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EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,
For OCTOBER 1806.
Description of the View.
BRECHIN Castle, the property Castle was principally built in the
and present residence of the Hon. beginning of the last century by PaMr Maute of Panmure, M. P. for trick Earl of Panmure; and very the county of Forfar, is situated in considerable additions have been since a most romantic manner, on a high made to it, particularly by the preand abrupt bank, or rather precipice, sent proprietor. overhanging the river South Esk, The most celebrated event in the which at this place forms a broad history of Brechin Castle was its des and deep pool beneath. The scite fence under the gallant Sir Thomas of the castle is at once beautiful and Maule, who then governed it, against uncommon.
a no less distinguished character than This property has, for many cen Edward the 1st of England, who turies, belonged to the family of besieged it in person, with his whole Panmure and their immediate ances. army, in his famous' expedition to tors, The most ancient proprie- the North anno 1303, with a view tors with whom we are acquainted, to tbe subjugation of all Scot. were the Brechins, Lords of Bre- land. Indeed, with the exception of chin, who were long in possession of Stirling Castle, this was the only it. From these it passed by descent place which at that time made any to the family of Barclay, afterwards considerable resistance against that Lords of Brechin, about the year most formidable enemy of Scotland. 1321: with whom it remained some The following description of the what more than
century. From siege, extracted from Mathew of them it afterwards was acquired, Westminster, the historian and eu(partly in right of blood, partly by logist of Edward, is so remarkable purchase,) by the family of Panmure, and curious, that we shall subjoin a about the year 1438, and with them literal translation of it. it has remained ever since.
• (Anno 1303.) And when he The Castle, in former times, ap “(Edward) approached the Castle of pears to have been a place of
great “ Brihyn, which held out against strength, and was surrounded by a " him, he ordered it to be besieged. very
broad and deep ditch, or fosse, " But the commander of that Castle, which communicated with the river. ", Sir Thomas Maille, no ways affraid Of the ancient Castle, a very small “ of bis royal army, trusting in part is now remaining. The present " the firmness of his strong bul
** warks, despised the efforts of " whilst he yet breathed, some of his “ the powerful battering engines. “ people running up to him, asked, “ For, whilst the potent batter. “ whether they should now surren“ ing machines * of the king of “der the Castle ? at this proposal,
England threw stones incessantly «iswearing at them, he expired with “ against the walls of the Castle, " the oaths on his lips. And imme
yet were not able to beat down “ diately afterwards, on that same “ the wall by their rebound, that “ day, the besieged being destitute
same Sir - Thomas stood with a 66 of all assistance, delivered up the “ towel in his hand, and wiped off “ Castle to the king of England." " the dust, in contempt and derision Lord Hailes, in his annals of Scot. “ of the whole English army; and land, mentioning the above event, " when he had gallantly defended and the conduct of Sir Thomas " the Castle during the space of Maule, adds the following judicious
twenty days; on the eve of the observation : ".A governor, in our « feast of St Laurence, whilst he "days, imitating the conduct of Sir “ himself was standing near the pro 6* Thomas Maule, would be ridicu.
jection of the wall, one of the en. " lous ;. but in tbe 14th century “ gines being directed against the “ this was considered as a sign of " said Sir Thomas, the stone struck " bold defiance. In those days there
part of the bastion, and from its were certain affronts in the man. “ impulse flying forwards, struck Sir ner of declaring war, and in the ". Thomas on the breast; who be. “ mode of resisuing an enemy, which
ing completely crushed thereby; " are now hardly intelligible." “ fell down on the ground. And
Some Account of the Settlement of Buenos AYRES.
British readers in general, than trict bordering on the river of the that extensive and beautiful region in Amazons, which consists ouly of imwhich Buenos Ayres is situated. mense deșarts, inhabited by a variety Now, therefore, that recent political of savage tribes. The south-is occuevents have rendered it the object of pied by the tribes who reach to the such peculiar interest, a short view of Magellanic regions, a good deal cele. its situation and productions, derived brated for their gigantic stature,
tho' from the best authorities, may not be this extraordinary fact bas in a great unacceptable.
measure disappeared before a more We shall divide our account into careful examination. two parts, Descriptive and Historical. This extensive tract of country is
The country of Paraguay extends perforated, throughout its whole ex. far through the centre of South tent, by the prodigious river, de la America, having on one side Bra-. Plata; sil, and on the other Peru, from
to wbose dread expanse, which it is separated by the gigantic' Continuous breadth, and wond'rous ridge of the Andes. It is 1500 miles length of course, in length, and 1000 in breadth. On Our floods are rills. THOMSON.
