Page 1


y


VENEZUELA


:

VENEZUELA: OR,

SKETCHES OF LIFE IN A SOUTHAMERICAN REPUBLIC ;

WITH THE

HISTORY OF THE LOAN OF

EDWARD

B.

EASTWICK,

1864.

C.B.,

F.R.S,

LATE SECRETAKY OF LEGATION AT THE COURT OF PERSIA AND COMMISSIONER FOR THE VENEZUELAN LOAN OF 1864. ;

AUTHOR OF "MUERAY'S HANDBOOK OF

INDIA,"

" THE JOURNAL

WITH A MAP.

CHAPMAN

LONDON & HALL, 193, PICCADILLY. 1868.

\_The

Right of Translation

is reserved.'\


:

LONDON BRADBURY, EVANS, AND

CO.,

PRINTERS, WH1TEFRIAR9.


r Ps

3

p

>

i

3

LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

A

cr-

SANTA BARBARA

TO

PHILIP EOSE, ESQ., OF RATNERS, BUCKS.

My

dear Rose,

To you

I

owe

my

pleasant visit to Venezuela.

therefore, if to anyone, these pages

I

am

acts

To

ought to be inscribed

so glad of an opportunity to thank you publicly for

of friendship, that

I

allowing myself to consider

mine must

gain,

by the

dedicate

my

book

to

you,

;

and

many

you, without

how much your name may

lose, as

association.

Ever yours,

EDWARD 38,

Thurloe Square, 1868.

B.

EASTWICK.


PEEFACE. On

the 7th of June, 1864, I was asked to go to

Venezuela as Financial Commissioner for the General Credit Company.

the it,

first

instance, to

to me.

The appointment was Lord Hobart, and on

The terms were

were to be paid, and

pounds

liberal.

offered,

in

his declining

my

All

expenses

was to receive one thousand

I

for three months, reckoning

from the day of

But the pleasure of seeing a new

embarkation.

country, and learning a

new

language, and the ex-

perience of financial transactions I should gain in such a mission, were to

accept

it.

stiU stronger

me on

the

saw him, about a

2nd

you go

there."

to the City

So, taking his

?

Cobden had

of June, the last time

certain matter,

expressing his sympathy, had ended don't

inducements to

Besides, curiously enough, Mr.

been talking to I ever

me

They

by

and, after

saying, "

will treat

Why

you better

words as a Sors Virgiliana,

I


PREFACE.

viii

accepted the Commissionersliip at once, purchased a

Spanish books, imbibed a draught of the pure

pile of

Castilian stream daily, in the shape of a lesson from

Dr. Altschul, glanced

and put aside

at,

for complete

on board the steamer, a huge

deglutition

liasse

of

papers,

and on the

for St.

Thomas, in the " Atrato," commanded by the

7th of June found myself en route

Captain WooUey.

ill-fated

I

1

returned the

October.

In

same

1865,

year,

in

the

last

days of

and the beginning of 1866,

I

wrote for Mr. Dickens some of the chapters which follow,

and they appeared

In those light sketches

my

object

general idea of Venezuela and I

have there written

de la

lettre.

It is

is

Year Eound."

in "All the

its

was only

people, so that

otherwise in the grave part of the

my

have there striven to be as accurate as to pilot others

missions with as

what

not always to be taken au pied

book, which refers to the business of

aim being

to give a

little

who may go

mission.

possible,

I

my

out on similar

experience as myself, and

who

might, perhaps, be shipwrecked amongst dangers which

have never been properly buoyed.


CONTENTS. CHAPTER

I.

TO VENEZUELA.

— Juan — The Royal Mail Company— The Story In— Hat Island — Harbour of St. Thomas —A Battle with the Sharks — The "Virgin Islands — A Cruize among the Cemeteries —

Sailing on a Friday

terrupted

— .........

Blockade Eunners— Voyage to La Guaira— The Death at Sea Islands

—At Anchor

CHAPTER

Aves 1

II.

At La Guaira— Origin of the name "Venezuela" The Hottest Place on Earth The National Emblem Empirical Druggists The Negro

Artilleryman

Mountain

— Singular

to Caracas

.

,

.

CHAPTER —Hotel

— Maquetia — Across

Nomenclature .

.

.

.

.

the

.24

III.

Bells and Belles — The — Drake, the Corsair— Site of Caracas — Creole Steeds and Creole Eiders — Bolivar's Cenotaph — Environs of Caracas — The Great Earthquake— Catholic Cemetery— Ker Porter's Chapel — The Toma— Mount Calvary

At Caracas

Amande — Caraqu^nian

St.

Virgin and her Suitors

CHAPTER

IV.

— Dishonesty the best policy — How to make the —Why Republics are always borro\ving — The Bull-Fight — Public Buildings at Caracas— Cave Canem— Godoy, the Negro Wit— The Venezuelan Cabinet— Maniac Visitors — The Minis-

Traits of Republican Life

Scum

terial

rise

to the top

Breakfast

..........

38


X

CONTENTS.

CHAPTEK

V. PAGE

Major Milligan's Mistake Ciudad Bolivar and the British Legion Fight between Sambo the Giant and tlie Irish Sergeant Luisa and Helena Panchito, the Enfant Terrible— Popping the Question Too much Alike How to Clear up a Blunder The Explanation too

77

late

CHAPTEK How

Loan — Solemn — Mission of the

to obtain a

Delegated

VI.

Preliminaries

— The

Finance Minister

President's Powers

— The Contract — Rati-

by the Constituent Assembly The Financial Commissioner to Venezuela Painful Discoveries Reiterated Assurances and tlie Honour of the Republic Repledged Evasion baffled Final Warnings Breathing Time Symptoms of Change The fication of the Contract

— —

— — —Utter Oblivion

Plunge Downwards

To

100

CHAPTEK VII. Puerto Cabello— El Bailarin — The Indian Path — A Narrow Escape Yellow Westward Ho — Harbour of Puerto Cabello — How to Baffle

!

Jack

— Holy Crackers — On to Valencia

129

CHAPTEK VIII. The Sights of Valencia— A Republican Council —The Gran Plaza — The Cathedral — Morals of a Bull-fight A Mushroom in Cream — The Morro — The Cemetery — The Mountain of the Caves — A Boa Constrictor

...........

155

CHAPTEK IX. Erminia— Break of Day at Valencia — Showing a Visitor the Lionesses A Creole Beauty— Love at First Sight —Valencian Lace-makers — The House of General Paez — The Fair Antonia— An Awkward Question The Malediction

fulfilled

CHAPTEK

176

X.

how to find him — The Grand Army — Down with the — A Noble Revenge— Tocuyo — Personal Appearance of the Gran Mariscal — Conversation with the President

General Falcon, and

Red

!

193


— —

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

xi

XI. PAGE

A

Visit to

Carabobo— Joltings by the

the Posada at the Battle-field

Way — Mine

— Position of

host the Colonel, and

affairs before

the Battle

—The —Flight of the A pure Bravos— Eepulse of the Cavalry under Paez — Amniuuition exhausted— Bayonet Charge of the British — The Spaniards routed — Loss of the British — Bolivar's grateful Address — Results of the Victory The Advance from San Carlos— The Night

before the Battle

Spanish Position

CHAPTER

XII.

—The Lake of Tacarigua—Adieu to Valencia —A Coffee Hacienda— Recruiting under Difficulties — The Beautiful Vale of Araguas — Maracai — Palmar— Victoria — Consejo — Las Coquillas— Up the Mountains — Life in the Jungle Limon and Los Teques— The Frenchman's Story— Return to Caracas — A parting Benediction

A Visit

205

to Las Tinajas

Eepublican Jehus

CHAPTER Difficulty of

219

XIII.

forming an exact estimate of the Resources of Venezuela

Configuration and Area of the Country

Three Systems

— Codazzi's Division of

— Distribution into Provinces — Chief

Cities,

it

into

Climate,

— Popidation — Form of Government— Revenue— Debt — Mineral and Vegetable Products

and Scenery

Commerce

CHAPTER Relations of Venezuela with

Venezuela by England in

242

XIV.

Foreign Powers

—Assistance

men and money— History

rendered to

of Venezuelan

—Causes of the Decay of English Influence — The Question of — Plans Solving the Difficulty— The Foreign View — The Appeal to Force — TheCompensation Plan— The Best

Debt

the Loans

for

Office

Plan

315

APPENDIX

345


ERRATA. At

p. 126, lines 6, 18,

lines 5

and 12

and 29

— for Engelckye,

;

and

p. 127, lines 5

read Engelke.

and

7

;

also at p. 128,


VENEZUELA: OR,

SKETCHES OF LIFE IN A SOUTH-AMERICAN REPUBLIC.

CHAPTER L TO VENEZUELA.

Sailing on a Fiidaj^— Juan— The Royal Mail

Company The Story interrupted—Hat Island— Harbour of St. Thomas— A Battle with the Sharks The Vii-gin Islands — A Cruise among the Cemeteries Blockaderunners Voyage to La Guaira— The Death at Sea— Aves Islands At Anchor.

**

Needles indeed

a propos of that,

our teeth, we

!

they look more like Grinders

if this

confounded wind continues dead in

shall pitch

bows under

as soon as

we get

out-

I uttered these words without addressing myself to

side."

any person in particular,

for I

in fact, there was no one near servant, who, like

myself,

knew no one on enough

to hear

hoard, and,

me, but

was leanmg over the

watching the pilot drop astern.

I looked at

my

seven,

it is

a lucky

had just

left

number) us

;

;

we were

off

my

taffrail,

watch

was seven minutes past seven, on the 17th of June

pilot

and,

;

;

it

(I like

the Needles

;

the

there was a strong breeze right

ahead, and the weather did not look altogether so propitious

/ /7 /> LX> '


VENEZUELA.

2

as

it

should do on a

midsummer

My

evening.

was an excellent

six feet five inches in his boots,

never

smoked,

drank,

nor

all

himseK an Englishman. been in one

my

most

He

fully considered

who had

of Juan,

little

service only a few days,

of his peculiarities.

and was now

was subject

to

to learn

an extraordinary

on the occui'rence of anj'thing which others

flow of spu'its

regarded as dej^ressing. a good

his heart, and, like

knew

I

valet,

and

Thomas,

natives of Santa Cruz and Saint

stood

Spanish

spoke

swore,

English, loved England with

servant,

He

Juan, was a fine specimen of a Santa Cruz man.

humour

;

A

simple contretemps put him in

but a disaster made him jocular, and the

On

graver the case the more he was elated.

hearing

my

exclamation he turned round approvingly, and said, " Yes,

no

fears, sir,

but we'll have a rough night of

hur-red no good of sailing on a Friday."

Juan," said

I,

Indies to which

we

are

now

New

ver}'^

far

World, these

going, and on Friday,

the 12th of October, he did discover San so

from where you were born

;

Salvador, not

and on Friday,

the 1st of March, 1493, he saw land on his return

he ought to have seen thick." fact,

I never

Why, on Friday, man than Christoval

Colon sailed from Lagos to discover the

West

;

"that's a mere prejudice.

the 9th of August, 1492, no less a

very

it

" Pooh, j)ooh,

it if

—that

the weather had not been rather

I said the last Avords with some hesitation,

encountered a regular tormenta ;

for,

in

on his homeward voyage,

I recollected that Colon,

foimdering

is,

off

Portugal, and was near

so that the thuxl Friday was rather against me.

Juan, however, as became a

man

of his inches, was not to

be beaten from his opinion, and said nothing about Columbus,

sir*,

but

my

:

"I

father,

don't

Imow

who was

a


SAILING ON A FEIDAY. better

3

man, leastways made more voyages 'tween 'Merica

and Em-ope

for

as Avell as I do

he was a ship's steward, and spoke English

— said

he never hur-red no good of sailing

So saying, and laymg a pecuharly grating

on a Friday."

emphasis on the word hiu'-red, Juan stalked oif. " Confound the fellow " said I to myself, "

me

ahsm-d,

it's

!

but he makes

melancholy with his forebodings.

imagine anythmg like risk

sand tons and upwards

which Columbus made the long-boat there.

m

a grand vessel of three thou-

Why,

!

Yet,

carvel in

the A\i-etched

liis

voyages, was hardly so large as

It is

no exaggeration to say that she

would scarcely have carried the admiral's potted meats,

me weigh

over twenty tons.

which the steward

tells

true, however, that

though the voyage from Lagos to Gua-

nahari was three thousand and forty miles as

voyage from the coast of

America,

is

esjjecially

navigation

is

that odious

says,

'

A

South

and thence to

when imdertaken

The

summer.

in

often less dangerous than crossing one of the

Whereas

Bay

homeward passage

may be

in our voyage there

of Biscay to be crossed,

have risks of their own. bodings

but one

is

Humboldt

yet, as

Spain,

great lakes of Switzerland.'

sea on the

long

scarcely attended with an}^ event Avhicli deserves

attention,

is

—nearly as

from Southampton to Saint Thomas, which

hundred and forty-seven more

It is

justified."

and a

still

worse

and steamers, however grand,

;

Well,

who knows

!

So, after finishing

Juan's fore-

my

reverie,

I went to smoke a cigar in the allowable place before the funnel,

and next

to arrange

my

cabin,

and

so, in

due com-se,

to bed.

I

was awoke in the morning

several small voices crying all

b}^

a hideous jabber of

at once, " Steward

!

steward B 2

!


VENEZUELA.

4

for

vy I say

selves

call I

not ask

you many times

me

Vy you by your own This reminded me of

?

vat I vant ? "

TroUope's grinning Frenchman and his rotten walnut

somewhat

incontinently I laughed effect of

On

shaming

leaving

my

my

and

neighhom^s and stilhng the clamour.

cabin I was astonished to see outside the

next cabm door fom* such Lilliputian

come

that I could not but

bours must be

;

which had the

loudly,

all

to the conclusion that

children,

voices of middle age.

Spanish Creoles have

of haU'-boots

paii-s

and yet

my

neigh-

voices were the

theii'

Afterwards I discovered that the feet as tiny as those of Cliinese ladies,

but of a natm'al tininess, and without deformity. Travelling per steamer little

is

a trite

more of crossing the Atlantic

vessels of the

People think

affair.

in one of the gigantic

Royal Mail Steam Packet Compan}^, or of

"The

the Cmiard line, than of passing a river on a bridge. river," says the old Sanscrit proverb, " is crossed,

bridge

is

Foiu'teen days, or so, of short whist

forgotten."

and long

flirtations,

of

bad cigars and pleasant yarns, of

hot cahns and cold gales, a transfer of cash and the voyage

is

But the

over.

admu-able system organised

for

billets,

and

and importance

utihty, wealth,

Company, the

of such an association as the Royal Mail

the performance

of the

it,

and the conse-

which so many voyages,

at all seasons,

duties of ever}^ individual (juent safety with

and the

are performed, deserve

given to the subject.

sendng under

more consideration than

my

In

fii'st

loungmg

fit

is

I took

usually

up the

prospectus and the book of regulations of the company,

which dates from 1830 fomid that

tliis

;

and setting myseK

one company now owns a

to calculate,

fleet of tw^enty-

three steamers, of forty-five thousand eight

hundred and


THE EOYAL MAIL

CO^klPANY.

5

and eleven thousand four hundred and seventy

foui' tons,

These

horse-power.

average some thirty-five

convey on an

I calculated,

vessels,

thousand passengers yearly, and

over twenty miUion of dollars in specie, besides other valu-

There are prizes in such a

able cargo.

superintendents

make from one thousand

two thousand pounds

The

a year.

The

service.

hundred

five

to

senior captain draws one

thousand two hundred in cash, and has his hving and

The

lodging free.

other captains, with like advantages in

The

other respects, get one thousand per amium.

them

Southampton, where they

at

officer

and then- duties are

keeps the

log, the

is

home

a

five officers

strictly

besides the

The

defined.

for

In

live at free quarters.

the large steamers there are four or captain,

There

proportionahly well paid.

officers are

junior

chief

second has charge of the treasure,

and accompanies the Admu-alty's agent on shore with the mails, the third is

never

crew.

left in

On

fifty-three

vants.

and fourth stow the cargo.

A

junior officer

charge of the ship at night. There

is

a goodly

board the vessel in which I was passenger were

seamen,

One might

fifty-four engineers,

and twenty-three

ser-

well feel at ease in a vessel so provided.

I soon became acquainted with most of the passengers.

There

were

several naval

officers

of rank,

a

handsome

admii-al with a fine bold nose, a baronet with a romantic

name, a captain of the race of England's naval demi-gods, several

West Indian

planters,

and not a few pretty planters'

without

daughters,

some,

Columbian

general, a few lively

too,

of Creole nondescripts.

and learning Spanish. or senoritas of

whom

I passed

chaperones

;

a

shabby

Frenchmen, and a score

my

time in pla3ing chess

Unfortunately, there were no seiioras to be taught.

There was, however,


VENEZUELA.

6

a young aide-de-camp to the President of Peru, sessed so to

me

much

who

by the hour, though

in pm'e Castillano

at

I did

fii'st

not comprehend more than one word in a hundred. theless,

pos-

patience and amiability, that he would talk

Never-

by the time we reached the Azores, I had made

some progress, and had even once asked publicly dinner-table, in Spanish, for the mustard.

we passed the

of June, at 4 a.m., that

two of the group.

They

homeward, a very great

and sighted

islands,

directly in the course out, but

lie

circuit is

outward bound captains

at the

was the 23rd

It

see

to

like

made

to the west.

The

the islands, for the

currents in the Atlantic are so strong and so various that

no reckoning can be perfectly

true.

There

current from east to west, and there

which

is

an equinoctial

the

GuK

Stream,

a hot cuiTent, from west to east; and there are

and abnormal currents, and a

local currents

current,

is

is

compounded

of

all

these,

great-circuit-

which has a periphery of

three thousand eight hundred leagues, and a log of

wood

di'opped into the sea opposite Senegal would go, as

many

other sticks do, " on

cii'cuit,"

and retmii to

its starting-

place in two years and ten months.

We

jDassed, I say, the

Azores on the 23rd of June, and

We

forthwith the weather waxed hot.

had not yet caught

the trade-wmds, and, though there were occasional squalls,

on the whole

On

the 25th

it

was

it

sultry,

was particularly close and oppressive.

had been placing chess and I was

with a rather lurid sky at night.

all

the

lazily talking to

mornmg.

my

late

It

was 2

I

p.m.,

antagonist, a good-

lookuig Frenchman, who, though he was, he informed me, tliirty-five,

absence

looked like a mere youth, owdng to an entire

of beard, whiskers,

and moustache.

Groups of


—

THE STORY INTEEEUPTED. people,

some reading, others plajdng chess

or lounged aroimd us.

It

7

or draughts, sat

was a dead calm, and the polished

miiTor of the sea gave back the sun's rays with interest.

" Monsieur voyage pom* son " Pom-

I inquired.

mon

sm-prise, "

man, with some

ou pour

plaisir

plaisir?" repeated the French-

du

du

tout,

" Quoi, monsieiu%" said

on iny elbow,

'*

vous plaisantez

medecin !

"

et

raising myself a little

I,

marchand de bottes a

The Frenchman opened

reply, but just at that

moment

Je

tout, monsiem*.

une fabrique de bottes

suis medecin, monsieur, et j'ai aussi

a Lima."

"

les affaires ?

la fois

hps to

liis

there was a tremendously

loud crash, followed by a strange whizzing noise, and almost

immediately afterwards if

b}'

a succession of terrific thuds, as

some Cyclops had suddenly commenced hammering

the engine-room.

came

flying

At the same time showers

liide

and

screams of ladies, questions of

men

ensued.

along the deck, so as

all

the funnel from sight.

Chess-tables

coui"se

of splinters

from the starboard paddle-box, and a dense

cloud of steam and smoke burst

almost to

in

Great confusion of

chaii's

were

overset

;

shouted in various lan-

guages, rushes of sailors amid the cloud of steam, oaths

and

scuffling,

that

moment

added

to the din.

It

of terrible uncertainty^

was cmious

when an

some other catastrophe was expected by the foreigners

who had been

all,

felt

exactly as I did

how some

sneering at religion

out, suddenly betook themselves to prayer.

some years ago

to see in

explosion, or

all

For

the

of

way

mj-self, I

in a railway accident.

In both cases I expected every moment to be

killed,

and

yet the most trivial circumstances did not escape me, while

my

general thought was, as I looked at the

bright

and quiet sleep of Natm'e, that a \iolent death was

all

sun the


VENEZUELA.

8

more

with

shocking

around

everything

so

and

quiet

peaceable.

Half a minute, perhaps, had passed, but

it

seemed a long

time, and I was rushing forward to see what really had

happened, when I

and the huge

felt

figure of

myself stopped by a powerful arm,

;

Now

engmes

the

stopped, the captain -mil soon put matters to rights,

one can Friday.

Friday."

with

;

Caramba

but,

!

I never hur-red

stop

" I have got finely scalded

of no use.

without being

mj^self,

"Best

Juan blocked the way.

here," he said, with a grin

this

all

comes of

are

any

if

sailing

on a

good from saiHng on a

of no

Destiny, however, was for this time to let us

onlj^ a fright.

The thundering blows ceased with

ofi'

the

stoppage of the engines, the steam and smoke gradually cleared

away, and the hubbub

learned that the

gi'eat

shaft

abated.

It

was then we

which comiects the paddle-

wheels with the machmer}^ had suddenly snapped,

and,

some ponderous

gear,

starting

up

which

Avhirled

it

lilce

a snag, had caught

round with each revolution of the engines,

smashing the paddle-box and everything near

it.

In the

confusion there had been an upset of hot coals and an escape of steam, which scalded several men, and ch'ove the others out of the engine-room.

The danger some

of those

quizzed.

of the late accident

was soon forgotten, and

who had been most alarmed were unmercifully

About one short

were never endmg.

He

fat

Creole in particular the jokes

was in his cabin when the crash

took place, and fancying from the smoke and steam which entered his quarters that the ship was on

fii'e,

he actually

contrived to thrust his corpulent body through the round

window, though one would have thought

it

too small for the


THE PROFESSOE'S EUSE. passage of a

From and made his

fat rabbit.

scrambled on deck,

9

window

the

by

and

off,

and with a

as every one declared, considerably elongated

figiu'e,

through the bull's-eye.

his squeeze

How

somehow

appearance, steaming with

perspiration, with one sleeve of his coat torn face

lie

the damages were repaired

know

I

not, but, in a

much as usual so much so, indeed, that the Frenchman, who had told me he was doctor and bootmaker at once, could now finish liis story and explain himself. " When I commenced my career," said he, " I found that no one would trust me to prescribe, few hom's, we were going on

my juvenile

on account of

who

sulted a friend,

stay is

know

I

!

wanted.

you

of Greek. friend

'

you

' ;

will

*

My

In despair, I con-

dear fellow, with that

! '

I

shall be

But

never have a patient.

a certain college in which a

You

have the place

appearance.

said to me,

child's face of yours,

;

Greek professor

the Greek professor

;

you

shall

In vain I protested that I knew nothing

make

it

entii-ely

my

shall have the place.'

business,' replied

my

Accordingly, I found

myself at the college, with a letter of introduction to the lectm-er,

who had been temporarily

the defunct professor of Greek.

I

discharging the duties of

had counted on several

him

the letter, he

to see you,

and to resign

days to prepare myself, but, on handing said, in a

sharp voice,

mj^ functions.

minutes.

The

'

Charmed

students will be ready for you in ten

man to show you the lectm-e-room.' my laiees tremble under me, and my

I will send a

At that moment

I felt

uneasiness was so great, that I almost resolved to

jump

into

an omnibus I saw pass, drive to the station, and return to Paris.

Somehow,

I fomid myself at the lecture-room,

and just then a lucky thought occurred

to

me.

'

Range


VENEZUELA.

10

youi'selves,' I said to the students,

let the

'

lowest read

to the next,

correct

What

*

them

?

first.'

When

The reading and

left to say.

lecture

fii'st

In

to you.'

no one had any-

till

the corrections occupied

at the next I shall

;

fact,

'

That

little,

who were

students,

my

had the

my

system,

senior colleague congratulated

me on

tickled with the novelty of

my

abandonmg the

career of a physician, and assured

was born to be a professor

my

me

that I

I longed, however, to return

!

employment, and, as I did not see

original

satis-

fame was great among the

insomuch that

to

my way

France, I went out to Lima, where I married a Creole, of dysentery, and, as I could not recover

ill

Peru, I opened a shoe-shop,

returned to Paris, and I

my

by

I had,

and managed to

deliver a discoui'se, and, in the meantime, I

of hearing that

do for

will

have more to say

when the next seance came,

great industry, prepared myself a

faction

how do you

mentioned one or two blunders, and I

a long time, at the end of which I said, the

at the

he had finished, I said

then put the same question to others, thing

you ranked

mistakes has he made, and

He

'

as

Now,' I continued, when they had done

last examination. so,

*

left

my

am now

my

in

fell

health in

wife in charge of

it,

going out to bring

and

home

daughter to be educated."

Next day we arrived within the

We

winds. lightning

till

the 30th, on which day, at seven p.m.,

made, as the

"Hat

Island."

sailors say, the little island of

;

is

a perfectly

twenty feet above the level of the sea its

;

we

Sombrero, or

It is only three-quarters of a mile long

nine hundred feet broad

from

influence of the trade-

had now frequent squalls and thimder and

flat

rock, about

and derives

fancied resemblance to a cardinal's hat.

and

its

name

In 1850

it


HAT ISLAND. was uninliabited, except 'only place of landing

sea-fowl and black lizards

bj'

was

11

at a bight

on the west

side

the

:

and

:

getting on shore was what Yankees would term a caution to

"

snakes.

Under

favourable circumstances," says a

verj^

nautical writer, " by watching an opportunity, you

jump on

ledge to the

to a flat

cliff,

and with some

The almighty

ascend to the summit."

dollar,

may

difficulty

however,

would make a landing anywhere, and as there was abundance of guano on the rock, the Americans of

it,

and we saw them hard

at

had taken possession

work with cranes and

carts

loading vessels with the precious deposit.

At 3

on the 1st

P.M.

of

Thomas.

harboui' of St.

July we anchored

I looked in vain for the

little

me

steamer wliich I expected would be ready to convey

La

Guau'a.

Instead of

it

I was

the

in

to

shown a schooner of about

eighty tons, wliich was to sail next day for

that place.

Viewed from the decks of the gigantic Koyal Mail Steamer, she looked hke a cockle-shell.

whose

Spite of the heat, I landed

and went straight to the store of a young merchant,

at once,

famil}' I

He

knew.

two-and-twent}',

was a handsome fellow of about

bright blue eyes and curly hair, and

T;\ath

with such an overpowering share of good nature that other quahties seemed absorbed by excellent brand}^,

how

discuss

ready to

which

I

had a

Then we began

and I happened

my

list

till

his

some

we began

to

the schooner was

of commissions, all of at a cooler

hour

to talk about the harbour,

to ask if there

were

many

host biightened up, and said

like to see a few, I'll

jDroduced

better cigars, and

amuse myself

was agreed should be executed

next morning.

Hereupon

still

Of com-se

start.

it

and

I should

He

it.

all

show you some.

:

sharks in

it ?

"If you would

A horse

of

mine was


!

VENEZUELA.

12

taken

ill

and

last night,

with a boat to the

off

mouth

and a harpoon, and

rifles

sport."

No

We'll tow the carcase

just dead.

is

of the harbour, take a couple of

it's

odd

if

sooner said than done.

we

some

don't have

Orders were at once

given to drag the dead horse to the water's edge, and host, followed

and the harpoon, walked down to the boat.

rifles

large boat, mtli four rowers

men, notwithstanding the

way

rapidly,

my

by mj^self and a big negro, who carried the

and an

aT\aiing,

It

was a

and as the boat-

we made

heat, pulled with a will,

and before long had got past the steamers, and

As

were nearing the mouth of the harbour. nothing, and

yet I had seen

" Why,"

was becoming rather impatient.

said I, " I don't believe there are any sharks.

seen a single back

above water."

fin

I have not

my

In repl}^

host

checked the rowers for a moment, when, as the surge we

made

subsided, several dark lines showed themselves just

astern of the horse.

" Give way," said he to the boatmen;

" we have not yet reached the place where we can

and

if

we stop another half-minute the horse

ribbons."

When

further, he said to

The

instant

we

him.

me, "

Now

cock j^our

will be torn to

fire

and the

fii'st

that

I'll

give

and four conical

ready ? "

and look out

rifle,

right into his belly.

stop, the sharks will rise,

barrels, too,

Are you

safely,

the boat had gone a few hundred yards

tmnis to seize the horse,

him both

fii-e

pills

should settle

" Quite ready," I replied, and the

boat stopped.

In an instant the dark lines were

visible again,

time they came rapidly up to the surface, and sharks showed themselves.

The

five

but this

monstrous

apparition was so sudden,

and the sharks were so huge, so much larger than any I had seen before, that I started, and, had I cocked

my

rifle

as I


A BATTLE WITH THE SHARKS. had been told sent

to do, there is

my random

not to cock

till

shot.

But

13

no knowing where I might have has alwa^^s been

it

I see the object

and

;

this

my

practice

my

has prevented

In a moment I recovered myself,

making many a bad miss.

and, as the foremost shark tm-ned on his back and darted at

the carcase, I took good aim, and fired nearly at the same

moment with my them, as

All om-

friend.

The smoke came

my

full across

balls told

foiu*

we afterwards found, going

:

one of

right through the heart. eyes,

but

there

was a

tremendous splash, and I caught an indistinct glimpse of the monster as he sprang half out of the water and

Almost

at

the same instant, the big negro

hai^joon sent

it

fell

back.

who had

into the shark just below the lower

the

jaw with

such force, that, had he had more Hfe in him than remained,

he would hardl}' have escaped.

who sank surface,

for a

Meantime, the other sharks,

moment when we

and one of them had

fired,

had risen again to the

alread}' torn a gi'eat bit out of

the horse, giving such a violent jerk to the boat, that one of the niggers took fright,

and before we could see what he

was about, undid the rope by which the carcase was bemg towed, and

it

was immediately jerked into the water as the

other sharks fastened on the prey.

numbers, and

with such right

good

m

This they did will,

that before

such

we could

reload and prepare for another shot, they had dragged the

we could only

carcase under water, and

and bloody foam what a ever,

wony was

we had got one monster

in triumph.

quite a

When we

safe,

tell

by the bubbles

How-

going on below.

and retui*ned

toAving

him

reached the landing-place there was

crowd to receive

us.

It

took eight or ten

men

to

drag the shark on shore, and we fomid he measured over sixteen feet long, and nearly six feet in circumference.

His


VENEZUELA.

14

stomach was quite empty, which accounted

for his being

ravenous.

my

I was glad of a bath and a change of toilet, after which friend drove

me

in his carriage

round the west part of the

To

which some description may be acceptable.

island, of

begin then with the beginning, be

it

known

between

that,

the eighteenth and nineteenth degrees of north latitude, a to the east of Porto Rico, in an almost continuous

little

cluster, lie the

Vu-gm

Islands, so called

the eleven thousand of

number

Thomas, and next

is St.

Exactly to

it^

All the islands to the east of St.

John.

English, and

all to

whom

memory, with

these islets seemed to vie.

the group

tell

sainted

by Colmnbus from

m the

on the

east, is St.

John belong

the west belong to the Danes.

want of high-flown

for example, Salt Island, followed

Beef Island.

Next we come

to

titles.

by Ginger,

to the

You may

the English possessions by the roughness of the

clature and the utter

in

centre of

nomen-

There

is,

and

CoojDer's,

Camanoe, Scrub, Guano,

and Jost- van-Dykes Isles. Then there is Anegada, or " Drowned Island," famous or infamous for wrecks, where

many

a gallant

Avaters.

It is

awash with the

seaman has gone

to his rest beneath the

a curious place that Anegada. sea,

and when the mist comes up,

It lies

as

it

all

does

very often, one would fancy the waves were rolling clean over

it.^

Anegada

is

ten miles long, and has a reef to the

south-east of nine miles more, and

upon

scores of vessels have gone to jjieces.

But

is

this reef

to the west there

good anchorage, and abundance of funnel-shaped

full of fresh water, in

many wells,

which, curiously enough, the fresh

water rises with the salt

tide.

The bays

there in the old

When

they were gone,

time swarmed with buccaneers.


THE VIEGIN ISLANDS. came gangs of wreckers and colonised the stock, and grew cotton

;

15

and reared

island,

but their true market-day

when

w^as

a vessel struck on the reef, and man}^ a rich prize they got,

A

and perhaps do get even now.

westerly current in the Atlantic

where the fishermen find

curious proof of the strong is to

be seen at Anegada, them, from

sufficient cork di'ifted to

the coast of Spain, to supply their nets.

Bottles,

too,

launched in the Eiver Gambia, have been picked up in the Yii-gin

Between these islands themselves, the

Islands.

cmTents are in many places most island to island

undertaking.

is

a

Many

most dangerous and ahnost impossible boats have been swept away, and their

Between the eastern part of

crews drowned, in the attempt.

Thomas and

St. is

the Island of St. John, in particular, there

a furious cm-rent,

When

To row from

violent.

and the waves

the southern tide

rise

in

in its strength,

is

huge sm-ges.

would be

it

impossible for an}- small vessel to encounter that terrible sea.

Twelve miles

"Fat

Anegada

to the west of

is Vii'gin

Gorda, or

Yii'gin" Island, nine miles long and a mile broad,

with some ten thousand inhabitants,

and tobacco.

On

the north-east

Gorda Sound, and another Bay, and a

thii^d,

is

who export

a good harbom*, called

to the north-west, called

Thomas's Bay,

miles west of Yii-gm Gorda,

sugar, rum,

is

to the south.

West

Three

Tortola, nine miles long and

three broad, with a population of eleven thousand, and a

good harbour

at

Boad Town,

the capital.

Moreover, here,

with Tortola to the north, St. John's to the west, Yii-gin

Gorda

to the east,

and a dozen

little

islands to the south,

natm'e has formed a magnificent basin, fifteen miles long

and three and a half broad, land-locked and sheltered from


;

VENEZUELA.

16

every wind, where

Why

safety.

all

the navies of

England might

ride in

not choose Tortola as the station for the

Eoyal Mail Company's vessels

Why

?

go to St. Thomas,*

that nest of yellow fever, where fresh water is hard to get,

and which belongs to a foreign power ?

Not being

The

Thomas. and

tln-ee

range of

hundred

able to answer this

island

is

same why, I retm-n

twelve miles long from east to west,

and across the whole length of

broad

;

hills,

the highest point of which

feet

to St.

These

above the sea.

it

runs a

may be

eight

were once covered

hills

with woods, and the island was then watered by rivulets

but the improvident Danes cut down the woods, the streams

now

dried up, and the inhabitants

suffer

from drought, inso-

much

that the captains of steamers are enjoined to

theii'

fresh water, lest none should

Thomas. St.

Charlotte Amalia, the

Thomas,

lies

so that vessels to

make

out

its

on the south

be proem-able at St.

and harbour of

capital

coast,

husband

and opens

to the south,

coming from Europe or North America have ^

a half-cii'cle to enter

There

dangers.

The approach

it.

is, first

of

is

not with-

a rock called French-

all,

man's Cap, seven miles from the harbom-'s mouth, and four miles further on there steer,

is

Buck

but in mid-channel

is

Eock," with only twenty-one cleared that (and there

enter the harbour

:

is

a

a

danger called " Scorpion

feet of water

buoy on

fort

sea,

* This

was written more

Battery.

on

it.

Having

to help you), its

you

mouth, the

being ninety-five feet

can be seen fifteen miles

called Mohlenfel's

Thomas.

it

having on your right, at

lighthouse, the red light of which,

above the

Between these you

Island.

On

off.

the

left

Near

it is

a

are Prince

tliau a year before the last great hurricane at St.


THOMAS'S HAEBOUE.

ST.

17

Frederick's Batter}^, and the Great Carenage, where vessels

can be moored dm-ing hurricanes.

At

however, are three other dangers.

There

Frederick's Point; and then, a

Prince Eupert's Eock;

Mohlenfel's Batter}^,

on the

east of the mid-channel,

and further the

are

little

The panorama

itself.

Thomas has been and vdth justice. The port

of the harbour of St.

extolled by a well-known writer, itself is of a

and close to

east,

rocks called the Triangles.

Lastly, there are coral rocks in the harbour

is

first,

is,

a shoal which juts out the length of a cable from

west,

is

the very entrance,

horse-shoe shape, and, having entered, the town

right before you, rising in three triangles, Tvith a glittering

In the backgi'ound

white building to crown each apex. rise

hnis of the brightest green, rendered more dazzUng

To

by the clearness of the atmosphere.

the

left,

the

harbour runs out into a long creek, too shallow to be crossed except by boats.

On

town

the right of the

Christiana

is

Fort, garrisoned by half a regiment of Danes, and artillerjTnen.

Above, on the

hills, is a

tower, where in the

Close by the

good old times lived a notable buccaneer. fort are the King's

Wharf and

some

a hotel,

and

all

aromid are such lovely bunches of flowermg

about and

slu'ubs

and

almost to make one in love with the "white man's

trees, as gi-ave."

I had been

amused with

in the afternoon, but

There

is

now

my

it

expedition against the sharks

was over

spuits went down.

something fearfully depressing in

its associations.

men

and the smells unbearable

and the talk

is

St.

Thomas and

Sharks and yellow fever in the harbour,

yellow fever and gi'inning black stifling,

my

all

of so-and-so

—

in the town, the heat

this is the

who died on

programme

;

yester-night,


VENEZUELA.

18

and such a one who was not exhilarating.

is lil^e

On

with a row of miserable

creek,

and many

Cemetery, with size

;

cemeteries.

all

drive

interspersed with

huts,

On

shambles at the water's edge. huts

Our

to die to-morrow.

the left was the shallow stagnant

the right, were more

There was the Moravian

the slabs of exactly the same height and

and there was the Jews' Cemetery, and the Catholic

Cemetery, and what might be called the Omnibus Cemetery, for

what the well-known writer befor§ referred

to iiTeverently

terms the Hispano-Dano-Yankee-doodle-niggery-population-

My

in-general.

host, the best of

good

fellows,

never hipped himself, had no idea of comforting a

was in low

On my

spirits.

who was

man who

asking, out of the gloominess of

heart, " Is there any yellow fever here just now

my

"Well, the yellow fever

replied,

present, however,

we

is

always here.

are considered rather clear.

house

It is true

—there have been next mine —but only three

and, for myself, I have no sort of apprehension, for I

born

St.

general,

it

he

said,

it

died,

am

a

I asked about the state

"

and change the " Well," of the colon}^

certainly

!

"the American war has been pumpkins

house alone has cleared upwards of since

five,

Thomas man, and natives seldom suffer. In I could is the new comers who get in for it."

only mutter, " Consolatory, subject.

he

Just at

there have been a few scattered cases for instance, in the

? "

fifty

to us.

Our

thousand pounds

began, and two or three other houses have been

doing nearly as well.

It's pretty, too, to see

the blockade

runners lying under the very noses of the Northern men-ofwar.

They

see

'em load, up anchor, and

off,

and they

mustn't chase 'em for four-and-twenty hours, though they loiow,

if

they've a good start there's no chance of takhig them.


FEOM

THOMAS TO

ST.

The times have been

lively, too,

of the Confederate vessels have

on one

the

Danes won't

said

I,

here

? "

We

19

with the sailors.

The crews

had so many

EngUsh have jomed

Federal men, and the good-will, first

GUAIEA.

LA.

side,

and then on the other, that now

any Americans land."

let

" besides these rows,

"And

how do you amuse

" AYell," was the reply, " we

praj"^,"

yourselves

amuse

do)i't

ourselves.

trade."

The dinner

After our drive we dined at the hotel.

most

sisted of all the St.

fights with the

in with such jolly

Thomas

it is

cle

and

indigestible dishes conceivable,

them

rigueur to eat of

conat

I went to

all.

bed with a racking headache, and in a state highly favourable

for

yellow fever.

Morning came

without an attack, and released of the mosquitoes.

shops to make

my

I

purchases, posted

Isabel.

Juan came on board

deserted

me

said,

at the last

moment, having

He

Thomas.

excuse

my

merely

being late."

me from boatman who brought me on

"Of com-se;" and begged him

board, and

England,

Guaii-a in the schooner

sir; you'll

the importunity of the negro

friend to several

m}" letters to

the time I was at St.

"Friends on shore,

I said,

La

for

however,

at last,

the tender mercies

my

went round with

and hj noon was sailing

all

me from

who asked two poimds

to release

though the

for the job,

We

legal charge was only one dollar and eighty-two cents.

got rid of

him

at last for three dollars.

AVe ran out of St. Thomas's harbour on the 23rd of July with a

fine breeze.

captain, five

The crew

of the Isabel consisted of a

men, and a boy, each blacker than the other,

and aU of an extremely hang-dog look. thousand sovereigns on board, did not timible

me

it

As

I had

thii-ty

seems a miracle that they

quietly into the water

when

I

was

asleep.

c 2


VENEZUELA.

20

The crew

of the Isabel, however, were pirates only in look,

and I

among them nothing more important than

lost

We slept

pencil-case.

a gold

on deck in a sort of hencoop, in which

were not more vermin than are

usuall}" in

hencoops.

Our

meals, over which the captain j^resided in his shirt-sleeves,

were principally of land-tortoise, hard sour cheese, pickles, dried

pastels

fish,

quimbombo

:

filled

and

with nameless ingredients,

an excellent vegetable, and almost the only

thing I could eat.

It is the oki"o hibiscus,

the look of a young cucumber, and

has somewhat

full of a cold gluten,

is

There was a Creole

very pleasant in a hot climate.

lady,

with two or three small children, who lived in the cabin or hold of the

and never made her appearance on deck

ve&iBel,

throughout the whole passage. Once or twice, during a squall, I descended to this cabin, and found

The

roaches, and rats.

it full

of ants, cock-

Creole, half undressed, lay gasping

with the heat, while her children, in a state of perfect nudity, scrambled

Besides this lady, myself,

over her.

Juan, and an American doctor, there was also another passenger

a thin feeble old man,

:

I heard

with great care.

which turned out

smoke tobacco

to

to be

his servant for a cigar,

stramonium, for the

and to say

;

who was brought on board

him ask

this of a

man was

too

Spanish Creole,

ill

is

saying a good deal.

About

5 P.M.

we were passing the

belonging to the Danes.

island of Santa Cruz,

The governor

shows his appreciation of the healthiness of his

by St.

living at Santa Cruz,

Thomas.

which

Santa Cruz

is

is

thirty-two miles south of

nineteen miles long and five

broad, and contains a population of

general

it is

much

flatter

Thomas own island

of St.

than St.

fifty

thousand souls.

Thomas

;

but there

is

In one


;

THE DEATH AT hill,

Mount

and

sixt^'-two feet

above the

Blue Mountain, which

sea,

We

east,

smoking a

There are

a harbour very difficult of

passed Santa Cruz

last cigar, I

slept soundly, except for I

is

called

it,

and Fredericksted to

The

enough when once entered.

access, but safe

when

and another near

but sixty feet lower.

is

At the former there

well cultivated. after

21

Eagle, which rises to one thousand one hundred

two towns,*Christiansted to the the west.

SEA.

;

turned into

island

the sun set

my

;

is

and

hencoop and

a few minutes about midnight,

soon went to sleep again with an indistinct idea of

something disagreeable going on.

The

red horns of the

sun were just showing above the horizon, when Juan came up

and woke me, under pretence of askmg

me

if

I

would bathe

but I could see by the grin on his featm-es that there was

something wrong.

Presentl}" not

contain

being able to

himself any longer, he exploded into a chuckle, and said, " There's a dead

man on

board, sir."

"Indeed?" repHed I, by no means gratified. "And pray who may he be, and what does he come on board for, if

he's dead ?

"Well,

"

sir," said

who seemed

so

Juan, "it's the old man, the passenger

About midnight he got worse, and

ill.

called

the captain, and asked to be thrown overboard, he was in

The

such pain.

him

captain said he could not accommodate

in that way, but he

and see

if

would get some hot fomentations,

that would ease the jDain in his chest.

matter,' says the passenger.

'Whereabouts

When

him where the moon

the captain had showed

said very quietly,

the

It's

no

moon?' was, he

the moon goes down I shall die.' You would hardly believe it, but at the moon went down, the old man died." '

And

so he did, sir.

very

moment

the

When

is

'


VENEZUELA.

22 **

for the doctor ? " I inquired.

Did he ask

" Ask for the doctor " Wh}^,

high disdain.

I should think not," said Juan, in

!

all

New York

the doctors in

couldn't

have saved him; nor they couldn't have done him

harm

He

neither.

was too

far

much

gone for that."

I walked forward to bathe, and there I saw a sad bundle wliich told its

own

It

tale.

was the corpse sewn up in a

hammock, with some six-pound gun of the schooner, attached,

shot, belonging to the

smk

to

it.

An

hour

one

after-

wards, a short prayer was said by the captain, and the body

was launched into the fast

— so

fast that it

I watched

sea.

it

go down.

It

went

was gone before a dolphin that had been

playmg about the bows, and darted out

what the

to see

splash meant, could reach the spot.

The

incident was a painful one, and conjured up melan-

There were only about a dozen of us in

choly reflections.

the schooner, reckoning crew and passengers together, and

one was gone.

would be to

I could not helj? thinking

lie ill

on board that

how wretched

little vessel,

it

with nothing

but a hencoop to rest on, and only the American doctor for a medical attendant.

considering where great wonder if

Right glad was

The

we came from,

we had had I,

heat was overpowermg,

then,

it

and,

would have been no

a visit from the yellow fever.

when

at

2 p.m. on the 4th we

passed the rock of Ochilla, one of the Aves Islands, which

Hes only eighty miles to the north of

La

Guah-a.

Ocliilla is

about ten miles

m

jects from

two miles in an easterly direction.

miles off

it

is

for

length, and a verj^ dangerous reef pro-

Twenty

a sunken rock, not given in the maps, on which

a small vessel was totally lost about a year before

Her crew had

scarcely time to take to the boats

we passed.

when she


AT ANCHOR. There are from two hundred

foundered.

tons of guano on Ochilla, which

The

a ton.

23

had some

j)lace

may

hundred

to three

be worth twelve pounds

me, for one of the

interest for

claims I Avas going out to settle was called the Aves Island

The Americans had gone

claim.

name,

to a rock of that

nearer St. Thomas, to collect guano, and had been stopped

by the Venezuelans, who maintain that the Ares Islands

For the

belong to them.

loss caused

by

Americans now claimed one hundred and dollars of the to

Venezuelan government

have plated the whole

rock

this demui'rer, the fifty-five

thousand

sum

sufiicient

a

:

with

silver

instead

of

guano.

Two

hours after passmg Ochilla, we saw the great moun-

La Silla, or " The Saddle," which overhangs La The SUla is eight thousand six hundred feet high, Guaira. and we saw it at seventy miles' distance. As the sun set, we discerned the lights at La Guaira, but the wind now fell, At one moment we were or came only in fitful gusts. tain called

running

at the rate of nine

seemed, on shore

;

knots an hour, straight, as

for the land, being

stupendous moimtain, appeared

The next

instant

much

nearer than

we were becalmed, with

it

my

gentle

Guaira.

and we might have drifted on shore for

to

care.

Morning came

breeze, which

at

last,

carried us to our

and

The

ej^es.

nigger captain and his crew, however, being used to

seemed

was.

all sail set,

flapping so heavily as to banish sleep ft'om

like logs,

it

overshadowed by this

it,

all

and with

lay

they it

anchorage at

a

La


CHAPTER At La Guaira

11.

— Origin of the name

" Venezuela"— The hottest place on earth Druggists The Negro Artillery-Man Maquetia Across the Mountain to Caracas.

—The National Emblem — Empirical

— Singular Nomenclature — Anchorixg so at

La

in a harbour usuall}^ implies rest.

Guaira.

open roadstead, there

;

La Guaira

fact,

though

^/bere,

it

seklom

With

and often dangerous.

is

no

is

not

It is

port, but

an

blows very heavily, is

always

the wind at north, the

and a general smash among the

directly to leeward,

is

shipping rare

In

ever a high swell, so high that landing

is

difficult,

shore

Luckily, such winds are most

then inevitable.

but some time before the arrival of the Isabel there

was one, and every vessel

at

La Guaira was

with other winds the danger

cannon

is fired

setting in.

from the

till

Even

sometimes great, and then a

fort as a signal that the rollers are

Forthwith,

ships run out to sea

is

stranded.

all

anchors are weighed, and the

the swell moderates.

Indeed,

it

is

one of the inscrutable things that no one can understand,

why La Guaira should be made the port for Caracas at all, when a mile or two to the west, on the other side of the next promontor}', Cabo Blanco, there Catia,

whence an easier road

that from

La

Guau-a.

the snug harbour

of

to Caracas might be made than

But no

has caused the loss of so

is

;

many

in spite of the swell which vessels,

which makes com-

munication with the shore so troublesome, and which

stirs


ORIGIN OF THE XA:ME

"

VENEZUELA."

up the sand in a fashion that renders anchors every eight days, locked

25

necessary to weigh

it

shoukl become sand-

lest the ships

in spite of the ravages of the barnacles, the teredo

;

navaHs, la broma, as the Spaniards call them, more destructive at

La Guaira than

which seems still

keeps to

" So this self,

as

we

anj^where else in the world, commerce,

to be the only conservative thing its

is

m

America,

old route.

Venezuela, Little Venice," thought I to my-

lay tossing; " can't say I see

much resemblance

to Venice in these great mountains, that look as

been piled up by Titans to scale a

if

they had

city in the clouds

!

"

Nor

there, through all the vast region now much to remind one of the city of the doges. But it is La Guamx that the unlikeness comes out most forcibly.

called Venezuela,

is

happens, though no one seems to have remarked Guaii-a lies

is

half

the very

way between Cape

La

Silla,

;

for

Paria, on the extreme east,

the tallest

mountam between

It

La it

and

La Guaira the

Andes

;

so that, instead of thinldng of Venice,

cries out with

Humboldt, " The Pp-enees or the Alps

and the Atlantic one

that

of the Venezuelan coast

ojjicfyaXoi

Chichibocoa, on the extreme west, and just at

towers up

it,

at

bosom

stripped of their snows, have risen from the

waters."

Venezuela

who came

to the

is

The

a misnomer.

American

first

of the

Spaniards

coast, the Conquistadores,

found

the Indians of Maracaibo living in huts on piles in the lake,

and so called that locahty Venezuela

;

and the misnomer

till a region four times the size of Prussia " came to be styled Little Venice " a name which now com-

spread and spread

—

prehends a forest larger than France, steppes Gobi, and mountain tracts wliich zerlands to match.

it

like those of

would take many Swit-


VENEZUELA.

26

But

for the

abominable saltatory movements of the Isabel,

I could have passed hours very contentedly with a fragrant cigar in is

my mouth, gazmg

from the sea

La

at

Guaira, which

Hum-

one of the most picturesque places in the world.

boldt says there

is

nothing like

on a

little

seems

rim of shore,

at the foot of a

tremendous peak,

pomtmg

greatness of nature.

There

effect is lost.

between the

is

save Santa Cruz, at the

the town, perched

like a world's finger-post

man and the

it,

La Guaira,

island of Teneriffe, where, as at

to the littleness of

Once landed, much

of the

then no more such startling contrast

strip of white building at the sea's level,

and the

huge blue, black, and green masses of rock and earth heaped up into the very clouds

;

and

to trace the long line of fortification to height.

no longer so easy

it is

mounting from height

Moreover, a mountain that starts up

eight thousand feet from the sea, into the clouds, sight,

and I looked and mused long.

But

is

my

all at

a

once,

wondrous

reverie

was

mterrupted by those common-place, matter-of-fact fellows, the custom-house ofiicers,

who came on board punctually

at

6 A.M., and showed at once that they had more of the Paul

Pry than the poet in their

As

natui*es.

nearly the whole

revenues of the country,, and the whole of their salaries (report says,

from the

somethmg more than the

whole), are drawn

custom-house, there was some excuse for their

energetic proceedings, which would, no doubt, have termi-

nated in a rigid scrutiny of

my numerous

boxes, had I not

been armed with the name of commissioner and a diplomatic passport.

At

sight of that document, the official tartness of

their aspect sweetened to a smile,

and they invited

ashore in their large comfortable boat

such a place as

La

Guaira.

:

me

to go

no shght favour

at


AT LA GUAIEA.

27

Watching the auspicious moment when the frolicsome surge pitched the

bow

hmding-place on the

of the boat up within a foot of the

made

pier, I

a spring,

and was

effectually

prevented from falling back by half a dozen arms and hands,

which snatched

whose

at every accessible part of

outran his discretion, giving

civility

as he clutched hold of

my

;

and I

myself in a glow

felt

I stood for the

fii'st

—

;

one fellow, sharp pinch

I was safe, however

trousers.

had landed

me me a

;

I

time on American ground,

but

less,

perhaps, from en-

thusiasm than from the intense heat consequent on the exertion of jumping from that tossing boat. reality,

no great room

now shut was so fish

for enthusiasm.

Some dingy buildmgs

out the view of the mountains, and the atmosphere

close,

and so impregnated with the odour of decapng

and other things

have withstood

it.

still

It

worse, that no enthusiasm covdd

would be well

if

the Venezuelans, so

proud as they are of their country, so sensitive of

strangers,

their visitors.

would prepare a

welcomes the

cleanlier

to the

remarks

landmg-place for

In other countries, foreigners who are to be

j)ropitiated are presented with

bouquets of flowers. Columbia

traveller with a

They were working away at had

There was, in

bouquet of a

different kind.

the wharf and breakwater, which

ah-eady, they said, cost one

hundred thousand pounds,

though I suppose a tenth of that sum would have more than covered the outlay in England.

Earth was coming down in

buckets, which travelled on long ropes fastened at a considerable incline to posts at an eminence across the road,

where the

men were

at work.

These buckets came along

with an impetus sufficient, had they struck a passer-by, to

knock

his brains out

;

an accident which might easily have

happened, for the ropes were stretched just at the height of


VENEZUELA.

28

a

man, and no one gave any warning of

the

left

of the wharf

nondescrij)t building fort,

where a

lot of

theii"

On

approach.

was the harbour-master's house, and a

— something

between an

In

Creole clerks were idling.

the custom-house, and to the

left

right, rose a long straggling line

of

front,

was

To

the

the town.

it

and a

office

swarming

of filthy huts,

with naked darkie children.

We

walked straight to the custom-house, a strong useful

The

building, but not picturesque. cial

of

no

rank, for the

little

superintendent, an

appointment

the

is

stepping-stone to the portfoUo of finance, received shirt-sleeves, with the inevitable cigarette in his

on reading the General

letter of introduction I

Guzman

me

usual in his

mouth, and

had brought from

Blanco, shook hands, and told

me he had

been the general's A.D.C. in the war just concluded. sun was already disagreeably hot, and

I

offi-

was glad

The

to hurry

on

a few hundred yards up the principal of the two streets

—which,

with a branch or two climbing the

base, form

La Guaira

— and

house of the merchants to heard not a I

little

whom

I

was accredited.

of the wealth of the

could not help venting

mountain's

take refuge in the hospitable

my

Having

La Guaira merchants,

astonishment in a hearty

caramha, when I entered the house.

A

huge outer door

opened into a square court-yard, smelling strongly of meric, and half filled with bales of merchandise.

was two-storied, the lower storey containing a offices, wdiile

tur-

The house set of

dingy

the upper was divided into bed-rooms, but the

whole building looked so dirty and dilapidated, that I asked myself, "

One

Can

this be the residence of a

merchant prince

?

"

of the partners, in whose apartment I found a piano,

books, and

some neat

furniture,

explained the mystery.


THE HOTTEST PLACE ON EARTH.

29

There are only three or four tolerable houses in La Guaira, and he had been in vain trying to get one.

This was simply

a "warehouse, and the other partners lived at Caracas. Juan,

a mulatto servant, and a nigger boy,

room ready

the spare

choked

as

off for a

sphere was at

set to

work

to get

me, and raised such clouds of dust

for

time the mosquitoes, of which the atmo-

They

full.

now

are a peculiarly sharp-stmging sort

La Guaira small, speckled, and insatiable, now fairly installed. The first thing that :

I was

was the intense heat.

struck

me

had not then read Humboldt's

I

Table, in which he compares the climates of Guaira, Caii'o,

Habana, Vera Cruz, Madras, and Abushahr, but without his assistance I arrived at his conclusion, that I was

convejing to a European an idea of the heat, the

mean temperature

at

La

now

in the

Perhaps the best way of

hottest place in the whole world.

say that

is to

Guau-a, in the coldest month,

is

four degrees of centigrade higher than that of the hottest

month

in Paris.

If

it

be added that there are no aj^pliances

whatever to make things bearable

— no good houses, no

no cold water, no shade, and no breeze, to arrive at a faint notion of the reality.

will

it

I

ice,

be possible

was peculiarly

well situated for promptly realising a just idea of the climate, for m}^ it,

room had but one small window, and when

there came in a perfume which obliged

The

instantly.

locality was, indeed,

The house almost abutted on kept

off

every breath of

the

air.

me

opened it

again

not very agreeable.

mountam,

On

I

to close

wliich of course

one side was a boys'

school, from which arose an incessant jabber,

and on the

ridge above us was a long building of very forbidding ap-

pearance.

"

What

place

is

that

? "

said I to Juan.


VENEZUELA.

30

" That,

sii'

? "

replied he, with a

" That

is

number

of cases there at present."

It

beaming countenance.

the Small-pox Hospital, but there ain't no great

was some alleviation of our misery that we took our

meals in a building

much

higher up the

hill,

quently, cooler than the warehouse in which cuisine

we

tolerable, the poverty of the native

was

and, conseslept.

The

suppHes being

eked out with European stores. The wine was hot

;

but there

were good Clicquot and Khenish wines in abundance, and

made us undiscriminating. no Enghshmen at La Guaira,

intense thirst

There are

No

no out-of-door amusements. or

sails,

for

and, consequently,

one walks,

The Europeans, who

pleasure.

Germans from Hamburg,

confine

themselves

smoldng, drinking, playing whist and bilHards. quite easy to have a good place for driving

sea-shore, but everybody

make

tries to

rides, rows,

are cliiefly strictly to

It

would be

and riding by the

the approach to the

sea as inaccessible as possible.

In

my first

walk I took a look

reason for congratulating quarters. garlic

It

at the hotel,

myseK

that I

and saw ample

had found other

was a very poor posada indeed, and the reek of

made me

Garlic, by-the-by, is as dear

quite giddy.

shamrock

to a Venezvielan as the feels surprised that it is

to

an Irishman, and one

not adopted as the national emblem.

I was assm^ed by a traveller that he had exhausted his

means

ventive powers in devising flavoured with this herb, but

all

to escape eating of dishes

in vain.

and when half starved, he determined the fatal fragrance pursued

ment

as well as disgust.

him

At

egg before attempting to eat

still,

last, it,

in-

As to

a dernier ressort,

hve on eggs, but

much

to his astonish-

on carefully examining an

he found that the small end


EMPIRICAL DRUGGISTS. had been perforated, and some of the

31

favourite herb intro-

duced by the innkeeper, who was resolved that the national

and

taste should be vindicated,

From

extremis.

to

my visit

me by

ab ovo and

make my

the inn I went to

one naturally suggested to

went

that, too,

first

m

purchase,

to the posada.

I

at a botica, or apothecary's shop.

buy some medicine

As my Spanish w^as not very profound, I was glad to find a German m the shop, and to him I explained that I wanted a blue pill. Hereupon he took down a book of prescriptions, and

set to w^ork to find out

search, he began

As

mortar^ I

how

to

compounding the

make

with pestle and

pills

book, which was in Spanish,

at the

*'

to quote a certain advertisement,

when

it."

What was my

I discovered that the apothecary

a pill for leprosy

"

!

I thuik I won't trouble you

for,

I could read and write

Spanish, though I could not yet speak

me up

After some

I had no great faith in his knowledge, I thought

would take a peep

horror,

it.

was making

" I exclaimed, " by-the-by, " to compound that pill for me ;

Oh

!

and, snatching up a box, labelled " Brandreth's Pills," I

paid

him

for

it,

German had, no

and walked

ofl^,

doubt, failed in some other metier, and had

taken up a trade in drugs without

them.

This

too glad to escape.

Before I

left

knowmg much

about

America I saw empmcs more than

enough. After experiencing the disagreeables of the sea-shore pro-

menade

at

La

Guaira, I took to climbing the mountain for

So disinclined are the Venezuelans

a constitutional. exercise, that I

friend to

had

the greatest difiiculty in

accompany me.

well-made fellow, and having been born

the

He

to

persuading a

was a very handsome,

tall,

EngUshman,

but,

son of

in the countr}^

an

had much of the Creole


VENEZUELA.

32

indolence

in

feet,

cession of forts

;

pletely

They had came

and

the town.

These

forts

men were

fifty

dead were

buried in one

all

m the

lulled

in ruins,

He fire.

each, and

About one

sides,

and the

The man who

grave.

whole force engaged, was a gigantic negro

who occupied

aristocrats,

did a good deal of execution with hjs gun,

which, even after he was wounded in

At

last

many

places, he con-

he was struck on the back by a large

from a swivel-gun, while he was in the act of re-loading

When

his cannon.

they came to collect the corpses for

interment he was found doctor, from

me

lie

men

on both

common

on the side of the

artilleryman,

tinued to

now

from the heights to the attack.

fought best

about

was a suc-

taken by the revolutionary forces in 1859.

hundi^ed and

ball

ascend

to

three columns of one thousand

do-wii

the forts.

used

for that distance there

one of these, the Cerro Colorado, com-

commanded

having been

We

nature.

his

twelve hundred

that,

whom

still

breathing, and was taken to a

I heard the whole story,

and who assured

though tetanus supervened, the negro recovered

from his wounds.

" This," said the medico,

"was

the only

case of recovery from lock-jaw that I have ever witnessed."

After toihng up the mountain by a steep zig-zag path,

we

used to descend a ravine, in which flows a rivulet dignified

by the name of the Rio de

la

Guaira.

Tliis

usually about ten inches deep, but sometimes

the rains into

a formidable

torrent.

is

stream

is

swelled by

Thus, in 1810,

it

swelled suddenly, after a heavy rain in the mountains, to a

stream ten feet deep, and swept away property to the value of half a million of dollars, as well as

whom smeU

forty were drowned. in this ravine

;

There

nevertheless,

is

many

persons, of

a sickly yellow-feverish

numbers

of people bathe


THE CONSUL'S BATH. in the pools

it

of these pools

forms at every broad ledge of rock. called the Consul's Bath,

is

of scandal in which an

Enghsh

Liu-line

the three routes to Caracas from

but most

up

La

One

owing to a piece

was concerned.

Of

Guaii-a, the shortest,

and dangerous, passes

difi&cult

this ravine.

33

for

It is called the Indian's Path,

some distance and

actually

is

that which was used by the Indians before the Spanish conquest.

Between

and the present coach-road

it

is

the road

which was in use when Humboldt visited the country.

was anxious

to

make

trial

I

of all three, but being invited to

breakfast at the Eincon, or Corner, a pretty country-seat

beyond Maquetia, I determined to go by that road It

was 9

A.M.,

Guau-a, accompanied by terrifically hot,

first.

on the 10th of July, when I

my

friend

La

left

The smi was

and Juan.

but the j)rospect of being jolted over the

chaotic road to Maquetia being

more

terrible

we

still,

re-

solved to walk to the Rincon, and let the coach, which

had engaged said

for our exclusive use, pick us

up

there.

coach apj)eared to be considerably smaller than the

smallest four-wheeled cab in London, and was so up,

we

The

vamped

and moved so heavily, and with such a flapping of

doors, that I quite agreed with Juan,

when

he, imconscious

of a pun, called out to the di-iver to get on with his vampiro.

We

walked, as I have said, to Maquetia, and tiu'ned

gladly out of its

dirty streets

up a lane bursting with

flowering shrubs, which led to the Bincon.

were aware of two female evidently

of two

figui'es

Presently,

we

ahead of us, the figures

young and well-shaped Creole

ladies.

Before long, one of them dropped a kerchief and a prayerbook, which I picked up, and fomid they belonged to la Senorita Trinidad

Smith.

Not being used

to

Spanish


VENEZUELA.

34

my

name, but

me

Trinity struck

nomenclatiu'e,

friend told

me

favomite baptismal appellation

or Pangs,

to

what I

is

a

and even Dolores

;

not uncommon.

is

cimous Christian

a

was nothing

Thus Dolores,

should meet with.

Strong Pangs,

it

as

most

Fuei*tes,

These strange Christian

appellations sometunes yield a curious sense

when added

to

C. gave me, as an instance, the case

certain proper names.

of a lady christened Dolores Fuertes,

tleman named Battiga

;

who married

a gen-

name stood Strong

thus the whole

Pangs of the Stomach.

The Rincon

is

a pretty little country-house, very like an

Indian bangla, at the foot of a deep

ra\Tine in the

mountain.

All around were trees and shrubs in profusion, so that

was

On my

really " life in the bush."

the garden, the

a walk in

lad}^ of

naively, that there were a great

cularly rattlesnakes

my

The

ardour.

and

was large

and the

is

and

taste.

It is

common

often described, and

To me

it is

its

fish

weighing

ought to be

of the

fifteen

called, advo-

passion-flower creej^er, less insipid.

The

be called the sea-perch for its colour*, shape,

but never of such a

in eating

it

there were

the things at table with

pumpkin, and not

as big as a

parga might

as

or,

fruit

;

and gentlemen, two French

Among

five children.

pounds, the aUigator,

which

snakes there, parti-

an observation which rather damped

:

which I was not famihar, were a parga

cate's pear,

proposing to take

the house said, very

many

breakfast-part}'

ourselves, several Creole ladies officers,

it

enough, and I had seen

size.

it is

The

seemed

before,

aUigator pear has been

said that a good deal of j)ractice

needed before a relish for

flavom'

it

to be a

of pumpkin, melon, and very

it

can be acquired.

compound

mouldy

of the tastes

Stilton cheese.


ACROSS THE MOUNTAIN TO CARACAS. At 2

our shambling equipage, the vampii'o, came

P.M.,

up

flapping

35

door, drawn by tlu'ee rat-hke ponies,

to the

who, however, soon proved that they had some mettle in

The

them.

road, which is about twenty-five feet broad,

and not an intolerably bad one

after fairly quitting

Maquetia,

skirts, in a perpetual zigzag, the eastern side of the great

The western

ravine called Quebrada de Tipe. ravine,

which

side of this

a mile or two broad, leads du-ectly from

is

Caracas to the Bay of Catia, ah-eady mentioned as a desi-

Along

rable harboiu'.

this side of the ravine, surveys for

made by Stephenson, which have been regentleman who arrived at Caracas at the same

a raih'oad were

peated by a

The

time as mj'self. tives are,

of this route for locomo-

difiiculties

perhaps, not insiu"mountable, but they seem at

than any that have yet been overcome

least to be greater

elsewhere.

For the slow,

first

thousand

our progress was

feet of elevation

as the clouds of red dust were literally sufibcatmg,

and the heat so great that even the case-hardened driver was

cattle,

met

thmgs

fain to take

ment was

quietly.

Besides, no

requii'ed in order to pass

asses,

little

safely the

manage-

strings of

and pedestrians, and the numerous carts we

When

or overtook.

of a thousand feet,

once we liad reached the elevation

we perceived

a

marked change

in the

temperatm'e, and began to be repaid for our previous sufferings

of

by a

coast

fine

view over the Quebrada, the narrow Ime

The whole

and the ocean.

Maquetia and Caracas by while, as the crow

more than nme

flies,

miles.

this road, is

fi-om

about twenty miles,

La Guau-a

Here and there

distance between

to Caracas is not

Ave

came

or poor inn, where the carters, carriers, and

to a venta,

coachmen get D

2


VENEZUELA.

36

rum

a drink of aguardiente, or fire-water, as while their wretched animals take rest that can be called

swarms of (it

is

which

a'

here called,

few minutes'

robbed of

is

is

its

rest, if

solace

At one place our coachman, an

flies.

by the Italian

curious that the pmicipal Jehus on this road are

hold

Italians), requested us to

same time

noses, at the

oui'

As we

applying the lash vigorously to his ponies.

galloj)ed

or small vultures, rose from the

by, a flock of zamuros,

body of a horse, wliich might very

easily

over the precipice by

but no South American

its

OTVTier

;

would ever think of giving himself a

We

the public.

They

and dogs, were smoking there. out

all

day,

and

it

killed four quail,

had now ascended about

was comparatively quite

less steep,

speed.

and had

We

tridges.

trouble to oblige

little

stoj^ped at a venta half way,

Three or four rough-looking

horses.

have been pitched

cold.

and changed

fellows,

with guns

said they

had been

and seen a few parfive

The

thousand

and we started with our fresh horses

This rate of travelUng

a road to those

who

cross

were so abrupt as to

it

be

is

at great

not so pleasant on such

for the first time.

quite

feet,

road, too, was

invisible

The

turns

one was

while

approaching the precipice, from which they diverged almost at right angles.

the abyss,

We

seemed to be

and we did reach

its

galloj)ing straight into

very brink, and then swept

round by a turn in the road, which only

showed but

itself.

feel a little

at that

moment

Until habit deadens sensation, one cannot

nervous at such charioteering, and the more

so as dreadful accidents have actually occm'red.

There are

similar roads over the mountains in Peru, and

it

is

said

that a late President of that comitry got so alarmed on one occasion, that he shouted out to the youth

who was

driving,


"

AEEIVAL AT CARACAS. to

The mozo, however,

stoj).

drove on faster than ever, pistol, called to

him

till

37

enjoymg the joke,

rather

the President, drawing out a

that he would shoot

him dead unless

This was a hint not to be

he pulled up instantly.

dis-

regarded, so the youth obeyed, but turned round and said,

with

the usual

" Truh^ you're a

freedom or impudence fine" fellow

are afraid at such a

Two

country,

to be President of Peru,

as this

trifle

of the

if

you

!

miles from the place of changing horses, the road

beguis to descend, and we went on with increasmg speed.

The road now grew naiTOwer and narrower at every tm-n, At length, about half-past and the view more confined. 5 P.M.,

we came suddenly

in sight

Caracas, which

of

not seen from any distance by this route. students, wandering in cap and

the

fii'st

sign of

About

is

fifty

along the road, were

go\vTi

We

our approacliing the capital.

next

plunged into some dirty lanes, and then suddenly emerged into the paved streets of the city.

om-

di'iver, ui'ged his

ponies with

Along all

these, Francisco,

the speed they could

muster, at the same time cracking his whip with reports like those of a pistol, to

annotmce his

of all this energy was, that

arrival.

we were pitched

The

result

against one

another, and up to the roof of the coach, in a

Ava}^

that

nearly dislocated our necks, and utterly destroyed any dignity that

we might otherwise have assumed.

unpleasant fashion,

The

streets

over wliich we bounded in the most

were full of holes,

till

we pulled up dead, with

nearly sent us out of the

a jerk that

windows, at the door of

St.

Amande's Hotel, where the Brazilian minister's rooms had been engaged for me.


CHAPTER

III.-'

At Caracas Hotel St. Amaiide Caraqu^niau and her Suitors Drake, the Corsair Site

Bells

and Belles

of Caracas

— The Virgin

—Creole Steeds and

— Bolivar's Cenotaph — Environs of Caracas— The great — Catholic Cemetery — Ker Porter's Chapel — The Toma

Creole Eiders

Earthquake

Mount

The

Calvary.

hotel was a square house of two stories, close to the

market-place, and not far from the centre of the cit3\

On

the rooms on the ground-floor were bedrooms.

above was

my

apartment, a very large

room

opposite

my room

the floor

divided into

On

three by partitions, and overlooking the street.

table d'hote

All

the side

was another very large one, where the

was held.

To

the left were

rooms occu-

tlii'ee

pied by the landlord and his family, and on the right were

some more bedrooms

The

for travellers.

concierge was a

huge negro, who, having been a custom-house himself

all

the airs of a government

so fat that he quite blocked

had come

official,

up the doorway.

gave

and had grown

The

landlord

to the country as a savant, to collect articles for

some museum,

but, having married an English lady's-maid,

condescended to allow her to make this hotel.

He

was the most

silent

the time I was there I never heard

"

officer,

Mon Dieu

!

"

An

his fortune

man

by keeping

possible,

and

all

him say but two words,

unmarried daughter lived in the house,

and played the piano

at a great rate.

The establishment

consisted of two Indian waitresses, and a mulatto stable-boy.


CARAQUfiNIAN BELLS. There was also a cook, so enormously

down

fat that I

onl}- once,

and that

should never have been able to relish

whom

it

my

I found

was cooked.

put her

I was glad that I

as the wife of the fat concierge.

encountered her

by

39

at my departure, as I my dinner after seeing

apartment

ver}^ neatly

furnished, and beautifully clean, and congratulated myself

That night

on having so comfortable a lodging. C.'s,

and was agreeably surprised

at the

I dined at

elegance of his

menage.

His house was but one story high, but there were

many

rooms

fine

in

The drawing-room,

it.

for example,

was

about sixty feet long and twenty-five broad, and furnished

In the centre of the court,

like a first-class saloon in Paris.

round which the rooms were

built,

was a garden

full of

beau-

and a fountain of clear water.

tiful flowers,

I have said I was well pleased with

my

ensconced myself in

my

mosquito curtains about midnight,

anticipating a long and j)leasant slumber. half-past three, I

woke

apartment, and I

However, about

in the midst of a dream, in

which I

fancied myself in a belfry, with the bells playing triple bob-

majors.

On my

awaking, sure enough bells were ringing

furiously'- all

round.

direction.

What

" this

is

the

way

earthquake, or

The sound seemed could

it

be

?

to

come from every

" Perhaps," thought

the Caraquenians announce a

is it

a popular emeute ?

fii'e

I,

or an

Oh, bother them

!

I

wish they would have their revolutions in the daj-time, like reasonable people."

Still

the bells rang on, and presently

there was a great noise of people passing in the street, and

then a sound of

filing

and of rockets being

let

off".

I should

have gone to the window to reconnoitre, but a salutary awe of the mosquitos and the penetrating * fleas kept *

The 'pulcx penetrans is a

flea

me where

that burrows in the flesh where

it

I

was

lays its eggs.


VENEZUELA.

40

when

until the clay dawned,

of the hubbub.

I got

up

to discover the reason

on the other side of

I then perceived that

the street there was a large convent, in which, although

not a soul was to be seen, the bells were ringing in a way. that reminded

me

of the Devil and the Old

Further down the street

Berkeley.

small square, and on one side of

AVoman

of

than the convent was a

it

a church, where again

the bells were rmging at least as obstreperousl3\

In the

direction of this church, which was brilliantly lighted up,

there was quite a crowd of people coming and going, and

from among them rockets shot up from time inquiry, I found

was the

it

from the Canary Islands, of

sleep

of

Isleiios

is

quite a colony at

have theirs, and in honour of their saint

was made to

tlie

there

people

In South America every one has his patron saint,

Caracas.

and the

whom

On

to time.

fiesta of the Isleiios, or

city

fly

from the

ej-elids of all

m

the quarter

where I was, while our nerves were harassed

throughout the day by a continued hubbub of

bells, fireworks,

must come

to

an end, and I found solace in the hope that quiet would

at

the Catholic year at Caracas

is

processions, and bull-fights.

length be restored.

made up

Alas

!

But even

fiestas

of feasts and fasts, and, fastmg or feasting, the

inhabitants are for

ever ringing bells,

discharging

holy

squibs and rockets, and walking in tumultuous processions. I lived weeks to

it,

amid

this din,

and never could get accustomed

nor enjoy that hearty sound slumber Avhich Sanclio

apostrophises as the best of wrappers.

must be

added that

fiestas

have

But, in fairness,

their

strangers as well as their disagreeables. especially

attractions

On

it

for

these days,

on notable holidays, such as that of Nuestra

Seiiora de la Merced, the fair sex

come

forth in their gayest


THE VIEGIN AND HER SUITORS. attire,

and walk

iii

beA^ies to the

you are an impartial Paris, that 3'ovu'

all

churches.

41

It is then, if

3'ou will resolve to

bestow

golden apple on the Creole Venus in preference to

other beauties, so lovely are the faces that shine upon

you from under the coquettish mantilla, and so graceful the There may, indeed,

figures that undulate along the streets.

be rosier cheeks and

faii-er

skms elsewhere, but not such

large black eyes, teeth of such

such

dazzling whiteness,

taper waists, and faultless feet and ankles, as belong to the

Venezuelan

ladies.

As

for

any devout

course, is entii'ely out of the question. to be looked at,

and the men stand

steps, or cluster inside, to look at

feeling,

that,

The women come

of

forth

on the church

in groups

All round the

them.

churches are pictures, usually sad daubs, and a profusion of

wax life.

dolls, representing the

Vii'gm at various periods of her

Anything more contrary to common sense, to say

nothing of good taste and devotional feeling, than these images,

it

is

Among

impossible to conceive.

the absurd

groups of dolls I was particularly struck with one at the

Merced

fiesta, in

which the Vii'gm, dressed in

all

the frip-

pery imaginable, was kneeling beside a gigantic crucifix, while a six-j-ear-old angel fluttered above the cross, dressed in silver-embroidered trunk-hose

About the middle

royal Stuart pattern.

the heat

is

most

and tartan leggings of the

trj-ing,

there

is

the image or pictm'e of the saint train of ecclesiastics,

of honour.

of the da}',

is

carried about,

Every now and then the host

down go the people on is sanctified

amid a

and with a body of soldiers as a guard

their knees,

on such occasions.

is

elevated,

and

and anon guns and

rockets are discharged, and the use even

crackers

when

generally a procession, and

of squibs and


VENEZUELA.

42

On

seeing

all

this,

my

went back to India,

recollection

and the processions of Durga and Krishnah.

Indeed, the

yatrotsavahs of Hindustan, and the fiestas of South America,

have a

common

They

origin.

are the resource of an idle

people, and an excuse for putting on best clothes, loitering,

gaming, and love-making.

I

was assured that

some

fiesta at Santiago, the Vii'gin receives

letters

from the

girls of the city

and

its

grand

at the

thirty thousand

Some

environs.

ask for husbands and lovers, others for ball-di*esses and

may

pianos, and, incredible as

it

answered, and, where

thought

such

it is

appear, the petitions are

as husbands and lovers, one

trifles

As

politic, granted.

for

knows from Hero-

dotus that such matters are easily arranged, but even a

piano

is

At Caracas, absurdity

occasionally sent.

is

not

carried so far, but even there fiestas are no doubt the busiest

days at Cupid's post-office.

The

of Caracas

site

It is at about the

the

one to please an Oriental sovereign.

same elevation above the sea

of Persia,

capital

With

is

and resembles

it

in

as Tehran,

accessibility.

a few batteries judiciously placed, the approach to

Caracas from the coast might be completely closed against

an enemy, exceptmg, of course, English tilings are practicable that

sailors, to

whom

imply prize-money and a

In the beginning of June,

the renowned

1595,

Dracke, as the Spanish historians

call

all

fight.

Corsair

him, or Francis

Drake, stood in with his squadron towards the coast of

he arrived within about half a league from

Venezuela,

till

La

when he embarked

Guaira,

and landed. resistance,

The

five

inhabitants of

hundred men

La Guaira

in boats,

fled

without

and carried to Caracas the news of the

terrible

Englishman's descent on the coast.

Then

did the valiant


-

DRAKE, THE COESAIE. alcaldes, Garci-Gonzalez

bling

all

the

to repel

43

and Francisco Rebolledo, assem-

men who would and

could bear arms, march out

They marched with

and chastise the mvader.

banners displayed along the royal road leading from Caracas to

La

Guau-a, lea\'ing ambuscades in the less frequented

passes of the mountains, where the thick trees and rough

But Drake had found

ground favoured such strategy.

Guaicamaento

Spaniard

a

willing to sell his comitry,

named

Villalpando,

at

who was

and who led the corsau- by an

imfrequented route, perhaps that which

now

is

called the

Indian's Path, to Caracas.

So, while the valiant alcaldes

were marching down to the

sea,

and

theii'

ambush were l^ing ensconced in the dank

man was hanging use,

on a

much

whom

Villalpando, for

men

m

the English-

he had no further

and packing up, with great care and very

tree,

at his ease, all the valuables

Now, who can adequately when they heard door, the stped

gallant

gi'ass,

he could find in Caracas.

describe the fury of the alcaldes

that, while they

were guardmg the stable

had been abeady stolen

back again to the

capital, resolved to

So they marched

!

make

a pastel of

Drake

and his merry men, and hoping to catch them with their pikes and their

theii'

hands

hangers and their arquebuses laid aside, and

full

of plunder.

But Drake was cautious

well as bold,

and had turned the municipal

church near

it

into

little

fortresses,

hall

as

and the

and the Spaniards

had a presentiment that there was no taking these strong places without bloodshed, so they surrounded the city at a safe distance,

and prepared to put every Englishman to

death, who, not content with the booty he had alread}' got,

should go out to the villages round about to look for more.

But one

old hidalgo

named Alonso

Anch-ea de Ledesma,


VENEZUELA.

44

who

was, perhaps, a native of

and put his hxnce in

steed,

and rode forth alone

at full speed,

Thereupon they

honour.

his five

The

chivalry his

tried to do mischief with his spear.

him

as gently as they could,

when

city,

and interred

eight days were passed,

it

and with

Drake and

hundred moved out of Caracas with their booty;

and, after burning

down

and

killed

So,

his

nor would they, had he not charged

;

body to a grave in the

carried his all

to drive out the English.

not to harm him

them

La Mancha, mounted

and an old target on his arm,

moved Drake's compassion, and he bade

of the old don

men

rest,

all

the houses that the}" had not knocked

marched merrily away

alread}^

to their ships,

and em-

barked without the loss of a single man. Caracas

is,

north

—that

sea

but,

;

as has

is,

been

from the

said, very inaccessible

from the side towards La Guaira and the

in the opposite direction, the slopes are easier.

In order to form a correct notion of the city is built,

site

on which the

one must keep in mind the direction of the

moimtain ranges of the country.

The Andes

alone

run

north and south, dividing South America like a backbone, but into two very unequal parts Pacific

—the

portion that extends to the Atlantic. dilleras east,

part parallel to the

being infinitely narrow compared with the eastern

A

number

of Cor-

descend from the Andes, and run from west to

and that

cordillera

which

skirts the

Caribbean Sea

forms quite an angle at La Guaira and Macuto, approaching there ahnost to the sea, and ending in a huge clumj), the

highest part of which

is

La

Silla,

a great double-peaked

mountain, that towers up two miles to the east of Caracas.

La

Silla is, consequently, nearly opposite to

the ridge which separates Caracas from

Macuto, while

La Guaira

is

called


SITE OF CAEACAS. CeiTo

cle

This ridge appears to swell on without a

Avila.

break until

La

terminates in

it

separated from

45

but

Silla,

it

in reality

is

On

by the deep ravine of Tocume.

it

La

south side, then, of Avila and

the

Silla is a plain, called the

plain of Cliacao, with a steep slope from N.N.AV. to S.S.E.

— that

is,

from the mountains just mentioned to La Guaira,

a stream which flows with a south-easterly com^se into the

The

Tuy.

latter river falls into the

La

miles to the east of the town of

Chacao, which the Tuy,

seven

is

The

Guaii*a.

branch of the

a lateral

is

Caribbean Sea, sixty plain of

far larger valley of

about ten miles long from west to east, and

broad from

extremity, where

and

north to south,

it is

at

its

western

narrowest, stands Caracas.

Some authors have pronounced

to be matter of regret

it

that Caracas was not built further to the east, near the Adllage of

Chacao, where the plain

is

widest.

doubt that Francisco Fajardo, who, in 1560, the

which the

site

capital of

led to choose the spot as also to the

is

no on

Venezuela now occupies, was

bemg

nearest to the coast, and

mines of Los Teques, which were the attractions

that brought Indians.

There

first built

him

swarming with

into a locality then

In 1567,

Don Diego

Losada, who wished to make

a pennanent conquest where Fajardo

than an explorer, founded a latter,

and called

giving

it

his

it

city

had been

on the

Santiago de

own name

hostile

site

little

chosen

Leon de Caracas

Santiago, or Diego, the

more

b}^

the

—thus

name

of

the Governor de Leon, and that of the Indians of the district,

course,

Caracas, little

which

last

alone

imagined that his new

survives. city

Losada, of

would ever become

the capital of a great country, and in selectmg the site he

was probably guided by the accident that Fajardo had


YENEZUELA.

46

chosen

In

before him.

it

fact, if

advantages of

the position of the capital,

to decide

site

were

the government of

Venezuela would be transferred from Caracas to Valencia, a city which has the richest soil and the best seaport in

much

very proud of their native town, and boast climate

but the question of

;

Venezuelan

cities is

who

"

says

:

all

In the meantime, the Caraquenians are

South America.

From

its title to

rank

fii'st

of its

among

decided in the negative by Humboldt, the position of the provinces Caracas

can never exert any powerful political influence over the countries of which

came

I soon

to

it is

the capital."

know Caracas and

fresh horses were lent

me

every day, and I rode somewhere

The

or other every morning and evening. zuela, be

it

said, en imssaiit,

are so small that one

horses of Vene-

though spirited and well shaped,

would certainly snub them as

but for their self-assertion and haughty

must be owned,

envii'ons well, for

its

ways, which,

little

are at times supported

ironies, it

by worthy deeds in

carrying then- riders bravely into battle, and in aiding in

the slaughter of furious bulls twice as big as themselves.

They do not understand high jumping, but they go very well at ditches, however broad and deep.

pace

is

very well that they are to go that way rather high, and the

tmg

is

Their favourite

the pase-trote, a sort of quick amble, and they

mouth

is felt

if

the reins are held

Trot-

pretty strongly.

not fashionable, and, altogether, the English style of

riding does not

a bad rider

"he

seem

to be admired, for

rides like

it

is

an Englishman."

usual to say of

The

Creoles

ride Avith excessively long stiiTups, so as just to touch

with the toe, and the ambling pace of their horses suited

know

for

that

kind of

seat,

as

well

as

for

them

is Avell

the paved


BOLIYAE'S CENOTAPH. nor animal

streets of Caracas, for neither rider

by

47

shaken

is

it.

My

fii'st

village

about seven

after leaving

Gran

was

ride

St.

to the east of the city to Petare, a large niiles

from Caracas.

In a few minutes

Amande's Hotel, I found myself

La

in

Plaza, the principal square, where the daily market

of Portman-square, but looks

It is about the size

held.

larger, the buildings

round

it

Government House, which

is

is

being

very low, except the

all

on the western

and the

side,

cathedral, which stands at the south-eastern angle.

Both

these buildings survived the great earthquake of 1812.

found nothing in the cathedral, either externally or ternally,

I in-

worth noticing, except the tomb of Bolivar, which

and

The Liberator

is

of white mai'ble,

is

represented standing in his general's unifoi-m, and below

tastefully executed.

are three female figures, intended, I suppose, for the three

States

who owe

theii-

memor

1852."

patria.

monument, a

"He var,

The

freedom to him.

" Simonis Bolivar cineres

hie

condit,

Somehow,

certain sentence

honorat,

grata

on looking

would recur

at

:

et

this

my mind

to

asked for bread, and they gave him a stone."

:

Boli-

whose ashes are here so honoured in the cathedral of

his native town, died far away, starving,

A

inscription is

little

way from the

and an

exile.

cathedi-al is the theatre.

Juxta-

position seems to be the rule as regards these edifices in

Venezuela.

At La Guau-a, the theatre stands next

Things have so

far

Humboldt, that the theatre to the sky, is

operatic

duU

now

roofed.

troupe, and

tragedies, in

a church.

changed for the better since the time of

the

which

all

at Caracas,

During pieces

the

which was then open

my

stay there was no

played were

generally

characters Avere killed in


VENEZUELA.

