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there is a total want of bridges over the principal streams, which at times are impassable, and the buildings are of the rudest and most inartificial construction. The greater part of the houses are but one story in height, and built of unburnt bricks, white-washed inside and out; the ceilings are formed of planks, that they may resist the earthquakes, and small unglazed windows light the principal rooms; but the bed rooms are totally dark, having no aperture but the door-way through which they are entered, and to which a door is seldom hung. Such, with very few exceptions, is the state of domestic architecture in Chile, nor is it probable that any very material improvement will take place, for frequent destructive earthquakes deter the inhabitants from erecting lofty and expensive buildings, and the softness of one of the finest climates under heaven renders them almost independent of fire-side accommodation. A line of coast extending about 1200 miles, and abounding in harbours of considerable excellence, could scarcely fail to turn the attention of the Chilenos to the formation of a navy, which has already assumed a respectable character, and a very advantageous coasting-trade with the northern countries, which are supplied with grain from this state, has already commenced. It was from the shores of Chile that the first steam-vessel was launched upon the bosom of the Pacific. The fine temperate climate, and the richness of the soil, seem to point out agriculture as a proper object of attention, but its present state is exceedingly low. It is said, you may know a workman by his tools :
“ A picce of knee timber, shod at one end with a flat plate of iron, is the plough, into which a long pole is fixed by means of wedges; the pole is made fast to the yoke of the oxen, who drag it over the ground so as to do little more than scratch the surface."
A bush harrow is the only one used, and the spade is, for the most part, made of wood; carts and waggons are formed upon equally simple principles, and are put together without a single nail or piece of iron. Great attention has, however, been paid to irrigation, which eight months of dry weather renders indispensably necessary; every field is crossed by little canals, through which, at stated times, the water is permitted to pass. The plain of Mayper has recently been rendered fertile at the expense of 25,000 dollars, by completing a canal which supplies the whole extent, and 200,000 dollars have been received by the government for the water thus beneficially employed. A large portion of the lands are enjoyed by a few individuals, to whose ancestors they were originally granted without the power of alienating any part of them; and this has contributed, in a great degree, to keep down the population. From Santiago to Valparaiso, a distance of ninety miles, three superior lords claim the whole soil. The peasants are obliged to
perform duty work a certain number of days, at the will of the landlord, who often calls upon them to get in his harvest at the time their own is ready; and, as the cattle are immediately turned out after it is housed, the chacra of the peasant is trodden down, and his provision destroyed. These are inconveniences which the care of the government, and the interest even of the landlord, are equally called upon to remove. large portion of the land is devoted to pasture, though it is better adapted for tillage ; but a thin and scattered population, and want of capital, will operate for some time to maintain the present system. At the close of the year, herds of cattle are collected together upon the large estates, for the purpose of being numbered, and of separating those intended for slaughter. Upon these occasions, all the tenants assemble, and the men being mounted, divide and collect the cattle from every direc- . tion towards the rendezvous; for this service they are clothed with a sort of defensive armour of hide, having to penetrate the deepest woods, and to pierce the closest thickets. А Rodeo is a scene of enjoyment and festivity; the women are decked in their gayest attire, and the whole concludes with dancing. The flesh of the slaughtered animals, under the name of charqui, is dried, which, together with the tallow and hide, is exported in considerable quantities. Don Henriques de Lastra, the ex-director of Chile, has devoted his attention to the improvement of the native wines; and, by using the Madeira method, has produced some equal to the best Vinotinto of Teneriffe: the ordinary wine of the country is sweet and heavy, but is capable of being much improved ; at present, it is represented as being superior to those of the Cape. The Chilenos are very deficient in the management of the dairy: in one of the best regulated farms, only twelve pounds of butter, and a small quantity of cheese per week, were produced from sixteen fine cows, though the same land yielded one hundred fold of wheat and seventy of barley. Several persons have established manufactories dependent upon agriculture; considerable quantities of soap and candles are exported from Valparaiso, but a great length of time must elapse before Chile is a manufacturing country. A spirited individual, (Mr. Miers,) who has settled at Concon, took with him from England a quantity of machinery for the purpose of rolling copper, which still lies useless on the wharf where it was landed, while the attention of that gentleman has been turned to agriculture, having experienced the difficulties of establishing a manufacture of this native production. Even the process of coining money, which is of course performed by the government, is of the most barbarous kind.
“The greater part of the coin still current in Chile is of rough pieces of silver, weighed and cut in any shape, aud struck with the hammer, and far ruder than any I had seen before. This mode of coining is, however, now discontinued; and the scarcely less tedious method of first punching the metal, and then placing each piece by hand in the screw, has taken place of it."
A very superior kind of clay is found in many parts of Chile; and a pretty considerable, although rude manufacture of pottery, exists; but it is not a little extraordinary that the very ancient and simple contrivance of the potter's wheel is entirely unknown. The following shews the process used in the neighbourhood of Valparaiso :
“At the door of one of the poorest huts, formed merely of branches and covered with long grass, having a hide for a door, sat a family of manufacturers. They were seated on sheep-skins, spread under the shade of a little penthouse formed of green boughs, at their work. A mass of clay ready tempered lay before them, and each person according to age and ability was forming jars, plates, or dishes. The workpeople were all women, and I believe that no man condescends to employ himself in this way, that is, in making the small ware: the large wine jars, &c. of Melipilla, are made by men."
