A tale of Paraguay/Notes

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NOTES.

So he forsooth a shapely boot must wear.

Proem, p. 19.

His leg had been set by the French after their conquest of Pamplona, and re-set after his removal to his father's house. The latter operation is described as having been most severe, but borne by him in his wonted manner without any manifestation of suffering. For some time his life was despaired of.—"When the danger of death was past, and the bones were knit and becoming firm, two inconveniences remained: one occasioned by a portion of bone below the knee, which projected so as to occasion some deformity; the other was a contraction of the leg, which prevented him from walking erect or standing firmly on his feet. Now as he was very solicitous about his appearance, and intended at that time to follow the course of a military life which he had begun, he enquired of his medical attendants in the first place whether the bone could be removed which stood out in so unsightly a manner. They answered that it was possible to remove, it, but the operation would be exceedingly painful, much more so than any which he had before undergone. He nevertheless directed them to cut it out, that he might have his will, and (as he himself related in my hearing, says Ribadeneira,) that he might wear fashionable and well-fitting boots. Nor could he be dissuaded from this determination. He would not consent to be bound during the operation, and went through it with the same firmness of mind which he had manifested in the former operations. By this means the deformity of the bone was removed. The contraction of the leg was in some degree relieved by other applications, and especially by certain machines, with which during many days, and with great and continual pain, it was stretched; nevertheless it could not be so extended, but that it always remained something shorter than the other."—Ribadeneira, Vita S. Ignatii Loyolœ, Acta SS. Jul. t. 7. p. 659.

A close fitting boot seems to have been as fashionable at one time as close fitting innominables of buckskin were about the year 1790: and perhaps it was as severe an operation to get into them for the first time. "The greasy shoemaker," says Tom Nash, "with his squirrel's skin, and a whole stall of ware upon his arm enters, and wrencheth his legs for an hour together, and after shows his tally. By St. Loy NOTES. 149 that draws deep." — JVash^s Lenten Stuff. Had. Miscel. vol. ii. p. 289. 8vo edition. The operation of fittmg a Spanish dandy with short laced quarter boots is thus minutely described by Juan de Zavaleta, who was historiographer at the commencement of Carlos the Second's reign. Entra el zapatero oHendo a cansado. Saca de las homias los zapatos, con tanta dificuUad como si desolla- ra las hormas. Sientase en una silla el galan; hincase el zapatero de rodUlas, apoderase de una pierna con tan- tos tirones y desagrados, como si le embiaran a que le diera tormento. Mete un calzador en el talon del zapato, tncapillale otro en la punta del pie, y luegO empieza a guiar el zapato por encima del calzador. Apenas ha caminado poco mas que los dedos del pie, quando es me- nester arrastrarle con unas tenazas, y aun arrastrado se resiste. Ponese en pie el paciente fatigado, pero contento de que los zapatos le vengan angostos ; y de orden del zapatero da tres 6 quatro patadas en el suelo, con tanta fuerza, que pues no se quiehra, deve de ser de bronze. Acozeados dan de si el cordovan y la suela ; pellejos en fin de animales, que obedecen a golpes. Buelvese a sentar el tal senor, dobla dziafuera el copete del zapato, cogele con la boca de las tenazas, hinca el oficial junto a el entrambas rodillas, afirmase en el suelo con la mano izquierda, y puesto de bruzas sobre el pie, hecho arco los dos dedos de la mano derecha que forman el jeme, va ron ellos ayudando a llevar por el empeine arnba el cor- ns 150 NOTES. dovan, de quien lira con las tenazas su dueno. Buelve d ponerse en una rodilla, como primero estava ; empuna con la una mano la punta del pie, y con la palma de la otra da sohre su mano tan grandes golpes como si los diera con una pala de jugar a la pelota ; que es la ne- cessidad tan discreta, que se haze el pobre el mal a si mismo, por no hazersele a aquel de quien necessita. Ajustado ya la punta del pie, acude al talon ; hume- dece con la lengua los remates de las costwas, porque no falseen las costuras de secas por los remates. Tremenda vanidad, sufrir en sus pies un hombre la boca de otro hombre, solo por tener alinados los pies ! Desdobla el zapatero el talon, dase una buelta con el calzador a la mano, y empieza a encaxar en el pie la segunda porcion del zapato. Manda que se baxe la punta, y hazese lo que manda. Llama dzia a si el zapato con tal fuerza, que entre su cuerpo y el espaldar de la silla abrevia torpe y desalinadamente al que calza. Dizele luego que haga ta- lon, y el hombre obedece como un esclavo. Ordenale des- pues que de en el suelo una patada, y el da la patada, como se le ordena. Buelve a sentarse ; saca el cruel min- istro el calzador del empeine, y por donde salio el calzador mete un palo, que llaman cost a, y contra el buelve y rebuel- ve el sacabocados, que saca los bocados del cordovan, para que entren las cintas ; y dexa en el empeine del pie un dolor, y unas senates, como si huviera sacado de alii los bocados. Agujerea las orejas, passa la cinta con una Gguja, lleva las orejas a que cierren el zapato, ajustalos, y da luego con tanta fuerza el nudo, que si pudieran ahogar a un hombre por la garganta del pie, le ahoga- ra. Haze la rosa despues con mas cuydado que graria. Buelve a devanarse a la mano el calzador, que esta col- gando del talon ; lira del como quien retoca, da con la otra mano palmadas en la planta, como quien assienta, y saca el calzador, echandose todo ctzia atras. Pone el galan el pie en el suelo, y quedase mirandole. Levantase el zapatero, arrasa con el dedo el sudor de lafrente, y queda respirando como si huviera corrido. Todo esto se ahorrava con hazerse el zapato un poco mayor que el pie. Padecen luego entrambos otro tanto con el pie segundo. Llega el ultimo yfiero trance de dark el dinero. Recoge el ojicial sus baratijas. Recibe su estipendio, sale por la puerta de la sala mirando si es buena la plata que le han dado, dexando a su dueno de movimientos tan tor- jies como si le huviera echado unos grillos. Si pensaran los que se calzan apretado que se achican el pie. Si lo piensan se cnganan. Los huessos no se pueden meter unos en otros : con esto es fuerza que si le quitan de lo largo at zapato, se doble el pie por las coy- unturas, y crezca dzia arriba lo que le menguan de ad- elante. Si le estrechan lo ancho, espreciso que se alargue aquella came oprimida. Con la misma cantidad de pie que se tenian, se quedan los que calzan sisado. Lo que hazen es atormentarse, y dexar los pies de peor hechura. El animal a quien mas largos pies did la naturaleza segun su cantidad, es el hombre; porque, como ha de andar todo el cuerpo sobre ellos, y no son mas de dos, quiso que anduviesse seguro. El que se los quiere abreviar, gana parece que tiene de caer, y de caer en los vicios, donde se hará mayor mal, que en las piedras. La parte que le puso Dios al hombre en la fabrica de su cuerpo mas cerca de la tierra, son los pies: quiso sin duda que fuera la parte mas humilde de su fabrica: pero los galanes viciosos les quitan la humildad con los aliños, y los ensobervecen con el cuydado. Enfada esto á Dios tanto, que aviendo de hazer al hombre animal que pisasse la tierra, hizo la tierra de tal calidad, que se pudiesse imprimir en ella la huella del hombre. Abierta dexa su sepultura el pie que se levanta, y parece que se levanta de la sepultura. Tremenda crueldad es enloquecer con el adorno al que se quiere tragar la tierra á cada passo.—El dia de Fiesta. Obras de D. Juan de Zavaleta, p. 179—180.

