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than the earthen floor. There is, also, a separate apartment, or two; for the females’ use in winter. In the summer, it is the custom for all to sleep in the open air, on account of the heat; and the neighbourhood of the corral is generally selected, as a protection against the zancúdos, which always prefer attacking the cows, whose skins they completely cover. ‘On arriving at one of these farms, no ceremony whatever is used, exexcept the usual salutation of “Ave Maria purisima I" The travellers' horses are immediately unsaddled, and turned loose; for it is quite a matter of indifference whether they stay or not, as there are always plenty of horses close at hand, which are considered completely public property. Water is then brought to wash the stranger's feet; after which, every one spreads his cloak or blanket in the shade, and lies down, using his saddle for a pillow. Meanwhile, one of the family has already saddled a horse, and set out in search of a calf, or young heifer, for which they have seldom far to ride ; indeed, they generally keep one tied up in the corral, in readiness for their daily use, as meat will not keep here until the next day after being killed. In less than half an hour, an abundance of roast beef is set before the visitors; and sometimes, but very rarely in the remote haciendas, some arépa. Salt is usually very scarce, (it was at this time worth twelve dollars a pound); and, when it is to be procured, is melted in water, and presented in a calabash, into which each morsel of meat is dipped. By this management, a small quantity of salt goes farther than if it were used in substance. The repast concludes with milk, cheese, and generally aguardiente. ‘Although these people, secluded as they are from society, must naturally be very desirous of hearing news of any kind, their innate sense of politeness forbids them to annoy their guests by asking questions, until they have satisfied their appetite. They retire to rest soon after sunset; and, previous to lying down, the patriarch of the family, who has probably scores of young descendants on the farm, working in company with, and in no way distinguished from, the peons, recites the Rosario, or evening service to the Virgin; every one present standing, and joining in the responses. This religious ceremony is scarcely ever omitted by the South Americans. It is scrupulously adhered to by the boatmen on the Orinoco, when they land for the night; and, as I had an opportunity of seeing, by the Guerilléros, as my friends of the palm forest modestly stiled themselves. “These cattle farms, or hatos as they are usually called, formerly carried on a very extensive trade in cheese, tazajo, and mules, previous to the breaking out of the war with the mother country. But, when the revolution commenced, the communication was cut off between the plains, and the hilly country near the sea coast, where they used to dispose of the produce of the farms. Besides, every man capable of bearing arms was obliged to join one side or another; for there can be no such thing as neutrality during a civil war;--especially as this was conducted. All supplies from the coast were, in like manner, cut off from the Llanéros; and, among the rest, that very necessary article, salt. The want of this occasioned great distress in the plains ; as the food of the inhabitants consisted almost entirely of meat. Without salt, it was of course impossible to make good cheese, or preserve the tazajo, even if there had been any means of disposing of these commodities when made. As a substitute for salt, they used frequently to collect earth from places in the savanna where the cattle had long been in the habit of resorting;
and, after pouring boiling water on it, they strained the infusion, and evaporated it to dryness. It will easily be conceived, that nothing but extreme necessity would recommend this salt; which, besides its dirty appearance, was exceedingly bitter. ‘Their manner of milking cows is rather singular. As they are totally wild, the farmers are obliged to be constantly on the look out, at the season when they drop their calves. All those found within the bounds of their farm they collect, and convey to the corrals, followed by the cows; which assemble morning and evening, where their calves are tied up, as long as they have any milk. At milking time, the calves are let loose by turns, and soon find their respective mothers; but are quickly followed by a milker, who can then approach the cow without alarming her, and, having tied the calf to her knee, may proceed to milk the animal without interruption. “Some cows, however, will give down no milk at first to their calves, while confined in a corral. These are literally strangled into compliance. A lazo is thrown round the animal's neck, the other end of which is passed over the forked branches of a tree, always either suffered to remain on clearing the ground for a corral, or planted there afterwards, chiefly for this purpose. The cow is then hoisted up, by two or three men, until she can barely touch the ground with her hind feet. This is said to take immediate effect; and is repeated as often as she refuses to give down her milk. “When the Llanéros wish to procure horses, they