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From The Kxuminer.
Traeds in Peru and Mexico. By S. S. Hill. Longmans. •
The sensible author of some interesting "Travels in Siberia," having passed from the Society Islands to Valparaiso, begins at the port of Valparaiso his new narrative. Having described Valparaiso briefly, he journeys with his reader to the capital of Chili, and while there not only tells what he saw and heard at Santiago, but prefaces his information with a brief sketch of the history and present state of the republic of Chib. Returning then to Valparaiso, Mr. Hill embarks for Islay on an English steamer, and touches, upon the way, at sundry ports, which he describes as he proceeds. Islay is the proper port of Arequipa, the city founded by 1'izarro, second only to Lima in importance among towns of Peru. The way through desert and defile to Arequipa having been described, a couple of chapters are devoted tg the town itself, in which the traveller resided for a month. In company with two gentlemen of Arequipa, Mr. Hill visited the mineral baths of Yura before, having become sufficiently accustomed to the air of the high regions, he proceeded towards Cuzco. The necessity for becoming acclimatized to the mountain air of the Andes is thus expressed:
"If the traveller happen to bo of a plethoric habit of body, the disease is likely to be most severe. It is then commonly attended with vertigo, dimness of sight, difficulty of hearing, and often a flow of blood from the eyes and the nose, and sometimes even from the lips, and violent pains in the head, and vomiting. But with travellers of a spare habit of body and not very strong, it is more likely to cause fainting (its accompanied with spitting of blood. With persons, however, in good health, the symptoms are rarely more than vomiting; and more frequently they are confined to weariness and difficult respiration such as I have mentioned both my companions and myself experienced.
"As it has been observed that the disease is more prevalent in the districts where the metals most abound, there is an impression among the inhabitants, that it arises from, or is greatly exaggerated by the metallic exhalations which are supposed to fill the atmosphere of these regions. Tliis has doubtless, however, arisen from the disease prevailing most among those who come in search of metals, which may bo accounted for by the fact that they arc generally persons unaccustomed to the atmosphere of the mountains, and the most exposed of any to fatigue. There can be little doubt, indeed, of its proceeding in every form in which it appears, entirely from the diminished pressure of the atmosphere, the effects of which every one experiences in one way or another upon attaining any considerable elevation.
"These effects of the rarefied atmosphere are not confined to the human species. Tlicy are,
indeed equally, and in some instances even more
felt by the lower animals of the creation than by
ourselves. The horses and mules of the plains
cannot for some time travel the same distances
in the mountains in a given time, as flicy can in
the plains, nor bear the same burdens" in the
sierra which they arc accustomed to bear in their
own climes. When, however, they are brought
from the lower country to the higher, and have
; great care taken of them, thev generally, after
: a few months, become tolerably acclimatized,
'and perform nearly the same labor as those bred
j in the elevated regions.
"If it should cause surprise that these effects
! of the rarefied air are so much more remarkable
here than any experienced in Europe, it must
be remembered that during the journey which I
am about to narrate, we have to pass over
heights, four or five thousand feet above the
peak of Mont Blanc, and that too in the torrid
\ zone. One indeed of the cities we shall by and
; by visit, is situated at about the same height as
; the summit of that mountain." I
Cuzco, the capital of the mountain region of Peru, is itself eleven or twelve thousand feet above the level of the sea. Mr. Hill's account of this place is prefaced by a very good summary of what is known of the civilization of the subjects of the Incas, who held in that city despotic rule as representatives of deity. Mr. Hill endorses an opinion common in Peru that the rule in their own land will eventually be regained by the descendants of the old Peruvians, who are increasing in number and intelligence, while the white and Creole population is diminishing in number, and for many generations has not increased in intelligence or industry. From Cuzco visits were paid to the vale of Vilcamayu and the other remarkable places in its neighborhood before travelling onward in the Andes to Puno, an important city near the banks of the lake Titicaca. At Puno as at Arequipa and Cuzco there is no hotel, and the traveller being in this place without letters of introduction established himself of nights on the bare ground in the unfurnished cell of a caravansary, occupied by mules and arrieros. Here the author heard accounts of the strange uncaught beast in whom Peruvians believe.
"Wo have had on this side the Atlantic, our nnicorns, no clear evidence of the existence of which hns I believe come down to onr time. In Peru, it is commonly believed, that there exisw an animal in the forests, of one of the mammillary species, which no one for centuries has been able to capture.
