THE origin of the practice of infusing the leaves of the ilex is very obscure. The earliest men tion of the drink I have quoted is from Nicholas Duran (1626-27). By that time, as the extract shows, the beverage had spread far and wide through South America. But there is no account of its discovery. Pinelo, writing in 1636, refers to an author, Robles Cornejo, where he says a full account of the herb is given. Come jo's work, “Examen de los Simples Medicinales”, dated 1617, must contain the first reference to the drink. But the book existed only in manuscript and, though mentioned in Cejador y Franca's “Historia de la Lengua y Literatura Castellana”, has absolutely disappeared.