"In comes the shoemaker in the odour of haste and fatigue. He takes the shoes off the last with as much difficulty as if he were skinning the lasts. The gallant seats himself upon a chair; the shoemaker kneels down, and takes possession of one foot, which he handles as if he were sent there to administer the torture. He puts one shoeing skin[1] in the heel of the shoe, fits the other upon the point of the foot, and then begins to guide the shoe over the shoeing skin. Scarcely has it got farther than the toes when it is found necessary to draw it on with pincers, and even then it is hard work. The patient stands up, fatigued with the operation, but well pleased that the shoes are tight: and by the shoemaker's directions he stamps three or four times on the floor, with such force that it must be of iron if it does not give way.

"The cordovan and the souls being thus beaten, submit; they are the skins of animals who obey blows. Our gallant returns to his seat, he turns up the upper leather of the shoe, and lays hold on it with the pincers; the tradesman kneels close by him on both knees, rests on the ground with his left hand, and bending in this all-four's position over the foot, making an arch with those fingers of the right hand which form the span, assists in drawing on the upper part of the cordovan, the gallant pulling the while with the pincers. He then puts himself on one knee, lays hold of the end of the foot with one hand, and with the palm of the other strikes his own hand, as hard as if he were striking a ball with a racket. For necessity is so discreet that the poor man inflicts this pain upon himself that he may give none to the person of whose custom he stands in need.

"The end of the foot being thus adjusted he repairs to the heel, and with his tongue moistens the end of the seams, that they may not give way for being dry. Tremendous vanity, that one man should allow the mouth of another to be applied to his feet that he may have them trimly set out! The shoemaker unfolds the heel, turns round with the shoeing skin in his hand, and begins to fit the second part of the shoe upon the foot. He desires the gallant to put the end of the foot down, and the gallant does as he is desired. He draws the shoe towards him with such force that the person who is thus being shoed is compressed in an unseemly manner between the shoemaker's body and the back of the chair. Presently he tells him to put his heel down, and the man is as obedient as a slave. He orders him then to stamp upon the ground, and the man stamps as he is ordered. The gallant then seats himself again; the cruel operator draws the shoeing skin from the instep, and in its place drives in a stick which they call costa.[2] He then turns upon it the punch, which makes the holes in the leather, through which the ribbons are to pass; he again twists round his hand the strip of hare-skin which hangs from the heel, and pulls it as if he were ringing a bell, and leaves upon the upper part of the top a pain and marks as if he had punched the holes in it. He bores the ears, passes the string through with a bodkin, brings the ears together that they may fasten the shoe, fits them to their intended place, and ties the knot with such force, that if it were possible to strangle a man by the neck of his foot, strangled the gallant would be. Then he makes the rose, with more care than grace. He goes then to take out the shoeing skin which is still hanging from the heel; he lays hold of this, strikes the sole of the foot with his other hand as if settling it, and draws out the skin, bringing out all with it. The gallant puts his foot to the ground, and remains looking at it. The shoemaker rises, wipes the sweat from his forehead with his fingers, and draws his breath like one who has been running. All this trouble might have been saved by making the shoe a little larger than the foot. Presently both have to go through the same pains with the other foot. Now comes the last and terrible act of payment. The tradesman collects his tools, receives his money, and goes out at the door, looking at the silver to see if it is good, and leaving the gallant walking as much at his ease as if he had been put in fetters.

