« AnteriorContinuar »
and the manner of extracting it.
403 sometime's found in temperate cli- carry it through. Thus, though they mates.
have laid out enormous expences with Mines of silver are not diffused to little or no return, they are far from generally thro' the country of Peru, thinking these expences lost, persuaas the inhabitants believe. Many of ded, as they are, that the mine will them suppose, that they have nothing produce more plentifully at a future to do bur to open the earth, and the period. Some, indeed, are not demine will present itself. This error, ceived in this expectation; and instan-, However, has its advantages. These ces of this kind cherish the delusive
bold adventurers, though often disap- hopes of others in facrificing their for3 pointed, till eager in the pursuit of tunes to the same adventure. So viotai gain, continue to - search for the pre- tent is the paslion for mining among S cious metal ; and though many be ruin- this people, that a person engaged in 1 ed, not a few, on the other hand, are it, merely on a small scale, for the sake i enriched by the fortunate success of of experiment, feldom fails to be intheir labours:
fected with the same fallacious prof. The fame prejudice which leads pects, which it opens, to such a de, them to suppose the existence of mines gree, as to venture his all in the
Every where, produces a belief that pursuit. It is the sole occupation, in be all these mines are rich. Neither is which they lose sight of every prin
this mistake without utility. Althociple of Economy: expecting every mom i deceived in the expectation of an a- ment to arrive at the richest part of
bundant produce, they feldom fail of the mine, where they hope to chiffel finding fore, perhaps, indeed, at an the pure silver from its native block,
expence double, or more, of its real va- every expence seems trifling that brings . lue. But the loss in this case falls only them nearer to this dazzling object of
on the individual at whose cost the all their wishes. . mine has been opened. The general A circumstance more remarkable quantity of silver is increased, although than any that has been mentioned is, the private adventurer suffers. In fact, that they will hazard all this profuse no occupation seems more attractive expence, not only on mines in which to those who engage in it, no enter the experiments seem to be promising, prize in which they more cheerfully but even on those which have been lay out the most unbounded expence, the occasions of ruin to former advenwithout the smallest fufpicion that they turers, and abandoned in consequence Shall ever have cause to repent of their of their bad success. It is no matter; temerity. .
they are still infatuated enough to be*, Seduced by the increasing indica- gin anew where those ruined adventions of the gangues in proportion turers had left off, or perhaps they to the depth they have dug into the make other openings into the fame earth, by the promising nature of the mountain, guided by indications which strata which they have pierced, by the they suppose infallible, and that they species of analogous minerals that have alone have been fortunate enough to been thrown out, and by the discove- discover them. Among the circumry, from time to time, of the rich me- stances that infpire their confidence, tal itself; animated, besides, by the re- the first is a belief that God has report of others who are engaged in the ferved the discovery of these treasures fame pursuit, their only regret, after for certain favoured individuals, and they have laid out their whole sub- that if others have fought for them in Itance in the fruitless adventure, is not vain, it was only because the time apthat they rafhly engaged in it, but that pointed for the discovery had not then their means do not enable them to arrived. A fecond circumstance on
3 D 2
which they found their expectations, the most part, persons of substance is taken from the form of the rocks who engage in these enterprizes, the on the mountain, from the direction far greater proportion of those who do of its ridges, the position of its strata, so, are poor individuals, or bankrupt their breadth and thickness, in a word, merchants. These people connect from the general shape and size of the themselves with a Cateador, and make mountain, and from the plants which a declaration of the mine which they grow on its surface.
have discovered ; or perhaps they preThese favourable presages, formed sent a requeft to government, that one upon external indications, are still of those abandoned mines, which are more corroborated by the judgement considered to be of litule value, may of those who are reckoned knowing in. be allotted to them for a certain conthe business. Confirmed by their au- fideration which they offer. They thority, every promising circumstance negociate also with the possessors of obecomes an infallible prognostic, and ther mines that are yielding profit, for, the hidden treasures of the mountain an assignation to the property of some are already enjoyed by the strong ima- particular vein belonging to it. Ha. gination of the adventurer. A certain ving by one or other of these means. language, peculiar to the miners, con obtained poffeslion, they procure themtributes both to insinuate and fix these selves to be registered in the Bureau de delusive expectations,a language which Caisse Royal of the district, for payment engrosses the whole imagination, and of the tenth of the silver which the mine keeps all but the favourite object out fhall produce, and for the amount of of its view. Thus prepossefled and the quicksilver necessary for their opefascinated, the most penurious imme- rations. This is the first step which diately become prodigal, and the most they take at the risque of loling any diffident fanguine. Persuaded that little substance they have for the fake they shall speedily be possessed of un- of digging, with immense labour, into bounded opulence, the unhappy vic- the bowels of mountains in quest of tims of this delusion surrender them- silver. But the possession of these selves to it so thoroughly, that they mines is far from being an advantage çan neither think nor converse upon when the person principally concerned any other subject. Every original dif- fails, and with him the money necesference of character is effaced by this fary for carrying on the operation. It predominant passion. Persons, in o. is then very observeable how far the ther respects, of the most sedate and power of persuasion, and the attracprudent qualities, no sooner engage in tions of gain, will.mislead men of the a mining adventure than they are hur- most penetrating and circumspect charied along with the same blind avidity racter. that generally characterizeth only the These mining adventurers, having rash and thoughtless. The operations procured a specimen of rich mineral, peculiar to the business, the difficulties which they pretend to have been found that have been already surmounted, in their mine, address themselves to those which remain to be overcome, some monied man ; they fhew it to the symptoms of their succeeding in the him with a sort of mysterious referve, adventure, the methods of managing and seeming apprehension; they point it to the best advantages, with the ex- out the veins of silver that run thro’ amples of those whose success hath it, dwelling emphatically on the richenriched them, are the only subjects ness of the ore, on the pieces of nathat occupy either their thought or tive metal contained in it, and on all conversation.
