Page:The Present State of Peru.djvu/102

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out their aid, they cannot subsist[1]. I do not extend my ideas so far; nor have I the talents requisite for such a task. All that I can do further on this subject is, to express my wishes.

"I could wish, for instance, that the sub-delegates would not allow idle and vagrant Indians in their provinces; and that those who, after having been once solemnly admonished, should be found to have relapsed into an indolent mode of life, should be apprehended and sent to the mine territories. I could wish (and here I repeat and enforce whatever Egerio has insinuated) that those who supply the funds should make their advances in specie, and not in commodities at an exorbitant price, to the end that the miners may be enabled to pay their labourers daily in current money, instead of reducing them to a kind of slavery by an opposite procedure. It is my ardent desire that the miners should be persuaded, how truly it is a paralogism, an egregious mistake, to believe that the Indians are the children of rigour only, and rebels to kind treatment; and that they should, consequently, act with more humanity and charity, when the welfare of this unfortunate class of beings is concerned.

"Finally, if there be any mineral territories, in the case of which neither the allurements of prompt payment, and of a progressive increase of stipend, nor a wise and courteous treat-

  1. In the royal mines, compulsory measures are resorted to. By metas is implied the personal service of the Indians, who, perforce, and respeflively to the number by whom the tribute is paid, are made to repair from different pi evinces to the mines of Huancavelica and Potosi. If they fail in their personal attendance, a fine of thirty piastres, named by the Indians faltriqueras, is imposed on them.