"If they who wear tight shoes think that thereby they can lessen the size of their feet, they are mistaken. The bones cannot be squeezed one into another; if therefore the shoe is made short, the foot must be crooked at the joints, and grow upward if it is not allowed to grow forward. If it is pinched in the breadth, the flesh which is thus constrained must extend itself in length. They who are shod thus miserably remain with just the same quantity of foot.

"Of all animals, man is the one to which, in proportion to its size, nature has given the largest feet; because as his whole body is to be supported upon them, and he has only two, she chose that he should walk in safety. He who wishes to abbreviate them acts as if he were inclined to fall, and to fall into vices which will do him more injury than if he fell upon stones. The feet are the part which in the fabric of the human body are placed nearest to the earth; they are meant therefore to be the humblest part of his frame, but gallants take away all humility by adorning and setting them forth in bravery. This so displeases the Creator, that having to make man an animal who should walk upon the earth, he made the earth of such properties, that the footsteps should sink into it. The foot which is lifted from the ground, leaves its own grave open, and seems as if it rose from the grave. What a tremendous thing is it then to set off with adornments that which the earth wishes to devour at every step!"

Whiling with books the tedious hours away.

Proem, p. 19

Vede quanto importa a liçaō de bons livros! Se o livro fora de cavallerias, sahiria Ignacio hum grande cavalleyro; foy hum livro de vidas de Santos, sahio hum, grande Santo. Se lera cavallerias, sahiria Ignacio hum Cavelleyro da ardente espada; leo vidas de Santos sahio hum Santo da ardente tocha.—Vieyra, Sermam de S. Ignacio, t. i. 368.

See, says Vieyra, the importance of reading good books. If it had been a book of knight errantry, Ignacio would have become a great knight errant; it was the Lives of the Saints, and Ignatius became a great saint. If he had read about knights, he might have proved a Knight of the Burning Sword: he read about saints, and proved a saint of the burning torch.

Nothing could seem more probable than that Cervantes had this part of Loyola's history in his mind when he described the rise of Don Quixote's madness, if Cervantes had not shown himself in one of his dramas to be thoroughly imbued with the pestilent superstition of his country. El dichoso Rufian is one of those monstrous compositions which nothing but the anti-christian fables of the Romish church could have produced.

Landor, however, supposes that Cervantes intended to satirize a favourite dogma of the Spaniards. The passage occurs in his thirteenth conversation.

"The most dexterous attack ever made against the worship among catholics, which opens so many sidechapels to pilfering and imposture, is that of Cervantes.

"Leopold. I do not remember in what part.

"President. Throughout Don Quixote. Dulcinea was the peerless, the immaculate, and death was denounced against all who hesitated to admit the assertion of her perfections. Surely your highness never could have imagined that Cervantes was such a knight errant as to attack knight errantry, a folly that had ceased more than a century, if indeed it was any folly at all; and the idea that he ridiculed the poems and romances founded on it, is not less improbable, for they contained all the literature of the nation, excepting the garniture of chapterhouses, theology, and pervaded, as with a thread of gold, the beautiful histories of this illustrious people. He delighted the idlers of romance by the jokes he scattered amongst them on the false taste of his predecessors and of his rivals; and he delighted his own heart by this solitary archery; well knowing what amusement those who came another day would find in picking up his arrows and discovering the bull's-eye hits.

"Charles V. was the knight of La Mancha, devoting his labours and vigils, his wars and treaties, to the chimerical idea of making all minds, like watches, turn their indexes, by a simultaneous movement to one point. Sancho Panza was the symbol of the people, possessing sound sense in all other matters, but ready to follow the most extravagant visionary in this, and combining implicit belief in it, with the grossest sensuality. For religion, when it is hot enough to produce enthusiasm, burns up and kills every seed entrusted to its bosom."—Imaginary Conversations, vol. i. 187.

Benedetto di Virgilio, the Italian ploughman, thus describes the course of Loyola's reading, in his heroic poem upon that Saint's life.

Mentre levote indebolite vene
Stass' egli rinforzando à poco à poco
Dentro i paterni tetti, e si trattiene
Or sù la ricca zambra, or presso al foco,
For' del costume suo, pensier gli viene
Di legger libri più che d'altro gioco;
Quant' era dianzi innamorato, e d'armi
Tant' or, mutando stile, inchina à i carmi.

Quinci comanda, che i volumi ornati
D'alti concetti, e di leggiadra rima,
Dentro la stanza sua vengan portati,
Che passar con lor versi il tempo stima:
Cercan ben tosto i paggi in tutti i lati
Ove posar solean tai libri prima.
Ma nè per questa parte, nè per quella
Ponno istoria trovar vecchia, o novella.

I volumi vergati in dolci canti
S'ascondon si, che nulla il cercar giova:
Ma pur cercando i più secreti canti
Per gran fortuna un tomo ecco si trova,
Tomo divin, che le vite de'Santi
Conserva, e de la etade prisca e nova,
Onde per far la braina sua contenta
Tal opra un fido servo à lui presenta.

