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abundant and fruitful country can afford. Beef, mutton, fowls, game, &c. with a variety of excellent fish, were here in great plenty, and for prices, which, in our markets, would be considered very low. Beef, particularly, is exceedingly cheap and of a superior quality; it is the universal dish; chiefly roasted. Ab. solute want is scarcely known in this country, any more than with us. As I passed by the hucksters stalls, they presented a much richer display than any I had been accustomed to see. Here apples, grapes, oranges, pomegranates, peaches, figs, pine-apples, water-melons, were mingled in fair profusion.
The plaza, or great square, is at least twice as large as the state house yard in Philadelphia, and is unequally divided into two parts, by an edifice long and low, which serves as a kind of bazaar, or place of shops, with a corridor on each side the whole length, which often serves as a shelter for the market people. At these shops, or stores, which are pretty well supplied, they can make their purchases without the trou. ble of wandering through the town. The space between this and the fort, is that appropriated for the market. The opposite side, which is much larger, is a kind of place d'armes; and fronting the building just spoken of, and which intercepts the view of the fort, there is a very fine edifice called the cabildo, or town house, somewhat resembling that of New Orleans, but much larger. In this building the courts hold their sessions, and the offices are kept. The city council, or cabildo, also sits here, and business of all kinds relating to the police, is here transacted. Near the centre of the square, a neat pyramid has been erected, commemorative of the revolution, with four emblematic figures, one at each corner, representing justice, science, liberty and America; the whole enclosed with a light railing
The shops, or stores, as far as I observed, in my perambulation through the city, are all on a very small scale, and make no show as in our towns. There are but few signs, and those belong chiefly to foreigners; such as sastre, botero, sapatero, &c. de Londres; tay... lor, bootmaker, shoemaker, from London. The greater part of the trades which are now flourishing here, particularly hatters, blacksmiths, and many others that I might enumerate, have been established since the revolution; the journeymen mechanics are chiefly half Indians and mulattoes. T'he wages of an American or English journeyman, are bigher than in any part of the world: fifteen hundred, or two thousand dollars per annum, I am told are very commonly given. There are other squares through the town, besides the one already mentioned, in which markets are held. There are also large yards, or corrals, which belong to the city, and are hired to individuals for the purpose of confining droves of cattle. I observed several large wood yards, in which there were immense piles of peach limbs, tied into bundles or fagots, togewith timber and firewood brought from Paraguay, or the Brazils.
In receding from the river towards the country, the streets wear a much more mean appearance; being very dirty, and apparently much neglected, while the houses seldom exceed one story in height, and built of brick scarcely half burnt. In walking from the front streets, we seemed to be transferred, at once, to some half civilized village, a thousand miles in the interior.
Every where in the skirts of the town, much of the Indian race is visible; generally a very poor, harmless, and indolent people. They commonly speak nothing but Spanish, and but for their complexion, and inanimate countenances, they could not be distinguished from the lower orders of the Spanish Americans, such as the laborers, carters, countrymen, gauchos, &c. It would be worth inquiring into the cause, why none of the aborigines are found, in this manner, near any of our towns, which possess the population and opulence of Buenos Ayres. It surely does not arise from their having been treated with more kind. ness here, or more pains having been taken in their civilization; or because the nations in the vicinity were more numerous? I am inclined to attribute it to two causes; the first is, that the early settlers on this river were soldiers, and having few Spanish women with them, they were compelled, like the Romans, to procure wives from their neighbors, which laid the groundwork for a more friendly intercourse between them and the natives; and this continued even after the flourishing state of the colony enticed emigrants of both sexes from old Spain. Or it may be, that these Indians are of a less wild and untamable character, than those of North America. But the principal reason, is the number of Indians that have found their way hither from the missions of Paraguay, since the expulsion of the Jesuits, and also from the provinces of Peru, where they were a civilized people on the first discovery and conquest. In forming our ideas of the aborigines of South America only by what we know of . those of the north, we may be led astray. Against Indians and Spaniards, we have strong prejudices in the United States; the man of sense should endeavor 'to rise above them.
On my way back to the hotel, I met a party of twenty or thirty pampas Indians on horseback, who • had come to town for the purpose of bartering skins for such things as they wanted. They excited no curiosity as they rode along the street, although tricked out with their nosebobs and earbobs, and except the poncho, which they wore, entirely naked. They were rather taller, and more square shouldered' than ours, but their physiognomy was very nearly the same.
At this season of the year, many of the principal inhabitants are still in the country, to which they retire for a few months, until the approach of cool weather. This is probably the most pleasant season of the year, but the climate is seldom otherwise than pleasant; the range of the thermometer rarely exceeds fifty degrees, and hardly ever rises within ten degrees as high as with us. In the vast plains, or pampas, which stretch, from the margin of the river almost to the foot of the Cordilleras, where there is no shade or shelter, or next to none, the heat of the sun is said to be very oppressive; travellers therefore lay by in the middle of the day. The habit of the siesta, which prevails so universally in this country, is perhaps an excuse for this loss of time. It was now the hour here for this indul. gence, and the change from the busy populous city, of a sudden, to the silence and loneliness which takes place on these occasions, was peculiarly striking. The inhabitants generally dine between one and two o'clock, and soon after, retire to take their evening's nap, which usually lasts until five or six, at which hour the devotees go to vespers, or evening prayers,
in the churches. I saw, however, a greater number of persons in the streets than I had expected, and I am told, that of late years, the habit has been sensibly decreasing. It was formerly a saying, that during the seista, none but dogs and foreigners were to be seen in the street. This is no longer true; the increase of business and active employments, having a good deal broken in upon a custom, which could only owe its origin to that indolence which commonly proceeds from a want of incentive to action. Such an incentive, must certainly have been furnished by the animated scenes of their revolution, and by the numerous and important changes which it has produced. In very hot climates, as in the West Indies, and the greater part of South America, there may be some reason for thus reposing in the middle of the day; the intense heat of the sun rendering it unpleasant and dangerous, to labor in the open fields, and the morning and evening affording them sufficient time to do all their work. Providence, perhaps, in equalizing the benefits of nature, has decreed that the people should here be circumscribed in their pursuits by the heat of summer, as in other countries by the coldness of the winter. Without such dispensations, the advantages would be too great on the side of the warm climates. The climate of Buenos Ayres, however, is not such as to render it necessary to avoid the sun in the heat of the day. It resembles, very much, that to the south of the Mississippi, in our Louisiana district of Texas, although not quite so warm in summer, nor yet so cold in winter. The south-west winds of the winter, are exceedingly piercing; although there is very seldom sufficient cold to incrust the water with ice; but the