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was more stubborn, and impregnated with foreign substances, by placing it in small ovens or furnaces on high grounds, so artificially constructed that the draught of air performed the function of a bellows, an engine with which they were totally unacquainted. Ву this simple device', the purer ores were smelted with facility, and the quantity of filver in Peru was so considerable, that many of the utensils employed in the functions of common life were made of it. b) Several of those velsels and trinkets are said to have merited no small degree of estimation, on account of the neatness of the workmanship, as well as the intrinsic value of the materials. But as the conquerors of America were well acquainted with the latter, but had scarcely any concep tion of the former, most of them were melted down, and rated according to their weight and fineness in the division of the spoil.
Works of elegance.
In other works of mere curiosity or ornament, their ingenuity has been highly celebrated. Many speciment of those have ben dug out of the Guacas, or mounts of earth, with which the Peruvians covered the bodies of the dead. Among these are mirrors of various
b) Acosta, lib. iv. c. 4, 5. Vega, P. I. lib. viii. 6. 25. Ulloa
dimensions, of hard fhining stones highly polished; vefsels of earthen ware of different forms ; hatchets and other instruments, fome destined for war, and others for labour, Some were of flint, some of copper, hardened to such a degree by an unknown process, as to füpply the place of iron on several occasions. Had the use of those tools formed of copper been general, the progress of the Peruvians in the arts might have been such, as to emulate that of more cultivated nations. But either the metal was so rare, or the operation by which it was hardened, so tedious, that their instruments of copper were few, and so extremely small, that they seem to have been employed only in flighter works, But even to such a circumscribed use of this imperfect metal, the Peruvians were indebted for their superiority to the other people of America in various arts. c) The same obfervation, however, may be applied to them, which I formerly made with respect to the arts of the Mexicans. From several specimens of Peruvian utensils aud ornaments, which are deposited in the royal cabinet of Madrid, and from fome preserved in different collections in other parts of Europe, I have reason to believe that the workmanship is more to be admired on account of the rude tools with which it was executed, than on
c) Ulloa Voy. tom. i, 381, &c. Id. Entreten, p. 369, &c.
account of its intrinsic neatness and elegance; and that the Peruvians, though the most improved of all the Americans, were not advanced beyond the infancy of arts,
But notwithstanding so many circumstances, which seem to indicate an high degree of improvement in Peru, others occur that suggest the idea of a fociety ftill in the first ftages of its transition from barbarism to civilization. In all the dominions of the Incas, Cuzco was the only place that had the appearance, or was entitled to the name of a city. Every where else, the people lived mostly in detached habitations, dispersed over the country, or, at the utmost, settled together in small villages, d) But until men are brought to assemble in numerous bodies, and incorporated such close union, as to enjoy frequent intercourse, and to feel mutual dependence, they never imbibe perfectly the spirit, or affume the manners of social life. In a country of immenfe extent, with only one city, the progress of manners, and the improvement either of the necessary or more refined arts, must have been so flow, and carried on under such disadvantages, that it is more surprising the Peruvians should have
dvanced so far in refinement, than that they did not proceed farther.
d) Zarate, lib, i, e. g. Herrera , dec. 5. lib, vi. c. 4.
In consequence of this ftate of imperfect union, the separation of professions in Peru was not so complete as among the Mexicans. The less closely men affociate, the more simple are their manners, and the fewer their wants. The crafts of common and most necessary use in life do not, in such a state, become so complex or difficult, as to render it requifite that men should be trained to them by any particular course of education. All those professions were accordingly exercised by every Peru vian indiscriminately. None but artists, employed in works of mere curiosity or ornament, constituted a feparate order of men, or were distinguished from other citizens. e)
Little commercial intérourse.
From the want of cities in Peru, another consequence followed. There was little commercial intercourse among the inhabitants of that great empire. The activity of commerce is coeval with the foundation of cities; and from the moment that the members of any community settle in considerable numbers in one place', its operations become vigorous. The citizen muft depend for subsistence on the labour of those who cultivate the ground. They, in
e) Acosta, lib. vi. c. 15. Vega, lib. v. C. 9. Herrera, dec.
5. lib. iv. c. 4.
return, must receive some equivalent. Thus mutual intercourse is established, and the pro· ductions of art are regularly exchanged for the
fruits of agriculture. In the towns of the Me. xican empire, stated markets were held, and whatever could supply any want or desire of man was an object of commerce. But in Peru, from the fingular mode of dividing property, and the manner in which the people were settled, there was hardly any species of commerce carried on between different provinces, f) and the community was less acquainted with that active intercourse, which is at once a bond of union, and an incentive to improvement, :
Unwarlike spirit of the Peruvians. But the unwarlike spirit of the Peruvians was the most remarkable, as well as most fatal · defect in their character. g) The greater part of the rude nations of America opposed their invaders with undaunted ferocity, though with little conduct or success. · The Mexican main, tained the struggle in defence of their liberties, with such persevering fortitude , that it was with difficulty the Spaniards triumphed over them. Peru was subdued at once, and almost without resistance; and the most favourable opportunities of regaining their freedom, and of
f) Vega, lib. vi. C. 8. g) Xerez, 190. Sancho ap. Ram. iii. 372. Herrera, dec. 5.
lib. i. c. 3