Il volume, che spiega in ogni parte
De guerrieri del del Voprefamose,
Fa ch' Ignatio s'accenda à seguir Parte
Che à soffrir tanto i sacri Eroi dispose,
Egli già sprezza di Bellona e Marte
Gli studi, che a seguir prima si pose,
E s' accinge n troncar maggior d'Alcide,
L'Hidra del vicio, e le sue teste infide.

Tutto giocondo à contemplar s'appiglia
Si degni fogli, e da principio al fine;
Qui ritrova di Dio l'ampia famiglia,
Spirti beati ed alme peregrine:
Tra gli ultri osserva con sua meraviglia
Il pio Gusman, che colse da le spine
Hose celesti de la terra santa,
Onde del buon Gieso nacque la pianta.

Contempla dopo il Serafico Magno
Fondator de le bigge immense squadre;

La divina virtu l' alto guadagno
De Vopre lor mirahili e leggiadre:
Rimira il Padoan di lui conipagnO)
Che liherb da indegna morte il padre ,
E per provar di quella causa il tortoy
Vivo fe da la tomba uscirc il morto.

Quinci ritrova il Celestin, che spande
Trionfante bandiera alia campagna,
De Vegregie virtu sue memorande
Con Italia sHngemm a e Francia e Spagna:
Ornati ijigli suoi d^opre ammirande
Son per V Africa sparti, e per Lamagna,
E in parti infide al del per lor si vede
JVascer la Chiesa, e pullular la fede.

Quivi s'avisa, come il buon JVorcino
Inclito Capitan del Re superno,
Un giorno guereggiando sii 'I Casino
GV Idoli fracasso, vinse V Inferno,
E con aita del motor divino
Guastb tempio sacrato al cieco Avernot
Por di novo Veresse a Valla prole
Divino essempio de Veterno Sole.

Legge come Brunone al divin Regge
Accolse al Re del del cignifelici,
E dando ordine lor, regola e legge
GV imparb calpestare aspre pendici;

E quelle de le donne anco vi legge,
Che qui di ricche diventar niendici
Per frovar poi sii le sedi superne
Lor doti incorruttibiU ed eterne.

Chiara tra Valtre nota e Caterina,
Che per esser di Dio fedele amante.
Fit intrepida a i tonnenti: e la Regina
Di Siena, e seco le cotnpagne tante :
Orsola con la schiera peregrina,
Monache sacre, verginelle sante,
Che sprezzanda del niondo il vano rito,
Elessero Giesu lor gran marito.

E tra i Romiti 7nira Ilarione,
E di Vienna quel si franco e forte
Che dehcllb lafurie, e ^ I gran Campione
Ch' appo il JVatal di Christo hebbe la morte;
Risguarda quel del prinio Confalone,
Che del del guarda le superne porte;
E gli undeci cotnpagni, e come luce
II diva Agnello di lor capo e Duce.

Mentre in questo penetra e tneglio intende
D' Eroi si gloriosi il nobil vanto,
Aura immortal del del sovra lui scende,
Aura immortal di spirto divo e santo:
Gia gli sgombra gli errori e gi(i gli accende
In guisa il cor, che distilla in pianto;

Lagrime versa, e le lagrime sparte
Bagnan del libro le vergate carte.

Qual duro ghiaccio sovra i monti alpini
Da la virtù del sole intenerito,
Suol liquefarsi, e di bei cristallini
Rivi l'herbe inaffiar del suol fiorito;
Tal da la forza degli ardor divini
Del Giovanetto molle il cor ferito,
Hor si discioglie in tepidi liquori,
E rigan del bel volto i vaghi fiori.

Com' altri nel cristallo, o nel diamante
Specchiarsi suol, tal ei si specchia, e mira
Nel specchio di sua mente, indi l'errante
Vita discerne, onde con duol sospira:
Quinci risolve intrepido e costante
Depor gli orgogli giovanili e l'ira,
Per imitar ne l'opra e ne gli effetti
I celesti guerrier del libro letti.

Ignatio Loiola. Roma, 1647. Canto 2.

The Jesuits, however, assure us, that Loyola is not the author of their society, and that it is not allowable either to think or say so. Societas Jesu ut à S. Ignatio de Loiola non ducit nomen, ita neque originem primam, et aliud sentire aut loqui, nefas. (Imago primi Sæculi Soc. Jesu. p. 64.) Jesus primus ac prœcipuus auctor Societatis, is the title of a chapter in this their secular volume, which is a curious and very beautiful book. Then follows Beata Virgo nutrix, patrona, imò altera velut auctor Societatis. Lastly, Post Christum et Mariam Societatis Auctor et Parens sanctus Ignatius.

"On the 26th August 1794, the French plundered the rich church of Loyola, at Azpeitia, and proceeding to Elgoibas, loaded five carts with the spoils of the church of that place. This party of marauders consisted of 200. The peasants collected, fell upon them, and after an obstinate conflict of three hours, recovered the whole booty, which they conveyed to Vittoria in triumph. Among other things, a relic of Loyola was recovered, which was carried in procession to the church, the victorious peasants accompanying it."—Marcillac, Hist, de la Guerre de l'Espagne, p. 86.

Vaccination.—Canto I. st. 1.