"According to the accounts given by the Indians of this animal, it seems to have been known in the country Ung before the arrival of the Europeans, and had, at some remote time, been taken «rd examined. Whether these accounts, hov. i \ i r, are the sole source of the impression concerning it is not very well known.
"It is said, however, in Pnno, that there arc several men in the town who have actually seen this animal, and are able to bear witness to what has been said concerning it, notwithstanding the conviction of others, that the accounts given of it far surpass the bounds of credibility. It is said, by those who give the most clear and consistent account, that it is about the size of the fox, that it only prowls by night, and that as it is generally supposed to bo venomous no one is induced to take much pains to capture it. Moreover it is said that it has a brilliant light on its forehead which it is able to show or conceal ut pleasure, and thus those who have followed it nave be.cn bewildered, and lost all trace of their prey as soon as they entered the wood into which it retreats. But the impression which seems to have taken the deepest root in tho minds of the people is, that tho light which the animal is said to show proceeds from some precious jewel; and it is even related that the early Spanish settlers had so much faith in the existence and character of this animal,
"Which like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet this precious jewel in its head,"
that the earlier viceroys were accustomed to instruct the missionaries who settled among the Indians to take every means in their power to procure one, if possible alive."
After four days in Puno, Mr. Hill returned by a new route to Arequipa, and at Islay took packet for Callao, the port of Lima. To tho Peruvian capital seven chapters are devoted, and in the middle of his second
volume we arc embarking again with him from Callao for Panama. Then, having seen the isthmus, wo take steamer from Chagres and touching at Carthagcna upon the voyage to Port Royal. Two sensiblo.chapters on Jamaica are then followed by a chapter on Havanna, whither Mr. Hill sailed next; and from Havanna we pass in the next chapter to Vera Cruz, the great seaport of Mexico. The road journey to the city of Mexico is then detailed, and having explored that city and its neighborhood, not omitting a visit to the silver mines of Real del Monte, we pass rapidly back to Vera Cruz and Havanna, whence we get in a page to Cadiz, in three paragraphs over a summer tour through Spain and Portugal, and in three lines over France and a wintering in Italy before Mr. Hill's return to London, after a grand tour completely round the world.
Mr. Hill's record of his travels through Peru and Mexico are like the previous volumes which this journey has yielded, direct, sensible, and informing. He never writes for effect, has no ambition to be smart, but has evidently taken pains to sec and hear fairly, and to relate frankly whatever he could find worth telling to his countrymen. In no part of the world, he says, has he been robbed with violence, and he has found that men all the world over are, on the whole, of a neighborly temper, and the better for communication with each other.
Si. M.i ii i i:.—When and how did this office originate'; when was it abolished, what were the duties, fees, and emoluments of its incumbent 3 F. B. S. S. A.
[These officers seem to have boon first appointed during tho ravngcs of the plague in the reign of Jiuncs I. They are also recognized in tJio "Directions of Physicians for the Plague set forth in His Majesty's Command, 1005," in which instructions arc given them for the discovery of that disease. In the Preface to the Collection of Bills of Mortality from 1G57 to 1759, it is said that every parish appoints a Searcher; and in John Grauat's Natural and Political Observations made upon the Bills of Mortality, 4to. 1GG2, p. 11., we are informed that "when any one dies, then, cither by toiling or ringing a bell, or by bespeaking of "a grave of the sexton, the same is known to the searchers, corresponding with the said sexton. The search
ers hereupon (who are ancient matrons sworn to their office) repair to the place where the dead corpse lies, and by view of the same, anil by other inquiries, they examine by what disease or casualty the corpse died. Hereupon they made their report to the parish clerk, and lie, every Tuesday night, curries in nn account of all the burials and christenings happening that week to the clerk of the hall. On Wednesday the general account is mndc up and printed, and on Thursdays published at the rate of 4s. per annum for "them." The appointment of searcher usually fell upon old women, and sometimes on those who were notorious for their habits of drinking. Tho feo which these ofiiciul characters demanded was one shilling; but in some cases two proceeded to the inspection, when the family was defrauded of an additional shilling. The office was abolished bv the Registration Act, 6 & 7 Will. IV. c. 86, wliich camo into operation July 1,1837.]—Notes and Queries.
