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tion from being developed in them. This was the more easily effected on account of the situation of most of the great capitals, the cities of Mexico, Puebla, Guadalaxara, Bogota, Quito, and Cuzco, lying on elevated inland plains separated from the sea-board by lofty mountain-ranges.
The American possessions were considered as kingdoms held in fief by the Spanish crown, in virtue of a grant from the Pope, who thus benignantly disposed of millions of people on the other side of the world who had never even heard of him.
The provinces were divided into vice-royalties and captaincies-general, each independent of the other, and all immediately under the King and the Council of the Indies, having charge of American affairs solely, and having its own code of laws the ‘Laws of the Indies.' Each viceroy had a board of advisers, called the 'Audienza,' composed of Spaniards, who could not hold lands or marry in the provinces, and who had the privilege of corresponding with the home government, and of remonstrating with the viceroys, but whose efficiency was neutralized by the inordinate power of the latter.
The principle which the home government carried out in the colonies was, that every department must be checked by some other, and this required the employment of a vast number of officials, as each one required a dozen others to watch him. A state of affairs which has survived the rule of Spain, and goes far toward effecting the demoralization of the republics.
In order to keep the provinces entirely dependent upon the mother country, none but Spaniards were employed in the administration of government; and although the laws did not exclude Creoles, they never obtained, any advancement unless it was purchased of the court with enormous sums of money.
In Mexico, of fifty viceroys, but one was a Mexican. Of one hundred and seventy viceroys in Spanish America, but four were Americans ; and of six hundred and ten captain-generals, all but ten were Spaniards, and this proportion held true of less important offices.
The Buenos Ayres Manifesto says: “Every thing was disposed on the part of Spain in America to effect the degradation of her sons. It was her policy incessantly to diminish and depress our population, lest one day we should imagine aught against her domination, guarded by a force too contemptible for keeping in subjection regions so various and vast. Commerce was exclusively confined to herself, from a mean suspicion that opulence would make us proud, and render us capable of aspiring to free ourselves from so many vexations ; and we were excluded from all participation in public employments, in order that the natives of the Peninsula might have entire influence over the country, so as to form the inclinations and habits necessary for retaining us in a state of dependence that would neither permit us to think nor to act but in conformity to the modes dictated by the Spaniards.
• The complaints that were addressed to the throne were either lost in the distance of many thousand leagues, over which they had to pass, or they were smothered in the offices at Madrid, by the protectors of those who tyrannized over us.
• We had no voice direct or indirect in legislating for our country. This was done for us in Spain, without conceding to us even the privilege of sending delegates or counsellors to be present, and to state what would be suitablo or otherwise, as is practised by the cities of Spain.
“There was no remedy, but for us to bear with patience, and for him who could not resign himself to every abuse, death was considered as too light a punishment; for in such cases, punishments have been invented of unheard-of cruelty, and revolting to every sentiment of humanity.' 'It was forbidden,' adds the 'Manifesto,' 'to teach us the liberal sciences. The viceroy of Don Joaquin Pinto gave great offence by permitting a nautical school at Buenos Ayres, and it was ordered to be shut by a mandate from the court. At the same time it was strictly prohibited to send our youth to Paris for the purpose of studying the science of chemistry, in order to teach it upon their return. Thus were all kinds of knowledge and literature interdicted by the stringent measures of the Spanish government, and the natives debarred from every avenue to distinction.'
Trade with foreigners was forbidden. No South-American could own a ship, or receive a cargo on consignment. Orders were given that no foreign vessel could, on any pretence, touch at a South-American port; and the royal ordinance of 1692 decreed that even ships in distress should be seized as prizes, and their crews imprisoned.
