Still, though their policy was pursued, it did not stop the opponents of the Jesuits from denouncing that very policy, both at the cession of the seven towns and at the expulsion of the Order from America. The commissioners, after innumerable delays, having found themselves in 1753 at Santa Tecla, a village near the Uruguay, it becomes necessary to cast a glance at what the Jesuits themselves were doing, and how they tried to do their duty as they saw it both to their Sovereign, their Order, and the Indians over whom they ruled. It seems as if, whilst the superiors of the Order recognised at once the futility of striving against Portugal and Spain, some of the inferior members secretly set on the Indians to armed resistance to the impolitic decree. The council of the province (Paraguay)*1* assembled at the Jesuit college in Cordoba, composed of Fathers Masala, Horos, Caballero, Lopez, and Lozano, sent a memorial*2* both to the Viceroy of Peru and to the High Court of Charcas. In the memorial they first set forth their loyalty, and then exposed the deceit to which the ministers of Spain and Portugal had been subjected by their advisers in America. They pointed out most justly that the treaty was damaging to both the countries concerned,*3* and that in regard to the Indians of the seven towns peculiarly unjust. Both at Charcas and at Lima their memorial (though diffuse) was favourably received, and a copy remitted to the King and Council at Madrid. Ibanez, in his 'Republica Jesuitica', qualifies the action of the Jesuits in this matter as a 'great crime'. Dean Funes only sees duplicity of language, but seems to excuse it in the circumstances in which the Jesuits were placed. Certainly, after efforts extending over almost two hundred years, it was hard on them to see seven of their most flourishing missions arbitrarily broken up, the Indians driven from their homes, and their territory occupied by those very Portuguese who for a hundred years had been their persecutors. There was much to say in extenuation, even for 'duplicity of language', when one remembers that the Jesuits alone (no matter how mistaken their views of treatment may seem to modern eyes) stood out against the assumption that the Indians were a mere flock of sheep, who might be driven from their homes on any pretext, or at the exigencies of ministers at courts who lived ten thousand miles away, and were completely ignorant of the local circumstances. Whether the memorial influenced the court of Spain is hard to say; but it is certain that when, in 1752, the Marques de Valdelirios arrived in Buenos Ayres, with him came as a commissioner to fix the boundary between the two nations of the Uruguay Father Luis de Altamirano, accompanied by his secretary, Rafael de Cordoba, both members of the Order, and that the Marquis took up his lodging in the college of the Jesuits. There papers and memorials rained on him: one came from the Bishop of Tucuman, and one from Don Jaime de San Just, the Governor of Paraguay, with many others from people of inferior note, all in the interest of the Company. It appears as if Valdelirios thought that these memorials were inspired, for his first action was to publish to the priests of the seven towns the wishes of his government as to evacuation by the Indians of the territory. This he did through the prefect of the missions, who seems to have acted in good faith in his endeavours to carry out the wishes of the Spanish court. Just at that moment Barreda, the Provincial of Paraguay, arrived in Buenos Ayres, and Valdelirios asked him his opinion as to the measures best calculated to insure the treaty being quietly carried out. Barreda, though all his interests were against the execution of the treaty, seems to have acted in good faith. He gave the sensible advice that, as the treaty had been made entirely without taking into consideration the difficulties of carrying it out, it could not be held a crime to ask the King for some delay.*4* He advised consulting three ex-Governors of Paraguay, who happened to be in Buenos Ayres,*5* and, lastly, that all hurry, or anything likely to excite the Indians, should be avoided; for it was possible that they, relying on their numbers and local knowledge, might be able to give much trouble even to the joint forces of both crowns. He laid before Valdelirios the condition of the reductions, telling him that they were fertile and well cultivated,*6* and that this of itself would incline the Indians against migrating from their lands. Lastly, he said it was the opinion of the most experienced of the priests that the Indians would yield neither to arguments nor reason, for the hatred of the Portuguese had put them quite beside themselves with fury at the idea of giving up their lands. Valdelirios must have found himself not in too comfortable a state. Lodged as he was in the college of the Jesuits, he must have felt that most of the advice which was so freely tendered him was biassed, and to relieve his mind he called a council, at which the Provincial Barreda, Juan Escadon, his secretary, Altamirano, and Rafael de Cordoba appeared. The council recommended prudence, and, as the majority were Jesuits, pushed their prudence even beyond Lowland Scotch or north of Ireland limits, for they proposed to institute a commission which, after three years' investigation, should report at Buenos Ayres on what it had found out. Commissions, royal or otherwise, have always been a trump-card in the hands of governments, since peddling democracy, with show of noses and the like, came in and put an end to those good old methods which are as dear to-day to rulers' hearts as they have ever been since the beginning of the world, and will be whilst election, battle, fitness, talents, wealth, unfitness, or any other cause, gives power into the hands of anyone to rule.
— *1* Dean Funes, 'Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay', etc., tome iii., p. 45. *2* Dean Funes says 'una difusa memoria'; but, then, even though friendly, churchmen and cats rarely forego a scratch. The proverb has it, 'Palabras de santo, un~as de gato'. *3* Though Ibanez ('Republica Jesuitica', tome i., cap. i.) says: 'This treaty caused entire satisfaction to all the world except the English, who feared their commerce would suffer by it (i.e., by the closing of the Colonia del Sacramento as an entry for smuggled goods), and the Jesuits.'
Raynal, also an ex-Jesuit, but a man of far higher character than Ibanez, says (tome iii., lib. 97): 'This treaty met censure on both sides, the ministers in Lisbon themselves alleging that it was a false policy to sacrifice the Colonia del Sacramento, the clandestine commerce of which amounted to two millions of dollars a year . . . for possessions whose advantages were uncertain and position remote. The outcries were even stronger in Madrid. There they imagined that the Portuguese would soon rule all along the Uruguay . . . and from thence penetrate up the rivers into Tucuman, Chile, and Potosi.' *4* Quoting the Pope who advised St. Augustine on his first mission visit to England, to convert the natives to Christianity, to go slowly. *5* D. Martin de Echaria, Don Rafael de Menedo, and Don Marcos de Lauazabel. *6* From a letter preserved at Simancas (Legajo 7,447), written by P. Diego Palacios to P. Luiz de Altamirano, dated San Miguel, June 20, 1752, it appears that there were in the territory of the seven towns plantations of 'yerba' trees, cotton, and valuable woods. —
Valdelirios, who was not a fool, saw their design, and instantly despatched Altamirano (1752) to Castillos to meet Freire de Andrade and the Portuguese, and set about drawing the new frontier line at once. Altamirano, though a Jesuit, appears (at first at any rate) to have been anxious that the treaty should be carried out. In 1752 (September 22) he wrote* from the reduction of San Borja to P. Mathias Stroner,** ordering all the Jesuits to assist in carrying out the evacuation of the seven towns. By his advice Freire de Andrade and Valdelirios met at Castillos, and, after having laid off some twenty leagues of boundary line, returned respectively to the Colonia and to Buenos Ayres.
— * Archivo de Simancas, Legajo 7,378, folio 17 — a long and curious letter. ** 'Stroner' may have been 'Stoner', in which case he must have been an Englishman. There were few English names amongst the Paraguayan Jesuits, if one except Juan Bruno de Yorca (John Brown of York), Padre Esmid (Smith), the supposititious 'Stoner', and the doubtful Taddeo Ennis, who, though said to be a Bohemian, was not impossibly a Milesian. —
But in the missions things were in a state bordering on revolution. When the letter from the prefect of the missions reached San Miguel, the Indians assembled outside the church,* and having learned the situation of the lands to which they were to move, their fury knew no bounds. They all refused to stir, saying they had inherited their lands from their forefathers and by the grace of God.** Their example was at once followed by three more of the towns, and virtually a state of absolute defiance to the orders of the Spanish crown ensued.
