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&c. The temperature, generally speaking, may be compared to that of the south of Europe. The atmosphere is so clear, that in 1819 and 1824 the planet Venus was visible to the naked eye at noon-day. The Pampas are however occasionally subject to violent storms of thunder and lightning, accompanied by heavy rains. In some years, clouds of locusts arise from the Brazilian frontier, and fly towards the Andes, destroying vegetation wherever they alight. These destructive insects are a serious annoyance to the traveller. Sometimes they are in such numbers that, during a journey of several days, the air appears every where completely filled with them. The ground is also occasionally covered by them, and as they rise from it, on the traveller's approach, his face and eyes are frequently struck with violence by the locusts as they fly against him.
The Creole population of the provinces of the Rio de la Plata is principally of Andalusian parentage. The extreme vivacity of their imagination sufficiently bespeaks their descent. The educated people display a shrewdness and superiority of talent; and the most illiterate gaucho often makes a repartee as full of point as the sharpest sayings of his Andalusian ancestors, and possesses as much broad and naïve humour as any of the sons of Erin. Amongst the native dramatic productions is a farce called the Gaucho; written, it is true, in inelegant Spanish; but the dialogue sparkles with such flashes of genuine wit and discriminating humour, that if the Buenos Ayreans possessed a Liston or a Mathews, the untutored genius of the Creolean Aristophanes would not be hidden in
obscurity. The rapid advances made by the Argentines in civilization have been ascribed principally to their unrestricted commerce with the British and other nations. A still closer intercourse has existed for ages, between England and Portugal, and yet Lisbon is not generally allowed to be much farther advanced in refinement than other great European cities. It is perhaps therefore more just to attribute Buenos Ayrean improvement to the amiability and intellectual quickness of the South American, who is also more free from religious and political bigotry than the inhabitants of most of the countries of Europe. With so many noble traits, we may readily excuse the gasconading vein which frequently characterizes the Buenos Ayrean, but which will doubtless wear off, when experience shall teach them that it is bad taste to indulge in so unbecoming and useless a propensity.
Buenos Ayres.-Scotch colony.-Miller embarks.-Monte Video. -General Lecor.-Rio Janeiro.-Dr. Corbacho.-Don Lucas Cotera.- Emperor. Slave trade.-Bahia.-Pernambuco.Dr. Don Tadeo Garate.-Conclusion.
On reaching Buenos Ayres, General Miller was greatly disappointed and grieved to learn that his worthy friend, Mr. Mackinlay, had left the city on account of ill health. but the hand of death was visibly upon him, and in a few weeks, Miller had to mourn the loss of a generous-hearted and excellent friend. His amiable widow has since returned to Europe, and is now residing in Paris. Mr. W. Parish Robertson, who had married the eldest daughter of Mr. Mackinlay, conducted Miller to his own hospitable residence, where he remained during his stay in Buenos Ayres.
He soon, however, returned;
Miller spent six weeks in the delightful occupation of renewing friendships, formed on his first arrival in that country, and during the course of the war. Some old companions in arms had long before returned to Buenos Ayres. Amongst the latter, he had the satisfaction to find at the head of the executive government General Las Heras, to whom he was indebted for the first public favour which he received after joining the army of the Andes. During the retreat from Cancharayada (1818), Las Heras, immediately upon coming up with General San Martin
at San Fernando, strongly recommended "the foreign captain," for he did not then know Miller's name, to the notice of the general-in-chief. This led to his subsequent promotion to the rank of major.
Colonel Don Juan Apostol Martinez, who will be remembered for his irreverent antipathy to cowled friars, Colonels Lavalle, Brandsen, and Olasabal, General Don Enrique Martinez, Miller's former colonel, and many other intimate friends, were also in Buenos Ayres at this time, and their society added greatly to the pleasure of his return. One morning after breakfast he was surprised by a call from his old acquaintance Major La Tapia, now lieutenant-colonel. He said that, "having heard of the war between Buenos Ayres and the Brazils, and there being no more godos on the other side of the Andes to fight against, he had obtained leave to offer his services to Buenos Ayres; for," added he, “I consider the Brazilians as first cousins to the Spaniards, and hate them accordingly:" then clapping his hands, and his eyes sparkling with enthusiasm, he continued," and I long to have a slap at them!"
Brandsen had been obliged by Bolivar to quit Peru, in consequence of his having taken part with the Riva-Aguero faction in 1823. Upon this he went to Chile, and from thence, on the breaking out of the war, to Buenos Ayres, where his services were gladly accepted. He was one of the best cavalry officers in the liberating army, and was afterwards killed while fighting by the side of his friend Lavalle, who commanded the cavalry at the battle of Ituzaingo. Brandsen, a native of Paris, was a well-educated man,
enthusiastic in the cause of freedom, and was sincerely esteemed for his amiable conduct and gentlemanly manners. He left a widow, a Peruvian lady, and two or three young children.
Lavalle was promoted to the rank of general for his conduct in the battle of Ituzaingo. He was afterwards severely wounded in a skirmish with the Brazilians.
The foreign officers who served in the army of the Andes, Chile, and Peru, were principally British, French, Germans, and North Americans. But, in spite of this mixture of nations, the very best understanding always existed amongst them. There were never more than about twenty serving at the same time, and between the years 1817 and 1825, the total number who had served did not exceed forty-eight. Of these, eighteen have been killed, or lost at sea. Of the survivors, twelve had been wounded.
While Miller remained at Buenos Ayres, the granaderos à caballo entered the city. Out of six hundred men, only seven were remaining of those originally raised by San Martin, when he formed the regiment in 1812.
A few days after Miller's arrival, he called upon Don Andres Hidalgo, whom Miller accompanied to the Pampas, on the borders of Patagonia, in 1817. Don Andres was now building a large house in the city, having cleared ninety thousand dollars by the sale of the estancia of Mariancul, the same at which he had entertained his friends, and which then was not, at the most, worth more than a twentieth part of that sum.