Nothing, in fact, on the old conti. * These are else where described by
nent seems capable of giving an ade. Mathew, as being capable of throwing quate idea of its magnitude. The stones from 200 to 300 pound weight. mouth is 150 miles broad, so that
there it resembles a great sea, rather highest degree, and actuated by the than a river; and to a spectator pla. tiercest hostility again:& the Spaced on its banks, the opposite coast niards, who were obliged to be conis far out of sight. Even at a hun. stantly on their guard against sudden dred miles farther up, a traveller incursions. In the province of Padeclares that he sailed twenty-four raguay, which lies to the north of hours across, without coming in Buenos Ayres, and on both sides of sight of laod; and that he felt as if the great river, lie the celebrated es. he had been in the middle of some tablishments of the Jesuits, of which vast ocean. The Atlantic itself seems we shall give some account in the to sink under this prodigious influx Historical part. The province of of waters, and becomes fresh for se Buenos Ayres itself consists of an veral leagues distance.
immense plain, bounded by the ocean It is navigable for Spanish vessels on one side, and on the other by the to Assumption, which is nearly a mountains which separate it from thousand miles above its mouth. Chili. It is almost wholly uncului. Raynal asserts its navigation to be vated; but is not, like the other difficult, and dangerous, but as usual, wastes of the new world, covered does not assign his authority, por do with impenetrable forests. On the we find this defect mentioned by any contrary, it scarcely contains a tree; other author.
the whole extent is one uninterrupted At some distance above its mouth, level. it receives two great rivers, the Uru The Spaniards being obliged to guay and Parana, which run a course evacuate Buenos Ayres soon after its little inferior to its own, and the late foundation, let loose into the fields a ter of which penetraies far into Bra. few horses and horned cattle, which sil. Besides these, throughout its they had along with them. These whole extent, innumerable smaller finding a vast extent of rich pasture, streams flow into it, from Brasil over which they could roam unconon one side, and Peru on the other; trouled, sogn multiplied incredibly, which, in the hands of an active and and covered the whole of that ima commercial people, could not fail to mense plain, which extends to Chili. be of high advantage for distributing Here they rove about in herds of European commodities through those thirty or forty thousand, without fertile and extensive countries. One, au owner, and the property of any in particular, called the Pilcomayo, one who will take the trouble of takes its rise in the mountains of catching them. Since that time, Potosi, (well known to contain the their hides and tallow have furnished richest mines in the new world) and the staple commodities of Buevos is navigable to its source. From these Ayres. In 1628 they are said to circumstances, though Paraguay con have been in such plenty, that a good tains no gold or silver mines, it has horse might be purchased for two always abounded with these metals, needles, and an ox in proportion: and exports a considerable quantity. No ship ever left Buenos Ayres with According to a statement of the Ab. out forty or fifty ihousand hides ; bé Raynal, this amounted annually, which were not obtained without on an average of ten years, from 1750 killing double the number of animals, to 1760, to nearly 300,0001. as only skins of a certain size were
This extensive country is in a very allowed in trade. Since that time imperfect state of cultivation. Great they have considerably diminished; part is occupied by barbarous na not only from the number taken, but iions, of a character atrocious in the from the muitiplication of a race' of
wild dogs which make dreadful ha great number of carcases these hunts: vock among them. The Spanish go. men leave behind them, would, if vernment once sent out a party of permitted to rot, cause an infection soldiers to kill as many as possible of in the air, which might be attended these animals; but the poor men, on with very disagreeable consequences; returning from this expedition, in. but clouds of vultures, as large as stead of meeting with the gratitude eagles, and other birds of prey, soon of their countrymen, were received fall upon them, so that in a few days. with shouts of derision and contempt, nothing remains but the bare bones. and branded with the appellation of The horses are taken with nooses ; dog.killers : in consequence of which and as they are born and bred wild, absurd and ungracious reception no. and of Spanish origin, they are very body could ever be prevailed upon to handsome and swift-footed. set out a second time on a similar er. Indians, however, who are also very raod.
