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stopping now and then to jabber with an innovator on established rules, and turning round to the obsequious by-standers for approval, as if to say with Sancho, (whom he much resembled,) "What do ye think of this, my friends? Do I say something, or do I crack my brain to no purpose?"

We were placed in an excellent position for seeing the whole affair, in the balcony of the British Consul.* On each side of the street, crowds of poor women sat in their blue cloaks, gossiping and quietly waiting for their dole. There were decrepit men, in silent repose, by the side of their greyheaded wives; noisy children ran in and out and underneath the tables, full of shrill enjoyment; young girls in short blue cloaks, muslin handkerchiefs, and high straw hats, sat or stood about, chattering and acting with endless energy; young men in gay clean dresses, stood by them, or walked backwards and forwards in the crowd; some lounged against a corner, puffing paper cigars, which, after a whiff or two, they would hand to their neighbours; others stood still, half-amazed

* The present British Consul for this island is Mr. Minchin, whose politeness and bonhomie it is extremely pleasant to remember.

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at the bustle and hum of the undulating row of heads, which extended on both sides of the vacant line between the tables, as far as the eye could reach. Above, the balconies were filled with men and women, full of good-humoured vivacity, who bowed and joked with their passing acquaintance as opportunity offered. Dandies, too, there were, the charm of their own eyes, as precise and particular in the decoration of their persons as any young men in the world, whether taken from the pavement of St. James's Street, or the back woods of America, where red Indian dandyism consists in the lavish use of oil and blue paint. And Azorean fops were no more or less absurd than "the cloth animal" in England; "the man that lives, and moves, and has his being in cloth." It would have been malicious to have said to either of them what Martinus Scriblerus said to the gentleman at court, "Take off your artificial charms, sir, and you will find yourself a forked straddling animal, with a dun hide and a pot belly."

Soon after the dinner had been spread, a priest appeared at the end of the tables. He was robed as usual, in a scanty black gown, reaching to the ancles, a short smock of loose muslin falling from

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the shoulders to the waist; and he wore on his head, the common tufted angular cap of black silk. After waiting a moment or two for his musicians, the band appeared, and repeating their drumming, clinking, and nasal chant, led the way to the altar. The priest followed with measured steps, and with as much dignity and grace as were compatible, either with scanty petticoats, strained tight at every stride, or with an assumed carelessness of manner, which too plainly indicated his want of cordial sympathy in the ceremonies of the day; just as I have seen in the streets of a country town in England a shamefaced freemason, who has never before appeared in the glitter of gilded pasteboard, brazen out his folly by swaggering attempts at indifference, or by affecting earnest conversation with his neighbour. How much sincerity of manner, probably, would one more eruption of lava from the caldeira above our heads, have put into that priest's (and all our) actions!

When he and the musicians reached the altar, prayers having been repeated in the chapel, (which we were not near enough to hear,) they returned in the same order as they went. On the left, an attendant bore a silver vase of holy


water, which he held up to the priest, who from time to time dipped into it a brush, from which, as he walked rapidly between the tables, he sprinkled the food. The water was thrown wide of the mark, and some of the poor earnestly stretched out their heads and hands to receive the spare drops. We were told that the food which has been so blessed, is highly prized by the poor, and on this account, quite as much as for the sake of the meat itself, they show much eagerness to obtain it.

Next came the distribution, which was managed by tickets, previously given, by the subscribers to the feast, to deserving poor people. It was done in perfectly good order, without hustling or scrambling; each person carrying off his share to be eaten at home.




"Come pensive nun, devout and pure,
Sober, steadfast, and demure,

With looks commercing with the skies,
Thy rapt soul sitting in thy eyes."


Convent of Nuns. -Visit.-The real Nun, and the ideal Nun.

Loss to the poor of the monastic establishments. charity.-Climate for invalids.

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MAY 26, FAYAL.-This afternoon we paid a visit to the Convent of Nuns. The outside appearance of the building differed but little from that of other tall barrack-like houses near. It held seven Nuns, with their servants; and the rules confined them strictly within the walls. The entrance was a paved chamber, open to the street, where persons wishing to sell or to buy, come to a revolving drum in the wall, and talk

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