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A long time ago, it broke the chains which bound it to Seville and Cadiz. The Sevillians seem to have forgotten the time when they furnished every commercial commodity to the cities of Spanish America. When Buenos Aires receives a cargo of salt from Cadiz, it little thinks that this is a last vestige of the exclusive commerce which, in former times, was transacted between the two cities.
The axis of international relations has changed its position. The Argentine Republic, after having received everything from Spain, its laws, its public spirit, its private customs, its cuisine, etc., now takes nothing from Spain. Even its language is not pure Castilian.
During the last three centuries, Spanish literature has remained stationary and has produced few good works. The Argentines have therefore been obliged to look elsewhere for such works, preferring to read them in their original languages rather than wait for translations. This has caused the Argentines to take something from every language, consequently producing a certain change in their style of writing.
It is now difficult to find in Buenos Aires the old-fashioned Spanish house. Even the houses built by the natives thirty or forty years ago, have almost disappeared, having been replaced by modern buildings.
The Government House is modern, being a mixture of Italian and French renaissance. One half of it, which for a time was used for the post-office, is a reproduction, on a small scale, of the Tuilleries, and the other half, built afterwards, resembles an Italian palace of the sixteenth century.
The plaza or square, which was laid out in 1580, in accordance with the Spanish laws, has the classic 150 meters in breadth by 300 meters in length. It continues to serve the purpose for which it was intended. Many public buildings face upon it; among others, the Government House, the custom house, the city hall, congress hall, the cathedral, the palace of the archbishop, the Colon theatre and the bourse. The
great traffic of this part of the city overflows into the adjacent streets. At every step, traces of the old city are found. Sometimes, one imagines himself in a city of Andalusia, but this illusion soon vanishes at the sight of the exceedingly active traffic on all sides, and the noise produced by innumerable carts, tramways, and carriages of every description, very few of which carry idle people, for who could remain idle in the midst of so much activity when, at every step, one is reminded of the struggle for life?
There has scarcely been time to rebuild this portion of the city. Several old structures are yet to be found, the rental of which is sufficient to satisfy their owners, who do not care to go to the expense of building new houses. But alongside of these old houses, which are destined to disappear, palatial buildings