At this latter place alembics for distillation are made, but the method followed is the same. Weaving is also performed in a very homely manner, as every family manufacture their own cloth without loom or shuttle: in some few instances, however, the art is better understood, and machinery is employed. The bark of a tree called quillai, furnishes a saponaceous matter which is used in washing woollen gar. ments: the inside is covered with minute crystals, resembling soda in taste. The fine arts can scarcely be said to exist in Chile, with the exception of music, of which the people are passionately fond,- Broadwood's piano-fortes are seen in almost every house! But painting and sculpture are at the very lowest ebb, and the best specimens bear a strong resemblance to, and possess an equal portion of merit with the triumphs of Chinese art. At Santiago there is a theatre, which owes nothing to external show, and little to interior decoration; but the performance is respectable, and very well attended. Soldiers are admitted gratis to the gallery, which is reserved for their accommodation Travelling is usually performed on horseback; and, in fact, the Chilenos, from the highest to the lowest, are almost always mounted. Invalids, however, are obliged to avail themselves of the best and only carriage to be had, which is thus described
“ All our party assembled, after passing the toll-house, and other necessary ceremonies at the house of Loyola the owner of the caleche, about a league from Santiago, on the plain called the Llomas; and then, sick as I felt, I could not help laughing at the 6 set out." In the first place, there was the calisa, a very light square body of a carriage, mounted on a coarse heavy axle, and two clumsy wheels painted
red, while the body is sprigged and flowered like a furniture chintz, lined with old yellow and red Chinese silk, without glasses, but having striped gingham curtains. Between the shafts, of the size and shape of those of a dung.cart, was a fine mule, not without silver studs among her trappings, mounted by a handsome lad in a poncho, and armed with spurs whose rowels were bigger than a dollar, and witt straw hat stuck on one side. On each side of the mule was a horse, fastened to the axle of the wheel, each with his rider, also in full Chile costume."
The people are much addicted to pleasure; and, it must be admitted, that their taste in this respect does them credit, for instead of assembling in crowds within the stifling confines of a single habitation, they sally forth in groupes upon
open plains, with gaiety in their hearts and sincerity in their manners, ignorant of that withering solicitude to appear genteel, so prevalentin more polished countries. With a fixed determination to be happy, they enter with delight into any plan of amusement which the impulse of the moment suggests. In these parties, politeness is stripped of its formality, but reigns in its essence; with heaven above, and all nature around them, they taste the waters of pleasure pure and unmixed, as they flow from the fountain : it may be doubted whether the refinements of hyper-civilization, furnish an equivalent for this. They certainly are not compatible with it. The following picture of a party going on an excursion of pleasure, will give our readers some idea of the costume of the higher orders :
“ Don Jose Miguel was not the only man in a poncho, or rather few went without, though several of the young men had tied theirs round their waists, instead of wearing them over their shoulders. Most had Chileno saddles, with all manner of carpets and skins upon them. All the ladies had English saddles; the greater number of female riders had coloured spencers, and long white skirts with close bonnets and flowers; two had small opera-hats and feathers, and beautiful silk dresses: only my maid and I had sober riding-habits. We looked like some gay cavalcade in a fairy tale, rather than people going to ride soberly on the earth; and I was sorry that I could not sketch the figures. Here, Mariquita in scarlet and white, and a becoming black beaver bonnet; there, Rosario, with a brown spencer, flowing white skirt, straw bonnet, and roses not so gay as her cheeks: then Mercedes Godoy, and another Mercedes, with feathers gracefully waving in the wind, reining up their managed horses, and their silks glittering in the sun; and by their sides the merry Erreda, with his green flock; Jose Antonio, with his poncho of turquois blue, striped with flowers ; and De Roos, with his grey silk jacket and sunny British countenance : while Reyes, and some of the graver men, attended the carretons, where the elder ladies were all dressed in gala habits. Such was the show at Nouñoa, when our small party determined to ride on to the Casita de Gaña, the most elevated dwelling in the neighbourhood.”.
In the grand business of eating, the Chilenos do not display much refinement. At one of the first houses in Santiago
“ The dinner was larger than would be thought consistent with good taste; but every thing was well dressed, though with a great deal of oil and garlic. Fish came among the last things. All the dishes were carved on the table, and it is difficult to resist the pressing invitations of every moment to eat of every thing. The greatest kindness is shewn by taking things from your own plate, and putting it on that of your friend; and no scruple is made of helping any dish before you with the spoon or knife you have been eating with, or even tasting or eating from the general dish without the interventiori of a plate. In the intervals between the courses, bread-and-butter and olives were presented.”
The ladies of Chile have but recently learned to sit on chairs :
“ Now, in lieu of the estrada, there are usually long carpets placed on each side of the room, with two rows of chairs as close together as the knees of the opposite parties will permit, so that the feet of both meet on the carpet. The graver people place themselves with their backs to the wall, the young ladies opposite; and, as the young men drop in to join the tertulla, or evening meeting, they place them. selves behind the ladies; and all conversation, general or particular, is carried on, without ceremony, in half whispers.
“ When a sufficient number of persons is collected, the danciug begins, always with minuets; which, however, are little resembling the
grave and stately dance we have seen in Europe.
“ The minuets are followed by allemandes, quadrilles, and Spanish dances. The latter are exceedingly graceful; and, danced as I have seen them here, are like the poetical dances of ancient sculpture and modern painting; but then, the waltz never brought youth, and mirtb, and beauty, into such close contact with a partner.”
It is very customary in Chile to visit for the purpose of taking matee, a beverage similar in its use to tea; the herb (which comes from Paraguay,) resembles dried senna in appearance.
“A small quantity of it is put into the little vase with a proportion of sugar, and sometimes a bit of lemon peel, the water is poured boiling on it, and it is instantly sucked up through a tube about six inches long. This is the great luxury of the Chilenos, both male and female. The first thing in the morning is a matte, and the first thing after the afternoon siesta is a matte.”
The laws are as numerous and as complicated as the greatest lovers of litigation and “glorious uncertainty,” can reasonably desire. We rather suspect that even our cartload of statutes at large, would feel it necessary to “hide their