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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 661 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17.
conceived, they wear of a vast length, without any other ornament upon the head than a few flowers; they plait it behind in four plaits, and twist them round a bodkin, at each end of which is a diamond rose.  Their shifts are all over lace, as is a little tight waistcoat they wear over them.  Their petticoats are open before, and lap over, and have commonly three rows of very rich lace of gold or silver.  In winter, they have an upper waistcoat of cloth of gold or silver, and in summer, of the finest linen, covered all over with the finest Flanders lace.  The sleeves of these are immensely wide.  Over all this, when the air is cool, they have a mantle, which is only of bays, of the finest colours, round which there is abundance of lace.  When they go abroad, they wear a veil, which is so contrived that one eye is only seen.  Their feet are very small, and they value themselves as much upon it as the Chinese do.  Their shoes are pinked and cut; their stockings silk, with gold and silver cloaks; and they love to have the end of an embroidered garter hang a little below the petticoat.  Their breasts and shoulders are very naked; and, indeed, you may easily discern their whole shape by their manner of dress.  They have fine sparkling eyes, ready wit, a great deal of good nature, and a strong disposition to gallantry.

By the description of one house you have an idea of all the rest.  You first come into a large court, on one side of which is the stable:  you then enter a hall; on one side of that is a large room, about twenty feet wide, and near forty feet long:  that side next the window is the estrado, which runs the whole length of the room.  The estrado is a platform, raised about five or six inches above the fioor, and is covered with carpets and velvet cushions for the women to sit on, which they do, after the Moorish fashion, cross-legged.  The chairs for the men are covered with printed leather.  At the end of the estrado, there is an alcove, where the bed stands; and there is always a vast deal of the sheets hanging out, with a profusion of lace to them, and the same on the pillows.  They have a false door to the alcove, which sometimes is very convenient.  Besides, there are generally two other rooms, one within another, and the kitchen and other offices are detached from the house, either at one side, or at the end of the garden.

The ladies are fond of having their Mulatto female slaves dressed almost as well as themselves in every respect, excepting jewels, in which they indulge themselves to the utmost extravagance.  Paraguay tea, which they call matte, as I mentioned before, is always drunk twice a day:  this is brought upon a large silver salver, with four legs raised upon it, to receive a little cup made out of a small calabash or gourd, and tipped with silver.  They put the herb first into this, and add what sugar they please, and a little orange juice; and then pour hot water on them, and drink it immediately through the conveyance of a long

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