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gious toleration; notices of various towns on the coast; geographical and political views of Peru; Payta Piura, whalers, and a fish story. This is a general catalogue of this portion of the book. It contains many interesting matters, from which we proceed to cull such as we think may interest the reader.
Lima, or as it is now occasionally called, “the City of the Free,” is on the southern bank of the river Rimac, from which it takes its name; (the L being substituted for the R,) and which separates it from the suburb of San Lorenzo. It is sheltered on the north and east by the hills of Amancaes and San Christoval; the one 2560 feet, the other 1170 feet above the level of the ocean. These are spurs of the Andes, whose great chain runs north and south about twenty leagues east of the city. On the south and west the town is open to the breezes from the Pacific, which cool the air of the summer and disperse the fogs and mists of the winter. The climate is perhaps the most flattering in the world; and the soil and skies have been themes of praise with historians and poets. The valley enjoys an eternal spring; vegetation and fructification are in perpetual progress; the same tree, frequently putting forth blossoms on one branch, whilst it presents matured fruits on another. Wherever water reaches it, the soil, though not deep, is abundantly prolific. The atmosphere iş clouded, foggy, and humid, but never dissolves in rain. 'The country around Lima is highly fertile, and by irrigation yields every variety of fruit and vegetables.
Having once got into the city, our author proceeds to the great square, formerly the Plaza Real, now Plaza Independencia, the scenes of which he places in a delightful dioramic view before us. But we can spare room for slight sketches only.
" Entering the Portál de Botinéros, about ten o'clock in the morning, and passing to that of the Escribanos, many interesting groups and figures present themselves
, and what is remarkable, from one end of the year to the other the picture is always the same. Al Sundays and feast days are alike; and all working days strikingly resemble each other; except when there is some popular exhibition or religious procession going forward, and then it is more crowded.
"The first figure that called attention was that of a stout negro, in full bottomed, dark green breeches, open at the knee, showing that his linen drawers were em broidered and pointed like a ruffle. Before him stood a table, on which was spread a piece of bayetama species of baize—the long furze of which he was combing with a card, such as is used with us for carding wool and cotton.
“The shopkeepers were seen, when not occupied by customers, seated on the counters, neatly dressed, swinging their legs and smoking cigars; or sometimes a half dozen were listening to the news from an infant gazette, read in a monotonous tone. When a lady entered to purchase, she uncovered her face, though not always, and the shopman generally served her with a cold indifference that argued a great love for dolce far niente. This feeling, I am told, has been known to gain such influence at times, that a shopman, rather than move, has denied having goods which were seen upon his shelves!
Strangers generally pay doubly for all they buy in Lima. I have known thirty dollars received for an article, of which the price asked was a hundred. About ten o'clock, the shopmen are seen behind their counters
, taking breakfast, which usually consists of some stew, bread, a basin of broth, followed by a cup of chocolate and a glass of water.
“ The tables along the colonnades present a number of handy-craftsmen of every variety of caste, making silk cords, tassels, gold and silver epaulettes, sword knots, buttons, &c.
“ Presently we met a canónigo. Like all of his class, he wore a long black cloak, black small clothes and silk stockings, with large shoes and buckles. At a distance his hat resembled a great black cylinder. Close at his heels were two or three boys in black suits, relieved by a blue sash worn over the shoulder, tottering under huge cocked hats, trimmed with feathers. They were collegians. Then came two gaily dressed officers, arm and arm, whiskered and moustached-booted and spurred. Nothing kept their vanity from flying away with them, but the weight of their long metal scabbarded sabres, which clattered after them over the pavement. The organ of self-esteem must be even greater than that of combativeness in the Peruvian army! Next was a serráno or Indian from the interior, followed by his wife. He wore a high crowned, broad brimmed straw hat, without a band, and a long poncho of bayeta, falling below the knee. His legs and feet were bare, and judging from the spread of the toes, they had never been acquainted with shoes. A pair of alforjasmcoarse saddle-bags-hung carelessly over his left shoulder, and his right hand grasped a long staff. His black temple locks hung straight down his cheeks, as was the fashion hundreds of years before the conquest. He was of brawny stature, with a broad copper coloured face, high cheek bones, and a serene countenance. His wife was clad in a coarse woollen petticoat, plaited full round the waist, and short enough to show her bare feet. A young child was slung over her back, in a shawl of blue bayeta. Her hair was combed back from the forehead, and braided in two long tresses, hanging almost to the ground. Curiosity kept the Indian looking over his shoulder, and, in consequence, he ran into the corpulency of a staid judge, with a severe countenance and a large cocked hat. His shirt was folded, ruffled, and starched in a prim style, and a star of brilliants was suspended round his neck by a broad tricolored ribbon. The rencontre was equally unexpected, for the judge was in a most sedate and pensive mood. His moody look changed into a scowl of contemptuous anger; the Indian cowered under it
; touched his hat, and passed on. The feelings of the Indian and the European Spaniard are still as uncongenial as oil and water, though, like the first of those two fluids, the Spaniard always maintains his superiority.”
