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larger share of pride ; for they consider themselves as entitled to every high distinction as natives of Europe, and look on the other inhabitants as many degrees beneath them. The crcoles have all the bad qualities of the Spaniards, from whom they are descended, without that courage, firmness and patience, which make the praiseworthy part of the Spanish character. Naturally weak and effeminate, they dedicate the greatest part of their lives to loitcring and inactive pleasures. Luxurious with. out variety or elegance, and expensive with great parade, and little con venience, their character is nothing more than a grave; specious insignificance. From idleness and constitution, their whole business is amour and intrigue ; their ladies, of consequecce; are not diftinguished for their chastity or domestic virtues.

The Indians, who, notwithstanding the devastations of the firftinvaders, remain in great numbers, are become, by continual oppreffion and indignity, a dejected, tinorous, and miserable race of mortals.

The blacks here, like those in other parts of the world, are stubborn, robust and liardy, and as well adapted for the gross and inhuman navery they endure, as any human beings. This may serve for the general character, not only of the Mexicans, but for the greater part of the Spanish colonics in South America.

The civil government of Mexico is administered by tribunals; called audiences. In these courts the viceroy of the king of Spain presides. His employment is the greatuit trust and power bis catholic majesty has at his difpotal, and is, perhaps, the richest government entrusted to any subject in the world. The viceroy continues in office but three years.

The clergy are extremely númerous in Mexico. The priests, monks and nuns of all orders, make a fifth part of the white inhabitants, both here and in other parts of Spanish America.

Chief towřs.] Mexico, the capital of this place, is fituated on a large plain, environed by mountains of such height, that, though within the torrid zone, the temperature of its climate is inild and healthful.

All the buildings are convenient; and the public edifices, especially the churches, are magnificent. The revenue of the grand cathedral amounts to near £:80,000 sterling a year, of which the archbishop has £.15,000, besides vaft fums arising from perquisites. The inhabitants aie reckoned at 150,000, who draw.annually from the mines above ten millions of money, exclufive of the vast sums secreted, and applied to private uses; yet with these almost incredible treasures, the people may be reckoned poor, as most of them live beyond their fortunes, and commonly terminate a life of profusion, in extreme indigence.

ACAPULCO stands on a bay of the South Sea, about 2io miles southa east of Mexico. In this harbour, which is very commodious, the Manilla galleon takes in at least ten millions of dollars, in return for the goods she brings thither, and for the payment of the Spanith garrisons in the Philippine illes.

History.) The einpire of Mexico was fubdued by Cortes, in the year 1521. Montezuma was at that time emperor of Mexico. In the course of the war, he was treacherously taken by Cortes, and held as à prisotes. During the imprisonment of Montezuma, Cortes and his arıny hadt matter Iepeated attacks on his fubjects, but without fuccefs. Cortes was 1661

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determined, as his last resource, to try what effect the interposition of Montezuma might have to footh, or overawe his subjects. This unfortunate prince, at the mercy of the tracherous Spaniards, and reduced to the fad necessity of becoming the instrument of his own disgrace, and of the Slavery of his fubjects, advanced to the battlements in his royal robes, with all the pomp in which he ufed to appear on solemn occasions. At sight of their fovereign, whom they had long been accustomed to honour, and almost to revere as a god, the weapons dropped from their hands, every tongue was silent, all bowed their heads, and many proftrated themselves on the ground. Montezuma addreffed them with every argument that could mitigate their rage, or perfuade them to cease from hostilities. When he ended his discourse, a sullen murmur of disapprobation ran through the crowd ; to this succeeded reproaches and threats ; and their fury rising in a moment, they violently poured in whole flights of arrows, and vollies of stones, upon their unhappy monarch; two of the arrows struck him in the body, which, with the blow of a stone on his temple, put an end to his life. Guatimozin succeeded Montezuma, and mantained a vigorous opposition against the assaults of Cortes. But he like his predecessor, after a noble defence, was forced to submit. Previous to this, being aware of his impending fate, he had ordered that all his treasures should be thrown into the lake. While a prisoner, on fufpicion of his having concealed his treasure, he was put to the torture, which was done by laying him on burning coals ; but he bore whatever the refined cruelty of his tormentors could inflict, with the invincible fortitude of an American warrior. One of his chief favourites, his fellow sufferer, being overcome by the violence of the anguish, turned a dejected eye towards his master, which seemed to implore his permission to reveal all that he knew. But the high spirited prince darted on him a look of authority, mingled with scorn, and checked his weakness by alking, Am I now repofing upon a bed of flowers Overawed by the reproach, he perfevered in dutiful flence, and expired. Cortes, ashamed of a scene so horrid, rescued the royal victim from the hands of his tortuters, and prolonged a life for new indignities and sufferings. Cortes died in Spain, in the year 1547, in the 62d year of his age. Envied by his contemporaries, and ill requited by the court which he served, he has been admired and celebrated by succeeding ages. By his own desire he was carried to Mexico, and buried there.


