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marvellous stories of what they had seen and learned, which inflamed the curiosity and cupidity of others. These parties were generally accompanied by an ecclesiastic, who was the historian of the expedition. Some idea may be formed of the worthlessness of their records by examining a few of the stories related by them. Here is one:

Juan Alvarez Maldonado made an expedition from Cuzco in the year 1561. He descended the eastern range of the Andes, and had scarcely cleared the rough and rocky ground of the slope when his party encountered two pigmies. They shot the female, and the male died of grief six days afterwards.

“ Following the course of the great river Mano downwards, at the distance of two hundred leagues they landed upon a beach, and a piquet of soldiers penetrated into the woods. They found the trees so tall as to exceed an arrow-shot in height, and so large that six men, with joined hands, could scarcely circle them. Here they found lying upon the ground a man, five yards in height, members in proportion, long snout, projecting teeth, vesture of beautiful leopard skin, short and shrivelled, and, for a walking stick, a tree, which he played with as with a cane. On his attempting to rise, they shot him dead, and returned to the boat to give notice to their companions. These went to the spot, and found traces of his having been carried off. Following the track towards a neighboring hill, they heard thence such shouts and vociferations that they were astounded, and, horror-stricken, fled.” One more:

“Between the years 1639 and 1648, Padre Tomas de Chaves, a Dominican, entered among the Chunchos, from Cochabamba, in Bolivia. IIe took twelve of them to Lima, where they were baptized. He then went back and lived among them fourteen years, making many expeditions. His last was in 1654 among the Moros Indians of the Mamoré. Ile there cured a cacique of some infirmity, and the Emperor of the Musus (this is the great Paititi or gilded King of the Spaniards) sent six hundred armed men to the cacique of the Moxos, demanding that the reverend father should be sent to cure his Queen. The Moxos were very unwilling to part with their physician; but threats of extermination delivered by the ambassadors of the Emperor induced compliance; and the padre was carried off on the shoulders of the Indians. After a travel of thirty days, he came to the banks of a stream so wide that it could scarcely be seen across ; (supposed to be the Beni.) Here the Indian ambassadors had left their canoes; loosing them from the banks, they launched, went down the stream twelve days, and then landed. Here the father



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found a large town inhabited by an incredible number of savages,

all soldiers, guarding this great port of the river, and entrance into the empire of the Musus. No women were to be seen ; they lived in another town, a league off, and only came in by day to bring food and drink to the warriors, and returned at night.

“ He observed that the river at this place divided into many arms, all appearing navigable, and formed large islands, on which were great towns, He travelled hence twenty-seven days, when he arrived at court. The King came out to meet him, dressed in the finest and most delicate feathers, of different colors. He treated his guest with great courtesy, had a sumptuous feast prepared for him, and told him that, hearing of his wonderful powers as a physician, he had sent for him to cure the Queen of a disease which had bafiled the skill of all his doctors. The good father remarked that he was no physician, and had not been bred to that art; but observing that the Queen was beset with devils, (“obsesa,") he exorcised her according to the formulary, whereby she was thankfully made a Christian. He was eleven months in the court of the Paititi ; at the end of which time, seeing that the wine and flour for the sacred elements were giving out, and having baptized an infinite number of infants in “ Articulo Mortis," he took leave of their majesties, recommending to the Queen that she hold fast the faith she had received, abstaining from all offence towards God. He refused from the King a great present of gold, silver, pearls, and rich feathers; whereat (says Father Tomas) the King and courtiers wondered greatly."

These are of the number of stories which, inflaming the cupidity of the Spaniards, led them to brave the perils of the wilderness in search of El Dorado. They serve to show at this day the little confidence which is to be placed in the relations of the friars concerning this country; I do not imagine, however, that they are broad lies. The soldiers of Maldonado evidently mistook monkeys for pigmies, and some beast of the forest, probably the tapir, for a giant; and there is doubtless some truth in the account of Padre Tomas, though one cannot credit the six hundred ambassadors; the river that could scarcely be seen across; the garrisoned port; and the gold, silver, and pearls of an alluvial country.

But the defeated followers of Almagro, flying from before the face of the still victorious Pizarros, did find to the eastward of Cuzco a country answering, in some degree, to the description of the fabulous El Dorado. They penetrated into the valleys of Carabaya, and found there washings of gold of great value. They subjugated the Indians ; built the towns of San Juan del Oro, San Gaban, Sandia, &c.; and sent large quantities of gold to Spain. On one occasion they sent a mass of gold in the shape of an ox's head, and of the weight of two hundred pounds, as a present to Charles V. The Emperor, in acknowledgment, gave the title of “Royal City” to the town of San Juan del Oro, and ennobled its inhabitants. The Indians, however, in the course of time, revolted, murdered their oppressors, and destroyed their towns. Up to the last three years this has been a sealed country to the white man. I shall have occasion to refer to it again.

While these efforts to penetrate the Montaña to the eastward of Cuzco were being made, Gonzalo Pizarro fitted out at Quito an expedition, consisting of 350 Spaniards and 4,000 Indians, with large supplies of provisions and live stock. All who have read the brilliant pages of Prescott, know the history of this expedition : the discovery of cinnamon; the treachery of Orellana; and the origin of the present name of the great river. I shall not tread upon such ground; but shall content myself with observing that, if Pizarro built a brig, or anything that carried a mast, he either embarked low down


the Napo, or, what I rather suspect, the Napo was a much larger stream then than now.

