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301

[ters with those of the Tuy, fall under this name
into the ocean, at 12 leagues to the e. of cape Co-
dera.

11. Its streets. — The streets of Caracas, like
those of many modern cities, arc in parallel lines,
about 20 feet broad, paved, and running n. s. e.
and w. The houses are well built, about SOO feet
from each other.

12. Public squares. — There are but three public

squares deserving of the name, and these are not
free from deformities. The great square, called
Plaza Mayor., which ought to be the most regular,
is deformed by booths built to the e. and w. which
are let to shopkeepers for the profit of the city;
and for the trifling emolument thus derived, is
sacrificed a most delightful prospect. This square
occupies the same space as one of the gardens of
the city, called Quadras, the size of which is about
SOO square feet. The square is well paved, and in
it is held a market, in which you might procure in
abundance vegetables, fruits, fresh and salted meat,
fish, poultry, game, bread, paroquets, and monkeys.
The cathedral, which is situate on the e. side of the
square, has no symmetrical connection with it. This
square has on each side two entrances. The second
square is that of the Candelaria, surrounded very
regularly by an open palisade of iron upon stone
work of an unequal height. This square, althougli
not paved, has a soil of clay mixed with sand, which
is as good as the best pavement, and altogether
it does not fail to afford an agreeable coup d’oeil.
It owes nothing to the buildings that compose it,
Bor is there, indeed, one fit to engage the attention,
save tlie church of Candelaria, which, although
not of perfect geometrical proportion, has a front
which diverts the eye, and is by no means a dis-
advantage to the square. Tlie third square is that
of St. Paul ; its only ornament is a fountain in its
centre. The church of St. Paul is, indeed, at the
s. c. angle, but has no other symmetrical relation
with the square than that it forms a part of it.
This square is neither paved nor even. The other
squares are, 1st, That of Trinidad, Avhich has
not even the form of a square, and the ground of
which is extremely uneven and neglected : 2rf,
That of St. Hyacinth, containing the convent
of the Dominicans, and bordered on the e.
by the pavement of a street, and crossed by an-
other, so as to induce a supposition that it was ne-
ver intended for a square : 3d, That of St. La-

zarus, which is a sort of inclosure before the church
of that name, situate to tlie s. e. of the city ; it has
the merit of neatness, but so detached from the town,
that it does not appear to form a part of it : 4//i,
The square of Pastora, which is surrounded by

ruins : 5th, The square of St. John, which is
spacious, but irregular, unpaved, and bordered
only on the w. side by a row of houses of mean
construction. It is in this square that (he mounted
militia are exercised.

13. Houses . — The houses of individuals are
handsome and well built. There are a great num-
ber in the interior of the city, which consist of se-
parate stories, and are of a very handsome ap-
pearance. Some are of brick, but the greater
part are of masonry, made nearly after the manner
of the Homans, and on the plan now adopted when
building in marshes or in the sea, &c. according
to the method published by Mr. Tarditf in 1757.
They make a sort of frame without a bottom,
with planks of five feet long and three high, which
becomes the model of the front of the Avail about
to be erected. The ground on which they build
serves as a foundation to this frame or support, and
the frame is removed as each tier or part is added
to complete the walls. They cover the Avails with
mortar, called in the country tapia. There are
tAvo sorts of this mortar : the first, to Avhich they
give the pompous name of royal tapia, is made of
the sand of the river mixed with chalk, to Avhich
are frequently added flints, stones, and pebbles %
the second is composed of common sand Avith a
very small quantity of chalk. A person easily
distinguishes, by the mixture of these materials,
that Avhich is the most durable ; yet both acquire,
by means of the pestle, a consistency which braves
for a long time the inclemencies of the seasons and
the effects of time. The outside of the houses,
Avhen made rough and whitened, appears equal to
free stone.. 'I'he timber of the roof is formed, as it
Avere, into a double slope. The wood Avork is Avell
joined, very elegant, and of an excellent descrip-
tion of wood, which the country furnishes in abun-
dance. The houses of the principal people of the
city, in general, are neatly and even richly fur-
nished : they have handsome glasses, elegant cur-
tains of crimson damask at the windows and at the
inner doors ; chairs and sofas of Avood, Avith the
sdats covered with leather or damask stuffed with
hair, Avorked in a Gothic style, but overloaded
Avith gilding ; beds, Avith the head-boards raised
very high, exposing to the sight nothing but gold,
covered Avitli handsome damask counterpanes, and
several pillows of feathers covered with muslin
cases ornamented with lace ; but there is seldom
more than one bed of this magnificence in each
house, and this is generally the nuptial bed, though
being, in fact, merely kept for show. The feet of
the fables and the commodes are richly gilt : ele-
gant lustres are suspended in the principal apart-

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