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the court ©f Portugal to the Spaniards, might have been acquired in the sequel to the events which preceded the peace of 1801.

9. Before the coast of the Patagonians was sufficiently known, the Gulf of St. George, situated between the 45° and the 47° of south latitude, was supposed to enter so far into the interior of the country, as to communicate with the arms of the sea which interrupt the continuity of the western coast, that is to say, with the coast opposite to the archipelago of Chayamapu. Were this supposition founded on solid bases, the vessels destined from the South Sea might cross South America 7° to the north of the Straits of Magellan, and shorten their route more than 700 leagues. In this way, navigators might avoid the dangers which, notwithstanding the perfection of nautical science, still accompany the voyage round Cape Horn and along the Patagonian coast, from Cape Pdares to the parallel of the Chonos islands. These ideas, in 1790, occupied the attention of the court of Madrid.' M. GilLemos, viceroy of Peru, an upright and zealous administrator, equipped a small expedition under the orders of M. Moraleda*, to

* Don Jose de Moraleda y Montero visited the archipelagos of Chiloe and Chonos, and the western coast of the Patagonians, from IJ&J down to 17Q6. Two very interesting manuscripts, drawn up by M. Moraleda, are to be found in the archives of the viceroyalty of Lima: the title of the one is,

examine the southern coast of Chili. I saw the instructions that he received at Lima, which recommended to him the greatest secrecy in case he should be happy enough to discover a communication between the two seas. But M. Moraledadiscovered in 1793, that the Estero de Aysen, visited before him in 176-3 by the Jesuits, fathers Jose Garcia and Juan Vicuna, was of all the arms of the sea that in which the waters of the ocean advance the farthest towards the east. Yet it is but eight leagues in length, and terminates at the isle dela Cruz, where it receives a small river, near a hot spring. Hence the canal of Aysen, situated in the 45° 28' of latitude, is still 88 leagues distant from the Gulf of St. George. This gulf was exactly surveyed by the expedi* tion of Malaspina. In the year 1746 a communication was, in the same manner, suspected in Europe between the bay of St. Julien (latitude 50° 53') and the Great Ocean.

I have sketched in one plate the nine points which appear to afford means of communication

Viage al Reconocimiento de los Islos de Chiloe, \JB6; the other pomprehends the Reconocimiento del Archipelago de los Ckonos y Costa occidental Patagonica, i/Q2 —1796. Curious and interesting extracts might be published from these journals, which contain details regarding the cities de los Cesares and de l'Arguello, which are said to have been founded in 1554, and are placed by apocryphal accounts between 42- and 49" of south latitude.

between the two oceans, by the junction of neighbouring rivers, either by canals or carriage-roads between the places where the rivers become navigable. These sketches are not of equal accuracy, astronomically considered; but I wished to save the reader the labour of seeking in several maps what may be contained in one ; and it is the duty of the government which possesses the finest and most fertile part of the globe to perfect what I have merely hinted at in this discussion. Two Spanish engineers, MM, Le Maur, drew up superb plans of the canal de los Guines, projected for traversing the whole island of Cuba, from Batabano to the Havannah. A similar survey of the isthmus of Guasacualco, the lake Nicaragua, of the country between Cruces and Panama, and between Cupica and the Rio Naipi, would direct the statesman in his choice, and enable him to decide, if it is at Mexico or Darien that this undertaking should be executed; an undertaking calculated to immortalize a governmentoccupied with the true interests of humanity. The long circumnavigation of South America would then be less frequent; and a communication would be opened for the goods which pass from the Atlantic Ocean to the South Sea. The time is past* "when Spain, through a jealous policy, refused to other nations a thoroughfare through the possessions of which she so long kept the world in ignorance." Those who are at present at the head of the government are enlightened enough to give a favourable reception to the liberal ideas proposed to them; and the presence of a stranger is no longer regarded as a danger for the country.

* M. de Fleurieu, in his learned notes on the Voyage de Marchand, T. I. p. 566.

Should a canal of communication be opened between the two oceans, the productions of Nootka Sound and of China will be brought more than 2000 leagues nearer to Europe and the United States. Then only can any great changes be effected in the political state of Eastern Asia, for this neck of land, the barrier against the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, has been for many ages the bulwark of the independence of China and Japan:

CHAPTER III.

Physical aspect of the kingdom of New Spain compared with that of Europe and South America.Inequalities of the soil.Influence of these inequalities on the climate, cultivation, and military defence of the country.State of the coasts.

We have hitherto considered the vast extent and the boundaries of the kingdom of New Spain. We have examined its relations with the other Spanish possessions, and the advantages which the configuration of its coasts afford for communications between the Atlantic and the South Seas. Let us now give a physical view of the country; and consider for a while the inequalities of its soil, and the influence of that inequality on the climate, cultivation, and military defence of Mexico. We shall merely exhibit general results. The details of natural history are foreign to statistics; but we cannot form an exact idea of the territorial wealth of a state, without knowing the structure of its mountains, the height of the great interior plains, and the temperature proper for those regions, in which the climates succeed, as it were, by strata, one above another.

When we take a general view of the whole surface of Mexico, we see that one half is situated under the burning sky of the tropics, and the other belongs to the temperate zone. The latter

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