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S a peninsula, joined to North America by the Isthmus of Darien, and divided as follows:

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Boundaries. Bfame ocean and Surinam ; south, by Amozonia and

Chief Towns,

Belonging to

St. Pedro,




St. Sebastian,

Paragua, or La Plata,

Buenos Ayres,


St. Jago,


The natives,

Length 1400


60 and 82° West Longitude. Breadth 700

OUNDED noith, by the Atlantic Ocean ; east, by the Peru ; west, by the Pacific Ocean.

Climaie, foil and productions.] The climate here, especially in the northern parts, is extremely hot and sultry during the whole year. From the month of May to the end of November, the season called winter by the inhabitants, is almost a continual succession of thunder, rain and tempests ; the clouds precipitating the rains with such,impetuosity, that the low lards exhibit the appearance of an ocean. Great part of the country is of consequence most continually flooded ; and this, together with the excellive heat, so impregnates the air with vapours, that in many provinces, particularly about Popayan and Porto-Bello, it is extremely unwholesome. The soil of this country is very different, the mlanc parts being exceedingly rich and fertile, the coasts sandy and barren. It is imposfible to view without admiration, the perpetual verdure of the woods, the luxuriancy of the plains, and the towering height of the mountains. This country produces corn, sugar, tobacco and fruits of all kinds; the most remarkable is that of the manzanillo tree. It bears fruit resembling an apple, but which, under this specious appearance, contains the most subtile poison. The bean of Carthagena is the fruit a of species of wila low, about the bigness of a bean, and is an excellent and never failing remedy for the bite of the most venemous serpents, which are very frequent all over this country. Among the natural merchandize of 'Terra firma, the pearls found on the coast, particularly in the bay of Panama, are not the least considerable. An immense number of negroe slaves are employed in fishing for these, and have arrived at a wonderful dexterity in this occupation. They are sometimes, however deroured by tharks, while they dive to the bottom, or are crushed against the shelves of the rocks.

Chief towns.] PANAMA is the capital of Terra Firma Proper, and is situated upon a capacious bay, to which it gives its name.

It is the great receptacle of the vast quantities of gold and Gilver, with other rich merIi2


chandize, from all parts of Peru and Chili : here they are lodged in stores houses, till the proper season arrives to transport them to Europe.

Porto Bello is situated close to the sea, on the declivity of a mount. tain which surrounds the whole harbour. The convenience and the safety of this harbour is such that Columbus, who first discovered it, gave it the name of Porto Bello, or the fine Harbour,

History.] This part of South America was discovered by Columbus, in his third voyage to this continent. It was fubdued and settled by the Spaniards about the year 1514, after destroying, with great inhumanity, feveral millions of the natives. This country was called Terra Firma, on account of its being the first part of the continent which was discovered, all the lands discovered previous to this being islands.


Boundaries:) B

Miles. Length 1800

60° and 81° West Longitude.