48

succession,

apparently

the

to

great

satisfaction

the

of

audience.

At about half

from the cathedral, I came to a

a mile

bridge over a stream which

bounds the town on

falls into

the Guaira, and which

Here

this side.

are two fine coffee

plantations, and a mile further is another

being the point at

for

ascent of

La

Silla.

valley being a

The scenery here

mass

still finer,

is

very beautiful, the

of cultivation, while from

no point

land does the great mountain look so imposing. that which interested

me most was

or " Eastern Bailwaj^," the

ber

and as

it

in-

However,

the Ferro-Carril d'Este,

termmus

the bridge already mentioned. station,

notable

which Humboldt commenced his

of which

is

just

beyond

I dismounted to inspect the

was quite deserted, I was obliged to clam-

over a gate fifteen feet

the rails had been laid

high to get into

down

it.

I found that

for about half a mile, but the

over them.

There were

grass and weeds were

grooving

engines and

and piles of wood for sleepers, sad

emblems fallen,

carriages,

of the slumber into which the whole concern has

and from which

awake.

seems doubtful whether

it

will ever

I found the posada at Petare full of people

smoking

and playmg

billiards,

it

and the whole place had a more

ing, bustling appearance than I expected. five

near

hundred houses it.

Still

in the village,

thriv-

There are about

and some

fine estates

there never could be sufficient traffic to repay

the expense of a railway, unless the line were continued to Valencia.

My

next expedition was to the north of the tovm, and to

the slope beyond l}ing immediately under the Cerro d'Avila.

The

may

be seen from this slope,

is

in

figure a great square, with long parallel streets crossing

it

city of Caracas, as


THE GREAT EAETHQUAEi:. from north

to south,

49

and with the principal square of the

But

market-place in the centre.

at the north-east angle

there has been a suburb, thi-ough which the old road to

The " Indian Path," akeady mentioned,

La Guaira passes. branches

off

I was astonished to see the

from that road.

destruction that the great earthquake of 1812 caused in this

Not

dii'ection.

a house seems to have escaped, and though

a few have been restored, the marks of the aj)parent ever^-where,

In

fact,

and whole

lines of ruins still remain.

moimtam, the

the nearer the

to have been the shock.

I

disaster are

greater seemed to

was confii'med in

me

this opinion

afterwards bv the narrative of an eye-witness, Major M.,

who

still

lives,

and who was in

emplojTiient in

official

Caracas when the earthquake happened.

Major M. was

writing in his office with his clerk at 4 p.m., on the 26th of

March, in that year.

It

was intensely hot, and no rain had

Being Holy Thursdaj', the

fallen for a considerable time.

churches were crowded with ladies, dressed in their gayest

The

attire.

and the

come

in

chapels of the convents were

streets, as is usual

filled \\ith

on holiday s, with people who had

from the neighbouring

At the barracks

villages.

of San Carlos, a regiment of six hiuidi*ed tering under the walls.

men were mus-

There was not a cloud in the sky,

not a thought of danger in the a sudden the eai-th seemed to bells tolled,

nims,

heaii, of

any one.

move upwards,

All of

the church

and a tremendous subterranean noise was heard.

The perpendicular motion stantly succeeded

lasted four seconds,

in-

by a violent undulatory movement, which

continued six seconds more. great city, with

and was

fifty

In those ten seconds that

thousand inhabitants, had become a

heap of blood-stained ruins.

The churches

of Alta Gracia


VENEZUELA.

50

and Trinidad, with towers one hundred and

fifty

feet high,

were so completely levelled, that in then- place only shape-

mounds remained, spread out

less

not more than

five feet

to a great distance, but

Every convent was destroyed,

high.

The barrack

and of the inmates scarcely one escaped. of San Carlos was hurled forward from

was

left

and of the

soldiers mustering below its walls not a

hundred

six

its base,

ahve.

At the

M.

shock, Major

fii'st

man

started from

his seat and rushed towards the door, followed by his clerk.

M. sprang

into the street, but his clerk to death

was crushed seen

many

terrific

by the

was too

his

and

The major had

falling house.

sights in

late,

long residence in these

regions of the -"'olcano and the earthquake, and had been

many

in

battles both

by sea and land, but he declared that

moment

the spectacle which Caracas presented at the

of the

A

great earthquake, was the most terrible of

all.

cloud of dust rose up to heaven, and with

ascended the

shrieks of

vast

more than twenty thousand human beings dying

wounded

or

it

in the ruins.

Great rocks came thundering

down from the mountains, and

at intervals exj)losions,

Hke

the discharge of innumerable pieces of artillery, were heard

Major M.

beneath the earth.

fled

down

Guaira, and remained there without food

Even then

it

iymg hunger, w^ere so

So

for

was

difficult to prociu-e

for the

houses were

encumbered with

many

to the river till

all fallen,

ruins, that

it

was

the next day.

means

the

La

of satis-

and the

streets

difficult to pass.

days the sad sights were renewed of digging

out the wounded and the dead.

Men's minds were so

affected with terror, that for a long

time they could not retm-n to their ordinary occupations,

but were continually absorbed with prayer and rehgious


CATHOLIC CEMETERY.

51

Then were many marriages performed between who had for years been living together without that and men who had defi'auded others made restitution,

ceremonies. those .tie,

appalled by the horrors of that tremendous day, and appre-

hensive of their recui-rence.

At

a few places in the Cerro d'Avila, I observed houses

perched

uj)

an elevation of several hundred

at

among them one belonging it is

Dutch

to the

feet,

and

Below

minister.

a country-house, called the Paraiso, once the property

of an English minister, and wliich passed from liim to a that which interested

me most

was the Cathohc cemetery, said

to be the

famous Creole beauty. in this direction finest in all

But

South America, and well worth a

stands on very high ground, and the view

The

singularity of the place

very high walls by which

it

feet

tlu'ee

five

magnificent.

sun-ounded

is

They

is

lined with a

are eight feet deep,

wide and high, and are used as receptacles

Persons who can afibrd to pay a fee of

for cofiins.

It

that the inner side of the

is,

sort of gigantic pigeon-holes.

and

is

visit.

tliii'ty-

dollars are allowed the privilege of placing the cofiin

of a deceased relative in one of these receptacles for three years.

The name

of the deceased person

is

printed over

the recess, and the cofiin can be brought out at any time if

requu'ed.

Of

com'se,

it is

thus preserved from destruc-

tion,

being quite diy, and sheltered from the weather, and

also

safe

from the attacks of

midable black ant, which

is

length,

and devours everjiihing

ration

of

three years

insects,

cofiins

it

to

them.

can get

are

remains of the deceased person

handed over

especially the for-

three-quarters of an inch in at.

At the

expi-

taken down, and

are, if the family

wish

the it,

Otherwise, they are thi'own into a E

2


VENEZUELA.

52

Poor people, and those who

large pit, called a carnero.

do not choose to pay for the three once

in the grounds of the

I observed the words

Calentura Amarilla in

are buried

pigeon-holes,

cemetery.

many

lodgment in the

3'ears'

at

of the epitaphs, which told plainly of the ravages of

Humboldt mentions

the yellow fever.

been known at

La

yards, I

having appeared at Caracas.

its

I had ridden past the

came

in length,

to a

had

Guaii^a only two years before his arrival,

and says nothing of Ai'ter

that this disease

cemetery a few hundred

mound about one hmidred and

and was told that

this

fifty feet

marked the spot where the

persons who died in the great outbreak of cholera a few

The

years ago, were buried. that

it

numerous

victims were so

was quite impossible to inter

them

separately, so a

very long deep trench was dug, and the dead were brought

and cast mto

in carts

the

German

it.

They

are

bui'ial-ground

and

outskii^ts of the city,

and

compared with the Catholic ceme-

are very poor places as tery.

The English

on the southern

are

both covered with weeds, but, in the

British burial-ground, the rank gi'ass

is

so tall that

impossible to see the gTaves, and the whole place ant-hills

several feet high.

inscription to say sole

expense.

man who,

it

was

built

This

city, is

the

Cai'acas with water. ravine, it.

is

is

full of

a chapel, with an

by Robert Ker Porter

at his

name

of a

had come from the Caspian Gates

to this distant country of the

a visit.

is

I felt interested in seeing the

like mj^self,

North of the

There

it

West.

I found only one other place worth

Toma, It

is

or reservon, which supplies situated

in a thickly-wooded

and a very narrow path among the bushes leads to

It is

necessary to tread with caution here,

as,

on


MOUNT CALVARY.

53

account of the dense thickets, and the phice being so frequented, snakes abound in incredible numbers.

assured that, on a

fifty

rattlesnakes and other

With such

serpents might be seen basking in the sun.

human guard might seem

unnecessary.

There

however, a superintendent, and, on entering his cottage,

is,

I found

liis

Canary Islands, working

wife, a native of the

with her daughter at making sandals.

make two dozen

and got

a day,

many

of

I

saw of the enormously

She said they could and a half

six

about a pound sterling, a dozen.

is

I was

rocky terrace where the shrubs will

little

not grow, sometimes forty or

protectors a

little

This

is

dollars, or

only one mstance

liigh rates at

which labour

paid in Venezuela.

Westward there

of the city I did not ride.

only the road to

is

come by coach.

La

In this direction

Guau-a, along which I had

I took, however, a walk to the Calvario,

a hill on which the stations at Calvary ought to be

by

The

crosses, but I observed none.

some hundred cit}", is

the

feet high,

which being

hill,

a good view over the

remarkable for a very severe action fought there on

23rd

SjDanish

of June,

1821,

commandant

only fifteen hundred

between Colonel Pereira,

at Caracas,

Bermudez, of the

cisco

commands

marked

the

and General Jose Fran-

patriot ami}'.

Bermudez, who had

men, attacked with

gi-eat

fuiy the

Spanish forces, though far outnumbering his column, and

on the high ground, and was so

advantageously posted

completely defeated that he had great to

difficult}^

in escaping

Rodea with two hundi'ed men.

To

the south there

is

engineer, which leads to five

a fine road,

Los Teques, a

made by village

a

European

about twenty-

miles from Caracas, where there were gold mines once


VENEZUELA.

54

worked by the Spaniards, and which, in

them

tering bait that lured station

on

this road, at

fact,

were the

glit-

The

fii'st

into the province.

about six

milfes

from the

city, is

the

pleasant village of Antemano, where Caraquenian beauties

go to

There

bathe and ruraHse during the heats is also

the river the Tuy.

a road

more

La Guau-a There

is

directly south,

into the hills,

of

summer.

which leads across

and so to the valley of

a beautiful estate- in this dii'ection,

belonging to Senor Espino, whose income from land

be about twenty thousand dollars a his property I closed

my

With a

yesiv.

may

visit to

survey of the envii'ons of Caracas,

and came to the conclusion

that,

were

it

not for earth-

quakes, ej)idemics, insect plagues, triennial revolutions, and bell-ringmg, there would be few for a residence.

more

desirable localities


CHAPTER IV. make the Traits of Republican Life — Dishonesty the best policy — How to the top — Why Republics are always borrowing — The Bullscum Caracas— Cave Canem— Godoy, the Negro Fight — Public Buildings Wit — The Venezuelan Cabinet — Maniac Visitors — The Ministerial to

rise

at

Breakfast.

"

Why, Juan,"

my

said I, as I sat examining

first

week's

accounts at Caracas, " things are exorbitantly dear in this

There's that dinner I gave the day before

land of libert3% yesterday.

It

was a very plain diimer

have charged twenty-three pounds for

to thirteen, it

one might expect in London with real fish,

and as many courses

very

much beyond

a turkey

yes, there

is

turtle, ten

kinds of

but here we have had nothing "

was a turkey, and su',

weren't so in a general

doesn't

and they

That's a charge

the usual table d'hote fare, except, indeed,

" Things are dear,

there

;

!

interrupted Juan, " and

way they would be

to us.

if

they

Why,

not a man, woman, or child in the whole city that

know we brought two boxes

of gold to

La

Guaira,

and that you are a comisionado." "

And what difference

does that

make

the government, as everybody knows. to be careful of

?

And

The if

gold was for

any

man ought

money, and to examine well mto accounts,

it

should be a financial commissioner."

" Well,

sir," replied

Juan, "that's one view, and I'm not


VENEZUELA.

56

a going to say that view.

Sir, it's of

here, for

it's

wrong one

a

no one gets the

credit of

Gobierno mal administrado

government

you would

ill

it's

'

—

administered.'

really like to

the general opmion

is,

As

it.

more cheating

a kind of proverb,

it's

but

not a Creole

no manner of use being too honest out

business, there's, perhaps thing, for

;

government

for

in that than in any-

La mejor hacienda es el The best estate is the

'

'

So, no offence,

know what

is

thought,

I'll

cuartillo for yourself out of every real

leave

the

when you have such

some of

it

;

keeping a

and of course they

money you ought

a lot of

marketmg here is,

make him who has most, pay So sajing, Juan walked

morning

if

be bound

behind for the good of the country.

the rules for

bill,

but

that being a very sensible man, 3'ou

won't part with those boxes of gold without

think that

sir,

off

most.'

'

get all

As

to for

you can, and

"

with the intention of passing the

at various friends' houses.

In the evening, at

my

dinner-hour, he would show himself again for a short time,

which I should see nothing of him

after

free

and easy

till

This

next day.

style of service is regarded as quite the correct

thing in Venezuela

:

a country which might, indeed, be

called the paradise of servants, were the

name

of servant

applicable at all to the vagrant gentlemen and ladies

pay you short

visits to

who

replenish their purses and ward-

and severely repress any

robes, leave

you without

attempt to

commmiicate with them as to your domestic

arrangements. topics,

But

3'ou

notice,

may

talk ^vith

them on general

such as the weather or the theatre, and on politics

you may be as expansive as you

may become

please, for

where any one

a general or a president in a few days that sub-

ject is universally interesting.

The

doctrine

of

perfect


HOW equality

is

MAKE THE SCUM

TO

EISE.

57

in one of the

so well carried out, that,

best

houses where I was a guest, the gentleman who cleaned the boots alwaj's came into in his

mouth

;

my room

with his hat on and a cigar

whom

and another gentleman

me

to assist Juan, left

refused the custody of

I

had engaged

the day after his arrival, on being

my keys

and purse, which he candidly

stated was the only duty he felt equal to.

At dances,

as soon

as the music strikes up in the di'awmg-room, the servants

begin to waltz in the passages and ante-rooms, and as entertainments are almost always on the ground

floor,

and

generally in rooms looking into the streets, the great " un-

washed

" thrust theii-

naked arms and greasy faces between

the bars of the windows and criticise the dancing with spirit.

much

I have seen a gentleman in rags leaning into

window from the

streets with his bare

a

arms almost touching

those of a beautifully dressed lady, while his most sweet

On

breath fanned her tresses.

another occasion I was talk-

ing to some ladies at an evening party, culotte jerked in his

versation, that I stopped,

but their

own

set

!

"

a worthy sans-

listen to our con-

on which he called out, " Oh, these

we have

are the aristocrats

when

head so suddenly to

here,

On my

who won't

sitting

down

talk to any one

to play chess with

the wife of the president of one of the states, half a dozen

female servants, of every shade, from tawny twilight to black night, surroimded the table

and began to watch the game.

The

tailor,

fii'st

time I went to a

Creole friend,

who undertook

to

I was accompanied by a

show me the best

place.

We

had to wait some time before the gentleman of the shop appeared.

When

cigar in his

mouth.

he did, he came in with the inevitable

He raised

his hat politely to

my friend,

walkecF straight up to me, shook hands, and asked

me how


VENEZUELA.

58

I did. tions

He then sat down on the counter, put various questo me regarding my coming to Venezuela, talked on

general subjects, and at the end of about a quarter of an

hour intimated that he was ready to oblige a coat.

This

was an

tailor

officer of

me

wanted

I

if

rank in the army, and

he was wearing his uniform and spurs when he came in to

measure a friend of mine.

Juan was an excellent

had he been too he walked

me

off,

but he would have lost caste

valet,

So

attentive to his duties in Venezuela.

as I have said, to

amuse

and

liimself,

left

to think over the difficulties of the business entrusted to

me.

my

I first

had no experience in South American measm-e had

C,

thoroughly aufait in them.

had

all

He

the country.

the son of an Englishman,

is,

born in Venezuela, knew

all

chanced to come in just as Juan

room, and seeing that he had " Now, tell me, for a chat, I said

taken a cigar

:

country

who was

the integrity characteristic of his race, and being a

Creole by birth, that

money ?

so

affairs,

been to secure a coadjutor,

about the

left

and settled himself

C, how

is it

that this

so wretchedly poor, and so eternally borrowing

is

For

my

make

part, I can't

a particle of show.

it

out.

You

haven't

Your Government House looks

East Indian godown,

3'our great

men make no

like

disj^lay,

an

and

as for your soldiers, one would think that the last successful

campaign had been against the were carrying

off the.

fripiers,

and that the

plunder on their backs.

that you Venezuelans are not extravagant, and

that you have great resources

Your

soil is

if

victors

It is evident it

is

plain

you knew how to use them.

the richest in the world, and has never been

trodden by an invader since the Spaniard was driven out.

Then what

is

the reason that you are always

boiTowing


WHY

REPUBLICS ARE ALWAYS BORROWING.

from other countries

How

?

is it, too,

States of North America have

your repubUc

lation in rivers

59

that while the United

made such

progress, the popu-

all

but stationar}-, the seas and

without steamers, the

country without roads, and

commerce end of

languishing ? "

his cigar,

"You

C. knocked the ashes from the

assisted

conveniently on the follows:

is

toj?

legs

of a chau-, and finally rephed as

see, in the

The Yankees

in the breed.

thought by perching his

first

place, there's a diflference

are a go-a-head lot, there's

no

mistake about that.

There's plenty of quicksilver in English

blood, but fog and

damp keep

New York it South.

rises to fever heat,

it

down

and

to the

in England.

Besides, long before Lexington and Bunker-hill,

the North Americans were ripe for self-government.

South America things were very kept their American fiftiis

different.

Even

printing- ofiice

till

man, Delpeche.

The Spaniards Four-

subjects in profound ignorance.

at Caracas, the

1816,

The

capital, there

when one was

set

was no

up by the French-

iUiberality of the Spaniards

went so

that, after Isabella's death, nothing was done to intro-

duce the cultivation of any plant, or improve farming. culture of the vine and olive was prohibited,

tobacco was made a crown monopoly.

but

all

In

of the population could not even read, for there were

no schools.

far,

At

boihng point down

entii-ely

The

and that of

Emigration, too, was

prevented, and, in the total absence of

wonder rather

is

that Venezuela should

ever have become free, than that

it

should have made so

vivj'fjang power, the

little

progress.

" Then as to the poverty of the government

and

constant borrowing, there are several reasons for that. the

first

place, the Creoles of

its

In

South America, though they


VENEZUELA.

60 liave

many good

They won't go

clear

qualities, are very averse to physical labour.

work

to

in a

new

country, like Englishmen

away timber, stub up, and

Their wits are

drain.

sharp, and they do well for superintendents that tries the sinews,

it is

my

—the

but as to work

belief that all the haciendas in

the country would go to ruin,

and the mixed breeds.

;

if it

were not for the Indians

Again, the taxes levied by the

armada and

corso, or

coast taxes, the medias anatas, or deductions from

salaries,

Spaniards

alcabala, or excise, the

the monopolies of

salt, cards,

numerous other imposts, were

and tobacco, and

cane-liquor,

all

so odious to the Columbians,

that as soon as they declared themselves independent, they

made

a clean sweep of them, leaving only the customs to

Now,

supply a revenue to the government.

customs that state.

With

it

is

most easy

to peculate

and defraud the

a coast line of two thousand miles,

possible to keep

down smuggling

To

?

in the

it is

give

how

you an idea*of

may mention

the extent of the contraband trade, I

is it

that a

finance mmister of Venezuela has proved that of the two

hundred million

dollars'

country during the

first

worth of goods imported into the sixteen years of independence, one millions' worth were

hundred and twenty-nine and a half smuggled

!

But, besides that, the venahty and corruption

of the custom-house

officers is such, that, as Seiiors

Brandt

and Iribarren have shown, the defalcations of revenue from the Aduanas up to 1852, amounted to no less than one

hundred and one and a half millions of

dollars.

At

present,

the annual loss to government by contrabands and frauds of various kinds,

suppose

that

is

this

reckoned

at

calculation

six is

furnished by the accounts kept here.

millions.

based

But don't

on information

If other countries


WHY

EEPUBLICS AEE ALWAYS BOEEOWING.

France and the United States,

example

for

61

— did not publish

the amoimt of their exports to Venezuela, no one would

know what

really brought into this country.

is

by comparing foreign

come

know

to

incessant

to

It is only

fictions that

which the government

commence

country, aU

which

revolutions

the frauds of the

up the

extent

the

home

with

we is

Indeed, one would not be wrong in sa^^ing that

cheated.

the

statistics

the revenue

is

men

;

to

to

make Thus

of small means.

sown broadcast, and discontent leads

Yet, great as the evil

spiracies.

Owing

short

falls

customs are raised until the neces-

saries of life are too dear for

discontent

mihappy

this

at the custom-houses.

officials,

deficiency, the

distract

is,

to con-

one cannot help laugh-

ing at the impudence of some of the frauds.

According to

the published returns, the people here must be the dirtiest in the world with any pretensions to civilisation, since

made out

officially

a week

aU that each person

is

it

is

that a quarter of an ounce of soap in uses.

We

know

that the

provmce of Caracas alone consumes a hundred barrels of flour a da}', whereas, according to the

the daily consumption of

nine barrels.

are all

no remittances Puerto Cabello.

more or

end of

is

less

is

no wonder

mortgaged, and that there are

from La Guaira and

Of course the only resom'ce

is

to

borrow

and hence," said C, throwing away the

cigar, " I have the pleasure of

Apropos of

it

empty, that the revenues of the

to the capital except

in foreign markets, liis

custom-house retm'ns,

Venezuela does not reach sixty-

Under such circumstances,

that the pubHc treasmy

Aduanas

all

meetmg you

wliich, as there is a bull-fight to-day,

have never seen one,

let

us stroll

down

here.

and you

to the Corrida."

Before we could reach the eastern outskirt of the town,


VENEZUELA.

62

where the building stands in which the a

mass of clouds came

rain began, in earnest of a

bull-fights are held,

from the Avila, and a

drifting

more pelting shower.

Looking

whom

about for shelter, and seeing at a window some ladies

we knew

slightly,

of them, a slim

we went

gii'l

long eyelashes, " senorita ever go ?

m to

I said to one

with immense dark eyes, and singularly

We

are going to the Corrida

does the

;

"

" No, senor, I never go.

The

how any one can

ladies of Venezuela think

As

bull-fights very barbarous.

stand

talk to them.

light

for

me, I cannot under-

pleasure in such

take

odious

cruelty."

"Indeed!"

said I, rather astonished.

Spain ladies think fashion for

" That

them

differently.

At Madrid

"But

surely in

is

quite the

it

to attend."

may be

we do not

;

follow the fashions of Spain.

Perhaps we are more tender-hearted here." After this dialogue, I was not surprised, on entering the

Cirque in which the bull-fight was to be held, to find that the spectators were nearly

who were

all

men, and that the few women

present were of the lower orders.

The

building

was of wood, open to the sky in the centre, and anything but substantial.

Several tiers of seats, each a foot or so

higher than the other,

had been erected round a circular

area about a hundred and twenty feet in diameter. seats

accommodated perhaps

there seemed but

little

room

lowest seat, which was not

fifteen

to

much

hundred people, and

spare.

In front of the

raised from the ground,

were strong palisades, between which a ease,

These

man

could shp with

and thus they afforded the toreros a secure retreat

from the fury of the

bulls.

Close to where I took

my

place


—

THE BULL FIGHT.

63

there was a large gate, which was thrown open to admit

the bulls one

First of

one.

b}^

band struck up, and eight

all,

however, a squeaking or pedestrian

toreros,

bull-

and saluted some person of note who

fighters, entered,

sat

Just at that moment, the thunder-

opposite the large gate.

shower which had been gathering descended in torrents, and the people shouted to the toreros, " No moja se " " Don't get wet palisades,

!

"

on which they slipped in between the

and so put themselves under cover.

very well-made

active fellows, with

They were

extremely good legs,

which were seen to advantage, as they wore white

silk

stockings and knee-breeches embroidered with gold.

As soon

as the rain stopped there

was a loud shout, and

presently the large gate opened and in rushed a bull.

He

was a dark animal, almost black, and had evidently been goaded to madness, for he came charging head, and with his

the sharp points of his horns had been sawn the toreros

now ran nimbly up

tossing his

I could see, however, that

erect.

tail

in,

to the bull

and

off.

One

cloak on the ground before him, on wliich the animal a fmious charge, attempting to gore

he

at first

side,

rushes,

The

and adroitly whisking

fatigued the bull

now

in

this

it

torero dragged

from side to

by causing him to make

direction,

made

—not the man, of whom

took no notice, but the cloak.

this along rapidly,

of

thi*ew his red

now

in

that.

fruitless

This was

repeated again and again, until the animal seemed quite tu'ed.

The most

active of the toreros then

advanced with

a banderilla, or javelin entwined with fireworks in one hand,

and his cloak in the other. that the animal charged torero glided to one side,

He came

him headlong.

so close to the

buU

In a moment the

and drove the dart into the

bull,


VENEZUELA.

64

Imme-

pinning the wretched animal's ear to his neck. diately the fii'eworks

around the dart began to explode, and

the terrified bull tm-ned and rushed madly across the arena.

In half a minute or so the began

to

burn mto

bellowing piteously, while

Anon

torture.

it

fire

The

it.

its

dashed

had reached the

flesh,

and

bull then reared straight up,

poor flanks heaved with the

its

head against the ground,

driving the dart further into its flesh, and so continued to gallop

romid the ring

in

a

succession of rearings and

This seemed to be a moment of exquisite

plungings.

dehght to the spectators, who yelled out applause, and some in tlieu' excitement stood uj) clapping heartily disgusted,

and shoutmg.

and would have gone out

been possible, but I was too tightly wedged

at once

I

was

had

it

Meantime,

in.

the large gate opened again, and the poor bull fled through it,

to be slaughtered

and sold with

all

After ten

despatch.

minutes' pause another bull was admitted, and was tortured.

The

And

so

it

fared with four

more

similai'ly

bulls.

sixth bull was a very tall gaunt animal,

were quite different from those of the others.

whose

tactics

He came

in

without a rush, looked warily about, and could hardly be

induced to follow the torero. that the people,

In short, he was so sluggish,

enraged at his showing so

shouted for a matador to

kill

him

in the arena.

little

sport,

Hereupon,

one of the toreros darted up to stick a banderilla into the sluggard. tliis

Bu^t the bull, being quite fresh, not only defeated

attempt by a tremendous sweep of his horns, but almost

struck

down

his assailant,

who was taken by

surprise at this

unlooked-for vigour on the part of an animal which seemed spiritless.

However,

by a

escaped for a moment,

desperate

effort

the

torero

but the bull followed him like


PUBLIC BUILDINGS AT CAEaCAS. and, as

lightning,

ill

luck would have

65

man

before the

it,

could reach the shelter of the palisades his foot sHpped in a

puddle and he

would end as

Expecting that the charge

back.

fell

all i^re^-ious

ones had ended, I had got up

with the intention of leaving, and I was thus able to see

more

clearly

bull struck

As

what followed.

him on the lower

force that the

blow sounded

unfortunate torero was

hmied

the

man

fell

backward, the

part of the spine with such

The and came down

over the building.

all

into the air,

with his head against the palisades, and there lay, apx^areutly dead, in a j)ool of blood.

horror crept over fellow again,

me

;

A

sickening feeling of

the bull was rushing upon the jDoor

and would no doubt have crushed him as he

lay motionless, but, just in the nick of time, one of the

toreros thi'ew his cloak so cleverly that

the bull's head and blinded him.

exactty over

fell

it

^\Tiile

the

brute was

trampling and tossing to free himself, the matador came up

and drove a short sword into the vertebrae of his neck, and

down he went headlong.

At one moment

full of

mad

the next he was a quivering mass of lifeless flesh.

minutes more, and the dead

bull,

and seemmgiy

fury,

A

few

lifeless

man, were removed from the arena, and another bull was called for.

made my It

I,

however, had witnessed enough, and gladly

exit.

wanted

still

several da^'s to

that appointed

for

my

meeting the ministers, and I determined to spend them in visiting the

few buildings of interest in the

city.

My

first

expedition was to the Municipal Hall, and indeed I had

but a Httle way to go, as

This hall

is

it

is

close to

the

Gran

Plaza.

one of the oldest buildings in Caracas, and

externally is not only plain, but almost shabb}'.

Inside,


VENEZUELA.

66

however, there

handsome

a very respectable council chamber, with

is

gilt

arm

the president

for

chaii-s

-

and eleven

members, who impose the town dues, and discharge the ordinary functions of civic authorities. are

hung some very

tolerable portraits.

who

that of the ecclesiastic

filled

Eound

the

Among

these are

the archiepiscopal chair

Monagas and

of Caracas in 181S, and those of President his brother.

Tovar,

There are

room

also portraits of Bolivar, of

and Generals Miranda and Urdaneta,

Count

and

one

remarkable picture of the reading of the Act of Independence, with likenesses

The mob

of the

leaders

are represented compelling the

to take off his hat

and

As

salute.

the revolution.

in

Spanish general

a pendant to this picture

But the

hangs a framed copy of the Act of Independence.

great curiosity of all is the flag of Pizarro, sent from in 1837,

and enshrined in a

are eaten

off,

case.

Peru

All the silk and velvet

but the gold wire remains, with the device of

a lion, and the

word Carlos.

The

flag is

about

five

feet

long and three broad, and being folded double in the frame, only half out.

is

seen,

There are

and they

also

two

will not allow it to be taken

flags of Carlos the

Fourth, taken

from the Spaniards, and the original MSS. of the Act of Independence, and other important documents, bound up together.

A

day or two

Caracas, which,

I

after,

mth

went to see the university of

House

the

of Assembl}^, the National

Library, and a church, forms one ^reat block of buildings.

The National Library does not

contain more than ten thou-

sand volumes, and in that of the university there are about three thousand five hundred.

seemed best represented

;

The department

of divinity

but there was no great evidence


PUBLIC BUILDINGS AT CAEACAS. The

of the books being cared for. sity

professors of the imiver-

were most obliging, and showed

seen in the college, wliich its

me

present pui'pose, though originally

Carmelite cine

The departments

fiiars.

seemed the best organised.

with a

\isit to

there was to be

all

massive and not

is

67

it

suited for

ill

was a convent of

of chemistry

and medi-

my

inspection

I concluded

the dissecting-room, and that for anatomical

Among other things I was shown man whose bones had turned to chalk. The

preparations.

the skull

of a

skull

from an inch to an inch and a half thick, and

had been broken

it

off

human

One

bone.

The

settled.

though

I,

at

locality

and a

it

to be, or to have ever been,

of the professors then went with

to the Hall of Congress,

and of the meeting

a piece of

and shown separately, no unscientific

person would have guessed a

if

was

me

where also are pictures of Bolivar,

which the Act of Independence was

seemed

man who

my

to inspii'e

sat there reading,

cicerone, for,

and who never

raised his head, were his sole audience, he dehvered ^^ith

the gi'eatest animation an eloquent harangue on the subject of Uberty.

If

it

be true that

still

waters are the deepest,

I should fear that the republicanism of South America

somewhat shallow,

it

does so babble as

it

runs.

is

However,

I was glad to hear the orator express himself with great

warmth

as regards England, saying that she

power that had assisted them

was the only

in theii' great struggle with

the Spaniards, and that without her they would hardly have

secured their independence.

The time had now come ministers on the business I at

for

had

m

my

interview with the

hand.

C. came for

me

11 A.M. on the appointed day, and we walked together to

Government House,

x^s

we were

ver)^

busy conversing, I p 2


VENEZUELA.

68

did not notice the sentry, and indeed he was such a mite of

a man, that I might have been pardoned for overlooking

him.

seems that in Venezuela

such divinity doth hedge " a sentmel that no passer-by must come within a It

yard of him.

''

Having approached within the

me

small warrior soon convinced

be so offended with impunity.

that his dignity was not to

In the twinkling of an eye

he brought down his musket with a terrible charge, and very nearly at the is

the

limits,

wounded me

same time snarling out some

a

little

the

rattle to

above the knee,

unintelligible words.

It

a cmious fact that the Venezuelans are, generally speak-

mg, a

ver}^ civil race,

on uniform

mitil they put

uniform, by-the-by, like the English),

when

was a caution I often received, and I once heard gested that a mat with Cave

demeanour of the

whole

their

" Don't go near that sentry,"

nature seems to be som-ed.

canem

One

civilians.

it

sug-

should be laid down

!

Very

on duty.

in front of every soldier

red

(a

different is the

was

day, for instance, I

walking with a friend on the northern outskirts of the

city,

"

Now

when we met is

a gardener with a store of fresh fruit.

your time," said

my

how you can manage

friend, " to try

jour Spanish.

a bargain with the gardener."

we detained the poor man

the mere sake of talldng,

time, and looked at his fruit, and tumbled

it

See

So, for a long

about, until I

was ashamed, and would have bought a quantity of

Then he asked where it

was a very long way

send so far.

I was living, and off,

he said

" Well, then," I

to be done, for I should not to

come

like

to you."

you to

it

said,

when I

it.

told him, as

would not pay liim to " I fear there

know how

to direct

is

nothmg

my

servant

" That's true," said he, " but I should

taste this fruit,

which

is really

very

fine, so

you


;

GODOY, THE NEGEO WIT. With

must accept a few specimens." sisted

my

on

these words he in-

taking some of the best mangoes and other

he had, and

fruit

69

positivel}'

Escaping from the

refused to be paid for sentry,

sui'ly little

we entered the

Government House, and were received by the duty

to usher in those

it is

to the ministers.

to

whose name

official,

bon-mots are cmTent

is

On

at Caracas.

here

Godoy,

who had

is it

a conceited

that you have not been turned out

"I," said Godoy, with an

humility, but casting a significant glance at

" never ascend,

a of

Godoy, " You

just got into power, said to

How

still ?

with the rest?"

is

Many

one occasion,

when government had suddenly changed hands, official,

whose

official

pay their respects

of the negi'oes, and is a genius in his way.

negi'o

his

This

who come

it.

liis

affectation of

interrogator,

and consequently never descend."

His

questioner was soon enabled to appreciate the philosophy of

Government House

the remark, for he descended fr'om

as

suddenly as he ascended, being turned out by another

Another time, dm'ing the

change. of

young men,

chiefly students

in a thi'eatening

late troubles, a

from the

manner near Government House, and began Godoy, and one of the

shouting out various seditious cries.

generals on the side of the party in power,

balcony to see what was the matter

thrown

at

negroes

"Your and

came out on the

on wliich stones were Godoy, and the mob shouted: " Do^m with the

"

**

Down

:

with the brigands

!

"

"

Do you

they say ? " asked the general, sneeringiy, of

what

out,

!

'

'

"I

excellency," he replied,

Down

with the negroes

Do^Mi with the brigands

present,

number

universit}', collected

must

hear.

They

Godoy.

are calling

meaning, of course,

' !

! '

refer, I su^jpose, to

hear

me

which, as no one else

your excellency."

is


VENEZUELA.

VO

We

were ushered by Godoy into the council-room, a

handsome apartment, looking on the Gran Plaza. There

tains the inevitable picture of Bolivar. sash, but I do not

where.

We

for the

rooms

remember

to have

It con-

his

is also

seen his sword any-

entered and found a suffocating atmosphere, at

Government House

are open only during

the day, and the doors and windows are kept closed from

sunset

till

the hour

generally about

when business commences, which

eleven

There

o'clock.

is

no

are, besides,

verandahs, so that the public rooms at Caracas are hotter

However, as the ministers, with the

than those at Madras.

acting president at their head, were already assembled, there

was nothing

for

it

but to go forward and take our seats.

The meeting was one

of vital importance to every one pre-

Not only were the exigencies

sent.

of the government

urgent, but each individual supporter of satisfactory termination of that

of indemnity for losses,

it

knew

most

that on the

meeting depended his hopes

and the settlement of his claims,

The

whatever they might be.

public tranquillity, too, was

at stake, because the greater part of the army, after

had no other reimbursement

years' incessant fighting,

look to for allotted to

more

;

all

their toils

them

if this

at the very

five

to

and dangers, but what might be

conference passed off well.

moment

that

we were seated

Nay

there, an

extensive conspiracy was on foot, in which a minister and several other persons of rank were said to be engaged,

which,

if

and

some of the conspirators had not turned informers,

might have been successful. of countenance possessed

Yet so great was the command

by the ministers there assembled,

and so complete the absence of

all

appearance of excitement,

that no one would have supposed the business under discus-


MANIAC

VISITOES.

71

more than an every-day matter.

sion to have been

War

is

a sharp teacher, and in troublous times political students

months what

learn in

The men who before,

it

takes j^ears to acquii'e in peace.

sat there as ministers

had been, not very long

one a clerk, another a cattle-farmer, and so on.

And now

they were governing a country twice as

as France,

large

and had learned so much from the experience

of the late struggle, that they were by no for the task of

means

unfitted

government.

After a long discussion, our business, for the time at least,

was

C. and I then took leave,

satisfactorily concluded.

having received several in^dtations to breakfast from the ministers

;

for at Caracas it does not

to give dinners.

seem

to be the fashion

These invitations we accepted, and walked

back to the hotel.

On

the

way we heard

a good deal of

we met

shouting, mingled with laughter, and presently

big wild-looking man,

who seemed

a

to be in a j^erfect frenzy,

stopping from time to time and imprecating the most dreadful curses on

people

all

about him.

who were

He was

jeering and

retm-ned with interest, picking up fist,

followed by a

number

of

throwing stones, which he flints

as large as one's

and throwing them with a force that would have shat-

tered the skull of any one but a negro.

madman

;

He

occasion goaded to fury by his persecutors.

" This

is

was, in fact, a

in general, they said, tolerably quiet

a very disgraceful scene.

;

but on this

I said to

In any European

C, city

the pohce would interfere, and prevent this poor maniac

from being tormented.

Have you no madliouse

zuela to which this wretched said

C, "as

to the police,

man

in

Vene-

might be sent?" "Well,"

you yourself must admit

that,

though our streets are not patrolled in the daji:ime, distur-


VENEZUELA.

72

bances are rarer here than to

mad

European towns. With regard

iii

people, I never heard of any serious accident from

and so I

their being allowed to go about as they choose;

But you

don't see the use of madhouses here.

will

have

more opportunities before you leave Venezuela of forming

Our

an opinion on this subject.

Wliat you see to-day

very quiet.

lunatics are, in general,

an unusual occurrence."

is

By this time we had reached the hotel, and I parted with C, having first accepted an invitation to dine with him next day. I went to his house accordingly about 7 p.m., and found no one

but himself and the ladies of the family. diinier, a

gentleman

whom

In the middle of

had not seen

I

before, entered

and walked straight up to the hostess, as I thought, apologise, but he said nothing, and,

moment

strangely for a picture,

or two,

which he began

moved

to

after looking at

her

room

to a

across the

I thought this rather

to examine.

curious conduct, but supposed he was some intimate friend or relation,

who

did not stand on ceremony.

As

to our

conversation the day before, de lunatico inquirendo, I had forgotten

all

about

it.

When, however,

began to wallc round and round the

table,

sentences, I began to understand the

Presently the buffet,

madman,

state

makes a rush

"it will not be pleasant."

new comer of the case.

such he was, went up to the

and began fumbling with the things

takes up a knife, and I,

for

the

murmuring broken

at

there.

"If he

some one," thought

However, as no one took any

notice of the intruder, I too said nothing about him, and went

on talking to the lady who dinner.

In a minute or two

sat next

my

me, and eating

my

ejes wandered back to the

gentleman at the sideboard, when, to

my

consternation, I

perceived that he had indeed got hold of a knife, with which


MANIAC

VISITOES.

73

he had abeady cut himself pretty severely, for the blood was trickling

from his

wrist.

He was

ever,

and his eyes ghttered

seem

to be

lookmg

at us,

muttering, too, faster than

though he did not

like sparks,

but had his gaze fixed on the wall.

I tried to attract C.'s notice, but, failing to do so, said in a

"Look

low voice,

out, or there will be mischief directly!"

mth

C. glanced quickly at the man, and,

great presence of

mind, fiUed a glass of wine, and rose and offered

He

it

to him.

moment in a way that was not agreequietly put down the knife, and wall^ed out

looked at C. for a

able,

then very

of the

room without saving

C. resumed his seat

a word.

with the greatest composure, and said

" Poor fellow, he

:

was one of the best scholars in Caracas, and would tainly have distinguished himself

gaged to

He

fell

;

but the

girl

cer-

he was en-

and married him.

in love with his brother,

has been insane ever since."

I went away, wondering whether licity that so

witnessed a

common.

soon

visit

it

after ni}^ arrival at

was by peculiar

infe-

Caracas I should have

of this kind, or whether such incidents were

I had not long to wait before learning that they

were by no means rare.

I went one

evenmg

to a musical

entertainment at the house of a person high in

office.

The

lady of the house was singing " II Bacio " very charnungiy,

and a group had been formed round

her, near to

which I had

taken a seat with my face towards the door. Presently I saw a

man

enter,

whose peculiar look immediately reminded

the gentleman with the knife at the buffet. like

liis

of

The new comer,

up

to the lady of the

commenced

a muttering accom-

predecessor, walked straight

house, and in a hoarse voice

me

paniment, which jarred strangely with the music and the sweet tones of the singer.

Everybody looked annoyed, but


VENEZUELA.

74

no one spoke

to the intruder

only, the group near the

;

piano gradually melted away, leaving him standing by him-

At

self.

last,

he went closer to the lady, who continued to

sing with marvellous self-possession, and leaning over her,

began to

strike chords

even for her aplomb

room

—

and the stranger,

;

This was too

on the piano.

after addressing

some incoherent I was too

remarks to the people near him, followed her. far off to see

what took place then, but there was a

which he suddenly went

bustle,

angry voice,

and I heard the intruder talldng in a loud after

much

down the

she stopped and wallced

and the party broke up.

off,

This man, I was subsequently informed, was intoxicated as

made

well as insane, yet no attempt was

was he even told

On

to

remove him, nor

to go.

the following Sunday I went to breakfast at the house

of the minister of

pubHc works.

It

was a sumptuous enter-

tainment, with very beautiful fruits and flowers displayed

on the

table,

latter there

my

lot,

and many more dishes than guests,

were only sixteen.

The

for of the

place of honour

fell

opposite to the acting president of the republic

to

an

:

old general with an iron constitution, who, unhappily for

me, supposing

all

men

to be equally vigorous, plied

me

at

every pause in the collation with fruits pleasant to the eye,

and of tolerable

flavour, but to the last degree pernicious to

Owing

a person of weak digestive powers.

to these flatter-

ing attentions, the order of vaj meal ran something in this style.

A

brimming

plateful of turtle-soup,

good in

overpowering in quantity, and indifferently cooked fruit of the

oysters

;

custard apple genus

several

fruits

selected for their size

of the

;

prawns, parga

cactus,

by the general

;

called

turke}"",

;

quality,

a large

fish,

and

here tuna,

prepared in a


THE MINISTERIAL BEEAKFAST.

75

fashion peculiar to the country, boned, and the inside filled

with

kind

a

cherries

;

of

a fricandeau of

of pine-apple

a dish,

;

of garlic

redolent

stuffing

some unknown meat

name unknown,

;

;

of

a plate

several slices

the chief ingredient

being the flesh of the land tortoise; grapes of various kinds;

No

speeches were

and an

infinite series of other trifles.

made

indeed, the meal was too severe for any but the

;

The

most languid conversation.

come

ever, cofliee

to

an end, and at

and cigars of exquisite

longest meal must, howafter

last,

a

wind-up of

The

we separated.

flavour,

was repeated, but on

Sunday

following, the scene

sion

was the acting president who gave the breakfast.

it

Having determined not

to risk

complaisance, I refused

moderately.

At

all

last the

my

offers

this occa-

any more by undue

life

of fruit, and ate

meal reached

its

more

termination, and

the president, filling his glass, looked round the table, and

then at me, and said, "Bi'indo treinte mil libras."

brought us

tlui^ty

—"

al

senor qui nos ha llevado

gentleman who has

I drink to the

thousand pounds."

I

was somewhat

dis-

concerted by the wording of the toast, and thinking that

spoke for

itself,

judged

it

unnecessary to

rise to

respond.

Presentl}", filling his glass again, the old general said,

drink

now

to the English

it

"I

government, which has always

been the protector of Venezuela, and has set the best example

me

This, of com*se, compelled

for free states to follow."

to reply,

and I expressed the pleasure I had had in

visiting that beautiful countrj-, in

and whose inhabitants, by

lavish of her gifts,

struggle for liberty, fair

inheritance.

free nations,

which Nature had been so theii'

gallant

had shown themselves worthy of such a

England, I

said,

was the friend of

all

and would no doubt support the Venezuelans


VENEZUELA.

76

in maintaining their independence, as

aided

them

in acquiring

These, and

it.

I was obliged to say in English,

Spanish at

command

translated what I

warmly

A

my

my

more

to please the

!

"

ver-

particularly as

company

haj)pening to say " Viva la Amarilla

the 3^ellow

and his

No-

harangue into very small compass.

seemed

thing, however,

sufficient

friend, however,

into pure Castilian,

sion seemed to give great satisfaction,

he compressed

other things,

not having

an oration.

for

had said

many

had

as she

" !

so

much

— " Hurrah

as for

which I did when a flower of that colour was

given me, though I had no idea that yellow was the colour of the party in power.

The next speech was

the health of

who

the ministers, proposed by a red-hot republican,

coursed with immense fluency on the rights of man. other things, he assured us that, as

freedom were

at

all

obstacles to perfect

length removed, Venezuela would

enjoy permanent tranquilHty, during which of the golden age would be restored.

all

Ten days

arrested and thrown into prison, while, at the it

now

the blessings

one of the ministers and a number of leading

insurrection with which

dis-

Among

afterwards,

men were

same time, an

was supposed they were con-

nected, broke out in several of the provinces.


— ;

CHAPTER Mistake — Ciudad Bolivar

V.

Major Milligan's and the British Legion Fight between Sambo the Giant and the Irish Sergeant Luisa and Helena Panchito, the Enfant Terrible Popping the Question Too much alike How to clear up a blunder The explanation too late.

" Mistake mistake at

but

!

all,

I'll jist

my

dear sir," said the major, " faith

No, no,

at all.

go and settle

it

divil a bit of

it's

mistake in

Wait here a

for you.

!

bit

no it

till

I

come back." "But, major," I exclaimed, trying

must

He

tell

me what

spite of

my

it

!

to take."

hand, and was gone in a moment, in

" I

explained?

muttered

Here

this

;

"

am

I never to get this

Spaniard comes mixuig up

French and Spanish in such a way that I what he means, except that and when I

"you

attempts to stop him.

" Confound affair

mean

course you

my

put aside

to detain him,

tell

it is

pistols

can't understand

and

coffee for

two

;

the major that I have got into a quarrel,

without knowing how, and that I think there's some mistake,

he won't listen to a word I have to say, but goes it

without knowing what

wait here

till

it

is.

off to settle

Well, I suppose I must

he returns, or I get a

message from the

Spaniard."

With these words window

half aloud to myself, I turned to the

of the refreshment-room, into

which I had lounged


—

VENEZUELA.

78

my

from

place in

tlie

theatre.

tliing in the streets of

was

It

full

moon, and every-

Caracas was as visible as at noonday.

and was beginning

I gazed for a long time,

to think of

going away, when I saw a company of soldiers

tiu-n

the

corner of the street, and advance to the entrance of the theatre.

" Rather an unusual number of men for relieving a sentry," said I to myself; "

The Their

what can they want

soldiers ascended the steps officer in

command

?

"

and halted in the lobby.

entered the box from which I had

just issued, and the door of which faced the open door of

the saloon where I was. tall

dark

He

man who had been

returned immediately, with a

sitting near

The

was the muiister of war.

me, and who

soldiers

minister of war was placed between then-

knew

I

advanced;

the

and marched

files

off to prison.

"

Egad

!

" thought I, " this is a pleasant country,

one goes from the opera to prison other mistake I was

still,

?

:

— or

is this,

where

perhaps, an-

"

as orientals say, biting the finger of surprise at

when back came

the arrest I had just witnessed,

the major.

With him was the handsome young Spaniard, who had accused

was

me

of saying something which

looking quite satisfied

sling,

a circumstance I

he spoke to

me

before.

however, and, taking

off

now

;

certainly

His his

was not

polite.

He

but his right arm was in a

had not observed when

face

wore a bland smile,

hat with his

left

hand, he

said,

" Monsieur, I learn there has been a mistake. pears that I deceived myself. tion

"

It ap-

Monsieur had no inten-


MAJOE MILLIGAN'S MISTAKE. " Monsieur,"

said

79

interrupting liim, " I could have

I,

had no intention of doing or saying anything disagreeable a gentleman

to

who

beheve, an entire stranger to

I

is,

me."

Thereupon the Spaniard bowed, and replaced both then bowed, and he withdrew, with the

had had

you

;

" and now

me

will tell

"Well, you

crossed

Enriquez won't

what the deuce

met

over

m

3'ou

how you

know,

to

about."

"I heard

it all

fi'om a

AMien

the refreshment-room.

name

tete-a-tete

was

liiez

sitting,

—followed you.

He

with Inez, you know.

and

liked Venezuela,

but I

;

you seem

box where

the

to

what you said

I forget

it is all

that's the Spaniard's

Well, he asked you

over, I hoj)e, as

it's

any one have a

let

one who

air of

I suppose," said I to the

affaii',

see," said the major,

friend, before I

you

We

most gratifying interview.

a

" There's the end of the

major

his hat.

know

I have

5'ou said

had a man out

for less."

" But, since Enriquez

him what

is

a Spaniard, what did

I thought about Venezuela ? It

it

matter to

must be a mistake,

after all."

" No, faith

enough.

But

!

"

I

cried the major, impatiently

know

^-ou didn't

mane

;

"

and so I told him, or you wouldn't have forgotten it.

to

But he him you

said

you did mane

it,

it

is

true

to offend Enriquez,

so I told

him

all

about

I'd prove

didn't, if he'd step across the street to the

it

house

of a friend

where we could fuid a couple of rapiers and some

one to see

fair play.

We

went, and at the

him through the sword-arm, and then we and I

said, as

and make

it

first

tied

pass I ran

up his arm,

he couldn't fight any more, he'd better come

up with you

;

and so he

did,

and

that's all


;

VENEZUELA.

80

about

And

it.

we

here

are

at

my

come

so

quarters,

along;

and mind the dog,

playful

with the calves of your legs as you mount the

or

you'll

him mighty

find

staircase."

Paying due regard to the major's caution, I managed with

my

cane to keep

take

my

seat like an honest

ginary rascals in

who

off the attentions of a stout terrier

followed us into the smoking-room,

my

legs,

and then seemg

man, ceased

me

to snuff at ima-

and bestowed himself under the

table.

Meantime, his master had taken a pipe and

filled it

carefully with some of that cave tobacco which

boast of Venezuela,

For

inscribed on them. in a duel, the

sold in boxes,

a

man who had

one of his characteristics, and circumstances.

it

De

the

Luz

cueva

just been engaged

countenance wore

major's

But the exceedmg cahnness

expression.

a most serene of his look was

never altered mider any

Another peculiarity of his was the melli-

fluous tone of his voice, which remained

he chose to

with

is

utter, as

unchanged even when

he sometimes did, most despiteful words.

Snow-Avhite hair, too, added to his peaceful appearance

but he was a

man

and arms of a

of u-on build, with the chest, shoulders,

gladiator,

He

and a complexion of bronze.

was a renowned dueUist, and had been out with every kind of weapon, and so very often, that he sometimes confused

the incidents of his encounters, and would shake his head

and heave a regretful sigh affau-

after speaking of a

man whose

had ended in a miss and a shot in the

in another case, in which his antagonist

while

air,

had been

mortall}^

wounded, he would close his reminiscences with a smile and a joyous " Faith,

sir,

I'm glad

it

ended as

it

did

" !


—

CIUDAD BOLIYAE. " Now, major," said

I,

81

" for the stoiy you promised me.

In your case there was a mistake, I suppose "

You may

m

self

?

"

say that," responded the major, settluig him-

easy chau", and opening correspondence with

his

a fragrant glass of rum-and-water which he had just mixed

"

for himself. loran, but

A mistake

there was, and so I tould O'Hal-

he wouldn't beheve

worse luck to him, poor

it,

feUow."

"It was a

very^

long time ago

me

let

;

see now, yes, faith,

as long back as April, 1821, that I landed at Angostura

Ciudad Bolivar they under the liberator

call it :

smart boy then, with

—

now

to

jom

you Imow.

that's Bolivar, fair hair

the British Legion

was a

I

and rosy cheeks, just come

from serving in one of the Dulse's crack regiments, life,

and ready for anything, from a

fight to a fandango,

all

of

from

There were many

stealing a kiss to taldng a battery.

me on

full

like

board the ship that brought us over from Eiu'ope, but

our liigh spmts could not

we had come

the comitry

make om-

to free,

first

impression of

The

an agreeable one.

northern coast of Venezuela woos the voyager to land with

many

a glorious bit of scenery, but Guiana, at whose capital

we were about swampy a huge

to disembark, is anything but inviting.

forest as big as

muddy

drain

runnmg through

Guiana and the Orinoco.

of

snakes, jaguars,

*

Pat,

my

human

and

the middle of

howHng

alligators,

savages, wdio

boy,' I said to a fiiend,

'

'

that's

wilderness, full

with a sprmkling of

think ant-paste a luxury.

who,

lil^e

ing over the bulwarks looldng at the town,

El Dorado ?

it,

Yet Ealeigh cruised about in

search of palaces of gold in this vast

wretched

A

France and Si)am put together, with

Faith, I tliink,' said he,

'

myself, '

was lean-

what think ye of

that its only virtue

G


VENEZUELA.

82 is

that

the truth

it tells

Yellow Jack

and that

is

for

;

it

says, as plain as

command

always in

he'll give half of

can be, that

garrison here,

of the

us permanent quarters on the

gi'ound-floor.'

"With this on the muddy

m my ear,

pleasant prophecy ringing

quay, and, as the smell at this point was any-

made

thing but agreeable, and the sun piping hot, I for

my ;

and I might have had a

at

some distance from the

difficulty in

findmg

who spoke Spanish, was

but that the adjutant,

tracks

I found I was billeted

quarters as fast as possible.

on a Senor Rivas, who lived river

I landed

my

way,

quartered

and I had but to put myself under his guidance.

there, too,

Mighty glad was I

to get

mider

and to take in suc-

shelter,

But

cession a cup of good coffee, a cigar, and a siesta.

which pleased

me most was

that the senor

that

had two pretty

daughters, Luisa and Helena.

"

'

Come

shalving

me

I'm

going

for a

walk

"

'

along, as I to

boy,'

ni}''

Power, the

lay snoring.

still

the

see

said

recruits

*

It's

now, and

cool

Are

land.

adjutant,

you ready

'

?

I'm ready,

that's left of

all

mosquitoes have eaten

off

both

me

;

ni}' ears,'

bedad, I think the said I, rubbing the

injured parts.

" Off we started, and were down at the quay in half the

time we took to come from there, for the

men

board for some liom-s

was a good reason

it.

were in

It

was just as well we got

bad humour

at being kept

after the officers landed,

for

it,

on

though there

to save them, namely,

from ex-

posure to the sun in the heat of the day. *'

However, the

called them, soon

boj^s, as

showed

Donnelly, the orderly-sergeant, their ill-humour.

Among

the


;

FIGHT BETWEEN SAMBO AND THE SEEGEANT. natives

who were helping

was a huge negro.

had

lots of sinew,

He

83

to get thek* kits out of the boats,

stood six feet

and a head

the least, and

five at

like that of a bonassus.

He

picked up the heaviest box hke a feather, and wallced away

with

it;

fished to

fall

into the water.

things at

was quickly

It

mud

out again, but with plenty of black

sticking

it.

" '

many

but, in trying to get hold of too

once, he let one man's kit

'

man

Tare and 'ounds,' said the

you great murthering villam

own ugly face

as black as yom*

is

!

clothes in your counthrey, with

to

that the

mud

belonged,

it

way you wash

make 'em

for soap, to

Take

?

whom

that, thin

' !

" "With these words he struck the giant a blow on the head as he was leaning over to get hold of

some more boxes.

It

was a hard knock, and sounded as

if

stone with a heavy mallet, but

made no more impression

on the African than roused his buffalo

would have done on a

would have done.

him

puttmg

one had struck a pa^ing-

buffalo.

however, which he showed very

fur}-,

glared about and,

it

it

like a

He

shook his

as a

head, and

demon, then went back a few paces,

head down, ran

liis

much

gi*eat

It

at

poor Paddy, who was

squaring away, not expecting that sort of combat, and struck liim full amidships, senduig

and knocking

all

him

flying a

dozen yards

the breath out of his body.

As

at least,

flesh

and

blood cannot see a comrade mauled, without coming to the rescue, there all

was soon a ring of fellows round the nigger,

wanting to revenge Paddy's disaster.

But one down,

and another come on, blackey was a match and one

after

knowmg what

for

another down they went, none to

them aU of

them

do with an antagonist who came on like

a ram. o 2


VENEZUELA.

84

" Tilings were looking entirely onpleasant,' as poor Padcty, *

who had begun

the fight, and

coughing, observed,

who was now sittmg up

when Donnelly stepped up

jutant, and, touching his cap, said

"

By yer honour's "'Oh! of course, *

and,

to the ad-

:

'

lave ?

Donnelly, of course,' replied Power;

me, he

turning to

again,

added,

'

Now

you'll

some

see

fun.'

"In ring,

a trice the sergeant

had stripped, stepped into the

He

and confronted the African.

was a small man,

compared with his antagonist, and rather too a gladiator

and his

;

fine clear blue

are everything,

eyes were bright with confidence.

a challenge.

In love and war gestures

and no sooner did Donnell}' present himself

the negro retreated, as before, a few i^aces, lowered his

head, and came thundermg at

But

for

but he was 3'oung, muscular, active as a deer,

There was no need of

than

handsome

this time the issue

preceding encounters.

him Donnelly made

him with

was very

different

fifty-bull

power.

from that of the

Just as the negro was almost upon

a side spring at him, and struck

tremendous blow in the face with his knee,

at

him

a

the same

time planting a right-hander behind his ear that would have

stunned an ox.

The

effect of this judicious apx)eal to

the

knowledge-box of the African was to drive him obliquely headlong to the ground, the blood streaming from his nose

One would have thought that his late defeat would have taught him caution, and that he would have and mouth.

changed his

tactics

;

but no

—he

more, and rushed upon Donnelty,

rose, lowered his lil^e

he was met, and his rush turned aside,

head once

a thunderbolt. bj'

Again

a fearful blow from

Donnelly's knee, of such force that the negro turned a com-


SAMBO DEFEATED. plete somersault,

and then

tins time without

power

"'Faith, sergeant,

la}-

extended

85

on his back, and

flat

to rise.

j'ou

have killed the black baste this

time enth'ely,' was the exclamation that gi'eeted the victor.

Power and lift

him

I,

afraid that the

up, and give

man was

dead,

hun some brandy.

made them

After a time he

revived. **

Night fell before our labom's in supermtenduig the land-

men

ing of the

were over, and we were glad to get back to

om' quarters without any further rambling about the

The miasmatic after the

sun goes down, and, to say notlung of the mos-

quitoes, all sorts of noxious insects for

which reasons, or

people there soon **

**

if

toAvn.

influences at Angostm'a are mcreased tenfold

I don't

make

wonder at

and

reptiles get abroad,

know,

for others as good, that I don't

for then* beds."

that, major," said I, interrupting

what the consul in Guiana related

to

happened to him be a common occurrence.

me as He said

him,

ha-sing

he was

somewhere in the environs of Angostura, and had gone sleep in his

hammock, with his sHppers on the ground within

easy reach. to get

up

well see

;

Being an imconscionabty early

at the

fii'st

to thrust his foot into

it

hammock, he

when he found

thing odiously cold and shmy.

made the same attempt result,

under the

it

at the other shpper,

again

tiU

it

it,

was about

full of

some-

foot,

he

and with the

ensconce himself

was hght, when,

horror, he discovered a small rattlesnake " slipper !

was

with

felt

Snatching back his

on which he was fain to clothes

he essaj-ed

and before he could

faint streak of light,

so putting his foot out of the

riser,

his gieat toe for his shpper, and, having found

same

to

cmied up

to

liis

in each


VENEZUELA.

86

" Your example still

un peu

is

queer things do happen in Guiana.

when

'*

quoth the major,

fort,'"

but

It is a fact that

the river has been in flood, i)eople have been taken

away from

theu'

own doors

my

But, to return to

stor}'-,

Well

lions of the town.

a day sufficed to exhaust the

when

!

Angostura by alHgators.

in

been used up, no resource was

other amusements had

all

me

left

but to

in love

fall

with one of the senoritas in whose father's house I was living.

The

family of Senor Rivas consisted only of these

two daughters, of wdiom the elder was nearly nineteen, the

younger seventeen, and of one son, Francisco, who went by the famihar regular

name

i^iclde,

of Panchito, a

who, as the manner

generally running about naked. Vi]i

ever, of saying sweet

thmgs

sporting plu'ase, there

is

was

opportunities,

w^ere rare, for in

much

how-

Venezuela the

together, that, to use a at

them,

time, too, I was in doubt as to which of the two

was to have

Helena was

my

The

no getting single shots

my

heart.

with brown hair, an unusual

nette,

in Venezuela,

After a few weeks I j)icked

girls.

ladies of a family keep so

sisters

is

boy of seven, a

to let the tongue assist the eyes in

enough Spanish

tender expressions to the

For some

little

Luisa was very

fair, quiet,

among Spanish

tiling

Ci'eoles.

bright, sparlduig, roguish, a very pretty bru-

and, altogether, very

charmmg.

TJj)on the whole,

thoughts rather inclined to Luisa, and on one occasion,

having caught her for a

moment unguarded by

dragon, I went so far as to ask interview alone.

She said she

and I had only just time Idss before I left

if

she would grant

Avas

to say I

the maternal

never

left

by

me

an

herself,

hoped I might have one

Angostura, and to hear her reply in the

shape of an intimation, accompanied by a faint blush, that


LUISA AND HELENA. it

was not the custom in Venezuela, -when her mother Meantime, Power, though he was so busy

rejoined us. Avith diill

to

87

and the other duties of an adjutant, did not

observe what was going on, and took

than once about

*" Charle}',

it's

not

my

bo}','

fail*

said he, 'what

it's

to

marry one of

Don, who has been

to the old

as for marriage,

on earth are you

you don't mean

If

table to us, to give one of his

And

little

so hosi^i-

beauties a sore heart.

We may

out of the question.

the route to-morrow, and have to join Bolivar, and

knows how many of us no cash, and at

fail

to task more

it.

after with those girls ?

them

me

all

come back

will

?

get

who

Besides, you have

events I hope j'ou don't

mean

to settle

down here and tm-n cane-planter.' " I said that several

who had been

our arrival had married, and

before

happy

officers

;

in the comitry

seemed

to be very

and I instanced O'Halloran, who had been made

a captain in our corps.

"

'

Pooh

nonsense, Charley,'

!

rephed Power,

the liappmess of having to leave your wife for places which

are

enemy's hands proves

my

case.

woman, who

as

for

where's

months

in

not to

fall

into the

O'Halloran,

his

example

as likely as

O'Halloran has married a very pretty

about the most

is

met, and gives

just

And

?

'

him no end

si)iteful little

de^il I ever

of trouble.'

" Power's remarks made an impression on me, and for

some weeks I rather shunned than sought the lining in the

same house with them, and being yomig,

and impulsive,

it

idle,

was not easy to be on cool terms with two

yomig beauties, whose looks showed they were vexed assumed

But

ladies.

indifference.

My

at

my

self-imposed restraint increased


;

:

VENEZUELA.

88

warmth

the

of the

feehngs

likmg for Luisa was

In short,

concealed.

it

ripenmg mto

fast

my

when one

love,

mornmg Power came hurriedly into the room where sitting, and slapping me on the shoulder, cried out

I was

We

are to

*'

*

Hurra

We

join Bolivar in the Apure.

than a month

less

are

made

**

Ave shall see,

!

!

in ten days, and in

I expect, what the Sx^aniards

me jump up and

'

at the

Avas bustle

that reigned before.

shout,

*

Viva

same time that I threw the book I was

The

reading up to the ceihng. all

march

hoy

of.'

This glorious news made

el liberator

now

my

the route has come,

!

report soon spread, and

and excitement in place of the ennui AVe

all set to

work

to

buy horses and

mules, and to prepare for the expedition, while the principal inhabitants vied with one another in entertaining us. particular, the

commandant

In

of the garrison sent out invi-

tations to every officer in the place to a ball for the night

Rumom'

but one before our departure.

ment was

The

to be on a

scale quite

only difficulty was to

said this entertam-

miique for Angostura.

fmd a place

large

enough

to hold

the numbers invited, for even the town-hall was too small but,

by dint of certain contrivances in the shape of tempo-

rary pavilions, this was got over. **

Meantime, what with the

tions, preparations for the

a

fii"st

campaign,

my

gaieties going

all du'ec-

march, and the anticipations of

pulse was up to fever heat.

good resolutions went

oft'

to the place

lutions have been going for so rally favom^s the audacious,

make me worthy

on in

many

Avhere

ages.

All

good reso-

Fortune gene-

and m}^ excitement seemed to

of the smiles of the ficlde goddess.

resolved, therefore,

my

somehow

or other,

to have a

I

stolen


BEHIND THE SCEEEN.

89

interview with Liiisa, and I tliouglit only of the pleasiu'e

of a conversation ^\ith her alone, without caring for the result, or prescribing to

myself any rules for what I should

do or say on the occasion. even to

It

was no easy matter, however,

Luisa know what I was scheming.

let

and was

several fruitless attempts,

at last

fam

I

made

to

have

recourse to the old expedient of bribing the lady's maid.

who waited on

Teresa,

an Indian

the seFioritas in that capacity, was

not quite thii'teen years old, but with a

girl,

beyond her years.

discretion

She was a

light brmiette,

with weU-chiseUed featm-es, a very faiiy in the symmetry of

her

tmy

with her,

so,

under pretence of bringmg

my

slipped into

cou^jle of reals,

Luisa

She soon understood that I wanted

figm'e.

and then produced a note I had written it,

her as to the possibiHty of obtaining a

heaixl steps

heavy tread assm-ed

'My

'El amo,' screen,

coming along the

me

it

master,'

which hid

my

was

much

"'You

did not

come

buying mules, I suppose I have

come

to

smoke a

had some experience.

me

to

The

slow,

Teresa ejaculated,

host.

behind a mampara, or

;

/or as for the

I

hammock,

? "

said Eivas, entermg.

cigar with you,

You may

my

that

South Americans.

Out

to breakfast this morning.

advice for your march.

in 1813,

corridor.

m the day as at night by

used as

little

with her

tete-a-tete

washmg-apxmratus, and so turned

bed-room into a sitting-room is

my

sldi^ped

to

I began to sound

She was in the act of suggesting a plan

mistress.

when we

a cup of coffee,

I broke ground by giving her a

room.

but, before entrusting her with

;

me

to tallc

'

Well,

and to give you

trust

a

me, for I have

marched with BoHvar from Ocana

and have been out with Paez in the Apiire more

than once.'

"With these words the worthy senor seated


!

VENEZUELA.

90

himself, and went on, interminably as

recomiting his adventm-es,

womid up my

extent that

At

last I interrupted a

seemed

it

me,

to

smoking, and prosing to an

feelings to a pitch of desperation.

long story by declaring that I was

obliged to go out to look at a horse I thought of buying. It

was an unlucky excuse,

for

Eivas declared he would

walk with me.

" 'Panchito,' he called to the urchin who just then ran

my

past

door,

*

tell

yom* mother I want to speak to her for

a moment.'

"

'

The madre has gone over

way

the

Ochoa's,' said Panchito, arresting his

to the

Seiiora

and coming

steps

into the room. *'

*

"Well, then,

where

is

Teresa

?

I

Avill

send her with

a message.'

" 'Teresa

is here,'

replied the enfant terrible.

'

I saw her

bring the Ingles some coffee half-an-hom' ago*'

"'And

has the Ingles swallowed her along with the

or has he put her in his pocket ?

coffee ?

'

said

my

host,

laughing, and rapping his son slightly on the head with his cane.

" Perhaps he has hidden her behind the

screen,' retorted

'

Panchito, and the httle wretch

made a

dart to get

I caught him, but too late to prevent

it.

of the screen, and

" Teresa

!

down

it

came with the

behmd

him laymg hold

pull.

exclaimed the old Don, starmg at the

'

girl

and starting back, while his yellow face assumed a cadaverous

you *

hue with surprise and

shall

pay

for this.'

annoyance,

Then turning

to

*

por mi

fe

me, he added,

Senor, I have been giving you some hints for campaign-

ing

;

let

me

conclude by advising you never to

make a


THE BALL. foray in

a friend's hacienda.'

me

Bivas made

a

stiff

bow and

91

With

Senor

these words

quitted the room, and was

followed by Teresa and Panchito, the latter ruefully rubbing

had been bruised by the

his head, wliicli **

falling screen.

Left to myself, I could not help laughing at what had

occurred, though I was excessively vexed

I reflected, too, that Kivas would probably

temps. wife,

at the contre-

and that so the

my

by which improved.

would become Imown

aff'aii-

position with lier would, I thought, hardly be

It turned out that I

this part of

tell his

to Luisa,

my

supposition.

was wrong, however,

The next time

m

met the

I

Senora and her daughters, the former indeed showed that she was displeased by her

stiff

behaviom*.

the halfrtimid, half-arch glances of the

But

girls,

undefinable something in their manner, that they

had taken fact,

I saw

by

and by an

knew what The

and were by no means offended.

place,

no doubt, was, as

ni}'

gi'eater

experience of

made each

convinces me, that Teresa

life

now

seiiorita believe that

I was in love with her, and each was too conscious of her

own charms that she reall}^

to feel

came

did.

to

any jealousy of Teresa, or to doubt

my room

for

any purpose but what she

Opportunity for explanation there was none,

but I consoled myself with the knowledge that we should

meet all

at the ball,

about

and I was determmed to

tell

Luisa then

it.

"Parties begin at an early hour in Venezuela. P.M., the night after

my

adventure with Teresa, I found

myself dancmg with Luisa at the commandant's

room was crammed

to

At 9

suffocation,

ball.

The

and the most jealous

chaperone could hardly in such a crowd mamtain a successful espionage

on the doings of the

girls

under her


'

VENEZUELA.

92

I gave Luisa

charge.

and

after

my version

we had Laughed over

of

My

Helena repeated^.

I obtained

sufficiently,

it

her hand for the next dance.

with Teresa;

tlie affair

danced with her and

I

spuits rose,

I

Luisa

took

to

supper, I drank glass after glass of wine, and began to

commit sundry extravagances. I refused it

lilie

it

unless she would bite

In short, I

a maniac.

ended by an

Luisa offered

offer of

a guayaba.

I then devoured

and

lost control of myself,

marriage, couched in the wildest terms

my

I was accepted, and

of extravagant devotion.

would, perhaps, have

it first.

me

made me

ardour

too demonstrative, had not

Luisa just then, perceiving her mother enter the supperroom, suddenl}' quitted will be so glad to

much

hear

my

side with the remarlc,

tliis;

INIamma

'

she has wished for this so

!

" Lnpulsive persons are subject to violent reaction.

have outlived

all

that," continued the major

then particularly subject to such

hand was '

thinking over laid

on

my

In

tlie

of

feeluig.

I stood for a

my

midst of

reverie a

shoulder, and a well-known voice said,

Don't lose jour time in thinking, Charlie, but go back to

the ball-room.

We

enter Caracas.'

It

'

it.

;

revulsions

somehow disturbed me, and

Luisa's remark

moment

I

" but I was

Perhaps

it

shan't have any

was Power, and I could not

struck Power,

me

lielj)

till

who knew my

we

saying,

would have been better had I thought a

little

character

my manner thoroughly. He had

my

short speech having

more, especially before acting.'

seen

more dancmg

Somethmg

dancing with Luisa, and

excited his suspicions, he said at once,

'

in

Why,

Charlie,

you

have not been making yourself a fool with one of those

guis?'

'Indeed, but I have though,' I replied.

'I have


'

TOO MUCH ALIKE.

93

Then I not make your-

proposed to Luisa, and she has accepted me.' forbid the banns,' said Power.

Aye

such a blockhead.

self

'

You

shall

*

there they are,' he added,

!

looking round and seemg Luisa with her mother. old

the

another

speech

woman mood I

should have quarrelled with Power for this

but Luisa's partmg remark had created a disagree-

:

my

feeluig in

able

mind, which was heightened by this

Seeing his advantage. Power set hunself to improve

sneer.

the opportunity at once.

he

said.

*

We

mean

don't

'

or

off at

replied,

ten

how but

mmutes

tell

will

it

once.' '

a reasonable fellow, Charlie,'

You

after to-morrow.

'

how am

after

how long

end

It's

Then

!

all

as for

engagmg

the campaign

Take my

?

Can

it ?

going to

I go and

it

tell

off,'

serious face,

sha'n't have the

pam

'

it

I

Luisa,

proposing to her, that I meant nothing

then resummg his usual bright look, exclaimed,

You

are

yom^self,

and break

advice,

Power thought a moment with rather a

Charley.

is

very well to say break

I to do

surel}'

when we

to applj- for leave of absence just

the deuce can

last,

Be

march the day

going to meet the enemy

who

In

having hooked you.'

rejoicing at

is

/ I'll bet

?

and

I have

it,

of speaking to Luisa

and, moreover, I won't trust joiw corn-age in that quarter.

Take another

bottle

of champagne,

the question to her sister.

Dejiend

hear no more of the matter.' filled

up

me

on't, after that j^ou'll

"With these words

a tumbler of champagne.

my mind "Now it

and then go and pop

I drank

it,

Power

and made

to follow his advice.

so

happened that Helena was dressed that

night rather peculiarly.

She wore a pink

silk

bodice and a

white muslin skirt with very deep flounces of Venezuelan lace,

and I remembered

saj'ing to

her that

it

was a good


VENEZUELA.

94

costume for a

ball, as a

her colours a long way to myself,

her for so

partner in search of her could

soon find her,' said I

'I shall

off.

how shall I account for having neglected many dances, and then commg all at once and but

'

proiDosmg to her

me

Let

?

see

perhaps I had better

;

a note in her hand, and then vanish.

Power and

to do

what he

least said,

walked

off into

feelings

;

'

Dearest, I have in vain tried to conceal

now

that I

am on

to allow

m

me

is

my

you with

to follow

myself that your love

heart,

I have appeared

another quarter, this has only been a ejes,

not given to another.

and assure

I see now, or

me

then to

which indeed has long been

j'ours.'

I think I see, that you are free

my

the eve of leaving you,

Though

I can no longer restrain them.

mask

Acting on this idea, I

one of the retiring-rooms, got pencil and

but

to be engrosser]

slip

I have promised

but I don't half like the thing,

said,

soonest mended.'

paper, and wrote,

my

tell

;

suffer

offer

you

Having

signed this effusion, I returned to the refreshment-room, and, fortifying myself with several additional bumpers, I

proceeded in search of Helena.

But the

great quantity of

wine I had taken, the heat and excitement I effect

on

my

;

I came,

with several people, and

made excuses

which sounded oddly even

my

condition,

and

felt

I

must get out

came on the pink bodice.

in a thick voice, I was conscious of

to myself.

into the air, or

make

Just at that

moment

The wearer was not

dancing,

an unpleasant exhibition of myself. I

had their

The room seemed to turn round, as somehow or other, into collision

brain.

well as the dancers

felt,

but leaning against an open window with one white arm, wliile the other

hung beside

her.

I slipped

the open hand, and the fingers, as

if

my

note into

experienced

m

the


;

THE CARTEL.

95

reception of such missives, tightened on

I turned and

it.

made

off

too.

I half caught her look, and the featiu'es seemed to

through the crowd

;

hut as I did

she turned

so,

me

strangely unlike those of Helena.

" In what manner I retimied to the house of Sehor Eivas I know not.

seemed

to

The open

make me worse

instead of sohering me,

air,

but the

;

first

thing I distmctl}-

my

recognized was a horribly cold sensation in

On drawmg

hand.

left

towards me, a squelch of falling water

it

my hand in the

lowed, and I found I had been lying with

out of which I suppose I had been drinli:mg.

fol-

ewer,

Gettmg up

with a Sj^littmg headache, I dressed slowly, and had scarce refreshed myself ^^ith a cup of coffee, at the door.

when somebody' knocked

I called out 'Entrate,' and, to

stepped an Irish

officer I

knew by

my

surprise,

m

sight only, who, without a

word of preface, handed me a challenge from O'HaUoran. **

After reading the epistle twice, and lookmg a

tune at the address, to make sure I was the I turned to Kelly said

:

means

'

"Will 3'ou

?

—that

'

su','

su',

clearing up.'

—and

it's

must be some mistake.'

said Kelly

that word " mistake." but, faith,

part}' intended,

was the name of the ofhcer

have the goodness to explain what this

I think there

" Mistake,

tlni'd

Ye

'

;

said

you're mighty fond,

it

was a mistake

his

hand

producing another note, he handed ceremony, saying,

*

"What was my was the same I had

Do

you

surprise,

call that a

it

to

me

Helena.

I held

it

of

and

with great

sir ?

on opening the note,

wi-itten to

way

into his pocket

mistake,

of

last night

a mistake that there's only one

Then putting

sii',

'

to find

it

for several

muiutes without saving a word, while I endeavom-ed to recall the incidents of the

preceding night.

By

degTees I


VENEZUELA.

96

came

to the conclusion tliat I

must somehow have mistaken

O'Halloran's wife for Helena, and this idea became certainty

when

impatiently

*

:

m

mistakes

who was an

Kell}',

Pshaw,

sir

" Stung with friend, sh', is

'

words "

me

You're polite,

from his chau%

a grave

My

close by, so

is if

I say the

I'll

ask you to exjolain those

Good morning,

sir.'

my room

with

'this is a serious busmess.

Of

Power entered

air.

it

but there

said,

was a horrid mistake. is

Kelty.

Then O'Halloran ;

it

how

is

know

that well enough

;

this sort to a fellow

mad

with jealousy, and

I hear he tried to strike

besides,

you, and that you knocked to have

I

no explainmg matters of

perfectly unreasonable

seeing

'

retorted Kelly, frownmg, and rising

afterwards

"'Milligan,' he com'se,

:

of your presence the better.'

sir,'

but one mistake at a time.

;

Ten minutes

lilve

His room

and, excuse me,

;

and, maybe,

*

friend, sir,

it.'

Lieutenant Power.

no time need be wasted "

honour never makes

of

words and manner, I exclaimed

liis

sooner you relieve

duelling, said

at

Mention your

affairs of this kind.

and have done with

at once,

man

a

!

hand

old

him down.

They say he wanted

out over a handkerchief on the spot, and that, tipsy

you were, they forced him away with great

Blenkens of ours says he literally foamed at the and kept shouting, " I'll not wait till morning.

difficulty.

mouth,

Blood and

'ouns,

come

off at

shall

I'll

not wait."

I've arranged that the affah*

5 p.m., with pistols.

a imir with hair triggers.

I have

that they shoot straight.

If

advise you to do

when he

is cool,

it

;

I don't think 3'ou have

and I know

bj^

exj)erience

you have anytliing to

at once, for

but I hope his

O'Halloran

fmy

will

is

settle

I

a good shot

make him

miss.


HOW

TO CLEAR UP A BLUNDER.

Anyhow, you must not for he

thing

The

him

try to miss

or

into the

The

he can.

will certainly hit you, if

fii'e

97

air,

only good

that this has broken off yoiu' affair with Luisa.

is

old senora has heard of your giving a note to

Madame

O'Halloran, and vows her daughter shall have nothing to

do with you.' "

be ready, Power,' I said, *and

'I'll

a few things I want j'ou to do,

I'll

just put

After which, I shall turn in again and have a sleep feel tired,

and I should

like to

down

anything happens to me.

if

come

to the

;

for I

ground cool and

comfortable.'

"I

said

anything

but

else,

drinking some

Guiana

more

this

of

to

dehcious

myself

to

left

penning

after

the

be

sherbet

awoke, I found

it

Looking

was haK-past

make

they

in

he came to

my

my

at

watch when I

At

a quarter-past four

room, we walked out into the

started off at a brisk rate into the country.

miles out of the town

we came

and Kelly saluted each other, but to

my

loran only retm^ned a ferocious stare.

through the garden to a lane

*

than ten feet broad, when

This

is

the place

;

street,

and

About two

to a ruined garden-house,

where Kelly and O'Halloran were waiting for

not more

go

three, so I took a cold bath

and prepared to accompany Power.

sa\ing,

and

fi-om the juice of the i^omegranate, I did really

to sleep for several hours.

wa}'

than for

my memorandum,

cold

us.

Power

bow O'Hal-

Kelly then led the

between

walls,

and

he stopped short,

the sun won't be in their eyes

here.'

" I must confess

I

was a good deal surprised

choice of such a spot for the encounter, where,

at the

when we

were placed, we should not be more than eight feet from

H


VENEZUELA.

98

one another, and where the wall would assist one so

But my blood was

in taking aim.

I was quite pre-

up.

pared to fight even across a handkerchief.

He

did not take the matter so coolly.

much

Power, however,

spoke a few words in

a low voice to Kelly, but his

manner convinced me he was

much

however,

exasperated.

after a

Kelly,

was obstinate, and

short parley O'Halloran and myself were placed

opposite to one another, but with our faces to the wall.

Kelly then said, 'Now, gentlemen, I shall ask you,

you ready

? "

and

at the last

word you

Gentlemen,' he continued,

fire.

could get out the word bullet "vyliizzed past

my

'

ready

'

left ear,

will turn

are you

'

up several

forward.

The

myself on

my

were

ball

Before he

'

there was an explosion, a

grazing

sHghtly, and by

it

an involmitary impulse I wheeled round and loran leaped

"Are

round and

O'Hal-

fired.

from the gi'ound and

feet

had passed through

I threw

his heart.

His eyes

knees and raised the fallen man.

blood issued from his mouth

fixed, a thin jet of

fell

;

he

was quite dead. "

'

He

fired a

moment

too soon,' said Kelly

;

'

but,

by the

powers, he has paid for his mistake.'

" That word reminded quarrel.

I was in no

me

of the absurd origin of the

mood, as you may imagine,

to allow

any more mischief, so I

the hateful blunder to produce

franldy told Kelly at once by what accident the note had

come

into the possession of O'Halloran's wife,

corroborated

"

'

my

Well,' said Kelly, 'it's a pity, so

helped now.

and Power

statement.

You have behaved

see, after all, that it

like a

was a mistake

With these words

the major

it is,

man

but

it

can't be

of honour, and I

"

!

'

concluded his story.

I


TOO LATE.

my

had finished I

said.

" I

am

fourth

cigar.

glad that

my

99

" Good

major,"

night,

mistake ended better than

youi's."

" Oh,

faith,

mistake at it

all

my

dear sir," said he, " you

with you

;

but,

know

anyhow, I'm glad

it

it

was no

ended as

did."

H

2


CHAPTER How

— Solemn

VI.

The President's Powers Minister— The Contract Ratification The Financial Commisof the Contract by the Constituent Assembly Eeiterated Assurances and the sioner to Venezuela Painful Discoveries honour of the Eepublic repledged Evasion bafiled— Final Warnings The Plunge Downwards Symptoms of Change Breathing Time to

Loan

obtain a

Delegated

—Mission

Preliminaries

of the Finance

Utter Oblivion.

So

far tliis narrative lias

been carried on without any

tinct account of the busiuess of

my

mission.

I

dis-

must now

give, as concisely as possible, the history of the loan for

which I was commissioner.

my

Were

that untold the moral of

But

for the benefit of those

story would be wanting.

who may have similar business to transact with a modern repubhc, or who may desire to invest their money in one of those numerous financial operations in which the sm-plus capital of

London

is

continually disappearing for the benefit

of foreign states, I register what took place. are disposed to place faith in the solemn

Bepubhcan governments, and them on such guarantees, this chaj)ter,

assurances of

risk their fortunes

will

Those who

by lending

do well to study carefully

not omitting any part of

it.

Contracts and

Powers of Attorney are dry reading, but they must be read by those who would understand the subject.

The

history of the last

mences

in Jul}^ 1863,

Loan

to

Venezuela, then, com-

when General Falcon and

tisans, the most conspicuous and popular of

General

Guzman

his par-

whom was

Blanco, gained a complete triumph over


HOW

TO OBTAIN A LOAN.

101

the so-called oligarchs, and overthrew the government of Pedi'o Jose Rojas.

a

short time

sterling

That

before,

able,

but unsuccessful man, who,

had obtained a loan of a million

through the house of the Barings,

Em*ope,

fled to

leaving Venezuela mider the absolute sway of Falcon and

The new government found

his army.

The

the treasmy empty.

revenue, which consists mainly of

the

export and

import duties le\ded at the custom-houses, was weighed

down by

debts, of

which some were owed to private

viduafs,

others were loans

ments.

Besides these

contracted by former

liabilities

pay due to the Federal army. pressing of denial,

all,

and where money

is

troublesome as mercenaries.

there were the arrears of

This

for creditors with

last claim

arms in

their*

was the most hands take no

concerned patriots are quite as

What was

were several waj's of dealing with the stance, large

indi-

govern-

to

be done

!

There

For

difi&culty.

in-

sums might be obtained from the foreign mer-

chants by granting them a liberal discount for cash in

advance for papnents of dues on cargoes yet to be shipped.

The

State might have recoui'se to the granting of assignats,

or money might be raised b}' putting up to home and foreign markets the waste lands,

was ample

store.

If

auction in the of which there

by any such means the immediate

exigencies of the government could have been met, an honest

and frugal encouragement of the State's resom'ces would soon have

But the it

filled

the exchequer to overflowing.

easiest expedient for getting

from England.

money was

to

borrow

General Falcon, therefore, decided on

obtaining a loan from the merchants of London, and his step to this end was to constitute General his representative.

first

Guzman Blanco

Let the following document

testifj'^

to

LIBRARY UNIVERPTTY OF CALIFORNIA

SANTA BAEBARA


VENEZUELA.

102

the solemnity with which the honoui* of General Falcon and

the good

name

of the

Repubhc

of Venezuela were pledged in

this preliminary to the loan.

Juan C. Falcon, General

in Chief of the Federal Armies,

Provisional President of the Confederacy of Venezuela, &c., &c., &c.

