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man, about nine hundred miles, in thirty days. Fare, from one dollar to one dollar forty cents per
load. It is a common notion, that the sentiment of liberty thrives better among the inhabitants of mountainous districts; but the character and condition of the Gauchos, whose population is sprinkled over the broad face of the Pampas, afford a remarkable example of the contrary. They have charge of grazing farms, (estancias) some of which are many miles in extent. Their habitations, which are in no respect superior to Indian wigwams, consist of mud walls, thatched roofs—the only furniture being skeleton horse heads, which they make use of for chairs, and the bones of different animals stuck in the walls, serving to support their bridles, spurs, lazos, bolas, &c. The following description of the Gaucho is from Mr. Haigh.
“A more frank, free, and independent being than the Gaucho, does not exist. He is clad in the poncho, which is manufactured by the women. It is about the size and shape of a small blanket, with a slit in the centre to admit the head. It therefore serves to keep out the wet and wind, and leaves the arms at perfect liberty. The poncho is originally an Indian garment; it is generally made of wool, and beautifully interwoven with colours. It is sometimes
worn slung across the shoulders, sometimes as a belt, and is always used as a blanket at night. His leggings are of horses skin, and his toes left bare. His spurs are either of silver or iron, with rowels of enormous circumference, and with sharp spikes; a straw hat, with a cotton handkerchief tied round his face, completes his dress. His saddle is composed of a simple wooden tree, covered with leather, and called a recado, covered with pellons or rugs, and dyed sheepskin. In fixing the saddle no buckles are used, the girth being composed of thin slips of hide, attached to an iron or wooden ring, which is fastened by a thong to another small ring attached to the saddle. The stirrup is either of wood or silver. When of the former, it is only made large enough to fit the big toe; but the better sort sometimes use the latter, which is larger. His bit is like the Mameluke's, with an iron ring for the chin. The covering of his saddle serves the Gaucho for a bed, and he is sure of a lodging wherever nightfall may find him. He always carries the lasso, a rope made of a twisted hide, about thirty-five feet in length, and very slight and flexible : he forms one end into a slip-noose, which he can throw over the head of any animal with unerring aim. He gathers the lasso into coils before he discharges it, always retaining hold of one end, and thus secures his object. He also carries the bolas, which are three small wooden or iron balls, each attached to a separate thong, about six feet in length; these are tied together, and he can throw them to a much greater distance than the lasso. He whirls them three or four times round his head, and sends them to his mark with admirable precision. The balls form a triangle as they fly through the air, and alighting about the head or legs of the animal, instantly arrest his progress. In this manner the wild deer and ostriches (which are feeter than horses) are generally taken. Sometimes the force of the balls breaks the victim's legs. A large carving knife, about fourteen inches long, placed in a leathern sheath, which is stuck in his girdle or leggings, completes the Gaucho's equipment, and thus simply armed and mounted, he is lord of all he beholds. The lion and tiger, the wild bull and horse, the deer and ostrich, alike dread him. He owns no master, tills no ground; and in the whole course of his life, perhaps, has never visited a town, and hardly knows what a government is."
The following vivid and glowing picture is from Mr. Head:
“ In the whole of this immense region there is not a weed to be seen. The coarse grass is its sole produce ; and in the summer, when it is high, it is beautiful to see the effect which the wind has in passing over this wild expanse of waving grass : the shades between the brown and yellow are beautiful. The scene is placid beyond description; no habitation or human being is to be seen, unless occasionally the wild and picturesque outline of the Gaucho on the hori. zon, his scarlet poncho streaming horizontally behind him, his balls flying round his head, and as he bends forward towards his prey, his horse straining every nerve. Before him is the ostrich he is pursuing, the distance between them gra. dually diminishing, his neck stretched out, and striding over the ground in the most magnificent style; but the latter is soon lost in the distance, and the Gaucho's horse is often below the horizon, while his head shows the chase is not yet decided. The pursuit is really attended with considerable danger, for the ground is always undermined by the biscachos, and the Gaucho often falls at full speed, If he breaks a limb bis horse probably gallops away, and there he is left in the long grass, until one of his comrades or children come to his assistance ; but if they are unsuccessful in their search, he has nothing left but to look up to heaven, and while he lives drive from his bed the wild eagles, who are always ready to attack any fallen animal. The country has no striking features, but it possesses, like all the works of nature, ten thousand beauties. It has also the grandeur and magnificence of space, and I found the oftener I crossed it, the more cbarms I found in it."
