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and manto, as the dress is called, afforded much amusement, and, sometimes, not a little vexation. It happened, occasionally, that we were spoken to in the streets by ladies, who appeared to know us well, but whom we could not discover, till some apparently trivial remark in company, long afterwards, betrayed the tapadas, as they call themselves. Ladies of the first rank indulge in this amusement, and will wear the meanest saya, or stoop to any contrivance, to effect a thorough disguise. I myself knew two young ladies, who completely deceived their brother and me, although we were aware of their fondness for such pranks, and I had even some suspicions of them at the very time. Their superior dexterity, however, was more than a match for his discernment, or my suspicions; and so completely did they deceive our eyes, and mislead our thoughts, that we could scarcely believe our senses, when they, at length, chose to discover themselves.

(Vol. i. p. 106–108.)

What deeds of darkness may be perpetrated, under the friendly disdisguise of the Saya and Manto, in the latitude of Lima, it is not for us to say, though a vivid imagination may possibly conjecture them.

The Swinging Ladies of Guayaquil is a sketch which perhaps our fair and indolent readers may love to contemplate; we will merely premise that these interesting oscillators are the most beautiful people in South America, fair and clear in complexion, with blue eyes, and light hair, in fact, but for their propensity to swinging and obstreperous speaking, even the race of grandmothers there (our sensitive traveller informs us) are perfectly adorable.

I had a letter of introduction to a gentleman who received me in the easy style of the country; at once undertook to put us in the way of procuring fresh provisions and other supplies; carried me to the governor's to pay the usual visit of ceremony, and afterwards offered to introduce my officers and myself to some families of his acquaintance. We were somewhat surprised, on entering the first house, to observe the ladies in immense hammocks made of a net work of strong grass, dyed of various colours, and suspended from the roof, which was twenty feet high. Some of them were sitting, others reclining in their hammocks; with their feet, or, at least, one foot left hanging out, and so nearly touching the floor, that when they pleased, they could reach it with the toe, and by a gentle push give motion to the hammock. This family consisted of no less than three generations: the grandmother lying at full length in a

hammock suspended across one corner of the room; the mother seated in another, swinging from side to side; and three young ladies, her daughters, lounging in one hammock attached to hooks along the length of the room. The whole party were swinging away at such a furious rate, that at first we were confounded and made giddy by the variety of motions in different directions. We succeeded, however, in making good our passage to a sofa at the farther side of the room, though not without apprehension of being knocked over by the way.

The ladies, seeing us embarrassed, ceased their vibrations until the introductions had taken place, and then touching the floor with their feet, swung off again without any interruption to the conversation. (Vol. ii. p. 105, 106.)

Throwing the Lasso is an accomplishment of a very extraordinary kind, in which the peasantry of the continent are peculiarly skilful; we beg leave to conclude our article with a

description of it in our author's clear and expressive words:

On our way homeward our host entertained us, by making his people show us the South American method of catching cattle. The instrument used is called in English a lasso, from the Spanish lazo, which signifies slip-knot or noose, and the operation of using it is called lassoing. It consists of a rope made of strips of untanned hide, varying in length from fifteen to twenty yards, and is about as thick as the little finger. It has a noose or runningknot at one end, the other extremity being fastened by an eye and button to a ring in a strong hide-belt or surcingle, bound tightly round the horse. The coil is grasped by the horseman's left hand, while the noose, which is held in the right, trails along the ground, except when in use, and then it is whirled round the head with considerable velocity, during which, by a peculiar turn of the wrist, it is made to assume a circular form; so that, when delivered from the hand, the noose preserves itself open till it falls over the object at which it has been aimed.

The unerring precision with which the lasso is thrown is perfectly astonishing, and to one who sees it for the first time, has a very magical appearance. Even when standing still it is by no means an easy thing to throw the lasso; but the difficulty is vastly increased when it comes to be used on horseback and at a gallop, and when, in addition, the rider has to pass over uneven ground, and to leap hedges and ditches in his course; yet such is the dexterity of the guassos, or countrymen, that they are not only sure of catching the animal they are in chace of, but can fix, or, as they term it, place their lasso on

any particular part they please: over the horns, round the neck, or the body; or they can include all four legs, or two, or any one of the four; and the whole with such ease and certainty, that it is necessary to witness the feat to have a just conception of the skill displayed; which, like that of the savage Indian in the use of his bow and arrow, can only be gained by the practice of many years. It is, in fact, the earliest amusement of these people; and I have often seen little boys just beginning to run about, actively employed in lassoing cats, and entangling the legs of every dog that was unfortunate enough to pass with in reach in due season they become very expert in their attacks on poultry; and afterwards in catching wild birds: so that, by the time they are mounted on horseback, which is always at an early age, they begin to acquire that matchless skill, from which no animal, of less speed than a horse, has the slightest chance of escaping.

