in which the future originator of the Entente, then only
`Justo, que sirve de capataz en el campo; sera/ de edad de veinte y siete an~os, mas o/ menos segun su aspecto.'
`Item, Pedro, sera/ de diez y seis an~os y es medio fatuo.'
`Item, Jose/ Felix, sera/ de un mes y medio.' --
Besides their seven establishments in the Gran Chaco, they had three establishments in the north of Paraguay in the great woods which fringe the central mountain range of the country, known as the Cordillera de M'baracayu. These missions, called San Joaquin del Taruma, San Estanislao, and Belen, were quite apart from all the other missions of the Guaranis, far distant from the Chaco, and removed by an enormous distance from those of the Order in the Moxos and amongst the Chiquitos, forming, as it were, an oasis in the recesses of the Tarumensian woods. These three reductions, founded respectively in 1747,* 1747, and 1760, were, as their dates indicate, the swansong of the Jesuits in Paraguay. Founded as they were far from the Spanish settlements, they were quite removed from the intrigues and interferences of the Spanish settlers, which were the curse of the other missions on the Parana. The Tobatines Indians** were of a different class to the Guaranis, though possibly of the same stock originally. Not having come in contact until recent years with the Spaniards, and having had two fierce and prolonged wars with the nearest settlements, they had remained more in their primitive condition than any of the Indians with whom the Jesuits had come in contact in Paraguay. During the short period of Jesuit rule amongst them (1746-1767) things seem to have gone on in a half-Arcadian way. In San Joaquin, Dobrizhoffer, as he says himself, devoted eight years of unregretted labour to the Indians. Most certainly he was one of the Jesuits who understood the Indians best, and his descriptions of them and their life are among the most delightful which have been preserved. He tells of the romantic but fruitless search during eighteen months throughout the forests of the Taruma by Fathers Yegros, Escandon, Villagarcia, and Rodriguez, for the Itatines who had left the reduction of Nuestra Senora de Santa Fe, and had hidden in the woods.
-- * Though 1747 was the date of the final founding of these reductions, as early as 1697 about four hundred Indians were discovered in the woods of the Taruma by Fathers Robles and Ximenes, and established in the mission of Nuestra Senora de Fe; but in the year 1721 they all returned to the woods, a famine and an outbreak of the small-pox having frightened them. After being again established in a mission, and again having left it, in 1746, they were established definitely at San Joaquin. ** Dobrizhoffer calls the Tobatines by the name of Itatines. Charlevoix and others refer to them as Tobatines. --
Then, commenting upon the strangeness of all affairs sublunary, he relates that accident at length effected what labour could not do. In 1746 Father Sebastian de Yegros, after a search of forty days, came on the Indians -- as it were, directed by Providence, or, as we now say, accident. He built a town for them, and, as Dobrizhoffer says, `assembled them in Christian polity.' To the new-founded village cattle of every kind were sent, with clothes -- useful, of course, to those who had never worn them -- axes, and furniture, and lastly a few music masters,* without whose help those who build cities spend their toil in vain.
-- * `Account of the Abipones', p. 54. --
To the new town (in which the simple-hearted priest remained eight years), in 1753, came Don Carlos Morphi, an Irishman, and Governor of Paraguay; and, having stayed five days with Dobrizhoffer, departed, marvelling at the accuracy with which the new-made Christians (`Cristianos nuevos') managed their double-basses, their flageolets, their violins, and, in general, all their instruments, whether of music or of war.
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