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or cathedral, is such a church as one might see in a secondrate Italian town, except that it is clean both outside and inside ; it is built of brick and plaster, and contains no ornaments worth noticing. Of the other churches, none are of any beauty or interest, unless we except one, which possesses two curious fonts, each formed out of one of a pair of scallop-shaped shells of gigantic proportions, three feet in their greatest diameter, and with a thickness of shell of at least three inches. The President's Palace is perhaps the most untidy-looking building in the city, though very solidly built; and the Cabildo, or Town-hall, is a very ordinary structure. Of good private houses, banks, and hotels, there is a better display. The population of the city numbers 60,000, of which the native portion is quite a minority; servants, boatmen, porters milkmen, &c., are principally Basques (or Galliegos, as they are here called), and the troops are largely composed of Italians and negroes.

While in Monte Video we are forced to confine our movements to the city itself, from the fact of its being in a state of siege! Yes : Paris is not the only civilised capital undergoing at this time the 'horrors of war.' Would that the fair metropolis of France could be besieged with as few real horrors as it seems cities in South America can be ! What can be thought of a city with 60,000 inhabitants and a garrison of 3,000 or 4,000 men, submitting to a siege by about an equal number of ill-mounted and worse-drilled troopers, who, within a year, were all driving cattle or tending sheep ? Such is the case here. Inside the city is a weak and corrupt government (of the party styled Colorados or Reds), whereof every member seems to serve his country for his pocket's good. In the pay of the government-or at least in their employ, for the pay seems doubtful—are 3,000 or 4,000 troops, chiefly, as before mentioned, Italians and

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negroes, described by a newspaper of the city as “magnifica infanteria,' but appearing to the unpractised or unbiassed eye a beggarly levy, poorly-clothed, badly-drilled, and wretchedly armed. These gallant defenders of their hearths and homes are on duty in the Plaza, or behind breastworks thrown across the streets which lead out into the country, for the city has now no regular fortifications. Their artillery consists of half-a-dozen old cast-iron cannons (twelve or sixteen pounders) and a similar number of brass field-pieces, of the size of so many blunderbusses. Outside the barricades are the advanced guards,' consisting of a handful of the riff-raff of the town, mounted on weedy raw-boned steeds, which have been forcibly impressed from some neighbouring “estancia,' or from the livery-stables of the city-and armed with a variety of weapons, from blunderbusses and carbines to rusty lances and ancient-looking spears, which might have been stolen from the museum of ancient arms and armour nearest at hand.

All these doughty warriors are supposed to be preventing the entrance into the city of the opposite party, the ‘Blancos,' encamped on the Cerrito, or "little hill,' outside. These Blancos are pleased further to style themselves "Restauradores de las Leyes' (Restorers of the Laws), and their object of course is to turn out the existing government by force or fraud, fair means or foul—they care not a straw which—and establish one of their own. Their troops are nearly all bodies of rough 'gauchos, who have been got together from all parts of the Banda Oriental, and who, after wandering over the length and breadth of the country, fighting one or two sinall battles with the bodies of Colorados sent to intercept them, making requisitions of cattle and sheep, horses and men, from almost every “estancia' in the Republic (but behaving, it is said, in a somewhas

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less wanton manner than the government troopers), have now pitched their camp before the metropolis.

They hare already been encamped before the city for upwards of two months, and during our stay there are daily reports, ‘from the best authorities, that a great attack is imminent,' or the Blancos are infallibly coming in to-morrow,' and so on: but evidently these gentlemen are in no hurry to end a siege during the continuance of which they get food, pay, and little or nothing to do. Consequently the extent of the military operations which we can witness, or be near to, is a skirmish resulting in the death of one man and the wounding of another, or the capture of the fort on the Cerro by a detachment of four men, the garrison being asleep at the time !

