Page:Guatimala or the United Provinces of Central America in 1827-8.pdf/81

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Customs and Manners,—Tobacco,—Morning Calls,—Occupations of a Domestic Man,—Scenes in the Plaza,—Evening Parties,—Gambling,—Superstitions,—Marriages and Funerals,—Almoneda or Auction.

Among the various occupations which employ the time and attention of a traveller in a foreign land, few are more amusing, and if properly exercised, are capable of being made more instructive, than to observe the variety of customs which that imperious tyrant, general usage, has imposed upon its inhabitants. We are generally too apt to exult in the thought of our own superior civilization, and while we smile sometimes contemptuously at what we deem the absurdities of other nations, forget that we ourselves are no less under similar bondage, and act oftentimes in a way equally opposed to unsophisticated nature.

Still there are fashions in Guatimala which it would require more than common charity to speak of with respect, and among these stands