“At sunset the scene changes. All the shops are shut, business is closed for the day, and the plaza is then devoted to pleasure and promenade. Along the Portál de Escribanos are tables, where are sold, by candle light, ices and iced drinks of several kinds. Orchata-prepared from almonds--and chicha, a species of beer made from maize, are common.
“ In the centre of the plaza, here and there, are glimmering lights and fires. Men and women are seated round the fresco tables, as they are termed, partaking of the various refreshments. The saya y manto has disappeared, but the ladies still hide their faces, by wearing a shawl over the head. Here an old negress, with long bony arms, shining in grease, with scarce tatters enough to conceal her limbs, squats over a copper pan of boiling lard, in which fritters are cooking. A long stick serves her all the purposes of a fork for turning the cakes, and when she cannot see, it is first dipped into the fat, then into the fire, and is at once converted into a torch. There, another sybil of the same deep complexion and garb, sits upon the ground, stretching her neck silently over a pan of frittering, crackling fish, while a half dozen negroes are stretched out about her, resting upon an elbow, eating from a gourd plate. The uncertain glare which dapples these groups, gives to them, at first sight, something of that appearance which the imagination attaches to Hades. In another spot sits a bare-headed negro, in big breeches, making barquillos. He has three or four irons, like those for waffles, arranged in a bed of hot coals, and a copper pan of batter, by his side. He pours a spoonful on one of the irons, from which he has just removed a barquillo, and places it in the fire. Then taking the iron furthest to his left, he opens it, and scrapes round the edges with a knife; he turns the wafer-like cake upon his palm, and rolls it round å stick, which is removed by a slight jerk of the hand, and falls to the ground, leaving the barquillo like a sheet of lightly rolled paper.' Both hands are now wiped on the full part of his dirty breeches, and the iron is again set in motion. These cakes are made
very rapidly. They are eaten with ices and chocolate, by those who care not for the mode in which they are made. Still another kind of refreshment is found in the picánte, which consists of various kinds of butcher's meat, made into a stew, spiced and peppered as hotly as possible. After partaking of it, the throat is flooded with iced chicha, to quench the flame which the morsel excites.
“From sunset till eleven and twelve o'clock at night, in the summer season particularly, men and women are strolling from table to table. The women, with their faces hidden under the shawl, perform the part of maskers in the scene. Many curious adventures and anecdotes are related of the feigned liaisons d'amours, which the Limanians have sustained, in order to be invited to partake of refreshments at the expense of some uninitiated wight. Women have been known to pretend to the acquaintance of a gentleman accidentally met in the plaza, (and masked as they are, it is impossible to recognise them,) till they have succeeded in taking ices at his expense, then, throwing off the disguise, express their
astonishment that he was tan inocente'-so simple as not to have detected them. The history of the intrigues and deceptions practised in this plaza, would form a volume of much interest to a curious reader.