— * Dean Funes, 'Ensayo de la Historia Civil de Paraguay', etc., book v., p. 52. ** They also said, in a memorial presented to the Marquis of Valdelirios by the Provincial Barreda, preserved at Simancas (Legajo 7,447), 'That they had voluntarily made themselves vassals of the King of Spain — despues de Christianarnos, nos hizimos voluntariamente vasallos de nuestro Catholico Rey de Espan~a para que amparandonos con su poder fomentase nuestra devota Christiandad.' It was not likely, therefore, that they would voluntarily become subject to the Portuguese, their most bitter persecutors. —
Just at this moment Altamirano, the commissary, arrived, and found the state of things most serious.*1* The commissary Altamirano set to work at once to place before the Jesuits of the seven towns the danger they exposed themselves to if they refused to help him to carry out the orders of the crown. Almost immediately on his arrival he wrote*2* to Don Jose de Caruajal y Lancastre to send more troops, and to the various priests*3* to destroy their powder, and cease to manufacture any more.*4* It is most likely that, if Altamirano had no secret understanding with his brother Jesuits, his letters must have considerably amazed them, and certainly they gave offence to the Indians, who declared he could not be a Jesuit at all. Six hundred Indians, under a chief called Sepe Tyaragu, marched upon Santo Thome, where Altamirano had taken up his residence, with the avowed purpose of discussing whether he was a Jesuit or not, and, if the latter supposition proved correct, of throwing him into the river Uruguay;*5* but Altamirano did not wait their coming, and returned precipitately to Buenos Ayres. The commission which had set out to mark the limits between the countries,*6* buried in the woods, or marching along the river, was absolutely unaware of what was going on amongst the Indians till they arrived in Santa Tecla on February 26, 1753. The first notice that they had of it was when they found themselves surrounded by a strong force of Indians. One of the commissaries, Don Juan de Echevarria, is known to have left a curious account of the proceedings, from which Dean Funes, Ibanez, and most of the writers on the subject must have copied.*7*
— *1* Jose Barreda, the Father Provincial of the missions, in a curious letter under date of August 2nd, 1753, tells the Marquis of Valdelirios that he fears not only that the 30,000 Indians resident in the seven towns may rebel, but that they may be joined by the Indians of the other reductions, and that it is possible they may all apostatize and return to the woods. Brabo, in the notes to his 'Atlas de Cartas Geograficas de los Paises de la America Meridianal' (Madrid, 1872), gives a synopsis of this letter, which formed part of his collection, and contained the greatest quantity of interesting papers on the Jesuits in Paraguay and Bolivia which has ever been brought together. In 1872, after publishing his 'Atlas', his 'Coleccion de Documentos', and his 'Inventarios', he presented his papers (more than 30,000 in number) to the Archivo Historico Nacional of Madrid. There they remain, and form a rich mine for dogged scholars who have not passed their youth on horseback with the lazo in their hands. *2* Archivo de Simancas, Legajo 7,378, folio 146. *3* Ibid.: 'Que toda la polvora que tengan los curas y misioneros se queme o se inutilize y pierda hechandola al rio, y que en los pueblos donde se fabrica, cese luego este labor.' *4* In another letter, also preserved at Simancas, and dated at Yapeyu, he complains bitterly of his own suffering on the journey: 'Me moli tanto con el traqueo violento del carreton que no he podido volver sobre mi.' The roads to the missions seem to have been as bad as those which produced the historical exclamation, 'O dura tellus Hispaniae!' It is certainly the case that Ibanez, in his 'Republica Jesuitica' (Madrid, 1768), gives a very different version of the doings of Altamirano; for he says that Rafael de Cordoba, Altamirano's secretary, 'embarked in a schooner called 'La Real' a great quantity of guns and lead for balls, packing them all in boxes, which, he said, were full of objects of a pious nature. . . . This,' says Ibanez, 'was told me by the master of the schooner 'Jose el Ingles', a man worthy of credence.' This is pleasing to one's national pride, but, still, one seems to want a little better authority even than that of 'Bardolph, the Englishman'. *5* Dean Funes, book v., cap. iii., p. 54. *6* In a most curious letter (preserved at Simancas, Legajo 7,447), the mayor and council of the reduction of San Juan write to Altamirano upbraiding him with being their enemy, and tell him that 'St. Michael sent by God showed their poor grandfathers ('sus pobres abuelos') where to plant a cross, and afterwards to march due south from the cross and they would find a holy father of the Company.' This, of course, turned out as the saint had foretold, and after a long day's march they encountered the Jesuit and became Christians. *7* This account seems to have been lost, and a careful search has not disinterred it from the Maelstrom of Simancas, that prison-house of so many documents, without whose aid so much of Spanish history cannot be written. —
Historians, like lawyers in conveyancing, catch errors one from another, and transmit them as truths or titles to posterity. Certain it is that Echevarria sent for the nearest Jesuit priest to mediate, and he luckily, or unluckily, proved to be that Father Thadeus Ennis, who played so prominent a part in the futile rising which the enemies of the Jesuits have chosen to dignify with the high-sounding title of the 'Jesuit War'.
If Father Ennis really thought the Indians could hold head to both the Spaniards and the Portuguese, or if he thought that the rising would draw attention to the injustice of the treaty, is difficult to say. Whether, indeed, he headed it himself, or if he merely accompanied the Indians as their spiritual guide, giving them now and then the benefit of his advice on matters temporal, after the fashion of the ambitious churchman of all time,* is now unknown. Whatever his opinions were upon this matter, Father Ennis showed himself almost from the first irreconcilable. He refused to meet the commissioners, and in his place sent a 'cacique' (chief) of the Indians, one Sepe Tyaragu, an official of the reduction of San Miguel. This chief, seeing the escort of the commission was but small, 'put on his boots',** and took high ground, daring to talk about the rights of man, of the love of country, and said that liberty consisted in being allowed to enjoy his property in peace, sentiments which, though admirable enough in a white man's mouth, for men of colour are but fit for copy-books.
— * His 'Efemerides', or Journal, printed and mutilated by Ibanez in his 'Republica de Paraguay', gives the best account of the brief 'war' which has come down to us; it is supplemented by the 'Declaracion de la Verdad' of Father Cardiel, which deals with the misstatements of Ibanez and others against the Jesuits. In regard to his own share in the war, Padre Ennis says: 'Atque in exercitas curatorem, spiritualem medicum secum ire postulat.' ** 'Se puso las botas'. —
The 'cacique' firmly refused to vacate his lands, and said the King of Spain, as he lived far away, could not have understood the bearing of affairs in Paraguay. Such arguments as these, together with the perhaps offensive tone of the 'cacique', had such effect on the commissioners that, after having threatened him with vengeance, which at the time they had no power to carry out, they both withdrew out of the territory.
As Funes*1* well observes, the Spaniards had established themselves in these parts (the River Plate and Paraguay) to obtain a limitless submission from the Indians. Any resistance drove them to fury, and excited them to take revenge. As all the Indians' crime was their unwillingness to quit the lands on which they had been born, it seemed a little hard to slaughter them, even before their petition to the King had been refused. Most probably all had been prepared before, for Valdelirios at once issued an order, which he had the power to do under a sealed letter from the King, to the Governor of Buenos Ayres, Andonaegui, to prepare for war. Active hostilities broke out in 1754, and Father Ennis has preserved a day-by-day account, written in priestly Latin,*2* of what took place. After some skirmishes, which at the first were favourable to the Indians, who took great courage from them,*3* the first encounter of a serious nature occurred on February 24, 1754. Quite naturally, the victory was on the side of the best-armed battalions, and the Indians lost many of their best men, and their largest piece of ordnance.*4*
— *1* Dean Funes, 'Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay', Buenos Ayres, etc., book v., cap. iv., p. 58. *2* Luckily Ibanez ('Republica Jesuitica de Paraguay') has not corrected the many faults of spelling and Latinity into which Padre Ennis fell. Those, though left in from malice, as Ibanez was a bitter enemy of the Jesuits, serve to present the man in his habit as he wrote. However, Ibanez has so much mutilated the text of the journal that occasionally the sense is left obscure. *3* 'Hoc itaque nuncio laeti altero ac incensi . . . Sacramento expiationis et pane fortim roborati' (Ennis, 'Efemerides'). *4* Cardiel, in his 'Declaracion de la Verdad', p. 426, says: 'Lo mismo es 28,000 mil Indios que igual numero de muchachos.' —
With varying success the war dragged on for several years, after the style of the Gaucho warfare in the River Plate which was common twenty years ago, or that in Venezuela which obtains to-day. Alternately each party carried off the other's horses, drove each other's cattle, or, if they caught a straggler, tied his hands and cut his throat or lanced him, the party who had lost the man protesting he was 'massacred' — a term in use even to-day when the party to which one's self belongs sustains reverse. For the first two years — for wars in South America till twenty years ago were to the full as interminable as that of Troy — Father Thadeus Ennis kept his journal, faithfully chronicling all that he saw. Occasionally in a perfunctory way he says his mission with the revolted Indians was as a priest and physician to the souls and bodies of his flock; but now and then he sets down the capture of a convoy of some thirty carts, or the cutting off some messenger carrying despatches from the Generals. In this he sees the hand of God (put forth to help his Jesuits*1*), although he now and then complains the Indians were remiss in following up any success they had. After the first encounter, the Indians seem to have employed the immemorial guerilla tactics which so often waste all the strength of an army which has conquered in the field. Father Cardiel*2* describes the Indian army, quoting from the writing of a Spanish officer who served against them, as quite contemptible. Their cannon were but hollow reeds, bound round with hide, which could only be fired two or three times, and carried balls a pound in weight.*3* Some lances and bows and arrows which they had appeared to him more formidable. Most of them carried banners with the painted figure of a saint, under whose aegis they deemed themselves secure from cannon-balls. Their trenches were but shallow ditches, with a few deeper holes to shelter in, but which, as Cardiel observes, served many of them for graves, as they were open to artillery, having been constructed without 'an ounce of military art'. The officer adds that no sooner had the Indians heard the cannon than they fled, leaving almost nine hundred on the field and losing one-sixth prisoners.*4* Finally, the officer remarks with disgust that the official chronicler of the affair 'lies from first to last'*5* when he declares that the Indians could make any resistance against disciplined troops. With varying fortune the campaign dragged on, until in 1756 the diary of Father Ennis, bad Latinity and all, comes to an abrupt conclusion at the taking of San Lorenzo, where the stout-hearted priest was taken prisoner. His papers fell into unfriendly hands, and were made use of by Ibanez, with the context duly distorted in various passages, and served as one of the most formidable indictments against the Jesuits in the expulsion under Charles III.