[From the new, uniform, handsome edition of Hawthorne's works lately published by Ticknoraiid Fields, Boston,—we copy the most admirable satire we know of.
THE .CELESTIAL RAILROAD.
Not a great while ago, passing through the gate of dreams, I visited that region of the earth in which lies the famous City of Destruction. It interested me much to learn that by the public spirit of some of the inhabitants a railroad lias recently been established between this populous and flourishing town and the Celestial city. Having a little time upon my hands, I resolved to gratify a liberal curiosity by making a trip thither. Accordingly, one fine morning after paying my bill at the hotel and directing the porter to stow my luggage behind a coach, I took my scat in the vehicle and set out for the station house. It was my good fortune to enjoy the company of a gentleman—one Mr. Smooth-it-away—who, though he had never actually visited the Celestial City, yet seemed as well acquainted with its laws, customs, policy, and statistics, as with those of the City of Destruction, of which he was a native townsman. Being moreover a director of the railroad corporation and one of its largest stockholders, he had it in his power to give me all desirable information respecting that praiseworthy enterprise.
Our coach rattled out of the city, and at a short distance from its outskirts passed over a bridge of elegant construction, but somewhat too slight, as I imagined*, to sustain any considerable weight. On both sides lay an extensive quagmire, which could not have been more disagreeable either to sight or smell, had all tho kennels of the earth emptied their pollution there.
"This," remarked Mr. Smooth-it-away, "is the famous Slough of Despond—a disgrace to all the neighborhood; and the greater, that it might so easily be converted into firm ground."
"I have understood," said I, "that efforts have been made for that purpose from time immemorial. Bunyan mentions that above twenty thousand cartloads of wholesome instructions had been thrown in here without effect."
"Very probably! And what effect could be anticipated from such unsubstantial stuff?" cried Mr. Smooth-it-away. "You observe this convenient bridge. We obtained a sufficient foundation for it by throwing into the slough some editions of books of morality; volumes of French philosophy and German rationalism; tracts, sermons, and essays of modern clergymen; extracts from Plato, Confucius, and various Hindoo sages, together with a few ingenious commentaries upon texts of Scripture,—all of which, by
come scientific process, have been converted into a mass like granite. The whole bog '. might be filled up with similar matter." i It really seemed to me, however, that the bridge vibrated and heaved-up and down in a very formidable manner; and, spite of Mr. . Smooth-it-away's testimony to the solidity \ of its foundation, I should be loath to cross it in a crowded omnibus, especially if each i passenger were encumbered with as heavy luggage as that gentleman and myself. Nevertheless we got over without accident, and soon found ourselves at the station house. j This very neat and spacious edifice is erected 'on the site of the little wicket gate, which formerly, as all old pilgrims will recollect, stood directly across the highway, and, by its inconvenient narrowness, was a great obstruction to the traveller of liberal mind and expansive stomach. The reader of John Bunyan will be glad to know that Christian's old friend Evangelist, who was accustomed to supply each pilgrim with a mystic roll, now presides at the ticket office. Sonic malicious persons it is true deny the identity of this reputable character with the Evangelist of old times, and even pretend to bring competent evidence of an imposture. Without involving myself in a dispute I shall merely observe that, so far as my experience goes, the square pieces of pasteboard now delivered to passengers are much more convenient and usefui along the road than the antique roll of parchment: "Whether they will be as readily received at the gate of the Celestial City J decline giving an opinion.
A large number of passengers were already at the station house awaiting the departure of the cars. By the aspect and demeanor of these persons it was easy to judge that the feelings of the community had undergone a very favorable change in reference to the celestial pilgrimage. It would have done Bunyan's heart good to sec it. Instead of a lonely and ragged man, with a huge burden on his back, plodding along sorrowfully on foot while the whole city hooted after him, here were parties of the first gentry and most respectable people in the neighborhood setting forth towards the Celestial City as cheerfully as if the pilgrimage were merely a summer tour. Among the gentlemen were characters of deserved eminence — magistrates, politicians, and men of wealth, by whose example religion could not but be greatly recommended to their meaner brethren. In the ladies' department, too, I rejoiced to distinguish some of those flowers of fashionable society who are so well fitted to adorn the most elevated circles of the Celestial City. There was much pleasant conversation about the news of the day, topics of business, and politics, or the lighter matters of amusement; while religion, though indubitably the main thing at heart, was thrown tastefully into the background. Even an infidel would have heard little or nothing to shock his sensibility.