It is odd that in Hindostan, where it might have been supposed superstition would have facilitated the introduction of this practice, a pious fraud was found necessary for removing the prejudice against it.

Mooperal Streenivaschary, a Brahmin, thus writes to Dr. Anderson at Madras, on vaccine inoculation.

"It might be useful to remove a prejudice in the minds of the people, arising from the term cow-pock, being taken literally in our Tamul tongue; whereas there can be no doubt that it has been a drop of nectar from the exuberant udders of the cows in England, and no way similar to the humour discharged from the tongue and feet of diseased cattle in this country."—Forbes's Oriental Memoirs, vol. iii. p. 423.

For tyrannous fear dissolved all natural bonds of man.

Canto I. St. 3.

Mackenzie gives a dreadful picture of the effect of small-pox among the North American Indians.

"The small-pox spread its destructive and desolating power, as the fire consumes the dry grass of the field. The fatal infection spread around with a baneful rapidity, which no flight could escape, and with a fatal effect that nothing could resist. It destroyed with its pestilential breath whole families and tribes; and the horrid scene presented to those who had the melancholy and afflicting opportunity of beholding it, a combination of the dead, the dying, and such as, to avoid the horrid fate of their friends around them, prepared to disappoint the plague of its prey, by terminating their own existence.

"The habits and lives of these devoted people, which provided not to-day for the wants of to-morrow, must have heightened the pains of such an affliction, by leaving them not only without remedy, but even without alleviation. Nought was left them but to submit in agony and despair.

"To aggravate the picture, if aggravation were possible, may be added the putrid carcases which the wolves, with a furious voracity, dragged forth from the huts, or which were mangled within them by the dogs, whose hunger was satisfied with the disfigured remains of their masters. Nor was it uncommon for the father of a family, whom the infection had not reached, to call them around him, to represent the cruel sufferings and horrid fate of their relations, from the influence of some evil spirit, who was preparing to extirpate their race; and to incite them to baffle death, with all its horrors, by their own poniards. At the same time, if their hearts failed them in this necessary act, he was himself ready to perform the deed of mercy with his own hand, as the last act of his affection, and instantly to follow them to the common place of rest and refuge from human evil."

And from the silent door the jaguar turns away.

Canto I. st. 11.

I may be forgiven for not having strictly adhered to natural history in this instance. The liberty which I have taken is mentioned, that it may not be supposed to have arisen from ignorance of this animal's habits.

The jaguar will not attack a living horse if a dead one be near, and when it kills its prey it drags it to its den, but is said not to eat the body till it becomes putrid. They are caught in large traps of the cage kind, baited with stinking meat, and then speared or shot through the bars. The Chalcaquines had a braver way of killing them: they provoked the animal, fronted it, received its attack upon a thick truncheon, which they held by the two ends, threw it down while its teeth were fixed in the wood, and ripped the creature up before it could recover. (Techo, p. 59.) A great profit is made by their skins. The jaguar which has once tasted human flesh becomes a most formidable animal; such a beast is called a tigre cevado, a fleshed tiger. There was one who infested the road between Santa Fé and Santiago, and killed ten men; after which a party of soldiers were sent to destroy it. The same thing is said of the lion and other beasts of prey, probably with truth; not as is vulgarly supposed, because they have a particular appetite for this kind of food, but because having once fed upon man, they from that time regard him like any animal of inferior strength, as their natural prey. "It is a constant observation in Numidia," says Bruce, "that the lion avoids and flies from the face of men, till by some accident they have been brought to engage, and the beast has prevailed against him; then that feeling of superiority, imprinted by the Creator in the heart of all animals, for man's preservation, seems to forsake him. The lion having once tasted human blood, relinquishes the pursuit after the flock. He repairs to some high way or frequented path, and has been known, in the kingdom of Tunis, to interrupt the road to a market for several weeks; and in this he persists, till hunters or soldiers are sent out to destroy him." Dobrizhoffer saw the skin of a jaguar which was as long as the standard hide. He says, also, that he saw one attack two horses which were coupled with a thong, kill one, and drag the other away after it.

A most unpleasant habit of the beast is, that in cold or wet weather he chooses to lodge within doors, and will steal into the house. A girl at Corrientes, who slept with her mother, saw one lying under the bed when she rose in the morning; she had presence of mind to bid her mother lie still, went for help, and soon rid the house of its perilous visitor. Cat-like, the jaguar is a good climber; but Dobrizhoffer tells us how a traveller who takes to one for shelter may profit by the position: In promptu consilium; urina pro armis est: hac si tigridis ad arboris pedem minitantis oculos consperseris, salva res est. Quâ dutâ portâ fuget illico. (i. 280.) He who first did this must have been a good marksman as well as a cool fellow, and it was well for him that he reserved his fire till the jaguar was within shot.

Dobrizhoffer seems to credit an opinion (which is held in India of the tiger also) that the jaguar's claws are in a certain degree venomous; the scar which they leave is said to be always liable to a very painful and burning sense of heat. But that author, in his usual amusing manner, repeats many credulous notions concerning the animal: as that its burnt claws are a remedy for the tooth-ache; and that it has a mode of decoying fish, by standing neck-deep in the water, and spitting out a white foam, which allures them within reach. Techo (30.) says the same thing of a large snake.

