither means of escape nor of defence: the branch by which he sought to lift himself broke under his weight, and the monster swam off. But though they were thus delivered from this danger their situation was truly dreadful : (wo days passed, and, in the middle of the second night, one of the Indians came swimming towards the tree by the lightning's light, and called to Ortega, telling him that six of his companions were at the point of death; they who had not yet been baptized intreated him to baptize them; and those who had received that sacrament, requested absolution ere they died. The Jesuit fastened his catechist to the bough by which he held, then let himself down into the water, and swam to perform these offices; he had scarcely completed them before five of these poor people dropped and sunk; and, when he got back to his own tree, the water had reached the neck of his catechist, whom he had now to untie, and help bim to gain a higher branch. The flood, however, now began to abate. Ortega, in swimming among the thorny boughs, received a wound in his leg, which was never thoroughly healed during the two-and-twenty years that he survived this dreadful adventure

pp. 255, 256.

But these natural obstacles were by no means the most serious which they encountered in their work of civilization' and conversion :the Spanish slave-dealers, at whose trade a deadly blow was levelled, made use of every means of fraud and intimidation to cross their schemes and to deter the Indians from joining them. In one of their earliest expeditions a man, from Ciudad Real, accompanied them as a volunteer interpreter, • They noticed with some surprise that his baggage gradually diminished till all was gone, and that his apparel then disappeared piece by piece, so that at length he had no other clothing than a wrapper round che loins. Upon inquiring the cause of this, he replied, “ You, fathers, VOL. XVIII. NO, XXXV.


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preach in your fashion, and I preach in mine; you have the gift of the word, which God has not given to me; and I endeavour to supply it by works. I have distributed all that I had among the principal Indians of the country, in hope that when this liberality has gained the chiefs, it may be easier to win the rest.” He concluded by requesting leave to return home, now that he had given away all, and was no longer necessary, they themselves being now sufficiently conversant in the Guarani tongue. He had not long taken his leave, before it was discovered that his real business had been to purchase slaves, a whole herd of whom he bore away with him. The Jesuits could not without difficulty clear themselves from the suspicion of having been partners in this traffic.'--p. 267.

On other occasions these traders assumed the disguise of Jesuits, and, when the natives approached them as friends, surprized and kidnapped them. They had continual intrigues to wrestle with at Assumpcion, and in the mother-country; the bishops, the secular clergy, and the other religious orders of South America were their enemies alınost to a man: and they had need of all their extensive influence in Madrid to support them against the common voice of the colonists of Paraguay. Among the Indians themselves they encountered considerable opposition :-the sudden change from a roving to a settled life, from the alternations of hunting and repose to regular daily labour, was productive at first of a great mortality, and a still greater alarm among their converts. Many grew weary of the restraints imposed on them, and returned to their woods, or secretly practised the vices of their former heatbenism. Others suspected the missionaries of being actuated by motives merely seltish and treacherous ; of designing to make them slaves in a new and more effectual way; or by collecting them into villages, as into nets, to give them, in droves, to their enemies. Some of the more ambitious, observing and emulating the power which these fathers acquired by their preaching, set up for themselves as prophets and Anti-Christs, and attempted to blend the ancient superstitions of their country with the more singular and attractive features of the new doctrine. Three instances are given, in which individuals assumed the name of the Almighty, and, on their own authority, threatened the converts with fire from heaven if they did not forsake their new guides. One of these impostors applied the doctrine of the Trinity to himself and two associates, of whom he spoke as his emanations, and consubstantial with him. Some of the ancient conjurors, finding their craft in danger, betook themselves to new and more interesting ceremonies—sacrifices on the tops of mountains, with a perpetual fire-oracles, relics, and female votaries. Others, more bold and sanguinary, had recourse to open war; and one of the Reductions (as the new villages were called) was the scene of a massacre, and of the martyrdom of a Jesuit.

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This last event was ultimately favourable to the cause.—Savages, says Mr. Southey, are accustomed to the contempt of death ; but for what followed, upon the death of the missionaries, they were unprepared, and it impressed them with astonishment. The Jesuits, as a matter of course, reported many and wonderful miracles, as consequent to this murder; and all these the Indians readily believed; while the pageantry and exultation, with which the relics of the new saints were received, not only by the Jesuits themselves, but by all the Spaniards, affected them as much by its singularity as its sincerity. The conduct of the Jesuits themselves, so strangely contrasted with that of all the whites whom they had seen, completed this astonishment. They who had only heard of those wonderful men became curious to see them; but they who once came within the influence of such superior minds, and felt the contagion of example, were not long in adopting customs which obviously tended to their advantage. The number and size of the Reductions rapidly increased, when a circumstance, which at first threatened their total ruin,

greater consis tency to their fabric, and occasioned one of the most singular circumstances in their subsequent constitution.

