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nication. The larger hole I found to contain birds'-nests, the lesser serving as a sort of window to the dark interior of the rocky habitations of the feathered tribes. I also remarked towards the summit of the hill, every here and there, channels scooped out in the rock, like conduits for water, and in which I expected to see water, but on closer examination I discovered that these little hollow paths were filled inch-thick with white snails, which are found in frightful quantities among the layers of sand. On the side of the island nearest to Callao we saw some miserable fishermen's huts; and behind these, in the midst of sand, was a churchyard, where several English and American sailors had found their last restingplace.
It is well known that Peru is perhaps more favoured by nature than any other country in South America. Besides its vast herds of cattle, its rich vegetation, the mines yield, or would yield, enormous wealth. At the end of the last century 670 gold and silver mines were in full operation, and 578 had been commenced to be worked. Spain drew from the district of Potosi alone six millions of piastres annually. The returns are now far different. Exhaustion after the fierce civil war, insecurity, and indifference to the future, have succeeded to the universal disquiet and constant commotions that so long disturbed this unhappy land. The victory of AYACUCHO, which was won in 1824 by General Suere, put an end to the revolutionary war against Spain, and placed Peru, with the exception of Callao, in the hands of the patriots. But since that period the country has been a prey to repeated insurrections, not unfrequently led by subaltern officers, and persons of a similar grade. No president has almost ever been elected without violent party strife and civil warfare. Three or four pretenders to the supreme power have often been known to spring up at the same time, each of whom had gathered a crowd of followers, many of them wild adventurers; each party plundered and murdered, and were in turn routed and dispersed. Yet, as they were permitted to remain undisturbed in the country, they were ready at the first opportunity to react the same scenes. Thus the history of Peru for the last twenty years is but a record of a series of outrages which, having impoverished the country and broken the spirit of the people, has left them in such dejection, or despair, that they have become totally indifferent to the prosperity of their native land, and do not care to exert themselves in her cause. Even now one does not see any probable termination to this unhappy state of things, for at this moment another revolution appears ready to break out. Peru, which formerly was proverbial for its gold, its importance, and its flourishing condition, is now, like many other decayed states, but a shadow-a ghost of the past.
We left Callao on the 18th of March, and shaped our course to Guyaquil. We glanced at Payta, in Upper Peru, whose coast presented the appearance of a sea-washed calcareous hill, without any trace of vegetation; passed the rocky island of Santa Clara, in the bay of Guyaquil, on which there stands a lighthouse; and, on the 25th of the same month, anchored close to a small town on the east side of the island of Puna, which lies farther up the bay. It was an enchanting spot. In the midst of a thick and leafy grove, fragrant with the perfume of the most beautiful flowers, and watered by a rivulet whose banks were adorned with rows of an American plant, from which green tendrils fell into the stream, floating on it in circles like emerald coronets, lay a small town, or village,
containing about twenty houses, raised some distance from the ground by being built upon posts of four or five ells in height. The inhabitants dread the dampness of the rainy season. The spaces under the houses are often used as pens for goats and sheep. Most of these primitive dwellings consist only of one room, in which the whole family assemble, each in his hammock. From all appearance one would fancy that their principal use is to give shelter from the heat of the sun.
There was something more peculiar about this little town than about any place I had hitherto seen; it was so wild, that it forcibly reminded us of our being in a country new to us. It was now about the end of the rainy season, and the temperature was low, yet all nature looked as gay and as fresh as on one of our liveliest spring days. Parrots and humming-birds, and thousands of other birds, brilliant in plumage and graceful in form, and gorgeous butterflies, wandered among the trees, which were entwined by wreaths of convolvuli; and all around was redolent of gladness and beauty. It was a sight not easily to be forgotten.
Our entrance to Guyaquil was marked by an unpleasant event-the execution of some pirates, of whose vessel we had seen something on our voyage from Callao. Six of them were put to death. They were bound, blindfolded, to as many wooden posts, and shot by a detachment of soldiers drawn up at a short distance from them. The pirates begged, before their execution, to be allowed to say a few words to the people-a crowd having collected to see them die-but they were not permitted to speak; and it was whispered that, had they done so, they would have revealed a secret which would have implicated in their guilt sundry personages of an elevated rank; it was, therefore, inconvenient to grant their request.