"The walking dress of the ladies of Lima, presents a very curious and unique appearance to the stranger who beholds it for the first time. Yet, after a little use, it is rather pleasing than disgusting to the eye, when prettily worn. For several days after my arrival, my chief amusement in the morning, before breakfast, was to stand in the puertacalle and observe the ladies in saya y manto, as they passed to and from mass. This dress consists of two parts. The saya, the lower part, is a silken petticoat, made in folds or plaits, extending from bottom to top, and of nearly the same breadth above and below. It sits closely to the figure, and being elastic, from the manner in which it is sewed, manifests the contour of the figure, and the whole muscular play of the body and limbs. The manto is a hood of crimped silk, cut bias or diagonally, to give it elasticity. The bottom part of it is gathered full by a drawing string, and encircling more than half of the body, sits low enough down to hide the top of the saya. This hood, drawn up from behind, over the shoulders and head, and covering the elbows and arms, is folded over the face in such a manner as to conceal all but one eye. One hand is occupied in holding the fold in its place in front, while the other is carried across the breast, bearing sometimes a reticule or pocket handkerchief, and at others, a rosary or cross. When worn open, leaving the face uncovered, as is often the case, the position of the hands is nearly the same. The forefinger rests upon the cheek, and the elbow appears supported by the hand of the other side, giving an air of pensiveness to the whole figure
. Being drawn tightly under the elbows, the manto is kept tense over the head. With this dress the comb is not always worn. The saya is always short enough to display the foot and ankle, which are set off in white silk stockings, and satin slippers, of every color. Silk shawls, of every dye, beautifully embroidered and fringed, fall from the bust in front; while behind they are concealed in the manto, forming a bunch on the back, rather injurious to the appearance. The sayas are of every color, but the mantos are invariably black.
The interest of this panoramic exhibition is admirably kept up in many other scenes; but we have not room for more. We must let our reader, however, within the Limanian dwellings, and should like much to show them the pictures of a “Morning Visit” and a « Tertúlia” or evening party at Lima, as pendants for those we exhibited at Valparaiso. We can give only the morning visit.
"On Sundays I usually visited a family considered of haut ton. The female part consisted of the mother Doña Panchita and three marriageable daughters. Their house is large. The sala occupies the back of the terraplan, and is furnished with chairs, a rough table, and two long leather backed sofas. A large glass lantern hangs from the centre of the ceiling. This apartment is a common lounge for sertants
. To the left is a sitting room, the walls of which are covered with crimson damask hangings, supported by gilt cornices, and furnished with tables, a pair of
sofas and chairs. Here the family generally sit when visited by familiar friends. A large glass door with gilded sash opens from the sala into the cuádra or parlor, which is perhaps forty by thirty feet, and the ceiling is twenty feet high. Like the sitting room, the walls are taspestried with crimson damask, secured by gilt cornices and moulded surbases. "The windows are near the ceiling, and closed by rough inside shutters, which are managed by silk cords terminated by tassels hanging into the room. A Brussels carpet, with a large figure and of gay colors, covers the floor. On the right are two white damask sofas, made of light wood. The chairs correspond. Several small card tables, chairs, and four large mirrors, are placed along the walls. At convenient distances are silver and beautiful China spi. toons alternating with each other. A centre table with marble top completes the furniture. Through a glass partition with gilt sash, at the end of the room opposite to the sofa, is seen a dormitory, which is the pride of the family. A high, tented canopy of blue silk with gold fringe, and curtains of the same looped up to the posts, overhang a capacious bed, the counterpane of which
is of yellow satin, covered with flowers, embroidered in the appropriate colors. The pillow cases are of fine, tambored cambric over pink satin. All the utensils in this magnificent chamber are of solid silver! Beds which cost a thousand dollars are by no means uncommon now, and before the revolution, two thousand were often expended on this piece of furniture!
“In the first apartment I have attempted to describe, attired in gay silks and lace, their necks and fingers sparkling with brilliants, sit the mother and her daughters, entertaining a half dozen female visiters. Such a flirting of fans, (the Spectator could not have instructed his pupils better in this art)--such a mutual scrutiny of dressm-such adjusting of shawls, is not easily described. One thrusts forward the point of her foot--and they have pretty feet and another looks over her shoulder. Every thing is formal and cold; I have never seen such heartless receptions given to friends in any other place, but this gradually wears off in a few minutes; the conversation then becomes sprightly and gay, sprinkled with flashes of wit and humor. The usual subjects discussed, are the theatre, bull-bait, or Alaméda, with a sufficient dash of personal scandal and gossip, to render it piquant. The history of some friend's accouchement, with all the details, is a prolific theme, particularly if it happen to be a little out of the common order, for then all the miraculous cases are brought to mind, and related by the elder ladies. In these discussions, the youngest children take part, and speak quite knowingly of things, which in our country are hidden arcana, only revealed to the initiated. That squeamishness complained of by a late notorious traveller in the United States, is unknown; the portrait drawn of Miss Clarissa and Mr. Smith, could have no original in Lima. Whatever is found in nature, or nature's functions, is not an improper topic for a lady's ear, if discreetly managed. If any thing be said which oversteps the bounds of delicacy, a lady generally exclaims, "Gua! que lisúra!" but does not blush, nor veil her face with her fan. Indeed, indelicate allusions give a piquancy to conversation which is agreeable to many. Another all absorbing subject is health. It is doleful to listen to the croakings of the old women, when they chronicle their aches and pains, or recommend to their friends some quack remedy, which has produced miraculous effects in their own cases. As self-interest is sometimes touched, the losings and winnings of friends at gaming tables, are heard of with delighted admi. ration. Literature is out of the question; books were only intended to supply the place of conversation. I have seldom heard a Peruvian lady say she had read any book whatever. I knew a gentleman who loaned a lady a translation of Ivanhoe, and asked her, at the end of three months, how she liked it. She replied; “I have not yet opened it, I was reserving it for the long winter nights, when we have no tertúlia!"