An opinion that wounds inflicted by the stroke of animals of this kind are envenomed is found in the East also. Captain Williamson says, "However trivial the scratches made by the claws of tigers may appear, yet, whether it be owing to any noxious quality in the claw itself, to the manner in which the tiger strikes, or any other matter, I have no hesitation in saying, that at least a majority of such as have been under my notice died; and I have generally remarked, that those whose cases appeared the least alarming were most suddenly carried off. I have ever thought the perturbation arising from the nature of the attack to have a considerable share in the fatality alluded to, especially as I never knew any one wounded by a tiger to die without suffering for some days under that most dreadful symptom, a locked jaw! Such as have been wounded to appearance severely, but accompanied with a moderate hæmorrhage, I have commonly found to recover, excepting in the rainy season: at that period I should expect serious consequences from either a bite or a scratch."—Oriental Sports, vol. i. p. 52.

Wild beasts were so numerous and fierce in one part of Mexico, among the Otomites, that Fr. Juan de Grijalva says in his time, in one year, more than 250 Indians were devoured by them. "There then prevailed an opinion," he proceeds, "and still it prevails among many, that those tigers and lions were certain Indian sorcerers, whom they call Nahuales, who by diabolical art transform themselves into beasts, and tear the Indians in pieces, either to revenge themselves for some offences which they have received, or to do them evil, which is the proper condition of the Devil, and an effect of his fierceness. Some traces of these diabolical acts have been seen in our time, for in the year 1579, the deaths of this kind being many, and the suspicion vehement, some Indians were put to the question, and they confessed the crime, and were executed for it. With all this experience and proof, there are many persons who doubt these transformations, and say that the land being mountainous produces wild beasts, and the beasts being once fleshed commit these great ravages. And it was through the weak understandings of the Indians that they were persuaded to believe their conjurors could thus metamorphose themselves: and if these poor wretches confessed themselves guilty of such a crime, it was owing to their weakness under the torture; and so they suffered for an offence which they had never committed."

Father Grijalva, however, holds with his Father S. Augustine, who has said concerning such things, hœc ad nos non quibuscunque qualibus credere putaremus indignum, sed eis referentibus pervenerunt, quos nobis non existimaremus fuisse mentitos. "In the days of my Father S. Augustine," he says, "wonderful things were related of certain innkeepers in Italy, who transformed passengers into beasts of burden, to bring to their inns straw, barley, and whatever was wanted from the towns, and then metamorphosed them into their own persons, that they might purchase, as customers, the very commodities they had carried. And in our times the witches of Logrono make so many of these transformations, that now no one can doubt them. This matter of the Nahuales, or sorcerers of Tututepec, has been confessed by so many, that that alone suffices to make it credible. The best proof which can be had is, that they were condemned to death by course of justice; and it is temerity to condemn the judges, for it is to be believed that they made all due enquiry. Our brethren who have been ministers there, and are also judges of the interior court (that is of the conscience) have all held these transformations to be certain: so that there ought to be no doubt concerning it. On the contrary, it is useful to understand it, that if at any time in heathen lands the devil should work any of these metamorphoses, the Indians may see we are not surprised at them, and do not hold them as miraculous, but can explain to them the reason and cause of these effects, which astonish and terrify them so greatly."

He proceeds to show that the devil can only exercise this power as far as he is permitted by God, in punishment for sin, and that the metamorphosis is not real, but only apparent; the sorcerer not being actually transformed into a lion, but seeming as if he were both to himself and others. In what manner he can tear a man really to pieces with imaginary claws, and devour him in earnest with an imaginary mouth, the good friar has not condescended to explain.—Historia de la Orden de S. Augustin en la Provincia de N. Espana, pp. 34, 35.

Preserved with horrid art
In ghastly image of humanity
.—Canto I, st. 13.

The more ghastly in proportion as more of the appearance of life is preserved in the revolting practice. Such, however, it was not to the feelings of the Egyptians, who had as much pride in a collection of their ancestors, as one of the strongest family feeling could have in a collection of family pictures. The body, Diodorus says, is delivered to the kindred with every member so whole and entire that no part of the body seems to be altered, even to the very hairs of the eyelids and the eyebrows, so that the beauty and shape of the face seems just as before. By which means many of the Egyptians laying up the bodies of their ancestors in stately monuments, perfectly see the true visage and countenance of those who were buried many ages before they themselves were born: so that in regarding the proportion of every one of these bodies, and the lineaments of their faces, they take exceeding great delight, even as if they were still living among them. (Book i.)

They believe, says Herodotus (Euterpe, § 123.), that on the dissolution of the body the soul immediately enters into some other animal; and that after using as vehicles every species of terrestrial, aquatic, and winged creatures, it finally enters a second time into a human body. They affirm that it undergoes all these changes in the space of three thousand years. This opinion some among the Greeks have at different periods of time adopted as their own, but I shall not, though I could, specify their names.

How little did the Egyptians apprehend that the bodies which they preserved with such care to be ready again for use when the cycle should be fulfilled, would one day be regarded as an article of trade, broken up, exported piecemeal, and administered in grains and scruples as a costly medicine to rich patients. A preference was even given to virgin mummy!

