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vellers were detained some time on their departure, while the mules were fed, the drivers having gambled away the money entrusted to them for that purpose. The road to Ocho d'Agua lies through parched plains of great extent, in which the eye is frequently deluded by the Fata Morgana, and whirlwinds travel in various directions, carrying with them great quantities of sand. At Napalluca they obtained an escort to Puebla do las Angelos, a distance of fifty miles, which the mules performed without tasting food or water. Puebla is a large and handsome city, containing about 90,000 inhabitants; it was built by the Spaniards in 1533, and has more appearance of antiquity than is usually observable in transatlantic towns; a great number of the houses are ornamented with fresco paintings on the walls, and the tiles are decorated in a similar manner. This imparts a peculiarly neat appearance to the exterior, which harmonizes ill with the air of meanness that reigns within. The piety of the Mexicans has found ample scope in beautifying their magnificent churches, which are loaded with a profusion of the richest ornaments; the high altar of the cathedral is a noble erection, by an Italian artist, but far too large, as it occupies a considerable portion of the building, and rises into the dome.
"The materials are the most beautiful marbles and precious stones that can be found in New Spain; its numerous and lofty columns, with plinths and capitals of burnished gold, the magnificent altar of silver, crowded with statues, &c. &c. have an unequalled effect. I have travelled over most of Europe, but I know nothing like it; and only regret it does not belong to a building more worthy of it."
The " pomp and circumstance" of the Catholic religion are no where displayed in greater perfection than here. At the service of Tenæbræ, in Holy Week,
"The whole cathedral, and all its costly appendages, and fretted golden roof, were displayed and illuminated by thousands of waxlights, reflected from gold and silver chandeliers of the finest workmanship; an altar, covered with massive plate, as fresh as from the hands of the artisan; a host of officiating clergy, arrayed in the richest vestments; the waving of banners; the solemn music, and a powerful and well-conducted band! that heart must have been cold indeed which could have remained inanimate amid such a scene:-he who would wish to see the pomp of religious ceremony, should visit Puebla.”
The grand pyramid of Chollula, which is of greater dimensions than the largest of those in Egypt, is constructed of a mass of unburnt bricks and clay, which, in a less happy climate, had long since mouldered away; at present, its form is much obscured by trees of all kinds, which grow on its gigantic sides. The city of Chollula contains about 6000 inhabitants, and is rendered famous by the massacre of twenty thousand persons by order of the great Cortez. The situation of the capital of
New Spain is one of the worst that can be imagined, being in the midst of an immense swamp, which, in the rainy season, is converted into a vast lake; at other times, the water is restrained within the banks of the canals which intersect the city. The houses are grand and regularly built; the outsides are painted in fresco, which, from the softness of the climate, retains its freshness for years; the roofs are flat, and covered with flowers, and the numerous balconies and terraces give a finish to the scene, which Italy cannot equal; Mexico has, notwithstanding, a melancholy cloud hanging over it, which obscures its splendour, and affects the mind of a stranger with a multitude of painful emotions. Sixteen years of revolutionary war have done their desolating work, and carried away the wealth; and, with it, the comfort of a great number of the higher orders, whose splendid services of plate are circulating in the form of dollars over the whole habitable globe: every species of convertible property has passed away; and hence, with a showy exterior, all within is poverty and wretchedness, In the hospital of Jesus de las Naturales, the author was shown, and permitted to handle, the bones of the renowned Cortez, we are not sure whether he is an adept, but it is clear that he has been dabbling in Phrenology, as he "attentively examined the cranium of this extraordinary person, but found nothing to distinguish it." Some of our readers will probably regret that he did not take a cast from it, that they might judge for themselves. this capital, and probably arising out of the state of things which we have mentioned, is a public establishment for the pledging of goods, which is under very strict regulations. Science and the Arts have been hurled from their thrones by the revolution. The venerable president of the academy exists in a state of indigence, and is nearly blind, without pupils, patronage, or revenue. Not one landscape or architectural painter is to be found in Mexico, and the few wretched daubers who paint portraits, are all that remain of a once promising school. Theatrical exhibitions are little countenanced, and of a very unrefined description. It is not the etiquette, for any person to smoak in the presence of the Viceroy or Governor, but in order to enable the audience to gratify their favourite appetite, a curtain is occasionally let down in front of his Excellency's box, when a thousand segars are instantly lighted, and create an impervious cloud, which renders one side of the house invisible to the other; the ladies employing themselves as zealously in this work as the men.
The provisions which supply the market are brought by Indians up the canal in boats, and it is not possible to con
ceive a more interesting and picturesque appearance than is presented by this peaceful fleet: the delicious fruits, and variety of poultry and game which they convey, are tastefully piled at the end of the vessel, and ornamented with flowers; the whole family are assembled on board and employed in knitting, while the master is amusing them by strumming on the guitar; in this simple manner is Mexico furnished with the necessaries and the luxuries of life, and we trust that European speculators will long permit these innocent and harmless Indians, to exhibit the last remains of primitive and patriarchal simplicity; we should be sorry to hear of a steam-boat being launched on the lake for the transit of goods, even though the price of freight were reduced fifty per cent. The mint is an extensive building; the machinery is clumsy and ill contrived, but capable, with four hundred men, of coining 80,000 dollars per day. Trade and manufactures are in a rude state, and every thing is exorbitantly dear. The simple operation of shaving costs half of a physician's fee; the time is probably not far distant when the barbers will be compelled by competition to reduce their charge, and be thus placed at more respectful distance from the learned professors of the healing art. In the mechanical arts, that simple instrument, the frame-saw is unknown, and a tree is by great labour hewn into a single plank or board, as it may happen. It is wonderful that the utmost exertion should have been sufficient to maintain such a state of ignorance for so great a length of time, especially as a degree of excellence has been attained in several manufactures; that of coaches in particular. There is a singular and extremely arbitrary regulation by which bakers are prevented leaving the city, and compelled to follow their calling. An attempt was made to emancipate them, but the result was a failure in the supply of bread, and they became again enslaved. Great quantities of goods have been sent here on speculation that were entirely unfit for the place, among which, were stovegrates and fire-irons, in a country where there are neither chimnies nor fire places; hence many of these unsaleable articles are applied in a grotesque manner to purposes for which they were never intended. It is very common to see hearth rugs used as saddle-cloths, and large curtain pins employed to ornament the pommels of saddles. English porter is highly prized, and sells for five dollars the bottle.