We must now hasten to close this article with some extracts of a graver character.
“The morale of Lima society may be gathered from the fact, that females, married or single, who are known to have yielded to amatory intrigues, are received in the fashionable circles."
" It is very generally acknowledged, that the Limañas exercise an almost unlimited sway over the gentlemen, whether husbands or cortejos'-cavalieri serventi. Yet there is a most remarkable inconsistency in the habits of the people, where ladies are concerned. An unmarried lady is never permitted to go out, without being attended by the mother, an old aunt, a married sister, or some chaperone ; nor is she ever left alone with a gentleman, unless he be an admitted suitor. Now, it has often puzzled me to divine how young ladies thus closely watched, can possi. bly find an opportunity to listen to the secret communications of their lovers. But it is this very watching which makes them such adepts in intrigue: 'Love laughs at locksmiths.' The saya y manto is the talisman which saves them from every difficulty. In that dress neither husbands nor brothers can easily recognise them, and to make the mask still more complete, they sometimes substitute a servant's torn saya, which precludes all possibility of discovery; their only danger is in being missed from home.
" This strict surveillance is at once removed by matrimony. The married lady enjoys perfect liberty, and seldom fails to make use of her privilege. Intrigues are carried on to a great extent in the fashionable circles; but, I think there is more virtue and morality to be met with in the second ranks.
“The Limanians the same family have much more respect, if not affection for each other, than is commonly manifested by Americans. The younger brothers and sisters are always obedient to their elders; men established in life often refuse to perform trifling acts, on the ground that they may be disagreeable to their fathers or mothers, and I have seen widows who had returned to the homes of their parents after their husbands' death, quite as scrupulously obedient as children of three or four years old! 'Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land,' is a precept strictly observed. The ties of consanguinity are stronger, and are more widely extended than with us; cousins are almost as near as brothers-in fact, they are quite as affectionately treated and considered. This habit of feeling may be entirely owing to the law of primogeniture, which enhances the consideration of the first born; the republican shift-for-yourself principle, is unfavorable to the cherishing those clanish feelings of propinquity which we meet in ancient families.
"Gambling is the bane of Lima society. Though many laws have been made against it, monte al dao' is played, often to a ruinous extent. Gaming houses are kept secretly in almost every part of the city, which are open throughout the day and night. The very legislators and officers of the police countenance them by their presence
. The President's chaplain told me that General La Fuente, the late Vice President, had won $50,000 during the first year he was in office !"
Unhappily, religion and the priesthood, which are frequently in other countries great correctives and conservatives of morals, have here apparently but little of such effect. Not that the clergy have not influence over society, for their power is still very great; but that their influence is not directed judiciously to these ends, and their lives are sad examples to their flocks.
The Republic of Peru is separated from the territory of Equador, on the north by the river Tumbes; on the south it is bounded by Bolivia, the limits of which are unsettled ; on the east by Brazil; on the west by the Pacific. The territory is divided into seven departments, viz., Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cusco, Junin, Libertad, Lima, and Puno, whose aggregate population was in 1795, 1,249,723, and which now probably exceeds two millions.
For three hundred years Peru was ruled by a succession of tyrants ; and since the revolution, it has been governed by factious military chieftains of unbridled passions, who have sought little else than self aggrandizement. Gamarra, by treachery and VOL. XVII.-NO. 33.