— *1* 'Nec tamen resipiscebat et Divinam Nemesim quamquam clare experiebatur pro causa^ Societatis.' *2* 'Declaracion de la Verdad', p. 404. *3* In fact, they much resembled those 'crakys of warre' which, with the 'tymmeris for helmys', Barbour, in the 'Bruce', takes notice of as the two noteworthy events of a battle that he chronicles:
'Twa noweltyis that day thai saw, That forouth in Scotland had bene nane. Tymmeris for helmys war the tane, That thaim thoucht thane off gret bewte And alsua wondyr for to se. The tothyr, crakys war, off wer, That thai befor herd neuir er.' 'The Bruce', Booke Fourteene, p. 392. *4* This was in an action in the year 1756. *5* 'Miente de la cruz a la fecha'. —
Although Thadeus Ennis and other Jesuits accompanied the troops, and no doubt aided much by their advice, the Indians had as a general one Nicolas Neenguiru, styled in the Gazettes of the time the King of Paraguay. About this man all kinds of monstrous legends soon sprang up. One little lying book, entitled 'Histoire de Nicolas I., Roy du Paraguai et Empereur des Mamalus',* which bears upon its title-page 'Saint Paul',** 1756, especially excels. In that brief work of but one hundred and seventeen pages, printed on yellowish paper, and with one of the finest little vignettes of a basket of fruit and flowers upon its title-page that one could wish to see, a sort of parody of a Spanish picaresque novel in duodecimo is set forth with circumstance.
— * The Mamalucos, or Paulistas, were, of course, the bitterest enemies of everything Paraguayan, so that a King had as well been styled of 'Iceland and of Paraguay'. ** If this assumes to be Sao Paulo de Piritinanga in Brazil, it is not unlikely one of the few books published there in the eighteenth century, if not the only one. Happy is the city of one book, especially when that work has nothing of a theological character in it, even though it lies from 'la cruz a la fecha'. —
Nicolas Roubioni is duly born in 1710, in a small 'bourgade de l'Andalousie' bearing the name of Taratos. The name carries conviction from the start, and pronounced a la francaise, with the accent equal upon all the syllables, is quite as Spanish as the most exigent of comic operas could possibly desire. His father, 'ancien militaire', left him alone to educate himself as he best liked. Arrived at eighteen years of age he runs away to Seville, and after several adventures in the style of those of Rinconete and Cortadillo, seen through French spectacles, enters the service of a lady bearing the well-known Spanish name of Donna Maria della Cupidita. Under the unnecessary alias of Medelino, and in the capacity of cook, he becomes the lady's lover as in duty bound. 'Chasse' from Seville by a jealous brother of his love, he flies for refuge to a 'bourgade' (name not chronicled) some seven leagues away. He then becomes a muleteer, and at Medina Sidonia kills a man, and, forced to flee, repairs to Malaga, where he lives peacefully ten years. Finding life dull there, he journeys to Aragon and joins the Jesuits, and from henceforth his future is assured. After an interval he reappears at Huesca, and at once falls in love with 'une belle espagnole', Donna Victoria Fortini, whom he courts under the guise of a gentleman of Seville, returning every night to the convent of the Jesuits to change his clothes. So great becomes his effrontery that under the style and title of 'Comte de la Emmandes', he publicly marries 'sa belle', the Jesuits either consenting, or too astounded at the fact to intervene. Things getting hot in Huesca, he embarks for Buenos Ayres as a missionary, leaving poor Donna de la Victoria 'dans une inquietude mortelle', as she might well have been. Arrived in Buenos Ayres just at the moment of the cession of the seven Jesuit towns, he sees his opportunity, learns Guarani in the brief space of six or seven weeks, and joins the Indians. They naturally, having been trained to look on every foreigner outside the Order of the Jesuits as an enemy, receive him as their King. Under the title of the 'Son of the Sun and Star of Liberty' he rules them, looked on as a God. The brief mendacious chronicle leaves him on the throne, just after having joined the empire of the Mamalucos to that of Paraguay, and promising to give the world more of his history when it comes to hand.
By stories such as those contained in the mendacious little book imprinted at St. Paul, the easy-minded public — then, as now, always more easily impressed with lies than with the truth — was biassed against the Jesuits in Paraguay. Father Dobrizhoffer,* who knew 'King' Nicolas from his youth up, has left a very different version of his history, in which no Donna della Cupidita or de la Victoria even remotely flourishes. Nicolas Neenguiru was born in the township of La Concepcion, of which in after-life he rose to be the mayor. He married an Indian woman, not 'une belle Andalouse', and Dobrizhoffer says a friend of his, one Father Zierheim, had him whipped publicly for petty theft when a young man. At the time (1753) when, in company with another Indian, one Jose, mayor of San Miguel, he headed the Indian revolt, he was a man of middle age, tall, taciturn and grave, and not ill-looking, though marked across the cheek with a disfiguring scar. At no time was he even a lay brother of the Jesuit Order, as by their rules in Paraguay no Indians were ever taken either as lay brothers or as priests. So little was the man feared by the authorities that, once the Indians' resistance was over, Nicolas went to the Spanish camp, was quietly heard, dismissed, and then continued in his office as the mayor of his native place. The legend sprang from a mistake in Guarani, to which perhaps a little malice gave its artful charm. In Guarani the word 'Rubicha' signifies a chief, whereas 'Nfurabicha' means king. The two, pronounced by one but ill acquainted with the language sound identical. Nothing was more likely than that the Indians should call their general their chief; had they thought really of settling upon a king, it is certain that they would have chosen one of the family of some well-known chief, and not an Indian merely appointed mayor by the Jesuits. But be that as it may, General Neenguiru, though he has left some interesting letters, which are preserved in the archives of Simancas, showed no capacity for generalship.** Throughout the course of the campaign he endeavoured to replace his want of skill by tricks and by intrigues, but of so futile a nature that they were frustrated and rendered useless at once. His first endeavour was to gain time, when he found himself with seventeen hundred men opposed to Andonaegui, Governor of Buenos Ayres, who had an army well equipped with guns, of about two thousand men. Neenguiru wrote to Andonaegui, telling him that the Indians were ready to submit, and then, whilst waiting for an answer, set about fortifying the position which he held. Warned by a spy, Andonaegui attacked at once, and drove the Indians from their trenches like a flock of sheep, taking their wooden cannon, lances, and banners, and killing thirteen hundred of them.
— * 'Account of the Abipones', vol. i., p. 32. ** The only man the Indians produced who showed any aptitude as a leader was a chief called Sepe Tyaragu. At his death in action in 1756 Nicolas Neenguiru succeeded to his post. —
A glorious victory, and, as Father Ennis says, 'to be expected, and which, had it chanced otherwise, must have covered the Spaniards and the Portuguese with shame.' In fact, a victory of the same kind as those which since that time have been most usual when well-armed European troops have faced half-naked, ill-armed savages, but which, of course, reflect no credit on the victor, or, at best, just as much credit as a butcher rightfully receives when he defeats a calf.
But even after the victory over the Indians of Nicolas Neenguiru the troubles of the allies were not quite at an end. The usual dissensions between allies who mutually detest each other soon broke out, and Gomez Freire, the General of the Portuguese, only prevented a collision with the Spaniards by considerable tact. After a short campaign of a few months, the allies entered the rebellious towns and took possession of them all, with the exception of San Lorenzo, which continued to hold out. A month or two served to reduce it, too, and the whole territory of the seven towns submitted to the power of the joint forces of Portugal and Spain. The struggle over, Neenguiru was quietly again reinstated mayor of Concepcion, the bruised wooden cannon duly set up as monuments, the dead left on the plains and the 'esteros' for the chimangos* and the caranchos** to gorge upon, and, law's due majesty once more vindicated, the conquerors set about, in 1757, to trace the limits between the territories of the two Christian Kings.
— * 'Milvago Chimango'. ** 'Polyhorus tharus'. In relation to the word 'tharus', which figures as a sort of scientific (or doggerel) cognomen to this bird, Mr. W. H. Hudson once pointed out to me that, like some other 'scientific facts', it originated in a mistake. The Pampa Indian name of the bird is 'trare'. Molina (Don Juan Ignacio), in his 'History of Chile', happened to spell the word 'thare', instead of 'trare', and then proceeded to make a dog-Latin form of it. Thus the bird has received its present scientific name. —
Most of the seven towns were half deserted, the Indians having fled for refuge to the woods,* and the commission set to work upon its labours in a desert which it itself had made. Out of the fourteen thousand Indians who had inhabited the seven flourishing towns upon the Uruguay but few remained; yet still the work of pacification and working at the boundary went on slowly, for from 1753 to 1759 nothing of consequence was done. In 1760 Ferdinand VI. died, and his son Charles III. succeeded him, and still the boundary commission worked on hopelessly in Paraguay. The Jesuits, who had worked unceasingly during the last eight years to annul the treaty handing the seven missions over to the Portuguese, at length, in 1761, obtained from Charles III. a treaty annulling all that had been done, and providing that the seven towns should remain part of the dominions of the Spanish crown.