Again, says Mr. Head,
“ As his constant food is beef and water, his constitution is so strong that he is able to endure great fatigue, and the distances he will ride, and the number of hours he will remain on horseback, would hardly be credited. The unrestrained freedom of such a life be fully appreciates; and unacquainted with subjection of any sort, his mind is often killed with sentiments of liberty, which are as noble as they are harmless, although they of course partake of the wild habits of his life. Vain is the endeavour to explain to him the luxuries and blessings of a more civilized life. His ideas are, that the noblest effort of man is to raise himself off the ground, and ride instead of walk ; that no rich garments or variety of food can atone for the want of a horse, and that the print of a human foot on the ground is the symbol of uncivilization.”
The Indians inhabit the Pampas beyond the Christian boundaries. They are the aboriginals of the soil, and in very many respects, resemble the tribes of North America. Like them, too, their numbers have greatly diminished,—these children of nature always dwindling before the advance of civilized man. They are always in deadly feud with the Gauchos. They are free, fearless, and ferocious, never give nor receive quarter, and wage a perpetual war of extermination. Their prodigious feats of horsemanship astonish even the Gauchos. In their predatory excursions, they are never encumbered with provisions; for they carry with them droves of mares, which, without impeding their rapid motions, serve them with a food for which they have a great relish. In this manner they sweep the plains, with the relentless fury of their own Pamperos, leaving blast and indiscriminate carnage on their path.
“In spite of the climate,” says Mr. Head, “which is burning hot in summer and freczing in winter, these brave men, who have never yet been subdued, are entirely naked. They live together in tribes, each of which is governed by a cacique, but they have no fixed residence. They have neither bread, fruit, nor vegetables, and subsist entirely on the flesh of mares, which they never ride; and the only luxury in which they indulge, is that of washing their hair in mares' blood. The occupation of their lives is war. They declare, that the proudest attitude of the human figure is, when, bending over his borse, man is riding at his enemy. The principal weapon that they use is a spear, eighteen feet long; they manage it with great dexterity, and are also able io give it a tremulous motion, which has often shaken the sword from the hand of their European adversaries. From being constantly on horseback, the Indians can scarcely walk. When
they assemble, either to attack their enemies or to invade the country of the Christians, they collect large troops of horses and mares, and then uttering the wild shriek of war, they start at a gallop. As soon as their horses are tired, they vault upon the bare backs of fresh ones, keeping their best until they absolutely see their enemies. The whole country affords pasture to their horses, and whenever they choose to stop, they have only to kill some mares. The ground is the bed on which from their infancy they have always slept, and they therefore meet their enemies with light hearts, and full stomachs, the only advantages which they think men ought to desire.—The Gauchos, who themselves ride so beautifully, all declare, that it is impossible to ride with an Indian, for that the Indian horses are better than theirs, and also that they have such a way of urging on their horses by their cries, and by a peculiar motion of their bodies, that even if they were to change horses the Indians would beat them. They said, that some of the Indians charged without saddle or bridle, and that in some instances, they were hanging almost under the bellies of their horses, and shrieking so, that the horses were afraid to face them. The profession of the Indian is war, his food is simple, and his body in that state of vigour, that he can rise naked from the plain on which he has slept, and proudly look upon his image which the white frost has marked out upon the grass, without any inconvenience. They believe in a future state, to which they conceive they will be transferred as soon as they die. They expect that then they will be constantly drunk, and that they will always be hunting; and as the Indians gallop over the plains at night, they will point with their spears to constellations in the heavens, which they say are the figures of their ancestors, who, reeling in the firmament, are mounted upon horses swifter than the wind, and hunting ostriches.”
We do not conceive it necessary to apologize to our readers for the length of the foregoing extracts. We would rather regret that they cannot be more copious. Those of our readers who may be desirous of learning somewhat of the present state of the mines in the provinces, are referred to the work of Mr. Head, where he will also find that no encouragement is given to settlers or capitalists. It is but fair, however, to refer at the same time to the opinion of the author of the Historical, Political, and Statistical Account of the Provinces of Rio de La Plata; and to the same excellent work we refer our readers for an interesting account of the mighty estuary of the La Plata, and its huge branches, the Uruguay, Parana, and Paraguay, and also for a view of the different provinces which now compose the circumscribed sphere of the Republic.