Let us suppose that a wild bull is to be caught, and that two mounted horsemen, guassos, as they are called, undertake to kill him. As soon as they discover him, they remove the coil of the lasso from behind them, and grasping it in the left hand, prepare the noose in the right, and dash off at full gallop, each swinging his lasso round his head. The first who comes within reach aims at the bull's horns, and when he sees, which he does in an instant, that the lasso will take effect, he stops his horse, and turns it half round, the bull continuing his course, till the whole cord has run out from the guasso's hand. The horse, meanwhile, knowing, by experience, what is going to happen, leans over, as much as he can, in the opposite direction from the bull, and stands in trembling expectation of the violent tug which is given by the bull when brought up by the lasso. So great, indeed, is the jerk which takes place at this moment, that were the horse not to lean over, he would certainly be overturned; but standing, as he does, with his feet planted firmly on the ground, he offers sufficient resistance to stop the bull as instantaneously as if it had been shot, though at full speed. In some cases, this check is so abrupt and violent, that the animal is not only dashed to the ground, but rolls along at the full stretch of the lasso; while the horse, drawn sideways, ploughs up the earth with his feet for several yards. This, which takes so long to describe, is the work of a few seconds; during which, the other horseman gallops past; and before the bull has time to recover from the shock, places the noose over his horns, and continues advancing till it also is at full stretch. The bull, stupified by the fall, sometimes lies motionless on the ground; but the horsemen

soon rouse him up, by tugging him to and fro. When on his legs, with a horseman on each side, he is like a ship moored with two cables; and however unwilling he may be to accompany the guassos, or however great his struggles, he is irresistibly dragged along by them in whatever direction they please.

If the intention be to kill the animal for the sake of the hide and tallow alone, as is often the case, one of the guassos dismounts, and running in, cuts the bull's hamstrings with a long knife, which he always wears in his girdle; and, instantly afterwards, despatches him, by a dexterous cut across the back of the neck. The most surprising thing is, the manner in which the horse, after being left by his rider, manages to preserve the lasso always tight: this would be less difficult if the bull were to remain steady, but it sometimes happens, that he makes violent struggles to disentangle himself from the lassos, rushing backwards and forwards in a furious manner. The horse, however, with wonderful sagacity, alters his place, and prances about, as if conscious of what he is doing, so as to resist every movement of the bull, and never allowing the lasso to be relaxed for a moment.

When a wild horse is to be taken, the lasso is always placed round the two hind legs, and, as the guasso rides a little on one side, the jerk pulls the entangled horse's feet laterally, so as to throw him on his side, without endangering his knees or his face. Before the horse can recover the shock, the rider dismounts, and snatching his poncho or cloak from his shoulders, wraps it round the prostrate animal's head; he then forces into his mouth one of the powerful bits of the country, straps a saddle on his back, and, bestriding him, removes the poncho; upon which, the astonished horse springs on his legs, and endeavours, by a thousand vain efforts, to disencumber himself of his new master, who sits quite composedly on his back; and, by a discipline which never fails, reduces the horse to such complete obedience, that he is soon trained to lend his speed and strength in the capture of his wild companions.

During the recent wars in this country, the lasso was used as a weapon of great power in the hands of the guassos, who make bold and useful troops, and never fail to dismount cavalry, or to throw down the horses of those who come within their reach. There is a well-authenticated story of a party of eight or ten of these men, who had never seen a piece of artillery, till one was fired at them in the streets of Buenos Ayres: they galloped fearlessly up to it, placed their lassos over the cannon, and, by their united strength, fairly overturned it. Another anecdote is related of

them, which, though possible enough, does not rest on such good authority. A number of armed boats were sent to effect a landing at a certain point on the coast, guarded solely by these horsemen. The party in the boats, caring little for an enemy unprovided with fire-arms, rowed confidently along the shore. The guassos,

meanwhile, were watching their opportunity, and the moment the boats came sufficiently near, dashed into the water, and, throwing their lassos round the necks of the officers, fairly dragged every one of (Vol. i. p. 146-153.)

them out of their boats.


