Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/64

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The prevailing characteristics, glancing down the line of beauties, are large, black, liquid eyes, bright brunette skins, and abundant black hair. Notwithstanding a prevailing belief to the contrary, I think the girls of tropical climates fully as modest in their appearance as their Northern sisters. Their training in seclusion has not counted for nothing. Whatever their inmost desires may be, outwardly they are as pure as the firmest Quaker. They look at the young men demurely, but if gazed at they drop their eyes, yet not without showing the delight

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a young man's presence causes them. Yet their nature is not intense, but warm and indolent.

Everything here is for the enjoyment of the men,—the parks, the promenades, the drives, the cafes, the social life. Poor woman is looked upon merely as the Turk regards his mistress,—as an object to be kept jealously out of sight of the stranger, as a toy for the moment's enjoyment. That she rebels and repines at her harsh treatment is evident to the observer. But heartily do they enjoy the exquisite pleasures of the carnival. Here they can meet their lovers, and most zealously do they improve the fleeting hours in the ball-room. It is said