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THE

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PRICE ONE PENNY.

UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION,

APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.

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THE CITY OF MEXICO.

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176

122

THE GRAND SQUARE.

PART THE SECOND.

countrymen will supply his omission in the present

instance, and will serve to show, that the spot which he The modern city of Mexico stands partly on the site of the has painted in such glowing colours, is not without conancient one.

This latter, as our readers will remember, siderable drawbacks on its beauty and general attractions. from our description in a preceding number, was built on a “I have staid," says Mr. Beaufoy, in his interesting group of islands in the midst of the lake of Tezcuco, being Mexican Illustrations, “on the roofs of the houses in surrounded on all sides by water, and communicating with Mexico, for a considerable time together, admiring the the main land by artificial dikes; the present capital, on beauty of the buildings, the clearness of the sky, and the the other hand, is situated at a distance of between two mountainous outline on every side. I have watched till and three miles from the lake. Persons may be inclined, the snow-capped peak of Popocatepetl, or the lower, but therefore, to use Humboldt's words, either to doubt the far finer and broken summits of Iztaccihuatl, have been accuracy of the descriptions in the history of the discoveries distinctly visible above the masses of clouds; when they in the New World, or to believe that the capital of Mexico have been burnished by the rays of a setting sun, after all does not stand on the same ground with the old residence below was in darkness: and few men could have been more of Montezuma ; " but the city has certainly not changed highly gratified. My enthusiasm, however, has not its place, for the Cathedral of Mexico occupies exactly blinded me; I still disliked the swampy bleak tlat which the ground where the temple of Huitzilopochtli stood, and met my view each time I quitted the town. It did not make the present street of Tacuba, is the old street of Tlacopan, me transform half a dozen wild fruits, small stony wretched through which Cortez made his famous retreat, on the grapes, peaches like green almonds or bad turnips, into melancholy night of the 1st of July, 1520." The difference the luscious productions of the West Indies or English of situation arises solely from the diminution of the water of hot-houses. Neither did it warm my fancy so much, that the lake of Tezcuco, a diminution which is to be attributed the half-naked, miserable-looking Indians, and mixed to both natural and artificial causes.

castes, who crowd the streets, shivering at each rain-drop In order to give our readers some idea of the general or gust of wind, under a ragged sort of blanket, then appearance of the modern city of Mexico, we must again closely wrapped round them to the chin,—that these have recourse to the language of Humboldt, whose ima- melancholy-looking wretches should seem the Arcadian ginary picture of the ancient capital, we transferred to our peasants of poetic fiction." pages in a former number, and whose descriptions are always as much remarkable for their eloquence, as their accuracy. Mexico," he says, “is without doubt one of the most beautiful cities that Europeans have founded in either The Grand Square of Mexico is very fine, being both hemisphere. With the exception of St. Petersburgh, Ber- spacious in itself, and surrounded by good buildings. A lin, Philadelphia, and the more modern parts of London, portion of it is represented in the engraving which we gave no town of the same extent can bear comparison with it, ' in our preceding number on this subject, and which is for the uniform level of the ground which it occupies, for reduced from a splendid plate contained in Humboldt's the regularity and breadth of the streets, and for the size Atlas Pittoresque, and copied originally from a picture by of the public places. The architecture is in general pure, a Mexican artist. We should observe, however, that it is and in some instances, very beautiful ; the buildings are a matter of doubt whether the bronze equestrian statue of not loaded with superfluous ornament, while the stone and Charles the Fourth, which forms so prominent a portion of porphyry of which they are constructed, give them an the view, and which was once the boast and ornament of air of solidity, and occasionally, even of magnificence. the city, at present occupies its place. It was originally Nothing, indeed, can be more rich and varied, than the erected under the Spanish dominion, and is spoken of by picture which the valley presents from the Cathedral- all travellers as a very creditable work; indeed, as the tower, on a fine summer's morning, when the air is clear finest specimen of casting in the New World. “It is and pure, and the cloudless sky exhibits that deep-blue admirably executed ;" says Mr. Poinsett, “and after that tint, which is peculiar to the dry atmosphere of an elevated of Agrippa, in Rome, and Peter the Great, in St. Peters position. Immediately beneath the spectator, lies the burgh *, is the most spirited and graceful equestrian statue city with its magnificent buildings; beyond its limits, on I have ever seen. It was cast in Mexico, and the artist, every side, the eye sweeps over a vast plain of carefully- Mr. Tolsa, succeeded at the first cast of the metal. He cultivated fields, which stretch to the very foot of Colossal deserves great credit, to have himself moulded, cast, and mountains covered with perpetual snow. The city seems placed a statue weighing forty thousand five hundred bathed by the waters of the lake of Tezcuco, whose basin, pounds, in a country so destitute of mechanical resources." encircled with villages and hamlets, recalls to mind the Beautiful, however, as was this statue, and much as it most beautiful lakes of the Swiss mountains. Noble contributed to the adornment of the square, as indeed, of avenues of elm and poplar lead from every side to the the whole city, it was still the statue of a king; and when, capital; two aqueducts, raised on lofty arches, traverse the therefore, in the course of the unfortunate struggle with plain, and exhibit an appearance equally agreeable and the mother-country, the colonists came to hate every thing interesting. To the north is seen the magnificent convent regal, the very name of this noble monument sufficed to of Our Lady of Guadalupe, backed by the mountains seal its fate. The Mexican liberals hesitated not to sacriTepeyacac; and around it, the ground is diversified hy fice all considerations of beauty and ornament, to the ravines overgrown with palms, and the arborescent yucca. purity of their republican zeal; and the effigy of the Towards the south, the whole plain appears one immense Spanish monarch was removed with ignominy from the garden of orange, peach, apple, cherry, and other Euro- proud station which it had previously occupied, on its lofty pean fruit-trees. This beautiful cultivation forms a sin pedestal in the Grand Square. Captain Lyon saw it gular contrast with the wild appearance of the naked standing neglected in the court of the University ; and he mountains which enclose the valley, and among which the says, that it may be considered as lost to the public, who famous volcanoes of La Puebla, Popocatepetl, and Iztacci- sometimes speak of it, though why, he knows not, as the huatl, are the most distinguished. The first of these Caballo de Troya, or the Trojan Horse. Whether it has forms an enormous cone, the crater of which, continually since been restored to its former place, we have no means inflamed, and throwing up smoke and ashes, opens in the of ascertaining, midst of eternal snows.