'Tis my vocation, Hal.-Shakspeare.

Ως αιει τον ὁμοῖον αγει θεος ώς τον ὁμοῖον Hom. Od. 17.
To the Editor.

SIR,-As every man has either a favourite pursuit or a necessary occupation, and most men have both, it seems to me most rational that we should endeavour, if we cannot actually blend them, to make them at least as subservient to each other as possible; and it generally happens that there is such a natural propensity to this endeavour, that we see in every thing a man does some characteristic of his common habits and his usual studies. Sterne would, perhaps, say that a man may be caught mounting his hobby at the very time when he least suspects that he is doing so; and thus it is that we observe amongst men of every profession a certain air and manner by which they are most plainly distinguished. Every man, for instance, knows a tailor from a soldier by his walk, though the one may not be dressed in his regimentals, nor the other be seen carrying a suit of clothes wrapped up in a silk handkerchief under his left arm, with a pattern-book peeping out of his right-hand pocket; both of which are as common to a tailor in the street of London as a musket and cartouche-box are to a soldier on parade. Even in literature we are not free from these professional marks, which, as it is vulgarly said, "smell of the shop," for habit necessarily gives a certain turn to the thought and language of all men,

and one may generally distinguish the peculiar course of a man's life, not only from the inadvertent sallies of conversation, but from the measured march of his studied composition. I have carried this opinion so far, that I am persuaded that the authors of Tom Jones and Roderic Random, both fellows of infinite humour and various knowledge of the world as well as of books, may easily be detected in their respective works, the one for a lawyer, the other for a physician; and neither of them are more humorous than when they are ridiculing the quackeries of their respective professions. This, as I have already said, is both natural and useful, as by this means every one is kept chiefly within his usual province; and I have introduced myself to you by these few general observations, because, as I am fond of literature and criticism, and may occasionally trouble you with such remarks as occur to me in the course of my reading, I wish "by anticipa tion to prevent your discovery," and announce to you what sort of entertainment you are likely to receive, by telling you at once that I am a lawyer, who having been early a votary of the Muses, am now, from necessity and ambition, seriously devoted to the labours of that arduous profession, not without some occasional relaxation during the intervals between Circuit and Term in the

Some of this goose-roasting, cabbage-pilfering tribe, have, with most unparalleled effrontery, presumed to quit the use of the silk handkerchief, for a blue bag, commonly called a law-bag. They fancy, perhaps, that there is some similarity between the contents of the lawyer's bag and the tailor's; but I must tell them that they are mistaken, and that to have a bag of briefs, and to carry a suit, are not by any means the same thing.

bowers of Parnassus. At these periods of indulgence perhaps an Essay may not be unacceptable to





The opening of these dramas, the latter of which it is well known was surreptitiously stolen from the former, exhibits a very interesting incident founded upon a vulgar error. In the one we are presented with a very animated scene, in which the noble-minded Charalois, through his advocate Charmi, petitions the provincial tribunal of Burgundy for the restoration of his father's dead body, which had been arrested and detained for debt by his rapacious creditors. Not being able to satisfy their debts, or appease their anger, he at length offers himself up to prison, a living captive, to release his father's corpse; and submits to be buried in a dungeon, to procure his parent a grave. It is this noble action which recommends him to the father of Calista, and Beaumelle, who relieves him from prison, takes him to his house and makes him his son-in-law.

The following is the language of Massinger.


To say the late dead Marshal, The father of this young Lord here, my


Hath done his country great and faithful


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Or the next motion, savouring of this boldness,

May force you, Sir, to leap against your will

Over the place you plead at.


I foresaw this. In a note to this passage, Mr. Gifford, in the last edition adds, "Herodotus tells us, that Asychis, the borrowing of money, allowed the the grandson of Cheops, to facilitate Egyptians to pledge the dead bodies of their parents, which, until redeemed by payment of the sums advanced, could not be deposited in the sepulchres of their fathers. In imitation

of this monarch, modern states have sanctioned the arrest of a person's dead body till his debts be paid ; but what was in Asychis a wise institution, is in his followers a gratuitous act of absurd and savage barbarity."

