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bulls were let out in succession, and the same circumstances repeated with very little variation. The whole was terminated with a feat, performed by a wild gaucho; the bull being let out, he was immediately lassoed by the gauchos on horseback, who threw him and held him fast by pulling in opposite directions; he was then tied, and a saddle girt on him by the gaucho, who was bare-legged, and had nothing on but a shirt, and a kind of petticoat something like a Scotch kilt; the ordinary dress of these people. The animal being properly prepared, he was suffered to rise with the gaucho on his back, and ran perfectly wild and furious around the circus, leaping, plunging, and bellowing, to the great diversion of the spectators, while the gaucho was continually goading him with an enormous pair of spurs, and lashing him with his whip. When the animal was sufficiently tortured in this way, the gaucho drew bis knife and plunged it into the spinal marrow; the bull fell as if struck by lightning, rolled upon his back with his feet in the air, which were not even seen to quiver. Such is the barbarous amusement of bull-fighting, formerly the delight of the representatives of the kings of Spain, and their mimic royalty; in a more enlightened and a happier age, confined here to the coarse and vulgar; and it is to be hoped that, in the progress of science, liberty, and civilization, will disappear for ever.
The theatre was attended by respectable people; but I found it in a low state, though I had not expected much. - It is but an indifferent building, yet capable of containing a considerable number of persons. The ladies were dressed with taste and elegance, and some of them handsome. With respect to the interior
arrangements, the orchestra, the scenery, the dresses of the actors, and the whole of the performance, I presume they were about equal to our theatre during our revolutionary war, When the curtain rose, the national hymn was sung by the whole of the theatric corps, accompanied by the orchestra; daring which, it is the etiquette for every person to stand up; the song was followed by thunders of applause. The performance is about equal to that of New Orleans, except that the prompter takes rather too audible a part. Between the acts, the greater part of the audience flow into an extensive coffee-house, which communicates by a folding door. Here hundreds are seen, officers and and citizens, walking about promiscuously, or in groups around small tables, drinking chocolate or coffee, or taking other refreshments. The men of Buenos Ayres, idle away a great deal of their time at these places, of which, there are six or eight in the city; they are always crowded at noon and in the evening, as at New Orleans. There is a society de buen gusto, for the purpose of improving the stage; it is one of the modes in a free country of inculcating patriotic sentiments. Several very good plays have been translated and performed, and occasional pieces got up. In honor of the victory of Chacabuco, a dramatic production, of some merit, was produced, entitled the battle of Marathon; the incidents of which, somewhat resemble each other. * The tragedy of Pi.
* The same play was performed after the victory of Maipu with still greater propriety, as it was actually reported that San Martin had been entirely defeated. The picture of San Martin was exhibited on the stage, and I had an opportunity of witnessing the popular enthusiasm in favor of el heroe, as he is generally called.
zarro has also been translated, and is sometimes performed, and also several other pieces.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY OF THE UNITED
INCLUDING Patagonia, this viceroyalty was the most important in extent of territory, of any of the Spanish governments in America. The provinces of Upper Peru alone, (added to it in 1778,) are as extensive as New Grenada, and more so than lower Peru or Lima, and equal, at least, to the whole of the United States east of the Mississippi. La Plata stretches from the northernmost part of the province of Moxos, in twelve degrees south, to Cape Horn; it extends to the Pacific between lower Peru and Chili, in the province of Atacama; it is bounded by the Portuguese dominions on the north and east, and sepa. rated from Peru by the river Desaguadera, or drain of lake Titicaca; on the east it is washed by the Atlantic, and on the west divided from Chili by the Cordilleras. The only portion of this vast territory which is generally believed to be unfavorable to a numerous population, is what is called the pampas of Buenos Ayres: the interior of Patagonia is but little known, and respecting it, different opinions are enter
tained. After deducting about one tenth for these plains, the remainder is equal in fertility to the Brazils, or any other part of South America; but, at least, one half enjoys a much more delightful climate; lying in temperate latitudes, or from elevation, possessing the same advantages. If peopled in the same proportion as Great Britain, it would contain at least one hundred millions of souls.
From its great length in proportion to its breadth, this country is not to be compared to the Brazils, or the United States, or even to New Spain, as respects the dependence and connection of one part with another; and thus, therefore, not so well suited to the establishment of one entire government. Some of its great rivers open communications with immense tracts of country; an advantage hitherto but little regarded. The three greatest of these on the north, are the Paraguay, whose navigation is equal to that of the Mississippi; the Parana, which may be compared to the Missouri as to its length, and the quantity of water gathered by its numerous branches in Brazil; the Pilcomayo, which may be compared to the Ohio, but a larger river, and watering a country still more extensive and fertile; and although known for three hundred years, and its navigable branches flowing through the richest provinces of Peru, it was never as. certained until a few years ago, whether it afforded a good navigation to the main stream. It is destined, at some future day, to be the channel of an immense inland trade. To the south of the pampas of Buenos Ayres, the Colorada and Rio Negro will afford the means of transporting, by water, the products of the countries which lie along the eastern base of the
Andes, and which, at present, feel the want of a market, from the expence of transportation by land to Buenos Ayres. In the northern part of the viceroyalty, the great southern branches of the Amazon, seem designed by nature to open a communication to the greater part of Upper Peru with the rest of the world; and a century hence, it will be worth disputing the passage down the great river at present closed by Portugal.
In glancing at the map of this country, it will appear to be naturally divided into six different sections: 1. The part which lies on the east side of the Paraguay; 2. That which lies opposite, on the west side of the same river; 3. That which stretches along the base of the Cordilleras; 4. The pampas of Buenos Ayres; 5. Patagonia; 6. The provinces of Upper Peru. Under the Spanish government, the viceroyalty was divided into eight intendencies, (a term, for which, that of province has been substituted, since the revolution;) but one of these, Paraguay, was situated on the east side of the river; on the west side, there were three, Cordova, Salta, and Buenos Ayres; but some of the districts on the east side of the river, were included within the jurisdiction of the latter; the remainder, Potosi, La Paz, Charcas, Cochabamba, are the upper provinces of Peru. * Several of the subordinate districts are now called provinces, and are represented in the congress, according to their population. There were, also two audiencias,
* The number of intendencies is variously stated; some speak of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, or Puno, Moxos and Chicquitos; but in the Guia de forasteros, a kind of court calendar, these are only subordinate districts.