But the besiegers cause the besieged much annoyance by confiscating a large portion of the beef and other provisions which usually find their way into the city from the country, and thus send the price of the former article from 2d. up to the almost famine price of 1s. per pound ! Also they prevent peaceable citizens from paying visits to their quintas' (country houses) in the suburbs, and effectually stop the supply of the morning's milk! How long this mock siege is to continue no one can tell; the city people betray little political sympathy with either party, inclining the rather to the Blancos, though this is probably more from 'ennui' of the Colorados than from any higher principle. It is not long since the city underwent a similar kind of siege, which lasted for nine years (1842-1851), and there seems no great reason why this should not last as long-become, in fact, a second Trojan war without the heroes.

1 These somewhat melancholy forebodings were bappily cheated of fulfilment in the middle of the month of December 1870; when, to the agreeable surprise of Monte Videan residents, the Colarados made a vigorous sally against the Blancos, and with the aid of troops whom they had caused to land in the rear of the enemy, routed them decisively. The siege was thus raised, though the Blanco party held out obstinately in several parts of the country, and is not yet (May 1871) thoroughly crushed.

EFFECTS OF THE SIEGE.

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But though the incidents of the siege are in the main almost ludicrous, yet a war of this kind has a most disastrous effect on the progress and prosperity of the country. The cultivation of crops in the Republic is, partially at least, suspended, the cultivators either having been impressed into the army, or hesitating to grow what may very probably be requisitioned' by troops of one or other of the hostile armies. All the best horses have been taken from the various farms and settlements, and the breed throughout the country will consequently be inferior for several years

to come. Retail business between the town and country is almost entirely suspended, and investments of all kinds are rendered insecure. Even life itself is regarded as of less value, and is certainly less safe, in such a state of guerilla warfare and general anarchy. Rough, indolent, and savage troopers of both sides, wander about over the country, skilled in the use of the knife, accustomed to scenes of blood and carnage in the saladeros' (slaughter-houses) where many of them have been brought up, and ready for almost any deed of violence. Robberies, assaults, and murders, are in consequence by no means uncommon in country districts, nor have the local authorities sufficient energy or power to check these crimes, or to trace out and punish the criminals.

In a recent report on the trade and commerce of Monte Video by Major Munro, the British Consul stationed in that city, this lamentable state of affairs is very strongly depicted. The Consul states that while there is an annual immigration into Uruguay of between 20,000 and 30,000

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persons, chiefly Italians and Basques, a large portion of these are deterred from staying in the Republic by reason of the lawlessness of the country districts, the want of security to property of all kinds, and the frequency of assassinations of Europeans as well as of natives. Thus the great corn-growing powers of the country are thrown into abeyance, attempts to work and improve the land, and to rear stock upon it, meet with nothing but discouragement, and the settlement of industrious foreigners in the Republic is, for the time at least, effectually prevented.

Although we cannot move out of Monte Video on the land side, there is nothing to prevent our exit from it by water; and as the Blancos have not yet taken to any manouvres except on ‘terra firma,' the steamers running up and down the river Uruguay continue their usual voyages, so that we can ascend that river and see something of the interior of the Banda Oriental without molestation.' Steaming out of Monte Video harbour in the evening, we spend a night on the broad waters of the Plata, with a clear sky overhead and a bright moonlight which renders clear the horizon, but fails to bring into view the low-lying and distant banks on either side. By daybreak we are in the roadstead of Buenos Ayres, but we start again by a steamer leaving in the forenoon, and steaming across towards the mouth of the Uruguay, in three hours reach the Island of Martin Garcia. This island stands almost in

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1 Even this comparative immunity did not last long without being broken through. Only three weeks after our trip up the Uruguay one of the steamers running on the river was seized by a detachment of Blancos: the captain, suspected of Colorado tendencies, was seized and thrown into confinement, the crew were impressed to work the vessel under Blanco officers, and the passengers, among whom were several English, were landed in an out-of-the-way part of the river, where they had to wait for another passing steamer, which took them off, happily unharmed.

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