It would be almost impossible to convey an idea of the spirit which pervades official life here. The state is overburdened with a host of public functionaries and military authorities. There are almost as many generals and commandants as there are common soldiers; and nearly the whole of these, and the members of government, are abused by their countrymen as thieves, cheats, pirates, intriguers; in a word, as the worst of mankind. There is so little stability in affairs, and so little security for anybody, that every one seeks to scrape together all he can, and make the most of the passing day, no matter by what means. Every one connected with the government, from the president down to the lowest official, has but this one aim-his own advantage. Hence spring these incessant revolutions-these changes of the constitution-these party strifes, with all their attendant enmity, hatred, and insecurity. Power falls to the share of him who can collect the greatest number of adherents; and these are obtained by the most corrupt and audacious bribery. And thus is this country impoverished, which might be free, happy, rich, and respectable.
Guyaquil, the most important mercantile town in the Republic of Equador, is by no means a pretty place, but it has a certain originality, which is wanting in the others. At Guyaquil all is Moorish. Most of the streets are overgrown with grass and weeds, where horses, goats, lamas, and mules graze in peaceful harmony together. The principal street, however, which is very wide, is kept free from these animals; the houses in it are two stories high, while in the other parts of the town they are mostly of one story. The balconies of the second story-where
there are second stories-are supported by arches, which form an arcade beneath, a pleasant walk during the heat of the day, or during the heavy rains which come on so suddenly.
There was not a single hotel or public-house in the town. Visits from strangers were so rare that these places of resort had not been needed. We were assisted out of our dilemma about lodgings by a German, who most kindly invited us to his house. We were grateful for his hospitality, though our quarters were none of the best. We occupied hammocks in his shop (the lower stories of the houses in the principal streets are converted into shops), on the walls of which enormous cockroaches, gigantic spiders, and scorpions, held their nocturnal revels. During our long voyage, as you may have observed by the sameness of my narrative, we had met with no sort of adventures; but I assure you, as I lay awake these nights, I prepared myself to do battle with the scorpions, or any of the other creatures whom I every moment expected to invade my hanging couch.
While we were at Guyaquil, it wore a very warlike aspect. An attack from Flores was hourly expected, and to defend the town against him, three batteries had been constructed of great beams of timber, mounted with very serviceable cannon, ready for use at a moment's warning. Recruits, in blue and white summer uniforms, were diligently exercised, and the sound of trumpets and fifes was constantly heard in the streets. Entrance into the harbour after six o'clock in the evening was strictly forbidden; and an English steamer, probably not aware of the order, that had come in, was fired at. Nevertheless, Flores had many adherents in the town, among whom indubitably was our host himself. The government of the day, in its proclamations, denounced Flores as a pirate, and offered a reward to any one who would take him prisoner.
Guyaquil lies in a plain at the foot of a range of hills; these looked so fresh and charming, that it would have been a pleasure to have ascended them, had not the troublesome mosquitoes, in vast swarms, assailed every one who attempted to intrude on this sacred domain. But numerous as the mosquitoes are, here, I cannot with truth say that, either in point of annoyance or number, they rival the gnats of Lapland. Earthquakes are frequent in these parts, therefore houses are built so as best to resist them: the partition walls are composed of rushes and earth, which form a substance that will bend, but not fall beneath the violence of the shocks.
Chimborazzo lies about twenty-five leagues from this place, and when the weather is extremely clear one can catch a glimpse of its blue stupendous mass; the Cordilleras are more frequently seen.
On the 4th of April we returned to the frigate, which we had left at Puna, and made sail for the open sea. When in the vicinity of Santa Clara, we saw a steamer and four sailing ships, which proved to be the squadron belonging to Flores. A deputation of officers came on board our ship, with a letter from Flores to our commander, setting forth his wrongs and his expectations, and requesting that if we would not assist his plans to overthrow "the usurper Urbina," and to restore his followers to their families and their home, we would at least preserve a strict neutrality. As may be supposed, we were noway inclined to mix ourselves up in his affairs; so we quietly held on our course till, on the 16th, we anchored in the roadstead of Panama.
Jan.-VOL. CIX. NO. CCCCXXXIII.
INFORMATION RELATIVE TO MR. JOSHUA TUBBS AND CERTAIN MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY.
CAREFULLY COMPILED FROM AUTHENTIC SOURCES.
By E. P. RowSELL.
THE DAY OF RECKONING.
MR. CHRISTIAN was a mild, easy man, quickly disturbed by anything disagreeable, and a note which was put into his hands one morning while he was at breakfast, very much surprised and startled him.