nimble, contrive to turn them to. Charlevoix gives the following ac wards places where they know they count of the manner in which they must meet with obstacles to stop hunt the horned cattle, for which their flight, and as soon as they get they have no other name but that within reach of them, cast nooses aof Matança, or Butchery : bout their legs, leap upon them withnumber of huntsmen gather together, out any further ceremony, and have and repair on horseback to soon tamed them. There are, adds great plain entirely covered with he, a great many mules in Paraguay, ihese animals. They then separate, and they must be very useful in a and with a kind of hatchet, whose country where there are few beaten edge resembles a crescent, lay about roads, a great deal of up
and down them with all their might, aiming at hill, and here and there a great the hind legs of the animals, in order many bad steps." to hamstring them; for this once ef Next to hides, the great wealth of fected, the animal falls to the ground, this country consists in the berb of without being able to rise again, so Paraguay. This is an article of unithat the huntsmen may continue their versal demand throughout South game, till of many hundreds they have America, both as a medicine and a Rot left a single beast standing; and luxury. Though called an herb, it some people pretend that a good is the leaf of a tree, which, in size hand will in this manner disable eight approaches to a middling apple tree, hundred oxen in an hour; but this and whose taste resembles that of account appears rather exaggerated. mallows, There
re are th
three kinds of In the consternation which at first it, which however are only different seizes these animals, they crowd to- ways of preparing the same leaf.gether in such confusion as to im. The first, called Caacuys, is the bud pede each others flight, and thereby when it has scarce begun to open its afford the huntsmen an opportunity leaves; ihe Caamini is the full-grown of taking from time to time a little leaf, which is first stript of its rest and refreshment. . At last, after leaves, and then roasted. The Caa. some days spent in this violent exer- guazi, the third kind, is formed by cise, they return the same way they the leaves roasted, without any precame, find their oxen where they left vious preparation. The leaf, after them, dispatch them at their leisure, being pulverised, and reduced into and carry off as much of them as paste, is then boiled in water, and they can.
sucked through a pipe. When ta"We may well imagine that the ken in excess, is produces intoxica
tion, and has, sometimes, deprived extent of the country must leave people of their senses for several room for the almost indefinite ex. davs. *
tension of its culture. This herb is not produced in the There seems also some reason to neighbourhood of Buenos Ayres, but think that this country may be capa: upon the mountains at a considerable ble of producing wine. Vines, indistance. The place where it grows deed, are said not to thrive in the In greatest quantity, and in highest neighbourhood of Buenos Ayres, on perfection, is at New Villarica, a set- account of a particular species of ant tiement in the mountains of Mara. which devours them, and which the cayu, which lies to the east of the Spaniards have hitherto found out Rio de la Plata, in about twenty five no effectual means of extirpating.degrees of south latitude. A hun- With regard to the reinoter parts, dred thousand arrobes are sometimes we shall give the statement of Charsent to Peru alone, each of which is levoix in his own words :-“ Some worth a
guinea and a half of our have planted vines here, which do not money.
thrive equally, in every district ; but Paraguay produces also wax and a great deal of wine is made at Rioga honey, in great abundance and per. and Corduba, two towns in Tucuman. fection. Every forest abounds with That of Corduba is greasy, strong, bees, which make their bives in the and heady ; that of Rioga has none hollow of trees, and of which ten dif. of these faults; but at Mendoza, a ferent species are reckoned.
town in the government of Chili, But besides the commodities which and situated in the Cordillera, about Paraguay actually produces, and twenty-five leagues from Corduba, which are almost all spontaneous, they make a wine' very little inferior we must consider also those, (pro- to that of Spain." bably of much greater importance) Buenos Ayres is by far the most which, in the hands of an active and considerable town in Paraguay. It is commercial people, it might be capa: situated to the south of the Rio de la ble of yielding. The climate and soil Plata, and is built along the banks are the same with those of the most of a small river which falls into it.----southern American states, and would This city was founded by the Spani. doubtless yield" the same valuable ards in 1536, but was so harassed products. The Citton tree is a native by difficulty of subsistence, and by of this country, and a considerable the attacks of the savages, that they quantity is gathered, especially in were forced to abandou it. About the missions ; but the produce might forty years after, however, when they doubtless' bé vastly augmented. had extended their settlements in the Tobacco thrives equally, and, even in other parts of Paraguay, extreme the hands of the Spaniards, was be inconvenience was experienced from coming an article of considerable im- the want of a port near the mouth portance. "Hemp is cultivated also in of the river. Buenos Ayres was pretty large quantities; and there therefore rebuilt, though it remained seems no reason why flax should not long in a very poor condition. The be equally successful. We have not houses were constructed of earth, seen rice mentioned among its pro- only one story high, and interspersed ducts; but there seems every reason, with large fields and gardens. Most from analogy, to suppose that the of them were lighted only by tbe soil will be well fitted for it. We door, and none had more than one have seen sugar also mentioned ; and window. Some Jesuits, however, if the soil be capable of it, the vast who came over from Spain, taught