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from the promiscuous crowd, to enjoy tfre sweets of leisure and retirement; but one would not like to be tied down to a life of seclusion: one would wish to emerge from it occasionally, to revisit and enjoy society, which we would naturally do with renovated desires, and a double relish for its pleasures.
The ladies here, like the modish fair of Great Britain, think it vulgar and ungenteel to rise too early in the morning; and therefore generally indulge in bed till Phæbus has performed a ninth part or more of his diurnal journey along the ecliptic, and not a pearly dew-drop'is to be seen sparkling on a leaf, or refreshing a flower. Thus they lose the most delightful time of the day in dull and cheerless languor. It is true there are exceptions, but they are few. Indeed one must contemplate with pity the number of lovely women, who, slaves to fashion, and to habits of indulgence, are strangers to the sweetest portion of daily existence. How much happier the girl, who having a taste for nature's early charms, rises betimes, sweet as the rose, and cheerful as the lark, to inhale the freshness and perfumes of the morning! They sit down to breakfast about nine, or past it, have what they call second breakfast at twelve, dine at three' or four, and drink tea at eight; but seldom eat much, if any, supper. The intervals between these necessary arocations are usually employed in sewing, reading or
lounging, according to circumstances, taste, in- . clination, or caprice. The meal called secondbreakfast is the most favourite of all their meals, though it generally has the effect of taking away their appetite for dinner; so that a stranger, not being previously informed of this, meal, and seeing them picking at the pinion of a chicken, without eating any thing else, during dinner, would conceive that, like the camelion, they lived upon air ! But this is by no means the case; for the dainties of the second breakfast compensate for this deficiency. This meal has something peculiar in it. It must consist of certain favourite viands, such as the black or land crab, shrimps, toasted green Indian corn, pepper-pot (a distinguished dish, made so hot with green pepper, that one can hardly endure it in the mouth), tum-tum, that is, plantains beat into a kind of dough, and boiled in the pepper-pot, and several other articles. This must be eaten with the assistance of: the fingers alone; for knives and forks are on this occasion proscribed ! In short, so fond are the ladies in general of this second breakfast, that they would (the author verily believes) re-, linquish all the other three, rather than part with this one. In the poorer families, though they find it necessary to retrench many luxuries and superfluities, yet second breakfast remains sacred and indispensable. If a young lady is to be sent : to Great Britain for her education, her female.
192 acquaintance sooth and condole with her on the privation she is likely to endure of her beloved second breakfast, and of all those dainties and delicacies of which it consists; and when she is on the eve of departing, a provision is laid in for her use during the voyage, which would be sufficient for the consumption of ten people ! Besides all kinds of live stock, with forage for their support, a variety of vegetables is provided, with a profusion of fruit, sweetnieats, pickles, liqueurs, &c. &c. and as an amusement, half a dozen par.. rots, Barbary doves, and other humble companions. When this young lady, however, returns (in eight or ten years) in all the pride of ripened charms and acquired accomplishments, her quondam companions are surprised to find, that among her other refinements, she has contracted an unwonted indifference for her once favourite second breakfast; her roasted corn, her tum-tum, her pepper-pot, and other etcætera. But a little time usually suffices to restore this forgotten taste.
If a young lady here has a taste for reading, drawing, music, &c. (which is sometimes the case) she may make a shift to keep aloof the ennui of life for a while, till an assembly, a party, or something else comes to her relief. The ladies residing in the towns (particularly Kingstɔn, where there is generally something or other offered as an amusement) have greatly the ad
vantage of their sisterhood of the country; as, besides the variety of objects before them, they can occasionally relieve the tedium of existence with a shopping ; that is, a rummaging over every shop, without any intention, perhaps, of buying any thing; an amusement which the females here are as partial to as those of the first fashion in the British metropolis. The country ladies have, however, a mighty relief in their periodical visits to friends and relations. These removals may more properly be termed migrations, as a whole family, perhaps to the amount of thirty or forty, including domestics, set out together on a six or eight weeks' visit! or, as the visits, pro forma, of the town ladies may properly be called visits little short ceremonial trips; the others may truly be termed visitations! Their approach (which seals the death-doom of many a turkey, pig, duck, and fowl) is announced by a cloud of dust before them ; then arrives in sight the advance-guard of these gormandisers, consisting of twenty or more female slaves, loaded with trunks, beds, chairs, and band-boxes ; soon after these, the cavalcade makes its appearance, of uncles, cousins, aunts, and cousin germans; some in carriages, some on horse back, followed by waiting men, waiting maids, grooms, cooks, postillions, and fiddlers, and accompanied by led-horses and sumptermules ! Could the pigs, the lambs, and the poultry anticipate the approaching havock which was
about to thin their ranks, what a lamentable con cert of cackling, squeaking, and bleating there would arise among them! But Providence has with kindness to these poor animals, shut the book of fate.
“ Behold the lamb, thy riot dooms to-day;
Had he thy reason would be skip and play?
These visitations do not so often occur now as in former times, nor is the removal so mighty a one.