In the name of the Eepublic and exercising the powers

am

with which I tonio

my

Guzman

appomt General An-

invested, I hereby

Blanco, Vice-President of the EepubliS^ and

present Minister of Finance and for Foreign Affairs, to

be Fiscal Commissioner for the Republic, with the special charge to contract

m London,

or in any other

Europe or America, a Loan, which

is

emporium

not to exceed

of

Two

Millions of Pounds sterling, at the most favom*able rate of interest,

rising

and on the best terms that he can obtain, autho-

him

to

mortgage especially and particularly the unin-

cumbered portion of the Import Duties of the Customhouses of

La Guaira and Puerto

Cabello or the whole of

the Duties of the other Custom-houses of the Republic the Export Duties of some or of

all

;

or

the Custom-houses of

the Country, with power also to give as a Guarantee any

other property or estates belonging to the Nation for pay-

ment

of the Interest as well as for

Capital, pledging as I do

from

this

Redemption of the

moment

Faith for the fulfilment of the obligations,

the

which he may by

virtue of this authority contract with the lenders. this object I confer

upon him

all

Public

such powers as

And for may be

necessary to execute the same and to bind the Republic as effectually, as I myself,

amount

of the Loan,

he being empowered to receive the

make arrangements

for its transmission


SOLEMN PEELIMINARIES.

and discharges, countersign the

to this city, give receipts

bonds that may be issued, and

manner

means

shall be as binding

same way

on

of a confidential agent,

my Government

as if they

And

cipal Commissioner.

and have

finally, I

therein with his most

ample and

restriction whatever, as also

my

approval

may

contract, in

consider advantageous

Repubhc, he being empowered to act

to the interests of the

of

its

authorize liim to apply

may

financial operation that he

name

whose acts

had been performed by the prin-

part or the whole of the Loan, wliich he

any

Guz-

to effect all these operations, should he consider

expedient, by

in the

and the

settle the periods

I fully authorize General

of their payments.

man Blanco it

103

free

will without

any

he may freely negotiate in the

Government with the present Creditors of the

Republic in London, and make with them any arrangement,

which they may mutually consider most satisfactory for the future interests of the State.

In witness of

delivered these presents at the .palace of the

all

which I have

Government

in

Caracas on the sixth of August, one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, under the Seal of the Eej^ublic and countersigned by

my

Secretary of State.

ŠJ. The

C. Falcon.

Secretary ad interim for Foreign Affairs,

GuiLL

:

Tell Villegas.

Countersigned.

The Secretary delegated by GuiLL

The Secretary

for

:

the Minister of Finance,

Iribarren.

War and

the NaAy.

M. E. Bruzual.


VENEZUELA.

104

Armed

with such powers, General

Guzman

President of the Ptepuhlic of Venezuela and

Finance and of Foreign

Affairs, arrived in

He

missioner to contract the loan. accredited as

was

Envoy from Venezuela

Blanco, Viceits

Minister of

London at the

to the

as

Com-

same time

Court of

St.

James's, so that nothing was wanting to render his contract a national engagement.

Under such circumstances

it

cannot

be matter of surprise that, at a time when investments were being largely made in far more speculative operations, the

General Credit and Finance Company of London should have been willing to negotiate the loan to Venezuela.

The

Government, of which Pedro Jose Rojas, the opponent of General Falcon, was the head, had been able, as has been mentioned, to

obtain a million

money from Messrs.

of

Baring, and the interest of that debt contmued to be paid regularly.

It might, therefore, fairly be argued, that since

General Falcon respected the engagements made by an adversary, he w^ould certainly be

observing his own.

Even

those

still

more conscientious

who had

in

httle confidence in

the good faith of the South American Republics, thought that so long as the chiefs of the present tion

dommant Venezuelan

fac-

continued in power they would be led by prudential

motives and a regard to their own interest,

if

not from a

sense of honour, to observe the conditions of any contract

with English capitalists into which they might enter.

Im-

pelled by such considerations, the acute Mr. Laing, and his

brother du-ectors of the General Credit Company, entered into the following contract with the

Venezuelan Minister

and Envoy.

Agreeiment entered into the 3rd day of October, 1863,


THE CONTRACT. between General

Guzman

105

Blanco, Vice-President of

the Republic of Venezuela and Minister of Finance and of Foreign Affairs, Fiscal Commissioner

of the Re-

The General London (Limited)

public, of the one part, and

Credit and

Finance Company of

(hereinafter

the

called

General Credit Company), of the other

part.

Whereas His ExceUencv, General Juan C. Falcon, General-in-Chief of the Federal Armies, Provisional* President

of the Venezuelan Federation, by a writing, by

him

signed,

bearing date the 6th day of August, 1863, and countersigned

by Guillelmo Tell Villegas, the Interim Secretary of Foreign Affair's,

Guillelmo Iribarren, the Secretary charged with the

Ministry of Finance, and

War and

M. E. Bruzual,

the Secretary of

Marine, in the name of the Republic, and in the

exercise of the unlimited j)Owers with wliich he

did nominate and specially charge General

was invested,

Guzman

Blanco,

Vice-President of the Republic, and his present Minister of

Finance and of Foreign

Affairs, the Fiscal

the Republic, to contract a

Loan

in

Commissioner of

London, or in any other

mercantile city in Em-ope or in America, which should not

exceed

Two

Millions of pounds sterling, at an interest and

upon conditions the most favourable he could obtain, authorizing

him

to

hj'pothecate

specially

and

specifically

the

unincumbered portion of the Import Duties of the Customhouses of

La

Guaii'a

and Puerto Cabello, or the whole of

the Import Duties of aU the other Custom-houses of the * Provisional only until the vote of Congress could be obtained, but by that vote now, and since his election, President and Grand Marshal, or Coniniander-in-cbief of the Republic.


VENEZUELA.

106

Eepublic

;

or the Export Duties

Custom-houses of the

of some, or

countr}^, with

power

of

all

the

also to give as a

guarantee any other property or estates belonging to the nation for payment of the interest as well as for redemption of the capital, pledging the public faith for the fulfilment of

the obligations which he might contract with the lenders in virtue of this

authority,

and did confer on him

powers which might be necessary to seal Republic, the same as

if

it

and

to

the

bmd

the

had done

he, the said President,

himself, enabling him, the said General

all

Guzman

it

Blanco, to

receive the proceeds of the Loan, to arrange its remittance to the city of Caracas, to give receipts in full discharge, to

may be issued, with his signature, and to fix the terms and mode of payment. And Whereas the General Credit Company at the request of General Guzman Blanco, and in consequence of the authorize the bonds, which

authorization unto the

One

of

him

given, have agTeed to negotiate for

Government of Venezuela, a Loan

of the nominal value

Million five hundred thousand pounds sterling on

the terms and subject to the stipulations hereinafter stated

—wherefore the following has been agreed upon Article 1.

The loan

shall be raised

bearer for ^6500, £200, and ^BlOO

:

by issuing bonds

respectively,

to

each one

bearing interest from the 1st day of October, 1863, at the rate of .£6 per cent, per

annum, the

interest thereon to be

paid half yearly, on the 1st day of October, and the 1st day of April, of each year, until the full pajonent, or redemption

of the Bonds, at the office of the General Credit in

London, in

sterling,

and

at the office of

Company

Messrs Saloman

Oppenheim, Junior and Company, in Cologne, in Thalers, the

Exchange

of the day.

at


THE CONTEACT. The

Article 2.

said

Bonds

shall be

may by General Guzman Blanco,

General Credit Company signed

107

iii

such form as the

and they

require,

shall be

name

in the

of the

Eepublic, or any other Fiscal Agent, properly authorized by the Venezuelan Government.

The sum

Article 3.

of ^£60 shall be accepted in full for

every £100 of the Loan, that

to

is

Bond

say, a

shall be

issued for £100, and so in proportion for every

£100 sub-

sum

be that of

scribed, so that the

really requii-ed,

will

£900,000 sterhng, and the General Credit Company are hereby authorized to accept from the subscribers each portion of of

£60

£5 on

ment

at the dates following, that is to say, a deposit

the appUcation for the subscription, a

of £10, in thirty days after the ratification of the

m

has been received a

month

months

month

after

London a

the first;

second

after the

;

;

full interest

manner

Loan

a second instalment of £15,

instalment of £15, two

thii-d

and a

final

instalment of £15, a

after the third, in pajauents for

shall bear like

first instal-

each bond, which

from the date before mentioned, in

as though the total

sum had been

paid in on

the 1st of October, 1863.

At

Article 4.

redeemed or paid

oif

sum

of £30,000, which shall be

provided in manner hereinafter exj)ressed.

bonds may bear on the Exchange

at par, or

Exchange said

the

below par, and at

bonds

London

sufficient

at

If the price the

London should be

can be j)urchased on the

for completing the

shall be pm-chased.

Exchange a

shall be

by the Government every year, requir-

ing for that purpose the

said

Bonds

least 2 per cent, of the said

But

if

sum

of £30,000 the

they should bear on

price above par, or being at par, or less, a

sufficient quantity

cannot be purchased there in order to


:

VENEZUELA.

108

make up to be

sum

the said

of ^£30,000, then the bonds that are

redeemed or paid

shall be selected

by

lot

off

upon the terms above mentioned

m the

usual manner.

In addition to the public faith and general

Article 5.

credit of the Venezuelan Eepublic, which

is

hereby pledged,

the following duties are specially and specifically hypothe-

payment of the

cated and mortgaged for the

smking fund

in

tliis

amount together

Loan (which

interest

to ^£120,000 a year),

and

interest

and

and sinking fund for the

commis-

sion payable to the General Credit Company, as hereinafter

mentioned

viz.,

the whole of the Export

1st,

duties

or

Customs Revenues at the ports of La Guaira, Puerto Cabello, Maracaibo, and Ciudad Bolivar

The in the

said General

name

Export

of the

duties,

Guzman Blanco hereby

Government

which are or

will

guaranteeing,

of Venezuela, that the said

be wholly uncharged, have

hitherto produced, and will continue to produce,

the requisite

sum

of £120,000 a year

cause they should ever

fall

;

and that

more than from any

if

below that sum, the deficiency

shall be immediately made up from the Import duties or

balance of Import duties at the Custom-houses of aU the ports of Venezuela.

Proof that the said Export duties are wholly uncharged shall be given to the General Credit

Company

or

its

simultaneously with the ratification of the Loan, or claims exist, the General Credit ficient

amount

of the deposits

that the security for the

Company may

on the Loan to

Loan may be

a clear

Agents if

any

retain a suf-

settle first

them, so

charge on

the said Export duties. Article 6.

Customs

The

said

Export duties or Revenues of the

shall be paid over periodically once in every

week


—

THE CONTEACT.

109

by the competent authorities of the said ports

to the British

named Company, for him

Vice- Consul, or other Agent or Agents, to be specially for that pm'pose

or

them

for the

by the General Credit

to remit the same, or so

payments

much

facility or

may

be requisite

Agreement, to the said

specified in this

Company, and every

as

information shall be afforded

to the said Vice- Consul, Agent, or

Agents, that they

sum

require for ascertaining the accuracy of the

that

may may

have been paid to them, or having reference to this particular,

and such Vice-Consul, Agent, or Agents, shall be paid

commission of ^ per cent, by the Government of Venezuela, which shall be included in the amount for their trouble a

handed over

to them.

Export duties than

payment of the this

Loan,

is

If

more be received from the

sufficient for the full

interest, sinking fund,

and commissions of

the balance shall be retiu'ned

or Agent at

La

by the Vice-Consul

Guaira, as soon as the collections for the

current 3'ear have amounted to a said interest

said

and punctual

sum

sufficient to

pay the

and sinking fund of a012O,OOO, and the sums

required for commissions, to the Government, and-

Export duties should prove

deficient,

such

if

such a percentage of

the Import duties shall be paid over to the said Vice-Consul,

Agent, or Agents, by the competent authorities, out of the

weekly receipts of Customs, as will

suffice to

make good the

deficiency.

Article 7.

as the

The

said

Company may

sum

of ÂŁ900,000, or such other

sum

receive in subscriptions to the said

Loan, shall be employed by them in manner following that is to say, in the first place, the General Credit

pany

shall

retain

thereout the

sum

for

Com-

commission and

brokerage on the negotiation of the Loan and for stamps.


VENEZUELA.

110

and

the second place, they are to retain the

payment

of the

fii'st

sum

of £45,000 for

half year's interest that will

fall

due on

the said Loan, and they are to pay over the residue of the to the

In

and every other expenses connected therewith.

all

Government or

The General

Ai'ticle 8.

Loan

order.

its

Credit

Company

are to apply the

sums to be received from the Export duties, or other sources

much

above-mentioned, or so

from time to

as they shall

time receive in respect thereof, in manner following

—that

is

to say, in the first place, they are to set apart thereout the

sum

of £90,000 per

annum

such portion thereof as

pm'pose of paying

the

for

periodically the interest on the

Loan

may remain

of £1,500,000, or

In the second

unpaid.

sum

place, they are to set apart thereout the

on

of £30,000 per

annum, and apply the same periodically towards the redemption or

payment

in full of the bonds, in

and they are

in Article 4

;

may remain

of the said

manner mentioned

also to apply the overplus that

sum

of £90,000, after payment of the

interest then due, periodically adding the same to that of

£30,000 per annum, to the redemption or payment in

In the third

the bonds. their

place, they are to retain thereout

Commission of one per

interests they

employed

m

full of

cent,

on

all

the dividends or

may

pay, and one-half per cent, on the

the

redemption of the bonds, the General

Guzman Blanco hereby

name

guaranteeing, in the

Government, that a sufficient

sum

to cover such

sums

of his

Commission

shaU be collected and remitted, together with the smns due for interest

and smking fund.

Article 9. It is expressly understood this Contract be not ratified

and agreed

that, if

by the Constituent Assembly of

Venezuela to the satisfaction of the said General Credit


THE CONTEACT. Company, and the pany shall be

be not received in London

ratification

before the 15th day of

March

Com-

next, the General Credit

withdraw the Loan and to cancel

at liberty to

may have been done

whatever

Ill

and to

in respect thereof,

return to the Subscribers the amount of their deposits. the General Credit this

do

term

if

Company

But

shall be at liberty to extend

requested by the Venezuelan Government to

so.

Article 10. It

General

Guzman

Government, Ai'ticle,

money

fiu'thermore exjDressly agreed by the said

is

Blanco,

on behalf of the Venezuelan

that, in the

event contemplated in the last

the said

Government

shall remit

such a sum of

General Credit Company, on or before the

to the

said loth day of

March

Comannum to

next, as will enable the said

pany to pay Literest at the rate of 6 per cent, per

the Subscribers to the Loan, upon the total amoimt of their deposits from the time they were received until they are repaid,

and a Commission of ÂŁ3000 as a comj)ensation

Company

for theii- trouble

case the General Credit

the

money

and their expenses, and in such

Company shaU be at liberty to

to the Subscribers in such

dates as they

may deem

to the

suitable,

manner and

retm^n

such

at

and the Loan, as well

as the w^hole of the negotiations relative thereto, shall in

consequence be considered withch'awn and cancelled. Article 11. It is fui-ther agi-eed that the

Loan

is

to be

brought out at the time when the said General Blanco, or other duly authorised Agent, on behalf of the Venezuelan

Government on the one

Company on to

the other

part,

j)art,

and the said General Credit

believe the

moment

favoui-able

open the public subscription. Article 12,

and

last.

Lastly,

it

is

also understood

and


VENEZUELA.

112

expressly agreed that the General Credit inciu"

any

neither

responsibility,

Guarantee in

res^^ect

Company do not

do they

any

fimiish

of the points expressed, or any of

them.

In Witness whereof, the said General hath hereunto affixed his hand and

seal,

and Finance Company has hereunto this 3rd

Guzman Blanco

and the said General

affixed its corporate seal,

day of October, 1863.

Guzman Blanco,

A.

f

L. s. j

The

Seal of the Company.

Signed, sealed, and delivered by the within-named General

Guzman Blanco, and sealed by the General Credit and Finance Company of London (Limited), in the presence of A.

F. H. HEMivnNG,

Consul-General for Venezuela.

James Macdonald, General Manager

of the General Credit and

Finance Company of London (Limited).

The

first

remark that

requisite to

it is

make with regard

to this contract is that, considering the credit of the Vene-

zuelan Government on the Stock Exchange at the time, the

terms were very favom-able.

was brought out at 63, but

Messrs. Baring's loan of 1862 its

price

when the prospectus of

the 1864 loan was issued had fallen to 55j ex div. also be especially

remembered

tliat in

It

must

June, 1863, Messrs.


FAILUEE OF MATHESON'S SIX PEE CENT. LOAN. Matheson

&

113

Co.* had brought out a Venezuelan 6 per cent,

loan at 60, which was less advantageous to Venezuela than that

of 1864,

redeemable

inasmuch as a portion of the bonds were

at par, to

which

was, of com'se, absurd to

it

expect them to rise in the market until, perhaps, the last year of pajong

off.

Messrs. Matheson's loan, however, was

a failm'e, which in itself was a circumstance unfavourable to

Venezuelan

credit.

accorded to Venezuela

Moreover, a comparison of the terms b}^

the contract of 1864, with those

who

obtained by other governments,

entered the

London

market as borrowers about the same time as Venezuela, prove the favoui'able character of the former. last gi'eat

m

French Loan was brought out

will

Thus the

1864

at 66-i%.

It is true that the interest is only 3 per cent., but then the

difference

zuela

is

extreme.

between the credit of France and that of Venethat between absolute secmity and the opposite

The Lnperial Ottoman

March 1865 was issued

at 47|,

5 per

And

more akin

we

to Venezuela,

3 per cent. Bonds, which

m 1864

;

of

to take the cases

find that Spanish

stood at 53f stand ,

at 354, while the Portuguese 3 per cent.

issued at 37

Loan

and the Tm-ldsh 6 per cent,

of 1862 stood in April 1864 at 71^. of countries

cent.

Loan

of 1867

now was

besides which, the present market prices of

the public debt of Italy, Eg}"pt, and Austria, mdicate that these countries would have to borrow on terms at the least as mifavom'able as Venezuela. It

there

may, perhaps, not be out of place seems but

little

sense

in the

to observe here that

custom adopted by

foreign Governments of introducing nominal values into the

loans borrowed by them.

For

instance, the

* See the Prospectus iu

Venezuelan

Appendix A. I


VENEZUELA.

114

Government

in

18G4 obtained a loun for the nominal value

of one million and a half at ^600 for the £100, and conse-

quently for the real value of j£900,000. the

said

By

that transaction

Goverment added a million and a half

to

the

national debt, and an annual charge for interest of i690,000

—that

is,

Now,

they borrowed at 10 per cent.

of borrowing a nominal

amount

instead

if

of ^61, 500,000 at 60, and

paying 6 per cent, on each £100 of the nominal amount, they had borrowed £900,000 at 10 per cent., they would

have paid no more interest, and saved £600,000 in the

As

nominal amount of their debt.

terms at which

to the

they did borrow, they would have been onerous had they

been bound to pay the option to

oif the

debt at par

;

but they had

redeem by purchases in the market, and

the probabilities were that they

would be able to purchase In point of

on the same terms as they borrowed.

fact,

what they did redeem of the debt they bought considerahhf under the price It

at

which

was expressly

it

had been issued.*

stipvilated

by

Ai'ticle

9 that, unless the

Constituent Assembly of Venezuela ratified the Loan, the

General Credit Company should be at

libert}' to

withdraw

from the transaction, and that the mone}'- subscribed by the be refunded to them.

bond-holders should

Now,

expressly to take awa}' all pretext for future cavil the Loan, or any of

its

as if

regardmg

conditions, on the part of Venezuela,

the Great Parliament of the country not only did ratify the

Loan, but empowered the National Representative, General Blanco, to increase

its

amount

solemn declaration in which the couched in the following terms

to three millions

!

The

ratification is expressed is

:

* See tlie prices of the Yeneziielan

Loans

in

Appendix A.


EATIFICATION OF THE LO^IN OF

115

1864.

God and the Confederacy The Constituent Assembly

!

OF THE

United States op Venezuela Decrees. In the name of the Eei)ublic

is ratified

on the thh'd day of October

Guzman

Antonio

last

the contract

made

by the Citizen General

Blanco, vnth the General Credit

Company

of London, for raising a loan of a million and a half of

pomids, and, in consequence, the Executive Power of the

United States of Venezuela any

difficulties

make

all

which may

is

fully authorised to arrange

arrangements which

it

may

geous to the Pubhc Exchequer. it

three millions of pounds

by a subsequent Decree

;

to

this

to

consider most advantaAlso, in

manner,

lLl\;e

authorised to increase the amount of this

is

and

arise in its execution,

Loan

Assembly reselling

to

to itself

determme the application of the

additional milhon and a half of j)ounds, or of the sui-plus, Avlrich

may be

contracted for upon the basis of the Contract

of the third of October aforesaid.

Given in Caracas in the Hall of the Sessions of the Constituent

Assembly of the United States of Venezuela, on the

1-lth of Januar}',

The J.

This

1864.

The Deputed

President

G. Ochoa.

Jose Ma. Ortega Martinez.

ratification completely

exonerated the lenders of the

loan from anj' imputation of undue rigour.

not

Secretarj'

onl}'

declared themselves

willingness to borrow as

much

content,

The borrowers but

stated

theii'

again on the same conditions.

I2


VENEZUELA.

IIG

It

now

remained for the General Credit Company to

onl}'-

send out a commissioner, wlio should ascertain that the duties,

which were to be hypothecated

for the pajinent of

the Interest and Sinlcing Fund, were free from valid claims,

and who should then

ratify the loan

on the part of the Com-

pany, take charge of the custom-houses, and appoint agents

and I have now to

relate

my

This, then, was

for the receipt of the duties.

how

I performed

business,

it.

my departure

I must premise that before the date of

from

England, the 17th of June, 1864, a number of persons had advanced claims upon the export duties, notwithstanding the declaration of General Blanco that they were not chargeable, offer

and in

them

he was entitled to

spite of his assertion that

The

as security for the loan.

exact

amomit of

all

these claims was unlaiowii to the General Credit Company,

but they were aware of the following sums

:

Claim of certain creditors represented by the Chevalier Jacques Servadio, Consul at Venezuela for the King of Italy 1.

2.

Claim of S''. Manuel Camacho of Caracas $109,800 Claim of Mr. Richard Thornton T ^ ] ft orVof: 35,685 ( $ 64 years Interest on the same Claim of Mr. Aaron Goodrich, ^^^^ ^^^ $155,000 11 1 A T 1 Island1 m Claim )( ^ called the Aves .

(

5.

.

.

52,000

)

$145,485 ^

4.1

22,382 '

'

)

)

4.1

4.

£100,000

)

4.

3.

\

>

$134,676 St.

Thomas Total

My instructions were to decide

of the

on the

first,

to leave the

.

.

23,846

.

.

20,719

.

37,723

£256,670

Venezuelan Government

validity of these claims, with the exception

which had been paid in scrip of the loan by

General Blanco. bring the claims

ment, and

.

.

'

Claim of the Colonial Bank Claim of Messrs. Moron & Co. of

if

it

On my

arrival in

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, to

Venezuela I was to

the notice of the Govern-

should decline to

recognise them,

and


THE FINANCIAL COMMISSIONEE.

117

solemnly declare the exi3ort duties free of charge, and hand

them over

appomted by me

to the agents

was to consider that

fact

for collection, I

and the declaration, as being

that of a Sovereign State, as sufficient proof of there being

no valid charges on .the said According

duties.

more than attention

;

and

in

of the Government, I did

tlieii*

all

interest,

the Colonial Bank, whatever

and in the interest

Thus

way

to get

the claim of

merits, having been taken

its

up by the British representative, I gave him its

General

to the

it

I could in a quiet

Avhat appeared rightful claims settled.

obtained

be required of

right to investigate, as far

it

and report upon

as practicable, each claim,

Credit Comj^any

instructions, nothing

to the said points could

Nevertheless, I thought

me.

my

to the strict letter of

recognition and settlement.

my

support and

I lent what aid I

could to the American Minister also, with reference to the

Aves Island claim, and

The

first

that, too,

thing, however,

was adjusted.

which I had

&

was to i)ersuade Messrs. Boulton for the loan.

laid in

my

Messrs.

to

do on arrival

Co. to become agents

This was a point on which great stress was

instructions,

Boulton

&

and I

Co.

at

once saw

were

its

importance.

incontestably

respectable house in Venezuela, and I felt that

the if

most

I could

secure their assistance I should be safe from the mistakes into

which any stranger, though much more an fait at busi-

ness than myself, would very likely have fallen.

But Mr.

Boulton was extremely indisposed to accept the agency for the loan,

and his partner

at

La

Guaii-a

was

still

more

averse to such a step, though a third partner, a Venezuelan

by the

bii'th,

had attended General Blanco's conferences with

General Credit Company,

and

liad

aided in nego-


1

VENEZUELA.

18

Loan, a

tiating tlie

I

had

of wliicli

fact

I

was quite unaware.

combat their objections, and

to

ment succeeded

argu-

after long

overcoming their rehictance.

in

Tliis

was a great success, and an important result immediately

General Blanco

La Guau'a and

Government

to

for

which

duties,

the

w^re

loan,

most of the principal merchants

Caracas, amounting to

for the discharge of

who had

others,

export

more than a

These debts had been incurred by the

million dollars.

and

the

as security

offered

encumbered with debts at

that

discovered

I

followed.

what they owed

to soldiers

suffered in their cause during the

with the faction of Paez and Eojas.

war

But besides these

incontestable debts there were other claims

Spanish, Dutch, and French Ministers after

made by

my

arrival,

the

and

cVafaircs

on

behalf of British subjects, of which I had no cognizance

till

some brought forward by the Enghsh charge I reached

my

under

Caracas. feet,

An

abj'ss

of liabilities had

and when I surve3'ed

its insatiable

opened

maw

and

then glanced at the two chests of sovereigns, which were I

had

to

throw into

it,

I could not help thinking of the

Cavern of the Winds in Persia, into which pebble

it is

all

said that a heterogeneous

mass of

if

you

cast a

projectiles is

vomited forth with prodigious sound and fury, and sweeps

away

all

Now smiling,

before that

it.

my

when

responsibilities are

over I cannot forbear

I recall the confusion worse

confounded than

that " of King Agramante's camp," in which I lived durmg

those days of conflicting claims and hydra-headed creditors.

No

sooner have I done breakfast than a Eepresentative

announced.

He

is

burns so to get his business settled that,

in spite of polite attempts to conceal his impatience, his


PAINFUL DISCO VEEIES.

119

He

very body seems to radiate importunities. to the ]Doint.

the matter of the Agostino billetes ? "

lency

" I reply, " I

!

acquaint

me

Is

it

my

have done

that the claim

recognised ?

most

soon comes

" Has Monsieur placed before the Ministers

"Be

assm*ed, Excel-

but the Ministers

best,

"

not recognised."

is

How!

not

possible that they can seek to evade the

the most clear, enfin les obligations les plus

just,

sacrees ? "

" Pardon me,

Excellency

I

;

am

chagrined

beyond measure, but one can do no more than represent the matter

;

" Then,

the decision rests with the Government."

Monsieur, I must bring to your notice that I have already

warned the squadi'on to be prepared to

honour

I have the

grave,

In vam at this

grave."

tres

assurances

;

in

sail for

to x'l'evenir ^Monsieur

vain

I

que

La

Guaira.

I'affaire est

moment

I

upon him fragrant

press

renew cigars,

symbolical of the calumet of peace, and typical of those

know the menaces of armed The affair remams grave, and

graceful wreaths, in which I

intervention are sure to end.

the Mmister departs with decidedly less cordial emprcsser.ient

towards myself than he showed on entering.

scarce reseated

I

am

when a long despatch from the Spanish

Minister arrives, containing an interminable correspondence

about the claim of one of his proteges, the immediate settle-

ment

of which he thinks I

am bound

no other reason than because

it

discussed for a dozen yeai's 2vlinister in succession

of reading

Minister,

it

am

to be a

and has wearied out every that period.

In the middle

disturbed by a visit from the American

who comes about

by the

know

I

dming

to accomplish, if for

has ah'eady been fruitlessly

cliarge

the Aves Island claim, and then

cVaffaircs,

who

most innocuous threat as

also utters

what I

to a naval

demon-


VENEZUELA.

120

In short,

stration.

power represented

seems to be the object of every

it

at

Caracas to invest me, in a certain

sense, with the order of the I do

my

Golden Fleece

;

an honour which

best to elude.

Nor was

the current of

my

intercourse with the Vene-

:^uelan Ministers altogether without checks.

indeed, extremely polite

;

They

w^ere,

and, personally, I had not the

But

slightest cause to be dissatisfied with their behaviour.

I think that, in reply to

which, mimediately after

my letter of my landing, I

dent of the Eepublic in making over to the export duties, to fm-nish

from charge,

free

it

me

the 6th of July, in

requested the Presi-

me

the collection of

with proof that they were

would. have been more candid to have

stated at once tliat there were claims

on the duties

such

to

an amount, for monies borrowed from the principal merchants, and to have assured

be

satisfied

me

that those claims would

by drafts on the proceeds of the loan, which

drafts the President

would direct General Blanco to see

Instead of that, a serious responsibility was

duly honom'ed.

thrown upon me, and but

made, and the

for the stand I

firmness of the General Credit

Company,

it

is

a question

whether the claims of the merchants would have been tled to this very day. first

instance, through

Having

set-

ascertained, however, in the

Mr. Boulton, the natm-e of these

debts, I was resolved not to report in favour of concluding

the loan imtil they were- liquidated, and having seen that the Venezuelan v,Tote to the

Government drew

bills to

pay them

General Credit Company as follows

advising the transmission of these

bills, it is

my

:

off,

I

— " In

imperative

duty to state that I have agreed to ratify the loan, with the distinct understanding

and on the

sole condition that all


GENEEAL OCHOA. these

including those for the

bills,

honom-ed and paid before

'

The same remark

Aves Island

'

British

claims,

are

Government

the Venezuelan

the proceeds of the loan for any other pm*-

avails itself of

pose.

121

applies to the settlement of the

claim, which,

though

has been referred to

it

General Blanco, must be settled before the funds of the loan become available for the general pui'poses of the Venezuelan Government."

With regard l^aragrai^h

to the British clauns referred to in the above

another very

Matheson, the to

have them

British

settled,

serious

difficulty

charge cV affaires,

Major

arose.

was determined

and said he could not allow them to

be discussed, as the orders from Lord Eussell were peremptory regardmg them.

I felt

bound

from the subjects of other Governments letter of

my

Claims

to support him.

accordmg

to the

instructions, left to the decision of the

Vene-

I,

zuelan Ministers, but I could hardly take up a similar position with regard to the clauns

declared must be paid.

me

a letter

to assist

Foreign

d'affaires, calling

to the extent of his power,

do less than reciprocate. yielded, but for

Besides Lord Russell had given

to the English charge

me

my own Government

which

on the

19tli

Affaii's,

On

on him

and I could

liar<lly

the 18th of July the Ministers

General Ochoa, the Acting-Minister

liavmg arrived in Caracas from the

provinces, the aspect of affans changed.

On

that day the

Ministers gave an audience to the English charge d'affaires, ]Mr.

Boulton,

and myself,

m

the

Government House.

General Ochoa then said that with the exception of that of the Colonial

Bank

the clauns had not been recognised, and

some of them were made by British subjects.

parties

who were not even

Supposing, he added, their claims to be


VENEZUELA.

122

not follow that they were to be paid out of the

just, it did

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;that was

loan

a question for the Venezuelan

Government

There were many other claims, French, Dutch,

to decide.

and

Sjianish,

pay

all

and the funds of the loan would not

of them.

To

suffice to

the claims had

this I replied that

been recognised by the British Government, and by former

Governments of Venezuela, and Lord Russell had given peremptory orders to his Muiister to get three of them

up with those of other powers. was as regards the loan

The answer

that,

as

it

Venezuela could borrow money in Paris by

French claims be

first settled T\ith

to those

powers

rejoined that the loan was not in any

English Government.

company.

My

were

and

clear,

"

first.

means

all

sum

the

similarly with regard to the other powers."

thnrt

mixed

had been raised in

England, British claims ought to be settled

said,

When let the

so raised,

and

General Ochoa

way an

affair of

was contracted with a

It

busmess, he

the

private

was to see that the duties

after that I could not refuse to ratify the

I answered that

loan.

to be

England would not allow her claims

settled.

it

was imjpossible for

me

to report

the duties were clear, Avhen the representative of

my

own Government, who had been fifty years in the country, declared they were not. At all events it would be impossible for

me

to report b}^ the next packet,

would be a greater the clauns,

contmued had

it

en

if

Venezuela than the settlement of

they were open to question.

for hours,

The debate

and would have ended unsatisfactorily

not been for Mr. Boulton, who persuaded Major

Matheson and the duties.

e^

loss to

and the delay

to agree to half the claims being settled at once,

rest

by secmities on the 25 per

cent, extra

import


;

FINAL AEEANGEMENT.

123

This arrangement was made on the 19th and 20th of July,

and on the charge

latter

cV affaires,

day I received a in which he

letter

from her Majesty's ''

that

officially stated

the

arrangements made for the settlement of the recognised claims at her Majesty's Legation are quite satisfactory."

On

my

the 22nd of July the Finance Minister, in reply to

request that he would state " briefly and explicitly that the

made over

duties

are free of charge," addressed to

despatch which ran as follows:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; "In reply to

your

me

a

letter,

dated this day, I have the honour to assm'e you, categorically,

that the export duties of the custom-houses of

La

Guaira, Puerto Cabello, Maracaibo, and Ciudad BoHvar are free of all charge

;

previous letters, yon

them mider

able in

and

may

that,

mformed you

as I have

is realis-

In accordance

Avith this

that head."

letter the collection of the export duties was,

on the 23rd of

^vlj, placed in the hands of Messrs. Boulton

I

had appointed agents

in

proceed to collect vvhat

On

for the loan.

k

the

Co.,

whom

same

daj^

the amount of 5ÂŁ209,8'18. Os. Id., di-awn on General

bills to

Blanco by the Venezuelan Government, in liquidation of the recognised liabilities

of the export

duties,

were

for-

warded to England by the steamer. It

may

an end

;

my

be supposed, therefore, that

anxieties were at

but that was far from being the case.

The

bills,

indeed, were drawn, but I felt uncertam whether they would

be honoured. fied

at

I

knew

that General Blanco would be morti-

having such an enormous

sum

as the bills repre-

sented taken from the amount he was to receive in cash

and knowuig the claims he had to

settle in

London and

Paris were very large, I was not sm-e that there would be a

balance quite sufficient to meet the

bills.

Still, in a

position


VENEZUELA.

124

of

immense

difficult}^,

I

had done

my best.

I could not have

conscientiously stated that the duties were clear until I had ascertained, to the best of

my

power, that every claim which

the Government could not but recognise was provided

Having done

Company,

so,

for.

and having called upon the General Credit

in the strongest terms, not to consider the loan

ratified until the creditors

were paid, I had now only to wait

patiently for the result.

In the meantime what I heard of

the

management of the revenues

way

in

of Venezuela, and the loose

which people talked of public and

jn-ivate obligations,

was not encouraging.

The

great pressure of

work being over

I

had time to

on the means of rendering the contract

bmding as

possible on the Government.

first place, to

reflect

for the loan as

I took care, in the

have every document connected with the loan

registered in the British Legation, and I tried to impress

upon every one

in authority that

ditions of the contract

national credit.

a fatal blow at the

strilie

I exerted myself to

many unrecognised rest,

would

any infraction of the con-

claims

still

to be

show

that,

with so

exammed and

laid to

with such large demands upon the revenue on account

of the loans, and with such a troublesome spirit of faction still

most

existing,

rigid

it

behoved the Government to practise the

economy, and look into the abuses,

management

Avere only too notorious, in the

which

of the public

finances.

Among

other tilings

it

occurred to

me

that I ought to

have a personal interview with the President. tering into the question of

how

far it

may

Without en-

be good or bad

policy for the President of a Piepublic to be always absent

from the

capital, the plain fact

may be

stated that General


PAYAIENT OF INTEEEST SUSPENDED.

12o

Falcon did so absent liimself and, leaving the conduct of affaii-s to ministers appointed

part it

by his own decree, lived

m a distant province

for the

most

In order that

difficult of access.

might not be said that the General was not cognizant of

the aiTangements I had made, or that he was dissatisfied

with any part of them, I resolved to see him myself, and I

worked hard

Spanish that there might be no necessity

at

An

an interpreter.

for

account of the interview will be

On my

found in another chapter.

chagrmed, but not very

much

Blanco had dishonoured the

Had

Government.

mg,

all

my

laboiu'

return from

bills

drawn on him by his

would have been thrown away and a

were paid, and I

bills

satisfaction of

I was

he persisted in that impolitic proceed-

astrous complication would have ensued.

however, the

it

surprised, to hear that General

left

dis-

After a struggle,

Venezuela with the

knowing that the most pressing debts of the

Government were

settled,

and that with proper economy

the national credit might be maintained, and the revenue

gradually augmented.

Mr. Boulton informed

Constituent Assembly would probably vote

and though that expectation proved to be

me

me

that the

their thanks,

illusory, I

gratification of receiving the thanlvs of the

had the

General Credit

Company, and of knowing that I had reheved the Foreign Office of some troublesome claims.

And

here, in order to

must go on up

to relate

to the present

the Venezuelan

ffiiish

the history of the loan, I

what has happened with reference

Government stopped paying the

Messrs. Barings' loan.

it

interest

on

That loan had been negociated by

the pai-ty opposed to General Falcon, and had enabled to continue the

to

moment. In 1865, under various pretences,

war when they were

in extremis.

them

The

fac-


VENEZUELA.

126

now

tion

power in Venezuela could not be expected to

in

much

regard such a loan with

endeavour to impugn

But

not very surprising.

it

much engaged England and to the

and that they should

though inexcusable, was

was not long before s;ynnptoms

On

of further change appeared.

a Mr. Engel\kye, a

favour,

its A^ahdity,

the SOtli of January, 1866,

German long

resident in Venezuela, and

in the intrigues of parties there, arrived in

called

manager of

then unfolded to

He

upon me.

General Credit Company, and he

tlie

me

asked for an introduction

that in his opinion the only

way

of

extricating Venezuela from its financial difficulties was to

unify the debt, pay a small interest upon

it,

and apply the

balance of the revenue to the construction of railroads and other public

works.

On

these

Government would be enabled

On

liquidate the debt itself.

Mr. Engell^k^

and in the end, perhaps,

the

Government could not I reminded

with any fairness adopt such a scheme.

General Falcon and the ministers now in

observance

it

office

him that

had nego-

had been protected by the

of every possible formalit}",

had ever been alleged

the

hearing this proposal I dis-

tliat

ciated the loan of 1864, that

profitable

to increase the rate of inte-

rest pa3'able to the bondholders,

tinctly told

becommg

and that no excuse

for infrmging the contract.

I pointed

out that on the 3rd of Januarj^, 1865, General Blanco had

submitted the report of his proceedings as regards the loan to the Constituent Assembly, and that all he

been

finally ratified.

As

for myself, I said, I

had done had had not words

strong enough for condemning his scheme.

But Mr. Engel^cye, being

a

German

zuela, viewed matters very differently

My

naturalized

m Vene-

from an Englishman.

arguments made not the slightest impression on

liim.


PAYMENT OP INTEEEST STOPPED. He

called

upon the manager of the General Credit Com-

pany and paraded

Mr.

Engel^l^^'e,

friend

I

and the

knew

who returned

Venezuela with

to

his visit

made

Enge]^%e was an

that Mr.

confidential

made no

This, however,

On my mind

unshaken pm-pose. impression.

scheme with a sang-froid worthy of a

favour as by me.

little

difference to

liis

His suggestions were received by the manager

better cause.

uith as

127

adviser

of

est,''

theii'

intimate

General

Directly I heard his scheme I inwardly exclaimed

deep

a

Falcon. ''

Actiun

and I urged those interested in the loan to put out

power

to avert the

On

coming storm.

all

the 2nd of July,

1866, pajinent of interest on the loan of 1864 was suspended,

renewed in the begmning of December in that year, and finally

stopped in March, 1867.

Since that date deputations from the General Credit

Com-

pany and the bondholders have had interviews with Lord Stanley on the subject of this scandalous breach of faith on the part of Venezuela.

present and spoke.

On

one of those occasions I was

The nature

of

my

views, particularly as

regards the ability of Venezuela to pay, and of England to enforce i^apnent, will appear in subsequent chapters.

It is

only necessary here to add that, in one respect, the bondholders seem to

me

to have placed tliemselves in the

The Venezuelan Government called

asserting

wrong.

its inabilit}' to

pay,

on the bondholders to send out a commissioner to

confer with the ministers at Canicas.

the agents for the loan that,

the Foreign Ofiice,

It is the opinion of

had I gone

all difficulties

out, supported

by

might have been removed.

At aU events such a measure would have deprived the Venezuelans of the only excuse

now

left to

them.

As

it is,

they

can say that they made a proposal which has been refused.


VENEZUELA.

128

remains to add that the mole which has been so

It only

long burrowing mider the length worked

its

way

mound

of the national debt has at

to the surface.

The

last

mail from

Venezuela (Februarj^, 1868), brings intelligence that Mr. Engelil^^e has been appomted Minister of Finance.

announcement

is

accompanied by various

That

indefinite state-

ments, which seem to be made with a \iew of encom'agmg the bondholders.

Let those be taken

for

what they are

worth.

On

German

interests are in one sense antagonistic to English

the other hand

m Venezuela.

it

no doubt the

is

The Germans have

completel}" extmguished

the trade of England with that countrj'. a

German

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

it is

to be

hoped that his aim

tion of the two countries of

meantime there

is

fact that

Mr. EngelHl^'e is

is

not the aliena-

England and Venezuela.

In the

reason to fear that, unless the deus ex

macJiind, in the shape of a special commissioner from the

British Foreign Office interposes, the claims of

Venezuela

will

Having thus

England on

soon pass into utter oblivion. briefly sketched the history * of the loan, I

retm'n to chit-chat, leaving the questions of the solvency of

Venezuela, and the means of compelling her to obligations, for consideration in the

fulfil

her

two concluding chapters.

The statement regarding the Loan of 1S64, furnished by the General Company, with the documents connected with it, will be found in Appendix A. *

Credit


CHAPTER

VII.

—A Narrow Escape—West-

To Puerto Cabello— El Bailarin— The Indian Path

ward Ho Harbour of Puerto Cabello Holy Crackers On to Valencia. !

— How

to baffle Yellow Jack

Having made up my mind go from Cai'acag

b}"

to see Valencia, I resolved to

the hot sea-route, recruit in the mode-

and return by Ai-aguas, along the

rate climate of Valencia,

"When I had

shores of the celebrated Lake of Tacarigua.

my

selected

route, and persuaded

my

companion, at least as far as Puerto thing was to just heard

fix

of a

the

date

of oui'

Guaii'a, having caught

senses,

it

the President,

at

next

had

La

we had the evidence of our and most unhealthy

However, as I was very anxious to meet

General Falcon, whose arrival

hope of getting the ride to fierce,

fever

my

the disease at Puerto Cabello, and

was expected, we determined to

grew

We

departm'e.

being, in fact, the hottest

tune of the year.

Cabello, the

European d^ing of yellow

as to the intensity of the heat,

own

friend C. to be

start immediately.

La Guau*a

I rose on the 8th of

walked over to C.'s house.

at

Valencia

In the

over before the sun

August

at

4 a.m., and

I and he were to go by the

short cut over the mountains called the Indian Path, and m)' seiwant was to follow with the impedimenta road.

the

But the course of

fii'st

travel never did

by the coach

run smooth, and

annoyance was, that the mules we were to ride did


VENEZUELA.

130

not come at the appointed time, and when they made their appearance, the sun had ah'eady cleared off the mists that

descend at night upon

Two

Caracas from the Avila.

very diminutive animals they were, these mules, a brown

and a white one, and were both equipped with that invention of the Evil One, the South

huge sharp peak rising up that to

the leg over

lift

American saddle, which has a and another in

in front,

them

rear, so

lissomness of

requii'es the

My

youth, or the natural suppleness of Creole joints.

temper had been somewhat teer,

by the delay of the mule-

ruffled

and I cast rather a sour look

him which

I

was to

civilly,

but he knows the road well

" Little but

my

as,

putting

up

my right

mules as I asked

ride.

" Senor," said the man, very little,

at his

;

he

" this wliite one

is

is for 3'ou."

old, like the pig in the stor}^" I muttered, left toe into

one stirrup, I carelessly threw

leg with the intention of seating myself

But

white mule's back.

it

was not

on the

for nothing that the

snows of age had descended on that subtle animal, who, with

all

had learned more

his outward solemnity,

my

tricks

than a monlcey.

The

jumped back with

a sudden violence that transferred

foot to

liis

instant

right leg went up, he

ears instead of the place intended for

was sent toppling over into the arms of

my

tall

it,

my

and I

servant,

whose expansive mouth opened with a grin of exquisite enjoyment.

Seeing

how much he and

the other servants,

as also the rascal of a muleteer, relished I ordered a his

head

made

man

fast,

to stand

a second careful

myself.

on each

and, lading

fii-m

my

side of the

discomfiture,

mule and keep

hold of the high pommel,

and most resolute attemj^t to seat

But the aged animal was too

skilful a strategist.


EL BAILAEIN. and the instant I threw

my

uj)

131

leg

also threw

lie

hinder quarters, and that too with such

up his

agility, that so far

from bestriding him I only kicked him in the stomach, and

my

was again sent back into the arms of

who

servant,

this

time faiiiy broke out into a loud laugh, in Avhich even C: I held

joined.

moimt the

my

Spanish saddle taken

m

aU

brute, but

and then, in

So

vain.

a very

at last I

had the

creatm'e's tricks, suc-

spite of the venerable

of

taste

several other efibrts to

and replaced by an English one,

off

Once on

ceeded in mounting him. the

made

peace, and

pair-

sliai-p

his back, I gave

of spm'S,

him

which he

to

resj)onded with a series of kicks, but went on at a quick pace.

We

passed rapidly through the streets to the north-

eastern angle of the city, and skirting the reservoir,

we began "

the mountains.

"I

rather sulkily,

me

said

I,

after

ridmg

is called

of his capers, and

mount him

;

or city

for

'

El

Bailarin,'

many

'

some time

them bring

"Don't be angry,

C, who had hardly

!" replied

"that mule

to

C,"

shan't forgive you for letting

such a troublesome brute as this."

amigo mio

Toma,

to ascend the ancient military road over

yet done laughiug;

the dancer,' on account

a fellow has been spilt in

trpng

but when once you are on him, you are

sure to like him, for he has the best paces of any animal

on the road.

Let me

tell

you, too,

we

shall

come

to places

presently where you will not be sorry to have a sure-footed beast under you."

By

this time the ascent

was becoming very steep, and

tm-ned incessantly in a shai-p zig-zag, and at every tm-n beautiful views broke

and on the ravines, in

left,

upon

us.

In front, on the right hand

were the mountains, with deep precipitous

which the trees grew so thickly that no eye could K 2


VENEZUELA.

132

spy a single

glitter of the

waters that brawled along beneath

Beliind us were the city of Caracas and

their branches.

the rich valley of Chacao, at the furthest end of which a

mass of hght vaporous clouds were

floating, while in the

We

distance towered the mountains of Higuerota.

more than once

to gaze at the scenery, but our

so good that in thirty minutes

mules were

we had gamed the

Here we passed the ruins

the mountain.

stopped

crest of

of a

chapel,

"

which was thrown down by the earthquake of 1812. a view," said I to

C,

of the falling cit}^ of the descending rocks,

horrors of the earthquake!"

"Why,

"

feet to look,

if

you could have kept your

and the other

yes,"

opinion that you would have been knocked shock.

There was one man up here

not see much, for the walls

We of

it,

What

" there must have been from this spot

fell

replied

but

it

is

C,

my

down by the

at the chapel,

but he did

upon him and crushed him."

now turned our backs on

Caracas, and saw no more

and in another half-hour we reached a posada, a mile

bej^ond which

we turned

off

from the broad military road

by which we had hitherto been travelling (and the making of which does the Spaniards no

famed Indian Path.

little

credit), into the far-

This winds along the mountain, at a

height of some six thousand

feet,

through thick low woods,

varied by patches of coffee plantations and other cultivations.

In places there

where there

is

is

a sheer precipice, and in others,

only a steep slope, some hardy adventurers

have built cottages, and planted coffee and the ubiquitous

yuca and plantain.

common

Storms of wind are luckily uot very

in this locahty, or these huts

and

their

owners

would, perchance, go a visiting in the valley below.

It

happened, however, that the night before we started had


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

THE INDIAN PATH.

133

been very tempestuous, and we now saw many traces of the In some places we came

mischief wrought by the storm.

upon long avenues made

which the trees

in the wood, in

had been uprooted or smashed by the wind, and some had fallen so as almost to block the difficulty in

little

mined not

path, and put us to no

However, I was deter-

passing them.

to dismount, having a

wholesome dread of the

Bailarin's capering performances on such a tickhsh stage as the Indian Path.

cottage

At

last

we came

to a place

where a

had been blown down, and the debris lay right

athwart our way, and here I

stopped altogether.

made

my mind

up'

The mule, however, having more

the female than of the male nature, in that

it is

varium

mutahile semper, does ordinarily baffle calculation in ceedings.

My

its

of et

pro-

cunning old animal knowmg, perhaps, that

the place we were at was more than half

and

to be

that, consequently, it

would get

way

its

to

La

Guaira,

provender sooner

by going on than by retm-nmg, scrambled over the ruins like a

monkey.

From Path

the place where

we had turned

to the ruined cottage

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;that

is,

Indian

off into the

for about four miles

we had constantly been looking over wooded ravines

to

Cape

Blanco, and beyond that to the sea. Far to the westward, also, ovu-

eyes travelled over the Tierra Caliente, or

coast

is called,

'

hot land, as the '

with an horizon, which, according to Humboldt,

has a radius of sixty-six miles. east

'

'

But om' prospect

to the

was cut short by the jutting of the mountain, which

continually advanced with and beyond us, bold and high

towards the sea.

We

now

at last

turned

its

flank,

and,

looking eastward, v/ere repaid with a very noble view over the gorges that run

down from the

Silla to

Macuto.

The


VENEZUELA.

13i

path grew narrower, and the precipice so sheer, that

seemed as

if

a

bound woukl carry

we leaped from the

us, if

We

mountain, over the slender strip of coast into the sea.

now began

to see below us

Maquetia and La Guaira, with

the vessels at anchor, and so

much was

by the height

rently diminished

it

the distance appa-

which we were, that

at

fancied I could have thrown a stone

upon the

I

roofs of the

houses.

Humboldt seems not for

though he dwells

to the west, wliich

to

have gone by the Indian Path,

much on

ver}'

the beauty of the view

he prefers to that from the mountains

Mexico between Las Trancas

of

and

Xalapa, he says

La Guaira and Macuto, more wonderful. The view to the

nothing of the eastern view over

which struck

me

as far

west he could have seen, though not quite to such advantage as w^e did, from the military road

which we occasionally noticed,

:

the yellow hne of

at the distance of a mile or

cropping out from the woods below us.

so,

It

was now past 8

fierce that the coast

rays

;

and the heat of the sun was so

a.m.,

and the sea seemed to shimmer in

its

but up to this point we had been quite protected by

the momitain, which rose in some places nearly one thou-

sand feet above our heads. east,

No

sooner did we turn to the

however, but we met the sun face to face, and the

encounter made

me

quite giddy.

It

was with some uneasi-

ness that I descried, ahead of us, a place where the rain of the previous night had almost entii-ely washed path, leaving only a ledge about a foot broad. I,

"

off,

in

how even

tliis

are if

we

to pass that place ?

"

I think I

away the

C,"

I should have to walk all the rest of the

broiling sun."

said

must get

way

" Best trust to the mule," he


A NARROW ESCAPE. "You may

answered.

"

to one."

it

on the mule

my

bridle drop

slipped,

but he won't,

slip,

win

;

but

I'll

when

I let

on the mule's neck, feeling sure that

thinking I might do

am

I

With these words,

so here goes."

;

ten

bet

take j^our advice, and chance

would be of no use trjdng

it

I'll

of no use betting," I said, "

It's

to be killed if I

135

he

save him, and

to

harm by holding him

if

The

too tight.

animal seemed to know the danger, for he put his head

down and

sniffed,

was followed by

who

teer,

and then by that of the mule-

carried our cloaks.

when

right,"

then walked steadily over the ledge, and

C.'s mule,

brought to a

I was just ejaculating "All

the career of the latter individual was nearly

The

close.

last bit of the ledge

consisted of

a great stone, which had perhaps been loosened by the

At

successive pressure of the mules. last

animal had got his hind legs upon

down

it

events,

it, it

when the

gave way, and

went with a shower of earth, crashing among the

bushes, until, gathering velocity, the abyss, and we saw no it

all

was well

for

him

more

that his

made

it

of

it.

bound

a huge

As

into

for the muleteer,

mule had got

its

fore legs

firmly planted on the path beyond the ledge, and that the spm's,

which in his

fright

he drove up to the rowels into

the mule's side, were sharp, for effort that

The

fellow,

at the

it

was only by a desperate

the poor beast saved itself from falling back.

though used to rough work, so

narrowness of his escape, that he got

lost his nerve off,

and leaned

agamst the rock for a minute or two, with a face which terror

had blanched

"Do

to a whit3"-brown.

you know," said C, " that

at this very place,

before last night's rain was three times as broad as

a rather disagreeable accident once occurred

?

It

which

it is

now,

was about


136

VENEZUELA.

.

eight years ago.

We

moon and

of the full

had made ride

ujd

down

a party to take advantage

to

La Guah-a

Frenchman, partner in one of the houses

A

at night.

La Guaka,

at

whom you may have seen there, had been persuaded to join He was exceedingly nervous, and rather short-sighted, us. and we quizzed liim unmercifully as we rode along in high spu'its,

and with rather more champagne on board than was

desirable place,

When we

on such an occasion.

which was even then the worst

came over the moon, and some one Frenchman, who was riding

bit

arrived at this

on the road, a cloud

called out in joke to the

a white horse, to go

first,

would be better seen by any one coming the other

he

as

wa}^,

and

so a rencontre would be avoided where the path was too

narrow for two riders to pass.

He

unfortunately took the

request in earnest, and made an attempt

to get

first.

being a bush beside the precipice, his horse mistook terra firma, stepped

on

it,

and went down

There for

it

The

like a shot.

poor Frenchman uttered a cry of horror, which was succeeded by a loud crashing among branches and a of

falling

stones,

and,

after

a

moment's

pause,

rattle

by a

tremendous thud, as the horse struck the rocks many down, and bounded

off into the abyss.

the loss of our poor friend, but, as

it

We

feet

stood aghast at

was impossible even to

down the precipice, we had no alternative but to go on La Guaira, leaving two of our number to watch at the

see to

spot where he had fallen.

I was one of those

who went

on,

and as soon as I reached the town I got together ten or a dozen men, and having procured just as the

dawn was breaking,

some long

ropes, set

off,

to the precipice, intending to

lower some one down to see whether there was any chance of recovering the body.

What was my

astonishment, on


THE FRENCHMAN'S FALL.

137

neaiiag the place, to hear the sound of laughter and loud talking

!

This

levit}'

remonstrate with

my

seemed so

ill-timed, that I intended to

who had been

friends

left to

watch.

M}' anger, however, was soon turned mto joy, for I found the laughers bending over the

precipice,

and addressing

jokes to the bushy head of a stumpy tree which grew from the side of the mountam, some fifteen feet below the path,

and in which the Frenchman had providentially alighted, while his horse had been dashed to pieces.

We

soon pulled our friend up.

Of

fall

this

we

found he was imhm-t,

except by a few scratches, though fear had paralj^sed him, that for a

com'se

at

good quarter of an hour

he had been unable to utter one word.

first

so

after his

Even now,

at

length of time, he has not completely recovered his

nerve,

and

will

not cross the mountaiu, even by the coach

road, on horseback."

This story took so long to

tell,

that

we had reached the

grass-gi'own walls of the Fort of St. Carlos, just above the

Quebrada, which rmis into

The sun was now

La

Guaira, before

terrifically hot,

it

was done.

and we pushed on with

all

speed to C.'s house, wliich we reached at half-past 9 a.m.,

having been about three horn's in coming the whole waj'.

My

La Guau-a was to inspect the custommight now be said to be joint proprietor

only business at

house, of which I

with the government, as

my

lection of the export duties.

agents had assumed the col-

On

going over the building, I

found the lower story divided into six long stores

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;which

together might contain about two thousand five hundred

tons of merchandise ing as

much

in all could

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and one square

as the other six.

store, capable of hold-

Perhaps

five

thousand tons

be warehoused at one time in the building, but


"STENEZUELA.

138

it

being the dull season, there were not above six Inmdred

tons at the time of

house

my

The timber

visit.

almost black, and as hard as iron, and of a land

is

make any impression

that no insect can

stories, the lower, as

In the second, carefully.

At

sit

fell,

the three

I

had embarked with C. on board and was soon sailing with

La Guaira to Puerto

Cabello.

At night,

and I who was below, among colonies of

industrious ants, carry

Of

has been said, consists of warehouses.

5 p.m.

a light breeze from the wind

on.

the accountants, whose books I examined

a brig of two hundred tons,

to

of the custom-

fleas,

me away

and cock-roaches,

all

piecemeal, passed the

doing

theii*

best

dark houi's

in

wondering whether I should melt away before I was eaten up, or should be eaten up before I could melt away.

In the morning, we found ourselves sweltering in a dead calm, abreast of the

mountams

of

Ocumare, and about

twenty-six miles from Puerto Cabello. increasing until noon,

when

we could do nothing but

lie

it

The heat went on

became so

down panting

in our shirts,

dab our heads and hands with wet towels. glass

;

I looked in vain for even a cat's-paw

Not

surface.

dolphin fins

in

and

:

intolerable, that

The

and

sea was like

anywhere on

its

a bird or a fish was to be seen, except one

a beautiful creature of a golden green, with silver tail,

which kept darting about under our bows, as

mockery of our inability

to

move. The mate, a huge

if

surly,

swarthy fellow, whose natural ill-humour was increased by the heat, swore at the

fish,

and

tried to kill

it

with the

grains, but only struck off a few glittering scales, after it

sank out of harm's way.

sun, I went

up the rigging

At

which

half-past 4, in spite of the

to spy for a breeze, thinking

I should hardly live over the heat of such another twenty-


PUERTO OABELLO, foiu'

My

hours.

for the

before

139

reconnoitiing seemed to bring good luck,

wind sprang up ahnost immediately, and we ran

it

at the rate of eight or nine knots

our destination.

make

glasses, to

an hour, towards

In a short time we were able, with our out the Mirador of Solano, or Castle of

Puerto Cabello, which stands on a rock

hundred

five

feet

high, about a quarter of a league to the south-east of the

harbour.

We

now began

to

hug the

shore,

and passed

fu-st

of Tm-iamo, nine miles east of Puerto Cabello,

those of Patanemo and Bm'burata.

by narrow Islands,

strips of

the

Bay

and then

Here the coast

is

Imed

low land, covered with bushes, called the

on which the sea breaks very heavily.

I observ'ed

that from these the coast runs in a great curve to the north-

west and north, making

much more

By

appears from the maps.

of a semicircle than

this cm^ve of the coast is

a great bay called the Golfo Triste, wliich lugubrious well desen^es, the coast being, perhaps, the

title it

most unhealthy

At a quarter past 7 we were rounding

in the world.

fonned

a spit

of land wliich runs out about half a mile from the coast in a

north-westerly direction.

Having rounded the

extremity of which stands built,

spit, at

the

Hghthouse, extremely well

but which has never once been used, we entered a bay

between the

from

a

all

ourselves

spit

and the mainland, which

thus protected

is

winds, on the east, north, and south, and found

m the

far-famed harbour of Puerto Cabello.

It

only required a glance to see that the port was secui'ed from

storms on the west also, partly by islands, and partly by the cui-ve of

the

mainland.

In short, there

harbom- in the world where the sea as at Puerto Cabello.

is

is at all

This being the case,

it

perhaps no

times so calm is

surprising


VENEZUELA.

140

that the Spaniards shoukl

Burburata, which it

is

the

iii

fu-st

instance have

made

three miles to the east, their chief port,

being in every respect inferior.

Night in the everything

:

when once the smi has

tropics,

so I

had no time on

The

cast a hasty glance around.

the

fort,

which

we had only

is

on the

arrival to

set,

soon veils

do more than

brig anchored abreast of

spit of land already

mentioned, and

On

a hundred yards or so to pull to the shore.

landmg, we walked about a quarter of a mile to the house of one of C.'s partners, where we were to pass the night. I had

much

heard

of the uuliealthiness of Puerto Cabello

;

but

if

I had not, I should have formed a bad opinion of the j)lace

from still

its

lying so low, and beuig encircled with jungle, and

more from the peculiar smell which the night

brought to

my

me

I had smelt the

shiver.

nostrils

air

from the swamps, and which made

same odour

in

what are

called

the barrier jungles in India, and in some parts of China, and I

knew very

well

what

made up my mind the

fii'st

my

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;fever

and cholera.

!

I

In

host for mosquito curtains, which

though but a

" Mosquito curtains ;

betokened

once as to what I should do.

at

place, I asked

are a protection,

prise

it

" said

slight one, against malaria.

my

friend,

mth

an

air of sur-

" there are no mosquitoes here."

"Well, of course you know best," I replied; "but, there are none, what

means that hum

" Oh," he answered, "there two, but

we never use

plan of General A.

curtains.

may

?

if

"

be a few, just one or

I advise you to adopt the

You know, when

Bolivar was in Guiana,

he sent for General A., who was the only person who had curtains in camj), and said he

general brought

them

must borrow them.

accordingly.

The

The next morning


PUERTO CABELLO. how

Bolivar asked liim

had

lie

141

slept without his curtains.

Excellency, I slept verj^ well,' was the answer,

'

;

me

immense

Hquor-flask, quite empt}', which he

at the

'

fori alwaj's

same time producmg an

take with

a second pah

'

had

di'ained as

a substitute."

Not admu'ing

this plan, I

as soon as I entered

my

adopted another of

bedroom, I closed

all

my

own, and

the doors and

windows, and wrapped myself up tight in a blanket. temjjeratm'e of the

As

the

room was one hundred and ten degrees

Fahrenheit, the effect resembled that of a Tiu'kish bath, and I streamed with perspiration at every pore. this lasted, there till

2 A.M.,

when

spider just over

was no chance of I struck a light

my

colour ascendmg the

fever,

Of

com-se, while

and I slept soundly

and descried an immense

head, and a scorpion of a pale yellow

waU near

discovery I thought

it

the door.

as well to

keep

After that pleasing

my

Hght bm'ning

until dawn.

My

first visit

in the

morning was

to the custom-house,

which I found under the superintendence of the brother of the Secretary of State for Finance

who repHed

to all

:

a small, taciturn man,

remarks that were not du-ect questions by

a violent puff of his cigarette, and a very shght inclination of his head.

The custom-house has but two

stores,

which

will

hold only one- sixth of the amount oi goods that can be

warehoused

at

La

Guaira.

chiefly in exports, the

The

miports

trade of Puerto Cabello

bemg

cant, while the reverse is the case at

is

comparatively insignifi-

La

Guau'a.

I

was now

able, with the help of da3'Hght, to appreciate the excellence

of the harbour,

only

is it

which

landlocked

same time easy of

is

said to be the best in America.

m the

way ah'eady described, and

Not

at the

access, but the water is so deep that ships


VENEZUELA.

142

can

alongside the wharf and take in cargo direct from the

lie

The custom-house,

shore.

too,

conveniently situated,

is

being but a few yards from the wharf, and the road to Valencia passes straight from country.

on the

through the town into the fort,

ground to the east of the harbour, should be

spit of

pulled down, and the battery,

it

has been suggested that the pentagonal

It

site

turned into docks.

Indeed,

if

a

which has been constructed opposite what are called

the reefs of Punta Brava, at the entrance of the harbour,

were mounted with guns of the largest

The

would be needed. to the south-east,

invasion, but

it

size,

no other defence

castle, or mirador,

on the high rock

would not be of much use against a foreign

has ever proved a great obstacle to troops

advancing against Puerto Cabello from the interior being compelled, in order to take

it,

to

camp

for,

;

in the jungle,

they have always suffered terribly from yellow fever, and in

some cases have been

quite destroyed by

tliis

fearful scom'ge.

Some idea of its ravages may be formed from the M. Julien, principal surgeon of Puerto Cabello, at of Humboldt's

visit,

fact that

the time

told that traveller that in seven years

he had had eight thousand cases of yellow fever in his hospital alone.

worse

;

Previous to that, thmgs had been even

quently,

when Admiral

for in 1793,

the harbour, every

man War of

thii'd

during the

Ai-iztizabel's fleet lay in

died of the disease.

Independence, a European

regiment that was sent down to besiege the almost

to

a

Subse-

castle,

died

man, and more recently there have been

instances of the entire crews of ships in the harbour perishing, so that the authorities

deserted vessels. cutting

down

have had to take charge of the

Some good has been done

the mangroves, which

filled

the

lately

by

port with


HOLY CEAOKEES. swampy

decaying vegetation, but until the

round

143

jungle for miles

have been drained and cleared, pestilence will

shall

always hold

its

head-quarters at Puerto Cabello.

After walking round the wharves, and throwing various things into the sluggish waters, in the vain hope of getting

a rise out of the monstrous ground-sharks that

bottom, I paid a town.

all sorts

knives and pale quantities,

But there was one

ale.

which rather

for squibs

comparison! "

said, ;

"It

"what

wh}^, is

me

sui-prised

monies during the

article in

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Cliinese

immense crackers.

English boys are moderate in

not the children," replied

C,

for fireworks,

fiestas of the

smil-

but the

building was

a

next few months."

coifee store,

coffee is

exportation.

brought down from the interior on mules.

carries

Behind

in which heaps of the

shining berry were being packed for

The Every

two bags, containing each a quintal, or hun-

dred-weight, worth, at the time of

The

and con-

All these crackers will be used up at the holy cere-

saints.

mule

long,

gluttons the children here

ing, " that have such an appetite

this

fifty feet

of Euroisean imports, from calicoes to pen-

" Good Heavens," I

must be

at the

the largest private store in the

was about a hundi-ed and

It

tained

visit to

swarm

my

visit,

sixteen dollars.

native bags, of which I saw forty^-two thousand lying in

the store, are not stout enough for stowing aboard ship, and

much

time

is lost

in transferring the coffee

strong canvas bags.

The

coffee is

and according to the evenness of

judged of by the smell,

size of the berries.

told that the proprietor of this store,

had resided about twenty yeRvs

from them into

at

I was

an Englishman, who

Puerto Cabello, was just

going

home with

From

the store, I went to look at the aqueduct, wliich sup-

a fortune

of seventy thousand pounds.


VENEZUELA.

144

town with excellent water from the Rio Esteban,

plies the

a distance of about tliree miles. there

is

nothing remarkable in

of Esteban nics

;

It is a useful

its

work, but

The

construction.

village

a favomite resort of the Cabellians for pic-

is

for they are a pleasure-loving race, in spite of earth-

quakes, intense heat, and yellow fever.

The next thing was

to settle whether I should proceed

south to Valencia, or west to San Felipe, a town about forty miles from Puerto Cabello, where

Falcon had promised to attend

On

church.

it

was said that General consecration of a

at the

inquiry I found that the route to Felipe lay

through a treeless waste, where,

if

went by day, I should

I

be exposed to a sun that no European could encounter with impmiity, while at night I should infallibly be stricken

GoKo

by the fever, for which the coast of the

Of two Eiu'opean

mous.

engineers, who.

and the other was tying Puerto Cabello.

at the point of

Besides,

hand,

if

and

;

death from fever at

so, in fact, it

it

lilvety

he might not

On

turned out.

the other

I went to San Felipe, I could easily go on to the

cojjper-mines

of Aroa, which I was desirous

These mines were worked

for a time

dence of

EngHshmen

one

day the native miners took

fine

had been out on

General Falcon's movements

were so uncertain, that I thought after all

down

is infa-

weeks before, one had died of sun-stroke,

this route a few

come

Triste

of visiting.

under the superinten-

with good results it

;

but unfortunately

into their heads that

they had a grievance against the foreigners, so they

them suddenly,

camped with

split theii"

theii'

property.

skulls with hatchets,

For

this cruel

fell

on

and de-

and cowardly

deed some of the guilty parties were afterwards executed, but the mines were for a time abandoned, and the working


LEAVE PUERTO CABELLO. of

them had only

lately

145

After some conside-

been resumed.

ration I resolved to send a courier with a letter to General

Falcon, and proceed myself to Valencia, whence, I could go by a less unhealthy route to

At 4

my

if requisite,

San Felipe.

on the 12th of August, I took leave of C. and

P.M.

my servant

kind host, and started with a friend and

for Valencia.

Just before we

curry favom' with

C,

rode

left,

uj) to

and said that he too was going

Juan

who wished

a Creole,

to

us upon a magnificent mule, to Valencia, that

he observed

I was indifferently mounted, and that he would, therefore,

be very glad to accomjDan}^ us, and lend ever I got

tii'ed

impression on

of

C,

nw

me

his

mule when-

Ha%ing made the wished-for

own.

this ruse individual started with us, but

remained in our company for only about half a mile, and then set

off

over the heavy sandy road at a speed which our

poor beasts could not

rival.

I found that

my mule

stumbled

abominably, and I inwardly resolved to exchange animals with the polite Creole, for a mile or two at opportunit}".

We

rode on,

miles, through a dense

under a

first

swamp}'- jungle, full of blue land-

crabs and snakes, to Palato, where there to represent a village,

on the

least,

terrible sun, for five

is

a miserable hovel

and where the sea reappears, not

sluggish and sleeping, as at Puerto Cabello, but breaking on

a wild coast in foaming surges.

Here we

down and

sat

smoked, and discussed the prospects of the railway from Puerto Cabello to San Felipe, the

knew would be

at Palato, while

first

station of

from the same

other line would diverge to Valencia.

Thus

which we

village far

an-

we had

gone west, but we now turned south, and began to ascend

from the

coast,

rejoicing to

jungle, through wliich

we had

emerge from the dense low hitherto been plodding. li

On


VENEZUELA.

146

our

left,

was a ravine,

bottom of which flowed a small

at the

stream called the Bio del Ultimo Paso, or " River."

About a mile

the Pdo

Agua

"Hot-water River,"

Caliente,

cording to Humboldt, the alHgators are of

and

how

It is curious

ferocit}'.

Ne

Plus Ultra

mouth

to the east of Palato is the

of

in which, ac-

uncommon

size

these disgusting animals

thrive in thermal springs, as at the

Magar Talao

in

Lower

Sindh, and other places in India.

we came

After going a mile or two

whom

to a posada,

and here

should we see smoking indolently with his feet up on

a bench, but our friend the Creole, owner of the fine mule.

As

I

was heartily sick of

my own

animal, and did not under-

stand that Creole promises meant nothing, I reminded

"I should

of his proposal, and said, for a mile or two."

" but I have a

" With

little affair

all

like to

my heart,

him

exchange mules

senor," replied he,

to settle with the landlord here.

I will overtake you, before j^ou have advanced a couple of

miles if

As

;

we

will

you hke,

then not only exchange mules, but you

ride

mine

all

the rest of the

way

shall,

to Valencia."

I rather misdoubted this arrangement, and was deter-

mined not

to ride

my own

animal any more, I mounted

Juan's, in spite of his assuring

change.

me

that I should lose by the

After about half an hour

we spied the courteous

Creole coming up at a great pace, and of course expected he

would stop when he reached

us.

Instead of that, he had

the effrontery to pass us like a flash of lightning, seeming

not to hear our calls to him to pull up, but leaving for our benefit a cloud of dust,

and which was the our interview

which drove

dii*ectly in

our faces,

sole advantage that accrued to us

from

Avith this polite individual at Puerto, Cabello,

and the courteous promises he there made to

us.

Even


:

CAMBUEE.

147

Juan, though used to the country, was rather scandalised at his behaviour,

and could not

Embustero

"Picaron!

!

from shoutmg

refrain

him

after

"Rogue, humbug," and other

"

angiy expressions, which no doubt afforded the Creole im-

mense amusement.

As we

the coast behind us the soil grew firmer, the

left

pestilential smell ceased,

Many

higher.

lofty

and the jungle waxed higher and

and beautiful trees now attracted our

attention,

especially palms,

cocui'ito.

Juan

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;which looks ing

as

the

in the distance as if

human heads on

it

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and

sago

me

also pointed out to

palm and the

the bread-fruit-tree

some one had been hang-

the famous Palo de Yaca, or

" cow-tree," wliich suppUes a milk exactly like that of

There were also many

animals.

beautiful to look at, but

fruits

and

very

flowers,

some of them most poisonous, as

the manzanilla, which resembles in appearance and pernicious effects a certain fruit that " brought death into the

world and rose,

all

The sun

set,

but a bright

8 p.m. we saw, not quite a mile

little after

the

our woe."

moon

A

and we jogged on pleasantly, though very slowly.

\'illage

off,

the lights of

of Cambure, which is only seven miles from

Palato, so tardy

had been our progress, and so often had we

stopped to smoke, to look at flowers and trees, and to discuss the proper line for the railway to Valencia.

Seeing

the village so near, I lagged behind to light another cigar

not an

eas}^

matter with the bad matches of the comitrj-.

While I was absorbed in

this undertaking,

violent start, which almost sent

began to capable.

over

my

riui at a

PuUing

me

my

mule gave a

off m}' equilibriiun,

and

pace of which I had not before thought at the reins with

it

both hands, I looked

shoulder, and saw a large animal leap into the road L 2


VENEZUELA.

148

behind me, stand for a moment or two, and then pass into Presently a savage roar from

the thicket on the other side.

the jvmgle about of animal

it

village, at a

my

yards to

fifty

was, and set

my

speed which I

right, told

me what

sort

mule gallopmg on towards the

now

did not attempt to check.

In a minute or two I was met by Juan, who came hurrying back to meet me.

" Did you hear anything

"Yes, yes," replied Juan, "I heard.

They

enough.

? "

I asked.

a tiger,

sure

don't often attack men, but this one

must

It's

be hungry, or he would not come so near the village

had better get

pushed on accordingly, but before we reached the heard the

;

so

to the posada as soon as possible."

jfiguar, for

such

it

village

we

We we

was, roar repeatedly in the

jungle behind us, and, to judge by the sound, he seemed to

be following in our wake.

Cambure

is

a village of about

fort}^

houses, or rather

hovels, in the midst of a very dense jungle, and vdth a deep

ravine to the east.

At

the bottom of this ravine runs a

stream, in which there are alligators, for

nine feet long near the village. route, I

drink,

had been intending

Humboldt saw one

Once or twice while en

down

to go

not suspecting there could

to this stream for a

be alligators in such

a mere brook, but I learned afterwards that the saurians of this particular rivulet are

On

singularly large

and ferocious.

the night of our arrival the place happened to be quite

full of people,

some on

chiefly natives of St.

their

way

merry

and others,

Thomas, who had come out from

Puerto Cabello for a drinkmg-bout. arrival, these

to Valencia,

folks

Uj) to the hour of our

had been bringing themselves up

to the right pitch of excitement,

and being now thoroughly

intoxicated, they began to dance furiously to music which


TRINCHEEAS. strongly reminded

me

some time looking bargaining for a

149

of the Indian tom-toms.

I stood for

at their performances, while

room with

whose house was akeady crammed, but who,

at the sight of

a handful of dollars, unceremoniously ejected

guests for our accommodation.

As

Juan was

of the posada,

the landlord

for the

some of

his

merry-makers,

whose proceedings I was watching, two of them would stand

up

at a time

and dance

frantically a sort of jig, with the per-

spiration streaming from their faces, until they were quite

exhausted,

when they

sat,

or rather tumbled down, and were

succeeded by two others,

When

who

imitated

I was tired of this, and of looking at

Creole ladies

who

their

example.

some very pretty

sat outside the door of one of the houses,

dressed in white, as

if

which I found

with

alive

I entered the posada,

for a ball, fleas,

and reeking with

After a miserable dinner I turned into

garlic.

my hammock,

but

not being used to that kind of bed, I was almost immediately deposited

on the

floor

on the other

dehght of Juan, who, however, instructed

side, to the great

me how

to con-

duct myself so as to avoid such an ignominious ejectment for the future.

Next morning we were up by 4

a.m.,

and

after I

had

packed, and paid eight dollars for om* miserable fare, and

had got myself covered with black

we

The road contmued to

started.

either side gTew higher till

we came

so called,

ants,

which

bit fiu'iously,

ascend, and the hills on

and higher, and the ravines deeper,

to Trincheras, or "

because some French

The Trenches," freebooters,

a village

who sacked

Valencia in 1677, halted there and entrenched themselves. It

was twenty minutes past eight before we reached Trin-

cheras,

though

it is

but six miles from Cambm-e, and there


VENEZUELA.

150

we stopped and smoked, and "vvho

received

my

which I was quite

vient, for

I chatted with

some women,

remarks with most extraordinary empresseat a loss to account.

Close to

Trincheras are some very celebrated thermal sprmgs, said

by Humboldt course

we

to be the second hottest in the world.

them

inquired about

say, the people could not tell us exactly

At

were. to

last,

man who was

a

mates of which issued to

you,

two or three cottages,

to

you see

I be hanged

for the archbishop,

sir,

with the turban romid

who

it,

is

they don't take

if

expected here on his

San Felipe

!

It is yoiu" hat

a head-dress they have never seen

which they take to be part of an archbishop's

ling costume." at the

the in-

into a peal of laughter, called out,

May

that"?

to consecrate the church at

before,

all

and went down on their knees

forth,

Juan iiTeverently bursting

way

After riding a few

off.

I was petrified by this extraordinary procedure, but

me.

"Do

where the springs

going to Valencia volunteered

guide us to them, and we set

hundred yards we came

Of

at the posada, but strange to

now began

I

to understand

why

the

travel-

women

posada had been so deferential, and was not a httle

dismayed

at finding

myself figuring as the head of the

orthodox chm'ch in Venezuela.

Our

volunteer guide to the hot springs, soon after we had

passed these cottages, bade us alight and follow him into the jungle, which

we did

;

but after strugglmg through

thorns and thick bushes, and wading in

muddy

pools to no

purpose, we had to return to the road, without being able to find the

springs,

mmus

parts of our garments, and plus

pounds' weight of mud, which no

our boots. really

This

seemed

failure

that,

effort

could dislodge from

was several times repeated, and

it

having come thousands of miles to


A HOT SPRING. Trincheras,

lol

to quit the spot without seeing

we should have

what we had heard so much about.

At

hist a

man

arrived

from the neighbouring cottages, and led us down to the

we wanted

place

road

to see,

but the jungle

;

is

which

but

is

fifty

yards from the

so thick, that without a guide

and

would be well

no one

some

would be able to discover

it

mark

were set up for the convenience of

to

show where

The

travellers.

it is,

;

it

if

springs are situated in a hollow of about

one hundred yards diameter, which has evidently once been

Through

the crater of a volcano.

two

feet

deep, and never

greatest drought.

less

this hollow flows a rivulet,

than eighteen feet wide in the

Steam ascends from the

sui-face of the

water, the temperatui'e of which, according to Humboldt,

above ninety degrees.

In some places

it

is

must be very much

above that pomt, for the guide stepped with his bare feet into one part that

was so hot as

to

make him

skip out again

with surprising agility and a doleful countenance, swearmg that he had been scalded by

it.

The bed

coarse-grained granite, but there

The

vegetation grows quite rankly

water, and clusias, mimosas, in

At

it.

forty feet

cold water.

Altogether

it

is

is

a good deal of mud.

all

aroimd

this St^'gian

and arums especially thrive

from the hot stream

worthy of a more lengthened

pay

is

of the stream

a very visit

is

a rivulet of

curious place,

and

than we were able to

it.

From

Trincheras the road continues to ascend through a

lovely forest, bright vnih fruits

and

flowers.

The

in places very sharp, overlooking deep ravines. miles,

we

arrived at what

trance," which

is

is

turns are

After three

called the Entrada, or " en-

the highest point between Puerto Cabello

and Valencia, being probably about eighteen hundred

feet


VENEZUELA.

152

Half a mile beyond, the jungle ends, and

above the sea.

the road enters a beautiful salubrious valley, about twenty

miles broad, with grass and trees, as in England, but with-

Here we put up some

out jungle.

Two

miles fm-ther on,

Nagua, and, as

it

we were glad

hot,

room rough

we came

was half-past

coveys of quails.

fine

to the village ten,

showed

us,

there were

three very

whereon we gladly threw ourselves, and were

sofas,

going away, to find that we were

rather astonished, on

charged for three beds, though we did but tliQ

daytime.

question, for the less

Nagua In the

to take refuge in the posada.

into which they

hom's in

of

and the sun terribly

for rest,

down

for a

few

that was out of the

covered our faces and hands in count-

flies

numbers, and

As

lie

eft'ectually

barred sleep.

At

1 p.m.

we

were called to dinner, and sat down with a goodly comjjany gf drovers and others,

on

who were doing

the journey to Valencia

foot.

As

for myself, the smell of the garlic

and I retreated, without tastmg a morsel, there I was not

left in

peace, for fowls,

kept wandering into the room

;

and in

was quite enough, to

my

sofa.

dogs, and even

my

Even pigs,

sorties to drive

out these intruders, I discovered the cause of the immense

number

of

All along the verandah in rear of the

flies.

apartments, the worthy posadero had hung up in rows joints of meat,

some

of which were quite black.

The odour

of

these pieces of flesh overpowered even that of the adjoining stable-3'ard,

hood

and brought

to the spot.

all

the msects of the neighbour-

I should have left the place without

eating, had not a Creole woman offered me a large sweetmeat made of memhrillo, or " qumce," which I greedily

devoured.

Our

bill

was seven

dollars, or

about two-and-


VALENCIA. shillings, for the use of the

twenty

153

room and

Juan had the courage

able food, which

to masticate, but the

very smell of which I could not endure.

rumbling coach

who had

wife

me

At 3

p.m. a

and took away the shoemaker's

di'ove up,

given

the abomin-

the qumce, and her family

;

and as

the road was blocked up for a bull-fight, they had to a detour over such rough ground as to thi'eaten

moment.

vehicle with destruction at every

lowed, and rode the

five

We

make

the

old

soon

fol-

miles that remained to Valencia

in an horn*.

The country was

lovely with the richest natural vegetation,

and, here and there, coffee estates and sugar plantations.

There are so many trees and gardens round Valencia, the city

almost concealed from view imtil

is

However, long before we reached the

it is

streets,

tliat

entered.

we passed

bevies of pretty Creole ladies, promenading or sitting in the

open

m

ah',

these gToups

my

hat with the turban

continued to create a sensation, and though they were

still

too ci\dHsed to take

made about me, ridiculous.

the

of posadas resembling tea-gardens in

front

Among

England.

Gran

for

an archbishop, the mistakes they

as I afterwards heard, were scarcely less arri\dng in Valencia,

and aHghted

at a

which had no upper

Alliance,

room

On

Plaza,

me

of any kind.

I was

story,

shown

wmdow, and with one

this door

was closed, I was obliged to

stifled.

to

to

and no comfortable

into a

without a

was impossible

we made om- way

posada called La Belle

gloomy apartment

gTeat foldmg-door.

When

light a candle, but it

keep the door shut long, s\ithout being

"We had to wait several hours before the dmner we

had ordered could be got ready, and when

it

did appear,

although our appetites were keen, we could not induce om--


VENEZUELA.

15-1

selves

to touch anything,

and a dish of potatoes. possible to sleep, from

except some boxes of sardines

On the

going to bed, I found suifocating

closeness

it

im-

of

my

room, and I passed the night in vowing that as soon as

morning came,

Belle Alliance.

I

would cease

to be

a

member

of

La


CHAPTER

VIII.

—A Republican Council—The Gran Plaza —The — Morals of a Bull-tight — A Mushroom in Cream—The Morro — The Cemetery—The Mountain of the Caves —A Boa Constrictor.

The Sights

of Valencia

Cathedral

The

posada of La Belle Alliance, at Valencia,

in the centre of the eastern side of the

which

is

as large as

On

only one story high.

:

the left of

enormous mansion belongmg

cathedi'al,

the posada

to Seiior A.,

entirely taken

is

up by public

an

something

The south

of a poet, philosopher, and statesman.

being is

who was once

secretary to the Venezuelan Government, and

is

situated

any in London, and which looks larger

from the surrounding buildings, except the

the square

is

Gran Plaza a square

offices

side of

and the

Government House of Carabobo, of which State Valencia Business

the capital.

is

conducted in true republican

is

style.

The

council meet in the plainest of rooms, with not one " superfluous article of furniture, and the great " unwashed

lean on the window-sills, debaters.

"

What

and

stare

irreverently

at

the

are they discussing ? " I asked a long

lank fellow, one of those who, cigar in mouth, were leaning

" Nothing of any consequence," quoth " only whether we he, with a grin and an expectoration

agamst the window.

;

shall go to

I

made

war with Eussia."

Not

satisfied

with this reply,

further inquiries, and learned that the matter really


VENEZUELA.

156

in

hand was no

Even on such an

tution.

me

than the ratification of the new consti-

less

to be

much

occasion the assembly seemed to

animated than a London parish vestry,

less

and certainly not a whit more which

is

saying about as

dignified in appearance

little for its

dignity as need be

said.

On

the west side of the plaza

Uslar, an old Hanoverian soldier,

lington in the

is

the house of General

who

served under Wel-

German Legion, and was one

orderlies at the battle of Waterloo.

When

of the duke's

the war was over

he entered Bolivar's army, and having been taken prisoner

by the Spaniards, was made

to

work in chains among the

labourers employed in making the bridge over the river of

He had

Valencia.

exchanged

for

his revenge,

some Spanish

body-guards at the

;

for,

having been

he commanded Bolivar's

made up

of

some private

houses and the cathedral, beside which passes a long

which leads northward identical bridge at

The

crowning victory of Carabobo.

of the square is

northern side

however

officer,

to a

good bridge over the

which General Uslar worked.

street,

river,

the

Thence

the road passes on to the Lake of Valencia and the valleys of Araguas. If

my room

at the

posada had had a window

if

there

had

—any food besides — I would not have migrated, the Gran

been any privacy and quiet in the place pork and sardines Plaza at Valencia is

for

is really

a charming place to live in.

dry and healthy, and there

is

It

always a breeze from one of

the long streets which stretch away from the corners of the

square to the

hills.

mountains and Creoles

who

There are beautiful views,

lake, not to

too, of the

mention the strings of pretty

are always passing to

and from the cathedral.


MY NEW But

as I

had no fancy

for

LODGING.

157

"

undergoing a process of etiolation

in the den without light that had been assigned to me, I

determined to quit the posada forthwith. the

first

me

person who paid

covery in South America

and

soon found one

for a

house belonging to

a

voyage of

dis-

so I resolved to put myself mider

;

new

at once go in quest of a :

happened that

a visit was a Senor Colon, or

Columbus, a name extremely apropos

his pilotage,

It

lodging.

I

Senor A., above

mentioned, perfectly clean, being only just finished, and with

upper

an

commanding an

story

enchanting view

of the lake. It

A very pretty bare

my new

was Sunday morning when I entered

feet,

parison

Indian

and such

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; came

girl,

feet

!

about fourteen

that a friend had sent for

Rio Negro, which, with

j'ears of age,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Cmderella's were

and arranged the few

with

clubs in com-

articles of fm-niture

my room. My hammock

its

abode.

from the

gay flowers of feather-work, was

of itseK a sight worth seeing, was suspended

Juan so

judi-

ciously, that as I lay I could descry the lake glittering

some

nine miles all

the

off,

bevond innumerable plantations which stretch

way from the

city to its shores.

fortunate in having such a view

things in store for me. into the

dressed,

b}'

street,

I

On

;

I thought myself

but there were other good

going to the windows looking

beheld two lovely Creoles, beautifully

coming home from mass, enter the house opposite

mine, and afterwards take their seats at the window on the ground-floor in front of me.

From

the garden, too, behind

my

house, came the musical laughter of

the

window

it

was only

m this

du-ection

at rare intervals,

girls.

Unluckily,

was so high from the

floor that

and with great caution, that I

could reconnoitre, lest I should be caught in the undignified


VENEZUELA.

158

attitude of a peeper.

