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Oh, had I but the wing this plume that flung,
Where wild Niagara tears his rocky way,
A lofty and most potent theme essay.
Proud bird !-amid the mountain solitudes
He builds his eyrie, where the storms have birthHe tears his prey in depths of boundless woods
And if his gaze grow dim, too near the earth, Soaring through tempests to the far, calm sky, Rekindles at the sun his glorious eye.
But I am prisoned in my own sad mind,
With hardly strength to beat the dull close bars ; . And thus, by inward heaviness confined,
Forego communion with the earnest stars : Yet, though my skill be dead, my memory nought, This prayer hath utterance from my cloistered thought :
If pain and sorrow and most secret tears
Be e'er withheld from any child of light,
And Time's dark waves no more a wrinkle write
Knowledge is power—yet not for this we pray,
That thy fair mind be filled with deathless lore; But, that the heavenly and Promethean ray
May light thee safer to the shadowy shore, And, on the voyage that must eternal be, Illume thy way o'er that immortal sea.
But most, oh! most, young Peri! we have prayed
Thy life a pure and sinless course may take, As glides the sweet rill from its parent shade
And runs melodious to the still, deep lake, Freshening green mead, and banks and flowery sod, And murmuring softly in the ear of God !
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF PARAGUAY : *
WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF THE JESUITS.
BY E. A. HOPKINS.
With the single exception of the dis- | History of Paraguay, we may do some cursive narrative of MM. Humboldt and service to the cause, by a condensed comBonplaud, the scientific world is entirely pilation from the published, but obsolete, dependent upon the Jesuits for all the in- works of some of the Jesuit fathers ; occaformation hitherto obtained of this region sionally using the advantages which we of the South American Continent, sur- possess over them, from the more modern charged as it is with every production and complete forms of classification. But conducive to the comfort or luxury of man- | even of the accounts of the Jesuits, we kind. For ourselves, we are convinced shall be obliged to reject much that is that there is no part of the earth where | entirely fabulous, and depend upon our the omniscient providence of God has so own judgment and personal knowledge of bountifully displayed the glorious beauty the country, for the selection of those of his handiwork; for whether we study statements on which we can rely. For, any of the departments of animated na- from an attentive study of the works of ture, or turn to the woods and forests, those extraordinary men, combined with teeming with the luxuriant vegetation of much information concerning them of a the tropics, we find that almost every ob- traditionary character, which we collected ject has been moulded in some superior on the spot, in propria persona, we are form for the higher enjoyment of man- compelled to adopt the conclusion, that, the noblest of His works, and the favorite finding themselves at one time in almost of His creation.
exclusive possession of the richest portion Before we proceed, however, we must of this continent, they sought to strengthacknowledge our incompetency to do full en their influence with the court of Spain, justice to our topic. Our ambition is by sending the most glowing accounts of bounded by the hope that we may draw its natural capacities and resources, in order the attention of some one, more capable to bring to their aid a larger supply of than we are, to the magnificent range of priests and treasure, and thus enable them subjects which would so richly reward in- to increase the establishments by which vestigation in this almost unknown region they expected to hold undisturbed possesof the world. To the scientific naturalist, or sion. And when, at last, their schemes the adventurous traveller, better advice were detected, and they were swept from cannot be given than to say, “Go to Para- the scene of their labors in a single night, guay: there you will meet with govern by the jealous government of Charles III., mental protection in the prosecution of they then, for retro-active effect, published your labors, and each citizen of the repub- exaggerated details, not only of their own lic will be proud to offer you all hospitality labors, but also of the country which and assistance."
they had been so anxious to retain. We Without being able, therefore, to add say not this, because we feel the slightest anything absolutely new on the Natural inclination to detract from the wonderful and effected far more than any other or- | their conduct first entailed upon nearly all ganized body, whether religious or secu- parts of wretched South America. At lar. But it is also an established fact that, San Borja, on the left bank of the Uruastute as they have been and are, the guay, we measured the remains of one of growth of their ambition has been too these churches, and found it to be one rapid and monstrous for concealment; and hundred paces long, and sixty wide. hence they have never succeeded to the Moreover, the sculptured stone and carved full measure of their designs. And now, wood-work were equal to anything of the wherever they go, their enemies far out- kind which we had ever seen. This meanumber their friends, and the secrecy and surement would make it one of the largest ability of their endeavors are no security buildings constructed on this continent; against their failure.