Both Massinger and his commentator seem to me to have fallen into

a vulgar error. The one is very excusable, because if either the law of England or of Burgundy was so understood by a great part of the audience, or it were a mere fiction of his own, the author might well derive from it the incident which he has formed. This is within the true licence of poetry. But with respect to the commentator, I am free to confess that Mr. Gifford is much more at home when he is explaining classical allusions than when he ventures upon the more dangerous ground of the laws of arrest, or those of Alsatia. He makes a good figure among the ruins of the capital of Rome, and describes them well; but he is quite out of his way, when he gets into the Fleet, or the King's Bench, or one of the Halls. His quotation from Herodotus is correct,

but not quite applicable, and the consequences which he deduces from it are by no means natural. The law which he fancies to be so general in Europe I believe never existed. None of the nations of Europe are so savage as to make the dead body of a debtor a pledge to his creditors. All of them do not admit of arrest in the first instance for debt, but only in execution, and if by law the dead man were to be kept in prison till his son paid his debts, it is obvious that every gaol must be also a cemetery, and there must be cells expressly for the dead as well as the living, like those of some monks, I believe the order of La Trappe, in Italy. But in the King's Bench prison there is nothing so common as to hear of a wooden-habeas, as a nickname for a coffin, by which the prisoner is finally released from all confinement in this world, having satisfied all creditors as to every claim upon his person, by paying the great debt of nature. Before Mr. Gifford had cast this general slander upon the legislatures of Europe, I wish he had taken the trouble to examine into the authorities upon which his law is founded. I can find none. That a prejudice commonly exists of this kind, even at the present moment, is well known, and it is one of the objects of this essay to destroy that prejudice. It was probably believed by Massinger, who, like Shakspeare and all our early poets, looked no further than their own country for the manners of the place where the scene was to be laid; and an instance of it now exists, remarkable for its notoriety and absurdity. At Westminster Abbey, the guide who shows the curiosities of the place, exhibits in a small chapel, or cell, near to Henry VIIth's brazen tomb, a couple of old coffins covered with red velvet, which he gravely tells you contain the bodies of two ambassadors, whose remains were arrested for debt and not suffered to be buried. He also informs you that it is for this reason they are not placed in a vault or tomb. I know not which to admire most, the folly of the inventor blockheads who do not immediately of this fable, or the credulity of the perceive its absurdity. For, in the first place, by the law of nations, the persons of ambassadors are sacred

and inviolable, dead or living; the statute of Queen Anne upon this subject, was enacted merely to appease Peter the Great, and is generally understood to be only declaratory of the common law. And in the next, it is hard to say that these gentlemen were denied Christian burial, when their coffins are placed carefully in that sacred temple (by the guide's construction converted into a gaol) in which are deposited, in similar coffins, the ashes of a long race of kings and heroes.

Massinger wrote in the time of Lord Coke, and it is plain that the law in his day could not have been as it is here represented; but in order to relieve my readers from all doubts upon the subject, and that they may all retire to rest without any idle apprehensions that their precious reliques when dead may be violated by the hands of rude bailiffs, to the terror of their wives and children, I shall here extract from a modern book of reports the words of the late Chief Justice Ellenborough on the subject, in which he held that even a promise to pay a debt extorted from a person, through fear of a dead body being arrested, was illegal, being without consideration and void

which it could not be, if the threatened arrest were legal.

Now, as to the case of Quick v. Copplestone, in that case the promise was made through fear of being arrested, and it is so stated in the declaration; and Hyde, C. J. held, "that a forbearance to sue one who fears to be sued, is a good consideration;" and he cited a case in the Common Pleas, when he sat there, where a woman, who feared that the dead body of her son would be arrested for debt, promised in consideration of forbearance, to pay; and it was adjudged against her, though she was nei

ther executrix nor administratrix.


the other Judges doubted of this; and I think it would be bad even after verdict, for it appears vitious upon the face of it. Such a means of extorting a promise is not to be endured. It is impossible to look upon that as a good promise, which is made in consideration that a person will forbear to do a violent and unlawful act; that he will forbear to do a violent injury to the feelings of all the relations of the deceased. See Jacobus I. Smith's Rep. 195.-Jones

1804.-See also East's Reports, H. 44.

v. Ashburnham, B. R. Hilary Term,

Geo. III. S. C.

With respect to the similarity of

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