The bodies of the Incas from the founder of the empire were preserved in the Temple of the Sun; they were seated each on his litter, and in such excellent preservation that they seemed to be alive; according to the testimony of P. Acosta and Garcilaso, who saw them and touched them. It is not known in what manner they were prepared, so as to resist the injuries of time. Gomara (c. 195.) says they were embalmed by the juice of certain fragrant trees, which was poured down their throats, and by unguents of gum. Acosta says that a certain bitumen was used, and that plates of gold were placed instead of eyes, so well fitted that the want of the real eye was not perceived. Garcilaso thought the chief preparation consisted in freezing them with snow. They were buried in one of the courts of the hospital of St. Andres.—Merc. Peruano, No. 221.

Hideous exhibitions of this kind are sometimes made in monasteries, where they are in perfect accord with monastic superstition. I remember seeing two human bodies dry and shrivelled, suspended in the Casa dos Ossos, at Evora, in a chapel, the walls of which are lined with skulls and bones.

"Among the remarkable objects in the vicinity of Palermo pointed out to strangers, they fail not to singularise a convent of Capuchins at a small distance from town, the beautiful gardens of which serve as a public walk. You are shown, under the fabric, a vault divided into four great galleries, into which the light is admitted by windows cut out at the top of each extremity. In this vault are preserved, not in flesh, but in skin and bone, all the Capuchins who have died in the convent since its foundation, as well as the bodies of several persons from the city. There are here private tombs belonging to opulent families, who, even after annihilation, disdain to be confounded with the vulgar part of mankind. It is said, that in order to secure the preservation of these bodies, they are prepared by being gradually dried before a slow fire, so as to consume the flesh without greatly injuring the skin; when perfectly dry, they are invested with the Capuchin habit, and placed upright, on tablets, disposed step above step along the sides of the vault; the head, the arms, and the feet are left naked. A preservation like this is horrid. The skin discoloured, dry, and as if it had been tanned, nay, torn in some places, glued close to the bones. It is easy to imagine, from the different grimaces of this numerous assemblage of fleshless figures, rendered still more frightful by a long beard on the chin, what a hideous spectacle this must exhibit; and whoever has seen a Capuchin alive, may form an idea of this singular repository of dead friars."—Sonnini.

It is not surprising that such practises arise from superstition; but it is strange, indeed, that they should afford any gratification to pride. That excellent man, Fletcher of Madeley, has a striking remark upon this subject. "The murderer," says he, "is dissected in the surgeon's hall, gratis; and the rich sinner is embowelled in his own apartment at great expence. The robber, exposed to open air, wastes away in hoops of iron; and the gentleman, confined to a damp vault, moulders away in sheets of lead; and while the fowls of the air greedily prey upon the one, the vermin of the earth eagerly devour the other."

How different is the feeling of the Hindoos upon this subject from that of the Egyptians! "A mansion with bones for its rafters and beams; with nerves and tendons for cords; with muscles and blood for mortar; with skin for its outward covering; filled with no sweet perfume, but loaded with feces and urine; a mansion infested by age and by sorrow, the seat of malady, harassed with pains, haunted with the quality of darkness, and incapable of standing long.—Such a mansion of the vital soul lets its occupier always cheerfully quit."—Inst, of Menu.

When the laden bee
Buzzed by him in its flight, he could pursue
Its course with certain ken.
—Canto I. st. 23.

It is difficult to explain the superior quickness of sight which savages appear to possess. The Brazilian tribes used to eradicate the eyelashes and eyebrows, as impeding it. "Some Indians," P. Andres Perez de Ribas says, "were so quicksighted that they could ward off the coming arrow with their own bow."— L. ii. c. 3. p. 41.

Drinking feasts.—Canto I. st. 26.

The point of honour in drinking is not the same among the savages of Guiana, as among the English potators: they account him that is drunk first the bravest fellow.—Harcourt's Voyage.

Covering with soft gums the obedient limb
And body, then with feathers overlay,
In regular hues disposed.
—Canto I. st. 25.

Inconvenient as this may seem, it was the full-dress of the Tupi and Guarani tribes. A fashion less gorgeous and elaborate, but more refined, is described by one of the best old travellers to the East, Francois Pyrard.

"The inhabitants of the Maldives use on feast-days this kind of gallantry. They bruise saunders (sandal wood) and camphire, on very slicke and smooth stones, (which they bring from the firm land,) and sometimes other sorts of odoriferous woods. After they compound it with water distilled of flowers, and overspread their bodies with this paste, from the girdle upwards; adding many forms with their finger, such as they imagine. It is somewhat like cut and pinked doublets, and of an excellent savour. They dress their wives or lemans in this sort, and make upon their backs works and shadows as they please." Skin-prints Purchas calls this.—Pyrard de Laval. Purchas, p. 1655.

The abominable practice of tarring and feathering was but too well known during the American war. It even found its way to England. I remember, when a child, to have seen a man in this condition in the streets of Bristol.

The costume of the savages who figured so frequently in the pageants of the sixteenth century, seems to have been designed to imitate the Brazilian tribes, best known to the French and English at that time. Indeed, this is expressed by Vincent Carloix, when in describing an entertainment given to Marechal de Vieilleville by the captains of the gallies at Marseilles, he says, Ayant lié six galères ensemble de front, et faict dresser les tables dessus, et tapissées en façon de grandes salles; ayant accoustrés les forceats en Bressiliens pour servir, ils firent une infinité de gambades et de tourbions à la façon des sauvages, que perSonne n'avoit encore veues; dont tout le monde, avec une extresme allaigresse, s'esbahissoit merveilleusement.—Mémoires, I. x. ch. 18.