The east side of the square, or that which appears in This is certainly a splendid picture; we know no other front of our view, is occupied by the Cathedral, on the capital in the world, offering an equal combination of north stands a noble building, which, under the old order of similar attractions. We must remark, however, that things, was the palace of the Spanish viceroy, and which Humboldt has sometimes been charged with a disposition became the imperial residence, during the short reign of to view things in too favourable a light, occasionally over

Iturbide. At present, it comprises within its walls, the looking defects, which have become visible to subsequent residence of the president, the senate-house, and all the observers, in the objects which he describes, and 'thus principal public offices. On the south is a fine row of presenting only one side of the picture, and that the bright | houses, in the centre of which stands the palace of the one. The following extract from the pen of one of our i

* See Saturday Magazine, Vol. V., p. 214.

*

Marquess de Valle, (the descendant of Cortez,) vulgarly unwise passenger murmurs at the request, he is quietly called the Casa del Estado. It was built soon after the deposited in the gutter. conquest, on the site of the ancient palace of Montezuma. The streets of Mexico are very well paved,-both the

The western side is occupied by the Portales, a range of portion appropriated to pedestrians, and that reserved for buildings with a piazza in front, consisting of shops, &c., horses and vehicles. Carriages are rolling about the city and by a few public offices.

all day long, in almost countless numbers; they begin to The pleasing effect of the Grand Square is, according move about ten in the morning, and continue incessantly to Mr. Bullock, much impaired by the presence of “a until the same hour at night. Every family of respectatrumpery building, called the Parian.“A most odious bility keeps one or two coaches, and two pairs of mules. and tasteless bazaar," as a still more modern traveller, Mr. The bodies of these vehicles are handsome in form, though Tudor, calls it, where a considerable portion of the retail rather large; instead of being decorated with arms, as business of the city is transacted. This is a quadrangular among us, they are gaudily bedizened with paintings building, about one hundred and twenty yards in length, of various subjects, often taken from the heathen myand intersected by a number of streets or passages, which thology. The lower part is very clumsy ;-the distance divide it into uniform compartments: the whole of it is between the two axletrees is not less than twelve feet, and occupied by shops, the interior of which is laid open to both before and behind there is a projection, to which view, by means of several doors, but no windows. The are fastened the leathers that suspend the body of the goods are fancifully exposed on stalls, between the doors machine. The mules are yoked some feet in advance; without, or assorted on shelves within; the larger masses the coachman rides, one of them, leaving the view before of commodities are kept in a room behind. The several the carriage quite open. The appearance of the whole entrances to this place are provided with strong gates, equipage, with the mules so far a-head, is described as and watchmen are stationed both inside and outside, in ungraceful, especially to the eyes of those who are accuswhose charge property to any amount may be left in per- tomed to the neatness of an English carriage; nevertheless, fect safety. The commodities for sale consist of British there is both safety and ease in the coach itself, and thus and foreign goods, as well as of the produce of domestic the stranger soon becomes reconciled to its appearance. manufactures.

