Travels in South America, during ... 1801, 1802, 1803, and 1804. Transl, Volume 2

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Page 253 - ... the Indians attribute to the souls that are forced to enter this cavern in order to go to the other world. But they are enabled to obtain permission for it only when their conduct in this life has been without reproach. If it has been otherwise, they are retained for a shorter or longer time, according to the heinousness of their offences. This dark, wretched, mournful abode, draws from them the mournings and plaintive cries heard without. The Indians have so little doubt of this fable, supported...
Page 186 - They there exercise all those handicrafts the whites despise. Every one who is a carpenter, joiner, cabinet-maker, mason, blacksmith, locksmith, tailor, shoemaker, goldsmith, &c. is or was a freed-man. — They excel in none of these trades, because, learn-* ing them mechanically, they constantly offend against their principles.
Page 186 - ... which they are associated, work but very little, and, what appears in some degree contradictory, is, that they work much cheaper than European artificers. They exist but by means of the greatest sobriety, and in the midst of all sorts of privations.
Page 150 - The city of St. lago de Leon de Caracas, or, as it is now known, Caracas, was the capital not only of the province of Venezuela, but also of the entire captain-generalship. In the end of the eighteenth century it was the seat of the audiencia, the intendency, and the archbishopric of Venezuela. In 1797 a merchant, who had lived many years at Caracas, thus described it : " It is situated about 5 Leagues S. of La Guayra from which it is divided...
Page 278 - The neighbourhood of the lake, in the waters of which they exercise themselves in their early years, renders them as excellent swimmers as expert divers. Those who resist the attractions of the sea, raise herds of cattle, or take care of those of their fathers. Nothing better evinces their aptitude to this species of occupation, than the immense number of beasts with which the savannahs of Maracaibo are covered.
Page 273 - In spite of the extreme and almost continual heat experienced at Maracaibo, it is a healthy residence. There are no epidemic complaints. A man once seasoned to the climate preserves his health as well, and better than in many other places, where the heats are less intense, and the means of refreshing himself more multiplied. The trade winds blow there in general from the commencement of March till June or July. The...
Page 188 - Gracia. Every free man of colour makes a sort of ostentatious display of this dress, and of the neatness and riches of this church. All the bearers of rosaries, who traverse the streets from night-fall till after nine o'clock, are composed solely of* freed persons. There is no example of any of these persons having thought of cultivating the earth.
Page 158 - ... chairs and sophas made of wood, the seats of which, covered with leather or damask, are stuffed with hair, and adorned with gothic work, but overloaded with gilding ; bedsteads, with deep headboards, showing nothing but gold, covered by superb damask counterpanes, and a number of down pillows in fine muslin cases, trimmed with lace. There is seldom, it is true, more than one bed of this magnificence in each house, which is in general the nuptial couch, and afterwards serves only as a bed of state....
Page 190 - ... compensation. Then, women and children would make by their chattering a noise, that would be heard a long way. Four times as many Spaniards do not make the buzzing of a wasp.
Page 254 - Respecting the formation of this sandy earth it is easy to be deceived; for at thirty toises deep these strata appear to be of pure limestone ; but on examining them attentively, quartz is discovered in the mass, then the limestone base disappears by degrees, till the quartz increases so much, that hardly any thing else can be perceived. The principal establishments of the dependencies of Cumana are on the western coast, as Barcelona, Piritu, Clarinas, &c. Twelve leagues to the southwest of Cumana...

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