Image from page 130 of "Old Mexico and her lost provinces; a journey in Mexico, southern California, and Arizona, by way of Cuba" (1883)
Authors: Bishop, William Henry, 1847-1928
Publisher: New York, Harper & brothers
Contributing Library: Brown University Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Brown University
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sidents, as theFrench, Germans, and Spaniards, has its handsome casino,or club-house, which is a standing resource for the diver-sion of members. A French traveller as far back as 1838 complains ofthe unsociable conduct of the Mexicans. If somethingof the kind be still observed, therefore, it is not new. They abound, he says, in a superfluity of finephrases, and it is in this easy way that they dischargethemselves of their obligations. All who know European life, however, are aware thatthe theatre and the cafe, with people of the Latin race,largely take the place of the social visiting and entertain-ing at home prevailing among Anglo-Saxons. Our next-door neighbors, after all, may only have followed, makinga little more severe, the traditions of Old Spain. Ladiesdo not often appear at the cafes, but they are oftenat their boxes at the theatres, to which they subscribeby the season ; and they would go more frequently yet, SOCIAL LIFE, AXD SOME NOTABLE IXSTITUTIOXS. 113 .-^/ ^y^y>yJA
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MEXICAN COURTSHIP. 114 OLD MEXICO AXD HER LOST PROVINCES. no doubt, were the pieces as a rule better worth theirconsideration. There are three large, well-built theatres,the Nacional, Principal, and Arbeu, and minor ones forthe working-class. The entertainments esteemed of chief importance arethose of the French opera companies which come overfrom Havana, on their rounds. A native Spanish opera-bouffe and ballet, called zarzuela^ is much given at othertimes. For the rest, the theatrical pieces presented arethe works, in prose and verse, of the Spanish dramatistscurrent at home, or occasionally of some native dramatist,announced with an extra flourish which his productiondoes not usually justify. They are all announced witha sufficient flourish, so far as that is concerned. There isalways going on some especially Gran Funcion, as, forexample: The grand Drama of Customs, Entirely New, inthree acts and verse, by the distinguished poet, D. Leo-poldo Cano, author of the precious comedy, La
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