One great convenience of the new method of going on pilgrimage I must not forget to mention. Our enormous burdens, instead of being carried on our shoulders as had been the custom of old, were snugly deposited in the baggage car, and, as I was assured, would be delivered to their respective owners at the journey's end. Another thing, likewise, the benevolent reader will be delighted to understand. It may be remembered that there was an ancient feud between Prince Beelzebub and the keeper of the wicket gate, and that the adherents of the former distinguished personage were accustomed to shoot deadly arrows at honest pilgrims while knocking at the door. This dispute, much to the credit as well of the illustrious potentate above mentioned as of the worthy and enlightened directors of the railroad, has been pacifically arranged on the principle of mutual compromise. The prince's subjects are now pretty numerously employed about the station house, some in taking care of the baggage, others in collecting fuel, feeding the engines, and such congenial occupations; and I can conscientiously affirm that persons more attentive to their business, more willing to accommodate, or more generally agreeable to the passengers, are not to be found on any railroad. Every good heart must surely exult at so satisfactory an arrangement of an immemorial difficulty.
"Where is Mr. Greatheart? inquired I. "Beyond a doubt the directors have engaged that famous old champion to bo chief conductor on the railroad?"
"Why, uo," said Mr. Smooth-it-away, with a dry cough. "He was offered the situation of brakeman; but, to tell you the truth, our friend Greatheart has grown preposterously stiff and narrow in his old age. He has so often guided pilgrims over the road on foot that he considers it a sin to travel in any other fashion. Besides, the old fellow had entered so heartily into the ancient feud with Prince Beelzebub that he would have been perpetually at blows or ill language with some of the prince's subjects, and thus have embroiled us anew. On the whole, \ve were not sorry when honest Greatheart went off to the Celestial City in a huff and left us at liberty to choose a more suitable and accommodating man. Yonder comes the engineer of the train. You will probably recognize him at once."
The engine at this moment took its station in' advance of the cars, locking, I must confess, much more like a .sort of mechanical
demon that would hurry us to tho infernal regions than a laudable contrivance for smoothing our way to the Celestial City. On its top sat a personage almost enveloped in smoke and flame, which, not to startle the reader, appeared to gush from his own mouth and stomach as well as from the engine's brazen abdomen.
"Do my eyes deceive me?" cried I. "What on earth is this! A living creature? If so, he is own brother to the engine he rides upon!"
"Poh, poh, poh, you are obtuse!" said Mr. Smooth-it-away, with a hearty laugh. "Don't you know Apollyon, Christian's old enemy, with whom he fought so fierce a battle in the Valley of Humiliation? He was the very fellow to manage the engine; and so we hare reconciled him to the custom of going on pilgrimage, and engaged him as chief engineer."
"Bravo, bravo!" exclaimed I, with irrepressible enthusiasm; "this shows the liberality of the age; this proves, if any thing can, that all musty prejudices are in a fuir way to be obliterated. And how will Christian rejoice to hear of this happy transformation of his old antagonist! I promise myself great pleasure in informing him of it when we reach the Celestial City."
The passengers being all comfortably seated, we now rattle away merrily, accomplishing a greater distance in ten minutes than Christian probably trudged over in a day. It was laughable, while we glanced along, as it were, at the tail of a thunderbolt, to observe two dusty foot travellers in the old pilgrim guise, with cockle shell and staff1, their mystic rolls of parchment in their hands and their intolerable burdens on their backs. The preposterous obstinacy of these honest people in persisting to groan and stumble | along the difficult pathway rather than take 'advantage of modern improvements, excited great mirth among our wiser brotherhood. We greeted the pilgrims with many pleasant gibes and a roar of laughter; whereupon they gazed at us with such woful and absurdly compassionate visages that our merriment grew tenfold more obstreperous. Apollyon also entered heartily into the fun, and contrived to flirt the smoke and flame of the engine, or of his own breath, into their faces, and envelop them in an atmosphere of scalding steam. These little practical jokes amused us mightily, and doubtless afforded the pilgrims the gratification of considering themselves martyrs.
At some distance from the railroad Mr.
Smooth-it-away pointed to a large, antique
edifice, which, he observed, was a tavern of
long standing, and had formerly been a noted
'. stopping-place for pilgrims. In Bunyau's road book it is mentioned as the Interpreter's House.