But in spite of every precaution to insure non-intercourse with other nations, the Spanish-Americans were not insensible to the advantages to be derived from foreign trade, and, says Captain Hall, of the Royal Navy, 'In process of time there was established one of the most extraordinary systems of organized smuggling which the world ever saw. This was known under the name of the contraband or forced trade, and was carried on in armed vessels, well manned, and prepared to fight their way to the coast, and to resist, as they often did with effect, the ‘guarda-costas,' or coast blockades of Spain. This singular system of war-like commerce was conducted by the Dutch, Portuguese, French, English, and latterly by the North-Americans. In this way, goods to an immense value were distributed over Spanish-America ; and although the prices were necessarily high, and supply precarious, that taste for the comforts and luxuries of European invention was first encouraged, which afterward operated so powerfully in giving a steady and intelligible motive to the efforts of the patriots in their struggles with the mother country.'
Agriculture, equally with commerce, was subjected to the most arbitrary and injurious restrictions. Certain products were forbidden to be raised in America, as flax, hemp, and saffron. During the stay of Humboldt in Mexico,
orders were received by the viceroy of that country to root up all the vines in the northern provinces, because the merchants of Cadiz complained of a diminution in the consumption of Spanish wines.' 'Happily,' says that traveller, "this order was never executed. It was judged that, notwithstanding the extreme patience of the Mexican people, it might be dangerous to drive them to despair, by laying waste their property, and forcing them to purchase from the
monopolists of Europe what the bounty of nature produced on the Mexican soil.'
Thus did the mother country selfishly seek to derive every benefit from the colonies, suffering them to advance only as much as tended to her own present welfare. In pursuit of this policy she imposed the most onerous and burdensome of taxes upon the natives. Nothing was free from duties and tithes. The ‘Alcavala,' the most vexatious of taxes, levied upon every transfer of goods, pressed heavily upon the people. Nor was the Church behind-hand in demanding its dues. Every religious rite was held at a high price. In the city of Mexico two thousand three hundred and ninety-two clergy were supported by a population of one hundred and thirty-seven thousand, while the income of the archbishop reached one hundred thousand dollars per annum. Every individual was compelled to buy annually a certain number of the Pope's bulls, and a man dying without the Bula de Confesion, had all his property confiscated.
The rigors of the Inquisition were enforced with a severity known only to Spain itself ; and we may judge of the hold the priesthood had upon the people by witnessing its power in the struggles of this late period. Imprisonment was the grand recipe for every offence, civil or religious, and it may well be imagined that every stage of legal proceedings was in the most deplorable condition. Justice was scarce ever heard of. Natives of Old Spain alone presided in the courts; and the laws were so interpreted as to favor their own class. At the taking of Lima, the dungeons were found filled with prisoners against whom no charges could be found, and who had long since been forgotten.
These are some of the main features in the policy pursued by Spain toward her American colonies, a policy at once selfish and short-sighted; and after enduring three centuries of such systematic oppression, can we wonder at the distractions of those colonies, now that they are cast loose upon tbe broad sea of national existence ?
OR, CEAPTERS ON TEE CHEERFUL AND JOYOUS IN LITERATURE AND ART.
'Let them feel that this cold metallic motion
Is not all the life Gop giveth them to feel;
That they live in you or under you, O wheels!
As if fate in each were stark!
Cry of the Children, by ELIZABETH B. BROWNING. • If life exist simply as a final opportunity to labor with bands, to supply bread to mouths, and clothes to backs, scanty to the many, and abundant to the few, a transitory partial system of eating and drinking to hunger and thirst again, ending in a repetition of similar wants and vulgar necessities, perpetuated through our means, to an indefinite series of human selves, ever turning but never advancing the wheel of humanity, without any innate consciousness, approved by reason of something better in store, then indeed life is a mockery, and its author a fiend.' —Why and what am I? or, the Confessions of an Inquirer.' By JAMES JACKSON JARVES.
In a land where there are men who pride themselves on never laughing * right out;' or where, if they do laugh, it must be quite in 'a set way,' on set topics; where all enjoyment, the instant it is grasped, begins to freeze and shrink into the narrowest limits, and give out a chilling sense of sin — yet where there is also a vast amount of mental energy, and a fully-developed, brave-hearted, noble tendency to labor, it is natural enough that people should take refuge from the ever-goading sense of wickedness, or of duty,' in down‘right hard work. For those who will not, there are given bad brandy and delirium-tremens, panel-houses, horse-races, politics, and faro.