— * Cardiel, 'Declaracion de la Verdad', p. 430: '. . . llego alli despues de la fuga y desamparo de los pueblos . . . saco a los dos Padres que estaban muy afligidos por la soledad y alboroto.' —
They triumphed; but their triumph added another step towards their ruin, for the jealousy which they evoked by their persistent fight raised up much animosity towards themselves in Spain. How great a share they had in the resistance of the Indians cannot be known with certainty. Papers preserved in the archives of Simancas charge them with stirring up the Indians to resist;*1* but they are chiefly from Valdelirios and others, who, naturally finding resistance, put it down at once to the Jesuits, whom then, as now, it was the fashion to abuse. The Indians themselves seem to have been perplexed, no doubt encouraged by their priests on one hand, and on the other seeing the commissary Altamirano, himself a Jesuit, calling upon them to submit. In a pathetic letter written to the Governor of Buenos Ayres, and dated 'en la estancia de San Luis, Feb. 28 de 1756', Primo Ibarrenda, of San Miguel, says:*2* 'This our writing I send to you that you may tell us finally what is to be our lot, and that you take a resolution what it is that you shall do. You see how that last year the father commissary*3* came to this our land to bother us to leave it: to leave our towns and all our territories, saying it was the will of our lord the King: besides this you yourself sent us a rigorous letter telling us to burn our towns, destroy the fields, even pull down our church, which is so beautiful ('tan lindo'), and saying also that you would kill us. You also say, and therefore we ask you if it is the truth, for if it is, we will all die before the Holy Sacrament; but spare the church, for it is God's, and even the infidels would not do it any harm.' They go on to say they have always been obedient subjects of the King, and that it is impossible that his wish could be to injure them — in fact, the letter of innocent men, half civilized, and thinking justice, mercy, and right-doing were to be found with Governors and Kings. Had many of the Jesuits chosen to take the field, their knowledge of the country and the vast influence that they had upon the Indians would have made the campaign perilous enough even for the united military power of Portugal and Spain. As it was, the miserable war dragged on for eight long years, and for result ruined seven missions where before the Indians lived happily. Then, when the fields were desolate, the villages deserted, and the Indian population half dispersed, statesmen in Spain and Portugal saw fit to change their minds, to annul the treaty, and to pass a diplomatic sponge over the ruin and the misery they had caused.
— *1* In a letter (Archivo de Simancas, Legajo 7,378, folio 128), Valdelirios, writing to the governor of Buenos Ayres, Don Jose de Caravajal y Lancastre, says: 'Inagotables son los recursos de los Padres para que se dilate y no se ratifique el tratado. . . .' But he gives no proof except that they had sent petitions to the King — surely a very constitutional thing for them to do. *2* The letter was written originally in Guarani, and a certified translation of it exists at Simancas, Legajo 7,385, folio 13. *3* Altamirano. —
Position of the Jesuits in 1761 — Decree for their expulsion sent from Spain — Bucareli sent to suppress the colleges and drive out the Jesuits — They submit without resistance — After two hundred years they are expelled from Paraguay — The country under the new rule — The system of government practically unchanged
'No storm is so insidious' (said St. Ignatius) 'as a perfect calm, and no enemy so dangerous as the absence of all enemies.'
This dangerous state of calm without an apparent enemy in sight was the position of the Jesuits in Paraguay in 1761. By desperate efforts and intrigues in Spain they had kept their thirty missions from being mutilated; their influence amongst the Indians had never been more absolute. The governors of Buenos Ayres and of Paraguay had tried a fall with them, and the honours of the struggle were with the Jesuits. They had succeeded in getting put into force the clauses of the 'Laws of the Indies', which kept Spaniards out of the Indian settlements. Even those sent against them had been forced to testify to their utility*1* in Paraguay. But throughout Spain and her enormous empire in America and in the East perpetual hostility between the Jesuits and the regular clergy had been going on for years. In every portion of America the Jesuits were unpopular, the excuse alleged being their wealth and power;*2* but the real reason was their attitude on slavery. After repeated grumblings of distant thunder, at length the storm broke, and the decree for the expulsion of the Jesuits in Spain and her dominions was signed, and the order sent to Bucareli, Governor of Buenos Ayres, in June of 1767, to put it into force in Paraguay. The reasons which induced King Charles III. to expel the Jesuits, mysterious as they were, and locked up a dead secret in the royal breast,*3* may or may not have been sufficient in Spain, but could in no respect have held good for Paraguay, where there existed little scope for court intrigue, and where the Jesuits were far removed from their fellow Spanish subjects, and occupied entirely with their mission work. Many and various have been the explanations which historians have set forth for this decree. Certain it is in Spain this Order had attained to considerable power, and that in Rome the abler of their Generals occasionally kept the Popes in mental servitude.
— *1* Don Pedro Cevallos, Governor of Buenos Ayres, who was in Paraguay in 1755, sent there to fight the troops of King Nicolas, found, as he himself says, 'no King, and no troops, but a few half-armed Indians.' Writing to the King, he says: 'Los Jesuitas son utiles en el Paraguay.' *2* The figures in Chapter VII. serve to show that in Paraguay, at least, they were not exactly millionaires. In Mexico, Palafox, the saintly Bishop of Puebla, had set about all kinds of stories as to their riches, but Geronimo Terenichi, an ecclesiastic sent to Mexico to examine into the question of the Jesuits and their wealth, after a year of residence, expressly says 'they were very poor, and laden with debt' ('eran muy pobres y estaban cargados de deudas'): 'Coleccion de los articulos de la Esperanza, sobre la Historia del Reinado de Carlos III.', p. 435. Madrid, 1859. *3* They were expressly proclaimed to be 'ocultas y reservadas'. Carlos III., in defence of his 'occult' and 'reserved' reasons, said, 'mis razones, solo Dios y yo debemos conocerlas' ('Reinado de Carlos III.', vol. iii., p. 120. Ferrer del Rio, Madrid, 1856). No doubt Carlos III. satisfied his conscience with this dictum, but it is permissible to doubt whether the power alluded to in such a cousin-like manner by the King was equally satisfied. —
Some have accounted for the act of Charles III. as being but revenge for the tumult of Aranjuez under the ministry of Esquilace,*1* arguing that the Jesuits were in fact the authors of it, and that it was but the precursor of a plot to dethrone the King and place his brother Don Luis upon the throne, as being not so liberal in his ideas. Others, again, have stated*2* that the Jesuits set about a calumny that Charles III. was not the Queen's son by her husband, but by a lover whom they said she had. The only reason which seems feasible is that the King was worked on by the fear that the Order had risen to too much power, and that if he did not at once take steps the monarchy would be rendered but a mere appendage of the General of the Jesuits.*3*
— *1* This celebrated tumult, generally known in Spain as 'el Motin de Aranjuez', and sometimes as 'el Motin de Esquilace', occurred on Palm Sunday, 1766. The ostensible reason was an edict of the King (Charles III.) prohibiting the use of long cloaks and broad-brimmed hats, which had been for long popular in Spain. The tumult assumed such formidable dimensions that the Walloon Guards were unable to quell it, but two friars, Padre Osma and Padre Cueva, in some manner were able to stem the confusion. The King and the court were so much disturbed that they quitted Madrid and went to Aranjuez. There is no proof that the Jesuits had any hand at all in the affair. *2* Ferrer del Rio, in his history of the reign of Charles III. *3* Such, at least, several of his letters to the Pope, Clement XII., would seem to indicate. It is not impossible that the strenuous opposition which the Jesuits gave to the Inquisition may have had something to do with their expulsion. Some of them went great lengths in their attacks. P. Antonio Vieyra, the celebrated Portuguese Jesuit, in his 'Relac,ao~ Exactissima, Instructiva, Curioza, Verdadeira, Noticioza do Procedimento das Inquizic,ois de Portugal' (Em Veneza, 1750), is almost as severe as Protestant writers have been against the Inquisition. Particularly does he inveigh against the prison system of the Holy Office (pp. 3-5, chap. i.). In the last chapter (p. 154), Vieyra calls Saavedra, the founder of the Portuguese Inquisition, a tyrant, and in recounting his deeds calls him 'tyranno', 'cruel', 'falsario', 'herege', and 'ladram' (a thief), and finishes by asserting that the tribunal invented by such a man 'had its roots in hell', and that 'its ministers could not go to heaven'. —
Whether it is sound policy of any government to expel a race, or sect, or order from its domains, no matter what the immediate exigencies of the times seem to require, is a moot point. The expulsions of the Jews, Moriscos, and Huguenots, and the dissolution of the monasteries in the times of that true Protestant Henry VIII. of ever pious memory, do not exactly seem to have had the effect upon the countries where they took place that was at first expected by their instigators. Expelled by Charles III., the Jesuits to-day in Spain have re-acquired much of their influence. So that it seems that persecution, to be effectual, must not stop on this side of extermination, and this our Lord Protector Cromwell understood full well.
