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[sermons and processions ; but it is worthy of re-
mark, that they do not admit vespers in the num-
ber of religious exercises, ag'reeably to the cus-
tom of Old Spain and other Catholic countries.
It is necessary that the men going to church
should wear a cloak or great coat, or that they
be dressed in a long coat ; one of these habits is
indispensable, neither rank nor colour affording
an exemption.

18. Religious costumes of the women . — The
dress of the women, whether rich or poor, espe-
cially of the whites, ought to be altogether black.
This dress consists of a petticoat and veil both
black ; the slaves alone are obliged to have a Avhite
veil. The object of this attire was, that by im-
posing on the sex a veil, every kind of gallantry and
coquetry might be banished from the place of
worship, and that by establishing uniformity in
dress and colour, the pious might be reminded of
the equality of all in the eyes of God. But this
dress, which was intended to be the same for every
woman, and of a very common stuff, has become
most rare and costly, and the gauze veils which
the ladies wear, expose all their features and com-
plexion as far as the eyes. This dress, worn only
in sacred duties, is now made of silk or velvet,
enriched with handsome lace, which often costs
from 400 to 800 dollars. Such as have no means
of procuring the customary church dress, are
obliged to go to the masses that are said before
day-break, and which are called missasde madru-
gada, and are performed at these hours only for
the convenience of those who are destitute of
clothes sufficiently decent to appear at church
during the day.

19. Festivals . — The Spaniards have no other
festivals blit those contained in the Roman calen-
dar. They are so multiplied at Caracas that there
are very few days in the year on which they do
not celebrate the festival of some saint or virgin
in one of the churches of the city. What greatly
multiplies the number is, that each festival is pre-
ceded bj' nine days of devotion consecrated en-
tirely to prayers, and followed by eight days, in
which the faithful of the neighbourhood, and even
of the whole city, join to prayers, public amuse-
ments, such as fire-works, music, balls, &c. ; but
the pleasures of tliese festivals never extend to the
table. Public feasts, so common among all other
people, are unknown on such occasions among
the Spaniards. These people are sober even in
the delirium of pleasure. The most striking part
of their festivals is the procession of the saint they
celebrate; they perform this always in the after-
noon ; the saint, represented by an effigy of human

stature, is richly dressed ; it is borne on a table
handsomely decorated, and followed or preceded
by some other saint of the same church, dressed
less sumptuously ; a great number of banners and
crosses open the cavalcade ; the men walk in two
lines ; each of the principal persons holds a wax
taper, then follow' the music, the clergj', the
civil officers, and at last the women and a file of
bayonets. The followers are always very numer-
ous. All the windows in the streets tlirough
Avhich the procession passes, are ornamented with
floating streamers, which give the whole neigh-
bourhood an air of festivity and rejoicing. The
windows of the French, in particular, are filled
with ladies, who repair from all parts of the city
to view the agreeable spectacle. But the princi-
pal and almost exclusive devotion of the Spaniards
is to the holy Virgin ; they have Irer in every
church under different denominations, and in
every case she has established herself in a man-
ner more or less miraculous.

20. The Stage . — The sum of the public amuse-
ments at Caracas is the play-house, at which they
perform only on festivals, the price of admission
being a real, nearly sixpence English, a sum
sufficiently indicating the talents of the actors,
and the beauty and convenience of the theatre.
All the plays, bad enough in themselves, are yet
more miserably performed. The performers of
Caracas may be compared to strolling players who
live by moving pity rather than by affording
amusement; every body must suppose from this
description, that an exliibition of this sort is alto-
gether deserted, but the reader may be assured
that the rich and poor, the young and the old, the
nobleman and plebeian, the governor and the go-
verned, all assiduously frequent the theatre. In-
dependently of three tennis-courts, a few billiard-
tables in a bad condition, scattered through the
city, and which are but rarely frequented, com-
plete the catalogue of amusements at Caracas,
indeed ttie Sjuviiiards appear averse to all places
of amusement ; they live in their houses as if they
Avere prisons, they never quit them but to go to
church, or to lultil the offices imposed on them
by their stations in society.

21. Inhabitants . — The city of Caracas contain-
ed, according to the clerical census of 1802, 31,234
souls, and in 1806 they exceeded 40,000. This
population is classed into whites, slaves, freed
people, and a very fcAV Indians. The first form
almost a fourth part of the amount, the slaves a
third part, the Indians a twentieth part, and the
freed men the remainder. In the Avliite popula-
tion there are six Castillian titles, three marquisses,]

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