Mexico abounds in wild dogs of a formidable size, and a mixed breed of dog fox and wolf is brought from the provinces. Bull-fighting, though common, is not so bloody as in Spain, and it is seldom that any mischief occurs. Cockfighting is a very favourite sport with the people, and the
best breeds are obtained from Europe; they are content to match the birds singly, and have not yet reached the climax of cruelty by exhibiting a Battle Royal, or a Welch Main, The Mexicans possess a fine breed of hogs, of which they are very choice.
They are attended by several Indians, with every possible care, and have a cold bath on the premises, which they are frequently obliged to use, as cleanliness is considered essential to their acquiring that enormous load of fat from which the principal profit is derived. Their ease and comfort also seem to be studiously attended to; and the occupation of two Indian lads will cause a smile on the countenance of my musical readers, when they are informed that they are employed, from morning till night, in settling any disputes or little bickerings that may arise among the happy inhabitants of this community, either in respect to rank or condition, and in singing them to sleep. The boys are chosen for the strength of their lungs, and their taste and judgment in delighting the ears and lulling the senses of this amiable harmonic society; and succeed each other in chanting during the whole day, to the great delight and gratification of the audience, who seem fully to appreciate the merits of the performers."
There is a rude carving in the church of Hognaston, Derbyshire, of pigs playing on the organ, which tradition says, actually took place, and we believe these two instances are nearly all that are on record to prove that the swinish multitude are either affected by or capable of producing the "concord of sweet sounds.'
In speaking of Mexico, it is impossible to pass without notice the mines, which have for centuries poured their riches into the mother country, and yet left her "poor indeed." The greater part of the more valuable ones are under water, partly from neglect, and partly for want of powerful machinery to drain them. Great numbers of Englishmen are engaging in the tempting, but uncertain, pursuit of the precious metals. The author accompanied the American Consul to a mine, of which he had obtained a grant, and where he was erecting a powerful steam-engine to draw off the water, the ponderous machine having been dragged with incredible labour, and no trifling expense, through pathless woods and over steep and lofty
Mr. Bullock visited an amalgamation house near Themascaltepec :
The superintendant showed us the whole process of extracting the silver from the ore, which gives employment to a great number of people, principally Indians. The ore, which was brought from a mine at some miles distance, by mules, is of a yellowish clay colour, and not very rich it is of that kind, distinguished here by the name of colorado. It is first pounded by large heavy stumpers, worked by water,
and sifted through hides pierced with small holes, to answer the purpose of sieves; the powdered ore is next carried into a large flagged apartment, and piled in heaps, of a ton or more in each, and then mixed with salt, sulphate of iron, lime, vegetable ashes, &c. A quantity of mercury, in proportion to the calculated quantity of the silver, is added, and suffered to remain some time, the whole being turned or worked together by Indians treading it with their feet. When they suppose the mercury has entirely united with the ore, it is put into vats, over which a stream of water passes: the amalgamated ore is then stirred up, and the earthy part carried off by the stream; aud the mercury, incorporated with silver, remains at the bottom. The silver is afterwards separated from the quicksilver by means of fire, with a considerable loss."
Those of our readers who are acquainted with chemistry and metallurgical operations, will easily perceive the defects of this process, and by what simple contrivances the mercury might be preserved, and the consequent cost of the silver diminished. With the true spirit of an antiquary, the author explored every corner for vestiges which have been spared by the Spaniards, and his search was far more successful than might have been expected; but we must refer the reader to the work itself for a mass of curious information, well calculated to exalt our ideas of the magnificence and even of the scientific attainments of the ancient Mexicans. He has taken casts of those sculptural remains which were too ponderous to remove, and which, had he been inclined, the prejudices of the people would not have suffered to depart,-among them was the great sacrificial stone, upon whose broad surface thousands of human victims have been immolated. It is creditable to those in authority that wherever he went, every assistance was afforded to him.
In many instances considerable expense was incurred in disinterring idolatrous relics which the piety of the Catholic church had induced them to conceal from the eyes of the converts. There is perhaps no spot in the world where the, Catholic religion has taken a deeper root and interwoven it more closely with the very texture of society than in Mexico, and perhaps there is no place where it appears to less disadvantage. The piety displayed by the Indians, though it is manifested in ceremony and pomp, evidently proceeds from the heart.
Mr. Bullock, in his preface, disclaims any attempt at authorship. He, however, relates his story with correctness and simplicity, and a work with fewer faults has seldom come under our notice. But we cannot take leave of it without observing that the printer has succeeded to admiration in diffusing a moderate portion of copy over a very plentiful
number of sheets.