It

was quite evident, however, that

more than one Eve

there was

in the paradise to

which I

was now translated. I

had resolved

thought

it

to stop a

whole month

commence

as well to

at Valencia,

but I

lionising as soon as possible.

Accordingly, in spite of the heat, which was not less than

summer

that of a bright day in before

noon

at Naples,

I sallied out

This

edifice, styled

to inspect the cathedral.

" a very pretty structure " in the guide-book to Venezuela,

pubhshed in 1822,

in point of fact,

is,

a perfectly plain

building of stone, with two towers in front, about eighty feet

These towers are exactly

high.

even to the

alike,

extent of injurv they have suffered during the two centuries

which have elapsed since they were

In attempting to

built.

ascend them, I was brought to a stand-still at exactly the

same place

in each

second story. square,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;that

is

There are four

and that

at

to say, about half stories

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

top octagonal,

way up the

three lower ones

with a cupola roof.

Descending into the body of the church, I found a congregation

of,

say a hundred

mumbling

priest

women and

or six men, with a

mangy and ran about among the

and a discordant

curs had also put in an appearance,

five

choir.

Several

rows of worshippers, behaving altogether more than good Catholics. foxy red, ran Spaniard, a so

moved

three

tall,

One

individual,

of a

times under the nose of a kneeling

annoyance that he

violent cuff on the offender. ill

heathens

lean man, of a grave aspect, whose bile was

by the

which agreed

pertinacious

like

at last

bestowed a

This produced a dismal howl,

with the music, and caused a slight titter

amongst some of

tlie

younger women.

I

came away

an}^-

thing but favourably impressed with the cathedral service.


THE CLIMATE OF VALENCIA. The

159

however, are worthy of any church, having a

bells,

noble soimd, clear, ringing, deep.

From

Senora de of the

cathedral I w^ent to the chui'ch of Nuestra

the

la Candelaria,

Gran

which

one cuadi-a to the south

is

Plaza, and was built in 1802.

more than three hundred

building, not capable of containing

persons, and I found

it

crammed from end

usual, there were at least twenty

of

them very

beautiful

It is a very small

women

As

to end.

man, many

to one

women, and one astonishingly

neat chapel, which was nearly empty at the time of

There needed. gratis.

my

is

no dust

at Valencia,

my

is

a

visit.

and water-carts are never

Nature does the business of watering the streets I had a specimen of her performance in this line on

return from visitmg the churches.

brightly

I

so.

passed next to the Franciscan monastery, where there

when

The sun was

shining

I entered the Franciscan monastery,

stopped there only a few minutes

;

but on

my

and I

coming out

In a minute or two, with scarcely

the scene was changed.

any warning, clouds came diifting over the hills

;

there was

a sound of very subdued thunder, a sharp shower for about a quarter of an hour, and out came the sun again.

process

happens

delightful climate,

daily,

sometimes twice a day,

the sun being vertical,

—from

a native of the country, paid

he

;

In this Yet,

not safe to be exposed to

it is

rays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

It's all

78° to 82°.

but excels, Singapore.

respect Valencia resembles,

"

this

where the temperature never varies more

than four degrees of Fahrenheit

rally flayed.

This

in

me

its

One day Don Manuel M., a

visit,

with his face

lite-

from riding about in the sun," said

" so you, who are a stranger, must not attempt

yomig American, who came

to Valencia last year,

it.

A

thought to


YENEZUELA.

160

harden himself, and was continually in the sun

mad, just

after

but he died

;

he had told us that he had got the better of

the climate."

The people of Valencia (except the posaderos, keepers, who seem by some strange monopoly

or innof

evil

and avaricious) are

qualities to be in general ugly, dirty,

the handsomest, kindest, most hospitable race imaginable. I

am bound

to speak well of them, for I never received

more kindness

Among

anj'where.

other attentions, I had

a continual succession of fresh horses sent

my

me

to ride.

I

gallop that

Sunday evening on a handsome

grey, not unlike an Arab.

I rode five or six miles on the

took

way

to

first

the lake, and coming

home saw

numerous lion,

is

over Venezuela, and the puma, or American

all

uncommon

not

killed in the garden of w^as

about

Next

a wild animal of

Leopards are extremely

the leopard or tiger-cat species.

I saw one that was

near Valencia.

General Uslar's country-house, which

five feet long.

day,

August the 15th, a European, who had been

long in the country, came to take

me

to

a bull-fight at

Nagua, a village five miles west of Valencia. surprised, and not

much

I was rather

appearance of the

gratified, at the

vehicle which was to convey us to the spectacle.

common

cart of the coarsest description

tical cart the

driver, a

was a

yet in that iden-

President of the EepubHc, at the conclusion

of the last war,

Our

;

It

made

his

triumphant entry into Valencia.

rough fellow three parts

tipsy, drove

us at a

furious pace over stones, holes, and furrows in the road, so

that conversation could be carried on only by jerks. arriving at

Nagua, we found there was

as the bulls were not forthcoming

;

to be

On

no corrida,

but en revanche, abun-


MOEALS OF A BULL-FIGHT.

161

dant entertainment was provided, in the shape of gaming, swearing, and tippling, to say nothing of a

and not a

little

debauchery.

But

intended, for about two hundred and

was

cipal street

stabbing

little

a buU-fight had been fifty

yards of the prin-

i^alisaded at either end,

and in the space

between, smidry caballeros were gallox)ing up and down,

and showing what they would have done had there been any bulls to encounter.

The houses on each terers.

"We entered one of them, and were introduced to

a general

about

side of the street were full of rois-

a

:

verj'-

handsome, powerfully built man, standing

feet eleven

five

:

with large bright eyes, a hooked

nose, and a puik and olive complexion.

Among

the com-

pany were ten or a dozen men, whose thews and statm'e would have recommended them

to the Blues.

One

of these,

a negro, was at least six feet three inches high, and looked like a

to

man who would On

King or Mace.

we drank tumblers

have been a dangerous antagonist being mtroduced to the company,

of bitter ale in a very solemn

with every individual near us pletely reKeved

me

:

a ceremony wliich com-

of any inchnation to touch

for the rest of the day.

A

manner

more

liquid

short, thickset personage,

who

was evidently the orator of the assembly, now put himself to the fore, to

and addressed a string of sententious remarks

me, of so prosaic a nature as to depress

mj'^

spmts

far

below the point above which they had been elevated by the ale.

He

and of

spoke at gTeat length in praise of his government,

liis

countrymen, sometlung after this

what country but racter,

this, after a

which rolled

its

fasliion

:

"In

war of miprecedented cha-

destructive com^se

dming

five

revolving years, would you, a stranger, be able to

long

move M


VENEZUELA.

162

sum

about imarmed, with, doubtless, a considerable

in your

possession, and yet safe, secure, and even unapprehensive?"

At the

&c. &c.

to pledge the orator in two

To

escape from

was forced

expii'ation of the harangue, I

more tumblers

iDersecution, I

tliis

of bitter ale.

made a rush

the

to

gaming-table and pretended to be immensely interested the play.

A

handsome bold-looldng

who

fellow,

m

was, they

an American colonel, but who had probably assumed

said,

that character for the nonce, and

who seemed

to be master

of the concern, immediately began to explain the

me, and assm'ed

won

a large

me

sum

game

that a gentleman, a friend of his,

Hereupon a

that morning.

tall,

had

dirt}'

Yanlvee-looking individual, with an ominous obHquity vision, mtei-posed,

saymg

:

the seven hundi'ed dollars, and

Guess

began with nothing.

I'll fix

to try his line of play, for I saw

you

gratis, if

how he done

friends soon found their allurements thrown

me

so they left

alone

;

plaj'ing at the

rage.

five

liis

drawmg

face distorted

or six persons,

one another on the

him was the cause the

away upon me, was pre-

brawny peasant, who had been

his machete,

floor,

a rush

violent, that

he

who cm-sed and belabom^ed

each imagining that the

of his upset.

confederate

them, who had

made

and his eyes blazing with

His spring was so sudden and so

overthrew

taught

A

My new

end of the table farthest from me, suddenly

started to his feet, and, at the colonel,

you'd like

it."

and, indeed, their attention

sently fully occupied.

of

" Guess you're talking, stranger,

won

of the gentleman that

to

man

next

But long experience had

gamesters what to

do.

One

of

evidently been watching the jDOor losing

wretch, clutched hold of his shoulders, and another, seizing his

wi'ist,

twisted the machete out of his hand, while the


MOEALS OF A BULL-FIGHT. tall

colonel himself, rising

up and

iDutting

163

one hand into his

where he had, no doubt, a revolver or a bowie-knife " Wliat's the matter, friend ? ready, called out Take breast,

:

" Cm'ses on you," shouted the joeasant; *'I have

care." lost all

:

my

I will have

revenge

!

"

But by

this time

he

was pulled back by half a dozen strong arms, and in spite of

liis

struggles and threats

was soon summarily ejected

These outbreaks are common enough, and

from the house.

often end in stabs, sometimes in loss of

The South

life.

Americans are inveterate gamblers, and a

man

whole year in patient saving, and then lose

will pass a

all liis

earnings

in a single night at the gaming-table.

After this

we walked through the

and-easy friend spoke to every pretty

and

my

free-

he saw.

At

half-

village, girl

past five I insisted on going home, though I was assm'ed that the fun was only just beginning, and would go

waxing more and more fmious until the small hom'S. driver,

who was

unmanageably

three

tipsy at starting,

i^arts

on

foot,

Spanish proverb has stopped, and

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;looking it,

made her

like

get

in her white

all

was now

a

mushroom

way back

dress, as the

in cream,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;he

up beside him on the box, and

the two together then carried on such a

with

Oui*

Seeing a huge trolloping negress, not

di-unk.

iH-favom'ed, but slattenil}' and shameless, on her to Valencia

on

fire

of rough jokes

and singular who came in our way as created quite

a sensation. lage of this

I protested agakist travelling under the tute-

npnph

;

but the diiver was past reasoning with,

and I had to put up with the annoyance as skirts of Valencia, where, just as I

to get do-RTi rather than enter the city

the sable beauty herself took

it

far as the out-

had made up

my mind

under such auspices,

into her

head

to descend,

M

2


"

:

VENEZUELA.

164

and, kissmg to us a hand of the size and colour of an ordinary

coal-shovel,

more

still

little

Enghsh, bawl out

my

gesture indicating â&#x20AC;˘*

dis-

on overhearing that same evening the

so

my

barber at a shop nearly opposite

speak a

and

back lane

a

into

I was horribly scandalized by this adventure,

appeared.

but

struck

Hear bad

tiling of

to Juan,

whereabout

him

!

"

"Ay

!

m

who could

house,

no doubt with a upper room

the

" said Juan, delightedly,

thrustmg his head out of the window, " what's that ''

Hear he came home from the

words were

lost

m

"

corrida

The

?

last

the rattling of a cart which went by at

the moment, but I heard Juan, with an obstreperous peal of laughter, bawl out in reply,

A

" That's a he " !

low

chucklmg Conversation followed, which was interrupted by a squall of thunder and lightning, during which I

my

asleep in

easy-chau",

fell fast

and awoke well-punished by the

mosquitoes, and with a spHtting headache.

Next morning I the Morro

:

started with three

companions

to ride

up

a steep, rocky, semi-isolated hill eight hundred

feet high,

situated about half a mile to the north-east of

the

A

city.

hill,

as

and over

we began

meadow we

tliis

trotted very pleasantly

to ascend the slope

Morro

quarter alone the

back,

of tall gTass sldrts the foot of the

we found we were

was only about a rocks which

is accessible to

m for a severe

foot broad,

pmched om'

legs,

;

but as soon

on the west, from which a

man on

struggle.

horse-

The

j)ath

and led sometimes between

and made us go tln-ough

evolutions worthy of a cirque, to save om-selves from being

dragged

off;

sometunes through

tliickets,

whose thorns

made sad havoc

of our thin clothes.

who

and was mounted on a mule, got on very

led the way,

One

of the party,


THE MOEEO. well,

but we

165

who had horses could hardly keep them on last we emerged from the thorns and the

At

their legs.

narrow path, but only to land on slippery sheets of rock

which were even more

at a steep incline,

However, when we reached the

The

us.

had been erected

cross

top, the view well repaid

On

had a double summit.

hill

difficult to cross.

the

fii'st

peak, a

then there was a steep ascent; and

;

an equally steep ascent to the other top, which was covered with

gi'eat

boulders and brushwood, and seemed to be an

uncommonly

south side of the

wooded being

foiu'

Between us and the town flowed a

gardens.

from

is

twenty yards broad, with a general depth of i)Ools

lies, is

east,

This

intervals.

at

on the

miles broad, the city itself

stream, which bears the same name, and

with

feet,

lay the city of Valencia, in a thickly-

hill,

valley three or

full of

At our

likely place for snakes.

formed by two

valley,

sierras, the S.

fifteen to

tlu'ee feet,

but

in which Valencia

Diego to the north-

and the Guataparo to the south-west, and comes

cm"\Tng from the moimtains of the coast, which I had crossed from Puerto Cabello, but rmis almost due west and east for the five miles is,

as

where

it it

from Nagua to Valencia.

were, the boimdary-stone of this

debouches into one

right angles to

it

;

that

is,

tm'ning to the north-east,

it,

but

its

vallej',

and stands

broader, and running

at

On

from north-east to south.

my

beautiful view of the lake.

in

much

The Morro

eyes were dehghted with the

I could see

some of the

expanse stretched far beyond

my

vision for

miles and miles into the Golden Valley of Araguas.

I had done gazing in this direction,

my

islands

AMien

eyes found

new

beauties as they travelled eastward and southward over a park-like country to the famous battle-field of Carabobo.


VENEZUELA.

166

The

immediate neighboiu-hoocl of Valencia, up

soil in the

to the borders of the lake,

world.

perhaps, the richest in the

is,

an iron rod has been passed down

It is said that

uninterruptedly for upwards of sixty feet tlu-ough this black soil,

the quality of which

may be judged

of from the fact

that sugar-cane plantations will here yield twenty successive

This

harvests without requking a renewal of the plants.

extreme depth and richness wiU apj)ear less sm'prising when it is

remembered that

all this

ground was

%vitliin

the last

century covered with the waters of the lake, into which

many

streams discharged themselves

;

the principal of them,

These

the Pao, being really worthj^ to be called a river.

streams brought do^vn a rich deposit of slime, svhich has

now been

by the rapid shrinking and diminution

laid bare

of the lake.

When

it is

considered that the annual evapo-

ration at Valencia amounts to one hundred and thirtj^ inches, it will

have

not appear extraordinary that the waters of the lake

smce

ra]3idly decreas'ed

Si)aniards.

it first

became known

to the

But other circumstances have within the last one

hundred and fifty years immensely accelerated the desiccation

About the begmning

of this body of water.

of the last cen-

tury the Pao was turned by a planter southward into the river off

Portuguesa

from the

;

lake.

and thus a most important feeder was cut Subsequently, the woods by which

it

was

everywhere fringed were cut down, to allow of cultivation

bemg

extended.

The

result has

been

that, while

from the

time of Oviedo to the close of the eighteenth centmy the waters retired only a mile and a half, in the last

they have receded nearly city.

five

Thus, in 1810, Valencia, we are

to the west of the lake

;

but

fifty

years

miles from the vicinity of the

it is

told,

now nearly

was three miles eight miles from


THE HISTOEY OF VALENCIA. from the nearest

for the distance

it,

Gran Plaza for

pai-t

of its shores to the

exactly eight miles and a quarter, as measured

is

Again, whereas Humboldt makes the

the railway.

entire length of the lake over thirty miles,

twenty-tlu'ee

new ones

167

;

and

now only by him seven is

it

to the list of islets given

are to be added, so that the waters

must have

sunk so much as to lay bare seven places which they covered

centmy

half a

new

sm'e of

The

ago.

of Valencia, which

the world.

rapid evaporation and the expo-

land do not appear to have affected the climate

one of the most salubrious in

still

is

Immunity from

fever the city

to its being not only eight miles distant also one

hundred and

ninety-five feet above

hundred and sixty-fom* lake

no doubt owes

from the lake, but it,

about eleven hundred and sixty-nine.

is

"no one

old proverb, that

or thirteen

above the sea-level, while the

feet

However, the

ever dies at Valencia,"

is

now

so far altered that they say, " no one dies there unless he calls in

As

"

a phj^sician

!

I gazed at the

city,

a healthy and beautiful jDOsition

and reckoned up

site,

its

unmatched

a soil

advantages of for fertility, a

on one of the great high roads of South American

commerce, and near the

unrivalled

harbour

Cabello, I could not help asldng myself

three centuries

it

had made so

population, and importance.

little

It

how

it

progress

of

Puerto

was that in

m

wealth,

was in 1555 that

Don

Alonzo Dias Moreno founded this western capital of Venezuela,

and in 1578

it

was strong enough to withstand the

attack of the Great Carib tribe, to sm-prise

it.

The

the Indians, and

who came up

in thousands

savages were the tallest and bravest of

had fought many

battles A\ith Eiu'opeans,

both in the West Indies and in Venezuela

;

but they failed


VENEZUELA.

168

in tlieir entei-prise against Valencia,

and were driven

immense

Tliey retreated, as tliey

by Garcia Gonzalez.

loss

had come, by boats down the Orinoco

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a

how

proof

easy

would be to establish water-

From

communication between Valencia and Guaiana. time to

this,

that

Valencia has never suffered from any great

A few

calamity.

with

and so into the

river Guarico, it

off

years after, Caracas was sacked by Drake,

and again in 1679 by the French enth'ely destroyed

;

and in 1812

it

was almost

by the great earthquake, as were Cumana,

But neither earthquake

Barquisimeto, and other towns.

nor the sword of the enemy has ever devastated Valencia.

Even

the

though

it

Lope de Aguh're, spared

cruel tj^rant.

changed masters more than once

tween the patriots and the Spaniards, neither party. gress, there

In

spite of

is little

or

tliis,

risen with

it

citj''

by Humboldt

mcreased strength from

city stationar}',

been so lavish of her

and how

gifts in

the true key to the paradox.

slumber on, and their sleep

more

vain ?

from

it,

and the

the figure of six

whereas Caracas has

;

its

overthrow, and

is

it

is

the spell that

that Nature has

Perhaps the climate

Perhaps the Valencianos will

is

What, then, I asked

myself as I stood gazmg from the Morro, tliis

the war be-

has made no pro-

much beyond

ten times as populous as Valencia.

keeps

m

and

;

suffered injury

no mone}' circulated in

population has not advanced

thousand assigned to

the

it

it

is

will

not be broken until some

energetic race takes possession of the land, and the

snort of the iron horse disturbs the i^rofound repose of the

sunny

valleys.

Opposite to the Morro, the sierra of Guataparo, which lies

south of Valencia, terminates in a round

this a mile or so, is the

hill.

Beyond

Mountain of the Caves, so

called


THE CEMETERY.

169

from a cavern wliich excited the wonder of Humboldt.

my next expedition should my fiiend Colon to pilot me.

he to that cavern,

resolved that so I asked

of Valencia, he had never \dsited

As

out for a guide.

it is

it,

when

the

man

the so-called guide, and a struck

me

so

;

^\itli

to look

we

started very

earlj-,

come above the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Colon,

myself, Pedi'o,

to look after the horses.

as cm-ious that Pedi'o

account of the place we were to

he replied

a native

and was obliged

ripples of light began to

There were four of us

horizon.

Though

a Creole peculiarity to undertake

anything, a guide was soon found, and first

I

would give us no

To

visit.

all

my

It

distinct

questions

a " tal vez," " perhaps," or " asi asi," " so

" with which I was obliged to be content.

After riding about a mile, we came to a cemetery veritable Elysee. shi'ubs

grew round

w^hile to the

The most

On

it.

west a gentle

:

a

luxuriant grass and flowering

thi'ee sides slo^oe

the ground was level,

swelled gradually into the

mountains of the Sierra, the ravines of wliich were thickly Opposite to us we could see shuiing streaks in the

wooded.

crest of the mountain,

were in search of;

which we took to be the caves we

the rather as Pedro nodded his head

with great gravity when I asked him

if

that were the place.

Resolving to inspect the cemetery, I dismounted, and knocked at the gate, at

fii-st

gently, but gradually louder

echoes answered me.

until the

As

and louder,

that was

the

only

answer I got, we then began to walk round the enclosm-e (which, except find

m

front,

was of wood),

to

see if

we could

an entrance. Foi-tune favoured us unexpectedl3\ There

happened

to be a

herd of half-wild cattle grazing close to

the place, and one of them, taldiig fright, charged the enclosure,

and broke down enough of

it

to

get

through.


!

170

.

Hereupon the

VENEZUELA.

great gate was suddenly flung open, and

bullock was driven out again by two men,

who would,

digging a grave, and

tlie

who had been

seemed, have dug on for

it

ever without caring a straw for our appeals to be admitted^

Out came the bullock, charging with out rushed the

men

as one's

AVe stood meekly

pass,

fist.

after

him, flinging stones at him as big

and then quietly wallved

diggers,

head down, and

his

to let this whii'lwind

b}^,

in.

Back came the

grave-

banged the door, and went on digging their grave

without vouchsafing us a word.

The

first

thing we saw on

entering was about forty baskets full of skulls and bones.

There was a receptacle in the middle of the cemetery, and into

it all

these remains would be cast, as belonging to those

whose families were not rich enough

to

pay double

fees.

In Venezuela even the dead must pay for a single bed,

and those who cannot, or

will not, will

of the year and chucked into an

be dug up at the end

omnium gatherum.

I

counted about a hundred tombs of mark, some of them bearing the names of the most illustrious families in the republic.

the

Among them

memory

of Catalina

We remounted

was, I remember, one inscribed to

Cunningham de Oldenburg

and rode straight to the mountain.

In a

few mmutes, we got among low jungle, which grew more

and more impervious, until we had to

alight, and, leaving

our horses with the groom, ]Dushed our way through the jungle on foot. tilings

This was not very pleasant, but worse

were coming

;

could not see where three of us ravine.

thick that

we

we were stepping; and presently

all

the bushes were

descended,

As soon

as

I

so

with a crash,

into

a precipitous

could recover

my

equilibrium, I

shouted in great wrath to the guide, " Is this the way to the


THE MOUNTAIN OF THE CAYES.

171

My

temper was not improved when tlie confounded fellow made his eternal repl}^, " tal vez," '' perhaps." cavern?"

we were

I have no doubt the delectable place

in

was

full of

snakes, but I caught a glimpse of only one, and that a very

small one

small as

;

was, however, I

it

the bite of which proves mortal sight of this creatm'e

my

of

m

knew

it

seemed to lend

me

The

wuigs, and in spite

gTeat ridmg-boots, I emerged on the other side of the

We now

ra^dne almost as quicldy as I had descended. steej) bit,

^Dieces of rock,

a way that

ver}^

got

covered with grass, in which lurked

upon a very innumerable

had

to be a coral,

an hour or two.

and over these we stumbled in

soon reheved us of the

little

breath we

Thinldng, however, that the caves were straight

left.

above us, we struggled frantically on until we got to the height of about a thousand feet, that

I was

"Well," said he, "don't

you

I called out to Colon

and

At

whole place was

with ants

lay the skeleton of a large

bii'd,

sit

do^vn.

are, unless

bones we saw

m the

me, and saw that the

this I looked about

swarmmg

must

down where you

sit

Avant to be picked as clean as those

cemetery."

me

when

completely exhausted

;

and, mdeed, close to

which looked as

if it

had

been prepared for an anatomical museum, so well was cleared.

the

it

I had to cree^) some distance under the scarp of

mountam

weary limbs.

before I fomid a place where I could rest

The view was enchantmg, but

was somewhat marred

would send

me

b}^

iiij

my

satisfaction

the uncomfortable idea that a slip

headlong down the side of the

hill,

which,

where I was sittmg, was almost i)erpendicular.

Meantune

Pedi'o the guide

had been trying

at various

points to clamber up the scarped crest of the mountain, to find the cave

he had undertaken to show us.

" Are you cer-


\T3NEZUELA.

172 tain that

"I

you have hrought us to the right pkce ?"

am

certam," said he, with a rueful look, " that the cave was here; but where

In

it is

short, after nearly

come

now, the blessed Virgm alone knows

!"

breakmg our necks, we were forced

to

to the disagreeable conclusion that our friend Pedi'o

knew nothing

at all about the cave,

we could do was

and that the best thing and make another

to return to Valencia

attempt mider better guidance.

On

telling

our failure that night to some

G., a fine -active J'oung fellow

dertook to pilot

me

take Juan with

who had been

to the cave next day,

he had not been there for

me;

German

j^ears.

friends,

a sailor, un-

though he said

This time I resolved to

and, with a lively recollection of the

dense jungle wu had gone through in our late expedition, I

made up my mind

by way of a

to carry m.y revolver,

**

cau-

tion to snakes."

We

started next day, long before the sun

was up, and

soon got past the cemetery, and turned our horses towards the momitains, but struck along the side of a ravine nearer the town than the ravine

we had before

jungle was thmner, and

we got on

ground growdng steep and

rockj',

bered up about two hundred

feet,

the cavern yawning above.

Its

feet

in

diameter, with

sort of platform.

Here, the

until, finding the

we dismounted and clam-

when we mouth

a very scarped

trance, after surmounting

visited.

fast,

suddenly' beheld

Avas at least thirty

and

slipper}^

en-

which we fomid ourselves on a

This portal of the cave was

like a great

room, which had, on the right as we entered, a huge wuidow, from which there was a lovely view of the valley the lake.

To

the

left

of the entrance

uj) to

was another platform,

ten feet above that on which we stood, while facing the


THE MOUNT.iIN OP THE CAYES.

173

entrance was a long galleiy or tunnel in the rock, very lofty,

but narrow, and sloping upward at an angle of

At

gi'ees.

we could

tlie

end of

see the festoons of creepers that

But

the outlet.

length, though probably

it

did not

and

hung down over

in the centre part the gallery

dimness and narrowness made

Its

de-

thii'ty

this gallery, the light appeared,

was dark.

of

immense

much exceed

a hundred

it

seem

feet.

After restmg and smoldng om' cigars, I told Juan, as he

had much the longest reach of the

part}', to try to

mount

the second platform, and see what was to be seen.

After

two or three attempts, in which he bruised his shins considerabl}',

was too

Juan gave up the

tall to

G.,

who was

and

as light

agile as a

soon clambered to the top, and reported that there was

uothmg

to see.

He

then sprang do^Ti to us, and, in

of the sHpperiness of the rock, kei^t his footing. liis

he

play the monkey, and too heavy to go up a

rock, bu-ds' -nesting. cat,

enterprise, obseiwing that

activit}'

;

and

Of com-se we to give us a

s^^ite

and the depth of the jump, i^raised

him immensely

new proof

of

it,

for

he volun-

teered to explore the tunnel, and tell us what there was on

the other side.

In the

fii'st

This, however, was no such easy matter.

place, the entrance to it

was six

feet

above our

platform, and this rise was absolutely perpendicular, with a hard, foot.

of

it

smooth

Then

surface,

and nothing on which

to get up, but he

Somehow

or other, G.

managed

had no sooner advanced a few yards into

the Ulterior than a prodigious

as to

hand or

the galleiy was very dark withm, and the floor

was horribly rough.

night-bu-ds

to place

came swooping

number

out, with

half blind, suffocate, and

of bats and other

such a dust and noise

deafen,

om* adventurous


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

VENEZUELA.

174

We

pioneer.

could not help laugliing loud and long to see

him reappear powdered

all

over like a miller, rubbing his

and swearing energetically in excellent Spanish and

eyes,

German. " Don't be frightened,

seiior," said

Juan, taking off his

mock politeness, but grinnmg all the time lOce an " the birds won't hurt you, and they're not worth

hat with ogre

;

you could shoot as many as you

lulling, or

like with

our

revolvers."

" Caramba or not, for I

I'll

!

" said G., " whether they are worth shooting

have a shot into the gallery before I go in again

would rather be shot

mj^self,

;

than smothered with this

filth."

Juan handed up a revolver charged several barrels into

to

G.,

who

forthwith dis-

The

the tunnel.

explosion

brought out a fresh flock of birds, and, until the dust they

made had

subsided,

" Come, G.," I

we could

see nothing.

said, laugliing,

" look about for the game.

I want a specunen of a vampu'e to take

home.

I hope

you

have killed something."

Hereupon Juan, whose height gave

me

liim an advantage over

in reconnoitering, exclauned,

" Blest

if

I can tell what's been killed

shots have made something like the

stem of a

gi'eat

alive, for I

;

but I think the

can see what looks

creeper movuig up and dowTii like a

live eel in a frying-pan." *'

Stem of a

agam

great creeper

entered the tunnel;

!

"

shouted G., who had

"by Heavens

!

it's

now

a snake, and

the biggest I ever saw."

With

these words, he discharged the remaining barrels of

his pistol,

and then bolted back to the mouth of the

gallery.


A BOA-CONSTEICTOR. ready to drop do-^i to us,

Luckily

direction.

saw

it

it

After this, none of us

case the brute tm-ned

iii

made

it

best, declared

175

off the

other way.

was sixteen or eighteen

felt

G.,

all

our

who

feet long.

incHned to explore any

and we unanimouslj' agTeed that we had seen

m

fiu'ther,

that was

worth seeing, and that the place was a very nice place for a picnic

"

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;barring the bats and the serpents

It's a

queer spot," said

as

Gr.,

!

we descended

the steep

path to regain our horses, " and some curious things have

been done in

it.

Hernando Maza,

In the

last war, a

lived here,

and committed many

No

before they found out his den. for

him

in the cave.

tracked him to like a brave

it,

At

famous robber, named

last

atrocities

one thought of looking

they sent for bloodhounds and

and then he died there, sword in hand,

man."

" More like a snake in a hole," said Juan, who did not

was rather disgusted with

care for romantic histories, and

the day's proceedings. to Valencia,

" I shall be very glad to get back

and I don't care

if

I never

nor serpents neither, as long as I

live."

see

no more caves,


A

CHAPTER

IX.

of Day at Valencia — Showing a Visitor tlie Lionesses Beauty— Love at first sight Valenciau Lace-makers The house General Paez The Fair Antonia An awkward question The male-

Erminia

— Break

of

— —

— —

Creole

diction fulfilled.

I

HAD met

Puerto Cabello a young Englishman wliose

at

appearance interested me.

He

year, overflowing with spii'its

handsome feet

that

and one

it

mch

He

was six

high, perfectly well made, and as for his

him

lift

four hundred-weight with the

His hair was dark brown, and curled natu-

greatest ease. ;

and good natm^e, and so very

did one good to look at him.

strength, I have seen

rally

was only in his twenty-thii-d

he had a puik and white complexion, a shghtly aqui-

line nose,

The

and dark-blue eyes with black eyelashes.

and yellow visages of the Creoles made his

black, brown,

face look all the

handsomer from the contrast

;

and when

one saw him in company with some of the cadaverous natives,

it

was impossible to help exclamiing, " "What a

superb fellow liis

name

!

"

—had

But Mr. George Hayward

for that

a weakness for which personal advantages

are a very msufficient

compensation.

He

was extremely

extravagant, and, consequently, not very scrupulous tling his liabilities,

that his friends

was

m

set-

and had ah'eady spent so much money

had been very glad

to get

America as a clerk in a commercial house,

him out -with

to

South

the prospect


BREAK OF DAY AT VALENCIA. of becoming a junior partner

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;in time.

When

177

I was intro-

duced to him at Puerto Cabello, finding that he had been

and that he was an agreeable companion, I

at Oxford,

in-

quired no fui-ther into his antecedents, but asked liim to pay

me a visit at Valencia, when I had got a httle settled there. He had been some time on the coast, and spoke Spanish fluently

but he had never visited the ulterior, and was

;

very glad to accept I wrote to remind

my

him

invitation.

After about a fortnight

me and begged me to

of his promise, and he retm'ned

answer that he would come immediately', send a fresh horse to meet him

at

Nagua, as he should ride

the whole distance on the night of the 26th of August, so as

my

to be at

The day wanted for

house by sunrise. begins early in South America, and although

a quarter to five

my

-visitor,

wakening up.

when

it

I got out of bed to look out

there were ah-eady signs that Valencia was

The

bells of the cathedral

and of the con-

A

vents had been at work for a good horn'.

group of

women were coming up the Calle de which I was living. They were going

Indian and mulatto

la

Constitucion, in

to

market, and were making such a merry chattering and clattering that

you would have fancied a dozen pan* of castanets

were in motion besides their jaws. ties of

led

women were

down

off,

several par-

crossing the street into side-lanes which

to the river, for this

people went to bathe. cigar in

Further

The

Isizj

was the time when modest barber opposite

my lodgings,

mouth, was just beginning to open his shutters.

Suddenly he stretched out his head, as I

did, to see

who

it

was whose approach was being heralded by a loud smacking of whips, at once

and a noise of laughter and swearing that broke

upon our

ears.

all


VENEZUELA.

178

"

It's

Hayward, of course

him ?

!

he got

ill

him

mule with a dead man on

a

front of

" But what has

" I exclaimed.

It looks as if " it

he were driving before

!

In another minute up came HajAvard and his servant,

mounted on

a couple of horses, driving before

on which was the baggage

;

them

a mulei

and strapped on the top of

it

lay the muleteer, a negro, so drunk that even the violent jolting he

had gone through had

undid him in a

failed to rouse

and pitching him

trice,

like a log

straw that lay in the yard, said, " There the ants don't sober

him

first-class surprise ticket

let

on

him

before the evening,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Juan

him.

I'll

some

to

He,

and

if

pay for a

"

that's all

!

Next, I myself ordered the horses at 4 p.m., and as I was impatient to show

my handsome

off

sort of impression he

visitor,

and

to see

what

would make on the Creole beauties, I

went to him half an hour before that time, and called out, " Come along, Hayward, and make yourself as great a swell

am

going to present you to some of the

as possible.

I

prettiest girls

m Valencia."

"Oh!

there

are

some pretty

girls,

looking up from a book he was reading.

from that

specimens

the all

the

King of

I

saw as I rode

Valencianas

were

of

Dahomey's body-guard."

the

To

then?" said he, " I was afraid,

up

the

colour this

street,

of

the

comparison

I objected.

The

Calle de la Constitucion is one of the central streets

that run from the die,

on and on,

till

Gran Plaza

at Valencia, as straight as a

the houses begin to be interpolated with

gardens and orchards, and at last cease altogether, and one finds oneself in the green valley

the east.

which bounds Valencia to

At the opposite or south-western angle

of the


;

CREOLE BEAUTIES. plaza there it

179

another long straight street, which runs on

is

The houses

merges in the road to Nagua.

till

in each of

these streets near the square are large and fashionable, and

they grow smaller and smaller as one approaches the outskirts of the town.

interested us tractive

;

for,

It

was not, however, the houses that

indeed, nothing can be uglier or less at-

than the outside of a Venezuelan house, with

one-story-high

But

facade of plain brick.

low

its

hour

at this

every window was open, and in every window sat the ladies of the house,

some

lovely, all

more or

less

good looking, for

the plain and antiquated keep in the background on these

"I

occasions.

always wonder," said I to Hayward,

becomes of the men

at this

He

is

man

but

;

It may women in

time of day at Valencia.

be true, as I have heard said, that there are the place to one

still,

five

what becomes of that one

Whether

nowhere to be seen.

is

it

riding, or walking, or congregating to

men

that the

are left all alone, and can indulge in any

Now, mark me

like.

end of the

street,

brunettes

'

women

;

and beyond these we shall

'

and mestizas, and we shall

who

be despised as you would imagine.

Yankee

last, in

pedlar, to keep

the hope of fixing you with a I

article.

mean

to

in Valencia straight

at once.

the right hand, with the two

window

?

They

finish

You

little

up with some

are not so

much

to

Now mind, I am not my best wares to the Number Two or Three

show you one of the

off'

of flirtation

lower down we shall come

;

beauties of a downright black,

going, like a

amount

the white Creoles hve at this

near the Plaza

to the trigueiias, or find mulattas

;

?

are

smoke, I know not

but whatever the reason, the fact remains that the

they

"what

prettiest

girls

see the large house

maidens seated

are the younger sisters.

AVe

on

at the first

will ride

X

2

up


VENEZUELA.

180

and speak

to

herself

the

at

who

Camila,

With

next window,

with

girls,

second

her

sister,

my

out,

when

much

horse towards the

a hoy, about ten years old,

suddenly jumped on to the window-sill,

down between them without

I was not

be sure to show

almost as handsome as Erminia herself."

is

window I had pointed

sat

will

these words I was tm-ning

a brother of the

and

Erminia

them, and

surprised, for

a particle of clothes on.

it is

one of the peculiarities

of Valencia that the boys, even of the best families, think notliing of stripping themselves

naturalibus, so that I

out of a

wmdow

somehow moment for

and running about in puris

had often seen a naked urchin leaning

between elegantly dressed women.

But,

or other, I did not like to choose exactly that

introducing

my

friend, so

we rode

by,

and as we

passed, Erminia came to the

wmdow, bowed, and

She was just eighteen, a

above the middle height, but

looked

taller,

from her perfect symmetry

;

a cloud of shining

on her ivory shoulders.

black ringlets fell

complexion

oval, her

little

but, in revenge, her

fair,

smiled.

Her

face

was

a httle too colourless, perhaps,

Hps were red and pouting, and disclosed,

when she

smiled, teeth of such dazzling whiteness that they

seemed to

flash like

gems

;

but the most attractive feature of

her face was her immense black eyes, fringed with long silky eyelashes.

"I want is

have seen enough," exclaimed Hajnvard to go a step

beyond that house.

"

girl,

I

On my

am

"I

don't

I don't believe there

such another beaut}^ here or anj'where.

that

;

If I can but Avin

content."

word," I said, " that's very well for a beginning

;

but I came out to show you the lionesses, so I must finish

my

undertaking.

Turn your eyes

to that next house

on the


EEMINIA. right.

Don Fernando,

181

the proj)rietor, has ten children, and

the three eldest girls, grand, qneen-lil^e beauties, are already

The

married. of

there, as

all, sits

very

much

come

on the

you

But what

is

magnificent

the use of looking ?

is

;

not so

She

left.

is

also teases

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;she

is

engaged

;

Hernandez in that small house

along, I see Felipa

a dark brunette, but she is very accom-

phshed, sings charmingly, and

She

She

see.

shorter than you are youi'self, and modelled like

a statue. so

daughter, Olpnpia, the handsomest

foui'th

is

the best dancer in Valencia.

most agreeably."

So sajong, I presented Haj^ward

to the senorita at the

window, and being forthwith invited to enter the house, we

We

spent half an hour in chatting and smoking cigarettes.

then mounted, and after

return,

though

it

tallying at

one or two other windows,

by a gallop outside the town.

finished om- ride

pliments passed, and we rode

home

sat talking after our meal, I

;

quite vexed, I told

Her

com-

was amused with Hayall

he could about

and punished him by giving the most laconic

answers possible

**

A few

to dinner.

ward's indirect attempts to find out

Erminia,

our

was nearly dark, I introduced Haj^ard to

Erminia, who seemed more than usually shy.

As we

On

but seeing that at last he was getting

him

all

I

knew about

father," I said, " is a

man

her.

of good family,

who has

always sympathised with the oligarchical party; consequently his estates,

which are

bring in very

little.

large,

have been laid waste, and now

Erminia's mother

is

dead.

She was

the eldest of three daughters, and inherited her father's estate,

which has now passed to Erminia, who has, by-the-

bye, a step-mother in her mother's thii-d sister.

By

this

second marriage there are several children, while Erminia


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

VENEZUELA.

182

has no

full

brother or

sister.

It is

an odd thing that Erminia

does not marry, for last year she was acknowledged to be the

beauty of Valencia, and she has an estate which, cultivated,

m

would bring

six

properly

if

thousand dollars per annum.

I believe the fact to be that her mother's second sister,

and

in a convent,

is

Erminia convent.

a

is

to take the veil

am

I

of breaking off

told this

most bigoted

religieuse, wishes

and bestow her property on the good lady has been the means

more than one engagement

minia had entered, and

it

who

is

which Er-

into

not unlikely that she will be

equally successful in putting an end to any future love affair

may have."

that her niece

Hayward made no

reply to this speech, but flung the end

of his cigar rather viciously out of the window, and, by waj^ of

changmg

famous

the conversation, asked

for its lace manufactory,

mens could be procured.

if

Valencia was not

and where the best

see the place where the finest things are made.

principal ladies' school.

It is at the

I have been there once already,

under the guidance of a Spanish gentleman, who very glad to accompany us to-morrow.

we

We

covered with paintings of his victories.*

*

can

will

also,

be

while

are out, pay a visit to the house of the celebrated General

Paez, wliich I myself have not yet seen.

we

speci-

" To-morrow," I said, " you shall

The

walls are

To-morrow,

at 11,

will start."

Round

the walls of the court-yard of the house are delineated the most

signal victories gained battles depicted

Batalla de la

by Paez over the Spaniards.

:

Mata de

la Miel, 16 de Febr^ro, 1816.

Accion de Yagual, 8 de Octubre, 1816.

Combate de Guyabal, 18 de Diciembre, 1816. Batalla de Las Mucuritas, 30 de Enero, 1817.

Toma

de San Fernando de Apure, 7 de Mayo, 1818.

The following

are the


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

THE

GIELS' SCHOOL.

183

Accordingly, next day after breakfast we hoisted umbrellas

with white covers as a protection against the vertical sun,

and crossing the Gran Plaza, found ourselves,

after passing

a cuadra to the west of

A

it,

at the girls' school.

number

of

the younger pupils were playing in the verandah, which Accion de Queseras del Medio, 3 de April, 1819. Ratalla de Carabobo, 24 de Junio, 1821.

Accion de

la

Sabana de

la

Guardia, 11 de Agosto, 1822.

Asalto de Puerto Cabello en la noche del 7 de Noviembre,

At Mata de right

bank

la

182-3.

Miel between the streams Corosito and Guaritico, on the

and

of the Apure,

in the province of that

name, about 10 miles to

the east of Guasdualito, Paez with a small force attacked Colonel de Francisco Lopez,

Governor of Barinas,

who had two guns and 1600 men. Of the number made prisoners, while Paez,

Spaniards, 400 were slain and an equal lost

but 15 killed and had 22 wounded.

At Yagual,

also in Apure, a few miles to the south-west of

with some levies hastily collected, again defeated Lopez,

men and 400

Achagnas, Paez,

who had 1700

horse-

foot soldiers.

The combat of Guyabal was a victory which only Llaneros, like Paez, could have achieved. He passed the Apure river with 200 horsemen by swimming, and attacked the Spanish leader, Lieut. -Col. Don Salvador Gorrin, who had 1000 cavalry and infantry, and 500 led horses. Paez put the cavalry to flight and carried off the 500 horses, but failed to break the square formed by the infantry. At Las Mucuritas, a few miles to the W. by N. of Achagnas, Paez witli 1100 lancers encountered the Spaniards under La Torre and Calzada, who had

arms and among them 1700 cavalry. Here Paez men and made a feigned retreat, drawing the enemy's cavalry into an ambush, where they all fell except the European hussars. Paez then set fire to the grass and so obliged the Spanish infantrj' to retreat, during which movement he repeatedly charged them, and at last 4000 veteran soldiers of

charged with a

all

jjart of his

drove them into a dense wood.

Speaking of this battle, Morillo wrote "Fourteen consecutive charges upon my wearied battalions convinced me that those men were not a small gang of cowards, as had been represented to me." The taking of S. Fernando was preceded by an extraordinary exploit of Paez who, with 50 Lancers,

swam

:

to

the Spanish gun-boats, boarded and

captured them. After such deeds of valour

it is sad,

but only characteristic of Eepublicans,

to record that the pictures of these victories have been all defaced

by the

Liberal Party, while the portrait of Paez himself, their once idolized hero, utterly destroyed by

musket

shots.

is


VENEZUELA.

184

There was a

encircled the inner coiu't.

Httle whispering

amongst them, but no noise or embarrassment

came forward very

politely

;

and one

and asked us to walk into the

Here we found the schoolmistress,

drawing-room.

a lady

about forty years of age, who was stUl good-looking, and

who, from her quiet, self-possessed manner, seemed to be

She said she

well fitted to rule in such an establishment.

had

fifty

pupils,

and that the elder

teaching the younger, and that was

managing the

We

school.

out, so that they looked to

made were

the aid she had in

me

of threads

had been drawn

like the skeletons of pocket-

We were then shown how the interstices thus

handkerchiefs.

flowers,

all

in

were shown pieces of French

number

cambric, from which a

assisted her

girls

filled

up with needlework, representing

and other devices. Rosa, a

girl of sixteen,

fruits,

produced a

mouchoir she was finishiug, which was declared to be a miracle of art,

and worked

at

it

in our presence.

The

stitches were so

wonderfully fine that our eyes ached in attempting to follow the movements of her needle, but the schoolmistress declared that

Rosa never made a

false stitch.

Haj'ward seemed

very eager to possess this handkerchief, and asked the

and when

it

could be got ready.

finished in two days, this, rather to

made

He

was told

and was valued

my sm-prise,

at fifty dollars.

he produced the money.

a few purchases, and then took leave, not

a feeling of regret that so

many

f>rice,

would be

it

docile, clever girls

On

I, too,

without

should

have such scanty means of instruction.

We

now walked on

to the house of General Paez.

rather annoyed by Haj^ward's declining to go alone,

I

in.

I was

I entered

and found I had plunged into the most talkative family

had ever encountered.

In spite of the compliments of

my


THE FAIE AXTOXIA. host and hostess,

who

my

j^raised

185

Spanish, and seemed as

they were wishful to talk on for ever, I managed to effect retreat,

and got back to

entering, I

my

house thoroughly

tii'ed.

more so that he did not return

still

time to ride.

^Vhen he came

in, it

me

struck

my On

Hayward was

was rather surprised to find that

not there, and

if

till it

was

that some-

thing wrong had happened, for his manner was changed, and, instead of his usual good-humoured smile, he had a

depressed and

moody look.

I told

him

that there was to be

we

a party that night at Senora Ribera's, and that

must show

om'selves, so as to get an invitation.

I said, " Antonia Bibera

now

is

I have not yet seen her, but I

Erminia

;

and of

coui'se

without seeing her."

consented to

thought into

some scrape

self?

am

told she has dethroned

you would not

Wh&i

"Is he going

I.

quite the reigning beauty.

like to leave

Finding I was bent on

"

call.

is

it,

Valencia

Ha3'ward

the matter with the fellow ?

"

to have an illness, or has he got

this afternoon, wliile

I begin to wish I

really

" Besides,"

he was out by him-

had not asked him

to

pay

me

a

visit."

The Senora Bibera was and one son.

a widow, with three daughters

She had been

a great belle, and,

charms had long since faded, she had ways of a spoiled beauty.

Her

childi'en

still

were

the coquettish all

but Antonia was said to be the most beautiful Venezuela. endless, to

The number

of suitors she

handsome,

woman

in

had refused was

and a report had gone about that she did not want

marry any one but a foreigner.

better cm-e for a

Hayward seemed tm-ned

though her

off

fit

Some

think there

is

no

of the spleen than a hard gallop, and

to be of that opinion

;

for I

no sooner

the high road on to the lake, but he started at a


VENEZUELA.

186

furious pace along a narrow winding path that led across

In vain I shouted to him to keep a look-out

countr3\

ahead, and to rein in a

He

little.

did not hear me, or would

not attend, and the result was just what I expected. At a place

where the path twisted a good deal amongst thick bushes,

we plumped suddenly on an mule, and, in a moment,

old fellow riding a

stumpy

Hayward and he came

like

two knights in a tournament.

and

rolled over

Down went

little

together

the mule,

and over with the Creole among the bushes,

made

while Hayward' s horse

a carambole off the thicket on

the other side, and so nearly dismounted

Hayward

that he

had he not been a good

lost both his stiiTups, and,

rider,

he would certainly have measured his length on the ground.

As

it

was, he kept his seat, and went on for several hundred

yards before he could stop his horse.

and dismounting, went

The

his mule. little

to

lift

made

brute

if

sheath when he

fell,

taste of

it.

As

it

his

He

up

fallen rider

a vicious kick at

better with his master.

so enraged that,

up the

I pulled

directly,

and catch

me, and I fared

was not much hurt, but

machete had not tumbled out of

he would most likely have given

was, he struck at

my

liis

me

a

proffered arm, and

sputtered out a string of curses, winding up with one which

was quite new

"May

to

me.

you die of the fever," said he; "and may

wife go into a convent

By

this

time Hayward, too,

coming back

to

join

5^0 ur

" !

me.

had pulled up, and was

His liumoui' was not much

improved by the accident, and I was glad to get back to Valencia.

We

dressed and went to the Senora Ribera's

party, arriving very early.

Presently,

when

all

the guests

had assembled, the door opened, and in came a young

lady,


AN AWKWAED QUESTION.

1S7

who, I saw at a glance, from her extraordinary beauty, must

She was very unlike the other Creole

be Antonia.

Her

had seen. aristocratic

ladies I

manner were rather those

dress and

of an

Her

English beauty than of a Creole.

eyes

were dark blue, her hair a rich brown, her nose Grecian,

Only her

her eyebrows arched. usual with graceful,

Enghsh women.

and her step so

lips

Her

were fuller than

is

was slender and

figure

elastic that she

seemed

to glide

rather than walk into the room.

" Caballero," she asked me, without the slightest preparation,

" are you married

" Upon

my

?

"

word," thought

"

I,

is

tliis

looked about for a moment, and saw that directed to me.

did not

lilie

to

be imputed to

I could not say I

o"v\ai

" Algunas veces

all

She then

knowledge of Spanish, I replied,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " sometimes."

to say, " I understand

said,

eyes were

was not married, and I

People tittered, and Aiitonia smiled, and gave

which seemed

I

that I was; so, hoping the answer would

my imperfect "

bad."

too

"I want

me

a look

your dilemma."

England.

to hear about

I have

always wished to go there."

We

entered into a long conversation

listened to that singular girl, the

;

and the more I

more I wondered.

She

talked like a bookworm, like a politician, like a diplomatist, like a savant,

but so

like a senorita of eighteen years

little

of age, that at times I almost forgot I

was speaking

After a time I remembered that I had brought

purpose to introduce

liim

to

Antonia.

So,

to a girl.

Hayward on making an

To my annoyance, he and on asking Madame Eibera

excuse, I got up to look for him.

was nowhere

to be seen,

about him, she said he had gone away, not feeling well.


VENEZUELA.

188

I

now began

to be really apprehensive about Haj^ward.

His behaviour seemed something wrong.

so odd, that I felt sure there

diately without exciting remarks, so I sat to a

German

"You

Eiberas.

she said

;

*'

I suppose

Well, she

is

you have heard

all

" Not a word," I said. " Well, then, I will tell you.

who was

love with her, and her

You know

have him.

down and

talked

to tell

would not you believe her

her own age,

imme-

me

about the

see Lucia, the elder sister of Antonia ?

creature in the world ?

seems.

She began

lady I knew.

to be the gentlest

about her marriage

"

Lucia had a cousin about

He

was ugly.

fell

in

mother was determined she should girls are

If

not allowed to choose hus-

Lopez had been her uncle

the same, for the sake of his money. last,

?

^

instead of her cousin, she would have had to marry

At

"

anything but what she

as rich as he

bands for themselves here.

time.

was

left

However, I could not have

Madame

hun

all

She held out a long

Ribera, and Lucia's brother, and

her male relatives met, and fixed everything

and, in spite

;

of her remonstrances, the marriage took place, and Lucia

was carried fitted

off

by Lopez

to his country-house,

up with new and elegant

which he had

But when he had

fm'niture.

got her there, he could do nothing with her. like a

maniac.

She behaved

She broke the mirrors, and cut

the beautiful curtains

;

and the end of

it

to pieces all

was, that he was

obliged to send for her mother, and she was taken home,

and insisted on caUing herself Lucia Eibera, and would never acknowledge her husband at

he was so chagi'ined that he has been a year a widow

;

all.

fell ill

and

As

for

died,

and report says she

poor Lopez,

and now she is

to

marry

Diego Garcia, who has no monej", and a worse temper than


HAYWARD'S DEPAETURE. she has herself; and

he wiU revenge Lopez

likely that

it is

189

and punish her as she deserves." I asked about Antonia, but

my German

friend declared

herself quite puzzled about her, and would only say, " She is

an enigma."

As soon

as I could get an opportunity, I slipped

Hayward was not

went home. tUl I

When

was asleep.

I got

there,

up next day, I

felt

so vexed

own

devices,

with him that I determined to leave him to his

and to get

hhn

rid of

away and

and did not come in

He

as soon as I could.

talked veiy

and looked gloomy, but brightened up

little

at breakfast,

when

a small parcel was brought in to him, containing the

Soon

handkerchief he had bought at the school.

after this

he went out, saying he should dine with a friend he had

met the other villa,

who had

day,

on the borders of the

could not help saying to

also in\dted

lake.

my

voice.

"

It's

man whose

my

!

him "

in a very oracular If ever I see a

is.

place was booked for a passage over Jordan, as

at that house,"

Juan did not

leaving the rest to

The

my visitor.

yes, sir," said Juan,

my

And

it, it is

Mr. Hayward.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;here

Juan jerked his head in

the direction of Erminia's residence, gall

liis

After he had gone out, I

downright certain there

old mother used to call

to see

to go to

servant Juan that I was afraid

there was something the matter with

" The matter

him

then

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " a-going on with that

finish his sentence,

but stalked

off,

imagmation.

following morning Hajnvard took leave of me, and

went to the house of his Spanish twelve miles

off.

When

he had

know what had been going and see how

affau's

friend, left,

which was about

as I felt cm-ious to

on, I resolved to call

stood in that quarter.

on Ermmia,

I was surprised


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

VENEZUELA.

190

to find the shutters half closed. theless,

I entered the hall, never-

which in most Venezuelan houses leads to the quad-

rangle round which the rooms are built, and knocked at the

inner door.

It

was opened by one of the younger

had evidently been " Papa

" but you

;

the

is

matter?"

I

iU."

is

she said

is ill,"

"What

crying.

" I hope no one

asked.

who

girls,

may come

Mamma

in.

or Erminia will speak to you."

So saying, she showed me into the drawing-room, and went to

tell

to think I

them, and I had to wait so long, that I began

had been indiscreet in

came, with the same " Pai^a

is

very

little sister

ill,"

who had

Erminia

said

At

calling.

;

let

Erminia

last

me

in.

" we have been up

all

night with him."

She looked so pale and

ill

as she said

this,,

that I could

not help thinking she was more in need of being nursed herself

regret,

"

After expressing

than able to attend to others.

My

and

inquii-ing about

English friend, Mr.

the illness of

Hay ward,

has

you did not see him before he started

Senor L., I

left

me.

my

said,

I suppose

?"

Erminia's pale face flushed, and she said with a sort of reluctance, "

We

saw him

last evening.

He

called

;

that

he was passing by the window, and he stopped to bid

mamma,

I

mean

is,

me

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; good-bye."

Just then, the Senora L. herself entered the room, and

Erminia went

to take her place

by the bedside of the

invalid,

so I had no further opportunity of speaking to her that day.

The all

illness of

Senor L. continued without improvement

the time I remained at Valencia.

I went daily over to

inquire for him, and always saw Erminia, but never alone,

except for half a minute on one occasion.

I then said, " I


THE MALEDICTION FULFILLED. want

to talk to

flushed, as

and she

it

jou about

am

I

"We

never

Her

English friend."

had done before when

said, hurriedly,

about that.

my

191

face

mentioned his name,

I

shall never be able to speak

alone

am

I

;

siempre

acom-

panada."

Meantune, I could not help being struck with the love

and devotion with which Senor L. was nursed by his family.

His daughters, who, when I seated, radiant with smiles

windows, now never

left

fii'st

came, had

ever}'

the sick-room.

I

at the

had the pleasure

of seeing, in this instance, that the Creole ladies, superficial observer

day been

and beautifully dressed,

who

to a

might appear bent only on coquetry, are

in reahty not to be sm-passed in that affection which binds

famihes together. beauty

I

:

I

had before admired Erminia

now esteemed and

for her

respected her for her devotion

to her father.

One

evening, a few da^-s before the date I had fixed

for leaving Valencia,

had

left,

and about a fortnight

I was sittmg alone, smoking,

horseback came

clattering

up

Presently Juan entered with a I

made out

that

to

my ill,

Hayward

when some one on and stopped.

door,

With some

letter.

Hayward was very

after

upon

and that

difticulty

Don Pedro

Raynal, at whose house he was stopping, earnestly begged

me

to

ordered

Don

come over

my

at once

and see him.

I

immediately

horse, and set out on the twelve miles' ride to

Pedro's

reaching the

house. -villa

My

surprise

was

great

covered by the light which was brought to show steps, that

my

when, on

(which we did about midnight), I dis-

me up

the

companion was the very same old Creole who

had been so rudely dismounted by Hayward, and who tmnied out to be one of

Don

Pedro's servants.


VENEZUELA.

192

" I hope the Senor Inglis

up the

Don Pedro he

is

better," said

"

shook his head.

was his

illness ?

He

You have

!

" I exclaimed

;

"

is it

arrived too late

:

;

possible ?

What

them

of the

died, Senor, of yellow fever."

After writmg to Hayward's friends to liis

visit to

tell

Valencia, I went to

but passed an unquiet night, distiu-bed by horrid

dreams,

and was right

allowed of left

as I sprang

"

melancholy termination of sleep

I,

dead."

" Good Heavens "

is

steps.

my

glad

return to the

when morning broke and

city.

Two

days afterwards I

Valencia, having seen the beautiful Erminia onty once

more, and then but for a few minutes. I have since heard, with but

wish has been

gratified,

little

surprise, that her aunt's

and that she has entered a convent.


CHAPTER !

—A

Mariscal

One

of

my

the

exj)eclite

objects on arriving at Valencia

fii-st

my

and

I

my

was not a

Valencia

sui'prised

little

now be

easily gratified,

when the announcement of

On

in-

was told that the president seldom came even

to

and that

;

if

I

was bent on seeing him, I should

have to go to Coro or Maracaibo.

The

distance of these

" Be-

places was great, but their inaccessibility was greater. sides," said

as

to

In m}^ simplicity, I imagined

wishes in this respect would

intention was received ever}"«-here with skrugs.

quiry, I

was

long-desired interview -with General Falcon,

the President of the Republic.

that

how to find him The Grand Army Down with the Noble Revenge Tocuyo Personal Appearance of the Gran Conversation with the President.

General Falcon, and

Red

X.

my informant,

he thought of the

opening his eyes, wider and wider,

difficulties,

"Coro

is

so confoundedly

unhealthy, and you will be sure to die of fever, or to be eaten by wild beasts in the forest, before jou get there.

There are no roads, and no places to put up

at,

and there

is

hardly a misery existing that 3'ou will not have to encounter.

Here, just look at the map. Cabello.

That

is

You must go back

to Puerto

one of the worst places in the world for

yellow fever, and they have got

it

there just now.

from Puei-to Cabello to the Yaracui and Ai'oa

Then,

rivers, 3'ou will o


VENEZUELA.

194

have to cross a burning waste, in which there shrub ten feet high to keep

After that, you will

off the sun.

get into the jungles of Coro, through which sible to

push your way

—a

As

worse will

;

for the road to

it is

hardly pos-

regular hot-bed of fever, and

swarming with tigers, as they here.

not a single

is

call

the jaguars and panthers

Maracaibo,

but I shall say nothing about

it is it,

a thousand times

am

for I

sure you

never get so far."

I could not helj) smiling at

did not

on arriving

at

my

friend's

vehemence, but I

deterred, until he further assured

feel at all

Coro I should very

me

somewhat

that

likely find that the presi-

dent had gone to some other remote region, whither

be impossible for

me

I then

to follow him.

as an envoy would, who,

would

it

began to

feel

on arriving in London,

accredited to the Court of St. James, should be told that the

queen never came

Orkney

to town,

to be

Islands,

further expedition to

journey by

rail

" Neither

presented, with the

chance of a

Not, indeed that any

Cork or Jersey.

or steamboat can compare with one in a

country where no such speaking, there

and that he must go to the

facilities exist,

and where, generally

is

horse meat, nor man's meat, nor place to

lie

down."

After pondering over the matter a good deal, I came to that

w^ell-known

minds — that

man who

conclusion

— the

usual

refuge

of

a

has serious business on hand, the chase of a Jack

o'Lanthorn

is

not a pleasant pastime, even though the said

Jack should be a president and a " grand mariscal." ever, I

weak

To

I would be guided by circumstances.

had undertaken the pursuit

;

and, at

How-

last, after

thrown out several times, destiny ordained that

I

being

should


THE GEAND ARMY. obtain the interview; but

it

this, not to the fact that I

195

must be confessed that

had come so many miles

owed

I

for the

express pm'pose of seeing the great man, nor to the repeated

messages I had sent to him by com'iers, but to the breaking out of distm-bances in the central and eastern provinces of

As soon

the republic.

web began

as the distant

to vibrate, the

meshes of the

political

master spinner made his appear-

ance from the recesses of Coro, and the reports of his erratic

movements, now to Maracaibo, now to San Felipe, now to Barquisimeto, ceased.

was a bright hot forenoon in the

It

tember when, as I was

lazily

first

swinging in

week of Sep-

my hammock

in

the Calle de Constitucion at Valencia, the unusual sound of

martial music reached

the

Gran

army it

was

!

the

I

Starting up, I hurried to

ear.

and was in time to see the Venezuelan

Shades of Brion and Bolivar

enter.

civilised,

Some

Plaza,

my

have seen troops of

from

Chma

all

!

what an army

nations, civilised and un-

to Peru, but

never any like those.

of the officers, indeed, were tall and well-made

men were

the strangest figures

;

but

—lean old scarecrows and

starveling boys not five feet high, the greater

number

half

naked, with huge strips of raw beef twisted round their hats or hanging from their belts.

Their skins seemed to have

been baked black with exposui'e to the sun, and

theii-

arms

and accoutrements were of the most wretched description. Yet they were not contemptible weird, repulsive

—a

sight to

far

from

it

—but

make one shudder.

thought on seeing them was, " exposure, or fatigue do to

What

harm

?

But

first

could want, miasma,

these animated skeletons ?

Could anything make them blacker, grimmer, more

more miserable

rather

My

fleshless,

in this ver}^ wretchedness consists 2


'

196

their strength

It

soldiers could not exist

where

1 p.m. before the last of these skeleton

bands

for

;

men would

these

was near

filed into

could,

VENEZUELA.

European

thrive."

the great square.

counted them as well as I

I

and made out that there were about three thousand

men, with eight standards, each standard marking a bat-

They

talion.

They vanished

quarters.

and then dispersed

lined the square,

must be owned, with

lilce

to their

an army of spectres, and

it

I went about the city a

as Httle noise.

good deal that evening, but I saw but very few of the goblin host that

Gran Plaza

the

filled

there was none.

This

fact

noon, and disturbance

at

made an impression on my mind,

my

and next morning, as I was pulling on

jack-boots pre-

paratory to a long ride to meet General Falcon, I said to servant, " Quiet fellow^s those,

one

man drunk

Juan

!

Last night I saw only

out of the three thousand

when they

my

!

"

"Oh

yes,

sir,

quiet enough, specially

yoii

from behind a tree," replied Juan, who had evidently no

are going to shoot at

very exalted opinion of the gobhns. shoot people sometimes excite

Juan's

" Shoot, sir?

rather

!

irritable

I b'lieve

" Oh, then they do

" I rejoined, in a tone intended to

mood

to

the

uttermost.

you!" he exclaimed, with a

snort.

" Why, when this gang marched into Caracas, they were very

—Madame E. —because

near shooting a

lad^-

had a red riband

in his cap.

You know,

her

little

boy

red's the colour of

the aristocratical party, the same as these chaps call the

Godos and sir,

cony where '

Epilepticos, the 'Goths' and 'Epileptics.' Well,

there were above a hundred muskets pointed at the bal-

Down

Madame

with the red

R. was. ' !

'

Down

with the oligarchs

!

they kept shouting; but they weren't

a-going to frighten her, I promise you.

'Stead of that, she


'

DOWN WITH THE EED

clapped her hand on her son's cap to keep out to them,

Viva the red

'

197

!

You canaille, he

!

and called

on,

it

shall

wear

!

it

And

then in another moment, not the boy only, but herself

too,

and every one in that balcony, would have been dyed red

in theii'

own blood

but General

;

Guzman Blanco

spurred

his horse in front,

and said that they should shoot him

before they should

harm

By cigar

this time I ;

a

first

woman and a child." my boots, and had Hghted my

had got on

so I descended to the street to

nor of the province had sent start at 6 a.m.,

with

president, and

hoped

all

I

me

mount

;

for the gover-

a message that he should

the notables of Valencia, to meet the

would ride with him.

I

had sent to

borrow a horse, and I found a remarkable animal awaiting me.

He was

his colour,

young,

full of fire,

and very handsome

which was almost that of

slate,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

all

but

with white eyes.

Altogether he was a good specimen of the Venezvielan horse,

more than fourteen

a capital charger in miniature, and not

hands and a half high.

Punctuality

is

not one of the Vene-

zuelan virtues, as I found on this occasion.

been warned that the governor would

my horse was

to wait at least half

an hour

fresh and fidgety,

was rather fatiguing.

in a cavalcade of

a Spanish friend

mate, I

fell

it

;

and, as

some twenty or

tliirty

At

last

extremely

we

started

I was rather inti-

him about the Venezuelan

troops I had seen the day before, and their character. friend said they were

He had

much

My

better soldiers than they looked.

no gTeat opinion- of their humanity, and not only

confirmed Juan's story of

me

had

horsemen, and, seeing

among them with whom

into discourse with

Although I had

start exactly at six, I

Madame E. and

her child, but told

several anecdotes not at all suggestive of Venezuelan

love of fair play.

Amongst other

things, he said that

when


VENEZUELA.

198

the party

now

power made their triumphal entry mto

in

Caracas, one of their officers insulted an officer of the oligar-

A duel was

chists.

m sight of an excited

fought on the spot,

crowd of soldiers and others

;

and when the democrat was

run through the body, the b3^standers discharged a whole volley at the conqueror, I then asked

hun

who

fell

pierced with twenty bullets.

" Falcon,"

his opinion of the president.

said he, " deserves a bright page in history for his modera-

Of

tion. is

by

all

the

far the

guilty of

men who have

most humane.

many sanguinary

governed Venezuela, Falcon Bolivar, as you know,

acts.

On

the 14th, 15th, and

many persons Some of them

16th of February, 1814, he had almost as shot as Robespierre sent to the guillotine.

were aged

had

men

of fourscore years,

who could not

walk, so

The

to be carried to the place of execution in chairs.

other

gi'eat

was

revolutionary leaders have been sangumary, too,

no ex-

and even those associated with Falcon, as

Sotillo, are

ception to the rule ; but Falcon himself

a shining example

of clemenc}^

is

Nor can

and coui'age combined.

it

be denied

that in his case clemency has proved the best policy. give 3'ou an example.

with Paez near Caracas. sides.

an

Falcon treated his

officer into

exchange.

Prisoners were taken on both well, and, after a

Caracas with a

Paez,

it

is

flag of truce,

to

be shot

;

then tm-ning to the

who had come from Falcon, he bade him

report what he had seen to his general.

up

he had

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a command which was

immediately carried into execution

officer

few days, sent

and invited an

said, sent for the prisoners

made, and ordered them

officer

I will

In 1861 he fought a drawn battle

dej^art

and

Shortly after that

had returned to his own camp. General Falcon rode

to the place

where his

i^risoners were,

and calling out


'

;

A NOBLE EEVENGE.

199

one of them, a Mr. Sutherland, put a paper into his hands it

was the account of the execution

read the report, handed

it

back to Falcon, and

know

general, of course I

Sutherh^nd

at Caracas.

oui- fate is

said,

'

Well,

Allow me,

settled.

however, to thank you for the very kind way in which we

have been treated ever since we have been in your hands.'

General Falcon bowed, and replied, receive notice of ral

my

decision.'

'

In an hour you will

With these words the gene-

rode away, and Mr. Sutherland and his fellow-prisoners

j)repared for instant death.

In rather

than an hour one

less

and brought a sealed

of Falcon's aides-de-camp rode up,

paper, which he delivered into Mr. Sutherland's hands, after

They were

causing the other prisoners to be brought out. brave

men

some

of

but

;

it

them beat

is

not to be doubted that the pulse of

fast in that awful

moment

of susj^ense,

remembering, as they must have done, that even the small

boon of a

soldier's death

was not always granted in some of

the barbarous executions of the preceding wars. theii'

astonishment, then,

words barity

General Falcon

' :

by him

is

in the late action are free

on

them have

the journey

' !

Sutherland then

And,

many

fm-ther, as

sum

of

money ^sufficient

for

!

You may be

Falcon

prisoners taken

parole not to bear

great distances to travel to reach their- homes,

they will each be provided with a

"

The

tlieii'

arms against him in the present war. of

these

unable to retaliate for one bar-

the perpetration of another.

b}^

What was

when Sutherland read aloud

on this

sm-e

that there was

announcement.

a

shout of

But what

is

'

Viva

more,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;who had been a steady opponent of Falcon

till

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;was so touched by his magnanimity, that he hastened

to his native place, Maracaibo,

and raised the whole pro-


VENEZUELA.

200

This mission had an

vince in favour of his ^enefactor.

important

deciding the issue of the struggle, and

effect in

from that day to this Maracaibo has continued

faithful to

Falcon under the guidance of Sutherland, who was elected president of the province."

By

the time this anecdote and some others were told,

had got well on our way

to

miles distant from Valencia.

Tocuyo, which

We

were

is

we

about twelve

approachmg the

fast

western range of mountains which stretches from Valencia

towards Apure, and as we advanced the beauty

of the

At the same time very threatening

scenery increased.

clouds were gathering in front of us, and, not wishing to get a soaking, I gave

every

one of

my

my

horse the

companions

posada of Tocuyo at

full gallop.

a few minutes after I

was well I did

It

rain

so, for

descended in a

me

thunder-plump, which would have drenched in an instant.

In the midst of this deluge

to the skin

my

Valencian

friends arrived, and a few minutes afterwards a large of

horsemen made

direction, issuing

upon some

their

appearance from the

from a gorge in the mountams.

fifty tatterdemalion soldiers,

in the sheds near the posada,

left

and reached the

beliind,

the

arrived

and soon

sjDur,

body

opposite

Here-

who were ensconced

were hastily called out, and

presented arms, as a powerfuTy built man,

T\ith a great

slouching sombrero, rode up at the head of the horsemen

we had seen coming from the mountains. " So this

is

Falcon," I said to myself, as the caballero

with the slouched hat ahghted. rade

t}'pe,

not more than

He

five feet

is

a

man

of the Con-

nine inches in height;

but his broad shoulders, great swelling chest, and powerful lunbs show that he would be a formidable antagonist to


GENERAL FALCOX. His

encounter.

clear

handsome, perhaps, but

face is not strictly

hair and moustache,

Black

more than good-looking.

2()1

a

ohve complexion, and regular features, do not of them-

selves imply anything specially attractive

sion

Falcon's fine

of

Without aiming

dark

at a pun,

eyes

is

but the expres-

;

singularly

might srj that they are the

I

Their too

eyes of a dove rather than of a falcon. softness

of his

plea'sing.

gi'eat

however, corrected by the firmness and decision

is,

mouth

;

and, to

sum

up, one

may

say that Falcon's

physiognomy announces him to be manly, com'ageous, and most humane.

While the president was exchanging recognitions with the

my

" There's the

Don Fernando whisman who may truly say, Le

c'est moi,' for

he

crowd around him,

me

pered to

:

gouvernement

friend

'

who keeps

it is

the present

party in power, or rather presei"ves Venezuela from downright anarchy. title of

was

'

You know,

Grand Mariscal

styled

the

Well

Citizen.'

It

tive.

and Paez

BoHvar perished

want of the necessaries of

him the

of the republic, just as Bolivar

Liberator,'

'

!

'

congress has decreed to

the

in exile,

'

Illustrious

and almost in

Paez has long been a

life.

remains to be seen what will be the

fate

fugi-

of the

Grand Mariscal." After the president had greeted his friends, and had been told

who

I was, he stepped

inquired #if I

people

man,

who

like

up

to

me

Some

spoke Spanish.

very affably, and of those

officious

are always to be found hovering about a gi'eat

Falcon, anticipated

claimed that I spoke a general, can speak to

little;

him

my

answer for me, and ex-

"But," added

in French."

"No,"

" I have been too long in the mountains

;

they,

"you,

said Falcon,

I cannot speak


VENEZUELA.

202

French now."

Rather amused

at this disclaimer, for the

Venezuelans had been boasting to

me

of their president's

knowledge of the language of dij)lomacy, I said that I

hoped

make myself

to

in

intelligible

Spanish.

We

then

conversed for some time, when, on some one mentioning

come from Coro

the disturbances which the president had to quell,

hun and

and calling them a revolution. Falcon turned to said, in a very

be no revolution

loud and decided tone, " There will

The

!

interests at stake are too great to

Were

admit of change.

these troubles to continue now,

the coffee and cotton crops would be lost.

I have every

reason to hope, on the contrary, that the English commissioner will carry good news to his country."

Just at this in,

moment important

despatches were brought

and the president retired with some of the chief

to another

room

to

discuss them.

I remained,

officers

and the

apartment where I was gi'ew more and more crowded, as fresh people arrived from the estates in the neighbom-hood.

Many came

in uniforms,

not unbecoming, though rather

I was mtroduced to a

bizarre.

number

of persons, and

amongst them to a Mr. A., who asked me what part of

England

I I came from. upon he exclaimed, " Then for they,

too,

said,

"From London;" you know my

I dare say

in that town."

reside

I

thought he was

joking; but, seeing he looked quite grave, I drew a

little,

him out

and found he had no idea that London ^as larger

than Caracas. a

wherefamily,

Munchausen

As if

I felt quite sure that he would think

I told

tained three times as

him

that the

many persons

Enghsh

as all Venezuela, I

maintained a discreet silence on that head. ever, hardly

keep

my

me

capital con-

I could,

how-

countenance when he wrote down his


GENEEAL FALCON. name on

paper, and added a

that

liis

family

them out and send him

find

Presently one of the company informed

the particulars.

me

memorandimi

London, and I was to

lived in

203

that A.'s father was a Serjeant, and rose to be a major

where

in Venezuela,

son was horn.

this

Meantime, a general of cavaky had been preparing lunch, of which I was glad to partake

we had betaken requested

me

oui'selves to

;

and when

it

was

but on seeing

;

me

he

bed, while he sat in a

m

I said I had been anxious to see him,

chair.

and

over,

came and

officer

I fomid Falcon quite

to go to the president.

alone, swinging, in his hammock sprang up, and made me sit on a

learn

an

cigars,

order to

from his ovn\ mouth his sentiments regarding the

He

loan.

had

replied that, from the communications he

received from General

Guzman

that all would be satisfactorily

Blanco, he had no doubt I dwelt

settled.

on the

importance of a scrupulous adherence to the conditions, and government's

of the

He

faith.

assented.

maintaining

its

character for

good

I then said that I had visited the

richest districts in Venezuela,

and was quite convinced of

the enormous productiveness of the soil

two things wanting, hrazos y dinero

;

but there were

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; "labour and

capital."

" It appears to me," I contmued, " that the Venezuelan

government have the means of becoming

rich,

ing off

"

"how

the debt of the country."

all

so,

pray?"

of country to

"By

and of pay!

"

said he,

seUing," I replied, " a gTeat tract

some European company who would send

out large bodies of emigrants." position

Ah

He

asked

me

if

that pro-

came from the English government or from piivate

individuals

;

and on

my

telling

him, from the

latter,

he

declared that he was most favourable to such an enterprise.


VENEZUELA.

204

"There caibo

is,"

he

said,

"a

between Mara-

tract of country

and Caracas, two hundred leagues long and

fifty

broad, admirably adapted for cultivation, which might be sold to emigrants." jects,

and

After this we spoke of indifferent sub-

ijrincipally of

just killed two large panthers and a

The puma took

Coro.

of which

foliage

refuge in

difficulty in

told

puma

me he had

in the forests of

an immense

was so thick as almost

had had great

that he

He

the chase.

to conceal

shooting

it.

the

tree, it,

so

Finding

that I was fond of sport, he expressed his regret that I

had not come fault,

as

brought

in,

I said I

to

Coro, which, indeed, was entirely his

he had not invited me.

and he asked

me

to join

had already disposed of

leave, pleased with his

my

own

His lunch was now

hun

at the table

appetite,

and I

;

but toolc

manners, but not too deeply con-

vinced of his sincerity.

On coming (which

is

out, I

was shown the diamond

star

he wears

worth, perhaps, two hundred guineas), and his

Order of Liberator.

" So much," thought

republican simphcit}', and

all

I,

"for equality,

that sort of thing."


CHAPTER XL A

Visit to Carabobo

— Joltings

by the way

— Position

— Mine

host the Colonel, and the

before the Battle The Advance from San Carlos The Night before the battle The Spanish Position Flight of the Apure Bravos Repulse of the Cavaliy under Paez Ammunition exhausted Bayonet charge of the British- The

Posada at the

battle-field

of affairs

Spaniards routed

— Loss

of

the

British

— Bolivar's

Address

grateful

Results of the Victory.

Before

leaving Valencia, that pearl of Venezuelan cities,

The name

I resolved to visit the field of Carabobo.

which decided the

liberties of the

is little

BoUvar fought the

familiar to English ears, yet here

battle

South American republics,

and here British valour achieved a victory which deserves

to

be recorded in bronze and marble.

The

battle-field is situated

As

Valencia.

I foresaw

it

about eighteen miles south of

would take some time to examine

the ground, besides four or five hom-s at least for going and returning, and as a tropical sun in

August

I determined to drive rather than ride.

exclaims

my European

the thing

is

done."

in Valencia, I

vehicle of script,

sightseer.

is

not agreeable,

"What

easier!"

" Order a carriage, and

Carriages, however, being non-existent

was obliged

any description.

to

At

make last

my

search for a roofed choice was a nonde-

strongly suggestive of the disasters which shortly

took place.

Into this I mounted with two or three friends


VENEZUELA.

206

about 6 o'clock on the morning of the 29th of August,

186

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

We

.

all lit

our cigars, gave the word to old Domingo,

the driver, and started with a shock that broke one of the

and enabled us to get well to the end of our

traces,

fk'st

cigars before even leaving the door.

To

say that the streets of Valencia are not adapted for

wheels,

to

is

speak in the mild form which the Greeks

thought advisable in discoursing of anything preternaturally

On

bad.

this principle, one

might say that these

streets are

paved, just as the Furies were called Eumenides.

made up my mind

to

last

we

cleared

many

through another

it

At the

for us.

there was a chasm, into which we were

cost us so

had

be "jolted to a jelly," but another

form of martyrdom was reserved

At

I

all

first

turning

but precipitated.

with a portentous jerk, but the triumj)li

fractures as to entail a delay which lasted cigar.

We

then got on pretty well through

a street and a square, but onl}^ to find ourselves in a narrow lane, shelving laterally at an angle full

of holes

smashed the

and did not return

till

and

Here we

flagstones.

and the driver went

pole,

thirty degrees,

of

and heaps of broken

off for a fresh one,

we had consumed

a third cigar.

The sun was already hot before we were off the stones. The road lay in the centre of a valley, which extended north and south

bounded

to

east

as

far

as

eye

could

reach,

and' was

and west by richly wooded ranges of

mountains some twenty miles apart, and from one thousand to

five

thousand

feet high.

This valley cuts

angles the far narrower one in which Valencia

At

its

northern extremity

thence to the

field of

is

the

Lake

at right is

built.

of Tacarigua, and

Carabobo, a distance of twenty- eight

miles, there is a succession of plantations,

many

of

them


VISIT TO CARABOBO. uncultivated since the late war

true,

it is

207

and now unprofit-

able to the owners, but not the less luxuriant to

Were

the eye.

sun, fever,

it

liberty, this valley

So we thought,,and,

humour, we exchanged

falling into a

civil

or

would

benignant

words with aR we met.

were, for the most part, ragged fellows asses,

a vertical

not for snakes, insects,

and a too rank crop of

be Paradise.

and pleasing

These

driving mules or

momited on miserable jades of horses, yet the

usual salutation by which they were addi-essed was, "

morning, general;" It

morning, doctor."

was past 10 o'clock a.m. before we got

which

The

"Good

is

Good

to a posada,

the sole habitation near the Pass of Carabobo.

landlord was only a colonel, but in respectability of

appearance he quite thrust several of the generals we had

met

into the

breakfast.

shade.

We

asked what we could have for

Like innkeepers eveiywhere, he informed us we

could have whatever we' liked; but on om' proceeding to

name

various desii'able dishes,

them were forthcoming, and,

meek acquiescence

in eggs,

thing procurable.

For

it

turned out that none of

in the end,

we subsided

into a

which were, in truth, the

this

ovation,

onl}^

and two bottles of

wretched wine of the country, the worthy colonel charged us only twenty-one shillings; so that we did not pay

more than

a shilling

Having feasted

much

an egg.

after this fashion,

we

sallied forth to re-

connoitre the locality in which the battle was fought.

was now past eleven, and the

fierce

It

sun made us appreciate

what the combatants must have suffered from the heat on the memorable 24th of June, 1821.

must have been

sorely tried

just then a proof of their

;

The English,

at least,

but as for the natives, we had

power of endurance,

for a party


208

VENEZUELA.

of travellers went by,

among whom were

had but a

And it

light mantilla

drawn over

several girls,

who

their heads.

here, after the fashion of the immortal Cervantes,

might be allowable to request the reader to suspend his

interest in the battle

Carabobo, and turn aside to a

of

lengthy episode in which could be related an adventure or love passage that befell one or other of our party then, or on

some other occasion, or which tended that one of the said recounted to us.

my

havoc of

it

might be adroitly prea propos or otherwise,

travellers,

But, to say truth, the sun was making

patience, and, so far from seeking matter for

an episode, I besought the cicerone of the party to he knew, and to be brief about

all

under shelter again as

it,

as I

us

wanted to get

The

fast as possible.

tell

old general,

however, had his own way of teUing the story, and was not to be thwarted.

"You

will

appreciate

it,

never understand the battle," said he, "nor

position of affairs. dissatisfied

1820

You

see

we had

This took

i^lace at

it

b}'

previous

been a good deal

battle,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;had concluded a truce Captain- General

Morillo.

Carabobo.

It is true

we got

rid of

the armistice, for he went oif to Spain as soon

was signed

;

but he

left

La

Torre, as good a general as

himself, at the head of affau's, to say nothing of the

Morales,

for

Santa Anna, a village in the province of

Trujillo, to the west of

Morillo

all

of the

with Bolivar, who, on the 25th of November,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the year before the

months with the Spanish

six

as

know something

unless you

who commanded

the plundering hordes

by Yanes and Bores. And

if

famous

first

Morales had not been a

raised traitor,

and La Torre had kept his forces together, and prevented Bolivar from joining Paez,

who was posted with

three thou-


BEFOEE THE BATTLE. sand

men

Achaguas, in Apure, to the south of

at

issue of the struggle

was

He no

right.

209

might have been

this, the

But Bolivar

different.

doubt knew that Morales was disaffected

and

because he had not been appointed to succeed Morillo

;

the armistice gave the patriots time to mature

theii*

plans

places, such as Maracaibo,

under

"Allwliich," I observed, "redounds, of coui'se, very

much

and to

seize

some important

cover of the truce."

to the

honour of the said

patriots,

and is a proof of

theii*

love

of truth and respect for treaties."

" I cannot but thmk," continued the general, disregarding

my

interruption, "that, with eleven thousand choice troops

such as the Spanish general had bats with the this countr}^

Bolivar, in

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;veterans many

French, and in

trained in com-

a stubborn fight in

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

victory might have been wrested from

spite

of the

supported him.

thousand British bayonets that

But La Torre, who

lay at

one hundi'ed miles to the south of

San Carlos, about

this,

was induced by

Morales to send some of his best regiments to defend Caracas against Bermudez,

marched on the

many

capital

one of our ablest

from the

who after

successes, was utterl}" routed at last under the very

walls of

Caracas.

But, in the

mean

time,

joined Paez, and was advancing against equal,

officers,

Bermudez,

east.

if

His army, when united,

not superior forces.

was formed in three

Bolivar had

La Torre with

The

divisions.

first,

commanded by

General Paez, was composed of the Cazadores Britanicos, or '

British light mfantry,' which was the

tish Legion, or

remnant of the Bri-

Elsam's Brigade, and now numbered not

more than eight hundred men

;

one hundred of the Irish

Legion attached to the English corps

;

the native regiment,


VENEZUELA.

210

called the Bravos of Apure, eight

hundred strong

thousand four hundred native cavahy;

m

all,

;

and one

three thou-

sand one hundred men. " The second division, commanded by General Cedeno, consisted of the regiments called Tiradores, Boyaca, and

and

Vargas,

Arismendi

;

of the

m

all,

commanded by

Sagrado,

squadi'on

about one thousand eight

hundred

men. *'

The

third

division

was commanded by Colonel Am-

brosio Plaza, and consisted of the Rifles, a regiment officered

by Enghshmen,

Avith

three regiments

Colonel Sandes at their head, and the

Granaderos,

Vencedor, and Anzuategui,

The

with one regiment of cavalry, under Colonel Rondon.

numerical strength of this division was, in round numbers,

two thousand five hundred men. " The soldiers of this force were the best in the

As

for our battalion, a great general,

that Englishmen fight best

when

it is

said,

well fed

;

countr}'.

pronounced

but Carabobo

proved that British courage does not depend on food alone.

In

we English were desperate men, and much

fact,

same mind as that of our

forefathers at Agincom't.

in the

We

were

without pa}^ wretchedly clothed, and with no rations but half-starved bull-beef, wliich

a luxury to us,

unknown

in Ai)ure.

ate without salt, that being

Life itself

had become hateful

and the men had been driven by

before, into

open mutuiy.

extmguished the quelling it.

revolt,

Order was

which I do not care to ofl&cer.

we

but

The

distress,

not long

zeal of the officers alone

many

of us were

wounded

in

at last re-established, but after scenes

recall.

Add

to this, our

commanding

Brigadier Blosset, was killed in a duel with Power

of the Irish Legion, and this latter corps,

all

but the hundred


SUFFEEIXGS OF THE TEOOPS. men who were

attaclied to us, mutinied, and, after sacking

Rio-Hacha, had heen shipped " Well, to go back a

must

tell

211

you that

it

little

off to

Jamaica.

before coming to the battle.

May when

was the 10th of

ovu-

I

brigade,

imder Paez, removed from Achaguas, a strong position on

Apure and Carabobo.

the frontier, between the provinces of

We

had been stationed there

watch

to

INIorales,

who

lay at

As

Calabozo, about a hmidred miles to the north of us.

soon as he retreated on San Carlos we advanced, and passed

through the city of Guanares to San Carlos, from which the

enemy

There we were joined by Bohvar, with

retired.

Cedeiio's division,

and halted

the battle which was

for four d&js to prepare for

now imminent.

At

this time

an order

was issued that we English should act independently of the regiment Apm-e with which we had hitherto been brigaded.

This turned out to be a most fortunate occuri'ence. "

We

had now been marching

had suffered

terrible privations.

river AjDurito,

comes

had had

still

more dangerous

and

a month,

to cross the alli-

pest, the Caribe

of our

coat of steel, and which, at the scent of

in such m^Tiads, that the largest animals,

even the alligator

Some

We

though no bigger than a perch, has teeth which

will penetrate a

blood,

more than

and numerous streams swarming with

gators and, with that fish, wliich,

for

itself,

men had

are eaten

up by them

in a

and

moment.

thus perished in the water, and

others had died on the road from the bites of snakes and

venomous

reptiles.