the other favourable indications ; infiThey are not always, nor even for nuating, at the same time, that it is
and the Manner of extracting it. i i .
405 only a part of the rubbish of the mine, claim no return until the mine be." far richer specimens of which might brought into a state of actual produce. be obtained by clearing that rubbish a. The miners, always attentive to infiway, and following the tract of the puate a belief that the expences of oformer excavations, which have been peration will soon be diminished, proabandoned, as they say, only on ac- duce from time to time new indica... count of the earth falling down in tions of being near the end of their some places ; besides, they add, a labours ; they even present their em... very little expence will be sufficient ployers with some pignoncillo of file for this purpose. By such arguments, ver, of the value of a few marcs, to.. and especially by an exaggerated ac- confirm them in this supposition. By count of the former produce of the these means, they involve them insenmine while the excavations were clear, sibly in an expence of fifty or fixty they probably prevail on him to en- thousand pesos, without any confidere ter into their views. The expence, able success attending the adventure. , they say, will not exceed five hun. These enormous costs, bounded ondred, or, at most, a thousand pesos, ly (unless the experiment prove fortuand the whole detail of the plan may nate) by the extent of the actual funds be executed at this moderate cost. of the adventurers, present us with In fine, they engage to him that the two circumstances highly deserving at. whole pigna shall be his, and that for tention : ift, The persons who furnish themselves they ask no more than these costs are so well fatisfied with cloathing, brandy, iron, steel, and the their own proceedings, that no want utensils necessary for their labour. of success can bring them either to see
If their first application be unsuce their error, or to express any resentcessful, they have at least founded the ment against those who had engaged inclinations of their man, and inspired them in the adventure. 2d, Persons, him with some thoughts of the enter- the most parfimonious in all other re. prize ; in this state they leave matters spects, have no bounds in their profuto ripen of themselves, confident of fion as to this. Numberless examples fuccess.in returning to the charge. might be produced confirming the truth
It is thus that these persons prac- of both these remarks. The labourers tise on various individuals, warning too, who work so hard in these mines, each of them, however, to keep the and receive fo poor a recompence, are matter profoundly secret. By such equally confident that each fucceffive arts they gain the ear of a number of day shall produce the glorious disco. persons in different quarters ; as at very. But this coveted period, al. Lima, Guamanga, Cusco, Paz, Guan- ways near in their expectations, in cavelica, and other towns and villages many cases never arrives. A succes. through the country. Their propo- fion of difficulties bąffles their fansals are received with different degrees guine hopes, and years elapse without of relish by different individuals. Of bringing them nearer to their object. those who are best pleased with them, an Whether these operations be carriçd association is formed of two or three, on in a mine that has formerly been who engage to bear the necesfary costs abandoned, or in one actually wrought of operation. No sooner are their first at the time, a certain proportion of filcontributions for this purpose expend- ver is always found : but it is often ed, than it becomes absolutely necef- fo small a quantity, that the profit sary to advance more, that the fruit of does not amount to a third or fourth what has been already laid out may part of the expence. If, on the onot be loft: for these associates, who ther hand, after much labour and cost go by the name of Aviadores, can they are fortunate enough to fall on a
rich vein of ore, the past losses are suppose, that such mines have been a soon recovered, and the partners in bandoned for no other reason, than the adventure rapidly enriched. The that the filver had not then come to Aviador, the miner, the Cateador, who its mature growth. is commonly factor and overseer, are But to this it may be answered, all at the height of their wishes. that when these portions of ore were
Such fortunate enterprizes excite thrown aside, it was because they were and keep alive the hopes of other ad- considered to be of little value, conta venturers. All this, however, is mere- pared with what was reserved to be Jy good fortune, and the whole business wrought. At the fame time, it is so of mining is still a lottery, in which common to find silver in very consithere are incomparably more blanks derable quantities in these pallacos, than prizes.