Mules are used, in Mexico, for draught, in preference to This square is the place of resort for a curious class of horses; and when large, they are valued at as high a sum people—the Evangelistas, as they are called—a sort of as a thousand dollars (about two hundred pounds) the ready-writers whose business it is to indite memorials and pair. Mr. Poinsett speaks of some which he saw in the epistles for those who cannot write themselves. “I saw stables of the Conde de Regla, a nobleman often menabout a dozen of these men," says Captain Lyon, "seated tioned by Humboldt as remarkable for his rich mines and in various nooks near the shop-doors, occcupied in penning his vast landed estates, wbose height exceeded sixteen letters from the dictation. Most of them, as might easily hands. “The greatest luxury of a Mexican," he adds, "is be perceived, were writing on different subjects: some to have four of these fine mules drawing a carriage richly treated of business, while others, again, as was evident by painted and varnished. Even when not used, they are the transfixed hearts at the top of the paper, were tran- kept harnessed to the carriage, and standing in the courtscribing the tender sentiments of the young men or women yard from morning to night. The harness is heavily who were crouched down by their side. I looked over the ornamented with brass plates, and the tails of the mules shoulders of many of these useful scribes, as they sat with are enclosed in stout leathern bags." their paper placed on a small board resting on their Nor is there any want of equestrians in the streets. knees, and did not observe one who wrote a bad or illegible Like the carriages, they begin to show themselves about hand." They have generally to arrange the verbal ten in the morning; and, till sun-set, they continue paeffusions of their customers into the shape of a tolerable rading, with a slow and stately pace,-the riders decked out piece of composition ; and in this they display considerable in all the finery of the fashion, and the horses gaily dexterity and readiness. “Memorials to ministers and caparisoned with a profusion of trappings. The complete judges, letters of condolence and congratulation, and epis- equipment of a Mexican gentleman in the national ridingtles breathing love and friendship, succeed each other dress is very curious, and, moreover, enormously expensive. rapidly," to use the words of Mr. Poinsett, “and appear The back and quarters of the horse are covered with a to cost but little effort. Some of them,” he adds, “are coating of leather, sometimes stamped and gilt, and sometolerable improvisatorią faculty more common among times curiously wrought, but always terminating in a the people of Spanish America than it is even among the fringe or border of little tags of brass, iron, or silver, which Italians."

make a prodigious jingling at every step. The saddle is large, and richly embroidered with silk, gold, and silver; in front it rises into a lofty pommel which is adorned with

the same metals. - The bridle is ugly in appearance, and The streets of Mexico are all straight; most of them are connected, by large silver ornaments, with a powerful between one and two miles in length, and they intersect Arabic bit, of very great weight, which enables a rider to each other at right angles. In looking down them towards manage even the most spirited horses with facility. the exterior of the city, the view is bounded by the distant The horseman himself is decked out in much the same country, and a pleasing illusion is thus produced. “Every style as his steed. First there is his sombrero, a lowone,” says Mr. Ward, “who has resided in a southern crowned hat, with a brim six inches wide, and a broad climate, knows how much the purity of the atmosphere edging of gold or silver lace; then he has a jacket of cloth tends to diminish distances; but even at Madrid, where the or printed calico, likewise embroidered with gold or silk, summer-sky is beautifully clear, I never saw it produce or trimmed with rich fur, and a pair of breeches of some this effect in so extraordinary a degree as at Mexico. The extraordinary colour, (pea-green or azure, Mr. Ward says,) whole valley is surrounded with mountains, most of which open at the knee, to show the much-fringed botas, and are at least fifteen miles from the capital, yet, on looking terminating in two points considerably below it. To down any of the principal streets, it appears to be termi- increase the attractive powers of these lower garments, mated by a mass of rocks which are seen so distinctly that, they are thickly studded down the side with large silver on a fine day, one can trace all the undulations of the sur buttons. Next comes the cloth manga, or riding-cloak, face, and almost count the trees and little patches of vege- of blue or purple colour, which is often thrown over the tation which are seattered over it."