drive together a herd of chucaros ; out of which every man who wants a horse singles out whichever he prefers, and noozes him with the lazo. Two or more men hold this line firmly, until the horse falls from actual strangulation by the halter, which is tightened round his throat by his own violent efforts to escape; while, at the same time, he receives repeated severe stunning blows on the head with a bludgeon, which is used unsparingly, during the first stages of horse-breaking. While the animal is insensible, they tie his legs, put a bozal, or kind of head-stall on him, with a tapojo, or moveable strap, by which his eyes can be covered when necessary, and immediately saddle him ; taking particular care that the girths, which are made of twisted hide, are drawn sufficiently tight. They at first merely use a hair rope— (cabestro)—by way of halter; as the horse cannot for some time endure a bit in his mouth, without rearing and falling on the rider. The legs are then untied, and the noose that is round the throat, being slackened, the animal in a short time recovers from the temporary strangulation, and rises, but remains quiet; trembling, however, violently, until its eyes are uncovered. * When the rider has mounted, and has well secured himself in his seat, he raises the tapojo, and the contest commences, between the strength and activity of a terrified wild animal struggling for freedom, and the inimitable horsemanship of the Llanéros. The horse appears, at first, so confused and astonished as to be incapable of motion ; but is soon roused by the shouts and blows of the rider's companions. When once he has recovered from his momentary stupor, the exertions that he makes to get rid of his burthen are wonderful, and most trying to a rider. The South American horses have, nevertheless, very little vice, and rarely, if ever, roll on the ground, or run against trees; manoeuvres that would inevitably dismount the best possible rider.”—pp. 121—126.
The author, in his various observations on the character and customs of the inhabitants who came under his notice, is generally sensible, considerate, and impartial, except where a difference of religion comes in any way within the range of his contemplation. But he occasionally gets over even this weakness, and yields the tribute of his applause to genuine charity, at the same time that he might naturally be expected to disapprove of its motive. Thus, in surveying the institutions of Bogota, he does not fail to mark out, for particular approbation, the hospital of San Juan, the plan of which is so admirable.
‘The hospital of San Juan de Dios, established, as usual, in a monastery of that order of friars, is a noble institution; and redeems these friars, at least, from the charges of gluttony, indolence, and total uselessness, which are imputed, with too great truth, to many of their brethren of other orders. Several hundred sick, of every description of disease, whether inhabitants of the capital or strangers, are admitted here, carefully nursed, and even, if necessary, clothed by these friars. They have a handsome chapel, and a dispensary for the poor; to whom they also daily distribute food at the kitchen. The expenses, which are considerable, are defrayed by the revenues from the estates, which these, as well as some other friars, possess; and by sums collected in begging through the town.'—vol. i. p. 185.
There are not, perhaps, many persons out of London who are acquainted with the fact; but it is nevertheless undoubtedly true, that there are no fewer than half-a-dozen establishments in this city conducted on a plan quite as universal, and as indiscriminate in its charity as the hospital of Bogota : that is to say, if a savage from the coast of Africa, in passing through the streets of London, were to fall and break a limb, it is only necessary that the first passenger who witnesses the accident should call a coach, place the friendless stranger within it, and direct the driver to convey him to the nearest of the great hospitals. We will venture to say, that the first grandee of the land could not command, nor indeed would he receive, more prompt, more kind, more suitable attention, than that poor outlaw of civilization would experience in the asylum to which he might be brought, until his health and strength should be completely restored.
It is well known, that the inhabitants of Valparaiso are constantly subject to devastations by earthquakes; but as there is no evil without its good, they hence very shortly become expert builders, from the incessant practice of repairing to which they are thus condemned. The substantial material employed in the construction of their houses is a species of brick called adobes.
The author gives us a brief but emphatic account of the police establishment of the metropolis of Chili, which we recommend to the attention of our magistrates, in the hope that nations pretending to a vast deal more refinement, would only imitate the Chilians in the success with which they adapt their institutions to the practical purposes they have in view. Their system is quite admirable, inasmuch as by the simplest means those results are fully obtained, which the most elaborate, and, we may add, very expensive machinery has been found unable to produce.