The Viceroy Bucareli* to whom the task of the expulsion of the Order in the viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres and of Paraguay was entrusted, was no ordinary man.** Appointed Viceroy of Buenos Ayres after a distinguished career of public service, he found himself, almost without warning, and without any adequate forces at his command, obliged to execute by far the most important and far-reaching task that had ever fallen to the lot of any Spanish Governor in America to carry out. But as his services had not been chiefly in America, he held the idea which at the time was generally received in Europe, that the Jesuits possessed great wealth, had bodies of trained troops, and so would resist all efforts at expulsion to the death.
— * His full name was Don Francisco de Paula Bucareli y Ursua. ** Brabo ('Coleccion de Documentos', etc.) says of him, 'speaking of the petty jealousies and intrigues which the decree of expulsion evoked: 'En medio de tantas contrariedades, crimenes y miserias destaca serena la figura de Bucareli, no solo llevando a cabo con incansable celo su cometido, si no atendiendo a suplir en la organizacion religiosa, intelectual y civil los numerosos vacios que dejaba la falta del absorbente y decisivo influjo jesuitico.' —
Full of these visions, says Dean Funes,* he considered the order, which was transmitted to him from Spain, as involving serious military risk, and evidently seems to have looked on every Jesuit village as a strong place of arms. July 22, 1767, was the day he chose, keeping his design a secret, and preparing to strike in Corrientes, Cordoba, Monte Video, and Santa Fe, on the same day, or rather night, for the terror of the Jesuits was so great that he designed to expel them all by night.
— * 'Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay', etc., vol. iii., cap. viii., p. 119. —
On July 2 two ships arrived in Buenos Ayres bringing the news that the decree had been put in force in Spain on April 2 with success. As all the crew of both the ships knew what had happened in Spain, concealment of his plan became no longer possible. Thus, had the Jesuits possessed either the wish or the means to make an armed resistance, they had ample time to stand on their defence.
Nothing was further from their minds, though they had complete dominion over a territory as large as France, and which contained a population of over one hundred and fifty thousand souls.*1* For arms, they had as chief defence some 'very long English guns, with rests if they wished to use them, which were not very heavy, and had a tolerable range.'*2* These were the preparations that the Jesuits (who, not in Paraguay alone, but throughout all the American dominions of the Spanish crown, ruled over territories stretching from California to Cape Horn)*3* had made, and they were found alone in the missions of Paraguay, where, by a special permission of the Kings of Spain, arms were allowed for defence against the Portuguese.
— *1* Funes, 'Ensayo de la Historia Civil', etc., vol. iii., cap. viii. *2* 'Tambien en algunos pueblos hay unas escopetas inglesas muy largas con sus horquillas si se quieren usar de ellas no son muy pesadas y tienen buen alcance' (Funes, 'Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay', etc., vol. iii., cap. viii.). *3* There were in the year 1759 throughout the world 271 Jesuit missions, 1,542 religious houses, 61 cattle farms, 340 residences, 171 seminaries, 1,542 churches, and 22,589 Jesuits, whereof 11,293 were priests. Of the above houses, missions, and churches, the greater portion were in America (Ferrer del Rio, 'Historia del Reinado de Carlos III.', Madrid, 1856).
In the River Plate and Paraguay there were about 400 Jesuits, of whom 300 were priests. The other hundred, according to Ibanez ('Republica Jesuitica'), were 'mostly poor devils who were in want of food, and came into the Order for a meal.' Ibanez rarely spoke the truth, not even when it would have been expedient to do so; and certainly amongst these 'poor devils' could not have been included Asperger, the writer on Indian medicines, and other distinguished men who inhabited the Paraguayan missions as lay brothers. —
Bucareli, who seems to have been a timid but honest and upright man, made his first experiment upon the Jesuits of Buenos Ayres, Cordoba, and Santa Fe. The colleges in all these places were suppressed on the same night, and without the least resistance from their occupants. He who suppresses a religious Order, takes a town or country, or, in fact, puts into operation any of the forces of the law or military power, always expects, no matter how exalted be his motives at the start, to recoup himself from the treasure of the conquered. 'Vae victis', together with the vestments of the church, the plainsong, and the saints, came as a pagan heritage to the new faith, and has been held as canon law since Constantine looked at the sky and thought he saw a cross.
Great must have been the disgust of the Governor to find the spoil so paltry, and not to have the satisfaction even of saying that the Jesuits had hidden all their gold, as, his own measures having been taken secretly, they had no knowledge of what was in the wind. In the college of Cordoba, esteemed to be a mine of wealth, was found only nine thousand dollars,* which sum Ferando Fabro, the commissioner sent by Bucareli to take over the effects of the Jesuits at Cordoba, duly chronicles in his report.
— * Dean Funes, 'Ensayo de la Historia Civil', etc., vol. iii., book v., cap. ix. —
But if the college of Cordoba*1* proved a miserable prey, there still remained the Jesuit missions on the Uruguay and Parana, with all the riches of their fertile territory, and the enormous wealth which every Spaniard firmly believed the Jesuits had acquired. None of the Jesuits, either in Buenos Ayres, Cordoba, Santa Fe, Corrientes, or Monte Video having made the least resistance, but having opened wide their doors to the soldiers, who in all the towns on the same day at two o'clock in the morning came to signify their expulsion to them, it was only natural to think that the same conduct would be observed in Paraguay. But Governors and Governments never seem in the least accessible to common-sense. Almost a year had passed before he plucked up courage for his dangerous task.*2* He set about it with more preparation than either Cortez or Pizarro made for the conquest of Mexico or of Peru. Having embarked for Spain in the frigate 'La Esmeralda' one hundred and fifty Jesuits from the towns of Cordoba, Buenos Ayres, Monte Video, and Santa Fe, he prepared to march upon the missions, when a suspicion of resistance caused him to take precautions which the result proved quite ridiculous. He sent two hundred of the best of the militia of Asuncion to occupy the fords upon the Tebicuari,*3* and a body of equal strength to occupy the port of San Miguel. All these measures being taken for his safety, the conqueror embarked upon May 24, taking with him three companies of grenadiers and sixty dragoons. He disembarked at the town of Salto on the Uruguay, and from thence despatched Captain Don Juan Francisco de la Riva Herrera to occupy the towns upon the Parana. Don Francisco de Zabala was sent to seize six of the towns upon the Uruguay. Bucareli himself, with several hundred men, marched upon Yapeyu,*4* the southernmost of all the mission towns. The Jesuits, however, gave no trouble to any of the troops, and even stopped the Governor from gathering any laurels, however withered, with which to crown his arms.
— *1* The fine library was dispersed, and many priceless MSS. treating of the discovery and conquest, and of expeditions by the Jesuits amongst tribes of Indians now extinct, were lost. Nothing seems to have been preserved except matter which the dispersers thought might prove incriminating to the Jesuits. It is a well-known principle to judge and condemn a man, and then to search for evidence against him. The books were kept in a place known as La Granja de Santa Catalina, and a man of letters, Dr. Don Antonio Aldao, was charged to catalogue and remit them to the capital. Dean Funes says (book v., cap. ix., p. 156) that he complied with his instructions ('verifico/la felizmente y con arreglo a sus instrucciones'), but, anyhow, most of the books were lost. It is a common phrase amongst doctors, 'The operation was entirely successful, but the patient unfortunately succumbed.' Amongst the books was the celebrated 'Monita Secreta', used by Ibanez in his charges (after the expulsion) against the Jesuits. *2* Dean Funes ('Ensayo de la Historia Civil', vol. iii., cap. viii.) seems to have gauged the feelings of the Governor when he says: 'Temblo de susto Bucareli considerando en riesgo una conquista, que debia aumentar su gloria y su fortuna.' 'Su fortuna' is delicious, and shows your true conqueror's melancholy. *3* The Tebicuari forms the northern boundary between the territory of Misiones and the rest of Paraguay. It is a large river, and in my time (1872-1875) was bridgeless, and had to be crossed in canoes, whilst the horses swam, or were towed behind the canoes with ropes. *4* Yapeyu was the largest of all the missions. The name signifies a chisel in Guarani. —
As he advanced from town to town, the priests, on his arrival at each place, although living in the midst of Indians, some of whom were armed, and many of whom had served the King of Spain in various wars, and all of whom looked on the Jesuits almost as gods, came out and peacefully gave up the keys of all their houses, and submitted quietly to be made prisoners and be carried off in chains from the territories which they and their order had civilized and ruled over almost two hundred years. Seventy-eight Jesuits and their provincials were sent prisoners to Buenos Ayres, and their places all filled up with other priests taken from different Orders, and none of whom had any experience in mission-work. As Dean Funes tartly writes, the miracle that Bucareli wished, but scarcely dared to hope for, had taken place. The Jesuits, in Paraguay, at least, by their conduct in their last public act, most amply vindicated their loyalty to the Spanish crown. Nothing would have been easier, depleted as the viceroyalty was at the time of troops,* than to have defied the forces which Bucareli had at his disposal, and to have set up a Jesuit State, which would have taxed the utmost resources of the Spanish crown to overcome. No doubt the very facility with which Bucareli carried out his plans confirmed him in his own mind of their expediency, for men in general are prone to think that right which they accomplish with success. However, be that as it may, he returned in triumph to Buenos Ayres on September 16, having expended in his expedition less than four months. So in a quarter of a year the Jesuits, after more than two hundred years of rule, were all expelled from Paraguay.