The failure of this expedition, and the almost incredible sufferings of the party who composed it, could not deter the Spaniards from their search for El Dorado. In 1560 the Marquis of Cañete, Viceroy of Peru, sent Pedro de Ursoa with a large company on this mission. This officer marched north ward from Cuzco, and embarked upon the Huallaga. At Lamas, a small town near that river, he was murdered by his lieutenant, Lope de Aguirre, who determined to prosecute the enterprise. Aguirre descended the Huallaga—and the Amazon to its mouth-coasted along the shores of Guayana and Venezuela, and took possession of the small island of Marguerita. There raising a party, he landed at Cumaná, with the purpose of conquering an empire on the main land. He was, however, defeated by some Spanish troops who had already possession of the country, taken prisoner, carried to Trinidad and hung:

Aguirre appears to have been a bold and violent man. His letter to Philip II, published in Humboldt's narrative, is indicative of his character. He says: “On going out of the river Amazon we landed at an island called La Margaretta. We there received news from Spain of the great faction of the Lutherans. This news frightened us exceedingly. We found among us one of that faction; his name was Monteverde. I had him cut in pieces, as was just; for, believe me, signor, wherever I am, people live according to the law.

“In the year 1559 the Marquis of Cañete sent to the Amazon Pedro de Ursoa, a Navarrese, or rather a Frenchman. We sailed on the largest rivers of Peru till we came to a gulf of fresh water. We had already gone 300 leagues, when we killed that bad and ambitious captain. We chose a Cavallero of Seville, Fernando de Guzman, for king; and we swore fealty to him, as is done to thyself. I was named quartermaster general; and, because I did not consent to all his will, he wanted to kill me. But I killed this new king, the captain of his guards, his lieutenant general, his chaplain, a woman, a knight of the order of Rhodes, two ensigns, and five or six domestics of the pretended king. I then resolved to punish thy ministers and thy auditors. I named captains and sergeants. These again wanted to kill me; but I had them all hanged. In the midst of these adventures we navigated eleven months, till we reached the mouth of the river. We sailed more than 1,500 leagues. God knows how we got through that great mass of water. I advise thee, O great king, never to send Spanish fleets into that cursed river.”

The following story, from the “Viagero Universal” of Ulloa, shows his barbarity in yet more revolting colors. It appears that in all his marches he carried with him a favorite daughter. When defeated and surrounded, so that escape was impossible, he called this lady, and addressing her, said : "I had hoped to make thee a queen. This now is impossible. I cannot bear that you should live to be pointed at as the child of a traitor and a felon. Thou must prepare for death at my hands.” She requested a few minutes for prayer, which was granted; but her father, thinking she was too long at her devotions, fired upon her whilst on her knees. The unfortunate lady staggered towards him; but taking her by the hand as she approached, the villain plunged his knife into her bosom, and she sank at his feet, murmuring “Basta Padre Mio,"- It is enough, my father.

It is not to be expected that information of an exact and scientific character could be had from the voyages of adventurers like these. They were mere soldiers, and too much occupied in difficulties of travel, conflicts with Indians, ambitious designs, and internal dissentions, to make any notes of the topography or productions of the countries they passed through.

But a task that had baffled the ambition and power of the Incas and love of gold, backed by the indomitable spirit and courage of the hardy Spanish soldier, was now to be undertaken by men who were urged on

by a yet more absorbing passion than either of these. I mean missionary zeal--the love of propagating the faith.

The first missionary stations established in the Montaña were founded by the Fathers Cuxia and Cueva, of the holy company of the Jesuits, in 1737.

They commenced operations at the village of St. Francis de Borja, founded by Don Pedro de Vaca, in 1634, when he conquered and settled the province of Mainas, under the direction of the Viceroy Don Francisco de Borja, prince of Esquilache. This village is situated on the left bank of the Marañon, not far below where it breaks its way through the last chain of hills that obstructs its course, at the Pongo* de Manseriché.

In the same year (1637,) according to Ulloa, (whose statements, I think, are always to be received “cum grano salis”) Pedro Texeira, a Portuguese captain, ascended the Amazon with a fleet mounting fortyseven large guns. After an eight months' voyage from Pará, he arrived at the port of Payamino, or Frayamixa, in the province of Quixos, on the river Napo. I am unable to find out how far up the Napo this is ; but Texeira, leaving his fleet there, went with some of his officers by land to Quito. The Royal Audience of that city determined to send explorers with him on his return, and the Jesuit Fathers, Acuña and Artieda, were selected for that purpose, and directed to report to the King of Spain. Passing through the town of Archidona, on the headwaters of the Napo, with much suffering they joined the fleet in the port of Payamino, and after a voyage of ten months, by land and water, arrived at Pará, whence they sailed for Spain.

The Spanish government, then occupied with the rebellion of Portugal, could lend no aid to the missionaries, and Father Artieda returned to Quito in 1643. He appealed to the royal audience, and to the college of the Jesuits at that city, for help to the missions, and the latter institution furnished him with five or six missionaries. These were well received by the Indians, and prosecuted their labors with such success, that in the year 1666 they had formed thirteen large and populous settlements in the country, bordering on the upper Marañon, and near the mouths of the Pastaza, Ucayali, and Iluallaga.

About this time the Franciscans commenced pushing their explorations and missionary operations from Lima, by the way of Tarma and Jauxa, into the Montaña, drained by the headwaters of the Ucayali ; and here (thanks to Father Sobreviela) we begin to get a little topo

* Pongo means a rapid.

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