Page:Guatimala or the United Provinces of Central America in 1827-8.pdf/83

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kneel without distinction of rank or place. Returning about seven they take chocolate, which answers to our breakfast, with this exception that it is not made a social meal. Each one enters the comedor at the hour most agreeable to himself, and is then supplied with his cup of chocolate, made very thick and sweet, which with a small loaf of bread, an egg, a little fried meat and a glass of clear spring water serves him till dinner.

At this hour during the warmer months, the habit of bathing, for which the houses afford so many conveniences, is very general, but in any other way the inhabitants appear to have the greatest aversion to the application of water. For weeks together the most respectable inhabitants never wash their hands, faces or teeth, and the slightest sickness serves as a pretext for delaying the operation as well as that of shaving, frequently for months; so that you have only to look at a gentleman's beard to know how long he has had a cold, or to a lady's face to discover when she last fancied herself indisposed.

From ten to twelve are the usual hours for morning calls and receiving visits. These possess in general the same characteristics as in other parts of the world. Friends meet as lovingly, talk as scandalously, hate each other as cordially and lie as gracefully here, as in the most polished cities of civilized Europe. The only points of