The saint here enshrined was a great favourite with all orthodox Paraenses, who attributed to her the performance of many miracles. The image was to be seen on the altar, a handsome doll about four feet high, wearing a silver crown and a garment of blue silk, studded with golden stars.
It is the pride of the Paraenses to call the Amazons the Mediterranean of South America.
There was much difference as to the accessories of these festivals between the interior towns and villages and the capital; but little or no work was done anywhere whilst they lasted, and they tended much to demoralise the people. It was soon perceived that religion is rather the amusement of the Paraenses, than their serious exercise.
Years of conciliatory government, the lesson learned by the native party and the moderation of the Portuguese, aided by the indolence and passive goodness of the Paraenses of all classes and colours, were only beginning to produce their good effects about the time I am speaking of. Life, however, was now and had been for some time quite safe throughout the country.
One is inclined, in such places as these, to think the Paraenses do not exaggerate much when they call the Amazons the Mediterranean of South America. Beyond the mouth of the Madeira, the Amazons sweeps down in a majestic reach, to all appearance not a whit less in breadth before than after this enormous addition to its waters.
Many of the old religious holidays had declined in importance, and given way to secular amusements social parties, balls, music, billiards, and so forth. There was quite as much pleasure seeking as formerly, but it was turned in a more rational direction, and the Paraenses seemed now to copy rather the customs of the northern nations of Europe than those of the mother country, Portugal.