A

far greater

want, fatigue, and disease.

number

fell

victims to

In short, om- sufferings had

been such, that there was not a

man

of us that was not

resolved to die, fightmg, rather than retrace his steps.

" The opportunity was at hand.

On

the 21st of June p 2

we


VENEZUELA.

212

marched from San Carlos, due

east about a dozen miles,

Our

cavalry in advance, under

of Tinaco.

to the village

Colonel

had a sharp brush with the enemy, and

Silva,

The same evening

brought in some prisoners.

under

division,

Plaza, joined

and

us,

the third

brought up

strength to something over seven thousand.

Next

our

day, the

22nd, we pushed on due north, through the village of Tin-

and halted on the road

naquillo,

to Carabobo, the

enemy's

outposts falling back before us, but not without sharp skir-

mishes.

"

We

had now the River Chirgua Buenavista.

defile of it

This

to cross,

and then the

a formidable position, and

is

if

had been occupied by the enemy we could hardly have

forced

it.

Luckily they had resolved on the Pass of Cara-

bobo as the spot where they would give

battle, so

our ad-

That day, about noon,

vance on the 23rd was unopposed.

our vedettes came in sight of the Spanish army, and BoUvar halted us and formed us as

manded

Bolivar then rode from

with silence, but

left

left,

Paez com-

the attack.

and Plaza had the centre.

to right,

and addressed each

His words were received by the others

corps as he passed.

lish,

if for

the right, Cedeno the

when he had done speaking

we gave him three hurrahs

to the

Eng-

that were heard a mile

off.

" It was only 1 p.m., but Bolivar determined to postpone the attack

till

he thought

it

We

next day, either to give us a

would be lucky

halted, therefore,

And such

a night

it

to fight

rest, or

on San Juan's Day.

and passed the night where we were. was

!

The

rain

fell

in torrents,

those of us

who had been

other that

was just the same there, and took

omen.

it

because

at

and

Waterloo reminded one anit

for a

good


;

POSITION OF THE ENEMY. " The weather in South America

is

213

always in extremes,

and the sky was cloudless on the 24th, when we stood to

Our

arms.

were grouped together,

officers

tallying over the

chances of the day, when an order came from Bolivar for the right division, in which It

we English were,

to advance.

was now that the Creole regiment that was wdth

us,

As

called the Bravos of Apure, claimed to lead the attack.

a matter of right

it

belonged to us, we being the older corps

but considering the pretension on the part of natives of the

country very natural, we conceded the point, and on they

Our regiment

went.

under Paez, led

b}^

follow^ed,

and then came the cavalry,

Los Colorados, com-

a squadron called

posed of two hundred supernumerary ing dawned bright and clear as we opposite

the

moved along calm and

All was

Spaniards.

The morn-

officers.

the heights as

still,

if

Nature would contrast her peacefuhiess with the horrid uproar with which "

We

man was

about to break

in.

were moving to the west, to get round the enemy's

We

right flank if possible. his infantry

;

but

much

could see his guns and some of

of his force was hid by the trees

and the broken ground, and a strong body of his posted in a ravine,

But

it is

where they were altogether out of

time to point out to you his position.

by which we came from Valencia, Carlos.

The

down

it

'

to

Apple

'

sight.

This road,

the high road to

is

were

San

ravine which you see there behind us, coming

from the south-east,

ravine.

is

called the

Manzana, or

Behind that were the head-quarters of

the Spanish army.

Their forces were in position in front

of the ravine, and on the right of the

guns being on their completely

men

left flank

commands

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; on

the road.

San Carlos road,

that hill which

Had we

their

you see

advanced along


VENEZUELA.

214

the road, our column would have been swept by their guns,

and exposed

On

fatal.

to

an attack in flank, which must have proved

the other hand, the ground on the extreme right

of the Spaniards you see there," said the old general, point-

"was

ing to a series of steep hills and deep ravines, impracticable

for

troops

regular

and cavahy.

enemy

therefore, after reconnoitring the

of an hour, sent us orders to attack as

you

see, lies

guns and their that,

between the

Apure.

for about a quarter

by the

ravine, which,

on which were the Spanish

This ravine we found so deep,

infantr}".

on descending into

hill

it,

we

lost sight of the

regiment of

Meantime, the enemy's guns had opened

men began

quite

Bolivar,

fire,

and

to fall in both the battalions of our brigade.

" The crest of the ravine was lined by the enemy.

The

ground on which they stood slopes gently towards the

mouth

of the ravine, which

glad to catch hold of the in front of

me.

is

tail

so steep, that

one,

I, for

by an

of a horse ridden

was

officer

Directly the Apure regiment had got out

of the ravine and were beginning to deploy, the enemy's cavalry threatened to charge

it,

but,

either through trea-

chery or cowardice, retreated before our cavalry,

who now

passed us on our right and charged, but were in their turn driven back by the

fire

of the Spanish line.

Apure Bravos had formed pistol-shot of the

Spaniards,

line

Meantime, the

and advanced

to

when they received

withm a mur-

derous volley from more than three thousand muskets, besides the fire of the Spanish artillery. this fled

Overwhelmed with

storm of shot, the regiment wavered, then broke and

back in headlong disorder upon us.

moment, but we managed

to

keep our gTound

It

was a

till

critical

the fugitives

had got through our ranks back into the ravine, and then


AMMUNITION EXHAUSTED.

215

grenadier company, gallantly led by Captain Minchin,

oiu-

formed up and poured in their

fii'e

upon the Spaniards, who Checked by

were only a few paces from them.

while our men, pressing eagerly

the

enemy

on,

formed and delivered their

fell

back a

" Beceding before

little,

oiu' fire

ba3ronets, the Spaniards fell

this volley,

company

after

and the long

line

fire

company. of British

back to the position from which

they had rushed in pursuit of the Apure Bravos.

But from

fire upon us, which we As they outnumbered us

thence they kept up a tremendous returned as rapidly as we could. in the ratio of foiu' to one,

and were strongly posted and

supported by gims, we waited for

stormuig their position.

and

us,

then really seemed to be

It

We

tried, as best

the

men

Ferrier,

Not a man, however, came

to help

an hour passed in this manner om' ammuni-

after

tion failed.

reinforcements before

we

could, to

make

all

over with us.

signals of our distress

;

sprmgmg theii* ramrods, and Colonel Thomas our commanding officer, apprised General Paez of kept

our situation, and called on him to get up a supply of carIt

tridges.

came

at last;

but by this time

many

of our

and men had fallen, and among them Colonel FerYou may imagine we were not long in breaking open ammunition-boxes the men numbered off anew, and

officers rier.

the

;

after delivering a couple of volleys

At

this

moment om*

flank, charged,

went on very

we prepared

cavalry, passing as before

with General Paez at

gallantly,

theii"

to charge.

by

oui' right

head.

They

but soon came gallopmg back and

passed again to our rear, without having done

an}'-

execution

on the enemy, while they had themselves suffered considerably.

"

Why

Bolivar at this time, and

mdeed during

the period


VENEZUELA.

216 since our

first

advance, sent us no support, I have never

Whatever the motive,

been able to guess.

army

the second and third divisions of the

on

it is

certain that

quietly looked

we were being slaughtered, and made no attempt

wliile

The

to help us.

curses of our

men were

loud and deep, but

seeing that they must not expect any help, they their

minds

made up Out

to carry the enemy's position, or perish.

of nine hundred

men we had

not above six hundred

Captaui Scott, who succeeded Colonel Ferrier, had

and had bequeathed the command

Mmchin

to Captain

left.

fallen,

and

;

the colours of the regiment had seven times changed hands,

and had been

literally cut

to ribands,

and dyed with the

blood of the gallant fellows who carried them. of

But,

m spite

the word was passed to charge with the bayonet,

all this,

and on we went, keeping our

line as steadily as

on a parade

day, and with a loud hurrah we were upon them.

must

I

do the Spaniards the justice to say they met us gallantly,

and the struggle was

diers,

for a brief time fierce,

But the bayonet

doubtful.

more

especially such a forlorn

The

irresistible.

Spaniards,

began to give ground, and "

Then

it

was, and not

five

at last till

and the event

hands of British

in the

to

sol-

hope as we were, one

broke and

is

they were,

as fled.

then, that two companies of

the Tii'adores came up to om* help, and our cavalry, hitherto of

little

use, fiercely

followed I

tell

What was now

pursued the retreating enemy.

you on hearsay from

others, for I

stretched on the field with two balls through

my

body.

I

know, however, that the famous battalion of royalists called

Don Tomas

Garcia,

covered the enemy's retreat, and was never broken.

Again

'

Valence,' under their gallant colonel

and again this noble regiment turned sullenly on

its

pur-


LOSS OF THE BEITISH.

217

and successfully repulsed the attacks of the cavalry

suers,

and infantry of the third division of our army, which now

and pursued the

for the first time left their secure position

Sijaniards.

" It

was

stung

Cedeiio, third

at

division,

period

this

by

of

he was

which

that

hattle

from

rebuke

a

the

General the

quitted

Bolivar,

commanding, and

the

at

head of a small bod}^ of followers, charged the regiment 'Valence,' and found, with

of Columbia.' division,

of the

was

fell

killed,

and

As

the bravest of the brave

'

who commanded

Plaza also,

patriots.

his comrades, the honour-

all

So

able death tliev sought.

our regiment,

had been too

it

severely handled to join in the pursuit with

Two men

much

\dgour.

out of every three were killed or wounded.

Scott, Lieutenants Chm-ch,

others, were

Be-

Davy, Captain

sides Colonel Ferrier, Lieutenant-Colonel

several

famous hero

also Mallao, another

for

second

the

Houston, Newel, Stanle}^ and

and Captains Minchin and

killed;

Smith, Lieutenants Hubble, Matthew, Hand, Talbot, and others, were

wounded.

The remains

of the corps passed

before the Liberator with trailed arms at double-quick, and

received with a cheer, but without halting, his words,

vadores de mi patria

"

On

made an guns

!

'

effort to retrieve the

to

you

them.

them. rout

Our

enemy

see there, the

and opened

da}',

fire

with the

Our men then charged, took one

the gims, and got across the bridge, squai'e to repel

Sal-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Saviom's of nij countr3\

getting across the bridge

still left

'

when they had

to

of

form

some squadrons of cavahy that attacked

well-dii'ected fire

now became

general.

maintained the order of

its

soon broke them, and the

The

battalion

ranks

all

the

'

Valence

wav

'

alone

to Valencia,


S

VENEZUELA.

21

baffling for eighteen

Under the

cavahy.

walls of Valencia

the last time, charged by the

rifles

itself it

was,

for

and the grenadiers of

mounted on horseback by order of the

Bolivar's Guard,

In this

Liberator.

unceasing attacks of our

miles the

final conflict the gallant

Spaniards con-

tinued unbroken, and were no further molested, but reach-

ing at 10 P.M. the foot of the mountains, they their

retreat

Puerto

to

made good

Cabello to the number

nme

of

hundred men. " All the rest of the Spanish army was completely solved,

towns

and Caracas, the

still

capital.

La

dis-

Guaira, and the other

in the hands of the royalists, at once surrendered.

In short, the independence of Columbia was achieved by the battle of

Carabobo

;

and that the victory was entirely owing

to the English is proved

by the

fact

that they lost six hun-

men out of nine hundred, while all the rest of Bolivar's army, amountmg to more than six thousand men, lost but dred

two hundred

The

" !

old general here concluded his harangue.

ascended the

hill

We

then

on which the Spanish guns were planted,

examined the deep ravine through which the English had passed to the attack, and the slope on which the Spaniards

had been drawn up, and returned

to Valencia impressed

with the belief that the English soldier had never better

maintained his reputation than at Carabobo.


CHAPTER A

XII.

—The

Lake of Tacarigiia Adieu to Valencia RepubHacienda Recrviitiiig under Difficulties The Las beautiful Vale of Araguas — Maracai Palmar — Victoria Consejo Coquillas Up the Mountains Life in the Jungle — Limon and Los A parting Return to Caracas Teques — The Frenchman's Story

Visit to Las Tinajas lican

Jehus

—A

— —

Coffee

— — —

Benediction.

I RESOLVED, before quitting closely that broad expanse of

Two

surrounds the lake.

more

Valencia, to inspect

which

beautiful vegetation

gentlemen, resident in the

of

cit}^

Valencia, one a Spaniard, the other a German, agTeed to

accompany me on an expedition

We

to the plantations.

fortunately secm*ed a better vehicle than that in which

had gone A.M.,

we

to Carabobo,

We

started.

and on the 8th of September, drove

to the hill called the Morro,

fii'st

we

at 7

due north, over the bridge

and then tm-ned

in the direction of the lake, abandoning the

off to

main

the right

road,

which

goes to Maracai and Victoria. For three miles the track was tolerably good,

though we saw that rain would turn

it

into

deep mud, as there were neither stones nor gravel to give

it

consistency, nor ditch nor drain for the water to escajDe. Traffic, in fact,

a fashion, by

on both

made

filling

sides.

the road, and nature keeps

up, after

the holes with rubbish from the jungle

Very ugly was

fiower to beautify

it

it,

except a

this

same low jungle, with no

common

dog-rose.

There was


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

VENEZUELA.

220

good

grass, however,

but I saw no

enough

for

mnumerable kine

After the third mile,

cattle.

but, en revanche, the

;

deeper

till

the cigars were

we entered a

The scenery charmed

broad belt of luxui'iant cultivation. us

to nibble,

way grew narrower and the all

ruts

but jolted out of our mouths.

Nathless we so endured, though conversation flagged, as we

had

to speak with great caution for fear of biting off the

ends of our tongues in the fearful bumpings that ensued. After

five

miles or so of this agony,

we

arrived

at

Las

Tinajas, "the large-mouthed Jars," a hacienda so-called,

belonging to the Senores Mesa. coffee,

The

thing that struck

first

flies,

vertical sun, the

me

fumes of rum, and the millions

which improve each shiiung hour by continually

forth to work, are not

There were a attitude

scale.

in this tour of inspection

perching on the noses of those

to

alighted, drank

and saw sugar and rum made on a grand

was that a of

Here we

was

who come

beings

conducive to persevering labour.

good number

for the

human

of

men

m the factory,

but

theii"

most part that of repose, and they seemed

have sought out the

shadiest nooks

possible,

the

at

fm'thest attainable distance from the cocina and alembique

the boilers and distillery.

Even

the steam-engme,

made

at

Glasgow, was doing nothing, with its 16-horse power, to reimburse

its

The shed

master for the 1200 dollars he had laid out on

in

which

it

stood must have been 300 feet long,

and I counted about a hundred enormous vats in

The tenant

told

this cane farm.

breakfast was

me

it

for

rum.

he paid 450 dollars a month as rent for

He had bemg

it.

a nice

prepared.

little

On

cottage, in

asking him

which our

how he had

escaped dming the war, he shook his head, and replied that the Federals had killed some of his labom'ers, had stolen

all


THE L.1KE OF TACAEIGUA. his

cattle,

Valencia.

At

and had three tunes forced him to

So much

my

moderation of patriots

for the

mounted

9 A.M. I

rode, with

221

into

!

a horse belonging to the i)lanter,

two companions, to the

though the distance

at 10 o'clock,

fly

which we reached

lake,

is

and

only

five miles.

On

either side the road were coffee estates or cane plantations,

and, beyond them, hills beautifull}' wooded. to within a quarter of a mile of the lake, belt of prodigiously tall reeds

and

gi'ass,

This continued

when we entered a excellent cover for

wild boar and tigers, but I did not hear that there were any

such animals there.

We

got round to the shore opposite to

Valencia, and saw the city gleaming white in the distance.

In front of us was the Culebra, or Snake Island, and be3'ond it

other

The water

islets.

small streams, but fish

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

it is

guarina, which

and bava.

is

by fourteen

we know has taken

diminution of the water,

visit,* it ma}'

fed

is

kind of

It contains fom'

voracious, the vagra, sardina,

Calculating by what

regards the

100 years.

of the lake

brackish.

place, as

Humboldt's

since

be expected that the lake vnR be dried up in

An

immensely

fertile soil will

be

left at

the end

of this desiccatory process, and, supposing that the streams,

which

at present feed the lake, suffice for irrigation, the pro-

ductiveness of the Valley of Araguas will be increased. fevers, also,

now

so rife on the margin of the lake, would

On

probably, in the case mentioned, disajjpear.

hand, the streams diy,

may

diminish as the

aii'

when the prodigious evaporation, which

the other

becomes more is

now going on

from the lake, ceases, and then, notwithandmg a black of 90 feet in depth, cultivation â&#x20AC;˘

Humboldt

The

says the

Lake

leagues or 6500 toises broad.

is

would

fall

off.

As

soil

for the

ten leagues or 28,800 toises long, ami 2 3


VENEZUELA.

222 fevers, they

might he prevented by cutting down the

jungle of reeds which

may

one

now

borders the water.

On

stifling

the whole,

make no attempt

regret that the Venezuelans

maintain their beautiful lake by bringing back to

stream of the Pao, which was once

its

course of which was diverted from

it

end

Lake of

So we thought, as we

Tacarigua ought to be preserved. its

and the

to the south at the

of one of the loveliest scenes in the world, the

looked across

the

If only as being the principal orna-

of the 17th century.*

ment

largest feeder,

it

to

summed up

breadth to Valencia and

the

attractions of the view; a glittering expanse of silver water,

studded with fairy

islets, rich

seemed

a city in the distance, that

and I

hills that

masses of foliage of every hue, built of white marble,

gradually swelled into blue mountains.

know not how long we might have

feasted om* eyes with

the scenery, but the sun had gi-own so fierce as to felt

make itself

even under the spreading branches of the rather diminu-

grow near the

tive trees that fore,

and galloped

all

the

lake.

way

to

We

turned back, there-

Las Tinajas,

arriving at

10.30 A.M.

We

breakfasted, and one of the superintendents,

addressing

me

in tolerable English, asked

me

if I

would

hear him read Richard the Third, which he did in a way very creditable to a

man who had

never had but one or two

We

lessons at wide intervals.

returned to Valencia at 4

P.M., and I agreed with the coachman to

far as Victoria

on

my

liire

his veliicle as

return journey to Caracas, and to start

on the 13th.

When

the morning of departure arrived, I got up and

dressed at 4 o'clock, having agreed with Antonio, the Creole

coachman, to

start at 5. *

But

Humboldt,

it

pleased

vol. iv., p. 149.

my lord Antonio,

in


ANTONIO.

223

the exercise of his republican rights, to be an hour behind

He

time.

offered

no apology

窶馬ot

he

down

but, getting

;

from the box, seated himself on a large stone, and began to

Hereupon Juan, who was not in the sweetest temper havmg been kept waiting, requested him to assist in bringing down my luggage. My lord Antonio did not so much as vouchsafe an articulate reply to this entreat}', but

smoke. at

Now, had

simply shook his head, and continued to smoke.

we not been

some lonely

in a city, but in

my

that Juan would have shaken

spot,

As

as a reward for this aggravating conduct.

had

to bring

my

so, five

down the

tilings himself,

lord Antonio, although he

days before,

now remarked

coach, and he could not take

behef

is

At

it

it

was, Juan

and when he had done

had seen

that

it.

my

lord out of his habiliments

all

the luggage

was too heav}^ for his

Juan

this,

fell

into such

a transport of fury as no pen, but that of the immortal Cervantes, could describe.

An

interminable wrangle ensued,

carried on in Spanish with such sur[3rismg volubility

abandon, that, finding I could not get

went

off to jiresent a

for half

an hour,

at the

To my

m a word edgeways,

end of which period I came back, left

of the disputants but the tails

sm^^rise, the

hubbub had ceased

there was Antonio on the box, ready to start, and

an ill-favoured individual piling fact,

my luggage

the high contractmg parties,

agreed that I should lead the friend

it

could in the cart.

;

and

Juan and

into a cart.

In

Juan and Antonio, had a

young German

my

luggage should

way with

and Juan in the coach, and that

follow as best

I

bouquet to a lady, and did not return

expecting to find nothing of their cigars.

and

I was thus

made

to

pay

the expenses of the late wordy war, and should risk the loss of

my

things into the bargain.

So much time had been


VENEZUELA.

224

however, that I accepted the

lost,

situation,

and on we

went.

At 8.30 we reached Las Guias,

a neat village four

and

a half miles from Valencia, and about as far from the lake,

and in an

more we were

houi*

at Guicara,

and

10 a.m, at

at

San Joaquin, distant respectivel}' eleven and seventeen miles from Valencia, and both of them villages on the northern coast of the lake. direction,

Before noon,

we reached the

coffee

still

travelling in the

same

and cotton plantation of the

Senores Gascue and Careno. Here we alighted to breakfast.

The a

situation of the house

hill,

this

200

is

most picturesque.

tains,

on

Beyond

feet high, densely clothed with shrubs.

line of glorious

moun-

Panthers, they said, were numerous in these

moun-

was a belt of wood, and then a

tains.

It abuts

and they pointed out a spot where a very large one

was knoAvn to have his den.

had done a great deal

no one was bold enough

of mischief, but

An

steep retreat.

He

to attack

him

in his

aqueduct had been built to the side of the

nearest momitain, and along this a fine stream of water was

leaping in mid-air, foaming and glittering.

It fell close to

the mill where the coffee w^as being husked, and they said

was usual

for travellers to take a bathe in

wishing to get a

chill,

it.

it

However, not

and, perhaps, fever, I declined the

experiment.

Before we went to breakfast another guest arrived, a it

plantation.

He

ment

told us that the committee for the enlist-

of soldiers was sitting at no great distance,

detachment of 160 men had been sent to him recruits

among

Don

appeared, was the owner of a neighbouring

Kealte, who,

his labourers.

As soon

detachment was approaching, he,

and that a to

obtain

as he heard that the

like a true patriot, sent off


EECKUITING UNDER DIPFICULTIES. every

man on

223

his estate, except the lame, the halt,

The

blind, to hide in the mountains.

and the

command

officer in

of the detachment was so enraged at this that he enlisted all

these " miserables," but at length, on Realte's threatenmg

he released his victims and

to go to Valencia to complain,

In the discussion that ensued I heard enough

went away. to

show that the military

ser\dce

was detested, and that the In the com-

enhsting parties were often resisted by force. bats that ensued loss of

was frequent.

life

After brealdast, I looked at the books and went over the

works. estate

It

men who

appeared that the

made

four, five,

and

laboured on the

six reals a day, according to

The women get two or three reals. The men were small, but well proportioned; and some of the women were decidedly pretty and even graceful in their their activit}'.

I remarked an order that in case of rain out-door

figures.

work was fever.

to be

stopped, as

exposure to wet brought on

The husking-mill was worked by

a paved yard, one hundred and coffee berry

At 3

was being

P.M.

fifty feet

water.

It stood in

square, where the

dried.

we attempted

to

start,

but, the roads being

heavy, the pole snapped, which detained us an hour.

At

6 P.M. we arrived at the village of Mariala, twenty-six miles

from Valencia.

There was a pretty cascade on the

left

the village which seemed to have a fall of eighty feet. this the road passed

through very

gromads," where we saw a good to the lake,

water.

Two

of

After

fine potreros, or

"grazing-

We

were close

many horses.

and the road in some places was covered with severe actions were fought in this locaHty in

the old wars of Bolivar.

At 7

p.m.

we reached Maracai,

about thirty miles from Valencia, and found an excellent Q.


VENEZUELA.

226

posada, where, to avoid the hnportunate mosquitos, I turned into a

hammock, and, covered with

a mosquito net, which I

hickily brought with me, slept profoundly.

had

We

rose on the 14th at 5 a.m., and, having paid ten for

dollars

coffee

and our night's lodging, we

started.

About two miles from Maracai we passed the Cabrera, on the summit of a lofty

For the sake of the view

lake. hill,

of

which dominates the

hill,

it is

foot

worth ascending this

in spite of the snakes, which are unpleasantly numerous.

At 10

A.M.

we reached

the hacienda of Palmar, a fine coffee

plantation belonging to a

German, about sixteen miles

east

The road passed through beautiful scenery and cultivation. We were now beyond the eastern extremity

of Maracai. rich

The small

of the lake.

river Aragua,

valley is called, falls into the lake at

Palmar a

noA^el difficulty

on

from which the whole

On

this side.

presented

itself,

arrivmg

in the shape of

an aqueduct carried across the road, at such a height as just to catch the top of a carriage.

To make

things more plea-

sant the ground below the aqueduct was very muddy, and, indeed, had

it

so, the

As we were

have passed.

jumped out

not been

into the

coach could not possibly

hot, hmigry,

and in haste, we

mud, and leaning with

on the doors of the coach brought

down on

it

all

our weight

the springs, so

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D;ating noise showed

as to admit of its passing, though a g

that

it

was

who had

literally a real scrape

r

we had got

to stoop considerably to pass

into.

Juan,

under the duct,

indulged in various chuckling reflections as to what would

have been our

fate if

we had

arrived at night, and I have no

doubt would have joyfully risked his own brains for the pleasure of seeing the carriage decapitated.

The

proprietor of the estate and his wife, finding I could


A STEANGE

VISITOE.

227

speak German, welcomed us most warmly. coffee

we walked over the works, and found everything

the finest

order

coffee, there ably"

After a cup of

possible.

A

was a cane-mill worked by water.

handsome

was serving

girl

in

Besides the mill for husking

remark-

and

this mill with canes,

my

attention to her vdth. the exclamation,

" Bonita muchacha."

" Ein hiibsches madchen " I replied,

" but pray

all

the planter drew

tell

me

!

are

the labourers here

women,

for I

You are men about the place ? " "I have as few men as possible, right," said the planter because, you see, the women work nearty as well, and then **

don't see half a dozen

;

they cannot be taken for soldiers.

rums

We

It is the recruiting that

the j)lantations."

did not breakfast

till

past noon, and I had a delicious

bathe where the water from the aqueduct came tumbling

down

five

or six feet into a reservoir, deep

enough

for a

After breakfast mine host played on the piano, and

swim.

mine hostess, a very

tall

and comely young matron, gave

an account of an agreeable before.

they had had some weeks

visit

They had been awakened

before

dawn one day by

an unaccountable noise in the verandah,

tremendous commotion amongst

At

Hshment.

from the

hills,

me

the. live

attended

by a

stock of the estab-

they thought a panther had come down

fii'st

but what puzzled them was a curious hissing

sound which arose occasionally, but which appeared to be

much much

too loud to be

made by

a snake.

anxiety until

was

and then went down-stairs,

monsiem'

le

it

light,

They waited with

mari, gun in hand, to reconnoitre.

To

their

horror they discovered an enormous boa constrictor, curled

round one of the

pillars of the

determined to hold

liis

own

verandah, and apparently

against

all

comers.

In such a Q 2


VENEZUELA'.

228 state of things the

but

all

the

men

combat took

women

much

labourers were of not

use,

they could muster assembled, and a regular

On

place.

being wounded at the

first

dis-

charge of the gun the serpent uncoiled himself and charged

who fled like the wind. They were in hopes he would make off after his victory, but he returned to

his assailants,

that

the verandah, and

it

was only

after a furious battle with

ster

was

He

killed.

Among

after firing repeatedly

and

machetes and clubs that the mon-

measured over eighteen

other things mine host told

me

feet.

that he had been

music mad, and that, while his father was Kving on the he ran away and joined a company of strolUng musi-

estate,

cians,

who were en

They

route for Maracaibo.

issued bills

at Valencia for a concert, but, as very few tickets were sold,

one of their number, a Pole, proposed that they should give it

and in the open

gratis,

did,

and

air at the

Gran

Plaza.

thousands of people assembled.

success in

all respects,

It

They

save as to money.

receive one real, and after a few

more

This they

was a complete did not

similar performances

with similar results, the runaway retnrned to his father, half starved,

At

and with his musical ardour considerably abated.

3'30 P.M. we

host and his

left

fair wife,

the hospitable mansion of our

and a

little

German

after four o'clock passed

a long row of huts, tlu'ee miles to the east of Palmar, which are called a town, and are dignified with the

Mateo.

From

in fact, a

mere succession of holes and deep

this point the road

which we gradually dissipated been accumulating at Pahnar. with wood-crowned

hills

all

name

of

San

became infamously bad

the good

;

ruts, in passing

humour we had

In vain nature presented us

and a perpetual

plantations in the valley below, the road

series of the richest

was

really too

bad


VICTORIA.

A

for us to enjoy the scenery.

passed a house on a lofty

In

it.

229

mile from San Mateo

Bolivar was born, and from

it

m

lead the rebellion,

we

with a cane estate surrounding

hill

it

he went forth to

which thousands died, to leave their

country poorer, more discontented, and with infinitely less

chance of a tranquil future than under the government of

Yet Bolivar was called a patriot

Spain.

the word

is

abused

;

how

often

selfish ambition, a love

it is

Patriot

!

bestowed on

of notoriety,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;how

men whom

or an unruly spirit,

urges to take up arms against a government

BoHvar mur-

!

dered thousands of prisoners in cold blood, entered Caracas in a triumphal car

drawn by beautiful women, and made a

general of a notorious coward, whose sister he carried about

with him as a mistress. patriot

man

Bolivar was a

!

Such

which he lived met with a

is

the

modern idea

of blood, and the house in

fate

worthy of

owner.

its

held by Becam-te against the Spaniards, and

they had forced their way into himself up, a la Clerkenwell.

and it

to be

it is

of a

it,

he blew

The

it

when

It

was

at last

and them, and

present building

hoped that the existing race of patriots

is

new,

will let

alone, and blow themselves up where they can do no harm.

The long

succession of fine plantations ended at last with

a lovely hacienda, which stands at the entrance of Victoria,

with the house as usual built on an eminence.

heard

much

cultivation, di'ove at

5 P.M.

of the valley of Araguas

but

the reality

and

sui'passed

of. its

I

had

luxuriant

anticipation.

We

once to the posada in Victoria, and alighted at

The

first

man Blanco. I bemg shot by

man

I

met was a brother of General Guz-

believe he

the

had a very narrow escape of

Government

of

Bojas.

Times were

changed now, and he had come down to choose an estate


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

VENEZUELA.

230

ill

the

Let us hope his residence

far-famed valley.

meet with a better destiny than Bolivar's

Our dinner

consisted of stewed potatoes,

This was

diminutive fragment of a fowl lay in ambush.

to call

My German

on a Dane, who had a pretty

The father had been a posadero and

daughter.

open a magasin de nouveautes, which, though

was considered a step up

tive,

remunera-

morning of the

5 on the

by

15th, having been literally devoured

stifled

fleas,

stupendous

my hammock,

and

effected a

left

me

to fight

lodgment

me would

which placed

efforts of the vernuii that

in

have been

it

my

me

with

Had

and suffocated with innumerable stenches.

not been for

floor,

less

to

in the land of equahty.

I awoke, or rather, arose, at

heat,

was

his wife

They had soon saved up money enough

the cocinera^

!

among which some

washed down with bad beer and worse wine. companion walked out

will

pero quien sabe

it

above the most

covered the patriotic

who had

out with those

ah'eady

clothes, I believe that nothing of

left after

that sanguinary encounter.

Escaping from the posada as soon as possible, I walked about I

till it

was time to breakfast with the Dane, of

had hired mules

excellent,

who had

me

to carry

to Caracas.

The meat was

and I observed that the daughter of the house, so skilfully prepared the cotelettes de mouton,

reserved the sheep's eyes for a young gentleman table with us,

He

informed

of Apiire,

whom

and who repaid

me

les

who

had

sate at

yeux doux with interest.

that he had just retm-ned from the province

and that

Sotillo,

who

reigns there after the fashion

of Paez, had been enquiring for his share of the loan, and

would probably

raise

disturbances

portion were set aside for limi.

which had been continually

unless

At 3

a

p.m.

considerable

my

luggage,

in the rear ever, since the fracas


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

LEAVE VICTOEIA.

231

with Antonio, arrived, and I engaged a bo}' and two asses

convey

to

My German

it.

companion had gone hack

Valencia, and I settled to start with Juan at I dined with the

for Cai'acas,

town with him.

m the

and

this time

thousand inhabitants,

hands of the Yankees, or the EngHsh, would by

have probably contained a quarter of a million.

A.M.

it

more or

ai"e all,

At 4

Dane, and rode over the

It contains several

The country around people

to

dawn next day

is

the richest in the world, but the

Antonios.

less,

on the 16th, thanks to the pulgas, I was ready

The mules, however,

for the saddle. o'clock, so that I

had abundant time

tionate charges of

my

posadero,

did not

to reflect

come

till

six

on the extor-

who made me pay

twenty-

one dollars for the stewed potatoes on the night of the 14th, and the filthy place in which I

The -Dane had charged me twenty-eight dollars asses, and when I told hun of the bill

to sleep.

mules and the

for the

at the posada, his

kept repeating das

ever, I

mind was

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;twenty-eight

ahscheidich

ist

From

!

judged that so

regretting,

far

so full of his dollars

himself.

it,

zu stark

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

bill at

me

he was

the posada

that he had not charged

at

an hotel, and com-

saying that he had lost forty sove-

the waiter's face, instead of evincing regret,

dilated with a grin of wild delight,

and the wretch, rubbing

his hands, exclaimed, " Forty sovereigns

haul

ist

In short, I was reminded of the story of

plained to the waiter,

On this

das

account, he

from s}Tnpathising with

on hearing of the preposterous

some one, who had been robbed

reigns.

ahe)'

own

the expression of his face, how-

and that I had reluctantly paid

more

had twice endeavoiu'ed

!

my

,

what a

" !

Lea\ing Victoria

at 6'30,

we rode slowly along

for

two


VENEZUELA.

232

The

hours.

the

gTaclually contracted,

valley

grew higher, and the vegetation became

mountains

At

less luxuriant.

8'30 we passed Consejo, " council-house," a large village,

which lay a an estate so

At 9 we got

httle to the right. called,

to

Las Coquillas,

Juan informed me, from a plant which

he pointed out resembling the

aloe.

Two

miles on

we came

to the river Tuy, a clear, very rapid stream, about twenty

A

yards in breadth and two feet deep. girl

forded

just in front of us,

it

cruelty deux jambes parfaitement

on the

far side,

and they pointed

the way,

and

path

steep

mountain

displaying with great

There was a mill

faites.

where several men were drinking an early

some magnificent

glass under

handsome Creole

which

a

ascended

them

I inquired of

trees.

to

very the

narrow, of

side

rugged, a

lofty

Here, then, we bade adieu to the

in front of us.

famous valley of Araguas, and began to climb back to Caracas.

we had

We

still

had come about ten miles from

between

fifteen

where we were to halt this

moment

Victoria,

and

and twenty to go to Los Teques,

for the night.

Unfortunately, at

Juan's knee became so swollen and painful

that he declared he could ride no longer.

a rest of half an hour,

However,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; during which the sturdy

Httle

after

gamin

with the asses, a boy of not more than twelve years, trudged past us,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

I

persuaded

and up we went

for

my

giant to

effort.

Up

feet, until

we

make another

more than four thousand

got to the top of the mountain, the views at every turn being really

worthy the pencil of a Claude, especially the one

which looked back on the Coquillas and Victoria.

But the

view which pleased Juan most was that of the small posada

Limon, where we ahghted and got his knee rubbed and fomented. I had some eggs and chocolate, for which

of


UP THE MOUNTAINS. At 1'30

1 i^aid twelve reals.

lay along the

mountains, the ridge heing from at top, while on either side

broad

sand or

thousand

five

other mountains as

thii-ty to a

hundred yards

beyond which rose

or taller than those

been shining brightly, suddenly veiled itself first,

we had

sur-

m clouds. A mist,

but rapidly becoming denser, began to

drift

over

At the same time we descended some hundred

the heights. feet

at

of the

After riding about a league, the sun, which had

mounted.

thin at

summit

we gazed down four thou-

feet into valleys,

tall

and

p.m. the asses arrived,

Our path

2 P.M. we went on.

233

and entered a thick

myself up in

my

had just time

I

forest.

to

wrap

waterproof when down came the rain with

that vigour with which

and the wind swept in

it

usually descends in the tropics,

fierce gusts

Having

along our path.

we looked about

for shelter,

and, seeing a low hut on the side of the road,

we made up

endured

to

some

this for

and knocked.

it

very square-built, appearance,

who

time,

The door was opened by

woman

of middle

age

and forbidding

objected strong!}^ to our entering.

the storm looked even uglier than she did,

ever,

would not take a

denial, but

on a rude bench.

killed

though

went

I asked her

such a wild forest.

been

in,

how

most numerous,

She said she had had a

them

so

think

it

much. very

friend,

who had

afraid to stop,

She added that she should very all

said,

It did not occur to

lil^ely

likely

kinds were

particular!}^ cascabels (rattlesnakes).

were also tigres (panthers), she

we

and seated ourselves

by a snake, but that she was not

b}^ herself.

Howso

she could live alone in

be bitten by a snake too, for serpents of

safe

a short, but

There

but she did not fear

me

at the time, but I

that she was a leper, and consequently

from human savages, and necessarily an outcast.


VENEZUELA.

234

Before long the storm passed over, and we sallied forth

The road now began

again.

the sides of

tlie

to descend rapidly,

and the

on the ridge we were crossing, though

forest ended, at least

mountains were crowded with dense jungle.

Here and there a

coffee plantation

showed

itself,

and I was

astonished at the seeming inaccessibility of the places in

The winding paths

which this cultivation was carried on.

which, doubtless, led to them from the valleys were entirely

We

hidden by trees from our sight.

reached Teques before

7 P.M., and the boy with the luggage came

We

wards.

found a posada in the

clean, but contained even

After wiithmg

m

went away

him

remedio," retired.

nor even

gin,

said to

me

before me, and saying, " Aqui

my sufferings, and, my eyes all night.

could relieve

I looked up,

remarked,

packet?"

I said

into a sort of coffee-room to get

and said nothing, on which the same " Arrived

interrogatively,

"No," and was thinkmg

when a very gentlemanly man began French, and made himself so agreeable a long conversation with him. excellent claret, which

me

my

spite of

Presently a man and began reading a paper. " Guess you'll not get much out of in English,

individual

enjoyed

He

a vast bottle

But not " poppy nor mandragora,"

Next morning I went

that."

than that at Victoria.

I was being devoured ahve.

down

long ride, I hardly closed

breakfast,

after-

town, which looked

moment, and returned with

of gin, which he put el

fleas

an hour

misery for some time, I shouted for the

posadero, and told for a

more

little

m

my

last

talk to

me

in

that I entered into

Moreover, he had some

he pressed upon me,

breakfast much.

that his sister

to

by

of retreating,

Among

so

that

I

other things, he told

had married an EngHshman, an

officer in


THE FEENCHJklANS STOEY. This

the Hussars.

officer

235

had received two

balls

m

the

battle of Toulouse, one in the shoulder and the other in

the knee, and was for a long time detained in the town by

The doctor who attended him was

wounds.

his

who attended

doctor

my

the family of

and the Hussar received a

tiful,

beyond the power

informant, and hence

The Frenchman's

an acquaintance arose.

doctors

of

thii-d

sister

was beau-

wound, which was

Whenever

cure.

to

also the

his

departm-e to England was mentioned he always said, " I shall

come back

At

for Zoe."

him

able to travel,

"I

shall

on,

and months

and he took

come back

for

last the doctor

gi"ew into

His

leave.

Zoe."

last

pronounced words were,

Days and months went and the

years,

suitors

hope

light of

Many

faded in the French maiden's beautiful hazel eyes.

had come for her hand and had gone away

dis-

appointed, and the foi cV Anglais seemed to be a broken link

whom

to all but her to

it

rejected suitors retm'ned,

was plighted.

It

was a bright

her,

da}^

all

into the room.

at length so

in

Jmie when he came

truth, she

Zoe was seated

far, far

it.

The

at a table, with a

away.

The ;

book

pages â&#x20AC;&#x201D; she

electric

but Zoe made no reply

shock seemed to

She started up, her eyes

bright colom* rushing to her temples. recoiled in alann, thinking that

was

rejected suitor entered,

heard him not, for her thoughts were

Suddenly an

her frame.

for

lips.

open, and a sweet smell of flowers floated

and pleaded well and passionately

away.

She yielded

but her eyes saw not the

thinking of one

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;m

one of the

promise to give him her answer from her own

windows were

before

last

and Zoe's family pressed her to

bestow on him a gracious answer. far as to

At

jjass

flashing,

far

through

and the

The Frenchman

madness had seized her


VENEZUELA.

236

A

brain.

moment

commg up

afterwards

excited voice exclaimed, " I have

heard

not

it

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; she

hasty step was heard

a

The door opened, and an

the garden path.

had fainted

come

for

Zoe

" but

;

Zoe

arms of her long-

in the

looked for Hussar.

At 1*30

on the

P.M.

September we started in the

17tli of

The

coach from Los Teques for Caracas. eighteen miles, and we did

The road

hours.

is,

it

distance was only

more than two

in a little

in fact, very good, and, were

repaired, would be, I need not say, better.

It

1850 by a Frenchman, one M. Le Grand.

it

ever

was made in

It is a rapid

descent the whole way, with some very uglj precipices and

The

sharp turns, but not in the least degree dangerous. scenery, of course,

tame

is

in comparison of that

between

Victoria and Teques.

Before leaving Caracas, I gave a dinner to the acting Vice-President of the Republic and to those gentlemen

had shown me

we had

at

to that

number

there was early,

is

down the

sit

Mr.

who

that there

cam'e to ? "

"

sate next

quizzing about the

number

of refusals,

ominous number

of

the same superstition in Venezuela as

"Good Heavens!" I "how singular. The all

to the

is

among

not a Httle joldng about

heard the news ,

to

last

There

thirteen.

Owmg

attention.

who

my at

us,

and consequently

Next mornmg, very

rooms, and said, " Have you

What news you

it.

? "

I asked.

dinner last night,

replied, really very

" General is

dead,"

much shocked; man we were

General was the very

number

thirteen."

An

hour afterwards,

Caracas was talking about the melancholy, sudden death,

and I believe not an individual in the whole

city

would

at

any price have made one of a party of thirteen that day.


"

AN AWKWARD EUMOUE.

237

However, just as we bad acquii-ed the most solemn belief in tbe ijresagio, I was scandalised by seeing tbe General

After some

my

committed by

which had been accepted so

falsif}dng a story

has been spreading an absurd " Indeed," I said, making a vain

Do you know some one story of my death ? look tout

eifort to

how could such an absm-d rumom- have

"'Egad," he

was the nonsense we

head

effare,

arisen ?"

what puzzles me, except

replied, "that's just

were talking last night at dinner, or

maybe because General into his

of the wi'ong he had

sense

generally, he suddenly exclaimed, "

" and pray

apartment.

dm-ing which I was

conversation,

desultor)^

endeavouring to control

it

my

had been declared defmict walk into

â&#x20AC;˘who

who

,

" Oh,

to go off suddenly."

your neighbour d}dng," I

said,

lives

"that did

next door, took

must have been

it

No

it.

one would

"I

have been such a fool as to believe the superstition."

about that," rejoined the General, taking up his

don't

know

hat

" people are such fools.

;

out the

man who

him swallow I

left

fii-st

leg

I only wish I could find

spread the report

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;by

my visits

had the

by a large dog.

mitil I

much

m

I'd

make

The

and in

m the calf of the

was extremely painful, but I

bite

La

the night of

friends good-bye,

ill-luck to be bitten

it,

and did not even look

Guaii'a.

Then,

after a hot

at

and

the coach from 6 to 9'40 a.m., I took a cold

bath with half a bottle of

recommend

some

attention to

arrived at

dusty diive

,

On

Caracas on the 8rd of October.

did not pay it

But

it."

the 2nd I went out to wish

one of

it

rum

to travellers.

nably, I looked

and found

wounded where

the

in the water, a recipe

Finding it

much

my

which I

leg smart abomi-

bruised and shghtly

dog had bitten me.

Now,

m

South


";

VENEZUELA.

238

America,

wound

by no means

is

it

in cold water.

So,

would be better to send

safe to

bathe with an open

upon the whole,

no answer was

for Juan, and, as

returned, went in search of him.

I thought it

Accordingly, as soon

for a doctor.

had dressed, I called

as I

'

him

I found

room

in his

lying on the floor, attacked with fever, and looking as woe-

He

begone as possible. really felt too

ill

said he

to get up.

I said

had heard me

call,

but

did not matter, that I

it

wanted to send some one for a doctor, but I would find

"A

some other messenger. the same

dismal countenance

way

it

suspicion like to

;

who wants

rushed out and ran down the

it

may have been mad.

show the wound

he can prescribe lated Juan,

At

to a doctor,

for you."

the

up with evident

a doctor ?

" Bitten

events, I should

all

and

b}^

have some

street, I

a

same time

at the

mad dog

time to be lost

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;have

it

satisfaction.

"

I'll

call

And

it,

" ejacu-

go myself

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;no

" No, no,

cut out and cork-dried."

" no need for your going, with fever on you,

you

!

ground, while his countenance

Juan," I replied, not particularly pleased at this

so fierce.

with

still

opening wide his half-closed eyes, and half

raising himself from

lighted

"

" I have been bitten by a dog, and from

" I do," I replied. the

doctor," said Juan,

alacrit}^

sun

wliile the

is

as for the cauterizing, or cork-drying, as

I fancy

it

won't be at

all

With

necessary."

these

words I

left

him, and despatched another servant for the

doctor.

My

announcement, however, had effected a magical

change in Juan.

In a very short time he made his appear-

ance, and I was quite astounded at his extraordinary recovery.

His haggard look was gone, and

his usual jaunty smile.

In

fact,

in its place he

the possibility of

hydrophobia had acted as a complete tonic.

my

Not

wore

having that he


A GEEMAN DOCTOR. wished

me hami

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

far

from

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;but

was part of his

it

it

239

s}Ticrasy to find a pleasiu^able excitement in

idio-

any coming

disaster. It

mad,

was

me

luck}' for

that the dog that bit

for I certainly should not

me was

not

have been saved by the

In half an hour, the servant I

promptitude of the doctor.

had sent returned, and said the doctor was

asleep,

and his

domestic said he could not be awakened on any account. *'

Did you

tell

the

man

I

had been bitten by a mad dog

?

"

"Yes, senor," replied the servant, "I told him,

I asked.

but he said that made no difference. be disturbed

if all

by mad dogs."

The doctor could not

the people in the town had been bitten

In short, I had to wait

five

hom-s, at the

He

end of which time the medico made his appearance.

was a German, of a phlegmatic temperament, and without

much ado proceeded

bum

to

a hole in the

with something he pom'ed upon

it.

caK of

I inquu-ed

if,

my

leg

suj)posing

the dog to have been mad, I might, after that unpleasant

consider

operation,

m3'self

safe.

He

fell

to

reckoning

the hours that had elapsed since I was bitten, and then, pulling out his watch and looking xerj oracular, informed

me

that had I sent to

been

safe, but, as it

not mad.

him

four hom's before I should have

was, he could only hoi)e the dog was

"But, doctor," I

said,

"I

did send to jon five

hours ago, and your servant said you were asleep and could not be distm'bed." "

how unlucky, and

fellow.

Do

"No;

did

he?"

replied the medico;

yet one can hardly be angiy with the

you know I

really believe he

patients die, rather than let

me

would

let half

over-fatigue mj-self."

my

With

these words, and a hasty bow, the doctor vanished, and I

was

left

to the

sympathies of Juan, who was really very


VENEZUELA.

240

attentive,

anon

though he could not forbear indulging ever and

and recounted

in doleful prognostics,

once the history of his late master's suffered

on board a

never thought he would

made him

"You

shijj.

is

However, in

own

am

unable to take exercise.

One

way from the town, and paid

"

we have

" said the}', "

My

heat, and I was

some

He

ladies.

them the reason.

a dog that bites too

other da}^ he almost kLQed a boy.

bit

him

;

and the

in several

and the people could hardly prevent him from

bun

to pieces.

Would

3'ou like to see

big as a bear nearl}^ and so savage." for "

must

became very

a visit to

I limped, and I told

ing

I spoke, I

leg

day, indeed, I cbove out a

They asked me why

places,

sure the dog was

way

My

been very uneasy.

by the intense

!

Leon," as the brute was

man, who had hold of mastiff

largest

I

called,

his chain.

have ever

I,

it."

sufferings were aggravated

Oh

and that

and the wound grew more and more inflamed.

painful,

little

do,

"Yes, Juan," said I

of the confident

spite

to having

"he

Juan,

always the best to

It's

just what I have done.

not mad, so say no more about

than

and how he

illness,

no more than you

die,

make up your mind, you know, su\" " and that

me more

see, sii-," said

more impatient.

the

to

seen,

him

?

tear-

He

is

as

Hereupon they sent and he came, led by a

He

was, in fact, the

and the

fair

Creoles

laughed immoderately as they described how he had shaken the boy.

Such was

my

last

remmiscence of Venezuela.

On

the

9th of October I embarked in the small steamer that used to ply

between La Guau'a and

St.

Thomas.

Before

departure I had the satisfaction of knowing that the

which had been drawn with

my

my

bills,

concurrence by the Vene-


SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS.

241

zuelan Govemmerit to clear the export duties of

had been paid Island, and

;

that the

French

claims,

American claun amomiting

hundred thousand francs had been

all

claims,

for the

Aves

to one million

settled

;

two

and that the

Venezuelans had been once more placed in a position, in which, by good management, they might free themselves

from

all difficulties.


;

CHAPTER

XIII.

an exact estimate of the resources of Venezuela Conand Area of the Countiy Codazzi's Division of it into Three Provinces Chief Cities, Climate, and Systems Distribution into Form of Government Eevenue Debt ComPopulation Scenery merce Mineral and Vegetable Products.

Difficulty of forming

figuration

/ip/4

Notwithstanding the labours of Humboldt, of Boussingault, of Codazzi,

very

The ruinous civil wars, which have been carmany years, have kept down the population,

Venezuela. ried

on

travellers, it is

form a just estimate of the resom*ces of

to

difficult

and of some more recent

for so

and destroyed the agriculture and trade of the country while

epidemics have

done their part in devastating the

of Apure, though

plains

has been taken of

late,

rich in cattle.

still

and the commercial

No

census

statistics of

recent years do not appear to be deserving of implicit confidence.

What

statements,

follows

corrected

is

as far

based

on

Colonel Codazzi's

as possible, for the

time, by data obtained partly from the

pubHc

present

offices,

and

partly from private individuals.

Venezuela It is

the most northern region of South America.

entirely a troj)ical country, l3'ing between 1° 15'

12° 20' N. its

is

lat.,

and

60° 51' 45" and 75° 53' 45"

W. long., but human hfe to be known on the earth's

climates range from cold too intense for

supported, surface.

down

On

its

to the greatest heat

extreme west the gigantic ridge of the


THE SIEEEAS.

243

Andes rimniiig north and south forms diminishmg

graduall}^

altitude to the east,

lost in the interminable plains of Aj)ure latter covered i^ith a

sierras is that

limit,

its

and from

momitaiu chains, extend with

this ridge three sierras, or

primeval forest.

m

which begins

imtil they

ai'e

and Guayana, the

The

highest of these

Merida, with peaks fifteen

thousand seven hundred and ninety eight feet above the sea. It rapidly decreases in altitude as "sdnce of

Barinas, and

hundred and

The

is lost

it

passes through the pro-

in skii-ting Apui'e.

sixty five Spanish leagues long

sierras to the north of

are separated

it

and

It is

one

six broad.

from the Andes

by the Great Lake of Maracaibo, the area of which thousand

six

thi'ee

hundi-ed

is

The more

square miles.

southern sierra of these two runs parallel to the coast,

and

is

therefore called Costanera.

Pico de Nirguata and the

sand six hundred

mated

feet

Silla,

high.

to be sixty leagues long

northern

sierra,

Its highest i)eaks are the

which

The whole

beginning in Coro,

merged and reappears

sierra is esti-

and six broad. is

reaches the island of Tortuga.

till it

latter is eight thou-

submerged It is

The most b}-

the sea

then again sub-

in the island of Margarita.

From

the /Vndes, and from the sierras just mentioned, innume-

streams flow down into the plains of Aj)ure and

rable

Guayana, and miite into the might}' river Orinoco, which bisects

Guayana, and as

even when at

its

thousand cubic or as

much

passes Ciudad BoHvar pours,

lowest, a flood of two

feet of

as the

it

hundred and forty

water per second towards the ocean,

Ganges brings down when highest.*

Codazzi divides Venezuela into three different systems or regions.

The

first

is

the Alpine region, which joins the â&#x20AC;˘ Codazzi, p. 623.


VENEZUELA.

244

mountains of Nueva Granada, that

Andes, and

is, tlie

lies

betAveen six tliousand feet and fifteen thousand nine hun-

Here

dred feet above the level of the sea. called

paramos or Cold Deserts, where an

During the

blast chills the blood.

civil

are the wastes

ic}^

and furious

wars whole regi-

ments have perished in attempting to cross these wastes. Yet

mountains are immense woods, in

at the foot of the

which the cacao

tree, the

theobroma, grows wild.

are the sabanas,

region, too,

or plains

rounded by an amphitheatre of

At the summit

sive stages.

that might be cultivated.

save in the centre.

hills,

rise in

succes-

of each stage are table-lands

There

There

which

In this

Barinas, sur-

of

is

no population, however,

coffee, potatoes,

wheat,

barlej'',

and most of the cereals and legumes of the temperate zone This region contains one thousand seven hun-

are grown.

dred and

fiftj^-five

The second eight

Spanish square leagues.

region begins at the height of one thousand

hundred and ninety

feet

above the sea, and

is

that of

the Cordilleras, or mountain chains which run parallel to the

Between them

coast.

Here

Araguas, and Tui.

the rich valleys of Valencia,

lie

are

grown

cotton, indigo, sugar cane, yuca, soil is a

coffee,

deep black mould of marvellous

of this rich land

is

cacao, maizeÂť

and the plantain. fertility.

one thousand four hundred and

The

The

area

fifty

four

Spanish square leagues.

The it

third region is that of

Parima or Guayana. In shape

resembles an immense convex dish slightly elevated and

corrugated by lines of

sometimes broken bare,

and

ramparts.

in

the

In

b}^

hills,

which are sometimes regular,

gigantic rocks, covered with grass, or

shape of pyramids, towers, and ruined

this

region

there

are

five

thousand

one


THE SABANAS.

245

There

liundred aud four square leagues of virgin forest. are, besides the vast

Don Ramon Paez

sabanas of Apure, pastui'es, of

says

:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " They

wliicli

characterised by a

ai'e

luxuiiant growth of various grasses, which, like those of

the

Portuguesa, preserve a uniform

the year.

These

pliable

silk,

as

is

most

important

The prodigious

of cattle-breeding.

these plains

some of which

grasses,

are

verdui'e

in

throughout

and

are

soft

the

economy

increase of animals in

mainly owing to the superiority of the pas-

tm-es over those

of the upper regions of the Llanos,

whence the farmer every summer.

is

from

compelled to migi-ate with his stock

There are

tlu'ee varieties of grass

which, in

richness of flavom' and nutrition, can hardly be sui'i^assed

In the

by any other fodder plants of the temperate zones.

early part of the rainy season the granadilla, a grass reach-

ing to about four feet in height, with tender succulent blades

and panicles of seed, not unlike some

varieties of

corn, starts with the earliest showei's of spring.

with great rapidity, and

is

greedily sought

but being an annual soon disapjDears.

by

In the

all

broom-

It

grows

rummants;

alluvial

bottom-

lands subject to the periodical inundation, two other grasses,

no

less

esteemed for their nutriment, have an uninterrupted

growth and luxiuiance, which the hottest season blast

;

these are the carretera,

praii'ie-goose that feeds

on account of

its

on

it

;

named from

cannot

the beautiful

and the lambedora, so termed

softness."

In the middle of these sabanas,

immense plain that

wliicli

form part of an

stretches for a thousand miles to the foot

of the Bolivian Andes, rises a central plateau called the

Mesa of

Guanipe, the height of which above the sea varies from two hundi'ed and ninety to fom- hundred and sixty-fom- yards.


VENEZUELA.

216

Around

.

and from

are miiny secondary j^Iateaux,

it

issue tiny

rills

which the

of water,

all

these

when he

traveller,

first

ohserves them shewing themselves from beneath the palmtrees, thinks will

being

soon be absorbed

m

the

however, they grow and grow

lost,

streams, and then, uniting, form rivers.

land

is full

of springs, and the

one thousand and sixty

map

Far from

soil.

they become

till

In

fact,

the whole

indicates the course of

which seven

rivers, all navigable, of

are of the 1st class, thirty of the 2nd, twenty-two of the 3rd,

and nine hundred and sixty-three of the 4th. sides its

many

lakes, of

which that of Maracaibo

There are beis

the largest,

circumference, including bays, being two hundi-ed and

fourteen Spanish leagues.

The

total area of

hundred and dred

and

miles, or

fifty-one

is thirty-five

Spanish square

twenty-nine

Though

thousand nine

leagTies, or four

and

thousand

more than that

taken together. of the

Venezuela

thirty-five

and Portugal

of France, Spain,

only one-seventh of the extent

United States, and one-seventh of that of Brazil,

larger than

N. Granada, Ecuador, Bolivia,

Chili, or

Codazzi divides Venezuela into three zones tural zone, pasture-land,

hun-

square

and

forest.

The

it is

Paraguay.

;

the agTicul-

fii'st

of these con-

tains eight thousand seven hundred and tliirty-seven square

leagues, of which five hundred only

There were

in

1840 only

six

had been cleared

in 1840.

hundred thousand and

fifty

inhabitants in this zone, which could support seven milhons.

Of pasture land

there are nine thousand square leagues, with

but thirty-nine thousand inhabitants.

There are eighteen

thousand two hundred and fourteen square leagues in the forest zone, of

which but nine were cleared in 1840, while

twelve thousan-d were covered with dense margin forest, and


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

DISTEIBUTION INTO PBOVINCES. tliree

thousand are classed, by Codazzi, as

247

on which

hills

sheep might graze, seven hundred and ninety seven as sabanas

fit

and the

for cattle,

rest as steep

mountain or

lake.

This zone, which has perhaps about sixty thousand inhabitants, could support sixteen millions.

In Codazzi's map Venezuela vinces, which, beginning

may

Cumana

3.

Caracas

;

2. 6.

;

Carabobo

quisuneto; 10. Coro caibo.

new

;

;

;

divided into thirteen pro-

from the south-east, and reckoning

in a westerly dii-ection,

Guayana

is

7.

be enumerated as follows

Barcelona

Apm-e

11. Trujillo

In the more modern

map

;

;

;

8.

12.

4.

:

Margarita

Barmas Merida

;

9.

;

13.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; ;

1.

5.

Bar-

Mara-

of 1865, wall be found the

distribution into twenty-one provinces, which, reckoning

in the

same order from south-east

to west are as follows Inhabitants.

1.

Guayana with

2.

Matui-in

3.

Cumana

75,000*

4.

Xueva Esparta

24,000

5.

Barcelona

90,000

6.

Guarico

18,000

7.

Bolivar

120,000

8.

Araguas

140,000

9.

Distrito Federal

80,000

25,000

11.

Apure Zamora

12.

Portuguesa

85,000*

13.

Cojedes

14.

10.

60,000 .

45,000*

80,000 60,000

15.

Carabobo Yaracui

16.

Nueva Cegovia

23,000

17.

Coro

80,000

18.

Los Andes

80,000

19.

Tachira

65,000

20.

Merida

90,000

21.

Zulia

75,000

170,000* 80,000

Total *

These provinces have united

1,565,000

for representative purposes.

:


*

VENEZUELA.

248

Upon

the whole,

Gaayana must be regarded

important province of Venezuela. is

permeated by

and by

its

It is

by

most

far the largest,

and

the magnificent flood of the Orinoco, by wliich

tributary streams the whole contment of South

America might almost be crossed from on the south

it is

and so renders

all

east to west; while

joined by the Casaquiare to the Amazon, Brazil accessible for ships from the coast

The commerce which

of Venezuela.

loped on this great

river

immense importance.

may

as the

will,

Of what

will

one day be deve-

without a doubt, is

it

be of

an idea

at present

be formed, from the fact that an American Company,

who have had

the privilege of carrjdng on the steam naviga-

tion there for the last eighteen years, have offered half a

million of dollars for the renewal of then' charter.

Cotton

grows wild in Guayana, especially in the canton of Rio Negro,

where there

is

a species which resists the rains that

during almost the w^hole year in this province.

fall

It is called

rejuco (furnished with tendrils), and clings to trees for suj)port.

The woods

of

Guayana

are of infinite variety,

be tm'ned to every useful pm-pose. of

them

see

Appendix B.

For the names of some

Cattle

and skuis might be

brought down the Orinoco to suj)ply

Europe.

It

all

the markets

an ancient tradition that gold

is

and can

found in abundance in Guayana, and

it

is

to

in

be

was here that from

1535, the Spaniards, and our Ealeigh after them, sought for the Golden City.

So Milton writes

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

" Yet uuspoil'd Guayana, whose great city Geryon's sous Call El Dorado." 'J'ime

has proved that the wondrous legends of the Caribes * Paradise Lost, B. XI. v. 406.


SANTO TOMAS. as to this city are false, but

it

not to be supposed that

is

they were utterly without foundation

metal

is

249

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;that

precious

the

On

never to be met with in this vast province.

the

contrary, the best living authorities declare,* that even in

the vicinity of Angostiu'a gold exists, and

to think the gold fields of

is

scattered

Indeed, there

lavishly over the remoter districts.

Guayana may yet

is

more

reason

thousands

attract

to Venezuela.

In 1576 the Jesuits, Iguacio Llauii and Julian Vergara, founded the town of Santo Tomas, opposite the island of Fajardo, but the

Don

in 1579.

it

Antonio

^ho came from Nueva Granada, refounded Santo Old Guayana now is, and the province

Berrio,

Tomas

Dutch destroyed

in 1591, where

thenceforward became a dependency of N. Granada, at least

In 1595 the

as far as ecclesiastical matters.

which went from

first

this side, set forth in quest of

expedition,

El Dorado.

In 1618 Walter Ealeigh took Santo Tomas, killing Palomeque, the governor, and setting

fii'e

to the town.

Next year

was rebuilt by Fernando Berrio in the same place. the city

now

called Angostui-a

it

In 1764,

was commenced by Mendoza,

the governor, fifty-two leagues fm-ther up the river, and was at first called

Avhich

Santo

Tomas

was too lengthy

Angostm-a, "

The

to sm'vive,

In

Straits."

general breadth in this part di'ed to four

de la

is

Nueva Guayana, and gave place fact,

from

thousand six hundred

a

name

to that of

the Orinoco, whose

four-

thousand two hun-

j^ards,

narrows near the

ancient forts of S. Gabriel and S. Eafael to eight hundred

and

eighty-five yards.

In the middle of the stream rises the

famous rock called Piedi'a del Medio, which has never been submerged, but which serves as a meter to the people of * See

Appendix

C.


VENEZUELA.

2.50

Angostura to gauge the appears to be

rise of tlie river.

fifty- six feet

Tliis,

above the summer

when highest, level.

On

the

20th of November, 1818, Bolivar issued his declaration

ot

the independence of Venezuela from Angostura, which in his lionour was

named Ciudad BoHvar. on the slope of a

of an amphitheatre,

Many

vegetation. is little

It is built in the hill,

shape

in part destitute oi

of the houses are of stone, showing there

danger from earthquakes.

to the course of the river.

The

streets

Humboldt

run parallel un-

attributes the

healthiness of the place to the marshes on the south-east.

The

capital of Gua3'ana is

Mendoza lias

Ciudad Bolivar, founded by

on the right bank of the Orinoco.

in 1764,

thousand inhabitants,

ten

hundred miles nearer the

sea,

It

and

Upata,* about

one

has

six thousand.

San

Fernando, near the confluence of the Atabapo and the Guai-

In Ciudad Bolivar

rare, is also a good-sized town.

the far

famed tonic

called

is

made

Angostura Bitters, for which prizes

have been awarded at the English Exliibitions.

In addition lishmen,

English

it

to its other claims

on the attention of Ensf-

must be remembered that Guayana borders on

territory,

being conterminous with British Guayana

on the south-east, and only a few miles from Trinidad on the north-east.

The

question of emigration from England to

Venezuelan Guayana is one that deserves more attention than it

has received.

It is true that

Ciudad Bolivar has an

evil

reputation at present for yellow fever, and that generally the climate of

Guayana

is

said to be unfavom-able to Eurojjeans,

but that does not appear to have been always the case. Ealeigh, in his " Discoverie of the Large, Eich, and Bewti*

Here

are important gold fields.


CLIMATE OF GUAYAXA. full

2ol

Empii-e of Guayana," writes, p. 112, "Moreover the

countrej^

so

is

liealthfiill,

which lay (without

as one

hundred persons and more,

most sluggishly, and were every day

shift,

almost melted with heat in rowing and marching, and suddenly

wet againe with great showers, and did eate of corrupt fruits, and

made meales

sorts of

of fresh fish without season-

and of

ing, of toi-tugas, of lagartos,

all

good and bad,

al sorts,

without either order or messure, and besides lodged in the

open

every night)

a3^re

disposed to

my

had one

ill

calleiitm-a,

or

not any one, nor

ice lost

knowledge, nor found anie

other of those pestilent diseases which dwell in regions,

and so nere the equinoctiall

mony to

the healthfulness of

by

Sii*

And

line."

all

bote

this testi-

Guayana is remarkably confirmed

Eobert Schomburgk, who says in a note on the above

passage,

"During

the eight years of our rambles thi'ough

the thick forests, over the hills and the extensive savannahs,

though our night's lodging was often mereh' the shelter of an umbrageous

tree,

though often drenched by rains and

exposed to the heat of the tropical sun, our fare that of the Indians, in the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

3'et

our health, after we had passed the

commencement

rupted by disease.

first

fevers

was seldom

inter-

remark applies Hkewise

to the

of the expedition,

And

this

Em^opeans who accompanied

us.

Indeed,

if

we except the

melancholy death of Mr. Eeiss, by the upsetting of a boat in descending a cataract, we did not lose a single individual of disease brought on by the

our Em'opean companions

b}"

climate or our hardships.

It is otherwise, however, in the

coast regions, where injm-ious

miasmata render the

sojoiu'n

frequently dangerous to Em'opeans."

In

fact, at

the distance of about fifteen or twenty miles

from the banks of the Orinoco, the ground

rises

from two


VENEZUELA.

252

hundred to climate

five

hundred

and

feet,

should be taken to select high land for the

and there

is

elevation the

In case of emigration care

comparative^ health3\

is

at this

fii'st

settlements,

no reason to apprehend much sickness in such

spots.

The

province of Maturin formed part of Its principal

time of Codazzi, 1840.

Cumana

in the

towns are Maturin, the

capital, with seven thousand inhabitants

Aragua, close to

;

the frontier of Cumana, on the northern limit of Maturin,

and Barrancas on the southern. celebrated in attacks

has sustained.

it

grassy plain, is

the liistory of the

It is situated in a fine sabana, or

on the right shore of the river Guarapiche, which

navigable to a place called Point Colorado,

Maturin

leagues of the town. for cattle

withm

eight

a not unimportant mart

is

and agricultural produce.

Ai-agua, is

The town of Maturin is Eepubhc for the many

on the southern slope of the mountains of Caripe,

a town as large as Maturin.

In

its vicinity is

the cele-

brated Cave of Guacharo or Caripe, in which tobacco of peculiar excellence described.

dred

feet,

is

He makes

grown, which Humboldt visited and its

length two thousand eight hun-

but Codazzi gives more detailed measurements,

dividing the cave

into three parts, of which the first is

nine hundred and seventy-five yards long and from ten to twelve wide, the second two hundred and twenty-five yards

long and from one to three wide, and the

tliird

one hun-

dred and thirty-five yards long and fom^teen wide. first

division,

which

is

from seventy

The

to eighty feet high, is

inhabited by an innumerable multitude of birds called guacharos, and from

them the Indians

made one hundred and

sixty bottles of

in liit

Humboldt's time oil yearly.

The


CUMANA. roof and sides of

and

tions

A

division are covered with petrifac-

tliis

stalactites,

formation.

253

which may be seen in the act of

stream, from fifteen to twenty feet broad,

but shallow, runs through this part of the cave.

second division, which pass through

The

it,

is

of the petrifactions, lapa,

which

the most beautiful of

is full

Aragua contain an inexhaustible

At GuaATita and Punceres sulphur, of

to

The mines

at

suppl}- of pm-e salt.

in this province are

and petroleum.

salt,

on account

all,

of the curious animal called the

exceedingly good to eat.

is

In the

must stoop

so low that one

there are neither birds nor petrifactions.

which

tliird,

is

Maturin

mines of on

carries

a

trade with Trinidad in cattle, horses, and mules.

The

Pro\'ince of

Maturin,

is

Cumana, which

cially for its magnificent harbours.

Gulf of Cariaco, on which the that all

it

is

Humboldt

says of the

Cumana,

is situated,

capital,

" a large and sheltered harbom', able to contain

Em'ope put

the fleets of

creek Obispes, which

America."

The

is

together, having in its bay the

one of the handsomest harbom's in

port of Mochima, further to the west,

also one of the finest harbours in the world, is

north of

to the

lies

an important one on many accounts, but espe-

Manare, also excellent.

most ancient of

all

The

capital,

and beyond

Cumana,

the towns on the mainland, but

lation is only five thousand.

Humboldt

says that

is

is it

the

its j)oj)u-

has for

it

ages been the focus of the most tremendous earthquakes,

and eighteen months before his thrown by one of those

Cumana was voj-age in

first

1498.

arrival

it

was

fearful visitations.

discovered by

Columbus

In 1520 Gonzalo Ocampo

entirely over-

The in

coast of

his

built,

tliii'd

half a

league from the emhouchemcnt of the river Cumana,

now


VENEZUELA.

254 called Manzanares, the

Next year Jacome

town of Toledo.

Castallan completed a fortress begun by Las Casas, and

New

called the place lusia,

as

fortress

Cordoba, the Capital of

the province

was then

was thrown down by

was destroyed

bj^

In 1530

styled.

this

an earthquake, during wdiich

the sea rose twenty feet above

In 1766 Cumana

its level.

another earthquake, and shocks recurred

months.

for fourteen

New Anda-

In 1794 there

w^as

again an earth-

quake, as also in 1797, 1802, 1805, and 1839. Cariipano, another town of this province, has ten thou-

become a populous mart but lowdands near

San

Felipe,

and would

It is situated near the sea,

sand inhabitants.

for the unhealthiness of the

Cariaco, founded in 1600, and

it.

first

surrounded by lands of marvellous

is

called

fertility.

It is situated within a few miles of the inner extremity of

the gulf of the same name.

Cumanacoa,

and a half

five

Spanish leagues to the south-east of Cumana,

between two

in a fertile plain, it

rise

The scenery

is

but the most remarkable feature in

it

which are eight thousand

flames, which

feet high.

show themselves

dred feet from the

hill

to be the soul of the tyrant

of the province

is,

is

horses, salt

is

the

hun-

by the common people

The chmate

Lopez d'Aguirre.

upon the whole, favourable

to health,

The average

81째 of Fahrenheit.

The commerce cotton, sugar,

of

exqui-

at the height of seven

except near the lands liable to be submerged.

temperature

placed

of Cuchii-ano, and wdiich arise from

gas, but are thought

an inflammable

is

the south of

mountains, some

the peaks of the Bergantic

sitely beautiful,

To

rivers.

of

Cumana

and tobacco.

and petroleum.

consists It

The

also

in

coflee,

exports

cocoa,

cattle

and

cuspa, or cinchona, here


MAEGAEITA. gi'ows to twenty feet

vian bark, and less

liigli

it

;

ii'ritant.

255

is

more

It

blossoms

bitter at

than Perutbe end of

November.

Nueva Esparta, formerly island of that

name and

called Margarita, consists of the

Asuncion,

the isles in the vicmit3\

the capital, has four thousand inhabitants, and in a green valley, watered

situated

is

by a stream of the same name,

about a league from the sea and one hmidred and twentynine yards above

The

healthy.

climate

port of Pampatar

the island, and

mon

The

its level.

is

quite safe.

the principal harbour in

is

Indeed storms are so uncom-

Humboldt

in the sea near Margarita that

be navigated in an open boat.

Columbus

in 1498,

there the

first

The

Em-ope.

hot, but singularly

is

it

might

Margarita was discovered by

and next year Cristobal Gueara obtained

pearls that were brought from

America

to

pearl fishery was carried on with great suc-

cess during the sixteenth century, but has

decay.

says

Instead of pearls, fish are

now taken

now

fallen

to

in great abun-

dance and form the chief commerce of the island, together with tm^tles, and tortoise-shell, which are exported to Cu-

mana and

Trinidad.

drawn twice

Nets, two hundred yards long, are

and usually bring up from ten

a day,

and sometimes so many that

hundred-weights of

fish,

requisite to cut the

meshes and

Barcelona

is

river Orinoco,

let

some

w^est

it is

escape.

separated on the south from

on the

to twelve

Guayana by the

from Guarico by the rivers Unare

and Suata, and on the east from Maturin and Cumana by

Los Pazos, the Mesas

the river

Pehia and Urica, and by the mountains.

ground

is

On

the north

lofty is

of Morichal,

Guanij^a,

range of the Bergantin

the

sea.

The anchoring

very inferior to that along the coast of

Cumana.


VENEZUELA.

2r)6

Barcelona, the capital,

is

a town of twelve thousand inhabi-

from the

It is situated a league

tants.

verdant pasture lands extend

where much

all

and from

sea,

the way to the Orinoco,

Barcelona was built in 1671

cattle is reared.

by the Governor Sancho Fernandez de Angulo. scene of

it

many sanguinary combats during

It

was the

the war of Inde-

I)endence, and on the 6th of April, 1817, Bolivar abandoned

here Colonel Chamberlain and one thousand men, of

them perished,

after Colonel

himself and his wife with his

who most

Chamberlain had destroyed

own hand.*

Aragua, fourteen Spanish leagues due south of Barcelona, is

There are

a town of about eight thousand inhabitants

also the small

towns of Piritu, Onato,

Pao and Soledad, which

S.

Mateo, S. Diego,

Ciudad Bolivar, being

last faces

placed on the northern shore of the Orinoco.

All the above

towns have from two thousand to four thousand inhabitants.

The

foreign

commerce of Barcelona

articles as that of

The

Cumana, but

is less

consists in the

province of Guarico has been formed by detaching

from the ancient province of Cardcas the three vast of Orituco, Chaguaramas, and Calabozo.

bozo,

same

extensive.

is

The

town of ten thousand inhabitants.

a

districts

caj)ital,

It

Cala-

was founded

by the Guipuzcoan Company in the beginning of the eighteenth century, close to the river Guarico, whence the province has

its

name, and stands so low that

it

quite surrounded

by the floods of the said

Guarico

the Apurito, and that again

falls into

Orinoco near Caicara. l^astures

Calabozo

where vast herds of

*

is

sometimes

The

river. falls into

the

surrounded by immense

cattle are bred.

# Diicoudiay Holstein,

is

p. 245.

It is

an ex-


THE PROVINCE OF BOLIVAE. tremel}' well-biiilt city, with streets at

257

The

right angles.

houses rank with the best at Caracas, and there are many

The

fine churches.

and two trees

rose here grows to twenty feet high,

will sujiport a

hammock.

Orchuco, the capital of the

town

district so called, is a

of six thousand inhabitants, situated in a fertile plain at

the foot of the range of hills which separates the valleys of the Tiii from

the llanuras

Orituco

the Guarico.

falls into

Chaguaramas

who

ai'e

suffers

The

river

a town of about five thousand inhabitants,

is

for the

or "pastures."

most part engaged

from want of water.

in breeding cattle.

The

Spanish leagues to the south and by east of Orituco.

commerce of

It

It is situated about eleven

this province is less important than that of

most of the other provinces.

The

pro\TLnce of Bolivar has likewise

that of Caracas by detaching from

Guarenas, Caucagiia, mare.

it

been formed from

the districts of Petare,

Rio-Chico, Santa Lucia, and Ocu-

Petare, the capital,

is

a tovm. of six thousand inha-

bitants, ten miles to the east of the city of Caracas.

It is

beautifully situated on the banks of the river Guau'e,

and

overlookuig the valley of that name.

Eighteen miles due east of Petare santly situated town of Guarenas,

tance to the south of valley,

tions

latter is

watered by the Guaii-e.

and dense woods.

west of S. Lucia sand.

the

is

Lucia in a

dis-

fertile

All aroimd are fine planta-

Ocumare with

to the south-south-

a population of nine thou-

from the Tui, in a rich country

covered with woods and plantations. is

the small but plea-

S.

Twenty miles

It is at a little distance

by north

is

and about the same

Forty miles to the east

Caucagua on a stream of the same name, which


VENEZUELA.

258 falls into

the Biver Tui, and as the river

point Caucagua

is

is

navigable to this

excellently placed for commerce.

twenty-eight miles east

b}^

north of Caucagua

is

Lastly,

Kio Chico,

with twelve thousand inhabitants, on the spot where the Tui It is near a lake called

formerly flowed into the sea. rigua which abounds in to the rich lands carr}^

by wliich

on a brisk commerce

but

is

it

enabled to

is

rather feverish and

considerable quan-

of coffee, chocolate, sugar-cane, indigo, and tobacco.

The next

province, Ai'aguas, one of the most populous

and richest in

all

Venezuela, has been constituted recently,

of districts taken from the

ancient province

These are Victoria, Turmero, Sebastian.

Maracai,

Victoria, the capital,

in the centre of the- province.

covered with trees.

The

eye

of Caracas.

town of nine thou-

sides

all

by calcareous

hills

delighted by the sight of

is

most luxuriant plantations and the richest

A

extending in every direction.

and San

Cm^a,

situated almost exactly

is

It is a

sand inhabitants, surrounded on

the

surrounded,

is

it ;

Taca-

and owing

this account

The whole province exports

unhealthy. tities

and on

fish,

cultivation

stream called Calanche

passes through the town and flows into the river Aragua,

which descends into the Lake of Valencia. south-east rise the lofty mountains of Tiara, and Guiripa, and beyond

hills

Guaracina,

are the vast plains

shows that the Lake of Valencia, or Tacarigua,

m bye-gone ages covered the

present site of Victoria.

high roads lead from Victoria the lake to

La Palma,

them

south and

Examination of the neigh-

which extend past Calabozo. bouring

To the

;

Two

one passes by the north of

San Carlos and Barinas, the other on the south

of the lake leads to the plains of Apure. colonists should come.

They would

It is here that

find the richest soil in


MAEACM.

259

the world, the most beautiful scenery imagmable, and a

dehcious and healthy climate, the whole of the pro-vince being more than one thousand six hundred and ninety feet

above the level of the sea. Five miles west of Victoria

is

Tm*mero, where

the

is

former residence of the Governor- General of the Valleys of Aragua.

now converted

It is

There are

into a church.

eight thousand inhabitants in Turmero, which

is

rather an

agricultural than a trading town, being at a little distance

Three streams, the Guaire, Paya, and

from the high road.

Tm'mero, unite near

The town and

is

it.

of Maracai lies twelve miles west of

about the same

eight thousand.

size, lia\dng

Turmero,

a population of nearly

It is three miles to the

north of the Lake of

Valencia, and from the neighbouring height of Calvario there is

a magTiificent view over the lake.

tions

All around are planta-

and meadows, in which numbers of horses are pastured.

Cm'a, eighteen miles south-west of Victoria, and San Sebastian twenty miles south of Victoria, are both situated on

the river Pao, which

however, near Cura, the strange

falls into is called

phenomenon

This stream,

of a disapx)earance under ground

The

for several leagues.

the Guarico.

the Tucutunemo, and presents

singular

liills

Morros

called the

of S. Juan, near Cm'a, are a marvel to the geologist.

They

are full of caves, of which one is of large dimensions.

Cura

has eight thousand inhabitants, S. thousand.

The

in the country,

latter is

and owes

mines existed in the neai'

it,

and

one of the oldest Spanish towns its

vicinity.

at Ostig,

Sebastian about two

origin to the belief that gold-

Curious caves are to be seen

one of the districts dependent on

bones of the mastodon have been found.

The

it,

chief export R 2


VENEZUELA.

260

San Sebastian

of

indigo, which is also

is

Cotton and tobacco are

Turmero, and

coffee

grown

at Maracai.

grown at Maracai and Cura, cocoa

and sugar-cane

at

at all the chief places

in Araguas.

The Federal District is formed of the districts of Caracas and La Guaira, part of the ancient provmce of Caracas. Caracas, the capital, has been fully described in the third

The

chapter of this book.

La Guaira

also has

been described.

The products

inhabitants.

population It

thousand.

fifty

is

has nine thousand

of the districts dependent on

these two cities are coffee, cocoa, and sugar-cane.

The province

make

of

Apure

is

inhabited by a race of

men who

These Llaneros,

the best soldiers in South America.

" plainsmen " are matchless horsemen, passing the greatest part of their lives in the saddle, and accustomed to lasso

from horseback the wild

Ramon

Paez

:*

To

cattle.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " Cast upon

a wild

use the words of

and apparently

Don

inter-

minable plain, the domain of savage beasts and poisonous reptiles, their

lot

is

to

pass

all

their

life

in a perpetual

struggle, not onl}' with the primitive possessors of the land,

but with the elements themselves, often as fierce as they are

These Llaneros

grand."

are

a

mixed

race,

Spaniards, Indians, and Negroes, and according to

from

M.

de

Larayesse, possess a more healthy and vigorous constitution

and more

Africans. civil

vital

energy than

Hence, in the

War

either

Europeans or

of Independence, and in the

wars that have since occm-red, the Llaneros have

always played a most conspicuous part, and have produced the most

celebrated

Morales, and more *

soldiers,

such as Paez, Boves and

lately Sotillo,

Wild Scenes

in

South America,

p. 41.


VAST HEEDS OP CATTLE. The

present province of Apure, though

261

much

curtailed,

about three hundred and thirty miles long, and one hun-

is

dred and

five

separate

it

river

of

The

miles broad.

Meta and Orinoco

from Guayana on the south and

Apm-e

flows between

it

The

Granada.

From December

to

begin in April, and

climate

is

the west

it

is

bounded by

hot, but in general healthy.

February the sky

is

Rains

cloudless.

with great violence in June, July,

fall

In these months Eastern Apm-e

and August.

into a vast lake,

and the

east,

on the north and the provinces

On

Zamora and Gaarico.

New

rivers

and except

natives the whole pro"STJice

for the

changed

is

hardy and experienced

Number-

becomes impassable.

then destroyed by the jaguars, the alligators,

less cattle are

and the yet more troublesome caribe

fish,

or are

drowned in

Notwithstanding this the herds abound to such

the waters.

an extent as to sui'pass the power of description.

number may be formed, however, from

idea of their

following cii'cumstance. an}^ cattle-owner to

in a year.

It

But there

sequently they are

Now, plies

if

all

the

the

has been found impossible for

brand more than ten thousand animals

who have

are at least ten proprietors

more than that number born claiming

Some

in their herds annually.

Con-

allowed to purchase the pri\dlege of

unmarked animals near

theii"

pastures.

we consider how great must be the herd which sup-

more than ten thousand fresh animals every

year,

and

that certificates are issued to ten proprietors of their ha\ing

such a herd, while exist,

many

other claimants to the certificate

and several thousand proprietors who possess herds

of various classes below that that the cattle if

first

rank,

it

will

be evident

must be reckoned by hundreds of thousands,

not by millions.


VENEZUELA.

262

The

thousand inhabitants, river

San Fernando, a town of

capital of Apui'e is

Portuguesa

This

the Apure.

falls into

lowest ebb,

yards.

but

usual

its

Considerable

traffic

breadth

Caracas for Ciudad Bolivar.

and hides,

for a

two

and sixpence, and a

j^ear

But neither

The town of Achaguas,

S.

river,

traffic.

Fernando,

Of

might be carried on

course,

in cattle

old animal sells for one shilling

grown bull

full

at

from Barinas and

goods

nor any other town of Apure, adds to the freight were less high a trade

when

one thousand

is

on by the

carried

is

which receives boats bringing

if

latter river

here tw^o hundred and thLrty-six toises broad,

is

its

six

spot where the

situated near the

for half a crown.

thirty-six miles to the south-south-

west of S. Fernando, has a population of about four thousand. It

was founded as a mission by the Friar Alonso

was

originally the capital of Apure,

when

it

in 1774,

and

was formed from

Barinas mto a separate province in 1824.

It is situated

near the confluence of the Apurita with the Matiyure. Mantecal, on the river Caicaro,

Achaguas and Guasdualito, vince,

fifty

are the only other towns of

Each has about

thi'ee

miles to the west of

in the extreme west of the jDro-

Apure worth

thousand inhabitants.

noteworthy thmgs in Apure are the Saman of mimosa, which afford good timber,

notice.

Among

the

trees, a species

and are of such a

gigantic size as to overshadow several acres.

The province

of

Zamora has been formed out

of the

The new province has Merida, Los Andes, Portuguesa, and ancient one of Barinas, Obispo, Pedraza, and Nutrias.

Cojedes to the north, Guarico to

tli^.

east,

Apure

to the

south, and Tachii'a to the west.

Barinas, the capital,

is

a town of six thousand inhabitants.


BAEINAS.

263

It is situated in the uortliern part of the province near a hill,

where the river Domingo has

1576

bj'

Juan Andres Yarela, and was

equal advantages, since cattle breeders,

kind

is

fii'st

called Altamira

Codazzi declares that no province possesses

de Caceres.

rior

It Avas hiiilt in

soui'ce.

its

may be

inhabitants

its

and merchants at once.

agiiculturists,

Tobacco of a supe-

produced here.

Obispo, eleven miles to the east by south of Barinas,

town near

fully it,

is

The

as large.

navigable, and

and Orinoco.

is

a

Domingo, which passes

river

communicates with the Apure

Caroni, two leagues off on the Domingo,

is

the port of Obispo. Pedi'aza, eighteen miles to the south-west of Barinas, is a

town of three thousand mhabitants.

by Gonzalo Pino Ladueiio, who the town in Estremadura

in

It

was founded in 1601

called

it

by the name of

which he was born.

was destroyed by the Indians, and rebuilt on site

hj Diego de Lima.

It stands in a lovely

To

the banks of the river Canagua.

In 1614

it

present

its

sabana on

the west of

it

is

the

great forest of Ticoporo, which covers eighty square leagues,

The Canagua

and in which the cacao tree grows wild.

is

navigable not far from Pedi'aza, so that goods can be carried

down from

About

it

to

Ciudad Bolivar.

sixty miles to the south-east of

on the Apm'e

river, a

about six thousand

Obispo

is

Nutrias

town with considerable commerce and five

hundred inhabitants.

It

is

the

general port of the provmce of Barinas, and the following articles are

sends

interchanged at

coffee,

maize, sugar,

cocoa,

it.

hides,

papalon,

To Ciudad

indigo,

potatoes,

Bolivar Barinas

timber,

rice,

chick-peas, tares,

cotton,

shoe-

leather, di'ugs, Indian barley, brandy, horns, mules, mares,


VENEZUELA.

264

exchange dry goods, soap,

cattle, receiving in

wine, gin, cheese,

oil,

vinegar and

rum,

delf,

To Caracas and

salt.

Puerto Cabello, Barinas sends indigo, hides, cocoa, asses, pigs and cattle, and receives groceries in exchange.