Nature has in the physical world mercifully provided that when the great and legitimate support of life is removed, partial methods of relief may be obtained. He who can no longer swallow may be kept alive, and imperfectly nourished by means of baths, or artificial transmission. So the grim and hardened mind, which has lost that best and most natural support of the soul, genial cheerfulness, finds strength in mere work for the sake of work. And the splendid Anglo-Saxon mind, with its wonderful physique, stimulated by a climate and soil requiring exertion, is goaded still more by ever-present accusations of sinfulness. When a man believes after hearing (as I have heard from eminent clergymen at my 'Alma Mater,' Princeton, New Jersey) that our very prayers to God are sinful, and that we are accountable for our dreams, he will not be unlikely to take refuge from the demon of thought in hard work. And that it affords relief from mental oppression is undoubtedly true. Dumas, or Maquet, or whoever it was that wrote ‘Monté Christo,' showed great inge
nuity in making the Procureur du roi, a stern public prosecutor, find forgetfulness of sorrow in affliction.
See, I have not slept,' said Villefort, showing his undisturbed bed ; 'grief does not stun me. I have not been in bed for two nights; but then look at my desk; see what I have written during these two days and nights! I have filled those papers, and have made out the accusation against the assassin Benedetto. O work ! work! my passion, my joy, my delight! it is for thee to alleviate my sorrows!' and he convulsively grasped the hand of D'Avrigny.
I confess, and that right willingly — ay, with all my heart and soul — that the temptations to minds, even of a higher order than that of the imagined Villefort's, to forget genial joys in excess of labor are very great indeed. In the first place, we must all work to a certain degree. Inexpressibly wretched is that man who has nothing to do, a fit tool for the devil ; indeed it is, I believe, from these men that there come the loudest Byronic wailings, and hottest blasphemies of Nature. And because work is as inseparable from happiness, or even from existence, as food or sleep, those give-an-inch-and-take-an-ell zealots, who are ultra in all arguments, insist that LABOR is the whole duty of man! Again, to those who have the almost universal weakness of wishing to appeai ' peculiar,' or 'remarkable,' or 'not as others are,' there is something very fascinating - nay, quite heroic, in affecting to be utterly unaffected by any amount of that work which, as every man knows, is beyond a certain extent repugnant to mere flesh-and-blood humanity. "Oh! the delight of being taken for what we are not !' Ambition, avarice, a thousand plausible reasons, all urge the men of the present day to that excess of work which ends, spite of every effort, in unfitting them for other thoughts save those of business. The domestic circle of children is made a plea for greater excess of work, and the children grown up forget themselves in their children-work work chew tobacco, bolt cocktails, swallow ten-minute dinners; work again home, jaded and used up; lecture at Rev. Dr. Spriggins on the Iniquity of all Light Literature, or the Duty of Agonizing*; sleep, work, sharp practice; put off payments get discount at the board for X- 'who goes to our church, you know'— buy notes below par to pay off the people with — adroit tricks by means of more unscrupulous agents, it's their business where the money comes from — toil and steam - such is, I honestly believe, the rule and not the exception of the life of busy America, and that of busy England is not far from it. And there are so many good reasons for it all. Reasons plenty as blackberries. A must live in as good a house as B. B has a parcel of soul-less, tasteless furniture, without one work of art, or good book among it all, (never having educated himself for aught but work —'never had time for it, you know,') and A's wife must have as fine. Is all this better than a higher class machine or animal life? Does it call into exercise any of the higher capacities or abilities of the soul ? Does a single work of genius in existence, a single feeling of the Joyousness of Beauty and Nature find its way to such brains or hearts ? But
* We must agonize if we would see God.' This expression was in one of the latest sermons which I have heard.