saddle and crossed behind the rider in such a manner as The streets of Mexico are perfectly level,--they have to display the circular piece of velvet in the centre through scarcely any inclination whatever. This circumstance, which the head is passed when the manga is worn, and though productive of considerable convenience in some which is in general very beautifully embroidered. respects, is yet a source of much disadvantage in others; The bota, however, is the chief article of the equipments, for after a heavy storm the water will remain stagnant -the real pride of the true Mexican cavalier.*This," for hours together; indeed, during the rainy season, says Mr. Beaufoy, “is formed of the skin of a deer, wellit is not unfrequently the case that the streets are, tanned and soft; and being then stamped with a variety of for a short time, perfectly impassable on foot; and then pleasing figures, is bound round the leg with a coloured those who are in a hurry, and who cannot send for a garter, below the knee; on horse-back it gives the rider hackney coach, hire porters to carry them on their shoul- å firmer hold than the English top-boot, because, being ders. Travellers give a laughable account of the tricks of more flexible, it accommodates itself to every motion of the these fellows. They carry their burden into the centre of animal.” The spurs are of a most primitive kind, weigh the water and then demand an increase of pay;—if the ing from a pound to a pound and a half each; they are

STREETS.

bound to the foot by rude chains and clumsy iron bars. I of all complexions, with mustaehios, are exposed to the The rowels of these enormous instruments are quite in street, employed in decorating the dresses, and sewing proportion; the common size is three inches in diameter, muslin gowns, in making flowers, and trimming caps, and sometimes it reaches four, and if by any chance the wearer other articles of female attire; whilst perhaps at the next is forced to dismount, they trail at his heels, along the door, a number of poor girls are on their knees on the floor, ground, in a style any thing but elegant.

engaged in the laborious occupation of grinding chocolate,

which is here always performed by hand." The apothecaries' HOUSES.

shops, or stores, are curious; the stock which they usually The general appearance of the houses of Mexico is very contain, is enormous,-perhaps filling a whole house,-and good;" there are none of those wooden balconies," to use the prices which are chargeil for even the commonest articles, the words of Humboldt, “which disfigure so much all the are exorbitant. Shops for the sale of brandy and pulque, European cities in both the Indies. The balustrades and (of which we shall speak below,) are but too common; and gates are all of Biscay iron, ornamented with bronze, and by the gay display of their various-coloured poisons, in the houses, instead of roofs, have terraces like those in handsome decanters, present such a temptation to the poor Italy and other southern countries.". Many of these Indians, that few who possess a media, (a small coin worth terraces are covered with flowers, which afford a pleasant about three-pence,) can carry it home. place of resort in a fine evening, and, according to Mr. While speaking of shops, we may notice that there is one Bullock, give to the city, when seen from an elevation, a class of establishments very essential to the public accommofar more beautiful appearance than is offered by any dation, of which a great dearth exists in Mexico; we mean in Europe—“where the red-tiled and deformed roofs and | inns, and places similar to our coffee-houses, or the French shapeless stacks of chimneys are the principal features in restaurateurs. There is a Sociedad Mericano, as well as the prospect." The height of the houses is variously some few other houses, where a room can be hired, but Mr. stated by different travellers ; Mr. Ward says, they “sel- Beaufoy tells us, that neither beds nor other conveniences dom exceed one story"—the author of A Sketch of the Cus are to be found in them; four bare walls once whitewashed, toms and Society of Mexico, says they are “ mostly of two a roof, and perhaps two boards to lie down on, are the stories," -Mr. Bullock says they are generally of three," extent of the accommodations afforded. Captain Lyon —and Mr. Poinsett make them “of three and four." Their gives them much the same character; "the Mesons," he fronts are painted of various colours, white, crimson, says, “ are beyond description otfensive and incommodious. brown, light-green, or yellow, and frequently have in- Cook-shops,” he adds, “ for other than arrieros and leperos scriptions upon them taken from Scripture; sometimes are very scarce, and an absolute stranger would live worse the paint is superseded by glazed porcelain arranged in in Mexico, than the poor wretches who dive for their dinners a variety of designs, giving the whole a “rich and mosaic in the regions of St. Giles." appearance."