It was from the solicitor of a railway company in which he held shares, stating that unless he at once paid a certain overdue call thereon, legal proceedings would of necessity be taken against him.
"Overdue call," muttered Mr. Christian to himself—" why I paid it some weeks back. There cannot be any mistake about it. Ah! it was to Henry Marsden I gave the money. That's fortunate. I have his receipt. I must call on this solicitor after breakfast."
Accordingly, Mr. Christian waited on Mr. Sharp without delay.
"All I can say, sir," said Mr. Sharp, in reply to Mr. Christian's statement, "is, that your name has appeared before the board many times in the list of defaulters, and as you took no heed of the ordinary notices"
"Notices?" interposed Mr. Christian. "I have had no notices." "I cannot see why they should not have been sent you, but"But, excuse me. I should not complain if I owed the money, but I repeat, I paid it weeks ago."
"Ah, yes. I beg your pardon. I understood you that you thought you had paid it, and that was the reason of the delay. You have a receipt, then, of course."
"Certainly. I took a receipt from-"
A light broke in upon Mr. Christian-a light which made him sick and giddy, and stopped his further speech. Marsden was saved for the moment. Had Mr. Christian uttered his name, the lawyer would immediately have perceived the explanation of the mystery, and in an hour Marsden would have been in custody.
"You are ill, sir," said Mr. Sharp, rising.
"I shall be better in the air," replied Mr. Christian, faintly. "I will investigate this matter further at the office. Good morning." And he
Staggering and stumbling, as though he carried a heavy load, the kindhearted but easily shaken man wended his way through the crowded streets (wherein people always seem so selfish, so wrapped up in themselves, and so perfectly regardless of others), and arrived at the railway-office. Marsden was at his customary desk, but he rose to greet Mr. Christian immediately on his entry.
The young man was pale and haggard enough but now, yet one glance
at Mr. Christian's face rendered his own as ghastly as it would have been in death. Mr. Christian regarded him for a moment steadfastly.
"I want to speak to you for a few minutes, Marsden," he said, in a broken voice. "Come with me."
They went together, without a word, to an hotel close by, and sat down in a small private room.
Marsden was the less agitated of the two. He had become almost reckless.
"Let the blow fall, Mr. Christian," he said, covering his face with his hands. "I know what you seek to say. There is no reply. Let the end come."
"Is it possible, Henry Marsden!" exclaimed Mr. Christian, with warmth, "that you not only have committed this terrible act, but that you treat it with a comparatively reckless air?"
"You look only upon a part. The dark whole is before me," replied Marsden. "I have been torn and tortured till I am absolutely wishful for the final stroke of misery-would it were of death."
Mr. Christian was greatly shocked.
"You would seem to imply more than this one calamity," he said ; "what more has to be revealed?"
"Certainly not from wilfulness," replied Marsden, rising, and pacing the room in terrible agitation-"certainly not from want of appreciation of the kindness which I know is still in your heart towards me-w —which has prompted the mode in which you have communicated to me the discovery it is clear you have made-but for the reason that I am beyond help, that my ruin must come, and that all conversation is only purposeless torture, let me entreat you to say no more."
"Merciful Heaven! what is to be done? What could be your motive, Marsden, for this act ?"
Bringing shame and ruin on your own head, and disgrace on all con、 nected with you."
"Forbear, sir, forbear!" exclaimed Marsden, almost fiercely, stopping and confronting him. "I have told you that I am prepared to suffer all that may come. Why torture me unnecessarily ?"
Mr. Christian could not understand this. To a man of his mind, bended knees and floods of tears, tearing of hair, uplifted eyes, and beating of breast, would have been more appropriate than this demeanour.
"Unfortunate young man," he faltered. "Indeed, I think you are beyond help. You have made your bed, and must lie it."
"Ah, yes," replied Marsden, bitterly, "so say; many a worse fate than mine has received that comment and then passed from recollection." "And what right have you," returned Mr. Christian, with severity"what right have you, or any one, to complain of the remark? Why should you, or any other misguided man, seek to make the world appear harsh or unforgiving, because it refuses you any other couch than that you have prepared for yourself? But I am very far, Henry Marsden," he continued, in a much milder tone, "from wishing to say one word to add to the pain which you must feel. Now I can see the explanation of your illness for weeks past, remarked by us all-now I can understand the infrequency of your visits-now