— * Bucareli, in a letter to El Conde de Aranda (Brabo, 'Coleccion de Documentos relativos a/ la Expulsion de los Jesuitas', Madrid, 1872), says in reference to the perils by which he imagined himself surrounded: 'El misero diminuto estado de la tropa, por el atraso de sus pagas y la falta que encontre/ de caudales en estas cajas, era una urgencia que me atormentaba.' —
They made no fight, nor offered any resistance, letting themselves be taken as a butcher takes a sheep, and that surrounded as they were by a population of upwards of one hundred and fifty thousand souls, cut off by countless leagues from the outside world, defended on three sides by virgin forests and by marshes hardly passable to European troops. One word from the Provincial would have set the missions in a blaze. A word would have brought clouds of horsemen — badly armed, 'tis true, but knowing every foot of marsh and forest, all the deep-beaten tracks which wind in the red earth across the lonely plains, the passes of the rivers, springs, natural fastnesses, and having the varied knowledge of a country which of old made Border horsemen and Northumbrian prickers formidable upon the Scottish marches — into the field.
The dogged Paraguayan Indians, ancestors of the infantry which, under Lopez,*1* died so bravely under the fire of the Brazilian guns, would, in their red cloaks and scanty linen clothes, have marched from 'capilla'*2* and from mission against the enemies of the 'father-priests'. Seventy-eight Jesuits were marched off to Buenos Ayres, and then shipped off to Europe*3* to join their fellows, who had been brought together by the ministers of the most liberal King who ever filled the Spanish throne from every quarter of the world. Having expelled the Jesuits, Bucareli was bound by the exigencies of his position to calumniate them. Perhaps, as an official, hidebound in his belief in the inalterable right of Governments to commit injustices, he believed all that he wrote. For the welfare of humanity, one could hope he knew all that he wrote was false. What hope is there left for mankind as long as addle-headed, honest men see naught but justice in whatever order they receive? Better a thousand times a rogue who knows he is a rogue than a good, well-intentioned, blundering man quite unaware he is a fool.
— *1* This war, undertaken by a fool (Lopez) against enormous odds, served to show what a people even when in the wrong, and in a bad cause, can do when it believes itself to be fighting for national liberty. As a matter of fact, Paraguayan liberty was not threatened for an instant, and Lopez declared war against both Brazil and the Argentine Republic out of mere ambition to be a second Napoleon. His solitary qualifications for the character were that, like his prototype, he was fat and loved women. The war commenced in 1865 and finished in 1870, and left the country almost a desert. So lonely was it, that I have often in those days seen tigers calmly walk across a road in mid-day, and a shout or a pistol-shot but little quickened their movements. *2* 'Capilla' was the name given in Paraguay to some of the smaller villages which had a chapel, the chapel ('capilla') being more important than the houses. *3* El V. P. Jose Pignatelli, in his 'La Compan~ia de Jesus en su Extincion y Restablecimento', says that the Paraguayan Jesuits were all sent to Faenza. —
But, still, he had to justify himself either upon his own account or for the benefit of that posterity to conciliate which so many public men have paltered with the truth. So his first care was to extract a letter from thirty Indians whom he chose to dignify with the title of the mayors of the thirty towns, first having, as he says himself in a letter to the Conde de Aranda, the minister of Charles III., dressed them in the Spanish fashion, and treated them in such a way that they might know how much their lot had been improved.* The letter, written originally in Guarani,** bears upon every line of it the dictation of the Governor. After a fine paragraph of salutations, it goes on to give the King many and repeated thanks ('muchas y repetidas gracias') for having sent his Excellency Captain-General Don Francisco Bucareli, 'who has fulfilled, for the love of God and for the love of your Majesty, all the just orders which your Majesty laid to his charge, aiding our poverty, and clothing us like gentlemen.' Most people, even the heathen, like those who help their poverty and clothe them in the garb of gentlemen. It had not occurred to the poor Indians that the fine clothes might turn out liveries. The mayors all sign their Indian names, which seems to give the lie to the accusation that the Jesuits kept them ignorant. The letter, dated Buenos Ayres, March 10, 1768, seems to show that the Indians, be they who they might have been, were not free agents at the time they wrote. The Indians' letter duly despatched, the Governor indited a report, in which he fairly and with circumstance reiterates all the old charges against the Jesuits in Paraguay which the inventive brain of Cardenas had first conceived; but to them he adds several little touches of his own, which show he had some observation and an imaginative mind.
— * 'Carta del Gobernador de Buenos Ayres (Bucareli) al Comte de Aranda'. Brabo, 'Coleccion de Documentos Relativos a la Expulsion de los Jesuitos', p. 8, Madrid, 1872: 'Les hice vestir a la Espan~ola asistiendolos y tratandolos de modo que conozcan la mejora de su suerte. . . .' ** Brabo, 'Coleccion de Documentos', etc., p. 101. The letter is headed 'I. H. T., Ore Rey Nitu Don Carlos Tercero'. —
Amongst his numerous letters to Aranda and to the King, one dated Buenos Ayres, October 14, 1768,* contains the fullest account of his proceedings in the missions and of his views (or of what he thought to be his views) about the work in which he was engaged. Time was of small account in 1768 either in Paraguay or in Madrid, so Bucareli relates with some prolixity all that he did, with comments, movements of troops, regrettable occurrences — as when his soldiers let themselves be surprised and lost their horses — and now and then scraps of morality and theology, which shows quite plainly that the art of writing maundering despatches is not so new as optimists may have supposed. Quite in the manner of a modern special correspondent, he sets down all that he suffered from the weather; that it rained incessantly, and, marvellous to tell, that after rain the rivers rose, and gave him difficulty to cross. The roads were bad, provisions scarce and dear, and now and then wild Indians 'massacred' an outpost of his men, whilst his brave fellows, when God willed it, occasionally 'chastised' the infidel, and by the grace of Heaven slew no small number of them. Still, in the monstrous farrago of words, extending to some sixteen pages of close print, he lets us see he was a man of some capacity, but leaves it doubtful whether he really thought he was engaged upon a noble work, or if he wrote ironically, or if his only object was to satisfy his conscience and his King. But making much of little difficulties is but to be expected from a leader of an expedition or from a General in the field. Without it, how could they justify their existence, or prove to the world at large that they were needed, or but more important than a mere ceremony?**
— * Brabo, 'Coleccion de Documentos', etc., p. 185. ** Ceremonies, no doubt, have their uses in enslaving mankind. A courtier once said to a Spanish King, 'Your Majesty is but a ceremony yourself.' —
When the land troubles were got over, and Bucareli, having arrived at Yapeyu, embarked upon the river, the very winds proved contrary, so that it took him many days to arrive at Candelaria, which port he reached upon August 27, 1768. But before quitting Yapeyu the Governor made a solemn feast, riding himself before his grenadiers, whose caps, he says, caused much amazement, the Indians never having seen such headgear in their lives. The difficulties of his journey over, the Jesuits dispossessed and sent down-stream to be remitted home, Bucareli in his letter next deals with questions of religion, about which he shows himself as well informed as all the Spanish conquerors seem to have been in the New World. If for the dogma of the faith he was a bar of iron, for 'cold morality', as Scottish preachers of the perfervid type used to refer to it, he was most keen. The Indians' clothes, especially the graceful 'tupoi' worn by the women, shocked him exceedingly. It was impossible to touch upon it without an outrage upon modesty.* Masculine virtue is a most precarious thing, but little, if at all, more stable than its female counterpart; therefore perhaps the Governor was right not to expose his soldiers to temptation, so he did well, as he informs us, in serving out clothes which obscured their charms, or perhaps hid them quite from view. 'Such tyrannies,'** says the modest Governor, 'occasioned many offences against God, and frequent illnesses and epidemics.' The sentence is a little doubtful in its meaning, for if a scantiness of women's dress occasioned illnesses and epidemics amongst the population of a town, Belgravia and Mayfair should surely be the most unhealthy spots on earth; though even there, I verily believe, no more offences against God occur than amongst the Moors, whose women show only their eyes to the shrinking gaze of easily offended men.