There is a custom mentioned by one of the above genAs is the case in many continental cities, the practice tlemen, as universal in Mexico; and which, he says, is very generally prevails in Mexico, of letting out the exceedingly annoying to Europeans, who never heard of ground-floor of private houses, even the most splendid ones, such a thing," the demanding of payment beforehand, as shops, stores, and manufactories. The entrance is for the articles ordered. Your washerwoman, on taking generally by a pair of large folding-gates, which lead into away the linen, asks for an advance of money to buy the an open court, filled with trees and flowers, and having the soap; the tailor wants cash to purchase the cloth, the thread, different apartments around it; a broad, handsome, stone the buttons; all do the same from the highest to the lowest. staircase, conducts to the balconies, from which the ap- It is said to have arisen from a convenient forgetfulness the proach is direct into the rooms. “Nothing," we are told, Spaniards used to be troubled with, -that of not paying for *s can be better calculated than these residences for the articles after they were delivered." The system is even delightful climate, in a country where change of tempera- extended beyond these small matters; if you purchase or ture is scarcely known, where permanent spring reigns, hire a house, mines, or any thing, the owner insists on the where fire-places are never seen, and where it is scarcely whole or a part of the sum being given him at once. Connecessary to have glass-windows, to exclude the night-air tract with a man to supply you with timber or cotton, and from the bed-rooms.

he ends his agreement with Provided you furnish me But the furniture, and internal decorations of the houses, with such a proportion of the value, as may procure the ill accord with the appearance which they present exter- necessary mules and oxen for the conveyance." nally. Carpets are very little used: a few of the houses of the nobility display small ones, or pieces. Hearth-rugs, of

PUBLIC BUILDINGS. course, are not needed, where there are no fire-places, but they are considered to make capital saddle-cloths.

The public buildings of Mexico are numerous and splendid; The chief deficiency is, however, not of things which we can only glance at the principal among them, for a have never been used in the country, but of things which detailed description of all would far exceed our limits. were once in very common request: the cause of it is thus The edifice which we mentioned as occupying the north side traced by Mr. Bullock. “ The closing of the mines, the of the grand square, and which is still called the Palace, expulsion of the rich Spanish families, and sixteen years may, perhaps, be placed at the head of them; its pre-emiof revolutionary warfare, with all the concomitant miseries, nence in one respect is decided—it is the largest erection have wrought a melancholy alteration in the fortunes of in the city. Mr. Bullock calls it a truly magnificent individuals, and in the general state of the country; and in building;" Mr. Beaufoy thought it “ imposing only from its this the capital bears no inconsiderable share. The superb size." It has four large courts within, around which the tables, chandeliers, and other articles of furniture, of solid different offices are distributed. The senate-house which silver, the magnificent mirrors and pictures, framed in the is contained within this pile, is described as a small oval same precious metal, have now passed through the mint, chamber very prettily furnished, having a little gallery for and, in the shape of dollars, are circulating over Europe visiters at either end, but ill-situated for hearing. Captain and Asia; and families whose incomes have exceeded half- Lyon visited it while the assembly was engaged in a a-million per annum, can now scarcely procure the means debate; he says that "every thing seemed well-conducted, of a scanty existence." There certainly has been nothing except that very strong language was unceremoniously in the few years which have elapsed since Mr. Bullock made use of amongst the speakers. While the discussion wrote, to induce us to suppose that the state of things has was at its highest, the president all on a sudden gave at all improved.

notice that it was two o'clock, silence immediately ensued

-all the members moved off—and thus ended the day ;SHOPS.

it being an established rule, that no government-affairs The shops of Mexico are an interesting feature of the city, should ever keep these patriots from their dinners and though, unlike our own, they make very little display. siestas, and that after the stated hour, every man should be They have no windows, we are told, two or three doors permitted to retire and recruit exbausted nature." allowing ingress at once “ to the lights, the air, the dust, The Mineria, or College of Mines, is a building erected and the customer." The working of gold and silver, is by the same individual who cast the equestrian statue, of carried to a considerable extent, and the shops which are which we have spoken as standing, or having stood, in the devoted to the productions of this art, may stand at the Grand Square. Mr. Ward says that it is a magnificent head of all the rest. “The first sight of a milliner's shop," building, the plan of which does honour to the architect; says Mr, Bullock, “must always raise a smile on the face of unfortunately, however, from some radical defect in the a newly-arrived foreigner. Twenty or thirty brawny fellows, l execution, the whole structure is now falling into ruins, or

