Excerpt: ...Indian corn) makes a capital cork; and the bottle is hung by a loop of string to the pummel of the saddle, where it swings about without fear of breaking. One may see gourds, prepared in just the same way, in Italy, hanging up under the eaves of the little farm-houses, among the festoons of red and yellow ears of Indian corn; and ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...Indian corn) makes a capital cork; and the bottle is hung by a loop of string to the pummel of the saddle, where it swings about without fear of breaking. One may see gourds, prepared in just the same way, in Italy, hanging up under the eaves of the little farm-houses, among the festoons of red and yellow ears of Indian corn; and indeed the gourd-bottle is a regular institution of Southern Europe. We sent Antonio on with the horses to Cuernavaca, and started by the Diligence early one morning, accompanied by one of our English friends, whom I will call-as every-one else did-Don Guillermo. It is the regular thing here, as in Spain, to call everybody by his or her Christian name. You may have known Don Antonio or Don Felipe for weeks before you happen to hear their surnames. The road ran at first over the plain, among great water-meadows, with herds of cattle pasturing, and fields of wheat and maize. Ploughing was going on, after the primitive fashion of the country, with two oxen yoked to each plough. The yoke is fastened to the horns of the oxen, and to the centre of the yoke a pole is attached. At the other end of this pole is the plough itself, which consists of a wooden stake with an iron point and a handle. The driver holds the handle in one hand and his goad in the other (a long reed with an iron point), and so they toil along, making a long scratch as they go. A man follows the plough, and drops in single grains of Indian corn, about three feet apart. The furrows are three feet from one another, so that each stalk occupies some nine square feet of ground. When the plants are growing up they dig between them, and heap up round each stalk a little mound of earth. We passed many little houses consisting of one square room, built of mud-bricks, with mud-mortar stuck full of little stones; without windows, but generally possessing the luxury of a chimney, with a couple of bricks forming an arch over it to keep out the rain. Glimpses of men...Read Less
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