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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.
silver tube, at the end of which there is a round strainer, to prevent the herb getting through.  And here it is reckoned a piece of politeness for the lady to suck the tube two or three times first, and then give it the stranger to drink without wiping it.  They eat every thing so highly seasoned with red pepper, that those who are not used to it, upon the first mouthful would imagine their throats on fire for an hour afterwards; and it is a common custom here, though you have the greatest plenty at your own table, to have two or three Mulatto girls come in at the time you dine, bringing, in a little silver plate, some of these high-seasoned ragouts, with a compliment from Donna such-a-one, who desires you will eat a little bit of what she has sent you, which must be done before her Mulatto’s face, or it would be deemed a great affront.  Had this been the fashion at Chiloe, we should never have offended; but sometimes here we could have wished this ceremony omitted.

The president never asked any of us a second time to his table.  He expected us once a fortnight to be at his levee, which we never failed, and he always received us very politely.  He was a man of a very amiable character, and much respected by every body in Chili, and some time after we left that country was appointed viceroy of Peru.

CHAPTER IX.

Account of the Bull Feasts and other Amusements.—­Occurrences during nearly two Years Residence.—­In December, 1744, we embark for Europe in the Lys French Frigate.—­The Vessel leaky.—­Dangerous Voyage.—­Narrow Escape from English Cruizers.—­Arrival in England.—­Conclusion.

We had leave, whenever we asked it, to make an excursion into the country for ten or twelve days at a time, which we did sometimes to a very pleasant spot belonging to Don Joseph Dunose, a French gentleman, and a very sensible well-bred man, who had married a very agreeable lady at St Jago, with a good fortune.  We also sometimes had invitations from the Spaniards to their country houses.  We had a numerous acquaintance in the city, and in general received many civilities from the inhabitants.  There are a great many people of fashion, and very good families from Old Spain settled here.  A lady lived next door to us, whose name was Donna Francisca Giron; and as my name sounded something like it, she would have it that we were parientes.  She had a daughter, a very fine young woman, who both played and sung remarkably well:  she was reckoned the finest voice in St Jago.  They saw a great deal of company, and we were welcome to her house whenever we pleased.  We were a long time in this country, but we passed it very agreeably.  The president alone goes with four horses to his coach; but the common vehicle here is a calash, or kind of vis-a-vis, drawn by one mule only.

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