— * Letter to Aranda: Brabo, 'Coleccion de Documentos', p. 196: 'Y las mujeres en tal extremo, que es impossible demostralo sin faltar a la modestia.' ** 'Semejantes tiranias'. —
As in duty bound, Bucareli kept for the end of his despatch a rehash of all the old charges made against the Jesuits. They kept the Indians in slavery, would never let them learn Spanish, and were themselves inordinately rich. The first two accusations Father Jose Cardiel, in his 'Declaracion de la Verdad', abundantly disproves.* The last the Governor disproves himself; for had he found much treasure he most assuredly would have made haste to send it to the King. What he did find, a reference later to Brabo's inventories will show, and the same source discloses all the wealth the richest Order in the world, according to their enemies, took with them in their involuntary journey back to Spain. All being finished in the missions and the Jesuits expelled, Bucareli found himself obliged to institute some system for the government of the Indian population, which he had deprived both of its spiritual and of its temporal guides.
— * P. 222: 'Y teniendo presente que por lo que mira a este punto resulta de los informes que solo hablan estos Indios su idioma natural, pero que no es prohibicion de los PP. Jesuitos, sino por el amor que tienen a su nativo lenguage pues en cada uno de los pueblos han establecido esculas de leer y escriber en lengua espan~ola, y que por este motivo se encuentra un numero grande de Indios muy habiles en escribir (dos de ellos etan copiando hora esto que yo escribo y de mejor letra que la mia).' Also pp. 223-225, etc. —
The Jesuits' government having been so bad, according to his own despatch, the Indians having been kept in such a miserable state, their education having been so neglected, and, above all, their women having been dressed in such light attire that Bucareli could not with modesty even describe their dress, it might have seemed but natural that he should have evolved some system of government differing in all respects from that he had destroyed. So far from that, in his instructions to his interim successor, dated at Candelaria,* August 23, 1768, he practically followed slavishly all the policy which the Jesuits had pursued. He ordered Captains Riva Herrera and Bruno de Zavala, to whom the arrangements were committed, to see that the Indians were instructed 'in the true knowledge of our holy faith', a work which the Jesuits, whatever might be their faults, had not neglected to insure. After some platitudes as to the vivifying effects of free and open trade, and an injunction to his captains to take care the Indian girls were decorously and virtuously dressed, he launched into a sermon about honest work, which, as he said, would make the Indians rich, happy, and virtuous, and alone could ever make a kingdom prosper; in fact, he used almost precisely similar language to that to-day used by a European Governor in Africa when about to make a people slaves. On the whole, however, his instructions were wise and liberal, and had they been carried out in the same spirit, and with fidelity, the Indians might have long continued in the same half-Arcadian, half-Christian state in which the Jesuits left them, and to which it seems they could attain, but not go farther without exposure to that vivifying commerce without which nations cannot prosper, but with which the greater portion of their citizens must remain ever slaves.
— * Brabo, 'Coleccion de Documentos', etc., p. 200. —
The instructions given, he left the missions never to return, leaving behind him the reputation of an honest man, having made, as it would appear, no money during his sojourn in their territories. On October 20, 1768, he wrote from Buenos Ayres to Aranda, telling him that his work was done, and asking him as a particular favour to implore the King to give him some employment 'out of America, and particularly not under either the secretaryship or the Council of the Indies.'*1* Thus it appears that either the work in which he had been engaged was uncongenial to him, or he mistrusted the future and the Indians when the Jesuits' sheltering hands had been withdrawn, and thought the King might blame him for what was sure to come. One passage in his letter of instructions shows that the antique, but still current, fashion of going to any length to obtain a country in which are situated even supposititious gold-mines had its influence even with such an honest man as Bucareli was. He specially enjoins upon the officials left in charge 'to find out from what quarter the Indians of those towns extract those pieces of the precious metals which they sometimes bring to their priests.' So that the fable of the false mines started by Cardenas, although a thousand times disproved, still lingered in the minds of those who could not understand what motive except that of growing rich could cause the Jesuits to bury themselves in the recesses of the Paraguayan woods. The release from things American and under the jurisdiction of the Council of the Indies did not come to Bucareli for almost two more years, during which time he struggled manfully with the affairs of the Jesuit missions, repelled the Chaco Indians on one side, and on the other implored for troops to defend the island of Chiloe against the heretic English, who at that time appear to have been meditating the advancement of their empire in the extremest south. One curious letter was reserved for Bucareli to indite before he quitted Buenos Ayres for the last time. On January 15, 1770, he sent a long declaration signed by the celebrated Nicolas Neenguiru and other Indians, giving an account of the part played by him in the abortive resistance which he made against the cession of the seven towns. This is the last time that Nicolas, the 'King' of Paraguay and 'Emperor of the Mamelucos', appears in any document as far as I can find. His name at one time was well known in Paraguay, the River Plate and Spain, and served to father many lies upon; and at the last, the Jesuits gone, he seems to have turned against them, and said all that was required by Bucareli to get up his case. It appears from Bucareli's letter that the family of the Neenguiru had been well known in the missions from the time of Cardenas. In 1770*2* we find him shorn of his kingly and imperial dignities, the mayor of Concepcion in Paraguay, tall, taciturn, with long, lank hair, and much respected by his brother Indians, who held his stirrup for him when he got upon his horse. To find him in the humour to give tongue about the Jesuits was a trump-card in Bucareli's hand, for if it could be proved that in 1750 they had resisted the forces of the crown of Spain, the public, always anxious to believe a lie, would naturally applaud the action of the King in their expulsion from his territories. Nicolas, who seems to have been but a poor creature at the best, testified that everything which he had done as General of the Indians was by the order of Fathers Limp and Ennis, and that he was a poor Indian who did but that which he was told. He finished up his testimony with thanks to the good King for having taken him out of the power of the Jesuits, and kept him in his post of mayor at Concepcion. In fact, all was the same to him as long as he was left with his alcalde's staff.*3*
— *1* 'Y sobre todo, fuera de la America y libre de Secretaria y Consejo de Indias.' Brabo, 'Coleccion de Documentos', etc.: Letter of Bucareli to Aranda, p. 231. *2* Brabo, 'Coleccion de Documentos', etc., p. 280. *3* The alcaldes of Indian villages usually have a long cane with a silver head, like those formerly carried by footmen, as a badge of their office. In remote places I have seen them, with their canes in their hands, a battered tall hat upon their heads, a linen jacket and trousers, and barefooted, riding on an ox, and thought that they served to maintain the majesty of the law quite as well as if they had had stuff gowns, horsehair wigs, and had been seated on a sack of wool. —
Upon August 14, 1778, Bucareli sailed for Spain, leaving Don Juan Jose Vertiz as his successor in the viceroyalty of the provinces of the River Plate. The missions were all placed under the care of friars of the begging Orders, chiefly Franciscans, and the system of the Jesuit government was left unchanged. In 1771, writing from San Lorenzo (el Escorial) in Spain, Bucareli, who seemed fated never to escape from the affairs of Paraguay, sends a long constitution for the thirty towns which follows all the Jesuits' rules of government to the last tittle of their policy. Brabo has preserved the document, which runs to forty-seven pages of close print in its entirety. A carefully thought-out and well-conceived digest of a constitution it most certainly is, and yet it follows to the most minute particular the policy the Jesuits laid down.
Dean Funes* seemed to see that the flattering of Nicolas Neenguiru and the other Indian chiefs was an entire affair of artifice, and that it was but a mere crowning of the victims who were destined to be sacrificed. It may be that the constitution made by Bucareli at the Escorial was similarly but a blind to keep the Indians quiet till the Government had time to exploit them at its ease. Still, Bucareli in all his actions seems to have been an honest man; one of those honest, narrow-minded men who have sown more misery in the world than all the rogues and scoundrels since the flood. Be all that as it may, his constitution in a thousand ways recalled the Jesuits' polity in their days of rule. In a former chapter** I have pointed out a curious instance in which this constitution traverses entirely statements made by the Jesuits' enemies that their exclusive policy was for their own ends, and not, as they alleged, for the protection of the Indians. But there are other instances quite as remarkable which show that the Jesuits not only had grasped perfectly what the best course of treatment was for their subjects, but that the official mind of Bucareli, trained as he was, so to speak, in the strictest sect of Pharisees, and prejudiced against the Jesuits in every way, yet discerned clearly as an honest man that the plan they had laid down was the most suitable for future rulers to pursue.
— * Vol. iii., book v., cap. viii., p. 130 ('Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay', etc.): 'Los Caciques y corregidores que acompan~aban a Bucareli, habian sido alhagados por todos los artificios de sugestion. Esto a/ la verdad, no era mas que coronar las victimas, que se destinaban al sacrificio.' ** Chapter IX. —
At the time of forming his constitution he had been gone but scarce a year from Buenos Ayres, and yet he writes* complaining bitterly of what was happening in the missions of Paraguay. He points out that all his trouble will have been in vain 'if the Governor and his lieutenants are not stimulated to address themselves to the service of God and of the King, with that zeal which everyone should impart to his duty.' Then, after a puff preliminary of the beauty of freedom, human and Divine, he sets forth how the Indians are in future to be ruled. First, as in duty bound, he points out that anything savouring of communism is against the laws of Heaven and of man; that the Indians in their semi-communism were really slaves, the industrious working for the idle, and so forth; that their clothes were scanty; that they were not allowed to freely mix with Spaniards, and were kept a race apart. Then like a prudent statesman having made his apologia 'pro existentia sua', and blown off much virtuous steam, he comes to business, and business, as we know, is the great soberer of theorists, no matter on what side they theorize.
