Press enter after choosing selection

Mexican Women

Mexican Women image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Thpy have no fire places in Mcxi- and I tiiink iliat ihis circumsfance has a grent influence on llieircliaracter. Itis not easy ;o estímate the moral influencc of these family rc-unions, to which we are nccustomed, around the fireside on long winter cvoning, which are passed ir. reading sorne excellent book, or in conversing not less instructive. In walking the streets of Mexico, it would be very safe to bet lliat eight out ofevcry ten persons you meet would be ofllccrs. soldier?, priests, friars, léperos, and it would be difiicult to decide which Jnss in the most numerous. All but the ast of these classes are nol only unproluctive, but a charge u pon the country, t does not scem to me that the wholo iroductive industry of the country, so far s the Moxjcans are concorned, and exluding the profits of the labor and capial of loreigner?, would be sufficient to upport thosc drones. I wisli I could in sincerity say that thé adics of Mexico are handsome. They are not; nor are they ligly. Their manlersj however, are perfect, and in the greal attributos of the hearï. aiTeelion, ënévolèncë and kindness in all their fórrris, tiioy have rió superiors. They iro ominently grnceful in everylhiog but daucing. That does not "come bvnnluro,"as we have theaulhority of Dogbcrry that reading and writing do; and they are larcly tanght to dance, andstiü moro rarcly practice if. I Ihink that n ouother, nnd the most important point in the clmracter of vomen, thoy are very much slandered. - I ai!) quite sure thai ihere is less immorality. Indeed, 1 cannot see how such a thing is possible. Every house in Mexico has but one outside door, and a porier nhvays at that. The old system or tiie duenna, and a constant e3pionagp, are observed by every one, and to an e.tenl ihat would scarelv bc beiieved. I have no doubt, however, that whatcver othcr riiects these restraintsrnay have, their moral infiuence is not a good one. The virtue which they secure is of the sickly nature of hot house plants, which withé'r and perish, syhèn expósed to the weather. "U'omen, instead of being taught to regard certain acts as impossible o be committeo', and therefore not nprehended or guardad agíiíñst, aje brought up with an idea that tcnijuation oC opportuniiy is one wiuch is never resisted. I do not think the ladics of Mexico generally well educatcd. Thero are, however, some shiningexceptione. Mrs. Almonte, tbs wile ofAlmonte, would be regnrded asnn nccompüshcd lady in any country. The Mexicans, of fiither sex, are not a rcadiug pcple. The ladies read very little. The general routine of fruíale life is to rise late, and spend the larger portion of the dny standing n their open windows, wln'ch extend to the floor. It would be a safe bet nt any liour of the day between ten and five o'clock, tliat you would in walking the streel see ono or more femalos standing thus at the windows of more Jhñn half the houses. At five they rido on the Paseo, and thon go to the thcntre, where they remain until twelve o'clock, and the next day, and every day in the yeur repeat the same routine. - In thisdolce lar nienlc thoir whole lives pass awny. But I rcpèat lliat in many (if t!ie (jualitics of the hèart which malte w'oníen lovely and luvcd, they have no "siipëfiors. The ladies of Mexico dress with great extravagance, and I suppose a gre :er profusión of "pearl and gold" - I will not say moro barbarie - than in any other country. I romember that at a ball at the President'., Mr. Bocanebra askod mo what I thought of the Mexican ladiesj wèrë they as handsomo as niy owri countrywomen ? I of course avoided answering the question. I lold him they vvëre very graceful, and dressed much finer than our ladies. He said he supposed so, and then asked what I thought the dresses of two ladics which he pointed out had cost; and then told me that he happencd to hear his ""ife and daughlers speaking cf thom, and_ that the material of the dresses, blonde, I think, had cost ono thousand dollars each. I asked on the sanie occasion, a friend of mine who was a merchanf, what he supposed was the cost of an ornament for the head, thickly set with diamonds, of the Señora A- G- . He told me thaí he kn w very well, for he had imported it for her, and that the prico was twenty-five tliousaud dollars j she wore other diamonds and pearls, no doubt of equal value. I have said that thero nre very rarely if ever nnything likeevoning partieE, or-"J'r-__„ ■' ...i ■■■■ i.. ■. in.! tertulias; .social meetings, or calis to spend an evening are quite ns unusual except among vcry near relations : and even the restraint and cspionnge are not út all relaxed. Persons who have seen ench other. and beon attnehed for years, often ineét fit the ahar without having spent aft hour in each other's companv. Laidies of ihc better classes never walk ihe streets cxcepl one day in tho year, the day befure good Friday, I believe it is. Hut ihey make the most of their saturnalia; on that day. all the fashiptiablè streets are crowued with thom, in their ' bib and tuckers," and g'.iitering in dinmondá. The streets are ahvays, however, swarming with women of the middling nnd lowcr classes. The only arlicle of ress worn them aro a chemise end a teiticoat, satin slippers, butno stockings, nd a reboza, a long shawl, improperly nlled by our ladies a mantilla. This !icy wear over the head and wrapped loss around the chin, and tftrown over he left shoulder. Whatcver they may o tfl private-, tjo pcople can be more obervant of propnety in public ; onc may valk the st reets of Mexico for a year} and he will not sec a wanton gesturc or ook on the p;irt of a female of any description, wiih the single exceptiou, that f you meet a woman with a very fine bust, which they nre apt to have. she fit.ds some occasion to adjust her rebózaj and throws it open for a second. This reboza answers all tho purposes of a shaw!, bonnet, and frock body. The women of Mexico, I thinlc, generally smoke ; it is gc'.ting to be rogarded is not exactly comme ei faull, andthcreIbre llyey do it privately. As the men genereüy smoke, ihey have the advannge w.'iich Dean Smift recommends to ill who cat onions, to make their