My romantic notions were soon crushed; our landing gave no pleasure to these secluded Englishmen: they gave us no welcome; but, as our boats approached the shore, they walked away to their own dwellings, closed their gates and doors after them, and gazed at us through their windows; and during three days that we passed in a hut quite near them, they never exchanged one word with any of the party. Thus foiled in our hopes of spending a social day with our compatriots, after our dinner was over we sent materials for making a bowl of punch up the hill to the chiefs, and spent the remainder of the day surrounded by generous savages, who were delighted with our company, and who did everything in their power to make us comfortable. In the course of the afternoon two of the mission came up to preach; but the savages were so angry with them for not showing more kindness to their own countrymen, that none would listen to them.
I have visited many of the Roman Catholic missionary establishments; their priests adopt quite a different line of conduct: they are cheerful and kind to the savage pagan, and polite and attentive to their European brethren; they have gained the esteem of those they have been sent to convert; they have introduced their own language amongst them, which enables them to have intercourse with strangers; and, however we may differ in some tenets of religious belief, we must acknowledge the success of their mission. They have brought nearly the whole of the Indian population in South America into the bosom of their church; and their converts form the greater part of the people. Notwithstanding the numerous church and sectarian missionaries sent from England, I never met with one Indian converted by them. I have attended mass in an Indian village; a native priest performed the ceremony, and the whole congregation (except myself) were of his cast and complexion: and, it is worthy of remark, that in Peru, and some of the most populous provinces, a pagan is scarcely to be found.
We now heard that Tetoro (one of the most powerful chiefs of this part of the island) had taken offence, and had sent a defiance to King George, saying he intended coming to seek revenge, accompanied by a strong body of warriors; and the “herald” who brought this proclamation informed us that the English settlers were to be attacked and plundered also.