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[199] least interesting to a stranger when they are known. Their amusements are few. Society they have almost none; for either—which is the general rule—they have very little culture and are rather rude in their manners, and then society, which depends for its charms in this class entirely on cultivation and refinement, is an amusement above their resources, and out of the circle of their pleasures and wants, or else they are instructed and refined, and then the long, long oppression of three centuries of tyranny and inquisition has taught them how dangerous it is to have such meetings, where the heart is too apt to speak what it feels, especially in that very portion of the people which has always been most obnoxious to the government and clergy; and therefore their doors are either hermetically sealed up, or else when they meet it is only to play at cards; which more than one of them has told me he had introduced into his parties, for the express purpose of suppressing conversation. As a general remark, therefore, the pleasures of this class are to walk in the Prado, —in the winter from twelve to two o'clock, and in the summer during the evening, which they end by taking ices at a coffee-house, —to go to the theatre, and to the toros.

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