ART. II.-INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT.
1.-A Connected View of the whole Internal Navigation of
the United States, Natural and Artificial, Present and Prospective, &c. &c. By a CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES.
8vo. pp. 618. Philadelphia : 1830. 2.-A Treatise on Rail Roads, and Internal Communica
tions; compiled from the best and latest authorities, with Original Suggestions and Remarks. By Thomas EARLE.
8vo. pp. 120. Philadelphia : 1830. 3.- Message of the President of the United States, in rela
tion to the Survey of a Route for a Canal, between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. February 28th,
1829. 4.-An Account of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway,
&c. By HENRY Booth, Treasurer to the Company. Liver
pool : 1830. 5. – Observations on the Comparative Merits of Locomotive
and Fixed Engines, as applied to Railways, &c. By RoBERT STEPHENSON & JOSEPH LOCKE, Civil Engineers. Liverpool : 1830.
The subject of internal improvement is one that causes and will long continue to cause no small degree of excitement. It has on more than one occasion threatened to become the rallying word of great and powerful parties in our nation. It is, perhaps, unfortunate, that the discussions which relate to it, have any such tendency; yet it is impossible, in a government like ours, that the statesman should not see that his own elevation to power and public estimation, will follow in the train of measures which he conscientiously believes to be conducive to the welfare of his country; or that his opponents should not enlist themselves to decry and defeat those plans, which they perhaps consider in no other light than as calculated to promote the success of their antagonist.
In spite, however, of the exciting nature of the discussion, it has so much importance when completely divested of all mere party considerations, that we venture upon it as suited in an essential manner to the objects of our journal, and hope that we may be able to discuss it, without being considered as thus constituting ourselves partisans of any prevailing political creed.
In relation to the prosperity of a country, the promotion of its internal commerce is an object which holds the highest rank among all economical questions. Other interests may excite temporary and ephemeral attention, and their encouragement may produce partial, or even durable good effects; but it is a disputed point, upon which we shall not at present enter, how far a government is justifiable in attempting to foster particular species of industry, and whether it be wise to attempt to direct the enterprise and capital of a nation to specific objects, or to leave them wholly to the guidance of private interests. The time has been, when altars were erected to those who compelled, by the exercise of royal authority, rude nations to abandon the chase and engage in agriculture ; nor have the two leading nations of Europe yet ceased to be grateful to the enlightened monarchs who introduced the silk worm into the one, and established the woollen manufacture in the other. The present generation, wiser than their fathers, would probably consider any such efforts as a tyrannic abuse of power, and would deny to the great autocrat of Russia, the civic wreath, more glorious than his imperial diadem, which he earned by compelling his rude subjects to rise from among Asiatic nations, and aspire to the first place in civilized Europe.
Roads, railways, and canals, are, however, still admitted, even by the new school of political economists, to be proper objects of national legislation. They are in most cases far beyond the reach of mere individual enterprise, and hence demand legislative aid. But by whatever means they may be originally constructed, they become permanent portions of national wealth, and not only add to the comfort and riches of the present generation, but exert an influence upon the remotest posterity.
Of all the sources of national wealth, internal commerce is not only the most secure, but the most productive. At the present day, this proposition needs no argument to support it; but while erroneous views of economy held riches to consist, on the one hand, solely in the precious metals ; and on the other, wholly in agricultural productions; and, while the usual practice of governments devoted their whole attention to foreign commerce, this fruitful spring of prosperity was neglected.
A community possessing a soil of various production, and manufacturing within itself
all its articles of necessity or luxury, might, by their simple exchange and transportation, continually increase in wealth ; and this it would do if the precious metals were unknown ; while, if agriculture were its sole pursuit, it must remain for ever stationary. The exchange of agricultural productions against the luxuries and necessaries furnished by foreign nations, will indeed foster national prosperity to a certain extent, and particularly when the nation is its own carrier; but even this is limited in its influence, and restricted in its amount, by the wants of the consumers. A nation wholly agricultural, or merely adding to that species of industry the carriage of its produce, and of the returns it obtains, will, general