I Shall Mention One Example Only In
Support Of This Assertion.
On the 4th of February, 1797, when 35,000
Indians perished in the space of a few minutes, a young mother saved
herself and her children, crying out to them to extend their arms at
the moment when the cracked ground was ready to swallow them up.
this courageous woman heard the astonishment that was expressed at a
presence of mind so extraordinary, she answered, with great
simplicity, "I had been told in my infancy: if the earthquake surprise
you in a house, place yourself under a doorway that communicates from
one apartment to another; if you be in the open air and feel the
ground opening beneath you, extend both your arms, and try to support
yourself on the edge of the crevice." Thus, in savage regions or in
countries exposed to frequent convulsions, man is prepared to struggle
with the beasts of the forest, to deliver himself from the jaws of the
crocodile, and to escape from the conflict of the elements.
The town of Angostura, in the early years of its foundation, had no
direct communication with the mother-country. The inhabitants were
contented with carrying on a trifling contraband trade in dried meat
and tobacco with the West India Islands, and with the Dutch colony of
Essequibo, by the Rio Carony. Neither wine, oil, nor flour, three
articles of importation the most sought after, was received directly
from Spain. Some merchants, in 1771, sent the first schooner to Cadiz;
and since that period a direct exchange of commodities with the ports
of Andalusia and Catalonia has become extremely active.
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