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and very brunette, seated at her bar, or desk,
in the table-d'hôte room,  receiving and issuing
orders, issuing bills which looked astounding
as calculated in ries and milries, and talking,
not Portuguese but French all the time.

Here we made a superb dinner, enlivened
by superb Château Margaux, and followed
by a  superb bill, and then proceeded to arrange
for the night; but now the prospect was not
equally superb. We were assured that every
room was occupied but one, and to obtain a
glimpse of this, we followed a waiter along a
number of great, desolate galleries and
passages, up one pair of great stone stairs, and
down another, through a variety of rooms, in
some of which ancient negresses seemed to
be getting up a wash, in others cooking
appeared to be in progress; in one, an invalid
negro man, with his head tied in a handkerchief,
was sitting on the floor; and in another
we surprised several young women, who, from
dress and features, might, have been sisters to
the hostess. Here a little plump black-pudding
had reared itself on end, and turned itself into
a negro child, which came and, seizing one of
our fingers, grinned merrily in our faces,
showing a dazzling row of white teeth; and
here a little white child in petticoats, was
playing with a cavi, or some such creature,
about as big as a hare, and which our dog
seemed very much inclined to treat us one.
At length, after passing through various
bedrooms and bath-rooms, we reached a large
and lofty apartment, occupied with much lumber,
and no beds at all; and with a very dusty,
dirty floor. At this we shook our heads, but
the waiter assured us that before night the
lumber would be removed, and beds laid on
the floor for us; and, probably for a great
many other gentlemen, as people arriving,
must sleep somewhere. We thanked him for
his offer of such ample accommodation, and
so much good company, and made our way
to the Exchange Hotel, where we found
admirable arrangements, clean private rooms,
clean beds, a first-rate cuisine, and numbers
of Englishmen, ready to give us all sorts of
information about the city and the country,
and the bill not half so superb.

Issuing from our excellent inn to survey
the town, we still felt ourselves on the European
continent, and not in South America,
so completely do Europeans take their habits
and their architecture with them to every
region of the world. Here were the tall white
houses, with many windows and red roofs,
the narrow streets and ample squares, the
rude paving, the huge arched entrances
into huge heavy quadrangular courts, the
churches and the cathedral, with tall towers.
capped with small Turkish domes, their
doors thrown open, and mass celebrating; the
pealing of the organ, and the odour of incense;
a misericordia. or religious hospital, at
your elbow, and an old gray convent perched on
the hill above you;—all was just as it might
have been in almost any Catholic country on
the continent of Europe. Here, in fact, walked
along the Catholic priest, and the shaven friar.
Here was one ecclesiastic, bearing along the
insignia of the church, and there an official,
with a bag, and a silver (or plated) rod,
begging for it.

The greater part of Rio being built on the
levels at the feet of the hills, presents to the
eye, from any of the immediate eminences,
one dense mass of red roofs. It seems as if
you might walk right across the top of the
houses from one side of the city to the other;
and, indeed, the streets are wonderfully narrow.
They are paved with a slope from each side
towards the middle, and along the middle
runs a line of flagstones, which, in wet
weather, is, in fact, the kennel; and becomes
a little river in heavy rains. The carts and
carriages as they traverse these streets, run
with one wheel on this row of flagstones, and
the other on the pave, so that you have
constantly to cross the street to pass these
vehicles, some coming one way, and some
another. Most of the shops in these streets have
no glass windows, but three or four tall doors,
which all stand wide open in the daytime,
just like some of the shops seen in Pompeii;
and, indeed, the Roman character is retained
by the Spaniards and Portuguese, not only in
their language, but in many other particulars.
One of the first things which strikes you is,
that the houses are all roofed with the genuine
Roman tiles; and this is universal all
over the dominions of both the Spanish and
Portuguese races in South America. They
are found, not only in Brazil, but in Peru,
Chili, Paraguay, and Mexico. You have the
stout, old, red, flat tile, with flanged edges,
semicylindric tiles being laid over the flanges
of each two adjoining tiles, well imbedded
in mortar, so as to make a most solid, enduring
and waterproof roof. The projecting
eaves of those old Roman roofs are generally
painted in bright colours, and have a
picturesque effect. You see the Roman spirit
not only in these roofs, in the forms and red
colour of their pottery, in the narrow streets
and open shops, but also in the aqueducts,
which bring down the water from the mountains
There is a noble aqueduct here which
has quite a Roman look, as it crosses the
valley on its lofty solid pillars, and which the
inhabitants tell you was made by the Portuguese;
for they are as careful to  distinguish
the Portuguese and the Brazilian eras, as
brother Jonathan is to distinguish the  days
of the United States from those of the old
Britishers, before the Independence. In the
centre of most of the squares stands a massive
granite fountain; which, however, has very
little effect on the eye, as the water is not
thrown up into the air, but gushes out of taps,
and sluices in their sides.  Rio, in fact, is
excellently supplied with water. At almost
every corner of a street, there is a brass tap to
which you see the negroes very constantly
applying their mouths.