A custom strange, and yet far spread
Thro' many a savage tribe, however it grew,
And once in the old world known as widely as the new.

Canto I. St. 28.

Je la trouve chez les Iberiens, ou les premiers peuples d'Espagne; je la trouve chez les anciens habitans de l'Isle de Corse; elle étoit chez les Tibareniens en Asie; elle est aujourd'hui dans quelques-unes de nos provinces voisines d'Espagne, ou celas 'appele faire couvade; elle est encore vers le Japon, et dans l'Amemque chez les Caraibes et les Galibis.Lafitau, Mœurs des Sauvages, t. i. p. 50.

Strabo says, this strange custom existed in Cantabria, (L. iii. p. 174. ed. 1571.) so that its Gascon extraction has been direct. Diodorus Siculus is the authority for its existence in Corsica. (Book iii. ch. 1. English translation, 1814. vol. 1. p. 305.) Apollonius Rhodius describes it among the Tibareni (L. ii. 1012) ὠς ἰστορεῖ Νυμφόδωρος ἔν τιτιν νίμοις, says the scholiast.

Voicy la brutalité de nos sauvages dans leur réjouissance pour l'acroissement de leur famille. C'est qu'au même tems que la femme est deliverée le mary se met au lit, pour s'y plaindre et y faire l'accouchée; coutume, quibien que sauvage et ridicule se trouve neantmoins à ce que l'on dit, parmy les paysans d'une certaine province de France; et ils appellent cela faire la couvade. Mais ce qui est de fàcheuse pour le pauvre Caraibe qui s'est mis au lit au lieu de l'accouchée, c-est qu'on luy Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/186 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/187 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/188 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/189 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/190 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/191 Here, says Gumilla, tears put an end to her speech: and the worst is, that all which she said, and all she would have said, if grief had allowed her to proceed, is true.—Orinoco Ilustrado, t. ii. p. 65. ed. 1791.


From the dove

They named the child Yeruti.—Canto I. st. 42.

This is the Guarani name for the species described by Azara, t. iv. p. 130. No. cccxx.


What power had placed them here.—Canto II. st. 27.

Some of the Orinoco tribes believe that their first forefathers grew upon trees.—Gumilla, t. i. c. 6.

The Othomacas, one of the rudest of the Orinoco tribes, suppose themselves descended from a pile of stones upon the top of a rock called Barraguan, and that they all return to stone as they came from it; so that this mass of rock is composed of their forefathers. Therefore, though they bury their dead, within the year they take off their heads and carry them to the holes in the rock.—Gumilla, t. i. c. 6.

These are the odd people who always for a first marriage give a girl to an old man, and a youth to an old woman. Polygamy is not in use among them; and they say, that if the young people came together there could be no good household management.—Gumilla, t. i. c. 12.

Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/193 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/194 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/195 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/196 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/197 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/198 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/199 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/200 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/201 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/202 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/203 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/204 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/205 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/206 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/207 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/208 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/209 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/210 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/211 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/212 Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/213 years after this marriage Mary the most holy was born; and the three years and a half of her Highness's age make sixty-nine and a half, a few days more or less.

"The holy Patriarch and father of our Queen being dead, the holy Angels of her guard returned incontinently to her presence, and gave her notice of all that had occurred in her father's transit. Forthwith the most prudent child solicited with prayers for the consolation of her mother St. Anna, intreating that the Lord would, as a father, direct and govern her in the solitude wherein, by the loss of her husband Joachin, she was left. St. Anna herself sent also news of his death, which was first communicated to the Mistress of our divine Princess, that in imparting it she might console her. The Mistress did this, and the most wise child heard her, with all composure and dissimulation, but with the patience and the modesty of a Queen; but she was not ignorant of the event which her Mistress related to her as news."—Mistica Ciudad de Dios, par. 1. 1. 2. c. 16. § 664—669. Madrid, 1744.

It was in the middle of the seventeenth century that the work from which this extract is translated was palmed upon the Spaniards as a new revelation. Gross and blasphemous as the imposture is, the work was still current when I procured my copy, about twenty years ago; and it is not included in the Spanish Index Expurgatorius of 1790, the last, (I believe,) which was published, and which is now before me.

He could not tarry here.—Canto IV. st. 67.

A case precisely of the same kind is mentioned by Mr. Mariner. "A young Chief at Tonga, a very handsome man, was inspired by the ghost of a woman in Bolotoo, who had fallen in love with him. On a sudden he felt himself low-spirited, and shortly afterwards fainted away. When he came to himself he was very ill, and was taken accordingly to the house of a priest. As yet he did not know who it was that inspired him, but the priest informed him that it was a woman of Bolotoo, mentioning her name, who had died some years before, and who wished him now to die, that he might be near her. He accordingly died in two days. The Chief said he suspected this from the dreams he had had at different times, when the figure of a woman came to him in the night. Mr. Mariner was with the sick Chief three or four times during his illness, and heard the priest foretell his death, and the occasion of it."—Mariner.

  1. A piece of hare-skin is used in Spain for this purpose, as it appears by the former extract from Tom Nash that squirrel-skin was in England.
  2. Which is used to drive in upon the last to raise a shoe higher in the instep.