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frequent rains which fall at this season, renders it damp and chilly, as at New Orleans. T'he climate of the southern latitudes, although they do not accord with the same degree, north of the equator, in the eas. tern hemisphere, are yet several degrees warmer than in North America. This place is situated in about thirty-five degrees south, and ought therefore to correspond with the climate of Norfolk. But less cold is felt here, than in Charleston or New Orleans. This is an important consideration, with respect to the territory of the republic, to the southward of this place. Molina, the historian of Chili, has taken pains to dis. prove, in his work, to which I would refer the reader, the prevalent idea of the excessive cold of Patagonia. I think it highly probable, that as high south as latitude fifty degrees, the climate is at least as mild as that of Philadelphia. On some other occasion, when I come to speak of the geography of this vast country, I will say more on this subject.
The day after we arrived was Sunday, and the streets were crowded with people. I was very fre. quently reminded of my old place of residence, NewOrleans, with the exception that the proportion of colored people is comparatively very small, but amongst the lower classes I remarked a great many of Indian extraction; this was discoverable in the complexion and features. The inhabitants generally, are a shade browner than those of North America; but I saw a great many with good complexions. They are a handsome people. They have nothing in their appearance and character, of that dark, jealous and revengeful disposition, we have been in the habit of attributing to Spaniards. The men dress pretty much as we do, but the women are fond of wearing black, when they go abroad. The fashion of dress, in both sexes, I am informed, has undergone great improvement, since their free intercourse with strangers. The old Spaniards, of whom there are considerable num. bers, are easily distinguished by their darker complexion, the studied shabbiness of their dress, and the morose and surly expression of countenance; this arises, from their being treated as a sort of Jews, by those whom they were wont to consider as greatly their inferiors. They are also distinguished by not mounting the blue and white cockade, which is uni. versally worn by the citizens of the republic. The same number of Chinese, could scarcely form a class more distinct from the rest of the community. There can hardly be a greater affront offered to an Americano del Sud, than to call him a Spaniard. A young fellow told me, in a jesting way, that the monks, friars, and Spaniards, were generally old, and would soon die off, which he said was a great consolation.
I went round to several of the churches, of which there are ten or fifteen throughout the city. I shall not trouble the reader with a description of them, as by referring to books he can learn their names, and the years in which they were founded. All I shall say, is, that those I saw, were immense masses of buildings, particularly the cathedral, which of itself covers almost a whole square. The internal decorations are generally rich and splendid, and the pomp of catholic worship is displayed here, pretty much as it is in other parts of the world. My attention was more attracted, by the crowds of beautiful women, going and coming to the churches, and the graceful elegance of their carriage.
They walk more elegantly than any women I ever şaw. They are seen usually in family groups, but according to the custom of the country, seldom attended by gentlemen. There are usually a few beggars about the church doors, all blind, or decrepid with age. I am informed, there are two convents in the city, but I did not go to see them, as I was told the nuns were all old and ugly.
A very animated and martial scene was presented to me, by the exercising of the regular troops, and civic militia. The black regiments, made an uncommonly. fine appearance, and seemed to be in a very high state of discipline. The civic militia is said to be fully as well trained as the regulars. I saw several very fine bands of music. A battalion of slaves, consisting of five or six hundred men, was also mustered, and then marched to one of the churches. With all these things going on, the city exhibited one of the most animating scenes I had ever witnessed. These are certainly a more enthusiastic, and perhaps warlike people, than we are; if they possessed, with these qualities, by way of ballast, something of our steady habits, and general stock of information, I think they would nearly equal us.
In the afternoon, in company with Dr. Baldwin, and a gentleman with whom I became acquainted, I re. solved, if possible, to breathe the air outside of the city; and being pedestrians, we resolved to take it on foot, though horses might bave been had, either to buy, or hire for the trip; the difference in price for these two modes of obtaining them, does not quite bear the same proportion as with us. It would have cost us, probably, one dollar and an half, or two dollars, for VOL. I.
the hiring, while a very good backney might be bought for ten; but then it would cost, at the livery stable, three or four dollars a week to keep him.
We directed our course up the river; the doctor was very anxious to reach the open fields, for the purpose of pursuing his botanical researches, and I was equally desirous of reaching some high ground, whence I might have a better view of the city and its environs. Wè passed through a large square, the greater part of which is occupied by an extensive circus, open at the top, called the toro, or place for bull fighting. It is capable of containing a vast concourse of people. But I was glad to hear that this barbarous amusement is fast going into disrepute, and that few of the respectable people now attend it. It is not surprising, that it
should have been a place of fashionable resort, when - it was attended by the viceroy and his court, with
much show and parade. Under the revolutionary governments, it bas been discountenanced, and should · any member of the government attend it, he mingles
in the crowd of citizens. But there may be a still better reason; these are amongst the contrivances of monarchy, to withdraw the attention of its subjects, from things that really concern them. The minds of these people are now turned upon much more important objects, than bull fights. But the custom still prevails, and it would be imprudent at once to abolish it; in this, as in other matters, the reformer should go to work with a cautious hand. As lent is now nearly over, I am informed that the circus and the theatre, are to open next week. I will here mention another instance of reform, which does bonor to the present director. This is in abolishing the silly custom which
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prevailed here, as well as at Rio, of throwing waxballs filled with water, at people in the street, during three days, at the end or commencement of the carni. yal, I do not recollect which. He effected it by a sim. ple appeal through the medium of the newspapers, to their good sense, and their regard for those manners, which distinguish a polite from a barbarous people.
We continued our walk about two miles beyond the town, but appeared to be no nearer the open fields, being completely enclosed on all sides, by what are here called quintas, which are large gardens of several acres, with abundance of fruit trees and vegetables. Many of these are owned by the inhabitants of the city, but they chiefly belong to people, who make a living by attending the market. There are very few of those neat dwellings which are seen about our ci. ties; the houses here are chiefly small, and built of very indifferent brick. The grape-vine, however, with which they are fond of adorning their houses, had to me a very pleasing appearance, particularly when loaded with their exquisite fruit. We stepped into one, where our friend was acquainted, and were received with much politeness and civility by the inhabi. tants; their countenances seeming to brighten up, when told we were Americans of the north. They treated us with fine peaches, pears, grapes, and melons. Instead of pales, or fences, hedges of the prickly pear are invariably used, which are planted on the mound of earth, thrown up in digging the ditch on the outside. The soil is like that of our best river bottoms, and its particles are so fine, that the road at this season of the year is intolerably dusty.
On our way back to town, our friend induced us to