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soil, and flourished as they have done in a more rigid climate, where necessity urged to a more laborious and enterprising life? Would those principles of liberty, carried with them by the colonists, from a stock which had been maturing for ages, have withered when transplanted in this fertile soil, and under this warm sun? Or would that liberty which is so much prized, have lost her dominion in a country, whose rivers flow over beds of diamonds, and whose sands are gold? T'he different result in the same situations on different people, is exemplified in the conquest and possession of a part of this country by the Dutch. Pernambuco is the most populous province of Brazil, and has the most extensive exports; and this may be accounted for, by the simple fact of its having been so long in the possession of a free and industrious people. With the Dutch, commerce and agriculture were honorable acts; not so with the Spaniards or Portuguese, who thought of nothing but running about in search of mines, or attempting to reduce to slavery, the very people whose country they had violently seized. The first thing that a free English population would have thought of, would in all probability have been, the cultivation of the earth, and the navigation of the seas; the discovery of gold mines would have been the last. Would the working of gold mines have proved more detrimental to our national character, than those of tin or copper?
It is difficult to say what would have been the effects on a people, of the habits and character of those who settled the United States. I am far from being convinced, that climate alone would have been sufficient to make the difference in favor of our country. Perhaps what would be most to be feared, would be, that
our motive for exertion might not be the same, from the greater facilities of obtaining the first necessaries of life. But would this be the case among men habituated to free government, and therefore anxious to rise? A motive in itself sufficient for every exertion, in order to better their situation. The Brazilians have hitherto shewn little activity in commerce, or industry in agriculture; but has not this been owing to the nature of the government under which they were bred, and to the colonial restrictions? To what other cause can we attribute the poverty and wretchedness of the lower classes of people, in countries where they are surrounded by the means of creating an abundance? Yet even since the colonial restrictions have been taken off, an evident improvement in their condition is beginning to be seen. As a further proof that the climate does not necessarily relax the springs of industry and enterprise, we may cite the restless expeditions of the Paulistas through the interior, while engaged in their laborious search of mines. An activity, it must be confessed, that might have been much more usefully directed. Their example gave rise to a dangerous spirit of gaming and speculation. A most seducing temptation was held out by the success of a few, for others to engage in similar undertakings, to the neglect of what would be attended with more certainty for themselves, and at the same time be more generally beneficial. Precious metals are not obtained without great expense and risk, even to the individual who is successful; but to the community, the expense is enormously disproportionate, on account of the numbers who engage in the pursuit and prove unfortunate. A spirit of gaming, takes the place of the sober plans of industry. The earth is not cultivated, no manufactures are established, commerce is on the lowest footing, and the country continues for centuries a wilderness. So evi. dent was the injurious effect of this spirit on the colonies, that it was even recommended by some ministers, to prohibit the working of mines entirely.* But for this intoxicating effect, there is no reason why industry employed in the preparation of the precious metals, should be more injurious than when employed in ma. nufactures. It is apt to entice away from every other pursuit, and a country must always be in a state of great dependence upon all others, when possessed of but one branch of industry. Even here there is a difference between the monopoly of industry by the mining business, and the situation of a country compelled by necessity to confine itself to one pursuit; in the latter case, it is necessity alone which will induce it to do so; for if possessed of any other resources or capacities, there is no danger of their being despised or neglected; but where the precious metals form the staple commodity, their seductive influence will be such as to monopolise every attention.
Considering the wonderful variety and value of the products of Brazil, the possession of mines was perhaps more injurious than beneficial. Southey informs us, that it was proved by experiments nearly a century ago, that the spices of the Indies, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, could be naturalized in this happy climate. Their cultivation was suggested at the time as a mode of undermining the power of the Dutch. The . sugar, coffee, and cotton of Brazil, can be transported as cheaply to Europe as from the West Indies, or the
* Travels in Portugal by the duke de Chatelet, vol. i. p. 247.
United States. Brazil has no competitor with respect to its valuable woods, of which there is the most wonderful variety, adapted to cabinet work and ship build. ing.* The tick wood and cedar, are equal to any in the world; Brazil excels all other countries in the fa. cilities for building vessels; an art which is rapidly
improving here. The valuable fisheries on the coast, - and the coasting trade, daily increasing, will in time,
furnish seamen to navigate an immense navy.
DEPARTURE FROM RIO-PROVINCES OF ST. PAUL, ST. CATHERINE,
AND RIO GRANDE-ISLAND OF FIORES-ARRIVAL AT MONTE VI
Having no further business at this port, and the ship being supplied with every thing necessary for the prosecution of the voyage to La Plata, the commodore announced bis intention to put to sea. It had previously been intended to proceed to St. Catherines, for the purpose of procuring a tender to ascend the La Plata. The great draft of water of the Congress, (upwards of twenty-two feet,) rendered it impossible to carry her up to Buenos Ayres. Besides the season
* Mr. Hill, our consul at St. Salvador, presented commodore Sinclair with upwards of a hundred specimens, equal in beauty to any I ever saw.
of pamperos, or south-west winds, was approaching, and from the known dangers and difficulties of the navigation, the commodore felt a reluctance to run a greater risk' than was absolutely unavoidable. Partly, therefore, in compliance with the wishes of the commissioners, especially of Mr. Bland, and partly in consequence of an understanding with captain Hickey of the Blossom, who was also bound for the river, he changed his original intention, and resolved to go directly to Monte Video, and there procure the necessary vessel. The Blossom drawing much less water, and her commander having some acquaintance with the river, it was thought that being in company with bim, would be an advantage of some importance.
An occurrence took place some days previous to our sailing, of somewhat an unpleasant nature, and as some notice has been taken of it in the public prints, it may be proper to give a statement of the circumstances. One of the seamen, who had served as interpreter to the watering parties, or other purposes on shore, had taken advantage of the opportunity to stray from his companions, whether for the purpose of fro. licking, or of desertion it was not known. The day after, however, two of our lieutenants, (Ramsey and Berry,) accidentally met him in the street, and ordered him to his duty, to which he seemed to submit, alleging as an excuse for his fault, that he had been intoxicated. Intending to see him embark in the boat, they proceeded with him some distance, when he suddenly attempted to escape, and was seized by one of the lieutenants. He cried out for help, declaring himself a Portuguese subject, and that he had been im