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CHURCH OF NUESTRA SEÑORA DE GUADALUPE, NEAR MEXICO. was, at least, a few years ago. Most of the buildings in 25,000, and the consulado or association of merchants more Mexico are necessarily built on piles, in consequence of than 15,000. Instruction is communicated gratis. It is the looseness of the soil; and it is supposed that there was not confined to the drawing of landscapes and figures; some want of eare in driving the piles on which the foun- they have had the good sense to employ other weans for dations of the Mineria were laid, or, perhaps, that they exciting the national industry. The Academy labours were not driven to a sufficient depth. The consequence is, successfully to introduce among the artisans a taste for that the whole superstructure has given way, the lower elegance and beautiful forms. Large rooms, well lighted floor having sunk below the level of the street. " It is by Argand lamps, contain every evening some hundreds of quite melancholy," says Mr. Ward, “to see magnificent young people, of whom some draw from rilievo, or living rows of columns, windows and doors completely out of the models, while others copy drawings

of furniture, chandeliers, perpendicular, with walls and staircases cracking in every or other ornaments in bronze. In this assemblage (and direction."

this is very remarkable, in the midst of a country where One of the courts of the Palace is occupied by a small prejudices of the nobility against the castes, are so very botanic garden, which, previously to the Revolution, was inveterate,) rank, colour, and race, are confounded. We very rich; soon after the beginning of that event, however, see the Indian and the Mestizo (or half-caste) sitting beside a portion of it was appropriated to barracks for the body the white, and the son of a poor artisan, in emulation with guard of the viceroys. It is now chiefly remarkable for the children of the great lords of the country. It is a conpossessing two of the only three specimens known to exist solation to observe, that under every zone the cultivation of in Mexico, of the celebrated Arbol de las manitas, (or tree science and arts establishes a certain equality among men, of the little hands ;), where they came from, or where and obliterates, for a time at least, all those petty passions others may be found growing in a wild state, nobody of which the effects are so prejudicial to social happiness." knows. The tree is about forty feet high, with a smooth The collection of casts belonging to this institution is trunk, destitute of branches almost to the top; but the remarkably fine, or at least was so; it is said to have cost boughs then stretch over a considerable distance, with the king of Spain upwards of £8000. When Mr. Poinsett large leaves and numerous flowers hanging downwards saw them they were in excellent preservation, but it was from among the foliage. These flowers are very beautiful, doubtful, he says, how long they would remain so, as the being of a red colour, and having the centre in the form roof was partly off immediately above them, and the rain of a hand, with the fingers a little bent inwards.

fell upon the ffoor of the room in which they were placed.

We find no mention of them in the works of any travellers ACADEMY OF THE FINE ARTS.

who have visited the city recently; so that whether the

state of things is at all improved, we have not the means AMONG the finest institutions which this capital could of knowing. boast for the promotion of literature and art, the Academy The state of painting, unless greatly improved of late, of Painting and Sculpture, or the Academia de los Nobles cannot be very flourishing at present. Not one landscape Artes, as it is called, occupied a very high rank.

or architectural painter remained in this great city when The picture which Humboldt has drawn of the state of | Mr. Bullock visited it: we can hardly see how the case this establishment, as it existed at the time of his visit to could be otherwise, when the chief employment of the Mexico, is a very flattering one, and contrasts forcibly with pencil is in decorating the panels of coach-bodies, and the the accounts which later writers have given us. The heads of wooden bedsteads. There are a vast number of change in its condition has arisen from the same causes to pictures, some of them old, in the churches and convents; which we are to attribute the general decline of this city, l but few have been found of any great merit, or “worth the and the injury that has been suffered by other institutions; expense of removing." There are scarcely any private namely, the unfortunate circumstances in which the country collections; those that did exist in the olden days, have has been placed, since the commencement of the struggle disappeared under the pressure of the calamities of for independence against Spain. The following is Hum- modern times. boldt's description, it will show our readers what this

RELIGION. Academy once was.

“The revenues of the Academy of Fine Arts amount to The religion of the inhabitants of Mexico is the Roman 125,000 fraires, (upwards of £5000); of which the govern- Catholic; by the third article of the federal constitution, ment gives 60,000, the body of Mexican miners nearly that is established exclusively as the religion of the state.

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