Barinas receives

Barquisimeto

serves, tiles, belts,

return maize, beans,

Tocuyo salt,

morocco

leather,

linen, sacks, drugs, onions, garlic, pre-

hammocks,

shoes,

leather,

From

chick-peas, sugar, papelon rice, cheese, fish,

;

and gives in

money and cattle. From

Barinas receives flour, cotton, blankets, sweetmeats,

morocco

and money.

and onions

leather, garlic

From Bocono,

;

in Trujillo,

and returns hides Barinas receives

Indian barley, tares, chick-peas, sugar, white cab-

flour,

bages,

potatoes and

money.

drugs

returning

;

piece-goods

and

Mucuchico sends to Barinas drugs, potatoes, tares, and

and

flour;

and gets in exchange

The

traffic

with Merida consists in the things just named,

and in robes made of

cattle,

cocoa,

furs, skins, blankets,

fish.

and hammocks,

which Barinas sends also to Apure, getting back

cattle

from

Guasdualito and Achaguas.

The new

province of Portugueza has been formed from

the ancient Merida by detaching the districts of Guanare,

Ospino, Araure, and Guanarito.

Guanare, the capital of Portugueza,

is

situated at about

four miles to the north of the Guanarito river, and contains

seven thousand inhabitants.

It

was founded by Juan Fer-

nandez de Leon in 1593, or according to Oviedo in 1609.

The

soil

valuable

about timber.

it

is

Its

most

fertile,

and the Avoods rich

chief wealth, however,

consists

in

in

cattle.

Ospino, situated thirty-four miles to the north by east of

Guanare, and midway to Araure, contains about three thou-


SAN CAELOS.

There are excellent pasturages near the

sand inhabitants. town, which

which

it

is

especially

famous

on a brisk trade

carries

265

for its herds of swine, with to

Carabobo and

Thii-ty-four miles again to the north Araui'e, a

town of

six

Cai'acas.

by east of Ospino

thousand inhabitants.

leagues from the canal Durigua, which

It is tlii'ee

navigable,

is

is

and

leads to the river Sarare, which conducts to the Cojedes,

and

This again

this latter to the Portugueza.

Apure, and the Apure into the Orinoco.

The

forest of Tm-en.

cocoa, coffee,

Near

falls into it is

the

the j)ine

sugar-cane, tobacco,

and indigo here are excellent.

In 1813 a celebrated battle

was fought here which hberated

all

bu-th-place of Paez.

the same name,

Lastly,

Barinas.

It is also the

Guanarito, on the river of

a town of fom- thousand five

is

inhabitants, in the south-east part of the province.

places

is fish

so abundant.

hundred In few

Cattle also are reared in great

numbers.

The

principal trade of the province

is

in cocoa, indigo,

cofiee, cotton.

The modern province detaching

from

of

Carabobo

Cojedes has been formed by the

districts

San Carlos

of

and Pao.

The

capital,

habitants, and

San is

Caiios,

is

a town of nine thousand in-

situated in a fine

plain near the river

Madi'ina, which faUs into the Portugueza.

The

hills to

the

north of the town extend far into the province of Carabobo,

and along them

is

the famous pass called the galera, which

divides the plains of Valencia from those to the south of

San Carlos.

The town

is

weU

built,

and the

sign of the wealth of the inhabitants, siderable trade in cattle.

San Carlos

who

edifices are a

carry on a con-

also exports quanti-


VENEZUELA.

266

which

ties of oranges,

The

climate

is

Seven miles

fruit

grows there

in gi-eat

abundance.

and fevers are prevalent.

hot,

San Carlos

to the east of

is

Tinaco, with six

thousand inhabitants, and twelve miles to the east-northeast

The

of Tinaco

Pao, with about the same population.

is

trade of these places

The most

pojDulous of

in coffee

is chiefly all

and sugar.

the provinces of Venezuela

Carabobo, which also possesses the richest beautiful scenery, and, It has

climate.

it is

now no more than

the other provinces.

new province

of Cojedes,

forty-five miles square, yet it

many

contains more than double as

inhabitants as most of

Its coast can boast of

finest harbours in the world, the

principal

some of the of

Puerto Cabello, the chief port of Venezuela. mare, and

the most delightful

been so much cm-tailed by the separation

of the districts which form the

that

soil,

upon the whole, the most

is

Tmiamo,

which

is

Cata, Ocu-

are also excellent harbours.

Valencia, the capital of the province, has been already

described in Chapter VIII.

It

has a population of about

twenty-five thousand, was founded in

1555,

Caracas.

and

is

consequently

Seven miles from

b}'

Alonso Dias Moreno

twelve

it

is

years

older than

the beautiful lake de-

scribed in Chapter XII.

Twenty-five miles in a direct line from Valencia Cabello, which by the road

is

at least forty.

is

Puerto

It contains

nine thousand inhabitants, and would be far more populous

but for the fevers which prevail there and arise from the

rank vegetation, stagnant waters and the mangrove

The

forest.

roots of this tree exposed to the sun send forth deadly

exhalations.

The

trade of Venezuela

principal part of the coffee and cocoa is

carried on at this port.


SAN FELIPE.

267

Eighteen miles to the east of Puerto Cahello of

Ocumare with two thousand

The modern province

from the

San centre

San Felipe and Yaritagua.

Felipe, the capital, situated almost exactly in the

of the

commodiously situated their stores there,

tlie village

inliabitants.

of Cocoroto

trade with the interior, built

for

its

name

amount

and carries

to the province,

Fifteen miles to the north runs the river Aroa,

by which the copper from the mines of Aroa, a

The copper of Ai-oa

and of Europe, but the

Felijie

is

is

EngHshmen

village six

brought down to

which

it is

Coquimbo

fomid

is

ex-

that which intervenes between

and Puerto Cabello.

the massacre of

is

superior to that of

district in

tremely unliealthy, as indeed

San

up

of merchandize in small vessels

leagues to the north-west of San Felipe, the sea.

gi'ew

Six miles to the east flows the river

Yaracui, which gives considerable

finding

and the town of San Felipe

under their support.

to the sea.

eight thousand

province, has

The Guipuzcoan Company

down a

detachmg

b}^

Nirqua and Montalban, and

districts of

hitter those of

the town.

of Yaracui has been formed out of

the provinces of Carabobo and Barquisimeto,

from the former the

is

inhabitants.

Ai'oa also is infamous for

there,

who were employed

at

the mines, and were barbarously murdered by the native

miners some years ago.

A raih-oad from

Puerto Cabello to

San Felipe has been commenced, and would prove of im-

mense advantage

to the country, but this useful

work

is at

present suspended. Yaritagua, about twenty-six miles to the south of San

Fehpe, and Montalban, at the same distance to the southeast,

have a population respectively of about three and two

thousand.

Yaritagua

is

hot but healthy, and

is

well placed


VENEZUELA.

268

for

between San Felipe and

trade

mountains which separate difficult of

it

The

Barquisimeto.

from Nirgua are very steep and

passage,

Montalban stands

in a plain at the foot of hills

and with

immense woods covering them and stretching away to the

The land

sea.

in the vicinit}^ is of excellent quality.

Nirgua, fifteen miles south of Montalban, was in 1555,

1625 D. Juan de Meneses y

of

Our

mountains near cool

The

In

exterminated the

Lad}' of the Victory of the Field of Talavera, a

three thousand

is

Padilla,

which was too long to continue in vogue.

title

founded

and refounded the town with the

hostile tribe of Jirabaras

name

first

and several times deserted and reoccupied.

are

it

Nirgua

is

above the level of the sea, and the

feet

more than

and pleasant, but

it is

six thousand.

very

trade of this province

is

Its climate

difficult of access.

in coj)per, indigo, coffee,

cocoa, and sugar.

The

province of

Nueva Cegovia represents

that which was

formerly called Barquisimeto, with the exception of the districts of

San Felipe and Yaritagua, which,

as

mentioned

above, have been assigned to Yaracui.

Nueva Cegovia line

is

separated from Coro on the north by a

of mountains uninhabited and

little

explored, and by

lands liable to be submerged by the river Tocuj^o. river,

divides

whose course

is

nearly four hundred miles

Nueva Cegovia

into

This long,

two equal parts, and after

flowing nearly due north for about one hundred and twenty

miles through the entire province, turns to the east and

forms the boundary between Nueva Cegovia and Coro. then flows through Coro the whole way, and

falls

It

for seventy miles, being navigable

mto the

sea.

On

the east the


BAEQUISIMETO.

mountams high,

269

of Duaca, three thousand

hundred

eight

feet

and the river Barquisimeto, separate Xueva Ceg"o^^a

from Yaracui, and on the south and west the ranges of Trujillo

and Carache, with the peaks of Jabon, Cavimbu,

and Eosas rising thousand

to the height of

feet, divide

and Zuha.

it

The ehmate

from twelve to

thii'teen

from the provinces of Los Andes of the province varies according to

the elevation from extreme cold to great heat.

The tier, in

capital,

Barquisimeto, situated near the eastern fron-

a plain, where the roads to Coro

and

to

Carabobo and

Barinas meet, has a population of ten thousand inhabitants.

was founded in 1552 by D. Juan de Villegas, and was called

It

Nueva Cegovia

after

famous Lope de destroyed his

Aguii-]-e,

own

called the

Li 1812 the

cit}'

Here the

bii'th.

Tyrant, after having

daughter, was put to death

Garcia de Paredes. b}'

the country' of his

b}"

Don Diego

was almost destroj'ed

the same earthquake which overthrew Caracas, and a

whole division of the so-called patriot troops under Colonel

Diego Jalon, perished in the ruins.

smTounds the town south,

where

the

is

river,

beautiful,

breeding

Rich pastm-es

cattle,

especiall}^

from which the

present name, flows through a plantations.

The scenery which towards the

town

fertile valle}", full of

afford every

has

its

valuable

opportunit}-

for

the hills produce excellent corn, and the

valleys the finest cocoa.

Cotton, indigo, and cereals also

flourish.

Twenty-eight miles south-south-west of Barquisimeto

is

Quibor, with about two thousand inhabitants, situated in a

dry and arid plain.

Good mules and

asses are bred here.

Tocu3'o, ten miles due south of Quibor, has seven thousand inhabitants.

It

was founded in 1545

b}'

Juan de

Carvajal,


VENEZUELA.

270

and was

first

called

N. Senora de

built in a beautiful valley watered

On

name.

la

Concepcion.

It

is

by the river of the same

the east and west, ranges of hills shut out the

On

view of the Andes, notwithstanding their vast height.

named

their skii-ts in the directions

are the small towns of

Sanare, Guarico, and Barbacoas, with fertile lands and a

The corn

delightful climate.

There

best in the world.

Tocuyo boasts of a

salt.

of

Tocuyo

is

college

and good schools.

due west of Barquisimeto

Sixty-three miles almost

Carora, a town of six thousand inhabitants. in 1572 by

Diego de Montes.

neighbouring stream at times insufficient.

is

The

It

soil is diy,

is

was founded

and the only

the Morere, the waters of which

Carora owes

In the

cellent climate.

equal to the

a brisk trade also in wool and

is

liills

of

its

population to

its

Guacamuco, which are

is

exat

no great distance, odoriferous balsams and aromatic gums

The cochmeal

abound.

insect is found here.

Coro, a province of the second class in point of its

present importance to

its

size,

owes

being the bii'th-place of the

President, General Falcon, and to the prominent part levies

west

took in the late war.

Its greatest length

two hundred and twenty miles, and

is

north to

south two hundred and

fifty

its

its

from east to breadth from

miles, reckoning

the extremitj'^ of the Peninsula of Paraguana, Cape

from

Roman,

where the sabanas of Tatarabare join the province of Nueva Cegovia.

The

principal port in the long line of coast

Vela, at two leagues from the capital, where there

anchorage.

Macalla, also to the west of Cape

an excellent harbour, as

The

climate

is

is

is

La

good

Roman,

is

Los Taques and Agana.

in general dry

Tocuyo and Aroa it

is

is

and hot.

Near the

rivers

more humid and excessively unhealthy.


THE TOWN OF COEO.

271

Nevertheless, Coro possesses a considerable tract of ter-

which

ritory,

is

probabl}' better adapted for colonization

This

Eui'opeans than almost any part of Venezuela.

by the

is

mountain range of San Luis, which traverses the centre of the province, and rises to the height of five thousand feet

Here the land

above the sea.

is

fertile,

and the

aii*

cool

and pleasant.

The

has a population of seven thousand

capital, Coro,

inhabitants.

was founded on the 26th of July, 1527,

It

by Juan de Nugaes, who disembarked on the coast with sixty

men.

Next year Ambrosio de

Alfinjer

and Bartolome

both Germans, brought a reinforcement of four

Sailler,

In 1578 D. Juan Pimentel transferred

hundred Spaniards.

the government of the country from Coro to Caracas.

The town

Coro was erected into a province.

1818

sea,

and distant from

Twenty-eight miles south

town of San Luis, situated tain range of the coffee

is

one hundred and twenty feet

situated in a barren plam,

above the

In

it

about two miles.

of Coro, the capital,

in the healthy

same name.

Here

and

are

fertile

is

the

momi-

plantations

of

and sugar-cane.

The towns

of

Cumarebo, of Pueblo-Nuevo,

sula of Paraguana,

mouth

in the penin-

and of San Miguel del Tocuyo,

of the river of that

name on

at the

the eastern shore of the

province, as also Casigua in the south-west, are deserving of

mention.

The But

in

trade of Coro

is

cliiefly in cotton, coffee,

Paraguana there

is

a rich salt

mine

at

and cocoa. Guaranao,

from which many vessels are loaded yearly with that useful article.

Dutch

The province islands,

also carries

on a brisk trade with the

Curazao and Oruba exportmg to them hides,


VENEZUELA.

272

maize, hammocks, horns, mules, asses, goats, sheep,

salt,

wool, cheese, tmiher, and cocoa.

The

appellation of

Los Andes has been given

province foj-merly called from

its

chief

town

the

to

Trujillo,

It is

a small province, twenty Spanish leagues broad from east to west, and twenty-six long from north to south, divided from

Nueva C ego via on the north and

from Zulia on the

east,

and from Merida and Zamora on the south

west,

b}^ lofty

mountains, of which the peaks Volcan, Caldera, Niquitao, Rosario, Jabon, Rosas, Cabimbu, Tuiiame, Zelas, Linares,

Tonoco, and man}^ others,

Atajo, five

of these

covered with

are

neighbourhood

There

wastes

are

are, hoAvever,

called

is

as

deep valleys

and in

Most their

Paramos, in which a to destroy animal

life.

luxuriant vegeta-

full of

and cattle-breeding.

The

in general cold, or cool and refreshing.

The

and suitable

climate hills

from ten thousand

snow,

eternal

furious wind prevails, so cold

tion

rise

hundi'ed to seventeen thousand feet in height.

for agriculture

looldng towards the Lake of Maracaibo are, however,

feverish and unhealthy. Trujillo, the capital, is a

A

tants.

town of seven thousand inhabi-

town of the same name was

first

founded by

Diego Garcia Paredes in 1552 near Matatua, but the cahty was several times changed until

where

it

now

is,

a

little to

it

came

the town, which was long before

The

air is

The town hundred

hills

to be fixed

the south by east of the centre of

the province. In 1668, the pirate Francisco

between two

lo-

it

Gramont burned

recovered.

It is placed

on a steep slope towards the river Jacinto.

pure and

cool,

but the water produces the goitre.

stands at an elevation of thi'ee thousand four

feet

above the sea.

On

the 15th of June, 1813,


ESCUQUE.

273

Bolivar issued from this town the decree of " war to the death," and on the 26th of November, 1820, he here signed

Santa Ana, a

the Convention of

fom- leagues

^-illage

off,

by which the cruel reprisals of the seven years' war ceased.

Next six

town

to the capital, the principal

Escuque, with

is

thousand inhabitants, and twenty-three miles to the west

by north of

Trujillo.

of the hills towards the

Escuque, formed

b}'

Lake

To

The

made from

oil

river

the north-east,

on the road to the small town of Betijoque, it

Near the

easily extinguished.

The

Maracaibo.

of

the confluence of the Colorado and

Blanco, flows at the foot of the town.

petroleum.

on the slope

It lies in a fair plain

is

a mine of

gives a bright light, not

mine

springs of cold and excellent water.

many

are

The

Escuque, are excellently suited for cocoa,

copious

rich lands near

coffee, cereals

and

sugar-cane, of which large crops are grown.

Bocono, sixteen miles to the south-east of

town somewhat smaller than Escuque. one

rich valley

thousand

five

Spanish 3-ards above the sea's

Trujillo, is a

It is situated in a

hundred and seventy-two level.

It is

surrounded by

which are the wintry wastes called the

lofty mountains, in

Paramos of Volcan, Caldera, Niquitao, Rosario, Cabimbu, Tonoco, Atajo, Linares, Teta, and Tuname

from six thousand itseK,

to seven

aU

;

of

them

thousand feet above Bocono

and consequently from twelve thousand

to thirteen

To

the south-

thousand feet above the level of the sea. east flows the river

Bocono and

to the north-east the Burate,

which receive innumerable torrents, and

at last unite

near

the towTi.

Carache east

of

is

a small

town twenty-five miles

TrujiUo, at the foot of

to the north-

the mountain range

of


VENEZUELA.

274

Aguaobispo,

wliicli

separates the province of

Los Andes from

The climate is delicious and healthy. same name washes the town. The village of

C ego via.

that of N.

A river of

the

Santa Ana, famous for the armistice between Bolivar and Morillo, is in one of the districts dependent on Carache,

and half way between

it

and

Trujillo.

was ordered that

It

a pyramid should be erected on the spot where the two

Generals met

;

but, with the characteristic levity of

licans, the order

was never carried into execution.

The commerce caibo, or, as

of this province

now

it is

groceries, liquors, coffee, presences,

Eepub-

is princij)ally

and

salt

;

and Barinas Trujillo sends

it

receives

sending in exchange cocoa,

To

and sugar.

with Mara-

from which

called, Zulia,

the

towns of Guanara

coffee, sugar, papelon, flour,

Carora and Tocuyo Los Andes receives

and

From

various extracts, and receives back cattle and rice.

and

belts, shoes,

soap, and returns cocoa, coffee, hides, mules and cattle.

Tachira its

is

a province, formed by detaching from Merida

south-western

tobal,

districts, viz. Bailadores, Grita,

San

Cris-

and San Antonio.

This province to west,

Merida

is forty-six

to the north,

Zamora

territory of

N. Granada,*

to the west

and south.

territory,

Merida

Spanish leagues long from east

and nineteen broad from north to south. to the east,

or, as it is

now

From Pamplono,

creases in elevation.

has

and the foreign called,

in the

a branch of the Andes traverses

in a north-easterly direction,

It

Columbia,

Columbian

Tachii-a

and continually

Beginning with the Paramo of

and in-

Tama

* It is now three years since New Granada assumed the name of Columbia, which properly belonged to the united territory of Ecuador, New Granada and

Venezuela.


THE SIEEEA-NEVADA.

275

near the river Frio, leaves a chasm, through which flows

it,

the larger stream of the Torbes. Cristobal

Batallon,

it

Passing to the south of S.

forms the wintry heights of Zumbador, Agiias,

and Portachuelo, which

from

rise

thi-ee

thou-

sand to three thousand eight hundred and forty Spanish yards above the sea

ihence, throwing out several spm-s,

;

passes to the Sierra-Nevada

it

are

covered with perpetual

land

and

in

Venezuela,

of

Merida, whose j)eaks

This

snow.

being

five

thousand

sixty to five thousand four hundi-ed

rivers

descend

towards

climate of this pro\dnce, as might elevation, is cold.

healthy.

The

The

hill, at

the

;

and from

last

till

and

is

and

November,

San Cristobal situated on a It has six

advantageously placed for com-

merce with Maracaibo and Pamplona, Llanos.

its

and August.

the foot of which flows the river Torbes. inliabitants,

it

The

Orinoco.

be expected from

March and

capital of the province is

thousand

hundred

four

air is in general cool, bracing,

rains begin in

falling in torrents during July

The

highest

and seventy-nine

Spanish yards above the level of the sea seventy-five

the

is

as well as with the

Its exports are sugar, indigo, ^cofifee, cocoa,

and

cotton.

San Antonio, eighteen miles west of San

much

Cristobal, is a

smaller town, situated at the foot of a

which

bill

dominates a small plain through which flows the Tachira.

This river gives

its

name

to the j)rovince,

into the Zulia, loses its own.

the

Lake

of Maracaibo.

Thirty-five Grita, a

The

and then,

falling

The Zulia disembogues climate here

is

into

warm.

miles to the north-east of San Cristobal

town somewhat smaller than San

Cristobal.

stands near the river of the same name, which

is

is

It

na^dgable T 2


VENEZUELA.

276 for foui'teen

By

Zulia.

leagues,

and

the Tachira, into the

falls, like

this river Grita is well able to carry

on a trade

with Maracaibo, and by the river Uribante which flows in the opposite direction, and

falls into

the Apure,

it is

equally

commerce with Apure and the eastern

well situated for

provinces.

Bailadores, fifteen miles to the north-east of Grita,

is

a

smaller town situated on elevated ground, which dominates

and covered

the valley washed by the river Mocotuyes,

wdth plantations and cultivation.

grown here, barley,

Excellent tobacco

is

as well as cocoa, sugar-cane, plantains, corn,

and potatoes.

Tachira sends sugar, indigo, coffee and cocoa to Maracaibo,

and receives in exchange groceries,

To Apure cereals

;

valleys of

Merida which,

sends

it

flour,

and receives

brandy,

cattle,

Cuenta in Columbia is

till

salt,

which

formed a

garlic,

jjart

of

same

and

onions,

salt.

and

salt.

size as Tachira,

and

it,

and

exchanges in the

for groceries

a province of about the lately,

it

liquors,

is

of the

same

character.

The

capital,

Merida, situate in the south-east part of the

province, has a population of nine thousand inhabitants. It

was founded in 1558 by Juan Rodriguez Suarez, and was

first

called Santiago de los Caballeros.

native of Merida in Estramadura."

Rodriguez was a

The town

stands in a fine

tableland one thousand nine hundred and seventy-one Spanish

yards above the sea's

level,

which

is

washed on

all

sides

but the north by the rivers Mucujun, Alvaregas, and Chama.

The scenery

is

beautiful, the magnificent

the Sierra-Nevada

mountams,

in

bemg

full in view.

On

snowy peaks of all

sides are lofty

which are delightful valleys well suited

for the


ZULIA. habitation of man.

There are hot mineral springs

near, and medicinal plants, gums, rida, suffered

Cuenca

much from

in 1644,

277

m a hill Me-

and resins abound.

the earthquake, which destroyed

and was reduced

overthrew Caracas in 1812.

It

to ruins

was soon

by that which

rebuilt,

however,

is now the seat of a bishop, and possesses a college, many schools, and a nunnery. The small town of Mucuchies, about twenty miles to the

and

north-east of Merida,

is

remarkable as being the highest

habited locality in Venezuela. It

is

in-

two thousand eight hun-

dred and twenty three Spanish yards above the level of the sea. Egido, seven miles to the west of Merida,

about three miles from the river Chama. west of in

it is

which

is

in Africa.

is

a

smaU town

Fifteen miles to

the village of Lagunilla, remarkable for a lake,

a mine of urao, like that which is found at

Trona

M. Boussingault

to be

It

has been declared by

sesqui-carbonate of soda.

The

trade of Merida resembles that of Tachira.

Zulia,

till

lately called Maracaibo, is the largest province

in Venezuela,

next to

Guayana, and has

a

superficies,

including the lake, of two thousand seven hundi-ed eighty Spanish square leagues. west,

Merida

Coro,

New

On

to

the

south,

Cegovia, and Los

It

the

has Colmnbia to the

sea to

Andes

and

the

north,

and

to the east.-

the north-west the peninsula of Guajii*a projects far

beyond the

line of the eastern coast of

Zuha.

Cape Chi-

chibaco in the peninsula forms the |3oint of demarcation

between Columbia and Venezuela.

If a

hne be

carried

from the said Cape across the Sierra Aciete, and the mountains of Oca, to the heads of the rivers Soldado it

will

mark out

the

and Hacha,

country of the independent Indian


VENEZUELA.

278 tribe of Guajiros.

These and some other

tribes use poisoned

arrows, with which and by their valour they have

all

along

been able to repulse the Spaniards.

The most remarkable Its

navigation

is

feature in the province

impeded by a bar

at

its

is

the lake.

mouth, which

cannot be safely crossed by vessels drawing more than nine

and which

feet of water,

clear

it.

The water

good pilot to

at all times requires a

of the lake

is

sweet.

It takes its

name

from a cacique of the Indians in 1529. Its shores are covered

An American

with vegetation, and are hot and unhealthy.

Company has

lately

had the monopoly of the navigation, and

said large profits have been

it is

made by them.

Maracaibo, the capital of Zulia, has a population

The

twenty-five thousand.

place was

first

visited

by Euro-

peans in 1499, when Ojeda and Vespucci entered the

and gave

it

the

name

of Venice.

few houses on the spot the city

of

gulf,

Alfinjer, in 1529, built a

now

occupies, and in 1571,

Alonso Pacheco fomided a town there, which he called N.

Zamora.

The

place

The is

soil is

sandy and the climate hot and dry.

subject to

nowhere in the world

is

most

terrific

the noise of the thunder so loud or

the lightning so destructive.

Deluges of rain

The

do great injury to buildings.

town rest

is built

thunderstorms, and

fall

and often

principal part of the

on the shore of a creek two miles wide

;

the

on an eminence to the north which looks over the lake

to the

town of Altagracia on the opposite shore.

a college

and a naval school

at

Maracaibo

;

There are and Depons

speaks highly of the natural talents of the natives and love of music.

Excellent timber

is

theii*

found on the shores of

the lake, and the best vessels which navigate the neighbouring seas are built at Maracaibo.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

POPULATION.

279

town of about two

Altagracia, opposite to Maracaibo, is a

thousand inhabitants.

grown

Cocoa, cotton, and sugar-cane are

in the lands near

it.

The

lake here

is

but two leagues

broad. Perija, sixty miles to the south-west of Maracaibo, is a

town of two thousand

inliabitants.

It is built

eminence in the midst of a beautiful plain. little

cultivation near

it,

on a

There

slight is

but

the people being for the most part

cattle-breeders.

On the

south coast of the lake the only town

Here the cocoa-tree grows wild tion here is

from the

Gibraltar.

vegeta-

most luxuriant, and numerous streams descend

hills to

The commerce The

is

The

in the woods.

The

the lake. of Zulia

is

climate

is

unhealthy.

carried on chiefly by the lake.

exports are indigo, cocoa, coffee, sugai', honey, straw

hats, besides cotton

and wax.

According to Codazzi, the population of Venezuela was, in 1800,

composed as follows

:

200,000

Wliites

Mixed

races, including civilised

Indians

.

.

Catechised Indians

Independent Indians

406,000 62,000

Slaves

...... Total

37,000 83,000

788,000

In 1839 the following were the classes of the population according to the same authority

:

"SMiites

260,000

Mixed Eaces

414,151

Slaves Civilized Indians

Catechised Indians

Independent Indians

49,782

...... ...... Total

155,000 14,000

52,415 945,348


VENEZUELA.

280

In 1844 the census gave the total of one million two

hundred and eighteen thousand lation

had risen

souls,

to one million five

and in 1865 the popu-

hundred and

known

thousand, but no details of the census are

of the

item " Slaves " will have to be

The

country.

"Mixed

races,"

and supposing the

in all the classes to have

contmued

sixtj^-five

in this

added to that

rate of progression

as from 1800 to 1839,

may be reckoned at a fourth of the entire popuThe Indians* are not of very much weight in poli-

the Whites lation.

and considering that the

tical questions,

shown themselves the leaders that they are

Mixed macy.

wliites

in every great

much more than

half as

races, there is little danger of

have ever

movement, and

numerous as the

any contest

for supre-

Negroes are not found in any number, except

seaports,

and in

at the

Valley of Ai^aguas, where

districts like the

there were extensive sugar-cane plantations cultivated by slave labour.

The form

of

Government

is

modelled on that of the United

The Executive

States of North America.

is

represented

by the President, who appoints the ministers, and

is

liimseK

elected by the majority of votes in the different States, for a

period of fom* years, beginning from the 20th of February.

The President

appoints the ministers,

who

are strictly his

organs, and vacate office with him.

The

Legislature consists of a

of Deputies, which

or

when

either

meet

House

House

in Congress

declares

it

of Senators and one

on fixed occasions,

to be necessary.

The

Senators are chosen, two from each State, with two sujjple-

mentaries to

fill

vacancies, and

* Foi' curious proofs of the S.

consult

must be Venezuelans by

Americans and Egyptians being one

"American Antiquities," by

J. T.

C. Heaviside.

race,

Triibner, 1868.


GOVEENMENT.

281

The Chamber

birth and thirty years of age.

formed by each State choosing one Deputy

of Deputies is

for every twenty-

thousand inhabitants, and a second Deputy for any

five

number

in excess

beyond twelve thousand.

The High Federal Couil examines Ministers of State, Diplomatic

officers,

causes against the

and the high func-

tionaries of the different States, declares

wliich is to j)revail, It consists of five

where laws clash

and discharges other important

duties.

members, who are chosen by the majority

of the States.

The

States,

which form the Union, reciprocally acknow-

ledge the rights of one another to self-government, declare

themselves equal as pohtical miits, and retain in theu* plenitude

all

sovereign rights not express^ delegated by the

In one particular the English Government

Constitution.

might, perhaps, borrow an idea from the Constitution of

Venezuela.

The Venezuelan Mmisters have

the right to

speak in either Chamber of the Legislatui'e, and are obliged to attend

when

The scheme

called uj)on to give information.

of the Venezuelan Republic, further parti-

culars of which will be found in

Appendix C, looks well on

paper, but mifortunatelj^ does not work well. are governed in the

The

States

same way as the Union, and form an

They attend but

impei'ium in imperio.

little

to the orders

of the general government, and have appropriated its revenue to

their

own pm'poses.

popular President

the}'

might be reduced to obedience, but

at present they are quite

These remai'ks lead

Under a very determined and beyond control. to

the consideration

revenue of the general government the Constitution

is

by no means

is,

of what

the

a subject on which

explicit.

The

principal


VENEZUELA.

282

source of national revenue in Venezuela

By

houses.

is

the Custom-

Section 14 of Article 13 of the Constitution,

each State binds

itself

"not

to estabhsh

Custom-houses for

the collection of dues, so that the National Custom-houses

may

be the only ones."

The

Custom-houses

principal

eight, according

are

Trade was then only commencing

Codazzi.

to

:

Duties levied in 1839 according to Codazzi.

La Guaira .

$774,930 197,344

.

Puerto Cabello

.... .... ....

Ciudad Bolivar Maracaibo

Cuman^ Barcelona

171,201

115,179 25,140 42,314

Core

44,907

Margarita (not given) -$1,371,015

Subaltern Custom-houses are Pampatar Carupano Maturin

127

.

11,557 19,158

Higuerote

2,063

,

Guiria

5,635

Adicora •

900

Juan Griego Cnmarebo

1,009

Rio Caribe

4,158

628

.

Barrancas, &c.

45,235 Total

What

the

amount

of export

collected at these places

is, is

following paper, in which

and import

duties

not exactly known.

some of the

gives an approximate estimate. is

$1,416,250

now

But the

stations are omitted,

It will

be seen that there

no mention of Maracaibo, where the receipts are probably

as large as those at Bolivar.


THE REVENUE. 1865

CUSTOM-HOUSE. La Guaira Puerto Cabello

Ciudad Bolivar La Vela !Matiuin

.

Pampatar Juan Griego

.

Guiria

Canipano Barcelona

Cum and Tfichira

.

.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

283


VENEZUELA.

284

promises,

same

The

Ciudacl Bolivar.

is

other States,

and license in which they

spirit of rebellion

the

in

first

threw

Spain,* and then continually raised

off their allegiance to

the standard of insurrection against every succeeding govern-

ment, have remained contumacious and insensible to their

This

pledges.

is

the true

be quite sure that,

if

spii'it

successful,

of democracy, and it

would maintain

we may its

cha-

In the meantime, what has been the

racter here as there.

result of the long democratic struggle in Columbia,

the fratricidal war of twenty-five years'

duration

?

and of

The

answer, as regards Venezuela, shall be given by a late Presi-

dent

:

Not only the army was

"Horrible situation!

want of the necessaries of

life.

Civil officials

in

had no pay.

The widows and orphans who had been pensioned were The wives and children of the soldiers on

dying of hunger.

service could obtain

no means of support.

the Custom-house at

La

was

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; There

mercantile

destroyed

!

is

none

Guaii-a for

We

!

asked

community, and received

We

We

called

on

money, and the answer assistance for reply

from the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Credit

is

applied to our citizens, and found that not

a dollar could be raised without the most rigorous measures.

The

What

recollections

!

What agony

!

miseries here spoken of were relieved

* It is not

horror

the

Loan

bj'

preteuded that the Government of Spain was a good one.

was despotic, bigoted, ignorant its rule.

What

;

but at

least the

" !

of It

country was at peace under

Since the rebellion there has been continual war, terrible and inces-

sant carnage, augmentation of Debt and loss of National Credit. Ever since the

North America it has been assumed that the overthrow Government implies improvement. But what is the advantage of overthrowing even a bad government if it is to be replaced by a worse ? Even as regards the United States, it is an open question whether they would not have been as happy and prosperous if they had continued loyal. It is rather too much to assume the contrary, as a matter of course, with the example of Canada before us. successful rebellion of

of a


THE REVENUE.

285

In the same-

1862, but the situation soon recm-red.

strain,

the Minister of Finance for 1865 declares that " Venezuela

"The

means of support."

agonises for the

he

says, " will be, instead of

continue to be the aim of

public revenue,"

an advantage, a calamity,

who

all

if it

thirst to gi*ow rich at the

expense of their country." But, in

of the almost impenetrable obscurity wliich

sj)ite

envelopes every question connected with Venezuelan finance, it is

absolutel}' necessary to

make an attempt

to arrive at

an

approximate estimate of what the general revenue of the

The Venezuelan Government must

Eepublic ought to be. not expect that,

which

it

is

has really assigned to

if it

it

ample revenues,

too negligent or pusillanimous to collect, the

British bondholders yviH remain passive and display similar

and

indifference

In making the inquiry into

irresolution.

the state of the Custom-houses,

amount

the import duties

The

on the exports.

it

must be premised that

to a far larger

latter

sum than

regarded unfavourabh^ by the public in Venezuela. tui'e suffers

much

too

other means of

money-lenders,

as

it is

from

tlie

Agricul-

want of roads and

communication, and from the usury of

who supply mone}"

per cent, to the cultivators. exports,-

those

dues have, indeed, always been

A

at

from twenty to

hundred per

thii'ty

cent, duty

on

such as has been raised on imports, could not be

tolerated for a

moment; and

it

is

very doubtful

if,

under

present cu'cumstances, twenty per cent, would be borne with

equanimity. 1865,

it

By

Ai'ticle

103 of the

New

Constitution of

has been decreed that the export duties cannot be

increased, and that,

have been paid for ever free.

off,

The

when once

the mortgages upon

the export trade of .the country first

consideration, then,

is

them

is to

be

what should


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

VENEZUELA.

286

be the amount of the miport duties received by the Vene-

Now

zuelan Government ? assistance

may

in order

be borrowed from the

to

determine

this,

statements of

official

the total amounts of imports into the country, and of the rates at

which duties have been levied upon them.

rates then are as follows

The

The

:

on

Tariff of 1830 fixed 27 per cent,

articles of general con-

sumption on non-specified articles 32 per cent. and on luxuries, 37 per cent. average 1834 added 10 per cent, on the above rate on speand 5 per cent, on ad valorem cified 1836 added 10 per cent, on the above rate, giving ;

;

!

34 00

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

,,

;

,,

)

a base of

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

1838 added a subsidiary 3 per cent, on the above

,,

.

)

39

.

1847

39

....

1848 per cent, for churches

,,

1853

,,

1854 4 per cent, subsidiary

4

.

.

.

.

40 41 42

.

58

1857

,,

May 25, 1857, subsidiary 10 per cent, on By the Convention of Valencia, Nov. 29,

,,

Nov.

,,

Aug.

,,

,

1858

.

12, 1862, 75 per cent,

.

.

.

on the above

.

.

.

56

.

Paez added 50 per cent, on

14, 1861, Dictator

the above

the above

.

.

)

)

74 85

Sept. 12, 1863

Since then the rate has been further increased, and as

much

as one

hundred per cent has been paid.

hundred pounds, the cost price of

barrel of flour of two

which

is

eight dollars, has paid eight dollars duty.

The next thmg amount

Thus, a

be ascertamed

to

of imports.

Now, according

is

the actual yearly

to the report of the

Minister of Finance, the actual amoimt of imports for the first

sixteen years of the

lions, of

which no

less

and a half millions

Repubhc was two hundred

mil-

than one hundred and twenty-nine

Avere

smuggled.

Seventy and a half


THE EEVENUE. passed

therefore,

millions, yearly,

or about

through

pounds' worth a

3'ear.

may be quoted

that of Brandt,

government

the

four

millions

four

287

Custom-houses

hundred thousand

In corroboration of this statement

lost in the

fii'st

who

the

calculates that

seventeen years of the Republic

forty-eight millions by

defalcation

millions a year, or

per cent, on an annual amoimt of

six

fifty

;

that

nearly three

is,

milhons of imj)orts kept back from the knowledge of

government. The yearly estimate of frauds on the Customshouses

is

given as follows

:

Contrabando aventurado, that to officials

connived at by

,,

is,

smuggling unknown .•

.

officials

.... .

False marks concealing the value of goods

.

.

.

.

"i

I

$2,000,000 3,000,000

)

Frauds by the boatmen Bribes to

officials

.

> .

.

.

.

.

,

.

Total

It

must be observed

1,000,000

)

$6,000,000

that the frauds practised in the export

department are comparatively

iiisignificant.

In the twenty-two years from 1830 to 1852 there were, according to Iiibai-ren, frauds on the customs to the extent of fifty-three and a liaK millions of dollars.

These

alle-

gations of fraud are suj)ported by very convincing e\adence.

Thus the Custom-house of imports

for

the

first

reports

make

the annual amount

seventeen years to

have been

^3,791,667, or at the rate of three dollars and seventy-nine cents per head for the whole population

;

whereas even the

slaves cost for their clothes alone five doUars per head, all their

lation in

and

clothing was imported, and, according to a calcu-

El

Liberal,

each

Venezuelan really consumes

twelve dollars of imports yearly.

In the same way Brandt


VENEZUELA.

288

shows that the customs' reports were so incorrect that they

made

the price of sugar vary from thirteen reals to thirty-

eight dollars per quintal, or hundredweight that, in the jseriod less

he brings under review,

and he asserts

;

all

mention of no

than ten thousand vessels freighted with imports was Again,

suppressed.

according

to

the

statistics

of the

Custom-houses no more than twenty-five thousand barrels of flour are imjjorted into Venezuela in a year, but

the

province of Caracas alone expends that amount of imported

two hundred and

flour in

The

Statistics

of

fifty

days.

Trade published by foreign powers

satisfactorily confute those of the ofiicials.

3'ears,

1840, 1841, France

sent to Venezuela silk-thread

to the value of twenty-one

whereas,

Venezuelan Custom-house

Thus, French documents show that in the two

according to the

authorities,

thousand and ninety dollars

;

statement of the Venezuelan

only one thousand, two hundred, and eighty-

eight dollars' worth of silk-thread was

years into Venezuela from

all

imported in three

countries put together.

According to the published Reports of the United States, that country in 1858 had a trade with Venezuela amounting to six million one

hmidred and

hundred and seventy- one thousand six

ninetj'-eight dollars, while

Venezuelan accounts

show only an amount of three million

six

hundred and

seventy-six thousand three hundred and eighty-one doll&,rs.

Similar discrepancies might be advanced at great length,

but enough has probably been said to make that

the frauds

received

have been

apparent

on the Venezuelan Custom-houses

enormous, and amount

sum

it

are

to at least two-thirds of the whole

by government.

calculated bv the

But the

losses

by fraud

Minister of Finance at six


THE REVENUE.

We

millions of dollars.*

289

may, therefore,

faii-ly

estimate the

which actually pass through the Custom-houses

imjDorts

nine millions, and reckoning the duty at

which can he paid, considering that

what was levied some years back,

fifty

per cent.,

only one half of

is

it

at

—the import duties

may

be reckoned at four and a half millions of dollars, which

would

be

were

collected

the

entrusted

collection

to

Englishmen.

The next Export

point to be considered

The

duties.

minimum

basis

estimate furnished

the export duties of

of bj'

amount

the

is

calculation

is

as follows

&

Co. of

Cabello for the

year 1864, each item being taken at the lowest.

mate

the

be

will

Messrs. Boulton

La Guaira and Puerto

of the

The

esti-

:

Duty.

Article. Coffee, 300,000 quintals, at 12 reals per quintal

.

Cocoa, 40,000 fanegas, at 33 reals per fanega

.

.

Cotton, 50,000 quintals, at 16 reals per quintal

.

.

$450,000

.

166,666

.

100,000

Hides, 50, 000, at 6 reals per hide

37,500

Sundries

25,000 Total

$779,166

Subsequent experience proved that this minimum

mate was considerably below the actual never

fall

But the

below eight hundred and receipts at Maracaibo,

fifty

thousand

esti-

which

receipts,

dollars.

Ciudad Bolivar, and

at all

the other Custom-houses, cannot be taken at a less

sum

than those at the two principal stations. *

It is unfortunate that the value of the dollar in English

stated in these calculations.

It is

understood that

it

money

is

not

has been fixed of late at

but previously the dollar was a money of account, and was reckoned about $65 to the pound sterling.

5 francs, or 4s. 2d.

;

u


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

An

aj^proximate

estimate

Venezuela, therefore,

may

of

revenue

the national

be taken as follows

Import Duties Export Duties

1,700,000

....

400,000

10 per cent, on the Revenues of the States, say

1,000,000

Papel Sellado, Stamp Duty

400,000

300,000

Sundries Total is

of

:

$4,500,000

Salinas or Salt Mines

salt

$8,300,000

Government ought

the least that the

but the item for the

to reahze

mines has been struck out by

the constitution of 1865. five

;

VENEZUELA.

290

This

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

The remaining sum, however, more

millions nine hundred thousand dollars, would

than pay the expenses of the

state,

which, inclusive of three

millions of dollars for the interest of the public debt, and of no less a

sum than one hundred and

dollars paid to General Falcon,

amoimted

sixty

thousand

in 1865 to only

five millions eight hundred and twenty- seven thousand four

hundred and

The debt

thirty dollars.

of Venezuela, according to the official report

presented to Congress in Februaiy, 1867,

Home

is

as follows

:


FOEEIGN DEBT. The statement

of the Foreign

ing to Messrs. Baring The present Debt follows

:

&

Debt

291

of Venezuela, accord-

Co., is as follows

of Venezuela (exclusive

:—

of arrears

of interest)

is

as


VENEZUELA.

292

shown that

so long back as 1858 the United States alone

had

a trade of more than six millions of dollars with Venezuela,

and the trade of Venezuela with France, Holland, and Ger-

many

is

very considerable, probably not less than double

that with the United States.

Iribarren, indeed, reckons the

imports alone at twenty-five millions of dollars, so that to

assume twenty-three millions as the imports will

New York

in 1865, the

Venezuela was

twenty-five

According to the map published value

total

of exports and

total

no doubt be considerably within the mark.

trade

the

of

millions of dollars; the

of

at

amount of the

duties levied at the

and the

total revenue of the

Customs-houses nine millions

;

Eepublic ten millions of dollars.

The

following

is

summary

a

of the resources of Vene-

There are

zuela as regards mineral and vegetable wealth. gold-fields in

bably

Guayana, known to be very extensive, and pro-

among

Gold

the largest in the world.

several parts of the old province of Caracas, at Guaicaipuro. St. Paul,

There

a silver

Aroa

of red copper, in the to that of

is

mine

between Aroa and Nirgua. district,

Sweden, of Coquimbo in

There are copper mines

is

found in

and especially

in the

mountain of

The Quebrada mines yield an ore superior

Chili,

and of Australia.

also in Coro, Carabobo, Barquisi-

meto, and Merida, and at Tucutienemo, in Caracas, and on

Iron

the ridge of the Pao.

and

mine Coal

in is

Tocuyo, and

found in several

Trujillo

tin

wJiere

it

is

There

districts, is

a lead

mines exist in several places.

found in Coro and elsewhere.

in Maracaibo,

latter

is

abundant in Parima, in Guayana.

is

Bitumen

is

plentiful

used instead of tar for ships.

and Cumana have rich mines of petroleum, and the

provmce has a most valuable

salt

mine

at

Aragua,


;

VEGETABLE PEODUCTIONS. abundance of earth suitable

La Guana, and along

Among

Silla

mountain,

the sierra of the coast there are

inexhaustible supplies of marble, slate, rock

gypsum and

and

for porcelain at Azaveclies,

Garnets are found in the

a sulphur mine.

near

293

crj^stal, granite,

lime.

those deserving of especial mention are,

trees,

the palms, which grow at any altitude from the level

first,

of the sea to three thousand three hundred feet above

They

yield fruit, a vegetable like the cabbage,

it.

cordage,

oil,

thread, hats, roofs for the cottages of the Indians, rafters,

ship-timber,

wine,

many

baskets, and

and

its

mats,

which number

to their kinds,

tuna, or cactus,

wax,

is

valuable not so

much

of the

it

the best of

all

cochineal insect,

found also on the pear-tree in Coro, Maracai^o,

and Barcelona. manteca,

The

for its pleasant fruit

repulsive spicula, which render

is

and

sieves

a hundred.

at least

hedges, as for being the abode

which

soup,

bread,

other things useful for man, according

The

candela tree, called also arbol de la

and by the Indians cuajo, supplies tallow

for

candles, an excellent oil for lamjss, and a beverage, which is

made from

its

toasted fruit.

most wonderful of tree,

all trees, is

which supplies a milk

analysed, this product milk, and this

milk

wax is

is

More the

curious

j)alo

still,

and the

de Lecha, or milk

like that of cows,

but thicker

found to consist of water, animal

as pure as that of bees.

used for candles.

To

Mixed with

cotton,

the parched traveller the

bejuco de agua supplies the place of wells and fountains, for

from each yard of

Not

it

less useful in its

which grows

a pint bottle of water can be obtained.

own

peculiar locality

at the height of thirteen

is

the frailejon,

thousand

five

hun-

dred feet above the sea, in the region of the icy wastes


VENEZUELA.

294

called

Even

Paramos.

human body warm.

frailejon keejis the

tine superior to

Of medicinal

in these wildernesses of death, the It yields a tm-pen-

Venice turpentine. plants the

first

rank

in

is

the quina, or

Peruvian bark, which abounds in the forests of Guayana.

The

cuspa, or bark of Angostura,

is

still

more

and

bitter,

The guaco has many

possesses the same valuable quahties.

useful properties which have not yet been fully appreciated. It is declared

by the Indians to be a

specific against the

poison of snakes and of hydrophobia, and there

some foundation

signed to the raiz de mato, which

remedy against three

kinds,

The

cholera.

cana to

fistula,

;

;

is

which

the tamarind

the pinon, or pine nut

oil,

which

is

The carapa

likewise

is

this last tree a s}Tup is prepared

in cases of phthisis, while

unona arometica,

is

which

is

the

;

;

;

the

the fruit of the guaruche, or

ducing the strongest wood known, which ;

good

a febrifuge.

trees useful for timber the vera, or palo sano,

the keels of ships

and

From

said to be

zigophyllum arboreum, deserves to be placed

The mague

of

also yields a

the carana yields a resin good for curing wounds.

more

be a

adapted for burning in

lamps, as does the ceiba, or five-leaved silk-cotton tree

Of

as-

or purgative cassia, need only to be mentioned

have their uses recognised.

medicinal

probably

said to

also

is

zarzai)ariUa,

and black

white,

red,

copaiba, or arbol de aceite

is

Similar value

for this assertion.

it

is

fii'st

well adapted for

grows to the height of ninety

cocui, or maguesis, yields a

palatable than rum.

plies material for cordage

The

pita, or

and sacks.

the

as pro-

sj)irit

feet.

stronger and

cocuina aloe, sup-

The

algarubo, or

carob tree, counts high for usefulness as furnishing varnish


VEGETABLE PEODUCTIONS. from

its

roots and good

Cork

is

made

wood

of the alcornoque,

and

its

machinery from

and

The wood

for medicinal pm'poses. for wheels,

for

295

its

its

trunk.

roots are employed

of the divi-divi

is

good

The bucare and

bark for tanning.

the

guamo

protect coifee plantations from the too fierce heat

of the

sun.

The wood and

is as

The totuma

gourds for drinking.

supplies

many

of the granadilla is useful for

hard as iron.

purposes,

Dj^es are obtained from the caruto,

the paraguatan, the murcielago, and the sangre de di'ago.

The

leaves of the lechose are used as soap to bleach lace,

muslin, and chintz.

The

grows to one hundred circumference feet in height

black cedar, or cedrela odorata,

The

and twelve in circumference.

bombax

and the

fifteen feet

in

the cahobo, or swietenia mahogani, to sixty

;

and the guarapa are useful lendus,

and

in height

feet

gasifali

The white

gossj'pium, for canvas.

supply good wood

latter yields a dye.

Resm

caracoli

for ship timber, the carnesto-

is

for furniture,

cedar

and the

got from the tacamahaca, and

made

canoes which hold ten persons are

matapato supplies caoutchouc, and

its

of its bark.

The

bark makes bags, and

the seringa, or concho, gives India rubber, while aromatic

caoutchouc

is

the sassafras

is

incorruptible.

aguacate, and the Indians

From make

the

is

make

is

obtained from the

clothes

of the marinna.

camarruba, cupana, and purpuro, the Indians

The

limoncillo, nazareno,

for veneering,

made

and the urape

and

afford

piz,

elastic bark.

good

Furniture

of the pardillo, and wheels and machines of the

trompiQo. tara,

Oil

of

a kind of soup, and from the guava tree a dehcious

preserve.

wood

The wood

obtained from the guariman.

A

durable, romid, hollow

and planks from the apamete.

wood

A

is

got from the

coloiu-ing for saucgs


VENEZUELA.

296

is

supplied by the onoto, and iiicense by the tree that bears

The miopero,

the same name. delicious fruit, is

nutmeg

common

in the forest,

tree, is also found.

guanei

or medlar tree, with its

where the otoba, or

Fmally, the wood of the ara-

hard and proof agamst wet, and that of the

is

chacarrondai imitates the dehcate shades of the tortoise-

The

shell.

leaves of the peoque

and those of the

grant,

the Indians

From

make an

and the beparia are

latter attract bees.

From

the niopo

intoxicating snuff.

the foregoing brief notice

it

will be seen

how

great

are the resources of Venezuela in mines and forests

more important

Coffee was

and the yearly and

fifty

croj)

but

;

are those she jjossesses in her plan-

still

tations of coffee, cocoa, indigo.

fra-

th-st

sugar-cane, tobacco, and

cotton,

cultivated in Venezuela in 1784,

may be now reckoned

at four

hundred

thousand hundredweights, of which twenty per

cent., or ninety

thousand hundredweights,

of hands to get in the harvest.

Venezuela ought to receive

The

is

want

lost for

which

value, therefore,

for her coffee crop, reckoning

the price at two pounds sixteen shillings the hundredweight,

and supposing the

full hai'vest to

be got in and sold,

million two hundi^ed and sixty thousand pounds.

is

one

Coffee

plantations flourish at any altitude from seven hundred to

seven thousand

five

hundred

feet

above the sea.

The

plant

bears in between two and three years, and continues in

bearing on an average forty-five years. di-ed trees are planted in

least

an

acre,

one pound and a half of

About

and each coffee,

thirteen hun-

will give at the

but instances have

been known of a single tree yielding sixteen pounds. cost of production

dredweight.

is

The

about twenty- one shillings per hun-


VEGETABLE PEODUCTIONS. The

theobroma cacao,

cacao, or cocoa tree,

and no doubt

in Venezuela,

297

for ages its fruit

The

of the food of the Indians.

taste for

indigenous

is

formed part

it

passed into

Spain soon after 1522, and was carried by Spanish into France in 1661, where A. de Richelieu

patronize the

new

was the

friars

first

to

Codazzi gives the altitude at

beverage.

which in Venezuela the tree ceases to

flourish at six

him-

dred and fifty-two yards above the level of the sea, and later writers fix

at

it

one thousand eight hundred

feet

above

the same level.

According to Humboldt, cocoa occupies

the same place in

pomt

as rice does in Africa.

of utility to

Like the

man

in

South America

coffee plantations, those

of cacao are shaded by the bucare, or plantain. tree

begms

to bear at

from six to eight years

mination of the seed, and

lasts

after the ger-

from thnty to

fifty

years,

Codazzi reckons the

the latter period only near the sea. total

The cacao

produce of the country in 1840 at one hundred and

seventy-six

thousand fanegas,

The

pounds each.

was three million dollars.

The

country, but

The known

is

hundred and ten

one

value at twenty-one dollars the fanega six

total

hundred and ninety-six thousand

produce now

is

not known in this

probably, at least, one-half more.

cotton of Venezuela in the

of

is

not inferior to the best kinds

European markets.

The

following report,

from a native writer thoroughly conversant with the subject, contains an exhaustive account of the

mode and expense

of cultivation and of the kinds of the plant which have

been introduced into Venezuela.


VENEZUELA.

298

the " Venezuelan Agricultor,"^ by Jose

From

Cotton loivivorts

Gossyjnum, unoglandulosimi.

:

{Malvacecc),

Monadelpliia,

may

an abundance of

from

raised

:

" Pajarito," seed-vessel, white

called

is

of various species

It is

and tough

cotton

foreign

whose

seeds,

straw-coloured, and of larger size.

dry situations, which suit or three yards.

best, it

it

Natural order

A

Polyandria.

herbaceous plant, lives four years, and semi-shrub.

Antonio Diaz. Mal-

:

branched,

be considered as a

the indigenous, which

and small, but yielding fibre

and

;

the

species

white or

are

seed-vessels

In the torrid zone and in to the height of two and palmate, divided into

grows

Its leaves are alternate

segments, like those of the vine, though somewhat smaller.

five

Its flowers are of a beautiful light yellow colour.

showy

five

petals, heart-shaped,

the broadest part, and united at the base.

flat at

the external one larger than the internal,

broad

three

into

Stamens

leaflets

numerous,

the corolla, and

the

;

Corolla, of

expanding towards the divided to

is

calix

internal

exterior,

Calix double,

is

its

base

undivided.

springing from

united into one column,

which the free anthers form the capital. Seed-vessel single and globular, pointed at the top. Style single, arising from the seed-vessel, inclosed in the same column, and of the same height as the stamens. Stigma deeply cleft, so as to of

ajipear like three or four stigmas

growing together.

varying from three to four as the stigmas. oval, almost round, capsule,

times

four, valves,

each containing

Nectaries fruit is

an

opening when ripe by three, some-

and divided internally into as many

from three to seven

grey, according to

or

The

seeds,

cells,

egg-shaped, black

the species, and wrapped in a covering

of fine down, brilliantly white,

which unfolds and

falls ofl" at

maturity.

According to Codazzi, as the

late as the year

Creole plantations did not

plants

;

and

it

was

1782 the largest of

contain more than a hundred

at that period that trials of cotton

results than those of indigo.

in Aragua, Valencia, Barinas,

gave better

Subsequently cotton was cultivated

Cumana, the province of Caracas,

Barcelona, and Maracaibo. In 1794 the exports were ten thousand * I

am

iudebted to Mr. Consul

Hemming

for this

Eeport.


^TIGETABLE PEODUCTIOXSâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; COTTON.

299

and they rose to twenty-five thousand in the year 1803, which the cultivation of cotton in Venezuela, owing to a decline in price, fell off till the year 1838, when, consequent upon quintals,

since

a heavy demand and

new

plantations

rise in value, it

was urged forward ardently

were opened, and the following year,

But the ardour

twenty-seven thousand quintals were exported.

was of short duration.

;

1839,

Partly from the plague of the caterpillar,

by the northern rains, some and others turned their attention to

partly fi'om loss of crops, occasioned

of the growers lost

heai't,

coffee.

Cotton grows under very of

its

fertile

all

nor a very moist

inflorescence

and

temperatures, and neither requn-es a

On

soil.

the contrary, at the period

fructification it is injured

thrives best in dry positions, sheltered

by

rain,

and

it

from the north winds.

Nevertheless, according to the same Codazzi, in the vast territory of

the Rio Negro, where

it

rains during nine

months out of the twelve,

and the remaining three are not without showers, at an elevation of three hundred yards, and a mean temperature- of 26", cotton is growing all the year round, and plants in flower are seen, besides plants bearing seed. Culture.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; From what

we have

said above,

it

appears that, with

the exception of the Rio Negro district, those localities in which

northern rains prevail, or which are exposed to the winds from that quarter, are not favourable to the growth of cotton.

Whateyer may be the class of cotton, it is sown, with the months of May and June. Three seeds are deposited in each hole, and the holes are a yard apart, in rows a yard and a half one fi'om another. The plants come up from the ground in fifteen days, and bear seeds in seven months. When the seed-vessel opens, it must be gathered within a few days, because the seeds do not remain in the pod longer than six to eight days, after which they escape and fall to the ground, and are lost, or are carried away by the wind, on the out-spread flocks of cotton. In the cooler zone, the plant requires more than seven months to ripen its seed, and, at an elevation of fifteen hundred dibble, in the

much as nine months. Two clearings are sufficient the when the plant is a foot above the gromid, and the second when it begins to put forth knops but, as it is necessary to make

yards, as

;

first

;


VENEZUELA.

300

old gTomid profitable by

growing minor crops

the cotton

till

harvest arrives, the clearing, whether done with the hoe or the

hook, must be crops, bearing in

made dependent on the requirements of these mind that in all cases the cotton should be clear

at harvest-time.

If the tips of the shoots be nipped

not only

off,

of the main stem, but also of the branches, the plant will become

more bushy, and will flower at a greater number of points though this operation is more applicable to the foreign descrip;

with large seed-vessels, than to the Creole or Pajarito, of

tions,

which the ramifications and inflorescence are naturally profuse. Harvesting by Cleaning. The harvest takes place in the summer, during the months of December, January, and February,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

according to the period of inflorescence.

The capsules are gathered

one by one, the labourers (men or women) being provided with baskets to deposit

them

Formerly one

in.

real

was paid

for

the filling a bat^ket of the capacity of 6 alinuds (21 almudszrlOO litres),

moderatel}' compressed

;

and the most nimble

To

scarcely collect three baskets-full.

from the seedsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; two

to separate it

were formerly employed.

on their

fixed

was attached foot-board

;

axles,

to

rollers of

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;that

These were connected by cog-wheels

one of these

rollers,

A

same person who fed the

so that the

foot.

deterioration of the cotton.

crank

and connected by a cord to a

The

rollers

gave

cotton passed through

answer

this contrivance did not

and many crushed seeds found their way through,

;

is?

hard wood or iron

and worked one against the other.

motion to the machine with his and left the seeds behind. But well

fingers could

clean the cotton

to the

Afterwards carding cylinders were

introduced to lay hold of the filaments and leave the seed perfectly clean

but these also have their disadvantage

;

for,

:

al-

though they give out a cleaner cotton, yet they tear it to pieces, and almost pulverize it so that, were there not a cloth hood ;

placed over the machine, the

At

air.

merce,

it

first,

it

would be scattered to a distance in

before cotton became a staple article of com-

was separated

ft-om the

seed by

hand labour

time and expense could be disregarded, this plan would

;

and, if still

be

the best, because, while the cotton would be perfectly cleaned,

its

fibre

would be preserved unbroken, and, as may be logically conwork up into threads and cloths of increased

cluded, would


VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONSâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; COTTOX. Nevertheless, the material

strength.

so delicate and pliable,

is

prepared in the carding-cylinders,

that,

strong

when

PacTcing

301

is

it

sufficiently

still

re-united and manufactured. Cotton

the

in

Bales.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; When

gathered and cleared of the seed, bales before

it

can be sent to market.

A

are about to describe.

the cotton has been

has yet to be pressed into

it

This

the operation

is

strong square box

is

yard broad and long, and a yard and three quarters deep.

box are removeable, and above it The box being put in its place and the

we

constructed one

The

sides of this

is

press.

sides taken away,

fixed a screw-

four thongs of hide, or stout ropes, are laid across the bottom at equal distances in opposite directions, and over these is stretched

a piece of stout canvas a yard and a quarter broad and three

The

yards long.

sides of the

box are now put in position and a

quintal of cleaned cotton {net weight) having been weighed out into bags, the box

is filled

cover of the box, which of the box, little

is

is

with

as full as

it

it

fit

the interior

then put on and forced down with the press

When

as far as possible.

no

will yield

it

The

will hold-.

square and adjusted to

further,

little

it

is

by left

for a couple of hours and then, as the whole of the quintal weighed out has not yet been taken in, the press is unscrewed and the box filled up, and pressure again applied until the whole of the ;

quintal of cotton

is

compressed into three quarters of a yard, in which

state it is left for twenty-four hours lose

most of

its elasticity,

day the press

is

and yield

under the press, so that to

packing in a bale.

it

may

The next

unscrewed, and in the mouth of the box

is

placed

a piece of canvas similar to the piece below, but laid in a different direction, so as to

form a cross with

These pieces of canvas,

it.

being divided into three parts, the middle part coincides with the area of the box, and the ends remain over.

placed upon the top canvas, which closely

the

upon the cotton

sides of the

in the box.

is

forced

Then

box removed, the pieces of canvas sewed

gether just in the position they are raised as

quickly as possible,

leathern bands

same hide with

the

The cover is next down by the press press is made fast,

are all

in,

the cords are tied tight, or the

sewed together with thinner possible despatch.

these tie-bands are of hide, as

to-

and the press being

is

best,

It

is

the hide

strips

of the

e^adent

that if

must be supple


VENEZUELA.

302 so that holes for sewing

The

stiletto.

room

bale being

may be pierced through it with a sharp now finished, it is removed to make

for another.

From On

the Society of

" Friends of the Country."

the various species of Cotton

English of Jamaica " withy wood easily broken.

cotton, with

")

call "

cotumna," and the

has long and weak branches

This bad sort was originally introduced into the

which

known

of cotton

plantation of that species

it

yarum, or

as

frequently found, and

it is

hold through the size

its

:

Wild Cotton (which the French

1.

it

aiial

has maintained

and the great number of

attains

and what remains pod is stained by rain or dew. It reaches to a height of nine feet and spreads seventeen or eighteen feet. It flowers once capsules

it

produces, tliough

its

cotton

falls off,

in the

a year, but although

it

promises largely,

it

does not give half an

ounce of cotton per plant, while the yarum, which does not exceed six feet in height or in spread, yields,

as

much

as seven ounces.

found in the plantations. of the yarum, but

it

Wild

Its flock is

though so

called, is only

not more coarse than that

approaches to an ash-colour.

2. Sniall-floch Cotton.

— Produces — So

Green-crowned Cotton.

3.

under similar circumstances,

cotton,

little.

called

from the

tip being covered

with a down of that colour, which in time becomes a dark gray.

was peculiar to Martinique, where it is called " fine cotton," and is highly esteemed on account of its good quality and colour It

;

in which, however,

it

does not equal the Indian cotton, nor the

white cotton of Siam.

The

flocks of cotton fall

off,

-and if

rains at harvest-time, the half-ripe capsules stain the cotton.

it

But

no rain falls till the cotton is quite matured, it retains its whiteand is esteemed by the trade. The harvest begins early in November, and lasts seven or eight months. It only gives two if

ness,

and a half ounces per plant. It does not grow higher than three feet, or spread more than four or five. 4 and 5. Red and Green Sorrel. The plant called " Sorrel " by

the English are

two

is

the " Bibisco Sadariffa" of Linneeus, of which there

varieties

— one

having the flower-stem and calix green.


VEGETABLE PEODUCTIONSâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; COTTON.

303

the other red. The same peculiarities obtain in the two species of " Sorrel " cotton, whence probably their name. The planters consider them as one species only

;

but in this they are mistaken, .

to the detriment of their interest.

The green

sorrel

has the stem, calix and leaf-veins green, while

in the others these parts have a reddish hue.

soon as ripe

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that

of the red sorrel does not

ounces of cotton, while the yield of the red

The red son-el is preferable not only to yarum or aiial cotton, whose produce is

the green, but also to less

abundant, while

it

forward at iised periods

it

of the year, as the red sorrel does, but

It gives four

seven and a half ounces.

is

the

has the disadvantage of not bringing

Its cotton falls as fall.

little

by

little,

so that

it is

necessary to go over the plantation every week, or part of the

crop

is lost.

The

or wind whence

;

yarum easily separates itself from own weight or from the influence of rain

flock of the

the pod, either by

its

and when on the ground

becomes foul and rotten, from the plant every

it

arises the necessity of gathering it

The red sorrel remains on the plant, and is not injured by wind or rain, except in the case of a hurricane that brings down tree and all. Moreover, the red sorrel gives a white and superior cotton, and does not take up so much space as the

week.

either

yarum,

as, at

the most,

it

does not exceed five feet in height and

four and a half in diameter. 6.

Algodon Barhiagudo (cotton with a pointed beard) grows and eight wide. Bears once a year, giving

seven feet high

scarcely three ounces of cotton.

frequently planted

It is

with

the yarum. 7. is

BarMdo

Algodon de Gancho

(cotton with a bearded hook)

often cultivated with other sorts, especially with the yarum.

The

yarum

plant grows to the same size as the

is

not inferior in quality.

is

consequently liable to

;

and

its

cotton

It only bears once a year, and the crop

fail,

but when this does not happen, the

yield is five ounces a tree.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

The coarse sort is mostly cultivated, and is Cotton. Jamaica or San Domingo cotton. We have already observed that its yield is slow, and lasts almost all the year. It 8.

Anal

called also

rises to a height of six feet,

seven ounces per tree.

The

and spreads

much. met with

as

finer sort is

It usually gives

in Puerto Eico,


VENEZUELA.

304

and

the earliest of

is

cotton 9.

is

all

Eohr was acquainted

that

with.

Its

of very good quality.

Cotton, formerly was much cultivated, but has sunk in estimation, because it only bears once a year, is

Large-flocTc

latterly

stained by rain, and, when attacked by Through negligence of the planter, it

the yarum.

grows

It

caterpillars, yields nothing. is

mixed with wide, and Rohr met, in San

often found

high and eight

six feet

scarcely gives four ounces of cotton per tree.

feet

Tomas, with a plant of this species, which had spread as much as sixteen feet, and in March, 1710, had already given a pound and three quarters of cotton, promising another copious yield during

the remainder of the year.

were they stained by the

not fall off, nor and in fineness they approached

Its flocks of cotton did rains,

those of the green-crowned variety. 10.

Guayana

of the

Cotton.

wliitenp"=?s,

commerce

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Highly esteemed

in

Europe on account

length, and strength of its fibre.

Known

in

as Cayenne, Berbice, Demerara, or Essequibo cotton.

Gives two crops in the year, but the rains do not allow them both to be turned to account, for they make the green or half-ripe tree. The ordinary yield is tliree-quarters another sky, and more carefully cultivated, it Under of a pound. has given as much as a pound and three-quarters.

capsules

fall

from the

11. Brazilian

Cotton

Eohr had not time

is

to notice

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; "I

the it

most esteemed in Europe, but

attentively.

met with this," says Eohr, "on the mainland between Santa Martha and Cartagena, cultivated by an 12.

Indian

Indian,

whom

Cotton.

I

used to

visit frequently for

the sake of the rich

knowledge which he communicated to me. I have never seen trees that bear like his, which was probably due to the fertility of the soil, naturally flat and dry, and to the abundant store of useful

irrigation obtained

by means of numerous ditches and

This cotton gives two crops a year.

The

flood-gates.

flocks are very white,

and remain a long time on the tree, and are not stained by the pods when wetted with rain. They are more readily cleaned of the seed than those of any of the species I have hitherto described.

The lower

leaves are always convex,

and the branches

divergent." 13.

Four

species bear the

name

of Siamese, of which three,


VEGETABLE PEODUCTIONS— COTTON.

305

by the French "smooth-crowned" (Xo. 16) and "downy"

called

{No. 25), yield a cotton of a reddish chestnut colour, somewhat like

The smooth

Siam grows higher and a diameter of eight feet. It bears once a year, from February till April, and on this account its cultivation cannot be recommended. that of Nanquin.

than any other

in

;

two years

cotton-tree of

it

attains a height of twelve feet

Its capsules usually fall as soon as ripe

remain on the

tree,

they do not open

but, whether they fall or

;

fully, so

that

necessary

it is

which adheres

to break the valves to extract the cotton,

them

to

and is separated with difficulty. The yield looks abundant to the eye, but the cotton is so thin in fibre that when weighed the product scarcely comes up to three ounces a tree. 14. San Tomas Cotton. Yields once a year, fi-om February to firmly,

May, or even

till

June.

Height, eleven feet

Product, about six ounces.

than that of the yarum or

The

cotton

and

ai5al,

twenty

bi'eadth,

;

more

is

its staple

delicate

much

feet.

and white

longer

;

but

cannot be detached from

it

adheres so strongly to the seed that

it

without caiTving off some particles of the epidermis, which have

it

be separated before spinning, because otherwise the thread

to

breaks every time they present themselves

—a peculiarity that has

not been observed in other species.

Los

15.

Caijos Cotton.

— Similar

to the

preceding in growth,

time of harvest, and quality of cotton, but does not adhere so firmly to the seed,

and only gives two and a half ounces per

tree.

Grey-crowned Cotton of Siam.

16.

ripe capsules burst without falling

ing

;

foul,

but

and

if this is

— Paler than

oflF,

which

No.

The

13.

facilitates the gather-

delayed, the cotton falls to the ground, becomes

loses its elasticity

and value.

It yields twice a year, in

February and May, but the two together do not give more than takes

three ounces

;

diameter,

cultivation cannot be

its

and,

as

the tree

up a space of

recommended,

the singular colour of the cotton should render 17. Small-flocTced this is

grown

adds that

of

Cartagena.

in the province of

it is

of the seed.

Cotton

it

Rohr

feet

valuable.

—According

to

Rohr,

Carthagena (Columbia), but ho

brought to market in the rough

Cultivated by

six

unless, indeed,

state,

not cleared

in Santa Cruz, it gave once a year,

from February to the end of April, a yield of two and three-quarter


VENEZUELA.

306

ounces per tree of the finest and whitest cotton. the capsules cultivation.

Cotton

18. Large-flocked

It

soon as ripe, and this renders

fall off as

— This

CartJiagena.

of

largest of all hitherto described.

It yields once

flocks are as long as eight inches,

and remain on the

The produce

staining.

ascertain

its

seems that it

unfit for

tree

the

is

The

a year.

tree without

abundant, but Eohr had not time to

is

precise quantity.

White Cotton of Siam. Very white, and does not stain on the tree, but its capsules sometimes drop before they reach ma19.

In growth,

Produce, six ounces.

turity.

capsules,

exactly resembles No. 16.

it

size, leaves, flowers,

and

Yields twice a year, in

January and June. 20. " I call," says Eohr, " by the name of Curazao Cotton, that which gTows naturally ou the rocks which overlook the port of Willemstadt in the island of that name. It was there that I first

saw

it."

size, its

cotton,

This cotton

is

extremely

fine, its

seeds are half the usual

capsules are likewise small, and consequently contain

though closely packed, which gives

harvest-time, though

when

it is

cleaned

appearance, being very white and

fine.

it

it

little

a veiy bad look at

has quite a different

employed in the

It is

island in weaving stockings, which are of remarkable fineness and

but

durability,

These

not exported from the island.

is

it

trees,

planted at distances of four feet in rows five feet apart, yield

annually one ounce and two drachms of cotton lasts

much

less

time than

double the distance.

if

In this

;

but the harvest

they were planted, as case,

is

usual, at

each tree would give more

than seven ounces, and the harvest would last from February till

June.

Crowned Cotton of San Domingo. Bears twice a year, from November to January, and from April to May, and, when 21.

the season

is

favourable, until June.

Indian cotton, but very divergent. ripe

capsules

It fall

it is

grows seven off,

Trailing

feet

Cotton.

it

Its

approaches to

branches are

high and ten broad.

which detracts from

standing the abundance of 22.

In quality

cleaned with difficulty.

its

The

value, notwith-

its yield.

— Indigenous

to

Guinea.

The stem

is

covered and the branches bend, so that the lower ones drag on


VEGETABLE PKODUOTIONS— COTTON. the ground.

Its flocks of cotton closelj'

307

resemble in shape those

of the Indian cotton, but those of the red-leaved cotton (No. 27)

resemble them

still

more such

till

at least is the opinion of the

;

pean manufactm'ers.

Euro-

one harvest only, from November

It gives

March.

23. Smooth-stained Cotton.

— This

name has

reference

to

the

appearance of the seeds, which exhibit towards the base a large

smooth

Its cotton is fine

stain.

Coarse Cotton.

24.

— Called

and white.

Grows

in Trinidad Hairy Cotton.

seven feet high and four broad, and gives only one harvest, from

February to May. matured, and

is

Eemains on the

two and a half ounces per

Red Downy

25.

duces 26.

is

tree a long time after

it

is

very easily cleaned, but does not yield more than tree.

Cotton of Siam.

Tlie cotton

which

it

pro-

of an Isabel colom*, very strong and elastic.

Mustin

Cotton.

— In

four varieties

all its

it is

so difficult to

clean that the operation has to be performed with the fingers, at

the cost

of sixteen hom's' labour for every pound.

and the Raminez Cotton that name off Cayenne) requires variety

(so called still

The red

from the islands of

more time.

It only gives

one crop a year, small in quantity, and not of good quality. 27. Red-leaved Cotton.

— The

tender bark of the shoots, and

the leaf-veins, are flesh-coloured

;

a great

many

of the leaves

and the outsides of the calices and of the capsules assume the same colour, when the cotton reaches maturity. Those which do not, become stained with red. It only yields one crop a year, from February to March, producing one ounce and three drachms per tree. Its cotton is as white and fine as the Indian cotton, but it cannot be cleaned by machine, and one pound demands at least thu'teen hours of hand labour. Height, seven feet

;

diameter, eight feet.

28. Ifofijas Cotton.

— That of Tranquebar has the leaves

lobed,

the lobes being lanceolate and pointed, and the side lobes jagged.

That of Cambaya has the

leaves divided into three elliptic

and

parabolic lobes, those at the side being cut into, sometimes so

deeply as to

make

it

appear that the leaf has

five

Both

lobes.

one capsule only on the principal nerve of the and even this is apt to be wanting in that of Cambaya. The

varieties present leaf,

X

2


VENEZUELA.

308

flowers are very beautiful, of a fine yellow, with a large spot of

The Tranquebar variety grows by two broad, and the Cambayan four feet each The capsules of the former are the smallest known, those of

blood-colour towards the base. three feet high

way.

the latter being rather larger

;

but both produce very little cotton,

That of Tranquebar requires thirty hours of hand labour per pound, and that of Cambaya a little less29. Porto Rico Cotton. Very similar to that of Guayana in size, growth, and configuration of all its organs, but is much more difficult to clean. No idea can be formed of its intrinsic value, because the European manufacturers receive it mixed with exceedingly difficult to clean.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

many

other sorts

;

for in

Porto Eico every

species,

except the

best, is cultivated indifferently.

It is probable that the experiments of Eohr, repeated in other parts,

would give

somewhat

results

different

as regards the du-

ration and yield of the crops, and consequently as regards the

aptness of certain species for the cultivation.

But the funda-

mental idea of distinguishing the species, and electing those best suited to each locality, rejecting the rest, is

cotton-growing countries,

nor

scientific

Rohr

applicable to

all

and requires neither outlay of money

knowledge.

is also

of opinion that

it

would be possible

to

mingle the

and thus obtain varieties that would be preferable to any of those at present known. There is a species (that of Curazao, for example,) which gives a very fine cotton, but whose capsules species,

What must be done, then ? Let the anthers be are too small. taken away before they open, and the pistils impregnated with pollen from the Carthagenan plant whose cotton flocks are large. Let the seed thus obtained be sowed, and see whether the capsules It may perchance of the resulting plant will be of a larger size. imitating its plant, will variety, parent hybrid this happen that

give only one crop, because the hardness of its bark will not allow the flower-buds to pierce

us marry cotton,

it,

and

then,

see if

to

the

we can

red

it

more than once a sorrel,

or

to

year.

the white

Let Siam

obtain an equal yield in less time, or in

two single crops during the year. By impregnating in this manner the flowers of the Indian cotton with the pollen of the Brazilian cotton, not only have I succeeded in


VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONSâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; COTTON.

309

correcting the divergeDcj' of the branches of the former, but in rendering them more convergent than in the latter species and it even happened that the growth of the variety was more rapid than that of ;

both. These trials

may be

infinitely varied,

and bring about

that will leave far behind the experiments of those

who

results

are not na-

Who

would have foretold that, from that miserable wild and disagreeable, would have sprung all those rich and Shall we, then, delicate apples now known under different names ? deem it impossible to obtain, by following the same steps, a cotton

turalists.

berry, so hard

all those now cultivated, perhaps even a cotton without which would save the growers a deal of labour and expense ? fruit full of pips was brought by Captain Schmat to contain

superior to seeds,

A

show no traces of a capsule. The Corinth grape contains no seeds and who has ever seen any in the banana (Musa paradisiaca), or in the cambure or guinco (Musa sapientum) ? Such a variety of cotton once obtained, it would be easy for the tender branches cut to multiply it by means of cuttings But the best way of off and put into the earth soon take root. improving the species is to become acquainted with them and none

at

all,

and

to

;

;

cultivate

There

them well. grown in the United

is

States a species of cotton, straw-

coloured, brilliant, and fine to the touch, the seed of which seems to have been brought from Sicily.

Cultivation of Cotton in Venezuela.

Three

sorts of cotton are at present cultivated at Venezuela,

Maranon, and Xew Orleans Cotton. the longer and finer in staple than the others second, which probably derives its name from the river so called,

called Creole,

The

first

is

;

as the third does ft'om the place of its origin

(New

Orleans)

is

short and rough in fibre.

The

plant of the two

first classes

rises to

a height of three

more in low and fertile districts, such as the margin of lakes and rivers. Lands of this sort, or those which, although not bordering on a lake or river, are yet low, damp, light and level, or at least fulfil the two latter conditions, and are

yards, or even rather


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; VENEZUELA.

,310

in

no way composed of dead sand or

those which are

clay, are

best suited to the growth of every species of cotton.

The manner

cotton

of the

culture

conducted

is

the

in

following

:

After the ground has been cleaned and prepared so that the may flow off as soon as the

rain-water or the waters of irrigation

two or three and hoe

at distances of three yards

best, or

two and a half

middle of these

fallen, lines,

the

by means of a

line

showers after the spring have

first

breadth of a hoe (azada), are marked upon to

it

from centre to centre in the In the soils.

two yards in inferior

two or three inches deep, are made These holes are threeaccording as the soil is more or less

lines holes,

with an iron or wooden dibble (chicura). quarters to a yard apart,

and in them the

fertile,

way, hole

seed, selected

deposited to the

is

number

and prepared in the usual

of six to eight grains in

each

these are then covered lightly over with earth, and, as soon

;

come up, those holes out of which two plants

as they

not appear are re-sown.

When

high, they are thinned out

do

at least

the plants are four or five inches

by hand, two or three of the most

robust, according to the strength of the

soil,

being

left.

The

plants are trimmed every thirty or forty days, beginning as soon as they reach the height of eighteen or

operation (called by the labom-ers

is

performed by

taking away with the fingers the tender sprouts from branches, and plucking

up

This

twenty inches.

"capada")

all

the

the suckers that spring up at the foot

suspended before the inflorescence is announced by means of the pistil, which generally comes enveloped in leafThe ground must lets, commonly called " mariposa " (butterfly).

of the plant. It

is

be constantly weeded with the hoe until the branches of the cotton-plants, crossing in all directions, form a shade that pro-

any under-growth.

hibits

The if

harvest usually begins in January and ends in March, but

the soil

is sufficiently

moist

it lasts,

in

most

cases, until the first

rains.

The

plants

may be

left

for another year, cutting

them down

with a sharp pruning-hook to half their height after ^the crop is

gathered and before the rains come on.

pared

is

A

plantation thus pre-

called " troncon " (pollard),, and, if kept well weeded,

it


VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS— COTTON. will

sometimes produce as large a crop as the

which it trimmed.

called " plantilla ").

is

The

311

year (in

first

pollard plants are never

In such descriptions of land as are above indicated, a plot of one hundi'ed yards square will produce in a good year, under the system of cultivation just described, one hundred to one hundred and twenty " arrobas brutas," or, on an average, one hundred and twelve and a

half,

which, at the rate of twelve arrobas to a net

quintal, give nine quintals.

The

total of the costs

and charges on

a single quintal amounts to nine dollars eighty cents, as shown by the annexed estimate.

The New Orleans years back,

is

seed,

which was brought

fi-om that port a few

green and hairy, and the plant rises to a height of

from a yard and a quarter to a yard and a half Its culture is as follows

(five to six cuarbas).

:

In April or May, after a couple of good showers have fallen, the ground having been cleaned and pi'epared as mentioned above, maize is sown, in rows a yard and a quarter to a yard and a half apart, according to the fertility of the soil.

ripe in August,

and

it

is

This maize

then doubled up so that

it

will

be

may dry

thoroughly, and lines are immediately marked out between the rows of maize and cotton sown at distances of three-quarters of a yard to a yard. The operations of re-sowing and thinning-out are

performed as before described, and the cotton-plants are trimmed once only

The

— when they are a half to three-quarters of a yard high.

plantation must be kept well cleaned until flowering com-

mences.

The

harvest takes place at the same time as with the

other sorts, except that, if the soil

is sufiiciently

good,

it is

usual

with the plant in question to come into bearing again spontaneously and yield some cotton, which

This plant

is

called "reposicion"

because it would and would hinder the re-sowing of the maize at its proper time, without mentioning that the crops would injure each (after-crop).

bear

is

never

left in pollard,

little,

other with their shade.

This sort of cotton is short and stout in fibre like the Mararion, and enjoys the same advantage, even in a higher degree, of requiring less cotton in the rough to make up a quintal of clean cotton than the black-seeded Creole, since only ten and a half to eleven


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

VENEZUELA.

312

arrobas of the two former sorts are needed to form a quintal,

if

the cotton has been gathered from the plant and kept very clean,

while twelve to thirteen arrobas of the Creole in the same condition are required.

In

all

these sorts, the cotton

carding-machines (maquinas de

separated from the seeds in

is

imported from the United which time the only machines known were the iron cylinders, by which only twenty-five to thirty-five pounds a day could be cleaned, and this frequently States since the year 1818,

up

sierra),

to

many

turned out of very bad quality, because

of the seeds were

crushed and passed through the rollers to the deterioration of the cotton.

The following

is

an estimate of the cost and expenses of a

quintal of cotton in the best lands of the province of Aragua, the ground being supposed to be covered with brushwood, and

not with a virgin

forest.

or job (tarea) of clearing

The "tarea de socalo," i.e., the task wood with a bill, is usually a space

of thirty brazadas long by six wide, equal to seven hundred and

twenty square yards.

Consequently,

square yards contains approximately

14 "tareas de socalo,"

.

of

ten

thousand

at 3

I

.

wood

2

,,

cutting up the

2

,,

collecting it into heaps

1

,,

burning

1

,,

re-collecting

A

plot

.

14 tareas felling with an axe

it

a

:

.

.

and re-burning

plot of 100 yards square contains 40 rows at an

average distance of 2^ yards one from another. 2 tareas laying out the rows and sowing, at 3 reals each

Weeding

6 times, at 8 rows per tarea

30 tareas at 3 reals each

Trimming

.

.

.

.

4 times at 2 tareas to the plot

8 tareas at 2 reals each

.

.

.

75

:â&#x20AC;&#x201D; .

.

.

11'25

.

2'00

:

.

.


^^GETABLE PEODUCTIONSâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; SUGAE. The

cost of gatheriug 12

quintal, at 2 reals each

Freight on

]

arrobas

quintal from

cotton

of

.

.

.

.

313

each

for

.

.

3'00

.

the valleys of Aragua to

1-50

Puerto Cabello

Rent of the laud for

at the rate of 3 dollars per plot, gives

each quintal

.

....

.

.

.

Total cost of

It

must be observed

1

.

.

Cleaning of each quintal (total cost)

.

0"33

.

2"00

|9'80

quintal of cotton

that this estimate does not include freight

or carriage of cotton from farms, that do not possess machines for

cleaning the cotton, to establishments where such machines are to

be found. Neither

is

any notice taken of the additional expense that would

attend the clearing of a virgin forest, beyond that of clearing such

wood

of lesser growth, as

must

It

also

copse or of forest, will not

we have supposed.

be borne in mind that the clearing, whether of an expense for the

is

first

time only, and which

have to be incurred again while the land remains under

cultivation.

The sugar-cane

cultivated in Venezuela

introduced from India, Tahiti, and Java.

is

of three kinds,

The cane

rishes at any altitude above the level of the sea

thousand

thi-ee

hundi-ed

weight in sugar.

feet,

An

yields a tenth of its

The

own

Tahiti cane yields one-

more sugar than the Indian, but

every ten years.

to

acre will contain nine thousand canes,

planted at four feet distance. thii-d

flou-

to three

and bears in from eleven

Each cane

fourteen months.

up

That of Java

is

requii-es to be

resown

the best for rum.

Near

Valencia plantations have yielded twenty-five

consecutive

harvests without requii'ing renewal.

Indigo grows at from three hundi'ed to three thousand feet

above the sea,

is full

grown in from two and a half

to

three and a half years, lasts a year and a half, and yields two


'

314

VENEZUELA.

harvests a year.

One pound

of dye

is

got from eveiy

seventy-two plants.

Tobacco thrives six

thousand

feet

pound

half a

at

any altitude from the sea's level to

above

and yields two crops a year, and

it,

The

of dry tobacco for every five plants.

best sorts of tobacco are those of Eio Negro, Cumanacoa,

and Barinas.

The

latter

kind

is

used by Germans for the

pipe.

After what has been said of the resources of Venezuela, of its various products, of the fertility of the soil, of the

extent of

its territory,

the moderate

amount

the richness of

its

gold

ought to be that of the national revenue, to imagine

difficult

question,

and

all

it

will

and

what

not be

what must be the answer as to the

Can Venezuela pay

With common

fields,

of its debt in comparison with

the

interest

of its

debt?

j)rudence, Venezuela can pay that interest

the necessary expenses of the state, and

a small surplus.

still

have

It will not be possible for her, indeed, to

assign to General Falcon one hundred and sixty thousand dollars out of a single year's income,

and thus

to

bestow on

him a

salary equal to that of eight cabinet ministers in

land

but she can afford to pay her president and ministers

well,

;

and yet

keej) faith with her foreign creditors.

proof of this assertion

is

that, besides the

Eng-

The best

payment of the

expenses of government on a liberal scale, the Republic has since 1864 discharged nearly all its foreign liabilities in the

shape of claims, and has also enriched enormously of

its

executive officers,

All that

is requii-ed is

as, for

of insolvents.

example, the Grand Mariscal.

a resolute head of the government,

and the name of Venezuela list

many

will

soon be removed from the


CHAPTER

XIV.

—Assistance

Relations of Venezuela with Foreign Powers zuela bj' England in

men and monej^— History

rendered to Vene-

of Venezuelan

Debt—

Causes of the Decay of English Influence— The Question of the Loans Plans for solving the Difficulty— The Foreign Office View— The Appeal to Force

— The Compensation Plan—The Best Plan.

Spain and England

ai-e

the only European powers with

The

which Venezuela has had very intimate relations. natui-e of those relations will

sideration of

appear presently.

them may be waived

for a

moment

The

con-

in order

to notice very briefly such intercourse as has taken place

between Venezuela and other or American.