that the supposition of a reproduction · On this account the miners fre- does not seem altogether without founa
quently alledge, that they are the per- dation. In fact, the same thing has - fons who render the most conspicuous been remarked with respect to the ore
services to their fovereign, lince, if of quicksilver. More than sixty years they were not fo ready in undertaking after being abandoned, it has produ-" the expensive operations that have ced the same quantity of metal that it been described, at the risque of all did in the original operation. their substance, there would be an end . When a mine is wrought which to the production of those treasures discovers no filver, or only in small which constitute the riches of the quantity, the operations are directed kingdom. In certain respects they upon those pullacos found on the adare in the right; what they say of their jacent rubbish. . Besides that these gerisques and labours is true, but the nerally yield somewhat to defray ex. merit they claim is not so obvious, for pence, the pignons and stones containit is easy to see that felf-interest, not ing filver, which are found among public utility, is the object of these them, fail not to be produced by the boasted exertions.
labourers, to the Aviadors, and conThere are generally in the neigh- tribute to encourage them on their bourhood of the mines that have been favourable opinion of the adventure, abandoned parcels of rubbish that have of the progress that has been made, been thrown out in the progress of and of the success that may be expecthe excavation.
ted. Convinced by thefe indications, - Those who resume the operation the Aviadors open their purses, and of such mines, examine these parcels cheerfully furnish the necessary funds for any piece of gangue that have a for carrying on and compleating the promising appearance, and often ex- operations. tract more silver from them than from · There is, perhaps, no enjoyment the ore that has been recently dug. equal to that of an Aviador, to whom The substance thus found is called the overseer of his mine presents à Pallaco, and the operation itself Pal- pignon of one or more stones, in which laquear. Hence it has been imagi- the veins of silver are clearly obserned, that silver is reproduced by the vable. The pleasure derived from this lapse of time, and that the gangicos circumstance makes him forget all his are a kind of matrix for the seeds of expences, though perhaps every marc this metal, in which they develope of the precious metal costs in fact, themselves and ripen, in proportion to some thousands of pesos. This dearthe progressive combination of the con- bought satisfaction, however, dissipates stituent principles of which silver is all his anxieties, and feeds him with formed. Accordingly, these people the hopes of unbounded trcafures.
Of the Mangel Wurzel, or Root of Scarcity. The idolized metal, thus presented to tiates with rapture on the accounts he his greedy eyes, sparkling with a tri- hath received from his overseer and umphant joy, is immediately placed in labourers: not a circumstance is omita the most conspicuous part of his house, ted. His imagination swells with the that every guest may see it, and con- fond recital, and already grasps uam gratulate his rare felicity : He expa« numbered pignons and lingors.
The Mangel Wurzel, er Root of Scarcity; or, more properly, Root of
Abundance *. W H ether the above plant is a 'an acre of Mangel Wurzel, rhis planit
fpecies of the Beet or not, or being of sọ nutricious and prolific à a new-discovered species of it, or the quality ; these men and animals fod red or white beet, or other common- on it, (except the oxen) will increafe known fpecies, is very immaterial, amazingly until they amount to the provided the produce, the nutricious full number the land will maintain. * and prolific qualities, are such as Mons. Now there are in England and l'Abbé de Commerell informs us he Wales, exclusive of Scotland, forty found them, by repeated actual expe- millions of statute acres, sixteen mil. riment and observation, during the lions of which are wood, wastes, and years 1784, 1785, and 1786. This uncultivated lands, and twenty-four Dr J. C. Lettsom also informs us, in millions arable and pasture; let thefe his preface to his trànslation of the twenty-four million's be planted with Abbe's account of the Mangel Wura the Mangel Wurzel, and they will zel, he found to be true. Now, eftia maintain one hundred and forty-four mating from the lowest datas given by millions of grown men, or milk cows, . these gentlemen, and making, besides, or farten four hundred and thirty-two great allowances, it appears that if the millions of oxen in the space of a year, Mangel Wurzel is planted or sown in It is agreed by politicians, that the rerows, half a yard or eighteen inches venue of the State increases in propor, distant from each other, and the same tion to the number of inhabitants (of distance observed in the rows, which which Holland is an example). The is four plants to a square yard, or present number of inhabitants in Enge 19360 plants to the statute acre ; now land is estimated at fix millions, men, estimating it, I say, as above, an acre women, and childrep, and the revenue will at least maintain six cows in full is more, but say twelve millions per milk, as in the heighth of the season, annum, or al. per head of every inhaor six grown men during the year, or bitant; therefore, when the number is fatten six oxen every four months, one hundred and forty-four millions, that is eighteen in the year, using the the revenue of the State will be two leaves of the plant during the four Sum- hundred and eighty-eight millions, a mer months, and the roots during the sum fufficient to discharge the national eight Winter months of the year. But debt, reckoned at two hundred and it is to be understood, the six men thirty-eight millions, while it leaves may not only be maintained by the fifty millions over for current expences plant itself, but likewise through the the first year, and will get a revenue medium of the milk of the cows fed, of two hundred and eighty-eight mil. and the flesh of the oxen fattened on lions a-year ever after.
* See Edin. Mag. Vol. VI. p. 274.