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Nothing astonishes the visitor to Paraguay to-day bo mnoh as the vast preponderance of the female over the male population. The proportion ia something like nine to one. This is the result of a long and very fierce war, m which the patient Gnaranians, faithful stan to death, followed and supported a perfectly remorseless, cruel, and ambitions ruler through indeßoribable hardships and ■offerings. .This most hopeless and unwarrantable of wars ended only with the death of the modern Nero who waged it, and has reduced the whole population to about one■ixth of what it was twenty years ago, leaving only women and boys. Theia women are as beautiful and fair to look upon as can be found m any part of the world. Thtugh they belong to the Indian rate they are not of the swarthy, ooarse, and degraded Indian type. Some of them are very dark, but many are as light and fair aa the purest Anglo-Saxon, with dear complexions ; flowing, dark hair ; large, deep, lustrous eyets ; and delicate features of a Tory voluptaooa east. They are of medium height, rather elight and lithe, with finely moulded limbs ; ■mall, pretty bands and feet, and figures of matohless graoe and beauty that would serve for models of the sculptor's art. Their carriage is so easy and natural as to be almost the poetry of motion, for the freedom from high-heeled boots and tight clothing has left their step light, anpple, and strong. Their dress is of the simplest form— a short tunic or robe, not unlike a ekirt, falling below the knees, and a shoulder covering not unlike a shawl ; both of pore white, and adorned with pretty, native lace. They are as gracefully worn as were tho flowing Greek robes of old, and as bewitohingly serve to half reveal and half conceal the form beneath. The language spoken among themselves is the native Guarani, a Boft, liquid, gentle tongue that falla more musically upon the ear than even the boasted Spanish, and seema bo fitting for nothing else at for words and tales of love. Indeed these fair women them•elves seem made to Sing and love all day, then under wing Fold head till morn bids sing and love again. In the mid-day siesta, they are fond ot lying languidly m their graceful hammooks, pipping their mate and singing m their low, aweet voices, yet Bad and with a touoh of xntlaccholy, the narancaros or songs of the orange gatherers, or those other strange, weird songs of theirs, whose words are all of love. Indeed, what need to do aught else m Aland io blessed as theirs? Living entirely apon fruits and vegetables, that are secured with but little effort, unmoved by the ambitious schemes of the money-making Europeans, upon whom they look with questioning wonder, and possessed of languid, voluptuous natures, that are fostered by the climate, what else should they do save love and dance and sing ? Byron has faithfully portrayed the girls m his savage heroines. Strong and faithful m their at* tachments and gentle as dove's, they are, nevertheless, fiery and passionate when they have cause for jealousy, for they have a touoh of the tigress m them when moved by love and hate. Yet they are the best-natured people m the world. Always gay, always laughing, always happy, their kindness and good nature towards each other is one of the chief characteristioa of this amiable and innocent raoe. And another of their ohief characteristics is •leanlineu. Their persons, their olothing, their houses (however Boantily furnished), and even their children, bo far as possible, are always irreproachably clean and neat. Tobaoeo is one of the chief produotionß of the country, and the mannfaoture of cigars one of the chief industries ; the work of the women's hands. Large quantities of these cigars are exported to various parts of the world, but still larger quantities are consumed at home. For the use of the narcotic weed if almdst universal m this dreamy land, and its influence no doubt tends towards making the inhabitants the inaotive, indolent, carelesß people that they ara, particularly since the imoking habit is often inennrad m the tendereit age of childhood. The girls and women are dressed only m the robes described, with the added decorationß ol shoes and a gold comb m the hair, if they posses suoh finery. The men wear white linen trousers and red ponohos. The dances are m quaint, original figurea, but nearly always very graceful. Sometimes the festivities will be kept up through the entire night, after which the participants will gaily return to their occupations of whatsoever nature, always contented, always happy. Sometimes there will be a grand contribution picnic at some distant point,. where the danc. fog will be kept up through the round of a whole twenty-four hours. For truly these people live but to be happy through the live long day. Whe should introduoe toil into suoh i dreamful realm as this ? Who would prat of ambition to the dwellers m such a land o plenty and eaie and happines*, devoid of al earking care ? Who would not rather become i lotus-eater among the lotus-eaten, and eettl down upon the sunny hillsides or shady rive banks, amid fragrant and fruitful orang troves, to forget a regretted past and live on! In the happy present, waited upon by tb white robed Indian women— devoted, Bffac tionate, and surpassingly fair ? Thequestio has been aotually put and answered mot than once, and more than onoe have th fascinating attractions of this veritable A. lantii proved irresistible to the weai wanderer, For many visiting European! Englishmen among the rest, have falle Tiotims to the soft, restful, influence of tb alluring country and climate, and have sail like the followers of Ulysses — We will return no more ; our island home Ib far beyond the wave; we will no longer roar V, 0. Grant, m " Boston Transcript." At last evening's Government Inspeotic parade there were present 37 members of tl Rifles under Capt, Dolman, 32 of the Guan under Gapt. Sparrow, and about 20 Cade under Sergt. Major Hayes. Immediately aft inspection m tbeßbed Major Douglas marohi the two adult corps ouUide and put the through a variety of battalion movement Captain Dolman then took command at gave the companies some further useful dri m that officers well-known style. Stall Serf Major Jones was m attendance, and took number o! easotli for judging distant practice. "Rough on Itch."— " Rough on Itch cares skin humors, eruptions, ring won tetter, salt rhtum, frosted feet, ghUblaw, itc JT7«e.if#l, bulwri'itflh.. g

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Bibliographic details

A LAND OF FAIR WOMEN., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2005, 5 December 1888

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A LAND OF FAIR WOMEN. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2005, 5 December 1888