"I have long had a curiosity to visit that old mansion," remarked I.
"It is not one of our stations, as you preceive," said my companion. "The keeper was violently opposed to the railroad; and well he might be, as the track left his house of entertainment on one side, and thus was pretty certain to deprive him of all his reputable customers. But the footpath still passes his door; and the old gentleman now and then receives a call from some simple traveller, and entertains him with fare as old fashioned as himself."
Before our talk on this subject came to a conclusion we were rushing by the place where Christian's burden fell from his shoulders at the sight of the Cross. This served as a theme for Mr. Smooth-it-away, Mr. Live-for-the-world, Mr. Hide-sin-in-theheart, Mr. Scaly-conscience, and a knot of gentlemen from the town of Shun-repentaucc, to descant upon the inestimable advantages resulting from the safety of our baggage. Myself, and all the passengers indeed, joined with great unanimity in this view of the matter j for our burdens were rich in many things esteemed precious throughout the world; and, especially, we each of us possessed a great variety of favorite habits, which we trusted would not be out of fashion in the polite circles of the Celestial City. It would have been a sad spectacle to see such an assortment of valuable articles tumbling into the sepulchre. Thus pleasantly conversing on the favorable circumstances of our position as compared with those of past pilgrims and of narrow minded ones of the present day, we soon found ourselves at the foot of the Hill Difficulty. Through the very heart of this rocky mountain a tunnel has been constructed of most admirable architecture, with a lofty arch and a spacious double track; so that, unless the earth and rocks should chance to tumble down, it will remain an eternal monument of the builder's skill and enterprise. It is a great though incidental advantage that the materials from the heart of the Hill Difficulty have been employed in filling up the Valley of Humiliation, thus obviating the necessity of descending into that disagreeable and unwholesome hollow.
"This is a wonderful improvement, indeed," said I. "Yet I should have been glad of an opportunity to visit the Palace Beautiful and be introduced to the charming young ladies — Miss Prudence, Miss Piety, Miss Charity, and the rest—who have the kindness to entertain pilgrims there."
"Young ladies!" cried Mr. Smooth-itaway, as soon as he could speak for laugh
ing. "And charming young ladies! "Why! my dear fellow, they are old maids, every soul of them—prim, starched, dry, and angular; and not one of them, I will venture to say, has altered so much as the fashion of her gown since the days of Christian's pilgrimage."
"Ah, well," said I, much comforted, " then I can very readily dispense with their acquaintance."
The respectable Apollyon was now putting on the steam at a prodigious rate, anxious, perhaps, to get rid of the unpleasant reminiscences connected with the spot where he had so disastrously encountered Christian. Consulting Mr. Bunyan's road book, I percieved that we must now be within a few miles of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, into which doleful region, at our present speed, we should plunge much sooner than seemed at all desirable. In truth, I expected nothing better than to find myself in the ditch on one side or the quag on the other; but on communicating my apprehensions to Mr. Smooth-it-away, he assured me that the difficulties of this passage, even in the worst condition, had been vastly exaggerated, and that, in its present state of improvement, I might consider myself as safe as on any railroad in Christendom.
Even while we were speaking the train shot into the entrance of this dreaded Valley. Though I plead guilty to some foolish palpitations of the heart during our headlong rush over the causeway here constructed, yet it was unjust to withhold the highest encomiums on the boldness of its original conception and the ingenuity of those who executed it. It was gratifying, likewise, to observe how much care had been taken to dispel the everlasting gloom and supply the defect of cheerful sunshine, not a ray of which has ever penetrated among these awful shadows. For this purpose, the inflammable gas which exudes plentifully from the soil is collected by means of pipes, and thence communicated to a quadruple row of lamps along the whole extent of the passage. Thus a radiance has been created even out of the fiery and sulphurous curse that rests forever upon I the valley—a radiance hurtful, however, to the eyes, and somewhat bewildering, as I discovered by the changes which it wrought in the visages of my companions. In this respect, as compared with natural daylight, there is the same difference as between truth and falsehood; if the reader has ever travelled through the dark Valley, he will have learned to be thankful for any light that he could get—if not from the eky above, then from the blasted soil beneath. Such was the red brilliancy of these lamps that they appeared to build walls of fire on both siaes