The

j)roxiniity

states,

of

whether European

the

Dutch

Curazao to the coast of Coro has led not only to a rishing trade, but also to actions, to claims

interminable

of

island

flou-

smuggling trans-

and counter-claims between the Dutch

and their Creole neighbours.

Curazao has

continuall}'

been

the rendezvous of conspu-ators and intriguers against the

government of Caracas, and also of those who, from the righteousness of then* cause, deserve a better name.

on the 16th of March, 1848,

renowned

soldier

and

Don Eamon

patriot,

Thus,

Paez, son of the

General Paez, sailed from

Curazao to join in a movement in Coro against Monagas.

With New Granada and Ecuador, Venezuela was once united into a great country, which, under the name of Columbia,

handed down

the

memor}' of

its

first

dis-


VENEZUELA.

316

coverer, Colon, or

Within the

Columbus.

last five years

attempts have been made to renew the union of these three

and

republics,

Guzman was appomted The negoeffect that object.

Antonio

Signor

Venezuelan commissioner to

tiation failed, however, owing,

is

it

said, to the opposition

of General Falcon.

Brazil has always been on friendly terms with Venezuela,

and a Brazilian minister resides constantly

The

line of frontier

at

Caracas.

between the two states has been ami-

cably settled.

From on

the United States of North America Venezuela has

several

occasions

sympathy and

received

assistance.

After the great earthquake of 1812, North America des-

patched several vessels laden with provisions for the

relief

Paez and many other

illus-

of the

sufferers at

Caracas.

trious refugees from Venezuela have found a second safer

home

in

New

York.

On

and a

the 25th of November, 1858,

Paez, after ten years' sojoiu-n at

New

York, during which

time he "enjoyed every political and social privilege under a free and enlightened government," embarked on board a

steamer placed at his disposal by the government of the

United States, and sailed

for

Cumana.

unsuccessful, and he returned to still

lives,

at

the

His expedition was

North America, where he

age of between 80 and 90 years.

A

minister from the Government of Washington resides at

Caracas, and a considerable trade that city

and

New

York.

Nor

is

carried on between

did North America

take an active part in the war of independence.

fail

to

So long

back as the 3rd of November, 1812, the President of Quito,

Don

Toribio Montes, executed Macaulay, a North American

officer,

who had

successfully defended

Popayan against the


;

AVEESION TO SPAIN.

317

Spanish forces, and, after Macaulay's death, others of his compatriots took part in the war.

France and Germany both carry on a not inconsiderable trade

and some Frenchmen and a

with Venezuela,

number

greater

Germans

of

far

in Venezuelan

resident

are

territories, but, with the exception of the crude designs of

the

Napoleon, no intention of political interference has

first

been manifested by either of the said European powers with reference to the government of Caracas.

The long and

cruel

war which was waged

between

Columbia and the mother-country, Spain, seems left

the seeds of hatred and aversion

the breast of every Venezuelan.

to

to have

Spain deep-sown in

It is sad that there should

be such feelings between the two countries, and that parent

and child should have parted on such terms

;

but the

wrongs on both sides were such that centmies must elapse before the

memory

of

them

fades entirel}' away.

while, the history of the dealings of

American

-nith

Mean-

her South

colonies, especially with Columbia, â&#x20AC;˘ deserves

be studied by

mark out

Spam

all

to

and should prove a beacon to

nations,

government

errors in colonial

for all time.

The

grievances which the South Americans alleged as the gi'ound of

were,

revolt

their

secondly, the pride of the sition

fom'tlily,

;

these,

England

The

will

On

exclusion

Spaniards

restrictions

mercial restrictions.

India.

their

first,

the

;

thii-dly,

on education first,

from

;

office

the Inqui-

fifthly,

com-

second, and fom-th of

do well to ponder in her dealings with

Inquisition alone,

it

must be owned, formed a

reasonable gromid of separation from Spain, and the whole list

of s\Tongs justified, perhaps, war,

tifiable

;

if

war be ever jus-

but such was the prostration of Columbia under


VENEZUELA.

318

Spanish rule, that

is

it

doubtful whether she would ever

have rebelled but for the successful example of the United

As

States of North America.

was, the rebellion began

and the struggle was long protracted, owing to

feebly,

many

it

causes, such as the dispersion of the population, the

of castes,

division

difficulty

of communication, the igno-

rance of the people, their long habits of obedience, the

want of experienced Creole

officers,

the general ignorance

of war, and the influence of Spanish officials.

things retarded the mdependence

the longer they fought the more embittered

became

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; hence the rancour

it

has

All these

of the Columbians, and

the

strife

left.

After dwelling on the great struggle between Spain and

her colonies, the mind

the result of the victory.

mate

will find it

an

natm-ally led to inquire and esti-

is

evil

On

the one hand,

it

must be

was

colonies

odiously

selfish,

despotic,

but the worst possible government

better than chronic

civil

war and a

restless

is

and

perhaps

appetite for

change, wliich grows with every fresh revolution.

and

freely

government of Spain over her South

admitted that the

unjust;

impartial examination

hard to determine whether the end attained was

or a good.

American

An

Slavery

the inquisition are monstrous evils, but rebellion and

scepticism are as bad,

if

not worse.

to dispute this statement,

let

If any one is disposed

him hear the testimony

of

Ducoudray Holstein, who, himself a French republican and chief of the staff to the president Hberator, was not likely to be too favourable to despotism.

After speaking of the

material prosperity of Columbia while under Spain, he says:

" All

tliis

wealth, comfort, and agreeable society have

disappeared.

The

now

greater part of the distinguished families


;

EESULTS OF VICTORY. in Venezuela

and

New Granada

have "

the few that remain are ruined." in a worse condition

319

the country, and

left

Were

the inhabitants

under the dominion of

Sj)ain,

bad as

it

was, than they are now, under the bayonets of the dictator liberator ? "

As

was conducted,

it

to the it

war

itself,

to the estimate of Restrex)o, state,

to

and the manner in which

will be sufficient to state that, according

the republican secretary

400,000 persons perished in

it,

and, at the same time,

who was himself

quote the words of an Englishman, " There

it is no power," says Colonel Hip" to be acquii-ed in the starvation and peiils of the

engaged in pesle}',

of

:

tedious voj'age, whatever there

and even

may be

in the after

war

in the conflict the author can scarcely imagine the

Briton engaged, who would not sluink

in

disgust

and

horror, rather than rise in the pride of triumph, at the

unarmed

merciless massacre of s^Doi-ting -v^ith

missariat,

human

suiferings.

prisoners,

The

and the infernal

utter

want of a com-

and the intolerable heat of the climate, involve

a complication of miseries which no Em'opean constitution

can withstand

;

and the author has

the great majority of his

to lament the death of

companions, who perished like

infected lepers, without sustenance and without aid fi'om

the unfeeling wretches* in whose behalf they

who think

fell."

Those

that the overthrow of a bad government implies

the inauguration of a better will do well to ponder over these remarks, and the

more they

reflect

upon them and

study the history of the events to which they refer, the less will

be

theii*

sjonpathy with the revolutionary principles

which are spreading so rapidly in Eui'ope. * If this

be meant as imputing inhumanity to the "Venezuelans generally,

the author feels

bound

to

deny the charge.


VENEZUELA.

320

Whatever

the

of

results

war

the

independence,

of

whether they have been beneficial to Venezuela or the country

that

reverse,

England

owes some

certainly

for the part she took in

gratitude

The

it.

to

polic}^ of the

English Government was, perhaps, to a certain extent, selfish

ill

aiding the Creoles against Spain, but the majority

Columbia veiy much from

of Englislimen went to serve

sympathy with

a people struggling for

freedom

;

and

this

if

be questioned, a sufficient proof of the truth of the observation will be found in the fact that no Englishman could

be induced to enlist on the side of despotism.

England assisted Columbia with both sure

mto

troops of Socorro were brought

by a British

officer,

Avas the

trea-

admii-able discipline

These men did

Gregor MacGregor.

Don

good service under

and

So early as the year 1813, the

the war with Spain.

ill

soldiers

Antonio Narino, of Santafe, who

prime mover of the

revolt.

rose to be a general, and in 1816

MacGregor afterwards

commanded

a small

army

which marched from Maracai to Barcelona and took that important town, after wdnning a great battle against the

Spanish

Lopez,

General

and

repeatedly

royalists in lesser engagements.

MacGregor united defeated the

is first

the

officer

great

Piar,

and

slaughter.

early distinguished him-

war was Captain, afterwards Colonel Virgo, who

mentioned by Restrepo as doing eminent service

battle

of

Palace,

December, 1813.

From

constantly engaged notice

Morales with

who very

the

After taking Barcelona,

column with the troops of

sanguinary

Another English self in the

his

defeating

all

near

Popayan,

that time forth

on

the

30tli

at

of

Englishmen were

on the side of the patriots, and to

their exploits

would be equivalent

to writing a


THE BEITISH LEGION. \Yar of Independence.

liistoiy of the

321

It will be sufficient,

then, to say that in the two decisive battles by which the

power of Spain was overthrown, and especially which was the crowning

the honours of the day

"sactory,

Thus, on the 7th of

belonged to the British soldiers. August,

1819,

Ai-thur

Sandes,

of

battalion

the

under Lieut. -Col.

rifles

and that caUed Albion, commanded by

Eook, bore the brunt of the

Lieut.-Col.

in the latter,

battle

at

the

Bridge of Boyaca, near the city of Tunja. " The results of this victory," says the historian Baralt, " were immense, for the

Spanish army was destroyed, and

More

set fi'ee."

a

full

decisive

was the

still

New Granada was

battle of Carabobo,

account of Avhich has been given in a preceding

chapter, and in which the British Legion

the Spanish position, losing two killed or

On

wounded.

that

men

country

carried

out of every tliree

occasion the valour of the

English extorted fi-om Bolivar the address,

my

alone

*'

Sa\doui's of

" !

The pecuniary

assistance rendered

by England

to

Vene-

zuela has been of such a nature that a full account of

it

cannot be given without narrating the whole history of the

The debt

Venezuelan debt.

of Venezuela, then, is of two

The domestic debt

kinds, domestic and foreign.

portion of the domestic debt of Columbia which share of Venezuela

when

it

separated from

and Ecuador, the two republics

made up

debt of Columbia had

its

origin in

is

Venezuela,

The domestic

sums raised by the

Spanish Government by mortgaging the treasuries in

Granada and Venezuela.

Government four,

paid, in

and in others

some

five

that

to the

New Granada

wliich, with

the grand Republic of Columbia.

fell

New

For these sums the Spanish cases, three per cent., in others

per cent.

Other sums raised by the


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

VENEZUELA.

322

Spanish Government were styled funds of amortizacion, as it

was supposed that they were intended to fonn a sinking

fund to pay these, there

off

Cokimbia became threw

the bonds of that government.

was the debt of the Panama liable, since

which

on that condition those

states

of Guayaquil, which Columbia,

on

itself.

To

on similar grounds, took

its

had declared

after it

The young

pendence in 1810.

revenue, insufficient for this,

also with the debt

these liabihties were added debts incm-red

by the Republic of Columbia

and

So

Spain.

off their allegiance to

Besides

States, for

its

republic had

mde-

a scanty

wants even in tunes of peace,

notwithstanding the exigencies of war,

with

it,

the usual imprudence of republics, stiU further reduced by

abolishing citizens.

many imposts which were unpopular with the Hence, up to 1822, the epoch when foreign

loans were negociated, a considerable amount of debt had

been incurred on account of stores supplied to the commissariat

and of pay due to the army, and

this debt

paid off with the proceeds of the foreign loans.

Up

1824, then, the debt of Colmnbia stood as follows

was not to

May,

:

For sums raised by the Spanish Government at various

amounts

$900,000

of interest

Interest thereon

For

ditto raised

by

468,138

ditto for amortization

.

.

.

1,250,000

.

.

.

252,000

Interest thereon

Debt

of the States in the

937,500

Isthmus of Panama

Interest thereon

48,000

Debt of Guayaquil

800,000

Liquidated domestic Debt

1,200,000

Unliquidated, with Interest

3,800,000

Pay due

to civil officers

A third of the

up

to 1st January, 1822

same retained by law

.

.

Loans received in cash Pay due to military Foreign Loan of March, 1822 May, 1824 â&#x20AC;&#x17E;

.

.

.

1,500,000

.

1,650,000 1,000,000 3,500,000

10,000,000

20,000,000 Total

$46,505,638


THE FOEEIGN DEBT. The

323

foreign debt of Columbia began in 1816,

when some

English houses and other foreigners supplied Bolivar with the means of making his expedition to Angostm^a. the battle of Boj-aca, to

London

government.

to settle

BoHvar determined the

to send an

number

envoy

claims then existing against his

Accordingly, in 1820, he despatched Fran-

Antonio Zea to England, and that

cisco

After

officer

issued

a

of debentures in pajonent of the foreign claims to

the amount of £547,783.

In March,* 1822, Zea contracted

a loan of ^£2, 000,000 with Messrs. Herring,

Graham, and

Powles, at £80 for the £100, by wliich the former debt of

£547,783 was paid

On

off.

the 15th of May, 1824, a fm-ther

loan of $20,000,000, or £4,750,000, was taken from Messrs.

B. A. Goldsmith

On

&

Co.

the 25th of December, 1834, Senor Santos Michelena,

Plenipotentiary on the part of Venezuela, and Seiior Luis

de Pombo, on that of N. Granada, without the concm'rence of the Plenipotentiary of Ecuador, agreed that the foreign

Colmnbian Debt the thi'ee

for the

two loans, should be divided amongst

Eepubhcs, Venezuela making

N. Granada

for

itself liable for f^

^, while the remainder, or

sponsibility of Ecuador.

Hence the

i55,fell

to the re-

foreign debt of Vene-

zuela became $11,698,049*93 cents, or £1,888,395 15s.

Convention was

1837

ratified

and

This

by Venezuela on the 26th of July,

by N. Granada on the 25th of August; and by Ecuador

;

on the 26th of November, 1837.

The domestic debt

of Co-

lumbia was divided at the same time, and $7, 217, 915*12 cents, fell to

the share of Venezuela.

The

total of the

Venezuelan

share of both foreign and domestic debt thus amounted to

$19,215,965-05 cents, or 76,875,860f. and 20 centimes. * Codazzi, p. 289, gives

May

13, 1822, as the date of this Loan.

Y

2


VENEZUELA.

32i

The

dividends on the foreign deht were paid faithfully

during the Presidentship of General Paez, and up to the year 1848,

when

stopped.

On

the General went into exile, and they were

the 23rd of February, 1859, a meeting of

bondholders was held in London, when

was agreed to

it

accept the proposal of Senor Rodriguez, the Venezuelan Minister, to pay 3 per cent, on active, and 1| per cent, on

Only two coupons were paid

deferred Venezuelan bonds.

upon the reserved bonds, and in 1862, the sum of ^6214,000 of arrear dividends had accrued.

In January, 1862, Seiior Hilarion Nadal, the agent of General Paez, arrived one million.

m

London

to raise a fresh loan of

At a general meeting of bondholders held on

the 20th of June, 1862, of Senor Nadal,

it

was agreed

m order to

to accept the proposal

obtain the special hypothecation

of 55 per cent, of the import duties, and by freeing the cus-

toms from usurious claims

ment

to

Venezuelan Govern-

to enable the

At

recommence paying the dividends.

the foreign debt

amounted

of Venezuela

carrying an annual interest of £118,000.

this time

to 564,412,000,

The

following is

the account given by Senor Pedro* Jose Eojas, the Secretar}^- General,

and successor of General Paez, of the manner

in which the funds realised b}^ this loan were expended £1,000,000 at 63 per cent.

=

£630,000

= at $6-48

the pound

$4,082,620*54

sterling

£

Expenses and Commissions. Baring, Brothers, and

Company

.

.

.

Brokerage

Mr. Mocatta's Travelling Expenses Estimate of expenses for which Messrs. Baring will account .

.

.

s.

d.

12, 102

1,939

2

6

1,747

9

6

3,012 15

£18,801 * Vindicacion, Caracas, 1863, p. 114.

of Messrs. Baring

:

wiU be found

in the

The statements

Appendix.

7

of Mr. Mocatta

and


THE FOEEIGN DEBT.

325

£ Brought forward

.

.18,801

.

.

89

Petty expenses Freight and insurance of £100,000

Seymour and other agents for Commission to Senor Nadal His expenses

.

.

....

d.

7

2 10

2,587 14

assistance rendered 21,800

16,000 3,000

£62,278

The same

s.

in dollars at $6-o0 the

pound

Freight from

St.

sterling,

Thomas

3 10

$469, 808 '21

cts.

1,652

$471,460-21

28,108


VENEZUELA.

326

Brought forward

....

$1,512,425-15

Baiik of Venezuela.* Dollars.

On

.....

account of account current

For Notes in circulation Shares

.

.

.

.

.

Cts.

740,250'34

.

1,644,621 '16

2,714,500

.

Equivalent for Public Debt 3 per cent.

.

.

10,858,000

$13,942,871-50

$234,895-63

Paid on account in cash Diplomatic Claims.

United States Ditto,

100,000

Aves Island

.

Denmark

.... .... .....

$288,578-69 133,591-62

on London

456,522-50

63,106-60

Netherlands

â&#x20AC;&#x17E;

,,

13,000

.

.

97,278-43

British Legation

Consul-General of

.

.

15,139-66

Orders on the Custom-House at La Guaira

Various public creditors paid by E. Mocatta, by

War

expenses reciitted to the provinces, and

of the Treasury paid

by the Custom-house

at

Paid in the same departments by the Treasury

bills

common

expenses

La Guaira .

.

Balance in the hands of Baring, Brothers, ÂŁ20,000

.

.

.

.

.

219,224*55

.

407,382-40

.

130,000-00

t $4,082,620-54

General Paez having hypothecated 55 per cent, of the import duties at

La Guau^a and Puerto

Cabello, for pajonent

of the dividends of this loan, a decree was issued on the 1st of November, 1862, duly signed by the General and the Secre-

tary of State.

This was lodged

lished in the official gazette, * "

The

Public Debt.

balance

bills (vales)

Republic.

the Loan."

It will

"a

large

of Venezuela.

capital purchased

amounted

sum .

for the amortization of

These Shares consisted of

to eleven millions

;

for the

were given with security on certain Custom-houses of the

This was certainly not one of the least important advantages of (Vindicacion, p. 112.)

and the Directors pay the sums due"

+

Bank

Custom-house, pub-

and by bando or beat of drum.

Senor Eojas,

"VVe allotted," wi'ites

the ordinary Shares of the

at the

of the

Bank

"A

respectable committee of merchants

of Caracas, allotted the

(valores) to the

Bank

of Venezuela.

money

assigned to

(Vind., p. 113.)

be seen that there are several mistakes in the addition of figures in

this statement,

and that the

total is

an exact transcript of the Spanish.

$700,000 out.

The statement is, however,


SUSPENSION OF PAYMENT. "

A

327

few months afterwards General Falcon and General

Blanco assumed the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of the Republic, and the aforesaid decree was respected and acted

upon

for

two years.

On

one occasion the sum of $75,000

was appropriated by the authorities as a necessity, but that

London.

sum was

loan,

on the plea of

restored by General Blanco in

In October, 1863, General Blanco received and

accepted from Messrs. Baring the complete and final account of the loan of 1862,

together with a balance of about

Suddenly, on the 3rd of December, 1864, the

^621,000."

Government of Venezuela issued

a decree suspending the

pajTnent of the 55 per cent, to the British bondliolders, and actually forced the

agents of the bondholders to return

$18,443 that had been paid to them.*

In the meantime, however. General Falcon and General

Blanco had secured the proceeds of the loan of 1864, and

had reheved the Government from the army claims and other pressing demands, as has been shown in a preceding chapter.

It,

therefore,

appears in the clearest way, that

England not only aided the Venezuelans with

gaUant

soldiers in winning their independence, but supplied

in all the

most

their expenses.

fluence

How

critical

them

emergencies with treasure to defray

Sm'ely, under the cii'cumstances, the in-

of this country in Venezuela ought to be great.

is it,

then, that the exact contrary

is

the case, and

that the representations of our Ministers at Caracas with

respect to the loans, have had no weight whatever ? tinct

and decisive answer to

A

dis-

this question cannot be given,

except before a Committee of the House of

Commons.

It

involves the whole subject of the organisation of the Foreign * Statement

by the Committee of Venezuelan Bondholders, London, 1866.


YENEZUELA.

328

Office

;

an organisation which could barely be tolerated in

1782, but which

is

so unsuited for the present time that

nothing but the intense ignorance and consequent

indif-

ference of the general public regarding

being

it,

allows of

its

maintained for a moment. But, though

all

that

is

known cannot be

told,

unless

mider due authorisation, one great cause of the decay of British influence in foreign countries, and especially with reference to the recovery of debts

owed by the Governments

of those countries to British subjects, can be pointed out.

This its

is,

that the

Enghsh Government

gratuitously parades

determination not to enforce the claims of

Now, whatever the

intentions of a claimant

subjects.*

its

may

be,

it

is

surely very miAvise to proclaim beforehand that resort will

not be had to ulterior measures.

up a

It is like putting

board to warn trespassers that they will not be prosecuted.

Such a course may be declared going at

all

of a debt

quite unreasonable, without

into the question whether is justifiable

war

by international law, or

regarded only as a matter of discretion. a course adopted

is

for the recovery

by Government

m

But

is

to be

the fact

is, it

order to stand well

with Parliament and the general public, who, from selfish motives, are opposed to such expenditure as a war necessitates for the recovery of the property of a comparatively

small

they *

number

may be

of persons.

indemnified

" ? "

Why

should we be taxed that

the thought that pervades

is

This extreme candour amounts to almost touting for injuries, and reminds

one of Jack in the Tale of the Tub, who

would stand in the turning of a and calling to those who passed by, would cry to one, Worthy, sir, do me the honour of a good slap in the chaps.' " It is, perhaps, unnecessary to add that the remarks here made are intended to apply to the traditional '

'

*

street,

policy of the Foreign Office, not to that of the Ministers

now

in power.


SUPINENESS OF THE BEITISH GOVEENMENT. the ]3ublic mind, and finds

same thought gave

its

echo in Parliament.

329

The

rise to all the fables that

were told about

the difficulties of the Abyssinian campaign,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the unhealthi-

ness of the climate, and the impracticability of reaching

Magdala.

This Idchete has been properly punished in the

case of Abyssinia,

by the enormous and unnecessary expense

army

of sending an

to

accomplish what might well have

been performed by a single brigade. payer exaggerated the to prevent

it

But the

difficulties of the

altogether, and, of course,

selfish tax-

expedition in order

no government would

incur the responsibility of sending only 3,000

men

every one was declaring could not be achieved by

do what

to

five

times

that number.* It is not to

be supposed, however, that Government would

admit the dread of unpopularity, or of ParKamentary censure, to be the reasons for its

meek acquiescence

in the

wrongs of the Venezuelan bondliolders, and the contemptuous disregard of

its

remonstrances in their favour.

A

very different ground for this patient endurance was put forward on a previous and similar occasion by Lord Palmer-

m

ston

his

memorable

there alleged, that

cu"cular of January,

order to discom-age the

abroad instead of at home. *

The idea

witli the p. 419.

Tigre

is

1848.

It is

Government abstained from action investment

of

Enghsh

in

capital

Twent}^ j^ears have passed away

Ambassador with three thousand men originated See Athenaeum, Xo. 2057, March 30, 1867, has been clearly ascertained that the road from Massowab into

of sending an

author of this book.

"

It

quite practicable.

Would

not be better to send an ambassador

it

with au escort to treat with Theodorus

Twelve hundred horse, two thousand guns and a couple of mortars would suffice for the escort." This was not a mere guess, but was based on a careful comparison of what Sale had done in a country as difficult as that between Annesley Bay and Magdala, and against incomparably better soldiers than the Abyssinians.

infantry, a brigade

of

?


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

VENEZUELA.

330

since this plausible excuse

was made, and the increasing

investments in foreign loans dm'ing each less

it

and

less specious, but

be again emplo3"ed.

jea,v

even now

it

have rendered

would probably

It is requisite, therefore, to

examine

the whole question of the right and expediency of enforcing

the performance of justice to the citizens of this country in

them by

reference to the debts owing to

foreign nations,

with the view of showing that, neither on the ground alleged

by Lord Palmerston, nor on any

other, can action be

any

longer delayed.

be as well, then, to begin with quotmg Lord Pal-

It will

merston's

cii'cular in

extenso, in order to

pretext for inaction which he thought

This document*

ward.

is

as follows

dispose of the

it politic

to

put

for-

:

Foreign Office, January, 1848.

Her

Majesty's Government have frequently had occasion

Her

Majestj^'s representatives in. various foreign

make

earnest and friendly, but not authoritative

to instruct

States to

representations British

money

in

support of the unsatisfied claims of

who

subjects,

are

holders

of public

bonds and

securities of those States,

As some misconception appears

to exist in

some

States with regard to the just right of

Her

ment

should think

so,

to interfere authoritatively, if

it

of those

Majesty's Governfit

to do

in support of those claims, I have to inform you, as the

representative of

Her Majesty

which British subjects have the British Government

in one of the States against

such claims, that

and by no means a question of international *

it is

for

entirely a question of discretion,

The Tunes, April

21, 1849.

right,

whether


LOED PALMEESTOX'S CIECULAE. they should, or should not,

sunj)ly in its bearing

make

this matter the subject of

If the question

diplomatic negociation.

331

upon international

is to

he considered

right, there

can be

no doubt whatever of the perfect right which the Government of every coimtry possesses to take up, as a matter of diplo-

matic negociation, any well-founded complaint which any of subjects

its

may

prefer against the government of another

country, or any wrong which from such foreign government

those subjects

may have

of one country

individual satisfied,

is

among

sustained

entitled to its

subjects

and

;

demand

the government

if

redress for any one

who may have

a just, but un-

pecuniary claim upon the government of another

country, the right so to requii'e redress cannot be diminished

merely because the extent of the wrong

is

increased, and,

because, instead of there being one individual claiming a

comparatively small sum, there are a duals to It

is,

British

whom

a very large amount

gi-eat

is

number

of indi%'i-

due.

therefore, simply a question of discretion with the

Government whether

this matter should or should

not be taken up by diplomatic negociation, and the decision of that question of discretion tmTis entii'ely

upon British and

domestic considerations. It

has hitherto been thought by the successive govern-

ments of Great Britain undesii'able that British subjects should invest their capital in loans to foreign governments instead of employing

it

in profitable undertakings at

home

;

and, with a view to discom-age hazardous loans to foreign

governments, who

may

be either unable or unwilling to pay

the stipulated interest thereupon, the British Government,

has hitherto thought

up

it

the best policy to abstain from taking

as international questions the complaints rhade

by British


VENEZUELA.

332

subjects against foreign governments which have failed to

make good

engagements in regard to such pecuniary

their

transactions.

For the British Government has considered that the imprudent men, who have placed mistaken con-

losses of

governments, would

fidence in the good faith of foreign

prove a salutary warning to others, and would prevent any

Great Britain,

other foreign loans from being raised in

except by governments of

tamed solvency.

known good

But, nevertheless,

it

faith

and of ascer-

might happen that

the loss occasioned to British subjects by the non-payment of interest

upon loans made by them

might become so great that

it

to foreign

governments

would be too high a price

for

the nation to pay for such a warning as to the future, and, in

such a state of things, British

Government

to

it

might become the duty of the

make

these matters the subject of

diplomatic negociation.

In any conversation which you may hereafter hold with Ministers ujion this subject, you will not

the

communicate

ment

to

fail

to

them the views which Her Majesty's Govern-

entertain thereupon, as set forth in this desjDatch. Pai.ivierston.

Signed,

With

reference to this important circular, the

to be considered is

the principle, which

the animating one of successive

regards loans to foreign states in order that

But money,

Enghsh

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

capital

is

British

viz.,

first

thing

said to have been

governments as

discouragement of them,

might be invested

at

home.

like every other export, will always seek the best

market, and to discourage

it

from doing so

tion to the principles of free trade.

is

simply opposi-

Supposing the foreign


LOED PALMEESTON'S CIECULAE. state to fulfil its

333

engagements and to pay a higher interest

than home investments would,

obviously beneficial to

is

it

England that foreign loans should be negociated in the

London market.

But should the

foreign state not

engagements, England loses the whole

payment be enforced.

If

fulfil its

caj)ital lent,

unless

payment be enforced, the

capital

returns to England, and fi'audulent borrowers are deterred

from coming

to the

English market.

In a word, there are

two waj'S of discouraging hazardous loans

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

one

is

to

punish the English lender by neglecting his rights, in which case British capital

is lost

;

the other

is

to enforce

payment

and punish the foreign fraudulent borrower, in which case

Enghsh

capital is recovered,

and

without loss to

that, too,

the state, for the borrower would have, of course, to pay the

expenses of coercion.

Governments

But, in truth,

successive British

really did imagine that they could put do^vn

loans by ignoring the

foreign

if

rights

cular, the capital lent to foreign

of English

At

!

all

events, the notion

cir-

governments had grown

up- to ^ÂŁ150,000,000, all that can be said plicitas

bond-

Lord Palmerston's

holders, when, even at the time of

0, sancta sim-

is,

must be dead now, when

the capital owed to Englishmen by foreign states amounts to something like half the national debt, a

vast to be

made the

In point of

too

subject of mistaken theories.

the language of

fact,

sum much

cular, like that of all diplomatic

Lord Palmerston's

documents,

is

cir-

intentionally

guarded, and represents only the square root of what his lordship really

felt

This

to be right.

Commons,

is

shown by what he

said in the

House

reslfons

origo of the circular above cited.

et

of

in a debate which was the

took place in June, 1847, when

The

debate

Lord Bentinck brought


VENEZUELA.

334

forward a motion

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " That an address

be presented to

Her

Her Majesty may be graciouslj'^ as may be deemed advisable to

Majesty, humbly prajing that

pleased to take such steps

British holders of unpaid foreign* bonds

secure for the

redress from the respective governments."

then said

Lord Palmerston

" Although I entreat the house, upon grounds of

:

public policy, not to impose at present

Government the

obligation

upon Her Majesty's

which the proposed

would throw upon them, yet I would take

address

this opportunity

who are debtors to time may come when this house

of warning foreign governments,

British

subjects, that the

will

longer

patient mider the wrongs and injustice inflicted

sit

upon the

no

subjects of this country.

I would warn

them that

may come when the British nation will not see with tranquillity the sum of sÂŁ150,000,000 due to British subjects,

the time

and the

not paid

interest,

they do not

;

make proper

and I would warn them efl^orts

adequately to

that, if

fulfil

engagements, the government of this country, whatever

may be

in office,

may

their

men

be 'compelled, by the force of public

opinion and by the votes of Parliament, to depart from that

which has hitherto been the established practice of England,

and

to insist

jects.

upon the payment of debts due

British subjects I

because we

us.

my

not prepared to dispute.

It is not

them put

refrained from taking the steps to

noble friend (Lord George Bentinck) would urge

ing justice for

*

we have

England, I

the earth.

am

are afraid of those states, or all of

together, that

which

to British sub-

That we have the means of enforcing the rights of

trust, will always

its

But

have the means of obtain-

subjects from any country tliis is

upon the

face of

a question of expedienc}^ and not a

The immediate occasion of the motion was the non-payment of Spanish bonds.


AUTHOEITIES ON INTEENATIONAL LAW. question of power

therefore, let

;

335

no foreign country that

has done wrong to British subjects deceive

itself

by a

false

imi^ression, either that the British nation or the British

Parliament will for ever remain patient acquiescents in the wrong, or that,

if

called

upon

to enforce the rights of the

people of England, the Government of England will not have

ample means

command

at its

Here Lord Palmerston states that a time

toremam

is it

distinctly

warns defaultmg foreign

may come when payment

will

case in which the

a hrutum fulmen

menace

it

or can there ever be a

?

contains could be more justly it

remembered,

at stake ?

But before

executed than that of Venezuela, where, be

no

less a

be enforced

This warning was uttered more than 20 years

from them. ago:

to obtain justice for them."

sum than $7,000,000

is

exhibiting in one view the strength of that case, desirable to support

it

may be

Lord Palmerston's declaration by quo-

tations from the best authorities on international law.

In PhilHm ore's " Commentaries upon International (ed.

1855,

V. 2, c. iii., p. 8), it is

said

:

"

The

Law"

right of inter-

ference on the part of a state, for the purpose of enforcing

the performance of justice to state, stands

foreign

state

its

from a foreign

citizens

upon an unquestionable foundation, when the has

become

the

itself

debtor

of

these

citizens."

Vattel

(v. 2, c. xiv., p.

216) writes

:

" Les emprunts

poin- le service de I'Etat, les dettes creees

faits

dans I'administra-

tion des affakes publiques, sont des contrats de droit etroit, obligatoire s pour I'Etat et la nation entiere.

dispenser d'acquitter ces dettes-la.

Des

Eien ne pent qu'elles

la

ont ete

contractees par une puissance legitime, le droit du creancier est inebranlable.

Que

I'argent

emprunte

ait

tourne au profit


VENEZUELA.

336

de I'Etat, on qu'il

pas

I'affaire

nation

;

de

ait ete dissipe

celiii qiii I'a

en

Tant

elle doit le lui rendre.

depenses, ce n'est

folles

II a confie

prete.

pis

pour

son bien a la elle, si elle

a

remis le soin de ses affaires en mauvaises mains."

The same only for *

on

writer, fxu^ther

18,

(c.

s.

343), says

:

" It

is

an evidently just cause, and for a clear* andundeni-

liis excellent Report of 1865, and Messrs. Baring in Memorial to Earl Russell i;nder date the 25th of March in the same year, have so completely disposed of all attempts to evade the obligation of the Debt of 18G2, by the device of a reference to the High Court of Venezuela and other pretences, that it is unnecessary to add anything on the With regard to one point, however, which seems to have some subject here.

Mr. Gerstenberg in

their

weight with the Venezuelans themselves, though

who

really understand the question,

Wheaton (Interr/ational Law,

may

it

it

can have none with those

be as well to cite the authority of

" As to public debts — whether —a mere change in the form of govern-

ed. 1863, p. 41).

due to or from the revolutionized State ment, or in the person of the

ruler, does

not affect their obligation.

The

which constitutes it an independent community, remains the same its accidental form only is changed. The debts being contracted in the name of the State, by its authorized agents, for its public use, the nation continues liable for them, notwithstanding the change The new government succeeds to the fiscal in its internal constitution. rights, and is bound to fulfil the fiscal obligations of the former government." As to the general question it is right to add the opinions of the Members for the City of London, which are thus expressed essential

form of the

State, that ;

:

My

Lord,

has invited

— The me

Chairman

of the

New Court, 10th July, 1865. Committee of Venezuelan Bondholders

to write to your Lordship respecting the Venezuelan Loan,

contracted in 1862, and to state

my

opinion of the conduct of the Venezuelan

Government. I

cannot help complying with the request of that gentleman, and

say that I consider

it

a case in which the Bondholders

may expect

I

beg to

every assist-

ance from your Lordship, in obtaining the fulfilment of the contract entered

by the Government Recommending their

into

of Venezuela with the British Bondholders. claims, therefore, to your Lordship's assistance,

and

apologising for troubling your Lordship, I

have the honour to

be,

my

Lord,

Your Lordship's very obedient Servant, (Signed) Lionel de Rothschild. The Right Honourable The Earl Russell, K.G.


OPINION OF THE CITY MEMBERS. able

the

that

debt,

law of

us

allows

nations

337

to

make

reprisals."

London,

My

Lord,

has shown

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;The

me

Chairman

a copy of a letter of the 25th of last March, addressed to your

Lordship by Messrs. Baring Brothers of the

&

Co.

,

setting forth the faithless conduct

Venezuelan Government towards the British Bondholders

further submitted to

June

of

7tk July, 1865.

Committee of Venezuelan Bondholders

of the

last,

me some

;

and he has

resolutions of the Committee, dated the 30th

appealing to your Lordship for help in their endeavour to

recover the 55 per cent, of Import duties, especially hj^pothecated to them,

and now unjustly confiscated. Having been requested to give my support to this appeal, and having carefully examined the subject, I have no hesitation in saying that the case of the Venezuelan Bondholders is a very hard one, fully deserving the active and energetic interference of Her Majesty's Government, and I therefore beg respectfully to solicit your Lordship to grant to them the protection and assistance they seek at your Lordship's hands. By such action, not only the rights and just claims of British Bondholders will be protected, but a signal service will be conferred upon the people of Venezuela, whose interests will be considerably benefited by the observance of public engagements on the part of their Government. I have the honour to subscribe myself, Your Lordship's most obedient, humble Servant, (Signed) G. J. Goschen. To the Right Honourable

The Earl

Her

Russell, K.G.,

Majesty's Principal Secretar}' of State for Foreign

71,

Afi"airs,

Old Broad Street,

&c., &c., &c.

12th July, 1865.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

My

Lord, Having been prevented by my public engagements from accompanying the deputation which waited on your Lordship, on Monday last, with reference to certain complaints of the Venezuelan Bondholders, in respect of the acts of that Government as set forth in Messrs. Baring Brothers for the

&

Co.'s letter of the 25th March, 1865,

purpose of recommending the claims of

I

now address your Lordship

my

constituents to the early

Her Majesty's Government, with a view to such communicabeing made to the Government of Venezuela as will ensure justice being

consideration of tions

done in the matter. I

am,

Your Lordship's obedient (Signed)

To the Right Honourable The Earl Russell, E.G.,

&c.

R.

Servant,

W. Crawford.


VENEZUELA.

338

Travers Twiss, " time of

War

On

the Eights and Duties of Nations in

" (ed. 1863, p. 20), states

refused to pay a debt

to,

or has inflicted an injury upon, the

and the former has refused to make

subjects of another nation,

may proceed

satisfaction or to give redress, the latter

justice to its

AVheaton

subjects by making (ed.

" If a nation has

:

to do

upon the former."

reprisals

1863, p. 508, Notes) quotes the words of

President Jackson, in his message to Congress of December, 1834,

as follows

:

" It

is

when one nation owes another a

international code that,

liquidated debt, which

aggrieved party

may

a well-settled principle of the

it

refuses

or neglects to pay, the

on property belonging to the

seize

other, its citizens, or subjects, sufiicient to pay the debt,

without giving just cause for war.

I

recommend

that a law

be passed, authorising reprisals upon French property, in case provision shall not be

made

for the pajonent of the

debt at the approaching session of the French chambers."

Wheaton then

refers

to

the

convention of

the

31st of

October, 1861, between England, Spain, and France, to obtain redress, by combined operations, from Mexico. Kussell, in his instructions to Sir C. it

Wyke,

Earl

after saying that

has not been usual to interfere to enforce the claims of

bondholders, and that the case of the Mexican bondholders

has not been an exception to the rule, goes on to declare that the government will

now

interfere

on the ground of the

arrangements made with the Government at Vera Cruz, by

which customs' receipts were in certain proportions to be assigned to the holders of the bonds.

And, though the

agreement never assumed the form of a

treaty, it is insisted

that their (the

Mexican bondholders) claims have assumed

the character of international obligations.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

THE BONDHOLDERS'

CASE.

339

This statement of Lord Russell forms a very suitable point-de-depart in summarizing the case of the Venezuelan

bondholders

;

the agreement to assign a proportion

for, if

of the Customs' receipts to the Mexican bondholders, gave

an international obligation,

to their claims the character of

what must be the strength of the claim advanced by the Venezuelan bondholders, whose agents, British subjects, under the authority of a solemn agreement with the Venezuelan Government, themselves collected the duties, and paid to the British Minister and British Consuls a large

annuity for

assistance in the collection ?

theii'

Briefl}^ the

whole case of the Venezuelan bondholders stands thus

Two

:

and a half have recently been lent

to the

Venezuelan Government by British subjects, on the

faith of

millions

them and the authorised

contracts entered into between

representatives of that government, in which specified porof the

tions

proceeds of the Venezuelan Custom-houses

have been hj'pothecated for the payment of the debtor.

The

collection of the

distinct

Customs has been made over under a

agreement to the agents* of the bondholders, those

The

agents being British subjects.

been present

at the negociation of the loan,

broken

ciation has been protracted,

cluded in

British Minister has

accordance with

his

Government have authorised

its

off,

and that nego-

and

demands.

finally

The

con-

British

representative to aid in

the negociation of the loans, and has obtained the settlement of

the claims of

its

sums, by the loans.

subjects,

The

amounting

to considerable

British Minister and

Consuls

have been permitted by the British Government to draw yearly

salaries,

amountmg *

111

to

nearly ^02,000, for aiding

the case of the Loan of 1804.


VENEZUELA.

340

Customs hj'pothecated

collecting the

ill

for

payment of

All the papers connected with the loans have

the loans.

been registered and deposited in the British Mission in the case of the loan of 1862,

;

and,

the British Minister was

appointed the colleague of the bondholders, and agent in settHng the claims which should be paid out of the proceeds of the loan.

On

the one hand, then, there are in favour of the bond-

holders

the above-mentioned undeniable facts

all

other, there

3rd

the

is

the decree of the Venezuelan

;

on the

Government

of

December, 1864, suddenly, wrongfully, and

of

violently suspending the 55 per cent, duties hj-pothecated to

the British bondholders, and actually forcing their agents to

return $18,443, that had been ah'eady paid to them. this,

too, notwithstanding that,

1864, not a

month

And

on the 9th of November,

before the issuing of the decree, General

Blanco had spontaneously addressed a

letter

to

Messrs.

Baring, " solemnly promising the faithful observance of the

any sums that

contract of 1862, and offermg to refund

There

might have been hitherto abstracted."*

is

next, the

arbitrary suspension of paj'ment for the loan of 1864, and

the A\Testing of the solemnly-pledged Export Duties from the hands of the British agents, in spite of then- protest and the protest of the British Minister.

Now, there all

is

no attempt

to lay

down

the doctrine that, in

cases of loans to foreign States, the English bondholders

are to have the additional security of an immediate appeal

But

to war.

sum

is

owed

calamit}^

it

let

to

how vast how terrible

the British public well reflect

England by foreign Powers

would be

if *

;

a

a

anything like general repudiation of

Debt

of Venezuela, p.

8.


THE APPEAL TO FOECE. that debt were to set in

;

how

341

easily creditors,

and especially

foreign creditors, incHne to evade their liabilities,

when they

are apjjrised by example that there is no restraint

upon

inclinations but that of moral principle

and then

;

let

then*

them

decide whether they will submit to injuries and indignities,

which Venezuela would not venture to of France or of the United States.

repudiation

inflict

The

altogether an exceptionall}^ strong one, and

is

requkes exceptionally strong measures flagrant, that

should

inconsistent to

At

occasion.

on the subjects

case of Venezuelan

it

be passed over,

;

and it

it is

a case so

would be utterly

have recom-se to coercion on any future

the same time, there are man}' steps to be

taken short of war.

There

the breaking

is

ofl^

of dij)lomatic

embargo, and blockade

relations, there are rej)risals,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;mea-

sures which throw the responsibility of declaring war on the

wrongdoer, where

Having

it

said thus

ought to

much

rest.

of the coercive steps which might

be taken, and rightly taken as regards international law, it

remains to appeal, in the interests of peace, and for their

own

best interests, to the justice and good feehng of the

Venezuelan nation.

It is undeniable that

Venezuela has

derived nothing but advantage from her intercourse with

England.

It

has been shown how British

trooj)s

took a

prominent part in winning the independence of Venezuela

and how, in

all

;

the most critical emergencies, England was

ever ready to supply funds, by the aid of which Venezuela

recovered from exhaustion.

And

if

such has been the past,

may be expected to be like it, if Venezuela, the of so many favours, will but reciprocate friendship

the futm"e recipient

and maintam her engagements.

Now, strong evidence has been brought forward

to

show


VENEZUELA.

342

that Venezuela

well able,

is

if

she will but exert herself, to

pay the mterest of her debt.

But admitting,

of argument, that her funds

are temporarily msufficient,

for the

sake

there are ways by which the revenue might be supplemented.

There are vast general

of the

tracts of valuable waste lands at the disposal

Government.

known

It is well

that the

neighbourmg States of Ecuador and N. Granada have assigned to tories

foreign creditors portions of

theii'

terri-

theii'

compensation for diminished interest on their

in

debts.

The example might

zuela.

Again the steam navigation of the Orinoco and of

possibly be followed by Vene-

the great Lake of Maracaibo are valuable monopoHes, which

have been in the hands of Americans, but which might well be offered to those who have real claims on the State. a word, there are means, the Venezuelan these,

and

In

there be only the will, by which

if

Government might regain

All

its credit.*

no doubt, must be matter of inquiry and negociation,

at

present there

holders, through

no representative of the bond-

is

whom

such negociations would have to be

carried on.

These remarks naturally lead proposition which

has

to the consideration of the

been made

by the

Government, that the bondholders should

Commissioner

to Caracas.

Venezuelan send

out

be a very great concession to that Government, which

no sense

entitled to

demand

it.

It

*

The Plan

for settling

mentioned in chap.

now worthy

6,

and the

is

in

would be a concession

involving considerable expense to those suffered loss unjustly;

a

Such a step would evidently

who have

already

least that could be expected

matters suggested by Mr. Engelke, which has been

might, perhaps, under the change of circumstances, be

of consideration.


THE BEST PLAN. in return to

would

be, that the

343

Venezuelans should undertake

do their best to satisfy the Commissioner, and should

render him every assistance, not only at the capital, but in

any part of their visit.

territories

he might find

it

necessary to

Under such circumstances, and with the support

the British Minister for Foreign Affairs, there to suppose that the long

is little

of

room

pending claims of the bondholders

could not be finally settled.

Twent}- years ago the Ve-

nezuelans had the reputation of being a mild, equitable,

and law-fearing present state

peojjle

of

:

surely, they

things as indicative

cannot regard the of

progress

continue the com'se thej' have lately adopted ever the

fate

while the door steps,

of the is still

and retmm

national credit.

open

To

!

to seal for

Let us hope

that,

them, they will retrace their

to wiser counsels, in

quite certain that a bright

them.

to

is

which case

and prosperous career

is

it

is

before


APPENDIX. (A) Prospectus of Messrs. Mathesan's Loan.

for ^1,000,000

sterling,

— Venezuela

Six per Cent. Bonds

in Bonds of ^100, ^200, and

£bW

each.—

June, 1863.

The Government

of Venezuela

Servadio with, full powers, as financial

its

and banking arrangements

and with a view

having invested Signer Giacomo

for

the benefit of the republic,

to these objects, to issue securities to the extent of

£1,000,000 sterUng, Messrs. Matheson

Government, have been instructed

&

Co., acting

on behaK of the

Bonds

to that

are to bear interest at the rate of six per cent, per

annum,

amount on the following terms

The Bonds

agent, to carry out certain

fiscal

to offer to the public

:

payable half-yearly, at the coxmting-house of Messrs. Matheson

& Co.,

on

the 1st day of February and the 1st day of August, and are to be issued at

60 per cent.

The

principal and interest will be secui-ed on the revenue derived

from export

duties, established

by a Law

of the 24th February, 1863,

upon the produce of the coimtry shipped from the ports of La Guaira, Porto Cabello, and Ciudad Bolivar, which are calculated to produce from £130,000 to £140,000 per annum, and now yield at that rate, of which £100,000 per annum will be

specially appropriated to the dis-

charge of the Bonds.

The above

siun of £100,000 will be applied,

firstly, to

the payment of

the annual interest, and the residue to form an annual sinking fund, of

which £20,000 will be employed in the redemption of Bonds of that nominal value by drawing in the usual manner

at par,

commencing on

1st

February, 1865, and the balance of £20,000, increasing annually by

the

amount no longer required

for interest

on the cancelled Bonds, in

the purchase of Bonds in the open market at the price of the day at or

below par

;

if

above par, by drawings, as before provided.

when


APPENDIX.

346

The consent

Her

of Earl Eussell,

Majesty's Secretary of State for

Foreign Affairs, has been obtained for the collection of the above duties

by Her Majesty's consuls at the several The instalments are to be payable as

£

5 per

:

application.

allotment.

20th August.

,,

15th September.

1st October.

20

10

follows

^100 Bond on

10

15

ports where they are levied.

,,

^60 Interest

on the

full

amount

of the

Bond

will

commence from the

1st

August next.

No

part of the proceeds of the

Loan

will be paid over until the ratifi-

cation of the arrangements shall have been received from the

Government

of Venezuela.

A moiety of the proceeds of the Bonds will be applied

to the require-

ments of the Government, which the recent course of events has firmly established,

object

At

and a second moiety will be devoted

to the following

:

present there

is

almost an entire absence of banking accommoda-

tion in Venezuela.

Possessed of every advantage of climate and

within sixteen days'

sail of

quite inadequate to the

England, the existing monetary

commerce

of the coimtry,

production and rapidly extending exports of

and

soil,

facilities are

to the increasing

its coffee,

cocoa, cotton,

hides, &c.

The Venezuela Government has

therefore determined to establish at

the capital, Caracas, a National Bank, with the object of developing the great internal wealth of the country,

thereby creating

new

and promoting

its

foreign trade,

The advantages

sources of revenue.

of this insti-

tution will be obvious to all either politically or financially interested in the prosperity of Venezuela,

and

as the rates of interest range

10 to 15 per cent, per annum, the profits

may be

from

expected to be con-

siderable.

i£300,000 of the proceeds of the

Bonds

will be invested in 3 per Cent.

Consols, to form the basis of an issue of notes

As

a guarantee for the proper

at Caracas will

management

by

this

Bank.

of the Bank, the

manager

be appointed by the agents for the bondholders, on whose

behalf they will also be entitled to an equal share with the Government


APPENDIX.

347

in the nomination of a board of tkree directors, and Messrs. Smith,

Payne, and Smiths, will act as the agents to the Bank in this

As an

additional security to the holders of the Bonds,

agreed that the capital of the

Bank

shall

countrj'-.

it

has been

be charged with their

re-

demption, and that the annual profits shall also be liable for the

payment of the half-yearly

interest.

made to Messrs. Matheson & and forms of application may be obtaiaed of

Applications for the Bonds are to be Co., 3, Lombard-street

;

&

Messrs. Mullens, Marshall,

Co., 3, Lombard-street.

Form op Application. Ve7iezuelan Six per Cent. Bonds.

London, E.G., June, 1863. Messrs. Matheson

Gentlemen,

&

Co., 3, Lombard-street,

I request that

on which

and

you

\d\\ allot to

me £

in the above Loan,

I enclose the required deposit of 5

amount

me, and

to

per

cent., or

£

;

may

be

pay the further instalments thereon, according

to

I agree to accept that

allotted to

London.

any

of stock, or

less

sum

that

the terms of your circular. I

am. Gentlemen,

Your obedient

Name

servant.

in full

Address Quality

PRICES OF

THE VENEZUELA

1862

LOAN FROM THE

"ECONOMIST." 31 Aug. 30 Sept. 31 Oct. 1 Dec. 31 Dec. 1 Feb. 1

1863

584 61f 61|c. div. 56 X, div. 551 55 594

1864

March

1 April

30

61

581

,.

c.

2 June 1

July

29 ,, 30 Aug. 1 Oct.

31 ,, 31 Nov. 29 Dec.

1864

"ECONOMIST." £15 15

56| 55| 55 c. div. 51 ex. div. 52^

div.

PRICES OF THE VENEZUELA Scrip

564 ex. div. 56| 58

LOAN FROM THE


APPENDIX.

348

Fully Paid 1

Oct.

up, £60.


APPENDIX. merely wish, at the outset, to

349

your Lordship's attention to the

call

general outline of the circumstances (so far as they had then occurred)

which we submitted

Lordship by our

your

to

August and 11th December

last,

and

letters

of the

13th

to state that since the interview

between your Lordship and the Committee, information has been received that the Venezuelan Government have decreed a further reduction of the duties hj'jiothecated to the Bondholders, beginning from the 1st

October next.

The document

referring to this decree shall be set out in its proper

order.

The is

history of the

Loan

is

as follows

:

In the year 1863 the President of Venezuela, Marshal Falcon (who still the President) duly empowered General A. Guzman Blanco,

Vice-President of the Republic, and Minister of Finance and of Foreign Affairs, to raise a

Loan

of not exceeding £2,000,000

on the security of the

Import and Export Duties of the Republic. In October, 1863, General Blanco entered into a contract with the General Credit and Finance

by that company

tiation

Company

for the

of

London (Limited)

Government

for the nego-

of Venezuela of a

Loan

of

.£1,500,000.

The terms of this contract are set out at considerable length in the Bonds of the Loan, one of which for £100 (hereinafter referred to as document B), we have the honour of transmitting to your Lordship with this statement, and shall be obliged by its return when it is not definitive

further required.

The

was duly approved and

contract

Assembly

of Venezuela in the

The Loan was

month

ratified

by the Constituent

of January, 1864.

offered to the public in the

month

of April, 1864,

and

subscriptions were invited in the terms of the prospectus, a copy of

which

is left

herewith (marked A).

This prospectus was duly authoiized and approved by the Venezuelan

The copy of it signed by him is now Company. In due course the definitive Bonds of the Loan were delivered subscribers, each Bond being signed in London by General Blanco Minister, General Blanco.

in the

possession of the General Credit

to the

in

Ms

and Minister of Finance and of Foreign and Fiscal Commissary of the Republic of Venezuela.

capacity of Vice-President, Affairs,

These Bonds tract

recite the

main

facts including, as

with the General Credit Company.

They

we have

said, the con-

also gave the particulars


APPENDIX.

350

of the special security hypothecated to the Bondholders, and on the faith of

wEich the Loan was subscribed.

One The

of the Bonds,

marked

accompanies this statement.

B.,

special security hypothecated to the

Bondholders was the whole

which were guaranteed

of the Export Duties at the ports of the Republic, to be

uncharged and of

quired,

\'iz.,

J120,000 for

amount

pay the annual sura and the smking fmid of the Loan.

sufficient

interest,

to

re-

Before paying over the proceeds of the Loan to the Venezuelan Govern-

ment, the General Credit

Company in June, 1864, sent a special comEdward Backhouse Eastwick (formerly of

missioner to Venezuela, Mr.

the British Legation, Teheran), in order to see that the Export Duties so specifically

mortgaged were

free

from incumbrances, and with

to put resident agents in receipt of

by the

them from week

full

power

to week, as stipulated

contract.

These fmictions Mr. Eastwick duly executed to the satisfaction of everybody, including the Venezuelan Government.

was

satisfied that the

Export Duties were

appointed Messrs. H. L. Boulton ton

&

Co., of Puerto Cabello

&

free

Co., of

from

He was

La Guaira, and

(who are British

assured and

all charges,

and he

Messrs. Boul-

subjects) the agents for

the receipt of the duties and their transmission to England.

The accompanying printed pamphlet (marked from Correspondence," and

C*), entitled " Extracts

documents, contain

official

full information

which took place between Mr. Eastwick and the Venezuelan authorities, and Messrs. Boulton & Co., and we beg your Lordslaip's particular attention to them, as from them it will be seen

of the transactions

that in the most solemn

were declared

to

Messrs. Boulton

The

and

deliberate

manner the Export Duties

be free from incimibrances, and that Mr. Eastwick and

&

Co. were put into possession of them.

duties were duly received

by

Messrs. Boulton

&

Co. without inter-

ruption from the 23rd July, 1864, up to the 2nd July, 1866, when,

without any warning, and on the pretence of the necessities of the State

they were detained by the Government under the authority of a resolution, a

copy of which (marked D)

of letters to the General Credit

is left

herewith, together with copies

Company from

Messrs. Boulton

dated 9th July, 1866, and from General Blanco dated

1st

&

Co.f

and 5th August,

1866 (marked E, F, and G). It

was on our being informed of

this proceeding that

* This having been published in a separate pamphlet

t This

letter

being marked private

is

not given.

is

we

-WTote to

your

not subjoined here,


APPENDIX.

351

Lordship our letter of the 13th August, 1866, stating the

facts,

and send-

ing copies of several dociunents.

On

the 24th September, 1866, the

Government resolved that the

pension of the payment of the duties should cease fi-om the 1st following (see copy of Resolution herewith,

ton

&

Co. wrote on the 9th

November

sus-

November

marked H), but Messrs. Boul-

stating that the Resolution

had

not been acted iipon, and that they believed the Government contemplated reducing'the duties

haK with a new It

was

half,

and charging part of the other

at this stage of the proceedings that

ship our letter of the 11th

The

by one

loan (see copy of this letter herewith marked

December

decree which followed

we

I).

addi'essed to yoiu* Lord-

last.

dated the 30th November, and imder

is

the Export Duties were reduced to two-thirds of the old rates, and

Resolution of the same date 75 per cent, of the to

new

it

by a

duties were ordered

be applied to the payment of the Loan of 1864, and the remaining 25

per cent, retained by the Government to pay

off

a domestic Loan (see

copy of Resolutions and Decree herewith marked K). Tills

arrangement reduced by about 50 per cent, the duties which the

Bondholders were entitled

From

this

time

to receive.

March, 1867, Messrs. Boiilton

till

&

Co. received the

duties only at the reduced rates (see copy of their letter to us of the 8th

December, marked

L).

Translations of these documents of the 30th November, were trans-

mitted by Her Majesty's charge

was good enough

d'affaires at Cai'acas,

to inform us thereof

and your Lordship

on the 23rd January

last.

Then, on the 15th March, the Government proceeded to the extremity of again entirely stopping the

payment

of the diities, reduced as they

were by the Decree of November.

We

enclosed a copy of the translation of the Decree and of the letter

from the Government

to the

General Credit

Company

referring thereto,

dated the 23rd March last (see the copies herewith marked M. and N.),

and of extract from

March (marked copy of their

letter

from Messrs. Boulton

0), referring to the

letter to

&

Co., dated the

25th

same transaction, and enclosing a

Mr. Pagan and his reply (marked

P).

Diuing the time the General Credit Company were in receipt of the full amoimt of the duties, they were more than sufficient to meet the annual charge upon them of ÂŁ120,000 as proAaded by the contract, and indeed at the end of each of the years 1864 and 1865, there was a sm-plus balance paid over to the Government after meeting all exj^enses.


APPENDIX.

352

We now beg to were passed

your Lordship's attention

call

at a public

to the Resolutions

which

meeting of the Bondholders held at the London

Tavern on the 23rd ultimo

a copy of

;

them (marked Q)

sent heremth,

is

together with a copy of the proceedings at the meeting (marked R).

The next ultimo,

step

was the interview with

we

and, as

youi'

Lordship on the 31st

intimated, a letter has subsec^uently, on

before

the 14th instant, been received from Messrs. H. L. Boulton

&

Co.,

dated La Guaii'a, 25th ultimo, notifying the intention of the Venezuelan

Government (see

copy of

as

from the

The above

are the

all earnestness to

1st

October next to further reduce the duties

herewith marked

this letter

main

S).

facts of the case,

and the Bondholders beg in

appeal through us to yovu- Lordship to afford to them of

the active interference

Her

Majesty's

Government

grievous wrongs which have been perpetrated uiaon

to redress the

them and

their pro-

perty by the Venezuelan Government, in not only arbitrarily and without

them

notice dispossessing

of the duties solemnly pledged to

placed in their possession, but in reducing the there

is

tariff to

them and

such an extent as

every reason to fear will render the duties (when their receipt

shall be resumed) totally inadequate to the

amount

of the annual charge

of ÂŁ120,000 due under the contract.

Hoping soon

to receive a favourable reply

have the honour to

be,

my

from your Lordship, we

Lord,

Your Lordship's most obedient

servants,

Baxter, Rose, Norton

(Signed)

&

Co.,

For the General Credit and Discount

Company

(Limited) and the Bond-

holders of 1864.

(D) [Translated from the Spanish.]

OFFICIAL SECTION.

UNITED STATES OF VENEZUELA. Chancellor of the Exchequer's Office, Sections 2nd, 3rd, AND 8th. Caeacas, 2nd Juhj, 1866. Resolved,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Peace,

having been broken,

the most important all

coiadition

of

the

country,

the revenues set aside for paying the fiscal

debt must be devoted to the all-important object of re-establishing and


APPENDIX. consolidating

in conformity

it

;

and, therefore,

it lias

353

been resolved by the Executive,

Article 4 of the Budget, so to do.

^\-itli

The Great Marshal legal powers, without

Citizen, President of the

Union, while exercising

which the very existence of the Government would

not be possible, has not overlooked the obligations weighing upon the Treasury, proposing to himself to discharge and

and without

upon

inflicting losses

fulfil

them with justice,

legitimate interests, so soon as the

which demand the present determination

circiunstances

have

shall

ceased to exist. Therefore, the

collecting

Exchequer the proceeds the public service

shall hold

ofiices

of the export duties,

by the 2nd

at

the disposal of this

which are destined

Article of the Budget

Law

for

above men-

tioned.

For communication and

publicity.

For the Marshal President, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, R. Arvelo.

(Signed) It is a copy. Office.

—The

Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's

Bermudez.

(Signed) P.

Local Newspaper Remarks.

—We

print, in continuation, a

portant Resolution of the Government, fulfils

by which

most im-

that protecting

power

the wishes of the country, and the claims of agriculture, and other

great interests of the country, which are at present in a distressing state.

We

give our cordial support to this Administrative Act, reserving to

oiu'selves to

dwell upon

it at

greater length as the subject deserves

it.

UNITED STATES OF VENEZUELA. Chancellor of the Exchequer's Office, Section 2nd, 3rd, AND 8th. Caracas, July 3rd, 1866. Resolved,

—The

to regulate the

firm manner,

Great Marshal Citizen President has firmly resolved

Exchequer and the

credit of the nation in a

upon equitative bases

and with such economical and administrative measures solid confidence in the

uniform and

for all interests concerned thereiu,

as will inspire a

conduct of matters calculated to exercise such a

great influence in consolidating the public peace, natui'al resources of the countrj-.

And

since, to

and in developing the accomplish so laudable


APPENDIX,

354

an

object, the assistance of intelligent

and

and exjierienced persons, must be invoked

patriotic, as

well as practical

important works which the subject demands, the Great Marshal Citizen President has to help in the

resolved npoii taking the collective opinion of the citizens Senators Jacinto Gutierrez and Pascual Caranova, and Citizens Carlos Engelke

and Dr. Modesto Urbaneja, upon

all

and each

and

of the branches

dependencies of the Exchequer and Public Credit.

The President

is

confident that those citizens will, along with their opinion, also recom-

mend the measures which they may deem convenient to adopt. To enable them to do so, the citizens afore mentioned shall have power

to ask for, or to personally take

custom-houses, or any other public

which they may

from the public State

offices, all

which

the notes and iirfonnation

require.

The Marshal President recommends with the

the

and

offices

least possible

so delicate a

to

them

to discharge this

duty

delay compatible with the study and meditation

duty necessitates and counsels, because the Govern-

ment, without losing sight of the multifarious and varied obligations of the Treasury, and the powers vested upon the Government by the Constitution and the laws, acknowledges and feels the lu-gency of giving

and due consideration

attentive

sj)ecially to agriculture,

among taxes,

to the unfortunate state of industry,

on account of the grave consequences

and

wliich,

other causes, spring from the unevenness and great burden of the

and from the inactivity and deplorable depreciation of

and private

securities,

To be commiuiicated state, to

the customs

all

public

which constitute the wealth of the country. to the citizens afore named, to the officers of

offices,

and other public

offices,

and published.

For the Marshal President, the Chancellor of the Exchec[uer, E. Arvelo.

(Signed) It is a copy.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;The Secretary

to the Exchequer's Office,

P.

Bermudez.

[Copy.]

Caracas, July

ith, 1866.

Sir,

As

agents of the General Credit and Finance

Company

(Limited)

of London, for the collection of the export duties at the ports of Giiaira,

Puerto

mortgaged

to

contracted

by

CabeUo, Ciudad Bolivar, and Maracaibo,

them that

La

specially

redemption of a Loan of ^1,500,000 sterling, company with the Government of Venezuela, we

for the

have the honour, according

to our instructions, of enclosing a legalised


APPENDIX. copy of

formal protest, entered

oiir

city, against

tliis

day

355 at the Register Office in this

La

the arbitrary detention of the export duties at

Guaira,

ordered by the Government in violation of their engagements with the British creditors,

and in the name of the company beg you

to protect

their interests.

We

remain,

sir,

Your most obedient humble

servants,

H. L. Boulton

(Signed)

&

Co.

<

George Fagan, Esq., H.B.M. Charge

and Consul-General, &c.

[Translation.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Copy.

d'Aflfaires

&c. &c., Caracas.

(E) ]

James Macdonald, Esq. Paeis, AtbgiLst

My Dear

Although

I

announcement that the delivery

me

yesterday evening by the

of the Export duties

pended, I think that perhaps in the midst of your

may have

1866.

have not yet recovered from the surprise which the

correspondence from Venezuela caused

it

1st,

Sir,

occiuTed to you to ask

me how

own

had been

sus-

correspondence

such an event can have

taken place. I

think

it

useless to tell

you that

that I never even considered

it

I repudiate

such a proceeding, and

possible that

any one could propose

the like.

To-day aifairs

;

I

am

m-iting at great length on the matter, and hope to alter

but, in the meantime, if

you can manage

holders of 1864, be good enough to do better I will start for Venezuela,

so.

to pacify the

The moment

and wall endeavour

_^to

I feel

Bondmyself

re-establish so

sacred a claim. It appears that there

has been a disturbance in the south of the

Republic, and they have taken part of the Export duties to prepare the troops that have been despatched to re-establish order. I feel cei'tain that- the

whole thing

-nill

end immediately, and on

return I will point out to Marshal Falcon what our duty

is,

my

and he will

not only order the delivery to your agents of the Export duties, but will


APPENDIX.

3o6

in wliich the portion already taken is to be

manner

decide ujjon the

redeemed.

Yonrs very

To

H.M.

Right Honourable Lord Stanley,

the

truly,

A.

(Signed)

Guzman Blanco.

Secretary of State for

Foreign Affairs. 6,

Victoria Street, "Westminstt;r, August 13th, 1866.

My

Lord,

Seeing by the newspapers that a deputation has recently been received

by yonr Lordship

of 1862

(commonly known

your Lordsliip should

also

of persons interested in the Venezuelan as " Baring's

Loan

")

we thiuk

it

Loan

right that

be aware of the position in which the Bond-

holders of a more recent Loan to the Venezuelan Government are

now

placed by a recent act of that Government.

We

refer to the

Loan

of 1864 contracted

by the

Government

existing

of Venezuela.

This loan was for ÂŁ1,500,000

sterling,

and was

princij^ally subscribed

on the London market, and by the terms of the contract the whole of

La

the Export duties levyable at the ports of the Rej)ublic,

Guaii-a,

Puerto CabeUo, Maracaibo, and Ciudad Bolivar, were hypothecated for the jsayment of the interest and of the sinking fund for redemption of

the loan, and were to be handed over weekly as they were received the

Government

officers, to

by

the duly authorised agents of the contractors.

Before the proceeds of the subscription were j^aid over to the Govern-

Company

ment, the General Credit

sent out

Mr. E. B. Eastwick to

Cardcas as their representative, to ascertain that

been cleared

off,

and

Export duties, and arrange

charges had

name

of the

for their future receipt.

This gentleman, with the

full

when

in

an eminent firm

at

approval of the Government,

Venezuela, appointed Messrs. H. L. Boulton

La Guaira,

all prior

to take formal possession in their

&

Co.,

to act as the future agents of the contractors during the

continuance of the Loan.

Up

to a recent date, the duties

were paid over

to these

gentlemen

with scrupulous regularity, so that not only has the interest on the Loan

been pxmctually

x:)aid,

but the purchases on account of the sinking fund

have been duly made up

to the present

time in accordance with the


APPENDIX.

and the General Credit and Finance Company of London

contract,

who

(Limited),

hand

357

acted as

agents of

tlie

payment

sufficient for the

tlie

Government, have now in

of the dividend falling due in October

next, with, a small surphis over.

By

the last mail information was received from Messrs. Boidton that,

without any previous warning, the Government had ordered the retention of the duties under the authority of a decree

the step

by

which attempts

The announcement

of this proceeding,

which

is

in distinct ^dolation

and alann among the

of the contract, has caused the greatest anxiety

Bondholders of the Loan of 1864, and your Lordship cannot that

any default by the Venezuelan Government

Loan

to justify

the anticipation of internal war.

in.

fail to see

connection with the

would be a much more aggTavated breach of

of 1864

faith than

can have been brought before your Lordship by the claimants rmder any prior Loan, as in this case the Decree for suspending

payment actually

emanates from the same Government, composed of the same indi\dduals with

whom

the

Loan

of 1864

was contracted, and to

whom

the

money

has been paid.

The Bondholders do not, at the present moment, ask for the interHer Majesty's Govemruent on their behalf. But they have

ference of felt it to

be their duty to bring imder yoiu" Lordship's notice this

statement of the

They

facts.

trust that cii'cumstances

may

ference necessary, but rather that the

not arise to render any inter-

Government

some misconception, and that

acting under

opportunity of retracing a step so fatal to

its

of Venezuela

may be

it

will take the earliest

own

reputation and to the

credit of the coimtry.

The Bondholders

are confirmed in this

the manager of the General Credit

view by a

letter addressed to

Company by His Excellency Guzman

Blanco, the late Vice-President and Minister of Finance of the Republic,

with

whom

the

Loan was

originally negociated,

and who, being now

Paris, writes to deplore the step adopted in his absence,

and

them

its

that he will use his utmost endeavours to obtain

at

to assure

immediate

reversal.

We

have the honoiu*

Excellency's

letter,

to

enclose to your Lordship a copy of His

together with a copy of

the

letter

of

Messrs.

Boulton, and accompanying docimients, including the Decree before referred to.

We think it

also proper to

forward for your Lordship's information


APPENDIX.

358

a copy of the Prospectus issued in 1864, uj)on

Loan was subscribed

for

terms of which the

tlie

by the Bondholders.

Praying your Lordship

to

pardon the length of these

details,

We have the honour to remain, Your

most obedient humble servants,

Lordsliip's

Baxter, Eose, Noeton

(Signed)

&

Co.

[Copy.]

Consulate of Venezuela, 25,

MooEGATE Street, January

Dear I

11th, 1867.

Sir,

have received a

letter

from General Guzman Blanco, written at

Mazaire on the day of his embarkation from that port in the French

St.

mail steamer for Venezuela, from which After stating

how

paring for his departm'e, he says

Macdonald, but

I

send you the following.

greatly fatigued he was from the exertions of pre-

I desire that

:

" I have not time to wTite to Mr.

you should

him, as also the Bond-

fortify

holders of 1864, in the assurance that the Government of Marshal -will pay with all punctuality the dividends on the Loan conby me in his name. " According to my last advices, the agents had already begun to

Falcon

tracted

receive the part of the Export duties

which corresponds with the present

The diminution of duty will never exceed this time, the Company had always returned.

harvest.

up

to

" I

know

the surplus wliich,

the probity of Marshal Falcon, and therefore do not hesitate

to repeat these assurances." I thought it best to send yoii his

message in

liis

own

words, and I

have done the same to the Bondholders, and shall send the same extract this

evening to

all

the papers for to-morrow. I

am, dear

sir,

Yours

faithfully,

Fred. H. Hemming, Consul.

(Signed)

To James Macdonald, 27,

Esq., General Manager, Austin Friars.

&c.,

(K)

UNITED STATES OF VENEZUELA. Chancellor op the Exchequer's Offices. Resolved,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;By

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Section

3rd and 8th.

Caracas, November mth, 1866. order of the National Executive the Export duties


APPENDIX.

359

received shall be distributed in the following manner.

be applied to

cent, is to

for the Loan,

Seventy

the obligations undertaken

fulfil

by the

five

per

contract

which Was signed in London on the 3rd October, 1863,

under the understanding that

shovild

it

prove not to be sufficient for that

purpose, the Government shall cover with other funds any deficiency that there

may

The remaining 25 per

be.

redeem the Loan

for $150,000, contracted

whom it

various merchants, to

which there might be the

month

left

was

be applied to

cent, shall

on the 24th March

ofl'ered to

payment

gucia

&

be paid in proportion as

Co., at the ports of

and Maracaibo,

sums due during the same

of the

it is

To be commimicated

to

La Guaira, Puerto

For the Citizen General

whomsoever

it

may

(Signed)

I.

Cabello, Ciudad Bolivar, is

referred to.

concern, and published.

appointed to the

first

This 25 per

received, to Messrs. F. Echena-

which the present resolution

to

vdth

from the Export duties during the year closed in

of October last, after

year, towards covering the exterior debt of the Federation. cent, shall

last,

pay them with the residue

office of President.

M. Alvarez de Lugo.

[It is a copy].

The Secretary

to the Chancellor of the

Exchequer.

Nicolas Silva.

(L) [Copy.

Per

W.

I.

Mail].

La Guaira,

December 8tk, 1866.

The General Credit and Finance Company of London {Limited), London.

Gentlemen,

We beg to which we

enclose,

confirm our letter of the 24th November, duplicate of

and have

to

acknowledge the receipt of

yoiu' favour of

the 16th ultimo, contents of which claim our best attention.

On

the 20th viltimo Government published a Decree annoimcing the

reduction of Export duties to two-thirds of the old rates. Another Decree of the

same date states that 75 per

to the

payment

of the

Loan

cent, of the

of 1864,

be retained by Government to pay this

arrangement makes

it

this

duties will be applied

off

cent, will

a domestic Loan of $150,000

;

equal to a reduction of just 50 per cent, on

what the Bondholders formerly

By

new

and the remainirig 25 per

received.

mail we send you Caracas newspapers, the Federalista and

Porvenir containing these Decrees, and on this date

we have

received a


APPENDIX.

360

communication from Govermnent under date of the

5tli

instant confirm-

ing the same.

Acting upon this commiuiication we applied at the Custom-house for the

we are pleased to inform you that, at the last sum of $2,141 -89 cents, being 75 per cent, of the

proceeds of the duties, and

moment, we

Export duties at

total

We

instant.

so

i-eceived the

by

this

Custom-house for the week ending the 8th

amount by next mail

shall remit this

;

it is

too late to do

this.

We

remain, Gentlemen, yours obediently,

H. L. Boulton

(Signed)

Exchange, London,

&

Co.

6*50.

(Q) [Copy].

Extract from Messrs. H. L. Boulton

March

We regret to inform you duties, of

&

25th, 1867, to General Credit

dated

Co.'s letter,

La

Guaira,

and Discount Company.

of another suspension of

which step Government will advise you

payment

of Export

direct according to a

note passed to us on this subject under date of 15th instant, copy of

which we beg to copies of

We at

enclose.

hand you enclosed our

protests

which we have handed

once protested in due form, and beg to

drawn up here and to

at Puerto Cabello,

Mr. Fagan, H.B.M. charge

d'affaires

in Caracas.

We

learn that

Government

is

anxious that you should send out an

how utterly impossible it is for it to fulfil its meanwhile we shall keep you advised of all that takes

agent to judge for himself

engagements,

place in reference to this matter.

We

enclose copy of our letter to Mr. Fagan,

and of

his reply to the

same.

We remain,

Gentlemen,

Yours obediently, H. L. Boulton

(Signed)

&

Co.

[Copy].

Caracas, March Wih, 1867. Sir,

We the protest

have the honour

we have

to

accompany herewith an

official

copy of

entered this day at the Register Office, as agents of

the General Credit and Discount

Company

of

London (Limited)

against


APPENDIX. tlie

by the Minister

order given

361

United States of

of Finance of tlie

Venezuela suspending the payment of the Export duties mortgaged for the interest

and redemption

of the

Loan

of 1864.

We have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your most obedient hmnble servants, (Signed) H. L. Boulton & Co. Geo. Fagan, Esq.,

H.B.M. Charge

d'Aifaii'es

and Consul General,

&c.,

Caracas.

[Copy].

Caracas, March

19th, 1867.

Gentlemen, I beg to

acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the

16th instant, transmitting a legal copy of the protest you have entered at the Eegister Office, as agents of the General Credit and Discount of

London (Limited)

of the

against the order given

by the

Company Finance

]\Iinister of

United States of Venezuela suspending the payment of the Export

duties mortgaged for the interest

and redemption of the Loan

of 1864.

I have the honour to be. Gentlemen,

Yoiu' most obedient

humble

servant,

George Fagan.

(Signed)

(B)

Catalogue of Articles

Exhibited from the South American

Republic of Venezuela, in the International Exhibition at

The

London, in 1862.

following have mostly been collected and forwarded

mittee appointed

by

by a Com-

the Venezuelan Government, consisting of Senor

Lino J. Eevenga, Senor Carlos Hahn, and Seiior Carlos J. Marxen, and having been delayed on the voyage, were too late to be inserted in the first Catalogue published by H.M.'s Commissioners.

The

Exhibitors,

N.B.

when not

otherwise stated, are residents in Venezuela.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The second numbers refer to the different articles in the same

Class.

Exhibitor. 1

National Arms of Yeneztjela, worked

2

Bouquet

3

Roses, of the same

in feathers of natural colours of Flowers,

worked

in

.

same

.

.

The Government. Sefior

.....,, .

.

A. Schibbye. ,,


?>Q2

4

APPENDIX.


APPENDIX.

363 Exhibitor.

.

94 Cocoa from Ocumare Choroni 95 96 Carupano Eio Caribe 97 110 Tuy 122 144 .

28

Tlie

Committee.

.

01

Mr. F. Meyer, Ham-

Caracas

burg.

29,

131 Indian 132 Black-eyed 133 Brown 134 Black spotted 135 Brown 136 Common black 137 Grey

beans

(Poncha)

,,

)

The Committee.

138 Grey 139 Small white 140 Brown spotted 30

141 Indian Corn 142

.

31

Dividivi from Maracaibo

31

Cochineal fi'om Caracas

33

Cebadilla

34

Vanilla

35 36

37 38 39

.

.

.,.,... ....

Starch extracted from root of Yuca plant Tonqnin beans Simarniba Sereipa from Guayana Secua Escandinava de Decando antidote against certain poisons, and against rust in steel and iron 44 Curara, Indian remedy for the cure of hfemoiThage, cuts, wounds, and ulcers 46 Espino used for same purpose . 6 bottles of Indian balsam It is requested by the Exhibitor that these bottles of balsam may afterwards be .

...... .... .

Go. Sturup.

The Committee. Go. Sturup.

The Committee.

;

.....

40

.

41

42

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

.

.

presented to the hospitals, that ful efficacy

may

.

.

its

.

,,

Fco. Conde. ,,

Senor N. A. Gil.

wonder-

be tested.

43

Eoot of Sarsaparilla

44

Extract of Sarsaparilla

Go. Sturup. .

.

.

.

,,

Prepared from the green root by im-

mense

pressure,

possessing greatly con-

centrated strength.

45

117 Ten bottles of Pectoral

46

118 Sample of Ajonjoli seed (Sesame) from which the above is made Mo. Espinal.

oil

.

,

.

.

....

Mo. Espinal.


APPENDIX.

364

Exhibitor.

47

11

Ten

bottles of bitters

48

Twelve

49

T, ^^^^"^^

,,

from Maracaibo Angostura ,,

.

"

"

.

Catalan and Co. Syers,

J M.

,

"

.

.

Braach and

I

S.

These bitters are celebrated as a veryagreeable tonic, and as most efficacious in

removing various

49a

"WTiite

Rum

disorders.

of 30 deg. from Guartire.

60

Three tins of preserved oranges

61

Bottle of i^reserved quinces

52

Boxes preserved Guayaba ,,

Guanabana

54

,,

,,

quinces

,,

,,

peaches

57

The Committee.

,

,,

56

.

.

53

55

.

,

.

.

Soap, in imitation of English

Spanish

,,

,,

58

Candles of stearine from Anauco

59 60

Four onniples of wax White wax from Carapita

61

Yellow

62

Vegetable wax, with fruit and leaf of the

63

Sugar from Guatire

64

Chocolate with almonds

tree

Dr. Bolet. Carl Hahn.

.

,,

,,

from which produced

,,

,,

Vanilla

66

,,

,,

cinnamon

67

,,

Chocolate

69

Tobacco

70

,,

leaf,

J,

Barnola.

C.

Mayo.

.

.

.... ,,

68

The Committee.

The Committee.

65

cocoa

from Guanape' ,,

The Committee

.

Cumanacoa

Venezuela produces

many

varieties of

tobacco adapted for cigars, the pipe, or snuff,

but there happened not to be any in

Caracas 71

when this consignment was made Cumanacoa

Cigars from

72

,,

,,

Caracas

73

,,

,,

Carapita

74

,,

,,

Tuvmero

75

Four

Two 76

Four Four

Two 77 78

.

.

.

.

.

.

Carl Hahn.

.

bottles natural snuff simple rose snuff ,, flavoured ,, highly flavoured snuff ,, .

,,

.

)

Fco. Qarrido.

simple rhoda

flavoured Four ,, highly flavoured Four ,, 91 Tacamahaca

Co.

Warburg, 16, Bevonshire-sq. B.C.

â&#x20AC;˘

......

The Committee.


APPENDIX.

365 Exhibitor.

79

43 Resin of AlgaiTobo

The Committee.

80

Ten pounds

81

82

Goat skins from Coro Deer skins from Caracas

83

Two

of wool

85 86

made

is

.

Carl Hahn.

...

.... .... .... ....

bales of plantain leaf, from

lent paper

84

from Coro

which excel Ruete, Rohl,

and

Co.

66 Bale of cotton from valleys of Aragua

116 Small bag of cotton

StoUerfoht, Sons & Co., Liverpool.

Sample of cotton from Maracaibo, from Sea Island seed

T. Bazley, Esq.

87

Sample of the same

88

The same in several states of manufacture The above are from 15 bales of cotton from Maracaibo, bought by T. Bazley,

M.P.,

Manchester, .

Esq., M.P., Manchester, on April 14, at

and kindly supplied by supply immense

2s. 5d.

per

him.

Maracaibo can

quantities capital

lb.,

of

this

quality,

if

British

and enterprise be introduced. Mr. F. Meyer,

89

Cotton from Barquisimeto

90 91

Cotton Cotton

92

Five samples of wild cotton from Upata

92a

Guayana Four samples of

,,

â&#x20AC;&#x17E;

,,

iurg.

,

.

Puerto Cabello

.

.

.

r

Mr. F. Meyer,

.......

cotton, recently sent from â&#x20AC;˘\ different portions of the Aroa district, / where it can be gi-own in large quauti- > ties, severally valued from Is. 6d. to 2s. \ J per lb

Painted by

Carl Hahn.

The Quehrada Land and Mining Company.

Martin Tovar y Tovar.

Cattle Drovers of Yenezuela

2.862 Study of a Drunken Mulatto

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Ham-

burg.

\

.

OIL PAINTINGS. 2.861 The

Ham-

.

The Artist. ,,


'

APPENDIX.

3G6

Woods

collected

by Dr. Vargas, formerly President

and placed in tbe University Specific

No.

Weight.

26 27

1,1744

28

Dividivi, (152) CEesalpinia coriacea, Lin. 1,2189

29

odoratis.sima, Sectn.

Nazareno, Hymensea ribunda, Kth.

Palma

flo-

1,0787

30

1,3003 1,0985

31 32

Giiayacan, (158) Tecoma 1,3068 Guayacan, Seem. Gateado, (107, 119, 128, 159) Acacia riparia Kth. 1,0034 Cartan, from the hot 0,8171 country; (33) Urape negro, Bauliinia (Pauletia) multiucroia, .

DeC. diuui

12

0,8577

Guayabo eucanado, ?

.

.

Psi.

...

13

Hayo, Acacia peregrina

14

Willd Vera, Guaiacum

15

Guayabo rosado, Psidium

17 18 19

20

1,1107

42 43 44

1,2479 .

.

,

45

1,0206

Guayabo

poniiferum sp. Nogal, Juglans cinerea

.

Majomo Eoble,

Tecoma

phylla, Juss.

Guayabo

22

buxilbUa, Willd. Naranjo dulce. Citrus aurantium, Lin.

pauji,

23 24

H uecito

25

Guayabo racino

?

Vahl.

.

vera, Willd.

Laurel Aguacate, Persea 0,5885

gratissima, Lin.

Almendro, Geoffroya su perba, Kth. Lecherito pintado

0,8771 0,7770 0,5628

Aguanoso 0,8758

Sereipo, Avicennia nitida,

1,0244

Croton,

Lm.

Bumelia

ceum 0,8015 1,0019

Hymensea

Zapatero,

venosa

1,0503 0,5587 0,8434

peuta-

.

21

.

Juga

Lin. 0,8575 bianco, Psidium

.

.

.

41

arbor-

.

.

38 39

0,9842

Cauafistola, Cassia brasi liensis,

37

40

1

De, C.

poniiferum

16

35 36

glaudulosa,

(Paidetia)

eum,

.

33 34

1,0946

.

Urape rosado, Bauhinia

DeC.

.

.

Kth.

Fiama Araguaney

11

Tijerita 0,8301 Angelino, Andira inermis, Kth. 0,8186 Naraujillo, Swartzia 0,8586 3-phylla ? Willd. Paraguatan, Coudaminea tinctoria, De 0. 0,8026 Laurel Angehno, Nectan0,5505 dria Laurel, Meiss. Pardillo negro 0,7017 Toco, Cratfeva gynandra, 0,6099 Lin. . . Cartan, cold country (9) 0,7537 Olivo, (99, 174) Capparis 0,6213 intermedia, Kth. Coba longa 0,8911 Cedro dulce, Cedrela odorata, Lin. 0,5293 Guarataro, (77) Couratari Guianensis, Aubl. 0,7950 Capuchiuo 0,6284 Cedro amargo, Simaba cedron . 0,2579 Caimito, (145) Chrysophyllum Caimito, Lin. 1,0869 0,8017 Grifo . . 0,9877 Lecherito, Brosimum ? 0,6818 Laurel Mangon Estoraque, (154) Styrax 0,8482 tomentosum, Kth. Guama, Juga Bonplan0,6058 diana, Kth. .

Cocos biityracea, Lin.

10

Weight.

.

Oreodoxa

real,

regia,

Specific

No.

1,2367

Couronpita

Grauadilla,

of the Republic,

at Caracas.

.

.

Croton ?

.

.

.

Cedrillo hereon

Tigron

.

,

,

0,7668

coria,

.

.

,

,

0,4500 0,6557 1,0151

Cerezo, Burchosia glauca

0,9311 1,0715

Kth. Atata

... .

1,0260 1,0271


APPENDIX. No

367


APPENDIX.

368

Exhibited

84 Alcornoquio

(132),

hij

Ruete, Eohl, & Co., La Guaira.

Bowditchia

Vifgilioides, Kth.

100 Pardillo (177). 101 Vera (14, 123), Coccoloba Cara-

85 Apamate.

casana, Meiss.

102 Virote.

86 Asajarito.

(Mahogany)

87 Caoba

139),

(126,

88 Caritivar, Prosopis

105 Roble

sp.

Myrtus Eiythroxy-

89 Cotoperis,

136),

(80,

Juga

107 Gateado

Lasciostoma

(24),

Hynienaia venosa

?

159),

Acacia

Kth.

?

Mamon de venado,

109 Paraguatan

Curari, Kth.

119,

(8,

riparia

108 (143),

Tecoma peutaphylla,

(20),

Vahl.

ciuerea,

Kth.

92 Curarire

(146).

Juss.

106 Zapatero

loides, Kth.

90 Cucharo (124), Oreocallis grandiflora, R. Br. 91 Cuji

103 Canalete

104 Cedro(150), Cedrela odorata, Zm.

Swietenia Mahogani, Lin.

De

tinctoria,

Melicocca sp.?