The eastern frontier of the province, which the Jesuits had selected as the scene of their operations, adjoined on the Portugueze colony of St. Paulo; or, to speak more properly, no limit whatever was settled between the Spaniards and Portugueze ; but the Jesuits pushing eastward and the Paulistas westward, they encountered on a sort of debateable ground to which either party might pretend a claim. Of the singular race, with whom the fathers had to contend, very strange and exaggerated' notions have long been entertained in Europe.-One writer, quoted by Mr. Southey, speaks of them as a kind of independent republic, composed of the banditti of several nations, who pay a tribute of gold to the king of Portugal. Another gravely tells us, that virtuous actions are carefully punished with death by the Paulistas.' The truth is, that the inhabitants of the captaincy of Santo Paulo had all the virtues and vices incident to back-settlers, and paid about as much respect to the laws of their mother-country as the Porkeaters, and Coureurs des Bois' of Upper Canada, appear to have lately done to the charters granted to their rivals in trade by his Britannic Majesty. The only difference appears to have been, that, being professionally traders, not in the furs of animals, but in the flesh and blood of their own species, the mixed breed of South America were even more prompt in their appeals to arms, and more regardless of human life, than the Gallo-Scotish Indian savages of Red River and Lake Winnipeg. On one occasion, indeed, the people of Santo Paulo were in

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clined to set up a king of their own; and it was certainly a moment when, if ever, a colony is fairly entitled to such a privilege, when Portugal and the rest of Brazil had revolted against Spain; and when the option was presented to them, either to adhere to the allegiance which they had lately professed to Philip, or to receive Braganza as their sovereign; or, which they themselves preferred, to bid adieu both to Castile and Portugal.

To carry this plan into effect they had very ample means before them. Their population was not inconsiderable—increasing rapidly—and, by the prevalence of Indian blood, (which here more than in any other part of Portugueze America composed the basis of the stock,) admirably adapted to the climate, and uniting the intelligence of their European fathers with the hot and enterprizing blood of their maternal tribes. Their territory was extensive, very fertile, well situated for trade, and absolutely inaccessible to invasion; and it is probable, that, had their intention of establishing an independent government been, at that time, carried into effect, the germ would have been formed of an empire which would ere this have overshadowed the whole of South America.

But the most respectable planters were, in their hearts, attached to the land of their fathers. The individual on whom the popular choice fell defended himself, sword in hand, against the tumultuous efforts of his fellow-citizens to crown him; and though it is possible this transaction may have given rise to the exaggerated reports, above-mentioned, of their independence and lawless liberty, it is certain that their allegiance to the mother-country, though probably little thought of where it interfered with their local interest, was, thenceforward, in name at least, unbroken. Nor can there be any doubt, that it was their resistance to the extension of Jesuit missions eastward, however much to be lamented on grounds of general humanity, which preserved to the Portugueze monarchy the ample regions between the Parana and the Tiete, with the mines of Goyazes, Mato Grosso, and Cuyaba.

Unhappily for the Jesuits and their new converts, this country, which the Paulistas had always regarded as belonging to Portugal, and more peculiarly as their own mining and slaving ground, was among the first scenes of the labours of the missionaries. Both Portugal and Spain indeed were at that time under the same sovereign; and it might have been supposed that the court of Caslile, which protected them against the Spanish slave-dealers, would have been equally able and willing to support them against the Brazilians. But, by a singular impolicy, the Spanish government had made no attempt to unite the nations as well as the crowns. Each country was to keep the exclusive advantage of its own colowies: the Paulistas were little disposed to be either cajoled or alarmed out of their ancient privilege; and the numerous bodies of defenceless Indians, whom the fathers had collected in their Reductions, were regarded in no other light than as a booty of the most valuable kind, and most easy acquisition. There was yet another motive or pretext for these barbarous enterprizes. The Paulistas, who were all of the Mamaluco, or mixed race, were, in part, of Tupi blood. The Guaranis, from whom the Jesuit Reductions were formed, were the enemies of the Tupi nation; and this obsolete feud was the more readily revived and cherished, as adding the pleasure of revenge to that of avarice and adventure. Against this danger the Jesuits had, in the first instance, no defence but the ineffectual one of prayers and tears, and an appeal to the symbols and sanctions of their religion.

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In the space of nine months, fifteen hundred head of Christian Indians were driven for sale into Brazil, besides the far greater number who were butchered for attempting to resist, or who dropped down dead before their brutal drivers. Two Jesuits, Manilla and Maceta, had the courage to follow, as closely as they could, the rear of this band of robbers and assassins, trusting to what they might tind in the woods for subsistence, and administering such consolation as they could to the dying, with whom the road was strewed. On their arrival at Brazil, ihey made vain applications for redress to the governor of St. Paulo, and afterwards to the governor-general at Bahia. The slaves were already sold and dispersed through the country. The Paulistas cared nothing for such feeble laws as then prevailed in America ; and the only fruit of their journey was the restoration of a very few captives by individuals who bad purchased them out of charity.

The first effect of these incursions was mere ruin and unmingled misery. The Jesuits, hopeless of protection, emigrated with their tlocks beyond the Parana, chased by the Paulistas, and exposed 10 all the evils of hasty flight-the attacks of wild beasts, famine, and pestilence. The province of Guayra, containing thirteen popuJous Reductions, was abandoned; but the greatness of the oui. rage which had been committed, and the visible necessity that, if the missions were to go on at all, they must have the means of self-defence, were urged successfully with the Spanish ministry, and the important permission was given, that the Jesuits might provide their converts with fire-arms. Of this measure the effects were speedily visible. The converts, who always greatly outnumbered their persecutors, being now on a level with them in arms, and led on by Europeans, who, though the work of death was abhorrent to their profession, appear to have been by no means backward in acquiring a new science, soon learned to defeat them. By an easy stretch of their licence, the fathers brought

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