A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 787 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17.

Amongst the houses we visited at Castro, there was one belonging to an old priest, who was esteemed one of the richest persons upon the island.  He had a niece, of whom he was extremely fond, and who was to inherit all he possessed.  He had taken a great deal of pains with her education, and she was reckoned one of the most accomplished young ladies of Chiloe.  Her person was good, though she could not be called a regular beauty.  This young lady did me the honour to take more notice of me than I deserved, and proposed to her uncle to convert me, and afterwards begged his consent to marry me.  As the old man doated upon her, he readily agreed to it; and accordingly, on the next visit I made him, acquainted me with the young lady’s proposal, and his approbation of it, taking me at the same time into a room where there were several chests and boxes, which he unlocked, first shewing me what a number of fine clothes his niece had, and then his own wardrobe, which he said should be mine at his death.  Amongst other things, he produced a piece of linen, which he said should immediately be made up into shirts for me.  I own this last article was a great temptation to me; however, I had the resolution to withstand it, and made the best excuses I could for not accepting of the honour they intended me; for by this time I could speak Spanish well enough to make myself understood.

Amongst other Indians who had come to meet the governor here, there were some caciques of those Indians who had treated us so kindly at our first landing upon Chiloe.  One of these, a young man, had been guilty of some offence, and was put in irons, and threatened to be more severely punished.  We could not learn his crime, or whether the governor did not do it in a great measure to shew us his power over these Indian chiefs; however, we were under great concern for this young man, who had been extremely kind to us, and begged Captain Cheap to intercede with the governor for him.  This he did, and the cacique was released; the governor acquainted him at the same time, with great warmth, that it was to us only he owed it, or otherwise he would have made a severe example of him.  The young man seemed to have been in no dread of farther punishment, as I believe he felt all a man could do from the indignity of being put in irons in the public square, before all his brother caciques and many hundreds of other Indians.  I thought this was not a very politic step of the governor, as the cacique came after to Captain Cheap to thank him for his goodness, and in all probability would remember the English for some time after; and not only he, but all the other caciques who had been witnesses of it, and who seemed to feel, if possible, even more than the young man himself did.

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