— * Brabo, p. 304. —
After the article to which I have referred in Chapter IX. comes this most curious paragraph, taken in connection with the inalienable right which, according to himself, the Indians had of free communication with the outer world:*1* 'And because I am informed that many Indians who have been absent in the army of the Portuguese, and have resided for lengthened periods in Rio Pardo, Viamont and other parts, have returned to their towns, you will take care that all these with their families shall be removed to those (towns) either in the interior or distant from those frontiers, as it is not convenient that they should remain on them (the frontiers) or close to them; and thus you will proceed successively with the Indians who return, without leaving one, in order to avoid any chance of communication, which might be most prejudicial.' Surely a satire on his own abuse of the Jesuits for keeping the Indians mewed up from intercourse with the outside world. It may be that he had perceived the Indians were not fit to hold their own; indeed, it is certain he had done so, for on p. 326 he writes, 'It is not convenient to leave them (the Indians) entire liberty,*2* for it would be in the extreme fatal and prejudicial to their interests, because the astuteness and sagacity of the Spaniards would triumph easily over their rusticity.' 'Sagacity' is an ingenious euphuism, and might well be used with good effect in the like circumstances, when occasion serves, to-day. But as no single article of any document set forth by any Government can be straightforward and single in its purpose, and as all laws are made with an eye upon some party presently in power, after the paragraph just quoted, on the next page occurs the following sentence under the head of 'Commerce with the Spaniards is to be free'.*3* 'It is laid down that between the Indians and the Spaniards commerce should be free, in order that mutual dealings should unite them in friendship.' Therefore to the ordinary mind it is impossible to make out what really was intended, and whether commerce was to be free or not. Those little differences apart, the constitution ran entirely upon Jesuit lines. That semi-communism which was so prejudicial during the Jesuits' rule was formally re-organized in chapter iv. of the constitution (p. 343) the instant that their power was placed in other hands. Even the prohibition to the Spaniards to enter the Jesuit towns, and reside there, was formally kept up in chapter iii., with the sole alteration that for three months of the year they might reside amongst the Indians on certain well-defined conditions most prolixly set forth. So that it will be seen that, if the Jesuits did ill, as usual, any ill they did was carefully perpetuated by their successors, and, quite as naturally, all that they strove to do in favour of the Indians was most carefully undone.
— *1* Brabo, 'Coleccion de Documentos', p. 320: 'Y porque estoy informado que muchos Indios de los que se habian ausentado con las tropas Portuguesas, y que han residido por gran tiempo en el Rio Pardo, Viamont, y otras partes se han restituido a sus pueblos, ciudaran . . . de que todos estos con sus families seran traslados a los mas interiores o distantes de aquellas fronteras por no ser conveniente se mantengan en ellas o sus inmediaciones, y asi en lo sucesivo lo ejecutaran . . . con los Indios que se restituyan, sin dejar alguno, para evitar todo motivo de communicacion que puede ser muy prejudicial.' *2* 'No conviene dejarles una entera libertad, que seria por extremo fatal y prejudicial a/ sus intereses pues la astucia y sagacidad de los espan~oles triumfaria facilemente de su rudeza.' *3* Brabo, 'Bucareli's Instructions', p. 327: 'Que el commercio de los espan~oles ha de ser libre.' —
It is the fashion of some to say that history, of whatever nature, can but be written dispassionately at a period sufficiently removed from the events of which it treats to have allowed the heat of passion to evaporate. This is as false as almost every other dictum which men take on trust, forgetting that to have passed into the proverbial stage a saying must have been foolish at the start, in order that it should have got itself commended by the majority of mankind.
The heat of passion never evaporates in regard to events which at the epoch of their acting caused great controversies. From writings of contemporaries the coolest-headed take a bias, in the same way that men unconsciously pass on the microbes of disease to their best friends. Only from inventories and rolls of court, State Papers and the like is it possible to get unbiassed matter, and even then figures, those chief deceivers of mankind, can be well cooked for or against, according to the bias of the man who draws them up. Still, when they are drawn up by enemies, they often quite unwittingly show out the truth. In a letter dated October 30, 1768, Bucareli sends a list to Aranda of the effects of many of the Jesuits taken from Paraguay and sent by him to Spain. The list itself speaks volumes in defence of the Jesuits in Paraguay. Whatever may have been their faults, the Governor himself (or even Charles III.) could not have charged upon the captured priests that they had got together a large stock of property during their mission life.*1* The first upon the list, P. Pedro Zabaleta, took ten shirts, two pillow-cases, two sheets, three pocket-handkerchiefs, two pairs of shoes, two pairs of socks, and a pound and a half of snuff. The others were in general less well set up with shirts,*2* some few had cloaks, and one (P. Sigismundo Griera) a nightcap; but all of them had their snuff, the only relic of their luxurious mission life. Manuel Vergara, their Provincial, testifies in a paper sent with the list that most of the clothes were taken from the common stock, and all the snuff. What sort of treatment they endured upon their passage in the two frigates 'San Fernando' and 'San Nicolas' is quite unknown, but certainly their luggage could not have been in the way; and for their snuff, no doubt they husbanded it with care during the long two months, which in those days was thought a record run.*3* In the missions which they had so long tended with such care, giving their muddle-headed love to the Indians in their Machiavelian way, all was confusion in the space of six short months. Dean Funes and Don Feliz de Azara*4* are the only two contemporary writers who treat of the expulsion of the Jesuits from Paraguay outside the official world. The Dean, a man of the old school, was kindly and humane, well educated, and, having been brought up in Tucuman amongst an Indian population, looked on the Indians in a kindly way as fellow-creatures, though differing in essential points from races which had been for centuries exposed to civilization and its effects. His description of the Indians has for veracity and observation not often been surpassed. 'Those natives*5* (he says) are of a pale colour, well made, and well set up. Their talent and capacity are capable of much advancement. Though they lack invention in themselves, yet are they excellent in imitation. Idleness seems natural to them, although it may be more the effect of habit than of temperament; their inclination towards acquiring knowledge is decided, and novelty has its full effect upon their minds. Ambitious of command, they acquit themselves with honour in the positions to which they may attain. Eloquence is held amongst them in the first place, and avarice in no respect degrades their minds. An injurious word offends them more than punishments, which they solicit rather than undergo the former outrage. Incontinency in their women they look upon but with indifference, and even husbands are little sensible to acts of infidelity. Conjugal love has but slight influence upon the treatment which they give their wives. Fathers of families care for their sons but little. The serenity of mind of all these Indians in the midst of the greatest troubles is without equal in the world; never a sigh with them takes off the bitterness of suffering.'
— *1* The Paraguayan Jesuits were allowed to take away all their personal property, and it appears that they did so. *2* Cayetano Ibarguen had only two, P. Lorenzo Balda three, and so on (Brabo, 'Coleccion de Documentos', p. 388). *3* So late as 1818 Rengger, in his 'Essai Historique sur la Re/volution du Paraguay', etc., talks of arriving in Buenos Ayres 'apres un court trajet de soixante jours.' From thence to Corrientes he took seven weeks, but does not say if the passage was considered short or long. *4* Funes, 'Ensayo Critico de la Historia Civil del Paraguay', etc.; Don Feliz de Azara, 'Descripcion y Historia del Paraguay', etc.; and also 'Memorias sobre el estado rural del Rio de la Plata en 1801'. *5* 'Ensayo de la Historia Civil', vol. i., book ii., p. 341. —
No one who knows the Indians but must confess that Dean Funes had made a study of their character deeper than is his own. Azara, on the other hand, was a man of science; his books upon the birds and quadrupeds of Paraguay still hold the field, and are esteemed for curious and minute observation and accuracy as to scientific facts. The man himself was an extremely able writer, a captain in the Spanish navy, and well educated. For twenty years he served in Paraguay and in the River Plate, with credit to himself and profit to the country which he served. Educated as he was in the school of the Encyclopaedists, amongst the strictest of the pharisees of Liberalism, to him the very name of Jesuit was anathema. After the fashion of his kind, he seemed unable to distinguish between the scheming Jesuits at European courts and the simple and hard-working missionaries in Paraguay. All were anathema, and therefore all their system was repugnant to him; and though a kindly man, as is set forth abundantly in all his works, he never paused to think that there could be a difference between his ideal free Liberal citizen, voting and exercising all his right of citizenship in a free commonwealth, after the fashion of a dormouse freely exercising his natural functions in the receiver of an air-pump, and a simple Indian of the Paraguayan woods.