Condaminea

(29),

C

93 Ebano, Brya Ebenus, De C. 94 Plor Am?7illa (155).

110 Trompillo, Ltetia guazumsefolia,

95 Guaimaro (157).

111 Gateado amarillo. Acacia sp.

QQ Guayavo

(156),

Psidium

Kth.

pyri-

112 Canafistola

ferum, Lin.

97 Hatata.

Semana Santa,

Marimari,

113 Canafistola

Cassia

Bouplandiana, De C.

9S Lata.

99 Olivo

de

Cassia Brasiliensis, Lin.

(34,

174),

Capparis inter-

114 Mosa, Mosa (Palodo moza) Ma-

media, Kth.

choerium, sp.

Exhibited by Fo. CoNDE, Caracas.

115 Araguanei

123 Vera,

(6).

116 Algarrobo, Hymensea Courbaril,

118 Chinca.

Coccoloba Cara-

?

124 Cucharo,

Lin.

117 AlgaiTobo, Prosopis pallida, Kth. 119 Gateado

(14, 101)

casana

(90) Oreocallis grandi-

flora, B..

Br.

125 (Not named). (8,

107, 128, 159), Acacia

126 Caoba,

riparia? Kth.

139) Swietenia

(87,

Ma-

hogani, Lin.

120 Chica, Luudia Chica, De C.

Hippomane

127 Macanilla,

121 Tussara.

Manci-

nella, Lin.

128 Gateado,

122 Betun.

ripaiia,

Exhibited by

Tartaket &

(8,

107, 119, 159) Acacia

Kth.

Co., Cardcas.

129 Block of Red Gateado.


APPENDIX.

369

Recently afrived from Maracaiho.

130 Amargo, Simaruba glauca?

159 Gateado

Calophyllum longi-

131 Aceituno,

160 Lata

folium, Kth.

132 Alcornoquio

Bowditchia

(84),

Virgilioides, Kth.

(98).

Aubl. Ktli.

163 Mavfil, Phytelephas macrocarpa,

Poinciana iusignis.

Kth.

Myrospermum

135 Balsamo,

In Brazilian Guiana the name of

tolui-

ferum, Lin.

Marfiii

Juga cinerea, Klh.

137 Clcnion.

is

given to the

164 Membrillo, comun

DeC.

(166),

Gus-

tavia superba, Lin,

165 Moral, Mora excelsa.

139 Caoba (87â&#x20AC;&#x201D;126) Swietenia Ma-

166 Membrillo (164), Gustavia angus-

hogani, Lin.

Benth.

tifolia,

140 Canjaro.

167 Maria,

Triplaris

168 Macarutu.

143 Curarire

169 Mecoqiie.

Lasiostoma Curari,

(92),

Caracasana,

Cham.

141 Caritiva (88), Prosopis sp. 142 Canada.

170

Kth.

144 Caobilla.

Mamou,

Melicocca bijnga, Lin.

171 Mangle-bianco, Odontandra acu-

145 Caimeto

Cbrysophyllum

(40),

minata, Kth.

172 Mangle-coloradOjAvicennatomen-

Caimito, Lin.

146 Canalete (103).

tosa, Li7i.

173 011a de mono, Lecythis Ollaria,

147 Carangano.

Lin.

148 Cardon.

174 Olivo

149 Carre to. Cedrela

(104),

odorata,

(34,

99),

Capparis inter-

media, Kth. 175 Panjil.

Lin.

176 Peuda.

151 Daguero.

152 Dividivi

(3),

Cpesalpinia coriaria.

177 Pardillo (100). 178 Quiebra-hacha, Csesalpinia

Lin.

Brya Ebeuus, De C. 154 Estoraque (44), Styrax tomento153 Ebano

also

Cordia tetraphylla.

138 Ceiba, Eriodendronanfractuosum,

150 Cedro

Acacia

132 Moequillo, Moquilea Guianensis,

134 Brazil, Coulteria tinctoria,

(91),

119),

Kth.

?

161 Llalla.

133 Balaustre.

136 Cuji

107,

(8,

riparia

(93),

siim, Kth.

(96),

Psidium

pyri-

ferum, Lin.

157 Guaimaro

(95)

158 Guayacaus

(7),

Seem.

(14,

101,

Caracasana

(94).

sp.

?

Tecoma pentaphylla,

(20),

Juss.

180 Vera

155 rior-amarillo 156 Guayabo

179 Roble

123),

Coccoloba

?

181 Zapatero (24), Hymensea venosa? Vahl.

182 Hoja-ancha,

Tecoma Guayacan,

phylla

?

Nectandra

Juss.

poly-


APPENDIX.

370

MINERALS^&c. Exhibitor.

13 Copper ores from Teques 121 „ 72 ,, „

96

.

.

F.

.......

41 Iron ore

149 Silver and lead ore from Carupano 62 Silver ore, mine of

98

17 Gold from Caratal,

99

Guayana

.

.

.

Co.

H. Hemming,

104,

Gloucester-'place.

C.

Halm.

J. P. Romero.

"Gran Pobre," Carupano

97

&

Dr. Betancourt.

.

Copper assayed by Johnson and Mattliey

94 95

Marcano

.

.

Gold quartz, from Guayana

Dr. Rodriguez. C. Hahn. Mr. F. Meyer, Hum-

burg.

This quartz was assayed at the

' '

Ecole

des Mines," Paris, and produced nearly

100 oz. to the ton. Gold quartz, from Caratal, Canton of] Upata, Province of Guayana J These specimens are selected promiscuously from 22 bags, containing 1650 lb., now in the Venezuelan Court, which were lately collected by Mr. C. Hahn. Attention has only recently been drawn to these gold-tields in Guayana, M'hieh from their vast extent and great richness

100

.

C.

Hahn.

of ore, it is thought, fully confirm the reports made by the aborigines to the Spaniards, at the time they originally became possessed of this country, when it was generally designated as " El Dorado."

....... ...... ...

101

61 Green marble from Caracas

102

69 Red marble

103

64 Rock crystal

104

63 Petrified vera

wood

.

English

Company

.

Tlie following articles are mostly

106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115

.

Specimens of copper ore, with their assays, from the celebrated mines in the Aroa district, now about to be worked by an

105

A pocket-handkerchief, A vs'orked pillow-case.

.

.

from

.

I

.

the province of

handsomely worked.

One One

tin of chocolate. tin of dried camburitos. Five bottles of spirits, varied.

bottle of ^anegar from aloes.

The Quebrada Land and Alining Company.

|

Eight pairs of alpargatas, or sandals. Cups and jugs of totuma, painted and gilt. Four models of cocoa in wax, in difl'erent states. Three tins of preserves.

One

L. J. Revenga.

Maracaibo

:


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

APPENDIX.

371

116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126

A

127

Two

128

" The Declaration of Independence," and The Arms of Venezuela, worked in hair, upon satin. Exhibited hy Mr. Wesselkoeft,

buiieh of grapes and two lemons, grown iu bottles. Three cocoa-mits, of very great size.

A A A

stuffed bird.

bow and arrows of the Indians the arrows poisoned. hat made from rabbit-skins, and a skin from which they Articles made in bone by prisoners. A bough, with oranges made in wool. ;

are made.

Samples of coffee. Sample of cocoa. Samples of cotton. A Sample of Coal from the island of Joas, of which large quantities are said to exist. large cakes and 100 caudles of very fine Steakixe, manufactured and exhibited by Senor M.a.rtin Tovar Galindo, in Caracas, and the first ever sent from South America to England.

Puerto Cabello.

Medals and Honourable Mentions awarded by to the

Page

m

Award.

the International Juries

Exhibitors in the Court of Venezuela.


APPENDIX.

372

Appendix Sketch of the

(C).

Gold Mine of the

Venezuelan

Yuruari in

Guiana. The extension of the auriferous territory is very great the whole surGuayana may indeed be considered as auriferous, if we except a few patches of land here and there. I can give as proof of it, that the worked ;

face of

part of the Yuruari*

Mining Company

is

is

considered a central

j^oint,

while the English

established on the banks of the Yuruari, at about

two hundred and twenty-five miles

east of

Tupuquen,t iipon the Yuruari.

can present samples from old mines, and from gold washings in the

I

Upper

Orinoco, in the river Graviare, and other streams, as also samples

brought from Caicara,J which

is

situated about three

west of Ciudad Bolivar, and from the washings in the

hundred miles district of the

Paragua,ยง at about one hundred and eighty miles from Tupuquen, on the Yuruari, as the most character of the country.

conclusive proof of the general auriferous Lastly, I can speak of the presence of gold

French Guayana, south of the Yuruari, and on the other

in

great range

of the

mountains Parima and Anaparima.

side of the

We

cannot

doubt, then, that the gold-bearing grounds extend from the banks of

the Orinoco on the north, to the aforesaid mountains of Parima and

Anaparima on the west,

the

to

south,

the Atlantic

and from the table land of Rio Negro on the

Ocean and English colony of Demerara on

east.

The evidence of gold, rather slight on the banks of the Orinoco, begins to be more conspicuous about sixty miles to the south of that river,

*

and about one hundred miles farther the appearance

The

rivers,

copyist seems to have

made some blunder

here.

is richer,

There are two

one called Yuruari, and one called Yuruan or Juruan, which

fall

into

the Cuyuni, the former flowing from N. to S. and joining the Cujuini on left

its

bank, and the other flowing in an opposite direction, and joining the

Cuyuni on the right bank.

According to this there must be a third river of

similar name, not given in Codazzi's map.

+ Tupuquen X Caicara Apure. ยง

is

is

about 70 miles S.E. of Upata.

on the right bank of the Ormoco

The Paragua

falls into

the Caroni 76 miles S.S.

at its confluence

W.

of Upata.

with the


APPENDIX. and

about one himclred and

at

we

the Yuruari runs,

373 the country through which

fifty miles, in

are in the full development of the formation,

though, perhaps, not yet in the richest places, which, methinks, must lie

nearer the large mountain range mentioned above.

Mining remains

Yuruari and neighbouring

as yet limited to the river

ground on the south

side

of the river, in the midst of a splendid

forest.

There has been very

want

to the

little progTess,

indeed

;

which may be attributed

knowledge of the miners, who have been,

of

workmen, unable

day, but unintelligent

to

make any

to the present

progress in dis-

covery.

The working

mines has remained where

of the

on that spot that Dr.

L. Plassard

made

the

first

it is,

for

was

it

discovery of gold in

April, 1849.

In different trips I have made through the coimtry, above

in

all

1858, I have run over a tract of land of about forty thousand square

miles

;

a surface extending from the Orinoco on the north to beyond the

river Sapauro, or Avertuca, on the south,

the west, to the river is

to be found

;

Cuyuni on the

and from the river Caroni on

Upon

east.

this great surface gold

as gold dust, in all the rivers

first,

and torrents mixed

with the sand and mud, and even with the earth in the open savanas, in

many

places

a very few stunted Secondly. sizes,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; It

trees.

found in small grains and nuggets

is

from ounces

fields or

where there grows notliing but scanty grass and

to

many

(pieces) of all

pounds' weight, in the gold-bearing clay

under groimd of the whole country, which occurs

very different

at

depths, from one yard to twenty-five yards.

This clay, which

thickness of two to eight inches,

yellow, with veins some-

is

commonly

times brown, sometimes green or white.

off"ers

In other mines, as in the bed

of the Ym-uari, the clay is whitish, with yellow or dark veins. cases the auriferous clay contains a great

a

In

all

many small pebbles and broken

pieces of stones of all descriptions, pyrites, oxy dated iron, garnet, zircon,

and small grains Thirdly.

of platiua.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Gold

of a fine red

found in grains and pieces of various

is

poppy

colour,

imparted to

it

earth, soft

and unctuous

and forty

inches, contains generally a great

quartz stones in earth,

its

to the touch,

sizes in earth

by peroxydated

iron.

and of a thickness between

many

That thirtj'

loose gold-bearing

bed, fine gold being mixed throughout with the

and grains and pieces of gold being found

at the

bottom of the


'

APPENDIX.

374 bed mixed

many broken

witli a great

this red earth lies on the surface, call it tierra

Fovulhly.

de

easy to be found.

very reason.

flor (" surface earth") for this

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Gold

The

be found in the quartz rock.

is to

very abundant everywhere

As The miners

pieces of rock, as in the clay.

it is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;in pieces and loose stones

quartz

is

of different sizes,

in blocks, in beds or strata, and in well-formed veins between the

All these descriptions or varieties of shape of

metamorpliic rocks.

quartz are met with, both on the surface of the ground and at every The loose stones and blocks are sometimes well impregnated depth.

with gold in veins and

The

crystals.

strata

and veins of quartz are

very often richly traversed by abundant and numerous veins of gold, as

may

be seen in some of the samples

I

have brought, not the richest

either.

use any machinery at

The miners do not American

use are the to

work

the ground

different sizes

pieces

a mortar, to

;

flat

stone

mated

;

and weights,

poimd those

and, lastly,

a batea

mth

gamated gold with a piece of the

taining

after

powdered stone

auriferous quartz dust

to

blow up the rocks

ham-

;

which they pulverize

burning them to soften them fine

till it is

of

(sort

mercury

;

enough

to

wooden bowl)

after

of thick linen,

which they

;

be amalga-

to sift

wash

"the

the amal-

and burn the mass

mercury evaporates and leaves a hard yellow cake still

they

tools

mining bar,

to break the quartz stones into small

pieces of quartz,

and a round one,

sieves, to pass the

The only

all.

or pickaxe, the shovel, the

mining implements

;

mers of with a

pick,

till

most

of gold con-

a small quantity of quicksilver.

This batea

is

the only instrument used to wash the clay.

All these operations are very coarsely performed, and a rather large tiuantity of gold I

and quicksilver

is lost

have said before that mining

vicinity of the Yuruari.

The

is

first

in the process.

still

limited to a few spots in the

place inliabited

by the miners was

the old mission of Tupuquen, a village at about one mile from the river

on

its left

Imnk.

In 1856 to 1857 they began some works on the right

bank, at aboiit three miles south of the Yuruari.

They

built there a

few huts, which were the origin of the present village called Nueva Pro\adencia, or Caratal, as the miners prefer to call

it,

from the

a palm called carata, which served to cover the huts.

observed here that they give the same forest,

name

It

of Caratal to the

which extends along the banks of the river

leaf of

must be

Yui'uari,

whole with a

length of forty-five miles from the west to the east, and a breadth of


"

APPENDIX. twenty

375

trom north to

to t\renty-lbiir miles

The

soutli.

river Yiiruari

runs from the west to the east in that part of the eoimtry.

Nueva

Pro-videncia, now-a-days a pretty village, being considered as

the centre of the very few places discovered and worked

we may

up

to this day,

say that the places most distant from the village, a place called

only four to

Cicli, is

five

Xueva

miles from

The other

Providencia,

places called Peru, Panama, Callado, &c., are all near the village.

There

end of

is,

last

indeed, very

progress in the discoveries, though at the

little

year the miners

mean

(I

the persons working the mines)

numbered between six himdi-ed and seven himdred. Since May last their number must have increased. At that time, when I left Caratal, or

Nueva

Providencia, the whole popidation of those mountains amounted

to about five thousand inhabitants,

We

miners have but to dig this

and was increasing

have seen that the red earth it

is

and carry

it

rapidly.

foimd lying on the surface to the water-side to

have

I

oft".

called Cluli

sm-face

;

and Peru the clay

is

met

at

as already

are,

to go

the

In the spots

one or two yards from the

and more yards deep.

in others at eight, at twelve, at sixteen,

In the red earth there

For

said, too, that

gold-bearing clay was to be found at very different depths.

the

;

it.

when they have not

they choose generally the rainy season,

very far to find water to wash the dirt

wash

mentioned, loose gold-bearing

quartz stones, and in the shafts dug to reach the clay, the last layer

upon the gold-bearing Borts,

and above

As

worth working. I

may

clay

always composed of loose rocks of different

is

generally impregnated with gold, and

all of quartz,

to the quartz rock itself,

well say that where you do not see

under ground, and yon are sure

to

come

to

it is

it,

it

miners met by chance very rich quartz on the Callado

;

depth in the

at twenty-five yards

twenty in the second.

I

must

state, too, that

so very

you may at

any depth.

hill

to this

have never had the idea that gold could be found depth, and have besides no

they work

is

means

to

and

that

look for

it

Thus, the

called Tigre,

first case,

up

common

still

and in

at twelve to

day the miners

at a

much

greater

The way

undertake such works.

ruinous, and yet, notwithstanding the great difficulties they

meet, and the want of means and implements, they get a good return.

In general, when you speak of mines to any one, you will be asked

me how much gold is got per hundredhow ma:^y men are employed to exti-act it,

directlyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; " Well, well, but tell

weight of earth or stones, and in order that I

"We must try

may know to

the average produce of your mines

?

solve the problem in another way, because, in the

first


APPENDIX.

376 place, there is

diggings

;

no regularity, as every oue knows, in the richness of gold-

and because, in the second

place, our

miners of the Caratal

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

work without the least regularity, work when they please to-day a little, to-morrow much, and the day after to-morrow not at all. One day they will continue working four hours, another day two hours, another day the whole day, and, where they find a large piece of

remain a fortnight wdthout doing anything

gold, they will

On

themselves. clay or rock is

or

Being

so,

we must

content ourselves,

undertake to work mines for

to

be contented,

say,

I

o^xr

with looking on, and see

if

own how

we have no time we must

account

by

who

those

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

things go, and do

much looked

our best to calculate the aforesaid average product, so for

dii't,

they do not take time into account, because for them time

;

not money.

money

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;enjoying

the other hand, they never weigh anything like

are inclined to take shares in a gold-mining

company.

our miners of the Caratal do not go on

I will, then, state first that

working their claims when the red earth and the clay do not produce

more than four

shillings per

hundredweight, and, be

it

observed here,

that they miss entirely the black gold, which exists everywhere, and requires to be extracted

by a second washing,

clay in the open

I

air.

must

the stone with which the gold

may

be valued at from

five to

is

amalgamated

ten per cent.

breaking the quartz rock to pick

away such a quantity

women and

children

pick up, and

it

oiit

a very good day's

of pulverising

Again, the miners,

work out

when

of

number

of

what they can

company to collect The miners in Caratal for gold-dust would be

for a

work them.

thought that washing earth

a good business, but they never tried facts

way

the cause of a loss that

the pieces containing gold, throw

would be a very good business

may have sometimes

is

of gold-bearing stones that a great

make

those rejected stones of quartz and

These

after exposing the earth or

state, too, their coarse

it.

adduced here detract from the general product of the mines,

and make the average j^roduct very uncertain.

The miners work claims about seven yards on each side they pay month duty. According to the points they must reach, and to the dithculties of the ground, they join two or ;

three shillings and fourpence per

three together.

We

have said already

that, in

some

places,

they find the

gold-bearing clay at one yard to two yards below the surface, and in other places they must sink a shaft of twenty and even twenty-five yards.

Between these two extremes there clay.

The digging

of a square or

is

a great variety as to the depth of the

round hole of a yard or two yards

in


!

APPENDIX.

377

depth and one and a half yards hi breadth will take about two days. The

much

digging of a shaft twenty to twenty-five yards deep will take so

more time to

in comparison

;

and, again, sometimes the diggings of a yard

two yards may be richer than those of twenty

What

a difference in the average product then

Generally, least

when

the two or three

men working

an ounce of gold per day, they consider

said that they leave the digging shillings per

himdred weight.

ounces per day

;

I

when

to twenty-five yards.

!

it

a claim do not get at

a bad business.

have

I

the earth or clay gives only four

have seen claims giving two to three

I

have seen others giving eight to ten ounces, and

a few giving twenty tg thirty and more per day gold of a few pounds' weight

;

and, again, a piece of

How difficult

found now and then.

is

it is,

in such conditions, to give an average product

The working

of the quartz, in stones

on the

surface, in the

red earth, lying on the auriferous clay, in blocks, give a regular product

if

bed of the

strata, or veins,

worked by a company.

As

would

the quartz

is

generally rich, the miners are sure to get well repaid for a day's labour.

Sometimes a

loose stone of thirty to sixty

pounds of gold

;

pounds will give ounces, even

sometimes the gold veins

results that I scarcely dare to write

give such wondrous

Avill

them down.

I

have seen pieces of

quartz extracted from a vein, as in the Tigre, contain more gold than

One

stone.

piece

pounds gave seven poimds and some

of twelve

ounces.

In the auriferous quartz, which inexhaustible

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;and

strata of that rock, as

yards

is

so very abundant, that I

we know nothing

may

as yet of the lower or

call it

deeper

no shaft has been sunk deeper than twenty -five

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;in the gold-bearing quartz rock,

I say, the lowest average

product

cannot be valued at less than eight to ten pounds per ton weight. quartz veins will give forty to sixty pounds sterling.

Some

Some other

quartz veins will give, as I have seen, hundreds of pounds sterling

per ton.

The quantity

of melted

Bolivar, during the

gold exported from the mines to Ciudad

months

of December,

1866, January,

February,

March, and April, 1867, was about four thousand ounces of gold per

month

;

ported.

and

I

may

well say that all the gold extracted was not ex-

During the time spoken

mean people

at the

diggings,

of,

the

was between

number six

of the miners, I

hundred and seven

himdred. I left the diggings,

where

I

had arrived

in Januaiy, at the beginning


APPENDIX.

378 In

of June.

population was abeady on the increase, so that I

]\Iay the

can say nothing of this

As

I have,

last

month.

during three months and a

mountains of Caratal

(forty-five

with care the

half, studied

thousand square miles),

I

beg leave to

say that I have stated nothing hut what I have seen, and that I have

come

to

such a certainty of the richness of the mines, that I fear they

will be tmder-rated in this short sketch,

make up

which

I

had not even time

to

correctly.

All the country between the Orinoco, Superino, Cuyuni, and Caroni,

which

I

have

registered, is

Low

mountains. of Guayana.

composed of low table lands,

hills,

and small

plains and marshes are very scarce in those

The very

parts

forests of Caratal are a sort of table lands, small

plains,

high valleys, and mountains, everywhere covered with beautiful

trees.

The heat

varies in the different plains

between 74° and 92° Fahrenheit

Upata between 70° and 86° and

88°.

Ujiata itself

ancient missions raised

;

it

is,

near the Orinoco,

in the interior of the missions of

further in the mining district between 72°

a very healthy place, as well as the other

is

by the Spanish

Tecunrevero, and Miano,

Why may we not

;

;

may be

friars.

cited as

Santa Maria, Yuasipati,

uncommonly healthy

Surely, living in a thick forest, sleeping generally in the open for

want

places.

say the same of the moiintains of Caratal and others

of houses,

air,

working in the diggings, people that are new

to

?

often

such

hard work, taking sometimes bad food, making use of strong drinks and

—these are,

gambling and dancing sometimes the whole night-

liquors,

methinks, sufficient causes to explain the few diseases that have reigned in the mining districts.

come

to such travels, to take

sun

;

any

repose.

to

Besides these, every-day peojjle, unaccustomed the works, and are sometimes without

means

—by the heat

of the

They

are tried

by

the journey

they ought to keep quiet some days

must go

to

work

;

;

but they have no means, they

they then go to the diggings, sleep in the mountains,

and now and then encounter a shower of rain when their body

is

over-

by the work. How is it possible for them not to fall sick ? It would be rather a wonder should it not be so. I have lived over twenty years as a physician in Venezuelan excited

Guayana, and may well

say, that if

you except the borders

of the large

find the country pretty healthy.

I

think that measures

being taken to avoid the causes above alluded

to,

you can keep even

rivers,

you will

strangers in a pretty good state of health in our country.

Two

roads lead from Cindad Bolivar, the chief town of

tlie

State of


APPENDIX. The first

Guayana, to the mines.

one,

379

and the

from Ciudad

shortest, goes

Bolivar by land in a south-east direction to the mining districts. distance

about two hundred miles.

is

many

the mines, but with

for this purpose, but a

Cars \\dth loads

may

The

be driven to

People use mules and donkeys

difficulties.

good road can easily be made, as there are no

mountains, nor other great

"U^ien I left Ciudad Bolivar, the

difficulties.

sum of money to make the survey commission named for this object was on its

merchants of that town had raised a of the

works wanted

the

;

way to begin the inspection of the roads. The second road to the mines goes do^vn the Orinoco named " Puerto de Tables," ninety miles from Ciudad

to a small port

From

Bolivar.

the port, the road goes through the small town of Upata to the Yuruari.

The

distance from the river to the mines

This

miles.

last road, as

A pretty good

first.

may

be seen,

It

about one hundred and

fifty

somewhat longer than the

is

road might be made, too, that way, but

presents greater difficulties than the

is

is

I tliink it

one.

first

has been said very justly, I think, that the Republic of Venezuela

by

often disturbed

security,

thing in that country

no reliance

Though

movements that there is no would like to imdertake some-

periodical political

no guarantee ;

for people that

that there

is

;

no protection from the Government,

be put in promises made by

to

I agree in all other things, I

it

tion of the State of Guayana, on the left

This situation

is

the very cause

;

and

so on.

beg leave to point out the situa-

why Ciudad

bank

of the river Orinoco.

Bolivar has passed through

the period of five years' disturbances and revolutions in Venezuela

without any

conflicts,

The river Orinoco

is

without

suff'erings

common

to revolutionary times.

the stronghold of Guayana, and will always preserve

her from any attack on the part of the other States.

be remarked,

too, that the State

worth

It is well

while to pay attention to this particular disposition of Guayana.

It is to

of Guayana, larger in surface

France, has but the scanty population of twenty-five thousand

*

than

inhabi-

tants.

How

easy

on a larger

it

will be to transform the country.

scale

When

immigrations

take place, the present population will be soon

absorbed, and disappear in the general increase of population.

Security

may

then be depended upon in Guayana, at least to a

greater extent than in the other States. protection,

may we

But,

if

much

we consider the want

of

not here refer to the vicinity of English Guayana, the

* SLxtj' thousand according to other authorities.


APPENDIX,

3R0

mines of which province are blasting up quartz on the Cujnini,

hundred and twenty-five miles

made

could easily be

to bring

east of Caratal, in a country

men and

right banks of the river Caroni. protection, if refused

found somewhere

by the

I

but two

goods from America up to the

only mention this to prove that

authorities of the State of Guayana, could be

else.

Appendix

(C.)

Translated

Constitution of the United States of Venezuela.

May

10th,

Supreme Author and

Legis-

the Official Edition, printed at Caracas,

from

at

where roads

1864.

The Constituent Assembly, invoking tor of the Universe,

decrees

the

and under the authority of the people of Venezuela,

:

DIVISION

I.

— THE NATION. —TERRITORIES.

FIRST SECTION. Art.

1.

The Provinces

of Apure, Aragua, Barcelona, Barinas, Barqui-

simeto, Carabobo, Caracas, Cojedes, Coro, Cimiand, Guarico, Guayana,

Maracaibo, Maturin, Merida, Margarita, Portuguesa, Tachira, Trujillo,

and Yaracui form a

free

declare themselves Independent

:

States,

and unite to

and sovereign nation, under the name of the United States

of Venezuela.

Art.

2.

The bormdaries

of each State will be those

the 28th April, 1856, annoimced to the Provinces,

which the Law of

when

it

fixed the

last territorial division.

Art. 3.

The boundaries

of the United States,

which compose the Fe-

deration of Venezuela, are the same as those which, in the year 1810,

corresponded to the ancient Captaincy-General of Venezuela. Art.

4.

The

political individualities

mentioned in Article

1

reserve to

themselves the power of uniting, two or more of them, so as to form one State

;

retaining always liberty to resume their original quality of in-

dividual States.

In either

case,

they will communicate their intention

to the National Executive, to Congress, and to the other States of the

Union. Art.

5.

The

States,

which may have availed themselves of the power

accorded in the preceding Article, will retain their votes for the Presidentship of the United States, for the nomination of Senators, and for

the

empowerment

of voters for the

High Federal

Court.


APPENDIX. SECOND SECTION. Citizens of Venezuela are

381

— CITIZENSHIP.

Art.

6.

1st.

All persons born in the territory of Venezuela, whatever the

nationality of their parents

may

:

be.

2nd. Children of a Venezuelan naother or father, born in alien territory, if

they come to domicile themselves in the countrj", and express a

vvnsh to

become

citizens.

3rd. Strangers

4th. Persons

who may have obtained

bom

the Spanish Antilles

;

letters of naturalization

;

and

any of the Spanish-American Republics, or in

in

always providing that they have fixed their

resi-

dence in the territory of the Union and desire citizenship. Art.

7.

Those Venezuelans who

ality in a foreign State

Art.

8.

do not

All Venezuelans,

are eligible to

office,

fix their

lose their

who

domicile and acquire nation-

Venezuelan

citizenship.

are males of twenty-one years of age,

with the exceptions contained in

tliis

charter of the

Constitution. Art.

9.

cree, at

All Venezuelans are bound to serve the nation, as the laws de-

the sacrifice of their goods and

life, if

required, for

Art. 10. Venezuelans, in whatever territory they

by the same

duties

and retain the same rights

may

its

defence.

be, are

bound

as those Venezuelans

who

are living in Venezuela.

The Law

Art. 11.

will determine the rights belonging to strangers.

DIVISION

The

Art. 12.

States,

II.

—BASES OF THE UNION.

which form the Union, reciprocally acknowledge

seK-govemment, each of the others declare themselves

their rights to

equal as poUtical units, and retain in their plenitude

all

sovereign rights,

not expressly delegated by this Constitution.

The

Art. 13.

said States biad themselves to self-defence agaiust all

violence injurious to their independence and the integrity of the

and further bind themselves their guidance 1st.

to establish

Union

and internal government, and remain under engagement

To adopt an

;

fundamental regulations for :

organisation in conformity with the principles of

popular, elective, federal representation, alternate and responsible go-

vernment. 2nd.

Not

nor to seek 3rd.

To

to alienate its

any part of their

territorj- to a foreigni

Power,

protection.

give

federal district.

up

to the nation

such lands as

may

be required for the


APPENDIX.

382 4th.

Not

to close Ijy imposts or otherwise the navigation of the rivers

or other navigable waters, which have not required the aid of canals

made by man's labour. 5th. Not to tax before they been subjected 6th.

Not

are exposed for sale products

which have

to national imposts.

to tax

goods or merchandise, which are in transit from one

State to another. 7th.

Not

to

impose duties on the national

officers,

except in their

quality of meml^ers of the State, or as far as their duties

may

not be

incompatil)le with the public service of the nation.

To

8th.

defer

and submit themselves

to the decision of Congress, to

High Federal Court in all disbetween two or more States, when an amicable

the National Executive, and to the

may

putes which

arise

arrangement cannot be arrived at

;

but in no case can a State declare

any reason, they may

or

make war

against another State.

to

designate

the arbiter to whose authority they will submit, they

If,

for

remain bound by the very nature of things to submit

fail

to the decision

of Congress.

To observe

9th.

strict neutrality in

the disputes which

may

arise in

other States. 10th.

Not

to join themselves or alienate themselves to

by separation

nation, nor

to impair the nationality

and

any other territory of

Venezuela. 11th.

To obey and carry out the Constitution and the laws

of the

Union, and the decrees and orders, which the National Executive and the Tribunals and Judges of the Union

may

issue in the exercise of the

powers belonging to them. 12th. In their several constitutions to subscribe to the extradition of

criminals as a political principle. 13th.

from

To keep

political

at a distance

demands

interested in their seclusion 14th.

Not

from the frontier those individuals who,

motives, take refuge in a State, provided that a State

to establish

so that the national Custom-houses 15th.

Not

it.

Custom-houses for the collection of imposts,

may

be the only ones.

to permit in the States of the

which have or might have

Union enrolments

for their object to attack

or levies,

the liberty or

independence, or to disturb the public order of other States, or of any other nation. 16th.

To

leave to each State the free

management

of its

own

natural


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

APPENDIX. products

may

consequently, those States which possess salt-works

:

manage them in complete independence

To

17th.

383

of the general government.

reserve from the national rents for the benefit of those States

which do not possess mines, which are heing worked, the sum of $20,000, which

must be

and must be paid

To

18th.

fixed in the annual estimate of public expenses,

to those States three

months beforehand.

sujjply the contingent force

which may

in the composition of the public national

army

fall to their

share

in time of peace or

of war.

Not

19th.

to prohiljit the

nor to burthen them ^\dth

To leave

20th.

be acknowledged as

To

21st.

States,

government of the Union the free administration

to the

Amazons and

of the territories of the to

consumption of the products of other

difi"erential charges.

may

of Goajira, until they

choose

States.

and

respect the possessions in towns, parks,

forts

belonging to

the nation.

22nd.

To maintain

for all

one and the same substantive

civil

and

criminal legislation.

To

23rd.

the popular elections the

establish in

dii-ect

and

secret

suffrage.

DIVISION Art. 14. 1st.

The

III.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; RIGHTS

The nation guarantees inviolability

whatever law

may

of

establish

2nd. Property, Tvdth all tributions decreed

and

GUARANTEED TO VENEZUELANS.

by the

life,

to

Venezuelans

capital

:

pimishment being abolished,

it.

its

rights; this ^vill be subject only to the con-

legislative authority, to the decision of judges,

to requisitions for j)ublic works, after indemnification or adverse

decision.

3rd.

The

and secresy of correspondence and other papers.

inviolability

4th. Inviolability of the domestic hearth,

which cannot be entered

except to prevent crime, in conformity with the law's decree. 5th. Liberty of the

enlistment

is

abolished

person, ;

and consequently,

2nd, slavery

that arrive in Venezuelan territory to

is

1st,

forced military

for ever abolished

become

free

;

;

3rd, slaves

4th, all are at liberty

do or execute everything that does not prejudice another. 6th. Liberty of thought, expressed

mediimi of the

press,

by word

of

mouth

or tlirough the

without any restriction whatever.

7th. Liberty of transit

without passports, and to change domicile,


APPENDIX.

384

observing the forms established in the States, and to absent oneself

from and return to the Republic taking away

one's goods.

ownership of things

8th. Liberty of industry, and, consequentlj^, the

The law

discovered or produced.

mode

privilege, or a

to

make

of indemnification in case the inventor should agree

public his invention.

9th. Liberty to assemble or

meet together without arms, publicly or

privately, the authorities not having

and the

10th. Liberty of petition,

liberty

would apply

corporation. five will

will assign to owTiers a temporary

any right of inspection.

If the petition be

made by

any functionary, authority, or a

number

of persons, the first

be answerable for the authenticity of the signatures, and

be responsible for the truth of the

This

right of obtaining a decision.

to the petitioning of

all will

facts.

11th. Lil^erty of suffrage at the popular elections, without

any

restric-

tion except that of being under eighteen years old. 12th. Free right of being educated, full

The power

extension.

establish gratis a course

which will be protected in

its

of the State remains under obligation to

of primary

education and of the arts and

employments. Religious liberty

13th.

;

may perform

religion alone

Roman

but the Catholic, Apostolic and

public service out of the sacred edifices.

14th. Security of the individual,

and

therefore, 1st,

no Venezuelan

can be taken or arrested by force for debts which do not originate in fraud or crime to

;

2nd, no one

is

obliged to receive soldiers into his house

be lodged there or quartered upon him

;

3rd,

no one

before special tinbunals or commissions, but only

by

is

to

be judged

his natural judges,

or in virtue of the laws delivered before the crime or action to be

judged

;

4th,

no one

is

to

be made prisoner or to be arrested without

previous distinct information of his having committed a crime deserving corporal punishment, or written order of the functionary

who

decrees

the arrest, with notification of the motive of the aiTest, unless he be

taken in the act

;

5th,

nor

is

he to be proliibited from holding inter-

course with others on any account or pretext

;

6th,

nor

he to be

is

obliged to take oath, nor to undergo examination in crimmal causes against himself or his relations within the fourth degree of consan-

guinity or the second of affinity, or against his or her spouse

;

7th,

nor

be kept in prison when the grounds of his imprisonment cease to exist 8th, nor is he to be condemned to suffer any penalty in a criminal

to

;

matter until his cause has been legally heard

;

9th, nor is

he

to

be


APPENDIX. condemned

to corporal

punishment

Ms

he to be deprived of

is

for

385

more than ten years

;

10th, nor

liberty for political reasons after order has

been re-established.

must be judged by one

15th. Equality, in \Hrtue of which, 1st, all

and the same laws, and must be subjected and contributions

;

2nd,

to the

titles of nobility,

same

duties, services,

honours, or hereditary dis-

whose pay

tinctions are not to be granted, nor emplojTnents or offices

or

emoluments

last

beyond the time of

be adopted towards persons in

is to

citizen

and

office

;

3rd,

no

official

address

or corporations except that of

usted, " you."

What

Art. 15.

service

has been just set forth does not restrain the liberty of

States to grant to their inhabitants other guarantees.

The laws

Art. 16.

who

in the several States will fix punishments for those

and will

violate those guarantees,

them

fix

the judicial process for

making

effective.

Art. 17. Those

who

issue, sign,

decrees, orders, or resolutions,

or execute, or cause to be executed

which

violate

or infringe

any of the

guarantees accorded to Venezuelans, are culpable, and must be punished as the

law may

direct.

DIVISION

Every

IV.

—OF

citizen is entitled to accuse them.

THE NATIONAL LEGISLATURE.

FIRST SECTION.

The National

Art. 18.

Legislature

is

composed of two Chambers

—one

of the Senators, the other of the Deputies.

Art. 19.

The

States shall determine the

mode

of appointing the

Senators and the Deputies.

SECOND SECTION. Art. 20. will

—OF

THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES.

In order to form the Chamber of Deputies, each State

choose one Deputy for every 25,000 inhabitants, and a second

Deputy for a nmnber in excess beyond equal number of siipplementaries.

12,000.

Art. 21. Deputies will keep their functions all

They vnM two

years,

an

also elect

and then will

be re-elected.

The follo\\dng are the duties of the Chamber of Deputies To examine the annual account which the President of the United

Art. 22. 1st.

:

States of Venezuela will lay before them.

2nd.

To

pass votes of censure on the Ministers of State, and,

by the

c c


APPENDIX.

388

whom

such votes, the appointments of those to

fact of

they refer will

be rendered vacant.

To hear

3rd.

accusations against the officer charged with the national

common

executive for treason to his country, or for

offences

;

and against

the ministers and other national officers for infraction of the laws and

This

for malversation, in conformity Tvdth Art, 82 of the Constitution.

power

preventive, and does not detract from the powers which other

is

authorities hold to ju.dge

When

Art. 23.

and punish.

an accusation

is

brought forward by a Deputy, or by

any corporation or individual, the following

A

1st.

committee of

tliree

The committee

2nd.

rules

wiU be observed

:

Deputies will be nominated by a secret vote.

judgment within three days, and

will deliver

declare whether there are grounds for trial or not. 3rd.

The Chamber

will consider the report,

vote of the absolute majority of

members

and will decide by the

present,

the Deputy

who

accuses abstaining from voting.

Art. 24. Declaration of there being grounds for trial will, ipso facto,

suspend the accused, and incapacitate him from the discharge of any public

office

during the

trial.

THIRD SECTION.

To form

Art, 25.

this

—THE CHAMBER OF SENATORS.

Chamber each

Senators, and two supplementaries to

To become Senator

Art. 26. birth,

and

it is

fill

State will elect two principal vacancies.

requisite

:

to

be a Venezuelan by

to be tliirty years of age.

Art. 27, Senators

every two years.

mil remain in office four years, and will be re-elected When, through any circumstance, they are all re-

elected, the election shall

be for two

years.

The duty of the Senate is to support and determine ments initiated by the Chamber of Deputies. Art. 28.

the judg-

Art. 29. If a trial be not finished during the Session, the Senate will

prolong

its

Session, solely with the object of terminating the trial.

In

this case the Senators will not receive allowances.

FOURTH SECTION. Art. 30.

United

The

States,

—GENERAL REGULATIONS FOR THE CHAMBERS.

Legislature will assemble every year in the capital of the

on the 20th of February, or as soon as possible afterwards,


:

APPENDIX. without waiting to be

summoned

;

387

and the Session will

last

seventy days,

with the power of prolongation to ninety.

The Chambers will open their Session with at least two-thirds members and failing this niimber, those present will form themselves iato a preparatory Committee and determine means for Art. 31.

of their

;

obtaining the presence of the absentees.

The

Art. 32. of those

Session,

whom

by

it

when

opened, can be carried on with two-thirds

was opened, provided that the number does not

descend below half the whole number of nominated members. Art. 33.

Though the Chambers

discharge their functions separately,

they will meet in Congress, on occasions fixed by the Constitution and

when one of the two Chambers declares it to be Chamber to which the requisition is made assents to

the Law, or If the fix

necessary. it, it

shall

the day and hour for the meeting.

Art. 34.

The

Sessions shall be public, and secret

when

Chamber

the

agrees to hold a secret Session.

The Chambers have the right To make rules to be observed during the Sessions and debates. 2nd. To bring those who infringe rules to order. 3rd. To cause the observance of courteous behavioiu" in the House

Art. 35. 1st.

during Session. 4th.

To punish

or

correct

spectators

who

infringe

the rules

of

order. 5th.

To remove

obstacles

which may oppose the

free exercise of their

functions. 6th.

To

cause to be executed their resolutions for depriving

oj6B.cials

of

their appointments. 7th.

To admit members and hear

Art. 36. Either of the

resignations.

Chambers has no power

to suspend its Session,

or change its place of meeting, without the consent of the other

of disagreement they are to meet,

;

in case

and what the majority decide must be

carried out.

Art. 37.

The

exercise of

of a Senator or

Deputy

any pubHc fmiction

dui-iug the Session

;

is

incomi^atible with that

the law will declare the

indemnifications which they will receive for their services, and these

cannot be increased dui-ing the period for which they tionally

may

be constitu-

fijced.

Art. 38.

From

the 20th of January every year, until thii'ty days after

the close of the Session, the Senators and Deputies shall enjoy inmiunity; c c 2


APPENDIX.

388

and

tliis

shall consist in the suspension of all procedure against

from whatever cause

it

may

originate, or

any Senator or Deputy commits an

whatever be

nature.

state imtil

them

When

punishment,

act meriting corporal

the judicial inquiry shall be carried on to the

summary, and remain in that

its

termination of the

the period of

immunity

is

over.

by the President

Art. 39. Congi'ess shall be presided over

Senate, and the President of the

Chamber

of the

of Deputies shall be the

Vice-President.

Members

Art. 40.

of the

Chambers

are not responsible for the opinions

or speeches they there deliver. Art. 41. Senators and Deputies cannot accept appointments or offices for one year after the period for

from the National Executive

they were nominated has expired.

and of diplomatic

State,

officers

are excepted from this vote

;

The appointments

which

of Ministers of

and military commands in time of war,

but the accej)tance of such employments

vacates that previously held in the Chamber.

Nor can

Art. 42.

Senators or Deputies

make

contracts with the general

Government, nor conduct the causes of others who have claims on the

Government. FIFTH SECTION.

The National

Art. 43. duties

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;DUTIES OF THE LEGISLATURE,

Legislature has to

discharge the following

:

1st.

2nd.

To settle disputes which may arise between the States. To establish and organise the Federal District in an uninhabited

part of the country, not to exceed ten square miles, in wliich the capital city of the .Union is to

be

built.

This

district shall

be neutral, and shall

not deal ^vith any other elections but such as the law shall determine for its locality.

Provisionally this district shall be that designated

by the

Constitutional Assembly, or that which the National Legislature shall 3rd. shall

fix.

organise all that relates to the Custom-houses, whose receipts

form the treasure of the Union, until others are substituted.

4th.

To

decide all that relates to the equipment and security of the

and of the maritime

ports, 5th.

sums

To

To

create

coasts.

and organise the

offices of

the national

jaost,

and

fix

the

to be charged for the carriage of letters.

6th.

To make

Article B.

the national codes in accordance with paragraph 22 of


APPENDIX. To

7tli.

fix

.3S9

the value, mould, law, weight, and milling of the national as to the admission and circulation of foreign

money, and decide

To

8th.

be the same for 9th.

10th.

money.

declare the shield of all

arms and

flag of the nation,

which

shall

the States.

To appoint and remove the To determine everything

national

officers,

that has

and

reference

settle their pay.

to

the national

debt.

11th. 12th.

To To

contract loans on the security of the national credit. dictate the measures necessary for taking the census of the

population and other national 13th.

To

fix

statistics.

annually the armed force by sea and land, and to

make

the military regulations. 14th. To make the regulations for the formation and replacement of the forces noted in the preceding paragraph.

To

15th.

declare

war and caU on the National Executive

to negociate

for peace.

16th. To approve or reject diplomatic treaties or conventions. Without this necessary preliminary the said treaties or conventions cannot be ratified or modified.

To approve

17th.

or reject contracts wliich the President of the

Union

may make

for public national works, the said approval being essential for their being carried out.

To make the yearly estimate of the public expenses. To promote all that conduces to the prosperity of the

18th. 19th.

and

to its progress in the

To

20th.

fix

knowledge of the

arts

and

country,

sciences.

the national weights and measures, and render

them

uniform. 21st.

22nd.

To grant amnesties. To fix with the denomination

government under which uninhabited

of their territories the special regions, or those inhabited only

by uncivUized tribes, are to be temporarily ruled such territories shaU be under the immediate control of the Executive of the Union. ;

23rd.

the

To

fix

the judicial processes and declare the penalties which causes initiated in the Chamber of

Senate has to impose in

Deputies. 24th. 25th.

from

To augment the constituencies for the election of Deputies. To admit foreigners to the public service, or exclude them

it.

26th.

To

transmit the law of elections to the President of the Union.


APPENDIX.

390

To make laws

27th.

for tlie retirement

and

retiring allowances of

soldiers.

To

28th.

declare the

law

as to the responsibility of all the national

officers.

To determine the mode

29th.

of assigning military rank and promotion.

Art. 44. Besides the points enumerated above, the National Legislature will

make

all

may be

laws of a general nature that

SIXTH SECTION.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;OF

required.

THE PASSING OP LAWS.

The laws and ordinances of the National Legislature may be by the members of either Chamber, or in any manner enacted

Art. 45. initiated

by

their regulations.

Art. 46.

As soon

place as to whether

shall

be brought in

there shall be three debates on

between each

;

been presented, a discussion shall take

as a Bill has it

up

paragraph, and

if

permitted to be brought in,

Chamber

one day

if

which they are

in

Art. 48. If the it

initiated

through the stages in the preceding

to the other to go

not rejected shall be returned to the Chamber whence

they originated, with the alterations which they

the alterations,

at least

the rules for debates being observed.

Art. 47. Bills approved in the shall be sent

;

with the interval of

it

Chamber which can insist on

its

may have

initiates a Bill is

undergone.

imwilling to accept

remaining unmodified and send up

reasons in writing to the other Chamber.

The Chambers can

its

also

assemble in Congress and go into a Committee of the two Houses to consider

on the mode of coming

cannot be arrived

at,

an agreement,

to

bixt if this

agreement

the BUI must be abandoned as soon as the

Chamber

of initiation comes to that decision.

When

Art. 49.

the Bills of either

Chamber

are passed, the days on

which they have been discussed must be mentioned. Art. 50.

A law to regulate another law must be drawn out in

the former law becomes entirely repealed. Ai't.

5L The

gress of the

following formula

is

to be obsei"ved in laws

:

fvill,

and

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " The Con-

United States of Venezuela decrees."

Art. 52. BUls rejected

again imtil a

by one

new one comes

Art. 53. Bills

Legislature cannot be brought forward

in.

which are under discussion in one

of the

Chambers

at

the end of the Sessions, must be debated again three times in the following Sessions,


APPENDIX. Laws

Art. 54.

are to be repealed

A\-itli

391 the same

formalities with

which they are passed.

When

Art. 55.

that a measure

is

the Ministers of State have maintained in a unconstitutional,

the Executive of the

and

it is

Union may submit

Chamber

nevertheless passed as a law,

it to

the nation represented in

the Legislatures of the States. Art. 56. In the case contemplated in the preceding Article, each State shall represent a vote, expressed

by the majority

of the

members present High

in the Houses of Legislature, and shall send the result to the

Federal Comt, in this form

:

" I confirm," or " I object."

Art. 57. If the majority of the States agree with the Executive, the

Court shall order the law to be suspended and shall report to Congress, transmitting an account of all that has taken place.

Art

Laws

58.

shall not be in force imtil published \\dth the established

ceremonies. Art. 59.

The

Art. 60.

No

jjower granted to sanction a law cannot be delegated. legislative

enactment shall have a retrospective

force,

except in the matter of a judicial process, or in a case where punisliment

not capital

is

imposed.

DIVISION FIRST SECTION.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;OF

v.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; OF

THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE.

THE CHIEF OF THE GENERAL ADMINISTRATION.

Art. 61. Everything relative to the general administration nation, not entrusted

by this Constitution

of

to other authority, shall

the

be the

duty of a magistrate, who shall be called President of the United States of Venezuela. Art. 62.

and

to

To be President

it is

necessary to be a Venezuelan

by

birth,

be thirty years of age.

Art. 63. The President shall be elected by the citizens of all the States, by direct and secret vote according to the rule for State voting, namely, by the relative majority of each State's electors. Art. 64. shall

meet

On to

the eighth

day of the Session of Congress the Chambers

hold a scrutiny.

If

by

that time all the registers have not

been received, measures shall be taken to obtain them, the scrutiny being deferred in case of necessity for forty days.

may

After that term the scrutiny

be taken with the registers that have been received, provided that

they be not

less

than two-thirds of the whole number.

Art. 65. In the case of the election beuag

made according

to the pre-


APPENDIX.

39-2

ceding Article, whoever obtains declared President.

If

tlie

no one bas

absolute majority of votes will be

The

have the greatest number of votes.

votes will then be taken

having one vote, and unless two-thirds of the States

States, each State

The vote

agree, the election will not hold good.

the absolute majority of

its

of each State is that of

Representatives and Senators

an equality of votes the decision Art. 66.

wbo by

Congress will select tbe two

it,

shall

be by

;

and in case of

lot.

During the scrutiny none of the members assembled can leave

the Session, without the consent of Congress. Art. 67.

Chambers

Two

designated Presidents will be annually chosen by the

jointly to

fill

up the

occasional absences of the President, or

an absolute vacancy. Art. 68.

The President

will remain in office four years, reckoning from

the 20th of February, on which day he will quit his duties and will

summon

who

the person

is

to replace him,

even though the period of

four years has not completely expired. Art. 69.

When

during the two

there occurs an absolute vacancy in the Presidentship

years of a period, Congress shall decree a

first

tion for the appointment of another President for

the

Art. 70.

The

office

time wanting to

make

who

complete

a

new

elec-

shall continue in

period

of

four

years.

President, or his substitute in the case contemplated in

the preceding Article, camiot be elected for the period immediately folloAving his

Art. 71.

term of

office.

The law

tutes are to receive

will fix the ;

pay which the President and

nished during the period for which the law

SECOND SECTION.

his substi-

and the amount cannot be augmented nor dimi-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;OF

fixes

it.

THE DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE

UNITED STATES OF VENEZUELA. Art. 72.

form

The President

of the

Union has the following

duties to per-

:

1st.

2nd.

To preserve the nation from every To order the laws and decrees of

external attack.

the National Legislature to be

executed, and to see to their execution. 3rd.

To take

care of

and watch over the

collection of the national

rents.

4th.

To manage

the waste lands according to law.


APPENDIX. To convoke the National

5th.

and on extraordinary

mands

393

Legislature at

occasions,

when

its

periodical assemblies,

the gravity of any event de-

it.

To

6th.

aj)point persons to

and Consulships appointed to the

To

7th.

;

fill

To

offices,

Consul-Generalships,

first

and second

class of ofiices.

and ratify all kinds of treaties with them to the National Legislature.

direct the negociations

other nations after submitting 8th.

diplomatic

being bound to see that Venezuelans by birth are

ratify the contracts wliich are of national

importance in con-

formity with the law, and submit them to the Legislature. 9tli,

10th.

To nominate and remove the To appoint the officers of

assigned to other functionaries.

Ministers of State.

whose nomination

finance,

For these

is

not

nominees must

offices tlie

be Venezuelans by birth. 11th.

alone,

To remove and suspend officials, who are ajipointed by bimself to order them to be tried should there be ground for it. To grant letters of naturalization conformably to law. To issue commissions to the ships of the nation, To declare war in the name of the Republic, when Congress has

and

12th.

13th. 14th.

decreed 15th.

it.

In case of foreign war he has power

:

apply to the

to

1st,

States for the assistance required for the national defence

by

;

2nd, to call

anticipation for contributions, or to negociate loans decreed

gress, if the ordinary rents are insufficient

by Con-

3rd, to arrest or expel in-

;

who belong to the nation with which, the country may be at who may be an impediment to the defence of the country 4th, suspend the guarantees which, may be incompatible with, the defence

dividuals

war, and to

;

of the independence of the country, except that of life

rarily,

when

there are grave reasons for

treason such Venezuelans

national defence

;

who may

in

7th, to issue letters of

it

;

5th, to designate

;

may have

the place to which the National Executive

to

remove tempo-

6th, to bring to trial for

any way be opposed

marque and

to

the

and

reprisals,

to

lay doAvn the rules to be followed in cases of capture. 16th.

To make

in Nimibers

1, 2,

use of the public forces, and of the powers contained

and 5 of the preceding functions, with the view of

establishing constitutional order in case of

armed insurrection

re-

against

the political institutions which the nation has assumed. 17th.

armed

To

dispose of the public force in order to put an end to the

collision

between two or more

States,

and require of them

to lay


APPENDIX.

394 aside their arms

and submit their controversies

to

the decision of the

national authorities, according to Paragraph 8 of Article 13. 18th.

To

direct the

war

or

contemplated in this Article. public interests require

command He may

the

army

in person in the cases

when

also quit the capital,

the

it.

To grant general or particular amnesties. To defend the territory marked out for the Federal when there are well-founded fears of invasion by hostile forces. 21st. To discharge the other fimctions assigned to him by the 19th.

20th.

District,

national

laws.

Art. 73.

When the

National Executive

several of the powers accorded to

it

hereon to the Congress within the eight

THIRD SECTION. Art. 74.

The President

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;OF

of the

may have made

first

days of

and

Art. 75. In order to be Minister of State five years of age, to

all

or

will report

next assembling.

United States of Venezuela will have

The law

and will organise the

duties,

its

it

THE MINISTERS OF STATE.

those Ministers of State which the law decrees. their functions

use of

in the preceding Article,

will determine

Secretariats.

requisite to be twenty-

it is

be a Venezuelan by birth, or to have been natu-

ralised five years.

The Ministers are naturally and strictly the organs of the Union they will subscribe all his acts and without formulary his orders will not be performed or executed by the

Art. 76.

President of the this

authorities, officially, or

Art. 77.

;

:

by private

persons.

All the acts of the Ministers must be regulated by this

Constitution and

by

the laws

:

they do not escape responsibility by the

order of the President, even though they receive Art, 78.

The

decision of all matters,

routine of the Secretariats, shall be Council, and their responsibility Art. 79. In the to the

first five

in writing.

arrived at

by the Ministers in

is collective.

Sessions of each year the Ministers shall report

Chambers what they may have done

respective departments.

it

which are not included in the

They

or intend to do in their

will also furnish

memoranda

tion or verbal statements, Avhen called upon, reser\'ing only

of informa-

what may be

unsuitable to publish in diplomatic negociations or in war.

Within the same term they will lay before the National Legislature the estimate of the public expenses, and the account curArt. 80.

rent of the preceding year.


APPENDIX.

395

Art. 81. Ministers have the right to speak in the Chambers,

obliged to attend

when

on

called

Art. 82. Ministers are responsible 1st.

For

and are

to give information. :

treason.

2nd. For violating the Constitution or the Laws, 3rd.

For malversation of the public fimds.

4th.

For expending sums beyond

5th.

For bribery or corruption in the discharge of their fimctions, or

in appointments to public

estimates.

offices.

FOURTH SECTION. Art. 83.

The National Executive

Union, or his locum

tenens, in

union

by the President

exercised

is

"with the Ministers of State,

of the

who

are

his organs.

Art. 84.

The

functions of the National Executive cannot be exercised

beyond the Federal

District, except in the case

of the 15th Paragraph of Article 72.

When the

contemplated in section 5 President takes

command

of the army, or absents himself from the Federal District, availing himself of the 18th

Power in the same Article

72,

he will be replaced as ordained

in Articles 72 and 102 of this Constitution.

DIVISION

VI.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; OF

THE HIGH FEDERAL COURT.

FIRST SECTION.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;OF

ITS

FORMATION.

The High Federal Court shall be composed of five Members, who must have the following qualifications 1st. The being a Venezuelan by birth or naturalized ten years, 2nd. The having completed thirty years of age. Art. 85.

with power of voting,

:

Art. 86. For the appointment of these

Members

the Legislature of

each State shall present to Congress a list equalling in numbers the places to

be

filled,

and the Congress

most votes in the united 1st.

lists

shall declare

him

elected

of the sections that follow.

Cumana, Margarita, Maturin, and Barcelona.

2nd. Guayana, Apiu'e, Barinas and Portuguesa. 3rd. Caracas, Aragua, Guarico,

and Carabobo.

4th. Cojedes, Yaracuy, Barquisimeto, 5th. Maracaibo, Trujillo, Merida,

Where

and

and Coro. Tacliii'a.

the votes are equal Congress shall decide.

who

shall

have


APPENDIX.

?>m

The law

Art. 87. bers,

determine the different functions of the

sliall

and of the other

officers of

The Members, and

Art. 88.

appointed in the same

way

mem-

the High Federal Court.

their respective substitutes,

who

shall

be

as the principals, shall continue in office four

The principals, or the substitutes in office, cannot accept any employment from the Executive during the above period, even though they should resign their Membership of the Court. years.

SECOND SECTION.

The High Court

Art. 89.

matters 1st.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;DUTIES is

OF THE HIGH FEDERAL COURT. competent to deal wnth the following

:

To take cognizance

diplomatic

of civil or criminal causes

in the

officers,

cases

which

permitted by the public

relate to

right

of

nations.

To

2nd.

take cognizance of causes in which the President orders the

trial of his Ministers,

3rd.

To examine

case of the suspension of a Minister being

and in

decreed, a report will be

made by

the Court to the President.

causes against the Ministers of State,

accused in the cases contemplated by this Constitution.

when they Should

it

are

be

necessary to suspend the accused from his fimctions, the Court will call

on the President 4th.

to suspend him,

To take cognizance

and the President

of causes in

will comply.

which diplomatic agents

accre-

dited to other nations are put on trial for misconduct. 5th.

To examine

different

States

causes in which the

on

are put

trial

high

for criminal

duct, provided that the laws of those

estates

functionaries or

acts

of the

other miscon-

sanction that form of

procedure. 6th.

To

inquire into the action of the civil tribunals

by

the nation and sanctioned 7th.

To

settle disputes

when

required

by

law.

between the

officers

of the different States in

matters of judicature or competency. 8th.

To take cognizance

of all matters

which the States wish

to

submit

to their consideration. 9th.

To

declare

what

is

clash, or those of the nation

the law in force

when

the national laws

with those of the States, or the

laAvs of the

same State with one another. 10th.

To

take cognizance of disputes which arise from contracts or

negociations ratified

by the President

of the

Union,


APPENDIX. To To

llth. 12th.

DIVISION

397

try cases of capture. exercise

VII.

other functions assigned to

tlie

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;REGULATIONS NECESSARY

it

by

law.

TO COMPLETE THE SUBJECTS TO

BE DEALT WITH. Art. 90. Everything not expressly assigned

general administration of the nation,

by

tliis

Constitution to the

within the competency of the

falls

States.

Art. 91. The tribunals of justice in the commenced in them in conformity wdth

States are independent their special procedure,

:

causes

and on

subjects of their exclusive competency, shall be settled in the States

themselves, without being subjected to investigation by any external authority.

Art. 92. Every act of Congress or of the National Executive, which

may -vdolate

the rights guaranteed to those States

by

infringe their independence, shall be declared null

always provided that quire

by

the

High

majority of the Legislatures

Court,

should

re-

it.

Art. 93. tary^

the

this Constitution, or

;

and

The public shall be

force of the nation

organize in conformity Art. 94.

The

di^dded into naval and mili-

is

composed of the militia of \yith.

citizens,

which the States

their laws.

force maintained

by the Union

shall be

formed of indi-

vidual volunteers with a contingent from each State in proportion to resources, the citizens of the State being called

bound

to

obey according

A_rt. 95.

up

to the

its

and being

to serve,

to the laws.

In case of war the contingent

citizen militia

upon

number

of

men

may

be augmented from the

required to meet the

demand

of

the National Government. Art.

96.

The National Government has

leaders of the puljlic force

the power to change the

which the States furnish in the

with the formalities that the military law of the nation

and the

States

Art. 97.

^vill

The

cases,

may

and

appoint,

then be required to furnish substitutes.

military and civil authority shall never be exercised

by

one and the same person or corporation. Art. 98.

The nation

will exercise

Art. 99.

it

as the

possesses the right of ecclesiastical patronage,

law

The Government

of the

resident officers with jurisdiction

the

States

themselves.

and

shall direct.

From

Union

shall not possess in the States

and authority, other than the this

rule

officers of

are excepted the officers of


APPENDIX.

398 finance,

and

of tlie forces wliicli garrison national fortresses, or

which

and inhabited

posts,

by the

protect parks created

and these

will

law, stations for soldiers

have jurisdiction only in what belongs to their respective

and quarters where they and they are not thereby exempt from being under the general laws of the State where they reside. AU the material of war which at present exists belongs to the National Government. duties, or within the precincts of the fortresses

command

;

The National Government cannot locate in a State a force mth a command, though belonging to that State or

Art. 100.

or military chief

otherwise, witliout the permission of the

which the force

is to

Government

of the State in

be placed.

Art. 101. Neither the National Execiitive, nor the Executives of the States, can

State

:

intervention in the domestic disputes of a

make an armed

they are only allowed to tender their good

offices to

bring about a

peaceable solution of the disputes.

When

Art. 102.

and cannot be of State will

the Presidentship

filled

fill it,

is

vacant, or temporarily vacated, President, one of the Ministers

up by a Designated

by

elected in public session

all his colleagues.

summoned, and

this case the person so elected will be

In

will report his

election to the States.

The National Congress cannot augment the imposts wliich upon them and

Art. 103.

are levied on the exports, nor increase the mortgages

when once

the existing mortgages

upon them

are

;

removed by payment,

compensation, or substitution, the exportation of the national products will be for ever free.

Art. 104. All usurped authority

is

without

effect

;

its

demand

acts are null.

of the

armed

force, or by the assembling of the people in a subversive attitude,

is ijpso

Every decision arrived

at

by

the direct or indirect

facto null and inconsequent.

Art. 105.

No

tion whatever,

corporation or

which

is

official is

permitted to discharge any func-

not conferred on him by the Constitution or the

laws.

Art.

Any

106.

Chamber

rities indicated .Art.

Union

citizen

may

accuse the national officers before the

of Deputies, before his respective superiors, or before the autho-

by the

law.

107. Officers appointed finish

but will continue in Art. 108.

by the

with him their term of

No

free voice of the President of the office in

each constitutional period

;

office until relieved.

disbursement

is

to

be made from the National Treasury,


APPENDIX. for which a

estimate,

sum has

399

not been expressly applied by Congress in the annual

and those who infringe

this rule

wiU be

civilly responsible to the

National Treasury for the sums they have so disbursed.

In

all distribu-

tions of the public treasure, the ordinary expenses will be attended to

before the extraordinary.

The departments for collecting the national contributions payments mil be always kept separate the fonner have not the power to make any other payments but what are due to the officials employed in them as salary. Art. 109.

and those

for

Art. 110.

;

When

for

any reason the estimate corresponding

to a fiscal

period has not been voted, that of the period immediately preceding shall be continued in force.

and those

Art. 111. In the periods of the national elections, States, the public force shall

States shall determine the

mode

Art. 112. In commercial

of the

be disarmed; and the respective laws of the of disarmament.

and friendly international

shall be inserted, " all differences

treaties the clause

between the contracting parties shall

be decided without appeal to war by the arbitration of some power or powers." Art. 113.

No

indi-vddual can discharge

more than one

of

any other appointment

Kemovable

officers

is

office

under the

The acceptance

nomination of the Congress or the National Executive.

equivalent to the resignation of the

first.

cease in their appointments to be capable of receiv-

ing the post of Senator or Deputy,

when dependent on

the National

Executive. Art. 114.

The law

shall create

and define the other national tribunals

which may be necessary.

The

Art. 115.

national officers cannot accept presents, trusts, honours,

or recompenses from foreign nations,

without the permission of the

National Legislature.

The armed

Art. 116.

and obedient. dies of

force cannot deliberate

No armed

corps can

any kind except from the

make

;

its

duty

requisitions,

civil authorities,

is to

be passive

nor ask for subsi-

and in the mode and

form defined by law.

The nation and

Art. 117.

by

colonization

Art. 118. officers shall

their duties

foreigners

the States will promote immigration and

under the ride of their respective laws.

One law shall regulate be bound to make oath

the

manner

in which the national

or declaration as to the discharge of

on entering upon their appointments.


APPENDIX.

400

Tlie National Executive shall negociate witli the Govern-

Art. 119.

ments of America

The

Art. 120.

for treaties of alliance or confederation.

:

rules shall be the standard, especially in cases

its

Consequently

of civil war.

between the

under the department of the

rights of nations fall

National Legislature

belligerents,

war may be terminated by

civil

who must

respect the

humane

treaties

practices of

Christian and civilized nations.

The Laws and Regulations of the government of the States force, until the new Legislatures which are about to be appointed can bring them into harmony witli the present Constitution and this must be done within the space of four months. Art. 122. This Constitution may be remodelled entirely or partially by Art. 121.

shall

remain in

;

the National Legislature, require

it

;

if

the majority of the Legislatures of the States

but the modification shall not take place except with regard

to points wliich the States desire to

Art. 123,

The

have changed.

present Constitution will

of its official publication in each State

;

come into force from the day and from that day the date of

the Federation, the 20th of February, 1859, shall be stated in all the

public acts and

official

docviments, as also that of the present law.

Given and sealed in the Hall of the Sessions of the Constituent Assembly in Caracas on the 28th of March, 1864, the

first

of the

Law and

sixth

of the Federation.

President of the Assembly,

Eugenio A. Rivera, Deputy

for

Barinas.

Vice-President,

Manuel

N. Vetancourt, Deputy for Cumand,

and seventy other Deputies.


APPENDIX.

Appendix

Mr. Mocatta's Statement of hij the Loan of 1862.

40]

(D).

Brighton,

&

Messieurs Baring, Brothers,

Money

the Disposal of the

Co.,

raised

Octoier ]3<A, 1865.

London.

Gentlemen,

The

addressed to you, of the 29th September

letter

Senor A. L. Guzman, lays a distinct charge that yoiu' agents their duties

Owdng Charge

^^'ith

to the

respect to the

d'Affaires, I

brought against 2

am am

of 1862.

alone to reply thereto

left alale

by documents

however,

this,

;

is

is

made

H. Nadal

;

and

to a previous hypothecation,

this is

answered by the

refers

fact of the creditors

represented the $4,240,000 having accepted the terms offered

prior to the Loan, it

that a

is

common fund

necessary to state the particulars

directors of the

bank

Government.

them

this took place :

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

was agreed

It

of 27 per cent, of the duties of Imports should be

which had been paid

substituted for the 38 per cent.,

to the

As

meetings on the 1st and 8th May, 1862.

at public

not

to disprove the false charges

us.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Allusion

to a letter of Dr.

who

\>\

lamented demise of F. D. Orme, Esq., C.B., Her Majesty's

a diflRcult task, as I

At page

Loan

last,

failed in

to that date

notified the acceptance of this

This

new arrangement proves

tion of the 38 per cent, ceased,

;

the

new agreement

that the hj^aotheca-

and no formal cancelment was needful.

Owing to the stopping of the bank, Mr. Carl Hahn, director thereof, made a written proposal to "the Government for a new arrangement, based on the 27 per cent, security.

In the Independiente of the 26th

Jime, 1862, the bank directors published a notice declaring that the shareholders accepted a proposal the capital of the

1862, at the

me

;

50 per

made by cent.,

at a general

the

Government

payable in

;

to purchase

five years

;

this

was

meeting held on the 3rd July,

bank premises, and presided over by

Secretary-General

Urbaneja)

at

and approved

.sanctioned

binding to

bank

his Excellency the

the A^ote passed vdih only one dissentient (Dr. D. B.

the whole was pulilished in the Caracas papers

all interested,

whether

to the case laid before the

And

citizens or foreigners.

High Federal Court

;

as

;

this

was

this brings

it

was put, V D


APPENDIX.

402

not require

certainly did

it

learned judges to say that a prior

tlie

mortgage took precedence of a second claim, for a schoolboy would be deemed a dunce did he not

have been very

and

different,

little of it, as

this.

Had

the case with

stroke of the pen they reduced

not only for the parties interested, but for

cent.,

all its

must

Court, the sentence

evident the present Government thovight

it is

by a

know

High Federal

bearings been referred to the

it

to 15 per

internal

the

all

creditors.

At page by

3

— Seiior Guzman

states that yoiu' agents directly interfered,

partial arrangements wliich they

this is mitrue, as

they simply

made with some

the Secretary of State, which were to take

&

Parclo

ment

Co.,

and

others,

up the

shares held

on a consideration being made

for the advance of

no demur,

of the creditors

fulfilled the instructions of his

payment

as the fmids of the

by Messrs. Govern-

to the

in this your agents could

;

Loan were ample

;

Excellency

make

for all just claims,

shown in my letter of the 10th April, 1863, in document No. 1. At page 4 Much stress is laid on the French and Spanish claims, which were in the hands of their respective representatives, and must have been* unadjusted, or they would have come forward, together with as

the other

Again, had the

diplomatic claims.

shares and notes of the

bank presented them

would have received the instalments

in

holding

parties

the

to the Commission, they

November, 1862

;

thus your

agents had no cognizance or intervention therein, and cannot be justly

accused of neglect of duty. I know, however, that several ^^ayments were

made

in

money

to the order of

Monsieur Millinet, the French Charge

d'Affaires.

At page

6

It is asserted that the internal creditors

even consulted

;

were not paid nor

this is untrue, as another agreement was entered into at

a public meeting, and from this emanated the

decree

November for the settlement of the bank claims. At page 8 It is said, by not calling a general meeting

of

the

of the internal

creditors, the agents

prevented the settlement of their claims

say the least of

ludicrous,

or General

it, is

and

Guzman would have

had he presumed

to

call

should like to

I

15th

;

this, to

know what Senor

said to the agent of the 1864 Loan,

a meeting

of the creditors of the Export

Duties. It is stated that the

law of Venezuela requires that a Loan should be

* Sic

ill

ori'T.


;;

APPENDIX. registered

;

was the agent of the 1864 Loan not made

this is so, wliy

ii"

and not be only

to register,

scriptural, the

ment

that they were holders

bonds

?

is

particularly so as the

in their financial state-

one-third of the ÂŁ1,500,000

of nearly

registry was, I believe, subseq^uently

made, owing

you by General Guzman Blanco in February

notice given to

necessity

more

Government made known

present Venezuelan

The

403

new

to

me, as from the year 1823 to 1837

to the

last.

This

was a resident

I

merchant in Caracas, and had never known any proceeding for the fulfilment of the decrees of all the governments that existed during that period, than

" Bando,"

by

and inscribed in the

Registro OJicial

(eqiuvalent to our London Gazette). I

send you a note of Mr. Carl Halm, one of the liquidators of the

Bank and

affairs

at foot.

No.

;

No.

3,

shewing the

2,

total liabilities of the

unpaid by General Paez's Government.

H. E. Pedro Jose Rojas

letter of

Senor Guzman

this appears impossible, as the

Boulton

&

Co.

and

;

my

letter of 10th April,

Loan were ample

states that

for the require-

no accoimts were kept

Government nominated

consisting of Messrs. Ruete, Rolil,

left

beg to refer you to the

Also to

1863, shewing that the proceeds of the for.

I

your agents of 3rd October, 1862,

to

confirming the conditions of the Loan.

ments stipulated

Government

shewing the sums paid thereon, and the balance

&

a commission

Santana Brothers, and H. L.

Co.,

this Conxmission appointed the

Bank

of

Hahn and

Servadio to attend to the payments of the vales and notes presented

Commission

these parties sent to the

Publico

"

a letter No.

translation,

ment No.

No.

I

and a note,

shemng

5,

and the

thereof,

6.

4,

drawn

for each creditor, to

le'tter

by me,

the Secretary-General, and crossed

I

;" this is

shown in

de Credito

letter

No.

under document

the Commission,

December, 1862, stating the amounts delivered by

ment

" Seccion

which you have a copy and

the amounts of the creditors and the settle-

bills

addressed a

also

entitled of

"

me

to

on the 22nd

His Excellency

Redeemed by the Govern-

7.

addressed a letter to His Excellency Pedro Jose Rojas, relative to

the papnents of the

November, 1862

Bank

creditors

copy herewith. No.

;

of the

same

claims,

which were placed

date.

No.

9.

by the commission, dated 27th 8.

Also His Excellency's reply

Prior to the settlement of the diplomatic in the hands of G. Stiirup, Esq.,

Danish

Consul General, consisting of the British, Danish, United States, and

Dutch

claims,

your

November, 1862,

as

agents received

shewn

in copy

the authorization on the

17th

and translation of His Excellency II

D

2


APPENDIX.

401

(accompanied by a long statement from the

Pedro Jose Rojas'

letter

Foreign

the totals being the exact sums paid The French and Spanish claims were not brought

Office, too profuse to add,

No.

to each),

10.

who

before your agents,

The

Collector of

bills

fully applied, I send letter of

of

La Guayra,

To prove

on you.

know nothing

consequently could

of them.

sent the list of inscribed cre-

per copy with translation No. 11

ditors, as

paid by

Customs

;

the amounts thereof were

that the whole of the funds were faith-

you under No,

12,

copy and translation of the

His Excellency the Secretary of State, acknowledging receipt

had presented. Of the 23 signatures attached to the memorial, I find nine received their 20 and 10 per cent. viz. Carl Hahn, D. B. Barrios, Santiago of all the vouchers I

;

:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Vera, L. Sucre, J. B. Calcano, Eduardo Gathman, Modesto Urbaneja,

Alexandre Viso, Manuel M. A. Aurrecoechea. Considering that

I

have fully exonerated myself from the charge of

neglect of duty, and that

you are

satisfied that

due diligence has been

observed by me, I

have the honour to be. Gentlemen,

Yours

respectfully,

E. Mocatta.

(Signed)

Republic of Venezuela.

Caracas, November Vtk, 1862. Office of Secretary General,

Finance Department.

Section

Number.

Messrs. E. Mocatta and F. D. Orme.

You

are hereby authorised to

foreign Governments, claims, already

which

this

pay

to the representatives of the

Government owes

for international

acknowledged and liquidated, in conformity with the

account which will be presented to you from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

I

am,

Sii'S,

Your obedient (Signed)

Note.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;The

payments must be made

servant,

Pedro Jose Rojas.

at latest for the packet of 7th

December. (Signed)

Rojas.


APPENDIX. This Custom-house

is

405

indebted for orders which have been presented

lip to date.

Date

Owners. Cs. Geyler

Jn. Boggio

Owner of

&

Servadio Monsauto

&

Co.

.

.... .....

the Custom-house of Puerto Cabello

Cipriano Slorales

Herrara Hermanos Vicente Perez

/

do.

\

G. Servadio Alejo. Viso

I

j

Endorsed to Messrs. Xeckehnann, Eoosen, & Co. Half of three orders amounting to

Alejandro Viso, 2 orders Francisco Eamirez

Syers, Brasch,

&

to

Messrs.

...... .....

Marturet, Bros.,

Gmllo. Stiirup

....

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Endorsed &

Co.

.

Co.

Do.

Lr Guayra, OctMr

IZt/i,

1862.

.

.

.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

APPENDIX.

406 lie

infomied of the actual position of the arrangement, prior to receiving

the "Billetes y Acciones" from the hoklers thereof. I

have the honour

to be,

Excellent Sir,

Your most obedient

Servant.

(Signed)

E.

Mocatta.

Bepublic of Venezuela.

Caracas, November

Finance Department, Section

1st,

Number

27th, 1862.

1796.

Sir, I

have the honour to inform you that

I

have given proper

instructions to the Director of the Section of Public Credit,

and

to

by

his

the Commission appointed in conformity with the decrees issued

Excellency the Supreme Chief, on the 15th instant, to attend to the indications of your note of this date, to

which

Your most obedient

I reply.

Servant,

Pedro Jose Rojas.

(Signed) E. Mocatta, Esq.

[Copy.]

Caracas, December 22nd, 1862. Messrs. Ruete, Rohl,

&

Co.

Santana, Brothers,

&

Co,

H. L. Boulton & Co.

Gentlemen, I

beg to inform yoii that

I

have handed to his Excellency the

Secretary-General the following Billetes, &c., crossed by me, " Redi-

midos por

el

Gobierno," and on which neither the 20 and 10 per cent.,

nor the 10 and 5 per cent, on the acciones ordinarias are payable $141,680 Euote presentados por Belletes, Kohl 37,950

id.

id.

,,

C.

112,950

id.

id.

â&#x20AC;&#x17E;

J.

20,000

id.

id.

,,

&

:

Co.

Hahn B. de Leon do.

164,250 Acciones de preferencia por do. 481,250 Acciones ordinarias por 20,000

There

is still

id.

id.

to be arranged with

Messrs. Marcano, Hos.,

&

Co.

,,

you the

do. do.

Billetes, &c.,

handed in by


APPENDIX. There are also $44,868.58 ,

and

17,445.05

which were handed in by

Billetes in the

401

hands of the Treasurer,

j

me by

order of his Excellency

;

the same were

returned by Mr. Guillo. Stiirup, and Mr. F. D. Orme, on the settlement of their diplomatic recognized claims.

For the balance

of the 20

and 10 per

cent,

on the Billetes and

Acciones, the Goverimaent held more than sufficient of the same to

cover your claim, and

I

beg

to refer

to his Excellency the Secretary-

you

General to satisfy you thereon. I

am, Gentlemen, Yours, respectfully, E.

(Signed)

Mocatta.

Caracas, Nm-ember I

have received of Messrs. Baring, Brothers,

&

1862.

Gtk,

Co., of

London,

by the hands of Messrs. E. bills and cash, on account of in Mocatta and F. D. Orme, up to this day, the Loan of the 31st July of the present year, the sum of one hundred agents to the Government of Venezuela,

and

thousand

ninety-one

sterling, wliich are

&

Brothers,

Co., for

hundred

one

and

twenty-five

pounds

placed to the credit of the said Messrs. Baring,

account of the Government.

The

Secretary-General,

Pedro Jose Rojas.

(Signed)

Caracas, November 22nd, 1862.

As

Secretary-General, I have received of Mr. E. Mocatta, on

account of the Loan contracted with Messrs. Baring, Brothers, fifty -two

thousand one hundred pounds

sterling, in bills

(Signed)

Secretary-General, I

6th, 1862.

have received of Mr. E. Mocatta, on

account of the Loan contracted with Messrs. Baring, Brothers,

sum

of one

two pounds

hundred and sterling

fifty-five

:

&

Co., the

thousand seven hundred and ninety-

and fourteen shUKngs. (Signed)

For ^155,792

Co.,

Pedro Jose Rojas.

Caracas, December

As

&

on London.

14s.

Pedro Jose Rojas.


APPENDIX.

408

Mr. Carl Hahn's Memorandum of Bank Affairs. Cash

for Vales of

.... ....

La Guayra Custom-house Puerto Cabello

,,

,,

,,

Cash from the Government to make up part

$92,000

700

of claims of prefer-

ence credits

78,387.19

$171,087.19 $2,961,373.13 debt of Government in account current, which includes all Billetes (Notes at 30 per cent, after deducting $100,000)

888,417.94

$3,181,459.71 Capital of the Bank, at 15 per cent.

.

477,218.85

.

$1,536,723.98

Of the above the $171,087.19 was paid

in full, in Bills

and

Specie, thus leaving to be paid Bills

drawn and Specie

—total

$1,365,636.19

paid for the

Bank

accounts

£164,040

Deduct the sterling value of the $171,087.19, about

26,837 £1.37,203

At

£

the Excliange of $6.50 to the

sterling

....

891,820

Balance which should have been puid by the Government in February, 1863

$473,816.19

Equivalent in sterling to

£72,900

[Copy.]

Bank Messrs. Ruete, Rohl,

&

Santana, Brothers,

H.

L.

Boulton

of Caracas.

Co.

&

&

Co.

Co.

Caracas, December

Aih, 1862,

a.m.

Gentlemen,

We which were

have the honour to hand you a note of the apjalied for yesterday,

and

bills of

by the Section of Public and another of the amount of

Credit, another presented

To-morrow we wll hand to-day, and remain,

in lists of the creditors

in

credits in bills

Your obedient

exchange,

also a statement of the lists

and

by the

handed

creditors,

cash.

who may come

Servants,

For the Bank of Caracas, (Signed)

Carl Hahn. (i.

Servadiu.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

APPENDIX. The Section

of

PuMic Credit handed

In Notes of the

1st

2ud

Bank

in the following Lists

....

:^

$1,023,299.50 202,946.0fi

do

do.

,,

409

116,701.10

Titles

1,342,946.66 1st

,,

2nd

$412,0.n0

Preference Shares

7,750

do.

,,

419,830 $1,762,776.66 1st

,,

2nd

,,

Ordinary Shares

$2,330,500

.

187,250

do.

2,517,750

$4,280,526.66

Brought forward by Creditors up

to

December

3rd, 4 o'clock, p.m.

:

Calculated at 20

Bills

$1,117,310

and Titles

Preference Shares

Ordinary do

&

10.

$223,462.04

420,580

84,116

2,452,500

245,250

$552,828.04 Bills applied for

Cash

for small

...

sums and balances

ÂŁ81,730

.

$521,028.75 31,799.29

.

$552,828.04

For the Bank of Caracas (Signed)

Carl Hahn, G. Servadio.

[Copy.] 1st List of

Amounts Hahn

* Carl

to be dra^^"n .

on London


APPENDIX,

410

Bioiiglit forward

220

J.

£10,690 110

B. Calcano

221 Santiago, Vera,

& Co. & Co,

1410 1100

....

222 H. G. Schimrael 223 F, Garrido

&

224 L. Weber

225 Lindo

&

.

240 150

Co.

210 190

Co.

226 Octavio Pardo

227 Hermanos Delfino y Sobriiio

2320

228 Cipriauo Morales

140

229 Cauuto Garcia

840

.

230 M. Tovar Galindo

370

231 Fortimato Corvaia

8080

232 J. M. Martel 233 G. Petit de Meiirville, Chancelier de

440 la

Legation

150

Francaise

&

234 A. M. Seixas 235 J. Viso

370

Co.

670 130

.

236 Sautana, Herms., y Ca. 237 Maiirieio Poggi

400

238 Hernandez y Kivodo 239 Lorenzo A. Mendoza

180

240 C. Madriz

300

490

.

241 Sosa, Duran, y Ca. 242 D. B. Barrios

260

243 Modesto Urbaneja

200

244

id.

100

245

id.

100

246

id.

600

247

id.

1000

248 249

id.

1000

id.

1000

760

250 H. L. Boulton & Co

310

251 M. Martel

130 230

252 Alejandro Viso 253 Gnillo. Rivas

110

.

950

254 Santiago Vera 255 M. M. Rodriguez Sosa

.150

260

256 Juan Boggio

257 Juan D. Gouell 258 J. B. de Leon (£3374)

170 ^16,240

.

220

259 C. Espino y Ca. en liquidn Carry forward

Only £3374, the

rest

£52,770

having been previously drawn.


APPENDIX. Brought forward 2fi0 Syers,

Braasch, y Ca.

411 £52,770 1660

261 Pedro Vegas

250

262 Agustina Perez de Garrotte

200

263 B. .Eivodo * J. B. de Leon

940

264 Ruete, RbW,

330

&

Co.

1360

.

190

265 A. F. Carranza

266 GntieiTez y Gnardia 267 Tomas Aquerrevere

.

380

200

268 Juan Dr. Perez 6 hijos 269 Eduardo Espino

450

270 Jose Eeyes

160

.

271 Escobar, Henns., en

liciuidi

272 F. Ramirez 273 T.

274

Hugo

275

J.

276

360

Hugo

100

Valentiuer

Jacinto Rivas

277

360

.

490

Valentiner

170

id.

278 T. Smith y Schroeder t Marcano, Brothers, y Ca.

100 120

480

id.

t

110 120

Ncvett

S.

120

279 Sojo, Larralde, y Ca.

1010

Hahn

1400

280 Carl

840

281 Luis Vallenilla

282 Carlos Soublette

390

283 Eduardo Gathmanu

110

284 Andres Ma. Caballero

530

285

id.

390

286

id.

287 Marxen

&

390 Craso

520

.

288 Gullielmo Sturup

140

289

110

id.

290 Manuel Martel

160

291

310

id.

292 Aristides Calcasio

300

293

290

id.

2340

294 Camilo Alfaro, Junr. 295 Domingo Rodriguez

120

296 M. M. Aurrecoecliea

620 Carry forward

Previously drawn.

+ Subsequently arranged.

£71,390


412

APPENDIX.


APPENDIX. Account of £45,000

Bank

re7nitted to the

of

413

St.

Thomas's for Negotiation.

£45,000 at exchange $4.90 ^ £ stg., Dollars Less commission chai-ged .

6th Oct. Received 21st

.

$220,500 3 307.50

$217,192.50

^

"Isabel"

Do.

$100,000

do.

Insurance at

St.

116,007.25

Thomas'

1,115.25

$217,122.50 9th Oct. Paid by order of his Excellency the Secretary-General £2000 Do. to the London Committee £1000 Do.

to Sn. Eyzagiiirre

Do.

liis

22nd

Do.

by order of

^0-

do-

....

his Excellency do.

at

40,000 hard dollars

Do.

6,500

32,550

Excellency the Secretary-General

La GuajTa

at

$13,000

do.

Do.

do.

Do.

do.

.

78,750 13,000

52,620

to Sn. Eyzaguirre

53,355.50

do.

17,293.62

$2100, $10,000 (to the S

Government) Taken by me for charges Less freight charges on first .

remittance Do. second Carriage from

£2000 La Guayr

.

.

do.

La GuajTa

.

.

.

12,100 .

.

$3250

$440 387.87 21

848.87 2,401.13

Net proceeds

Caracas, November, 1862. E.

MOCATTA.

$281,470.25


:

,,

APPENDIX.

414 Bills

drawn on Messrs. Baring, Brothers, S Co., and Money received from London Loan, for account of the Government of Venezuela, viz.

the

Thomas', as per separate account £45,000 by orders of his Excellency the Secretary- General 10,500 £5000, £5000, £500

Bills negotiated at St. ,,

,,

in favour of

Moron &

Messrs. J. H.

Co. £5000,

£6000, £6000, £10,000 of Eggers raguia

,,

,,

&

.

.

£1750

.

.

Pardo & Co. Paid to the Bank Pardo & Co.

of

and Shares of Bank.

,

,,

,,

,

,

of sundries, in

,,

,,

Herraanos, Pages,

,,

,,

Eggers

,,

^

57,524

.

of debts.

Custom

Co., £3000,

£3000,

payment House, La Guayra

&

9175

,

£1000

&

7000 Echenagucia,

contract

their

$2272 Chartier& Olavarria £2000, £3175 Santana, Hermanos, & Co. $10,000

,,

,,

,,

,,

,,

,,

M.Larda, Treasurer of Caracas, £1000, £1000, £1000 Sold for cash and on credit

,,

,,

Fco. Michelena.

,,

,,

Vicente Piccioni

,,

,,

Ruete, Eohl,

,,

,,

Santana, Hermanos,

Sr.

.

.

Marcano, Hs.,

&

&a