deeds these men accomplished. The fact Owing to the absence of the Editor from town,
is too well established that, assisted by several typographical errors in the article on Para the combination of every talent, with every guay, in the September number, were left uncor
means of education and discipline, they rected. The name of the author, Mr. E A. Hopkins, should also have been inserted.-ED. have gone forth to all parts of the world,
and it is said to have been capable of conThe prophetic eye of the great founder | taining thirteen thousand persons. We of the Jesuits soon turned towards the | also visited two of these churches in ParaNew World, as the best seat for their fu- guay, which are kept in good repair. ture power and stability. For, only nine | They are located at Santa Rosa and Santa years after the establishment of the order, Maria, and were passed by with contempt their pioneers, accompanying the Portu by that universal robber, Francia, on acguese expedition under the command of count of their poverty. Yet they each Bon Tomas de Souza, governor of Brazil, contain from thirty to fifty arrobas* of landed at the port of Bahia. This occur- | gold and silver. The bells of these churches red in 1549. According to Father Martin bear the date of 1599; and not only these, Dobrizhoffer, Francis Victoria, of the order but also a small organ, and all the carved of St. Dominic, and first Bishop of Tucu gold and silver, adorned with precious man, “solicitous for the glory of God,” | stones, which embellish the various alcalled the first Jesuits into Paraguay from tars and images of the saints, were the Brazil and Peru, in 1581.* This early be- product of Paraguayan workmen. ginning certainly has the merit of mani These Jesuits affected to govern all their festing great ardor in the work before establishments on the principle of a comthem. The first steps taken to practice munity of goods. They instructed their upon the credulity of the simple-minded | Indian “ brethren” to the precise extent savages were completely successful; and which rendered them most useful as slaves, wonderful stories are related of the mira- and least rebellious as subject-members eles performed by the cross of St. Thomas, of their “ Christian Republic." But, recovered from a lake near Chuquisaca, whilst their “ godly preceptors " and after an immersion of fifteen centuries! In “masters in Christ" erected churches and about fifty years from their first landing, casas de residencia, with all the pomp and the efforts of these fraudulently pious men splendor which wealth could command, had collected thirty establishments of the simple-minded architects rested their neophytes, containing one hundred thou- weary limbs in mud hovels. Whilst the sand inhabitants, and located between the “ghostly comforters ” luxuriated on the rivers Paraguay and Uruguay, the most fat of the land, the Indian workmen tasted delightful region of South America. From not the “milk and honey” which their this centre, their influence ramified over toil had produced. Whilst the padres an immense extent of country. The build- taught them to work the farms of the soings erected by them were of the most ciety; to raise sugar, maté,f tobacco, corn, substantial kind, and upon the exact mod- | and sweetmeats ; to watch the cattle, to els which they have always used in Eu-tan hides and dye cotton, to make shoes, rope. Those that were intended to contain and manufacture garments ; the former their worldly goods were bomb-proof ; but alone enjoyed the benefit, and the barethe churches were by far the most splen footed, half-clothed neophyte lived on yucdid and elaborate. We have wandered ca root, and such supply of hope as their with astonishment over the ruins yet left corrupt Christian education may have left by the civil wars, which, in our opinion, to them.
* Account of the Abipones, vol. I., p. 47.
+ Maie is the admirable tea-plant of Paraguay.
However much our admiration may be they might be better enabled to make them excited by the unprecedented exertions of Christians. In the same document we the Jesuits for the benefit and advance- | find that the fathers did not think it allowment of their own order, we must say that able to make any attempt upon the liberty their system was poorly calculated to pro- of the Indians, to which liberty they had mote the happiness of the Indian. Such an incontestible right. But they wished to Christian instruction as they gave him, make their converts sensible that they rencould raise him but little in the scale of dered their liberty prejudicial to themselves humanity. Such Christian example as by making a bad use of it; and that they they exhibited, was as little likely to illus- must therefore learn to restrain it within trate the true doctrine of an eternal life; I just bounds. Hence the Jesuits only deand in seeking to deceive mankind with sire them to pay obedience to a prince, foolish stories of their self-denying and dis- who is anxious to become their protector interested zeal for the conversion of the and father; and hope they will submit to heathen, they have forfeited the praise his yoke with joy, and bless the day when which they might have justly earned by they became his subjects. All this promtheir wonderful and successful labors for ised very fairly ; but let us see how the their own aggrandizement. Now they stand promise was fulfilled. before the world in the light of false pro- ! These fathers proceeded forthwith to phets-wolves in sheep's clothing—which form two “reductions " for the reception have deluded and cursed, for so many gen- of Indian proselytes, which were peopled erations, the fair lands of which they took so fast that they immediately conceived possession. In proof of our assertion, we the design of a “Christian Republic,” shall give the reader some idea of this which might revive the happiest days of “Christian Republic,” as it is presented in primitive Christianity in the heart of this the work of Father Charlevoix, which, on barbarous country.* The first step was to its title-page, states that these establish- baptize the heathen ; the next, to make ments of the Jesuits are allowed to have them swear unlimited obedience to the realized the sublime ideas of Fenelon, Sir king. And finally, in 1649, in return for Thomas More, and Plato!