Breadth 500 5

The Equator and 25° South Latitude.
OUNDED north, by Terra Firma; east, by the Andes:

south, by Chili; west by the Pacific Ocean.
Rivers.] A prodigious number of rivers rise in the Andes, and run
through this country, among which are Granada or Cagdalena, Ori-
noco and Amazon. The last has its source in Peru, and after running
eastwards- upwards of 3000 miles, fals into the Atlantic ocean.

This river, like all the tropical rivers annually overflows its banks.

Climate, foil, and productions.] Though Peru lies within the torrid zone, yet, having the pacific ocean on the west, and the Andes on the east, the air is not fo sultry as is usual in tropical countries. The sky is generally cloudy, so that the inhabitants are shielded from the direct


of the fun; but what is extremely fingular, it never rains in Peru. This defect, however, is sufficiently supplied by a soft and gentle dew, which falls every night on the ground, and so refreshes the plants and grass, as to produce in many places the greatest fertility. In the inland parts of Pe. ru, and by the banks of the rivers, the soil is generally very fertile, buc along the sea coast it is a barren fand. The productions of this country are, Indian coro, wheat, balsam, fugar, wine, cotton-cattle, deer, ponltry, parrots, wild fowls, lions, bears, monkeys, c. Their sheep are large and work as beasts of burden. Another extraordinary animal here is the vicunna, or Indian goat, in which is found the bezoar stone, celebrated for expelling poisons. The province of Quito abounds with cedar, cocoa, palm-trees, and the kinguenna, which affords the Peruvian or Jesuits bark; also the storax, guaiacum, and several other gums and drugs. Gold and filver mines are found in every province, but those of Potosi are the richest. The mountains of Potisi alone, is said to have yeilded to the


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Spaniards, the first forty years they were in possession of it, two thousand millions of pieces of eight.

Government.} Peru is governed by a viceroy, who is absolute; but is being impoffible for him to superintend the whole extent of his govern. ment, he delegates a part of his authority to the several audiences and courts, established at different places throughout his dominions.

Chief Towns.] Lima, the capital of Peru, and residence of the viceroy, is large, magnificient and populous ; for 'the splendour of its inhabitants, the grandeur of its public festivals, the extent of its commerce, and, the delightfulness of its climate, is superior to all cities in South Ameri

These eminent advantages are however, considerably overbalanced by the dreadful earthquakes which frequently happen here. In the year 1747 a most tremendous earthquake laid three fourths of this city level with the ground, and entirely demolished Callao, the port town belonging to it. Never was any destruction more complete or terrible : but one, of 3,000 inhabitants, being left to record this dreadful calamity, and he by a providence the most singular and extraordinary imaginable.

Lima contains 60,000 inhabitants, of whom the whites amount to a All travellers speak with amazement of the decoration of the churches with gold, silver and precious stones, which load and ornament even the walls. Quito is next to Lima in populousness. Hiftory. The Spaniards first visited Peru in 1526. Pizarro, with

army of about 160 men, after a series of treacherous and cruel acts, made a conquest of the whole country, for the king of Spain, in 1533, to whom it has ever since been subject. The natives have frequently attempted to regain their liberty, but have hitherto been unsuccessful. Some late insurrections have happened, but the consequences are not yet particularly known.


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Length 1200

250 and 45° South Latitude.

Breadth 500

1650 and 85o Weft Longitude.
Boundaries.] B by Patagonia;

werty by the Pacific ocean.

OUNDED north, by Peru ; East, by La Plata ; fouth, Climate, foil

, and productions. ] The air of Chili, though in a hot climate, is remarkably temperate, occasioned by refreshing breezes from the sea, and the cool winds from the top of the Andes, which are covered with eternal snows. This country is free from lightning, and although thunder is frequently heard, it is far up in the mountain. Spring begins here about the middle of August, and continues till November. It is summer from November till February. Autumn continues till May ; and winter till Auguft. It rarely snows in the vallies, though the moun. tains are always covered. This country is entirely free from all kinds


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