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and he effected a great amount of good in the reduction of civil disorder; but the protection of the Indians was beyond even his power and sagacity, and he left them to their fate.



ONE more march in the bloody track of the Spaniards, and then, thank God! we have done with them—at least, in this hemisphere. In this chapter we shall, however, have a new feature presented. Hitherto we have seen these human ogres ranging through country after country, slaying, plundering, and laying waste, without almost a single arm of power raised to check their violence, or a voice of pity to plead successfully for their victims. The solitary cry of Las Casas, indeed, was heard in Hispaniola; but it was heard in vain. The name of Christianity was made familiar to the natives, but it was to them a terrible name, for it came accompanied by deeds of blood, and lust and infamy. It must have seemed indeed, to them, the revelation of some monstrous Moloch, more horrible, because more widely and indiscriminately destructive than any war-god of their own. How dreadful must have appeared the very rites of this religion of the


white-men! They baptized thousands upon thousands, and then sent them to the life-in-death of slavery-to the consuming pestilence of the plantation and the mine. We are assured by their own authors, that the moment after they had baptized numbers of these unhappy creatures, they cut their throats that they might prevent all possibility of a relapse, and send them straight to heaven! Against these profanations of the most humane of religions, what adequate power had arisen? What was there to prove that Christianity was really the very opposite in nature to what those wretches, by their deeds, had represented it? Nothing, or next to nothing. The remonstrances and the enactments of the Spanish crown were non-existent to the Indians, for they fell dead before they reached those distant regions where such a tremendous power of avarice and despotism had raised itself in virtual opposition to authority, human or divine. Some of the ecclesiastics, indeed, denounced the violence and injustice of their countrymen; but they were few, and disconnected in their efforts, and abodes; and their assurances that the religion of Christ was in reality merciful and kind, were belied by the daily and hourly deeds of their kindred; and were doubly belied by the lives of the far greater portion of their own order, who yielded to none in unholy license, avarice, and cruelty. How could the Indians be persuaded of its divine power?-for it exhibited no power over ninetenths of all that they saw professing it. But now there came a new era. There came an order of men who not only displayed the effects of Christian principle in themselves, but who had the sagacity to combine their efforts, till they became sufficiently powerful

to make Christianity practicable, and capable of conferring some of its genuine benefits on its neophytes. These were the Jesuits-an order recent in its origin, but famous above all others for the talent, the ambition and the profound policy of its members. We need not here enter further into its general history, or inquire how far it merited that degree of odium which has attached to it in every quarter of the globe-for in every quarter of the globe it has signalised its spirit of proselytism, and has been expelled with aversion. I shall content myself with stating, that I have formerly ranked its operations in Paraguay and Brazil amongst those of its worst ambition; but more extended inquiry has convinced me that, in this instance, I, in common with others, did them grievous wrong. A patient perusal of Charlevoix's History of Paraguay, and of the vast mass of evidence brought together by Mr. Southey from the best Spanish authorities in his History of Brazil, must be more than sufficient to exhibit their conduct in these countries as one of the most illustrious examples of Christian devotion-Christian patience Christian benevolence and disinterested virtue upon record. It gives me the sincerest pleasure, having elsewhere expressed my opinion of the general character of the order, amid the bloody and revolting scenes of Spanish violence in the New World, to point to the Jesuits as the first to stand collectively in the very face of public outrage and the dishonour of the Christian religion, as the friends of that religion and of humanity.

I do not mean to say that they exhibited Christianity in all the splendour of its unadulterated truth ;-no, they had enough of the empty forms and legends, and


false pretences, and false miracles of Rome, about them; but they exhibited one great feature of its spirit-love to the poor and the oppressed, and it was at once acknowledged by them to be divine. I do not mean to say that they adopted the soundest system of policy in their treatment of the Indians; for their besetting sin, the love of power and the pride of intellectual dominance, were but too apparent in it; and this prevented their labours from acquiring that permanence which they otherwise would: but they did this, which was a glorious thing in that age, and in those countries-they showed what Christianity, even in an imperfect form, can accomplish in the civilization of the wildest people. They showed to the outraged Indians, that Christianity was really a blessing where really embraced; and to the Spaniards, that their favourite dogmas of the incapacity of the Indians for the reception of divine truth, and for the patient endurance of labour and civil restraint, were as baseless as their own profession of the Christian faith. They stood up against universal power and rapacity, in defence of the weak, the innocent, and the calumniated; and they had the usual fate of such men-they were the martyrs of their virtue, and deserve the thanks and honourable remembrance of all ages.

In strictly chronological order we should have noticed the Portuguese in Brazil, before following the Spaniards to Paraguay; as Paraguay was not taken possession of by the Spaniards till about twenty years after the Portuguese had seized upon Brazil: but it is of more consequence to us to take a consecutive view of the conduct of the Spaniards in South America, than to take the settlement of different coun

tries in exact order of time. Having with this chapter dismissed the Spaniards, we shall next turn our attention to the Portuguese in the neighbouring regions of Brazil, and then pursue our inquiries into their treatment of the natives in their colonies in the opposite regions of the world.

The Spaniards entered this beautiful country with the same spirit that they had done every other that they had hitherto discovered ;—but they found here a different race. They had neither creatures gentle as those of the Lucayo Islands, nor of Peru, nor men so far civilized as these last, nor as the Mexicans to contend with. They did not find the natives of these regions appalled with their wonder, or paralysed with prophecies and superstitious fears; but like the Charaib natives, they were fierce and ferocious-tattooed and disfigured with strange gashes and pouches for stones in their faces; quick in resentment, and desperate cannibals. When Juan Diaz de Solis discovered the Plata in 1515, he landed with a party of his men in order to seize some of the natives; but they killed, roasted, and devoured, both him and his companions. Cabot, who was sent out to form a settlement there ten years afterwards, treated the natives with as little ceremony, and found them as quick to return the insult. Diego Garcia, who soon followed Cabot, came with the intention of carrying off eight hundred slaves to Portugal, which he actually accomplished, putting them and his vessel into the charge of a Portuguese of St. Vincente. Garcia made war on the great tribe of the Guaranies for this purpose, and thus made them

⚫ hostile to the settlement of the Spaniards. In 1534, the powerful armament of Don Pedro de Mendoza,

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