‘The police of Santiago is pretty alert, and the city is well watched during the night, by Serénos (so called from being out in the night-air; from which also Serenados, or night songs, are derived). These are very vigilant watchmen, being obliged to find securities to a certain amount, previous to this trust being committed to them. They are responsible, either by fine or imprisonment, in case of culpable negligence, for the safety of the houses under their charge; all of which are assessed, according to their respective value, to pay the corporals and privates of this guard. They are obliged to proclaim the time and weather, every quarter of an hour in Santiago, and every half hour in Valparaiso ; besides occasionally sounding a shrill whistle, for the purpose of announcing their presence, or calling their comrades. It is also a part of their duty to convey messages to any part of the city, by night (as in the case of a physician, comadre, or Padre confesor being suddenly wanted); and this they do, by passing the word from station to station, with the fidelity and secrecy, and almost the celerity, of a line of telegraphs. While patrolling back and forward, they make it their business to examine diligently the fastenings of doors and windows; for they have a right to claim, and are always ready enough to enforce it, a certain sum of money, as a fine, from those householders whom they convict of negligence in this respect. A foreigner, in particular, if he happens to leave the door of his lodgings a-jar after night-fall, may depend on finding a Seréno stationed there, when he returns, ready to complain loudly of the expenses he, the faithful watchman, might have been called on to pay, if any less honest person had found the entrance unsecured.’—pp. 345, 346.
The author, in common with every traveller who has visited that capital, was struck with the number of churches, which give to Lima an external appearance of great magnificence. Connected with the history of one of the smallest of these edifices is the following tradition, which constitutes a very fair specimen of the legends of the New World.
‘About fifty years ago, one of the mountain Indians, who used to attend mass, and confess occasionally, at a small village among the mountains, not far from the capital, became so much attached to the Padre Cura, who had attended him during a dangerous attack of the small pox, that he presented him with some pieces of pure gold, in return for his kindness. The curiosity of the Padre being greatly excited, he questioned the Indian as to where he had procured them, and was informed, under strict injunctions of secrecy, that he had discovered a huaco : that is, a place where treasures have been concealed, by the former possessors of the country, probably about the time of the Spanish invasion. These hoards are numerous throughout South America, and particularly in Peru. Many of them are well known to the Indians, who, nevertheless, rarely make use of the riches contained in them. They confidently believe, that the race of the Incas is to be one day restored to the power of their ancestors, and therefore keep the treasures carefully concealed, for the use of their sovereigns when that time shall arrive. Consequently, no great surprise was excited in the Padre; and the Indian still continued to bring him occasionally considerable quantities of gold, until enough had been amassed to build a church, which had long been the object of the priest's ambition. When he applied to the Archbishop of Lima, for the necessary permission, he was obliged to confess how he had become possessed of this wealth; and was enjoined, by the prelate, to use all diligence to discover the situation of the huaco, that the riches it contained might be appropriated to repairing and beautifying all the churches in the capital. After great importunity, the Indian consented to conduct him by night to the spot, being a small cave, the entrance to which was concealed by brush-wood, in the centre of a thick mountain forest. On his return from visiting it, the Padre is said to have cut a small piece of bark from every tree he passed, so as to enable him, as he hoped, to find his way again to the huaco. He was disappointed, however, in his expectation of getting fraudulent possession of the treasure; for the shrewd Indian, whose suspicions had been aroused by the eagerness with which his confessor had begged to be shown the cave, had watched him ; and, detecting his artifice, had marked numerous forest trees, in every direction, in the same way. It is needless to add, that the Indian never appeared again at the same village church.”— pp. 373–375. The author, it appears, spent no less than thirteen years in South America, a period of time which is calculated to give great weight and interest to his reports and opinions. He obtained leave of absence in 1829, and returned to his native land in the spring of 1830. The extracts which we have made above, are exclusively drawn from the first volume, which, in every respect, comes under the description of a regular book of travels. But, strange to say, in the two succeeding volumes, the author altogether changes his plan, and presents us with a pair of genuine romances, the object of which, it is fair to state, is still that of illustrating the original subject. However incongruous the latter may be with the first portion of the work, it must perhaps be acknowledged, that the familiar and graphic representations which novels admit of, are the most effectual vehicles for conveying information concerning peculiar manners and customs. The first of the Tales is entitled ‘The Earthquake of Caraccas,' and has for its foundation a plot which may be told in a few words. A Creole merchant at Caraccas, determined to make a conclusive arrangement for his family, gives to his only son the whole of his property, whilst he compels his daughter to retire to a convent. A particular day is appointed for the ceremony of her initiation, and the evening before is celebrated in the father's house by a magnificent festival. In the midst of the revelry, Don Beltran (such was the merchant's name) was apprehended on a charge of treason, and dragged off to prison. He, nevertheless, gave directions that the ceremony of his daughter's profession should be carried into effect. At the hour appointed, next day, the church where it was to take place was crowded in