being honored with the title of “ His The Guarani Indians seem to have been Catholic Majesty's most faithful subjects." more distinguished by the favor of the they were required to pay an annual capi. Jesuits than any other tribe. And the tation tax to the sovereign, of one dollar Fathers Joseph Cataldino and Simon Ma for each man. This last arrangement was ceratoe, Italians, exacted from the Bishop an excellent piece of policy, because it atand Governor of Paraguay, before their tached the crown of Spain to the interests departure for the Guarani territory, full of the Jesuits, and thus assisted them mapower, not only to build and govern asterially in the prosecution of their play they should see fit, without any depend- | After this important point was secure, we ence upon the Spaniards in whose neigh-| soon find out, from Father Charlevoix, that borhood they might settle ; but also to op- | it becomes quite lawful to abridge the liber: pose, in the king's name, all who should, on ty to which the Indians so lately had an any pretence whatever, desire to subject | incontestible right ;t that the limited unthe new Christians to any personal service.* derstanding of their neophytes required From a manifesto of their designs before the Jesuit fathers to enter into all their their departure, we learn that these fathers affairs, and direct them in their temporal did not desire to interfere with any advan- as well as in their spiritual concerns; and, tages which the Spaniards might derive furthermore, that the punishments consist from the Indians in a lawful manner; but of nothing but prayers, fasting, confinethat it was the king's intention to pre- ment, and sometimes whipping, at the so vent their being treated as slaves ; be discretion of their spiritual guides. How sides which, they regarded slavery as rapidly the sublime ideas of Fenelon, Sir utterly forbidden by the law of God. The Thomas More, and Plato, were now devel. avowed design was to make them men, that
Hist. of Paraguay, ubi supra., p. 250. * Hist. of Paraguay, vol. I, p. 245.
+ P. 260.
oped! How affecting the analogous and , reason, but because of the great reluctance
was enough to show them a crucifix, a In the gradual advancement of this candlestick, a censor, and give them the “Christian Republic” to perfection, the requisite materials; and thereupon they next step was to hinder the new Christians would make so good an imitation, that it from having any intercourse with the would be difficult to distinguish the copy Spaniards ; not allowing any conversation, from the original. They have been known, and studiously abstaining from teaching proceeds the Rev. Father, to make, on them the Spanish language. This, of bare, inspection, the most intricate organs ; course, was an excellent precaution. For also astronomical spheres, and Turkey carnow the Indians could never come to a pets. They engrave upon brass, after proper understanding of their enslaved giving it a due polish, all the figures traced condition. Nor was it likely they would before them. Furthermore, they have an rebel, or create factions, and so trouble the uncommon taste for music, and perform holy fathers, since no knowledge could upon, as well as make, all sorts of musical reach them but that which the Jesuits instruments. So strong, indeed, was their thought fit to impart, and nothing could affection for harmonious sounds, that the | disturb that contentment, under a full sense | first Reductions were peopled, according of their blessings, which was their chief to our author,* by the power of melody, virtue.
and not by the influence of the Gospel Our author, Father Charlevoix, must as taught by the Jesuits ; thus realizing have slumbered in a most pleasurable what fable relates of Amphion and Orpheus. forgetfulness of all common sense on the We also discover among these wonderful part of his readers, when he put such a mass Indians, who are so stupid and of such of contradictions into the shape of a book, limited understanding, gilders, painters, as we find in the volume before us. sculptors, artists in gold, silver and other We are told, a little further on,* that the metals, clock-makers, carpenters, joiners, Indians learned in a surprising manner weavers, and founders; in a word, they whatever they were directed to acquire ; exercised all the arts that could be useful that to hear them read Latin, which was to them- of which usefulness the sapient taught them for the service of the Jesuits were the self-constituted judges. churches, one would suppose they under-Our author even boasts, that the churches stood every word of it; that they copied erected by these Neophytes would not manuscripts in a very fine hand, which in disgrace the largest cities of Spain, either point of beauty and exactness would do in regard to the beauty of their structure, honor to the best copyists of Europe; that or the richness and good taste of their their morals could hardly escape corrup- sacred vessels and ornaments of every kind. tion, were they to communicate with the The churches were “useful," but the Spaniards, but, nevertheless, the orders of houses of the Indians were of small account; Philip V. that they should be taught therefore they were mean and rude, unSpanish, were disregarded, not for this doubtedly assisting them to an ever-present